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Kids these days

September 25th, 2014 at 03:15 pm

Elsewhere, on another financially-related forum that is mostly populated with the younger crowds (20's and early 30's), they're talking about the importance of enjoying life over agonizing over a budget. After all, they say, what is the point of working so hard for your wages if you don't enjoy life a little?

Now, see, this to me is the exact definition of "Knowing just enough to be dangerous".

No one on there argues that one should not save or set aside some money for rainy days. The thing is, to them, budgeting is not fun. Budgeting is something you do as a chore. I get it. Some people don't like it, and that's fine.

However, they're taking it to the next step and saying, look, I work hard, I make money, and basically I should be allowed to spend freely to enjoy life, without having to budget if I don't want to, and without having to be constrained by said budget because, after all, I am working and I can always make more.

Bzzz. Wrong. To me, spending without knowing your budget is to drive at night with your headlights off. You just don't know where you are going and what will happen to you.

And see, here's the funny part. I am at a point now where I too am operating relatively freely in terms of spending and is not as restrictive on budget. However, the difference is that I've been operating within my budget for so long that I KNOW when I am doing something that may throw my budget off. (I also only have to track myself, so it's really not hard.)

The bottom line is, YES, YOU NEED TO BUDGET. You don't have to LIKE budgeting, but you do need to know what is going on with your money. The fact that I know what's going on without having to physically look at my budget doesn't mean I don't have a budget.

Ok, just had to get that off my chest. Honestly, these kids. They're also the type that loves to pursue stock and option trading, which I think is way over-rated, but that's a topic for another time.

5 Responses to “Kids these days”

  1. snafu Says:

    I get what you're saying but I hold my generation responsible because a lot of my group whose DKs have graduated from university and are settled into well paying jobs, have never been required to manage earned income. They have bought into the values of the clever marketers. The media is the message. They seem to believe a vehicle identifies who they are to people wh know them and even those who are merely other drivers. If possible they value being slightly ahead of the trend, who did you see in line for the 1st sales of iPhone 6? A celebrity sports a silly/dorky hair cut and they mimic it! I'm horrified by the extent of 'body art' which is incredibly difficult to remove when the buff body sags sometime in the future.

    Many young professionals are encouraged by banks and other financial institutions to slide into debt in spite of large student loans. Whaat, isn't that a repeat of housing bubble matrix? I guess this is being exacerbated by the stock market up 35% since it's 2008 low. Do they think this trajectory will go forever?

  2. rob62521 Says:

    I don't think this malady is only for the youngsters. There are people in their 60s who didn't save while they were younger and are now complaining have money issues, BUT continue to spend because after all, in their words, "They deserve it!" Referring to whatever they are spending money on.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Any chance this was the conversation in which was said, "If you buy a motorcycle you reduce your life expectancy and thus have a lower need for money. It's a win-win." Regardless, I smiled at that cleverness.

    Once in a while I get weird-ed out by a person of the generation younger than me. But mostly I don't really know anything about their money. It is the outward appearance that makes me cock my head sideways in perplexity.

    Oh, but it isn't really generational. Same stuff in my agemates, same stuff in the group a half generation younger than me. Haven't really seen it in my elders, but I have no doubt it happens.

  4. Jenn Says:

    The more you surround yourself with financially savvy people, the more the stupidity of mainstream America jumps out at you!

    I think I was guilty of believing that retirement age was such a looong way off too, when I was young. The marketing does seem worse these days as it reinforces the beliefs that 'you work hard so you deserve something frivolous' and 'happiness is found in things'.

    I'm really trying to raise my kids differently, but it's too early to claim victory. We started by ditching the TV, but of course now marketing is on the internet too.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When I graduated from college I thought I had it together financially, but it only took a few years of living outside my family's bubble to figure out that I had no clue. It took four more years before I figured out how to turn things around. I'm glad I did finally turn it around. Hopefully these kids you're referring to will also figure out how to really turn it around.

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