The Luxuries in Life.

The costly expense of childcare and how many families are suffering as a result, hit our screens as breaking news last week. I did not need a study and some arbitrary statistic to tell me sending DS to nursery is expensive, I just have to review my finances.

This is hardly breaking news; I could have told you last week, last month and I can tell you today, that families are feeling the crunch. There were once a time when being a housewife and a kept woman was seen as a privilege. You did not need to work because your husband could support the family on a single income, so you would spend your days shopping, baking cakes and reading classic stories to the children. You would consider yourself as lucky to be in such a position and dismiss the world accordingly for an afternoon episode of Loose Women.

Nowadays, being a housewife is probably cheaper on the whole for families. It is ludicrous to think the expense of working makes getting a job not worthwhile; surely having a duel income should better your family financially, rather than be a hinderance? Childcare has become a luxury and exclusive to those families who can pay.

The Guardian states, ‘for four out of 10 families the cost of childcare is on a par with mortgage or rent payments’; on par is probably your limits, because you would not pay more for childcare than the cost of your home. But the reality is, if DS was to attend nursery full-time five days a week, it would set us back £835 a month. The average cost of a two bedroom property in Gravesend is somewhere between £650 – £800 a month, do the math. Fortunately DS only goes to nursery three days a week, but the cost is still excessively high for not much return.

The cost of a commute (be it trains or topping up on petrol) has drastically risen over the past few years, coupled with the increase in rent/mortgage repayments, electricity, food, childcare, the list goes on. With stagnant salaries, low wages and pay freezes, how is the average family going to survive in the long-run, Mr Cameron?

Advertisements

The want.

When I think about the future, I am engulfed with choices, the various paths we could follow and how little time we have to fit it all in. Ultimately, I am torn between conformity and the freedom of renting.

Bricks and mortar are what we all aspire to have, along with the ideology to ‘settle down’. Having a family spurs on my desire to have stability and a secure home for us. I want the four bedroom house with a huge kitchen, an en-suite to my bedroom, a study, a garage for our two cars and a garden for the kids, placed nicely in a cul-de-sac in the outskirts of a Cathedral city. But whilst I yearn for my house, I am left wondering what would happen once I acquired it? Committing myself to one place, which would inevitably be our home for life, seems all too much for me.

I am one for change; I like moving to a new place and starting fresh. There is something about moving to a new town, a new home and starting a new job. I like a challenge and feel like there is something to prove; my ability to relocate and reestablish myself in any given place. I see my life as a checklist of things I have/have not done and by living in various places, seeing the world in the process, I feel like I am ticking another box.

I guess it all depends on whether material items and the reassurance they bring mean more to me than the adventures of relocating. I can see both options within reach, but I guess the question is; do I have the want to designate large sums of money to resign myself to a life-long mortgage or to embrace the freedom of renting and frivolous spending?