• You can do it. No, really.

    Red sofa

    Couches are nice – not a necessity. Image via Wikipedia

    Some of my friends seem amazed at how I’m managing to get by being fully independent. They say there’s no way they could do it, it would be way too hard, they just wouldn’t be able to manage.

    I think that’s a load of bull.

    They would manage just fine, they just wouldn’t be able to live life the way they do now. It’s not like I make more than them – I get more student allowance, but that’s because I don’t live at home. Most of my friends work and most of them make around what I do. And few to none have any debt, where I still do (a little, which’ll be paid off by end of summer).

    It’s about priorities. They say they don’t have any household stuff. Well, you don’t need coffee tables, sofas, desks and chairs. Odds are you’re going to join an established flat as a flatmate – I don’t know why you would take on a tenancy straight out of home, or what the odds are of that happening without prior housing references. You won’t need all that stuff. And even if you sign on for a small unit or apartment, you won’t have room for most of that stuff. Living in our old apartment, the only furniture we had was a two seater couch – that’s all the space allowed for.

    Sure, you won’t get to buy clothes or shoes whenever you want. A couple of times a year, maybe. But that’s life, and if you want to move out bad enough you’ll learn to get by. You might not get to go to concerts or go on holidays or to RnV for New Year’s, but you really can’t have everything, not this early on in life (unless you’re a trust funder or crazy millionaire entrepreneur). You might have to watch your coffees or lunches and dinners out, eat beans and noodles every so often, let your sheets and towels get a bit ragged before replacing them. You might not be able to save much, if at all.

    But the point I’m trying to make it, it’s possible. Almost anyone can do it. It’s a matter of rethinking what’s important to you and simplifying things. You just won’t be able to live the life you got used to while living at home. Whether or not your parents support you in any way (apart from providing a roof and food) there are so many things you take for granted, and those are the things that change when you’re on your own.

  • The pursuit of money

    I was sitting in front of a Fijian and a Samoan guy on the bus the other day. They were talking about how great it was going back to visit because life over there is so different; it’s more laidback, there’s a sense of community, money is not as important and you don’t NEED it to get by as you do here.

    It sounds idyllic. But you know what, I don’t think I’d last long there. City life is stressful, and expensive, and sometimes it’s harsh and dangerous and downright disheartening, but I wouldn’t trade it in. The Pacific is top of my holiday list but it’s not really a lifestyle option.

    I think I value ambition and money and the buzz of the city (not that I’d want to live in the midst of it) and the insane variety of foods we now have here (y’all know how much I love to eat). I want to work hard and travel and obtain the trappings of middle class life eventually.

    Or have I just been brainwashed by the capitalist economy?