I've been stalking this forum and thread for years and finally have something I just had to share. So, CW and her husband earn about the same as me and my partner, which is to say, not super big bucks but comfortably in the top third of Australian household income. We're all around 30 years old, but they actually reached that paygrade a couple years before me/us so ought to be better off than us, eh?
CW frequently talks about wanting to buy their own home, but it's just 'impossible to save a deposit while you're renting'. (Err, that's exactly what we did.)
They would like a 2nd kid, but they 'can't afford to take maternity leave again'. This is despite a very generous mat leave scheme with 20 weeks at full pay and 18 weeks at federal minimum pay, and you can even take it at half pay to minimise tax and actually stretch it out over a full year! I goggled at that and couldn't resist probing. Turns out CW's husband's still paying off two loans, so that's like half of each of his pay in repayments.
However, being actually on the same pay as them currently - in fact quite a bit less until very recently - I know for a fact that it's entirely possible for them to live off only one pay and throw the other pay (nearly $2000 per fortnight) into debt and then a house deposit. Especially as they get free childcare from their parents! (Childcare costs a bomb where we are.)
Instead, CW is an avid shopper and often spends lunch breaks shopping - often at the kinds of stores I might venture into once every few years to find something spiffy for a really nice occasion (like my own wedding). She'll give her mother cash to buy gift cards for her (or some complicated money swapping arrangement) so she can buy things without husband knowing how much she has spent, and proudly tells us how she pulls the 'this old thing? I've had it for ages' trick with her husband. Her rationale is that she sees buying nice clothes as 'an investment in herself, since she's earning such good money'. I guess the good thing is she's shopping in cash, as she doesn't want her purchases on their joint credit card statement so at least she's not running up debt for shoes.
CW also buys cafe coffee at work nearly every day, easily to a tune of $20 a week. I pointed out she could save money by bringing her own coffee pods to use with the Nespresso machine at work, or even just bring a coffee plunger as our office provides free milk, sugar, tea, instant coffee and ground coffee!!! No, apparently she's trying to cut back on coffee and thinks having to walk out and spend money on coffee will help reduce consumption...
I'm just about to give up on the conversation at this point, when CW throws in the doozy that buying a house wouldn't be a problem if her parents would just sell the house they inherited from her grandparents, which would be more than enough to provide her with a deposit. Because her parents have always intended to share that inheritance with her anyway, so she'd rather they shared it now when she could actually use it, instead of dragging their feet on for years.
Seriously, if they'd just knuckle down to it they really could clear the debt and save up a 20% deposit within 2-3 years, then use the eventual inheritance to pay off the house early and be well set then. But I guess they're just going to continue throwing money away in rent while waiting for her parents to finally hand over the inheritance for a deposit... at which point they'll probably also just continue to throw away another 30 years worth of mortgage interest payments at 7% - 8%. Sigh. I am occasionally bit by envy at her beautiful wardrobe, but clothes can't compare to being mortgage-free so I'm hanging in there.