11 March 2007

Get a mortgage, lose a life?

It can't just be me. It seems almost impossible to be able to afford to buy a house, even with 2 incomes, and some help from the parents, if you're both designers.

An article on the weekend reminded me of a recent survey which found that the most unhappy people in Sydney live in the Inner West, where we are now. The theory this author put forward was that people in this area have the same middle class aspirations as everyone else, its just that the work in relatively low-paid areas of academia and the arts. This seems spot-on, for us at least.

We're working all the time, 7 days a week, often late into the night. But we never seem to get ahead. Today I had a go at the online mortgage calculators some lenders provide. Apparently we'd have to pay a mortgage of about $800 per week on a loan the size that you need to get anything in Sydney these days.

How the hell can we possibly pay that much?? That's double what we pay now. We can't work any harder in our design fields, already I feel like I have no life other than my office.

Is the only alternative to throw in the independence and return to an office job? Yawn. What, go back to the thing I left 3 years ago because I didn't enjoy it, and stay there for 25 until the mortgage is paid off? Seems depressing.

I gotta be honest with myself and say that the (close to) free work I do every week on the Film Festival is a big drain on my time when I could otherwise be working for coin. Of course my interest remains strongly in film - but as an administrator of other people's films, in a disorganised and underpaid youth organisation? Doesn't sound like it's progressing my ambitions anywhere fast does it? If I took the unpaid hours I have put into this festival in the last 18 month I probably could have written a feature film!

I will have to return to this topic after the festival has happened - maybe I will have had an amazing experience and my opportunities will have opened up as a result. Right now I feel I just don't have the time or desire to give away so many of my hours to these guys...

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