Let’s face it…everyone loves free stuff.
It doesn’t matter what’s being given away, watch the masses flock as soon as you mention the F word…no, not that F word. Giving away cat food? I don’t have a cat, I’ve never had a cat, I never want a cat, in fact I hate cats, but sure I’ll take your tin of Whiskers if it’s free. There’s a rule within human nature that states – “if you turn down perfectly good free stuff, you are a weirdo.” Sure it might not read in those exact terms, but it’s just like going to a restaurant and ordering an extra large meal. It doesn’t matter how disgustingly full you are, you keep shovelling that food down your gob ‘til you’re ready to burst because “I’d hate to see it go to waste.”
So what about being offered a free house? Who in their right mind could refuse that?! I would.
I’ve recently found myself discussing the future a lot with my man, and a big part of that discussion revolves around living together. After being together for five years, it’s impossible to look towards to future and not picture that other person front and centre of the frame.
Having proved to be a much more successful saver than yours truly, my boyfriend has been keeping an eye out for a bargain buy on the property market (good luck to him in this day and age.) Of course the question that rises like steam each time this particular conversation gets placed on the stovetop “will I live there with you?” Of course there’s no need to ‘phone a friend’ on this one, the answer is a given, but the deeper I analyse the concept the more uneasy I feel about it.
I’ve always been someone who has worked for my money. It’s something my parents instilled in me since I was young and I’m so grateful for that. Nothing was handed to me on a silver platter (it was unashamedly plastic) and I learnt the value of the dollar pretty quickly. In fact I was so busting to get my first part-time job as a teenager, I lied about my age to get the gig at my local chicken shop! Ever since I was fourteen years old, I’ve worked and saved, worked and saved. There’s something special about owning something that you’ve bought with your own money. My first car seemed shinier, my laptop faster and holiday destinations warmer – all because I had coughed up the cash from my own wallet.
So in approaching this next phase of my life where you compare the size of your house instead of your Saturday night outfit, I feel myself craving that satisfaction of ownership. I’d feel uncomfortable claiming a house to be half mine when I haven’t put a cent towards it. When I show people around the place I want to puff out my chest like a proud mother bird on a nest and say: “yes it’s mine, isn’t it great?” I know it’s stupid especially with the ‘what’s yours is mine’ rule applied, but I wouldn’t feel it was truly mine until I see the digits drain from my bank account in the process.
Being an annoyingly independent person, I always feel the need to prove myself and earn my keep, and I don’t think owning a home is any different.
I know girls that would move in rent-free with their partners in a heartbeat. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I’d feel weird hammering a new picture into a wall that wasn’t mine to hammer. It’d feel wrong buying a bedspread for a room that wasn’t mine to decorate. I want to feel complete ownership over the place I call home and be Queen of my own castle.
So although the lure of rent-free living is enticing, I’d rather do what I’ve always done and pay my own way.
Do you prefer to pay for your own things in your relationship?
Kristie started this convo on her show ‘Thinkergirl’ with fellow radio gal pal Stacey June. The girls dump their radio co-hosts each week and chat about stuff that girls are thinking but not necessarily saying. No boundaries. No limits! Listen here