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witterings on OS life

edited 8 December 2009 at 10:46PM in Old Style MoneySaving
89 replies 17.2K views
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  • I've only skimmed bits of the thread so this may have been said already. The big difference to me is the cost of housing. When I bought my first flat at the end of the 80's, I could buy a flat as a single girl on an admin wage and I could (almost!) afford to eat. That's impossible now and it's impossible for families to buy a family home on one wage in most areas.

    I'm sure many families would love to have a stay at home parent but with the housing costs it is just isn't possible. Many families aren't funding extravagant, shopping led lifestyles but are just trying to make ends meet. OK some of them are, and there is still a lot of "keeping up with the Joneses" going on but whilst housing is so unaffordable I fear for the future of the old fashioned family.
    Piglet
  • I've only skimmed bits of the thread so this may have been said already. The big difference to me is the cost of housing. When I bought my first flat at the end of the 80's, I could buy a flat as a single girl on an admin wage and I could (almost!) afford to eat. That's impossible now and it's impossible for families to buy a family home on one wage in most areas.

    I'm sure many families would love to have a stay at home parent but with the housing costs it is just isn't possible. Many families aren't funding extravagant, shopping led lifestyles but are just trying to make ends meet. OK some of them are, and there is still a lot of "keeping up with the Joneses" going on but whilst housing is so unaffordable I fear for the future of the old fashioned family.

    Good point. By far the biggest expenditure anyone has in the UK is housing. Of the three necessary things to human survival, (food, clothing and shelter), food and clothing cost a pittance in comparison. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation though. Did housing costs go up because two income households became the norm, or did families have to have two earners to afford higher housing costs? I suspect it may have been a bit of both.

    One of the good things to come out of the recession/depression might be lower housing cost, but it seems the government and other vested interests are doing all they can to prop up high house prices to give some people the illusion they are still rich!
    'Never keep up with Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.' Quentin Crisp
  • seraphinaseraphina Forumite
    1.1K posts

    The recession/depression is definitely going to mean more of this. For example, two of my female contemporaries (mid thirties) who were previously 'career girls' have now decided to be stay at home mums because they lost their jobs and can't get another.

    But how is that a choice? They've been forced to stay at home because they can't get another job, not necessarily because they want to.

    And at least if you have two income families, they are a bit less vulnerable to one person being made redundant!
  • tapladytaplady Forumite
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    Mardatha - thankyou for a very interesting thread:T alot of interesting and vallid points have been made and some of the posts have made me rather nostalgic for my childhood:D
    very enjoyable reading:T
    Do what you love :happyhear
  • mumoftwomumoftwo Forumite
    1.9K posts
    My brain's not working fully at this hour so bear with me.

    There have been some very interesting points, i've enjoyed reading about people's experiences in times gone by. Being a child of the 80s, I don't remember a lot of what has been said (although have lived in a unheated house, when ice formed on the inside of the windows).

    Personally, I would have loved to have been a SAHM when my son was born. We live a relatively simple life, don't buy into consumerism and live within our means etc. When my son started school, the majority of the mothers were SAHM. The amount of snide comments and flak I got about not being one was unreal. The difference being, my OH doesn't earn enough to rely on one wage and I was not prepared to make a conscious decision to rely on benefits as some of them do in order to stay at home. I started work part time to bring some money in for food and rent then decided to go to uni to retrain. I think the SAHM concept has come full circle and think that we will see more women staying at home in the next 10 years, if this can be made easier in some way then all the better.

    I'm glad I was able to pick up cooking and OS fairly quick, I do think that OS skills should be taught in schools though so that waste and consumerism starts to decline.

    I agree with this, The difference between now and the fifties is that now women have more of a choice now, it was more expected by husbands and society that women stayed at home to care for the family in the fifties and now you can choose and even sometimes people can't believe you are not working and a SAHM!

    I don't know if women are happier now then they were then, now we just cram more in, work, housework, kids, house, car and plenty of stress, just in a different way than it was 50 years ago.
  • beautiful_ravensbeautiful_ravens Forumite
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    Originally Posted by Austin Allegro viewpost.gif

    The recession/depression is definitely going to mean more of this. For example, two of my female contemporaries (mid thirties) who were previously 'career girls' have now decided to be stay at home mums because they lost their jobs and can't get another.
    seraphina wrote: »
    But how is that a choice? They've been forced to stay at home because they can't get another job, not necessarily because they want to.

    And at least if you have two income families, they are a bit less vulnerable to one person being made redundant!

