I'm pretty new to this whole thing of living alone in an apartment and having a job. I'm certainly discontented with my current situation and I've been thinking a lot about what to aim for. If I can progress, how would I rather be living than now?
As I look at what appears to be the norm for American ambitions, I see a lot of things that I don't like. What's really struck me are these two things: The enormity of the houses and the quantity of vehicles. You can add some other things, like the size of the yards, or the newness or gas consumption of said vehicles. What the result in that bothers me so much, is a total consumption of income. It seems to me that however large a person's or couple's income is, they will always expand the amount they invest in home and vehicle to scale. There are a few other kinds of massive investments, like property that isn't primary residence, various subscriptions to services, and so forth that strike me in a similar manner, but the house and vehicle is the most standard thing.
My INTJ brother and his SO live in Harrisburg like me and are making a combined income of at least $80,000 a year. I don't know exactly what it is, but it is at the very minimum that much ($100,000 would not surprise me). They are only two people and will not have children. But the have a house with 8 rooms, attic and basement, a decently sized yard with driveway and shed. While one has a job from home and the other has a job that can be reached by bike or bus, they own three automobiles, one of which is a titanic gas guzzling van. The best thing they do with their money is invest it in a huge plot of land in northern NY where they have been slowly turning virtual wilderness into a place with a house. That could potentially be really cool, but it's a big investment and a distant goal.
They are very anxious about money. They always act strapped for cash. I look at this, and I think about what it would be like if I were making $80,000 a year while still living in this apartment without a car. I'd have an absurd amount of disposable income, and you know what? I think I'd be happier than they are.
Now, I don't want to stay like this forever, especially since I want a spouse and even I think this place is way too tiny for two people. Also, for two people to have jobs that pay like that without even one car is pretty rare. But still, I see no reason to get anything more than a single bedroom apartment and one tiny, high gas mileage car, especially considering I probably won't have children (very important point). And even two people living in those conditions here or in Pittsburgh would still have a lot of disposable income at $80,000 to $100,000 annually. And it wouldn't stop there. I don't know how large our income would have to become before I'd be interested in making those investments, because really, would I appreciate passively having a big home, or a big yard, or the convenience of multiple cars, as much as I would appreciate all of that disposable income?
Think about it. Never again would I have to think about buying some food and suddenly changing my mind because its frivolous. I could have acai smoothies and lobster every damn day if I wanted. I could make my place an oven in the winter and freezer in the summer. I could travel to another country on a whim. And emergencies wouldn't seem so scary anymore, because I'd probably have the money to cover it. And there's just freedom that nagging question of whether or not you can make your recurring payments and how much will be left over. Wherever that point is, I'd sooner aspire to living like that than getting out of a small apartment.
I think people are missing out on a lot of indulgences in life this way. I think people are sort of imprisoning themselves in their own massive investments. The more I think about this, the better an idea it sounds like. The main question in it for me is if I can find an SO would be comfortable with it the way I am, or if I get stuck with someone who's into that whole big house, three car thing.
If you actually read this far, what do you think? Are you feeling me or do you still side with the more conventional view. The answer probably makes more sense if you also won't have kids, because I understand this idea is less realistic for those with children, though the concept is still applicable, it just starts at a much higher bar.
Also, how many people do you think have similar thoughts to mine? Am I actually pretty common, or really anomalous?