3 Dec 2012

Is one income for a family enough?

I've been thinking more and more about the past recently. Mainly on how it has affected my family.

After having a few conversations with my Dad over the last week or two, it became apparent how little I know about the country and even the town I grew up in before I was about 16-17 years old and started paying a bit more attention (not a lot of attention).

The growth of standards of living have gone up enormously. I would say most people in Britain now live in houses that have some kind of heating. This wasn't so up to even 20 years ago.

I couldn't even fathom this. I took it completely as a given that everyone had heating, electric lights and a power shower*!

Then you start thinking about other "technologies" that have bedded themselves in just in my lifetime (I'm still young I tell thee!), think of mobile phones, solar panels, efficient cars.

I remember growing up, not that long ago, in the mid 90's having to wait for my sister to finish her phone call on the landline so I could ring my friend. This is completely unheard of now. You just whip out your mobile and bam, text your friend, send them a picture of a particularlly long cat or whatever.

You can even speak to a friend in Australia whilst walking through the countryside of Cumbria (if you can get signal). Come on, that is amazing. 

I guess we take these things as read now. 

Anyway, back to my point. Have these technological advancements increased the costs of the standard persons life. 

Well there's one thing I can see stick out like a sore thumb. How many couples do you know now, where both of them work full-time, I would say over 95% of the people I know do and hate it! 

Do they do it because they are chasing Financial independence and want to retire early? No, is it because they love their work and wouldn't give it up for BILLIONS OF DOLLARS? Nope. 

It's because if they didn't both work they couldn't afford to live. It's as simple as that. You now have single mums working full-time to fund their child care costs. Couples working 80-100 hours a week between them to try and afford the wedding they just have to have.

So are we better off than my parents generation? Yeah! We live in comfy ass homes where you flick a switch for heat, with fancy insulation that retains the heat and drive a car EACH to our jobs that we want to try and excel in because goddamnit I am good at this.

But if I could swap for one of us working a 40 hour week, not having a mobile/laptop/internet/abroad holidays and having every weekend free, to give my other half a rest because the kids have been running riot all week. I would in a heartbeat.

I think as much as possible, I'm going to cut out that excess crap until I'm at the "bare minimum" for living a modern life. But am riding a rocket ship compared to peoples lives in the 80-90's. 

Hopefully, these technological advances that seem to have turned us into a nation of workaholics can be kept at bay with a little effort and a little thought and I can live well, because really that's all that matters.

Stay well,


* A power/electric shower is one of my necessities for life, along with double glazing and love :D

picture: longcat

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