    Yes, its not really a choice is it? Its assumed that it will be the woman who stays at home, women therefore accept the SAH role easier than the husband/boyfriend/man ...
    I dont think feminism has done much yet, apart from distance people from the idea of feminism which is essentially 'against the male priviledge society' .
    ---
    ANYWAY my nan was a mum of 3 in the 50's to my mum who was born in 51. I know it was my Grandad who had almost victorian standards about how clean and tidy the house should be, and it was because of his influence that my nan spent every moment cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, shopping etc hardly any time with her kids [incl my mum], she fell asleep each evening at about 7pm on the settee after a days graft, plus she eventually worked a job aswell as doing all that, the purpose was paying the mortgage, buying a car. Shes dead now. Her house was sold, the money divided up between the 3 heirs and spent. I ask myself why did she do that? I dont want to do that.

    My house is messy, and my children see me.
    I do a bit of cleaning, but hopefully not so much that my girls think its what women must do, and I teach them basic housey skills, but also show them how to build a chicken house out of a chair or how to take a washing machine apart or fix things.

    The 50's has some good stuff like recipes and OS stuff, but just makes me think of the phrase 'chained to the kitchen sink' which of course I hate!! The 50's were sexist. Id hate to be who I am now, but trapped there!

    On the other hand, remember the mum of 3 who comitted suicide? She was a career/working mum, its believed she was super stressed trying to be everything all at once. Perhaps we need old fashioned defined roles, and this time is a time of upheaval, which we'll look back on in 25 years time with some new insight.
    ''A moment's thinking is an hour in words.'' -Thomas Hood
  • Penelope_PenguinPenelope_Penguin Forumite
    17.3K posts
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    I dont think feminism has done much yet

    :confused: I can't believe I'm reading this ;) Do you not have the vote? Do you need to ask a man's permission to own property? Are you not allowed to work outside the home? If you do, do you earn less than your male counterpatrts, and have to leave upon marriage?

    Maybe Adam Hart-Davis needs to do a new series What has feminism done for us? :rotfl:

    Penny. x
    :rudolf: Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding :rudolf:
  • mardathamardatha Forumite
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    Ah...but that was the reason for my original post. All the new freedom that womens lib has given us -- have we used it wisely ?
    We run around more, are just as tired, just as trapped, just as unhappy and just as hard up as they were. We are hamsters on a wheel! :rolleyes:
  • Yes, its not really a choice is it? Its assumed that it will be the woman who stays at home, women therefore accept the SAH role easier than the husband/boyfriend/man ...
    I dont think feminism has done much yet, apart from distance people from the idea of feminism which is essentially 'against the male priviledge society' .

    I think things are changing, as nowadays it's by no means guaranteed these days that the man earns the higher salary, or has the more secure job - that may be the case but I think it's increasingly common that a couple is able to decide what suits them.

    And I think it's desperately sad that so many kids don't get to see much of their dads because they're the ones working outside the home and therefore don't get to see as much of their kids, and because parents fall into "traditional" rolls. It's to my eternal regret that I didn't get to see much of my dad because he was working all hours when I was growing up. My mum lost her job at the Civil Service when she got married because they didn't employ women...And I'm not convinced of the benefits to young girls of seeing women mainly in the home - how does it influence their perceptions of what they can and can't do when their main female role model does something that modern society seems to place so little value on?

    You won't see true equality until you do away with maternity/paternity leave and replace it with parent-leave. That way, if firms are reluctant to hire a women because they may lose the female employee because of maternity leave, it's no guarantee that a man won't do the same! And every single recent dad I know have all really wished they could have spent more time with their little ones.
  • beautiful_ravensbeautiful_ravens Forumite
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    :confused: I can't believe I'm reading this ;) Do you not have the vote? Do you need to ask a man's permission to own property? Are you not allowed to work outside the home? If you do, do you earn less than your male counterpatrts, and have to leave upon marriage?

    Maybe Adam Hart-Davis needs to do a new series What has feminism done for us? :rotfl:

    Penny. x

    :) I dont want to stray toooo far from the subject, but you need to do a bit more than scratch the surface of feminism before you conclude that it has given us a lot. Indeed we have all the things you mentioned, but terms like stay at home mum, working mother [working father?], career girl [ever heard of a career boy?] are the definitions which effectively hold us back by piling more expectations upon us.

    Read a childrens story book and you will see our roles clearly defined [Thomas the Tank vs Angelina Ballerina], we are bound by them even though we think we're much more free. And we are more free than before, thanks to the suffragettes, but there is a LONG way to go before we have equal privileges to men. They are much more free than women to pursue any activity they want.

    Also who wants to be a feminist? Hardly anyone, its almost a derrogatory term, and although feminists are the champions of womens rights, Im afraid it wont progress quickly until men become supporters and advocates of womens rights/feminist ideas.

    I dont want to be rude or overly serious, I just felt I had to say that!! And Id love to watch a programme like that ;)
    ''A moment's thinking is an hour in words.'' -Thomas Hood
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