I just completed my first week at the new job, today. It's a ground floor job, but I feel like a necessary part of the project, which is a first for me. I feel like I'm learning about the field, and I'm already pretty confident that this will ultimately open more doors for me when this project ends. And the best part is, though the salary is low for the area, it's still slightly higher than what I've been offered for other similar positions I've intereviewed for at non-freelance, permanent staff places. It's also the same starting salary I had at my corporate "hate-my-life" job that I had for four years. Of course, I took that job 5 years ago, so ... any economists out there can tell me how I've not really improved yadda, yadda. But I like this one!
Honey and I are going to try to purchase our house that we've been renting and living in for the last 2.5 years. What's sickening is that this house has appreciated in value by about 30 - 50% since we moved in. (And we don't even have a garge and the windows are the original energy leaking ones installed in 1965!) Even though the market has cooled in this area. I feel like we're kind of in a crap position:
1) We can easily afford a tiny "can't-accomodate-visitors, much less -raise-kids" condo in a high rise. (Have I ever mentioned we moved because I got clausterphobic in a high rise?) We'd have beaucoup disposable income to put into savings and travel, but we wouldn't be able to have children, like we want, because there would be NO ROOM for another person.
2) Or we could mostly afford a house in our zip code with 2 or 3 hobbit sized bedrooms which would feel like a cramped closet the instant we have a child (and we'd like to have up to 3). Our disposable income would go into savings, but not much else.
3) Or we could just skin of our teeth afford this house which could very easily accomodate 3 children into their adolescence. Savings would be a piggy bank in the attic, and our kids would have to just hear tales of their grandparents uncles, aunts and cousins, because we could never afford to travel to see them.
Pros - we could save for another 3 - 5 years and have beaucoup money to crank out child number 1 with, and just delay childbearing like every other schmo on the east coast. The condo would fairly easily sell to the next yuppie scum like us who comes along. For the cost that we sell the condo for, we could buy a huge house in the Southwest and never have to move again!
Cons - I feel very suffocated after a year or so in a high rise. Honey can attest that I can get weird about it. Though we have no reason to think we couldn't get knocked up in another 3 to 5 years, now seems as good a time as any to go ahead and start trying for spawn. Plus, our parents' health being what it is, if we wait much longer, our children will only ever know invalid or dead grandparents.
Pros - We can afford it. We can still save. It's not a high rise.
Cons - If we end up having to live in a cute shoebox for 30 years - let's say the economy turns and we can't afford to move anywhere - we will have to resort to eating our young. The only reason my parents didn't end up eating my brother and me when we lived in a very cramped "get-the-hell-out-of-my-face" house, is because we moved to a 2nd bathroom, separate laundry room, separate dining room joint by the time I was 14. Another inch of elbow room can really save one's mental health.
Pros - It's large enough to accomodate building a family, but not so large that if we nix the kids idea we'll feel like indulgent pigs living in an oversized McMansion a la DualIncomeNoKids like Nick and Jessica. It's in a corner of the neighborhood that always seems to make out well no matter what the market does.
Cons - We'll have to work constantly like hippos afford the place. We'll grey prematurely just from worry about if we can afford it.
I've been reading NubianTemptres43 lately, and though I'm not in exactly the same place as she is, I either have been or otherwise know what she means about all the scary crap and ambivalence that comes with being a grown up. I'm not currently feeling like I don't know what I'm doing with my life - which is strange as I've felt directionless for the last 3 years. But grownuphood is definitely not the platter of hope that was sold to me and my generation raised on "feel good; can do" edutainment of the 80s and 90s.
At least I love my job right now!