Wednesday 22 June 2022

Blogjune Day 22 - When I grow up, I'll be stable

Today's question: If I could learn anything, what would it be?

I'd like to learn how to be an established, self-sustained 'grown up'.

I feel like it was a lot more straightforward for previous generations. Finish high school (or not). Get a trade, go to uni, or just go get a job with long-term security. Get married (or not), buy a house and car. Pay off enough of the mortgage to have equity to buy another property. (Hope that you're established enough when the recession hits in the 90s.)

The rules have changed now. No jobs are necessarily secure - not even 'professional' roles. HECS debts add extra financial stress to our stagnating wages. If we're fortunate enough to have a mortgage, then we have to face the possibility of going into mortgage stress once interest rates go up. The rental market is more competitive and expensive than I can ever recall. And wage increases are minuscule compared to inflation which affects the cost of living - basically, we're earning comparatively less money than our previous generation.

So, what are the new rules of being a 'grown up' now? Work harder, longer hours, pushing for that job further up the hierarchy as the only way of possibly keeping up with rising costs? Don't have kids? Ride a bike instead of a car - assuming that you work cycling distance from home? Live on 2-minute noodles and peanut butter sandwiches like you did when you had to live on a casual job? Move into a rental share house?

I mean, I can do all of these things - and have done so for much of my life. But at the time, it felt like it was all a rite of passage until I got to become a 'real adult' and 'have it all'.

Maybe that was the lesson all along - that this is the new normal of being a 'grown up', and the old Australian Dream is just an unsustainable risk for those who can afford to bail themselves out when they need to.

No comments:

Post a Comment