Big plans

If you’d asked me two years ago about settling down, getting married, buying a house and having children, I would have told you that I didn’t really see that happen anytime soon for me. I was single, and had been for years, after all. I always knew I wanted to get married and have children (although I was less sure about settling down and buying a house), and how hopefully I would meet the right man one day.

Well, I did. In August 2011, when I met N., although I didn’t realize it straight away. The past 1.5 years of our relationship weren’t always easy, what with living in different countries, but we knew we loved each other and that long-distance wasn’t a long-term solution. So four months ago I moved to the UK, we moved in together, and here we are. I think, for the most part, we both have the same idea of our future. We want to get married at some point (don’t get excited just yet, we are not actually making any plans yet), buy a house and have children.

It’s just the pets we can’t agree on. I am a cat person and N. is a dog person, and while I would be perfectly happy having both cats and dogs, N. isn’t really keen on having a cat as he doesn’t trust or like them. He is wrong (of course!), sure cats are more independent and not as loyal as dogs, but they have very good qualities too. I can read cats much better than dogs, simply because I grew up with one, while it is the opposite for N. Hah. I digress.

So. Marriage, a house, children. Wow! It all seems a bit daunting when you consider where we are right now and where we would like to be in, say, five years. There is a lot of ground to be covered, and I feel like that applies especially to me.

While I do value family over my career, I do not want to be a stay-at-home mum for the rest of my life once we have children. Right now, I am not quite where I would like to be in terms of career, but that was the compromise I had to make for moving here. I do feel, however, that if I want any chance of actually getting where I want to be (and right now, I’d be damn happy to make it back to where I was six months ago in terms on income), I have to do that before having children. Which means that whatever my next job will be, it had better be a good one. I do think that once I have children, it would be much harder to advance to a better (paying) job, so I want to make sure I am happy with where I am before we do.

Then there’s the house. As someone who has just newly moved to the UK, the idea of convincing a bank to give us a mortgage seems a bit challenging. I mean, I doubt I would even get a credit card if I applied for one right now. And I am scared of being turned down when applying for a mobile contract in a couple of months. After all, my credit history here is nearly non-existent. All I have here is a bank account (well, two) and an E-ISA with a balance of £0. Hah. I did make sure to be added to the electoral roll, but in the end, there is only so much I can do, and I think that just being here (and having a steady income) for a longer period of time will help. I have no idea how easy it is to get a mortgage here, and obviously we will have to do some research before this becomes a serious concern. Right now, we are just trying to get settled, sort out our finances (I only just got my first full paycheck last week), and enjoy living together. But my job plays into this as well. I do not really see myself in a position of being able to afford a mortgage in my current job. It is no problem to live off my income from day to day as our fixed costs (rent and such) are very low, but that would change once a mortgage comes into play, and let’s not even mention children. I mean, they are expensive too.

The bottom line is I need a better (paying) job at some point as this one does not pay enough for us to be able to afford the life we have planned. I reckon a lot of this will just sort itself out over time and hopefully next year I will find a better job that I would be happy to stay in for a longer time (and with a shorter commute!).

For now, all we want to do is enjoy our life together and create a good base to build our future on. But sometimes I cannot help but wonder how on earth we are going to get there.


4 thoughts on “Big plans

  1. You know what you want and that is what counts the most. In England you pretty much have to work with a dual income don’t you think? Maybe not in Scotland, but damn, down here around London….ANYWAY, that’s beside the point. I find once people have kids priorities change very much :) Also: I got a credit card a month or two ago. Surprised I was since I only had a UK pay check for what, 2 months at the time and a bank account since November but with no regular money going into it. So this might happen faster than you expect.

  2. Have you read “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg? She talks a lot about the balance between family and career and–in my opinion–how to best prepare for a future where you are not only a stay-at-home mom. It’s fascinating.


  3. The child issue, it’s ever present these days.
    I talked to a friend today, she is kind of in my situation. We both don’t really know if we want kids and when that would/ could happen.
    I am feeling a lot better since I know she thinks 99% exactly the same things than me.

    But I admire that you know where you want to go.

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