I am 27 years old. I've been married for nearly 5 years. I bought a house. I lost that house - primarily due to my husband (the bread-winner as it were) losing his job. I just had my first baby, and we all three live in an apartment, that is pretty nice, but no house. And is half the size our house was, so we gave away a lot of things and are pretty cramped here with the rest. Most of the time, I still feel very lucky and happy with our situation. We can still have some nice things, buy healthy food in enough quantity that we're never hungry, and we've been able to take some pretty great vacations.
But every now and then...I feel envious of others my age. Especially those that waited until after the housing bubble burst and are just now purchasing their first homes. For a LOT less than we bought our house for. And with a much greater income. They're just in such a better situation financially. And it feels like a little stab to the heart. I want to be happy for them, but there's always a little bitterness too.
And then...there's my cousin. She's 21. She's married, for just over 1 year. She has no college education, neither does her husband. They're expecting their first baby. And they're, apparently, attempting to buy their first house. This particular situation strikes my heart a bit stronger than the others. For several reasons. For one thing, they're so much younger. For another, they are not as well educated as my husband or I, and consequently work very entry-level jobs. My cousin works at a fast food restaurant and the husband works at a big box store as a sales guy. And, apparently, she's still on her parent's medical insurance.
So, my first thought is How?! How on EARTH can they afford a house? My next thought is that they're getting help from their parents. And this frustrates the hell out of me. And then that frustrates me because I feel like I ought to just be happy for them. But I mean, come on! Mr. Random and I have been on our own financially since we got married. Before we got married even. When we were about their age. Since then we moved 1000 miles from home, we rented apartments, bought our cars, bought our house, lost our house, and are now taking a boatload of student loans to live off of. All on our own. We pay our own medical insurance, car insurance, life insurance, renter's insurance. All our own bills. And...honestly, that's as it should be! I feel that if you're mature enough to marry, you should be mature enough to provide for yourselves financially. I realize these are hard economic times (I DO, first hand, believe me!) but that doesn't change the fact that you should be buying your own insurance and paying your own bills. And especially if you're having a baby, you should be financially independent first!
I guess it doesn't always work that way, and if you're parents can help you out...well, why not, right? I guess I just feel frustrated that we tried so hard to do it all on our own - and had it blow up in our faces due to circumstance beyond our control (some of it was within our control, but ultimately a lot of it wasn't) and it feels like other people, like my cousin, aren't even trying to do it on their own. And they're better off for it! It just seems like it shouldn't work that way.