This probably (hopefully) the closest I’ll get to a political post on my blog. It isn’t all that political anyway. It’s more an observation of behavior.
I’m compelled to write this after hearing for many months, from many sources that Gen-Xer’s (like me) and Millennials just can’t seem to get ahead like their parents did. Often, there’s a finger of blame pointed at politicians and demands that Washington should send some sort of help.
While in some cases there may have been an outside influence keeping us down, here’s a list of things that are stumbling blocks that we choose for ourselves.
(Note that I’m including things I may or may not have done myself here. I’m not telling which is which!)
No politician ever came to my house and forced me to:
1. Sign-up for $100k in student loans for a degree that leads to a $40k/year job.
2. Lease a car I can’t afford or roll negative equity from one silly car loan to another.
3. Choose to pay for an out-of-state school based on anything other than a specific degree program not offered in state.
4. Purchase toys on debt (campers, boats, jet skis)
5. Go on a cruise or other expensive vacation every year, or even every other year.
6. Regularly buy $7.00 coffees.
7. Get the absolute maximum mortgage the nice banker says I can “afford”.
8. Adorn my body with multiple, visible tattoo, piercings or gauges so that I might rage against “society” when I have trouble with employment.
9. Engage in DUI, drug and alcohol abuse or high-risk sexual behaviors.
10. Choose a degree with no thought given to its marketability.
11. Fail to show-up on time and perform my job as expected, every single day.
12. Be hateful, negative, or unkind to others.
13. Keep stuffing my closet with new clothes and shoes or my garage with tools.
14. Buy a smart phone as soon as the latest model is released.
15. Have multiple credit cards and zero savings.
16. Spend hundreds of dollars a month at bars and clubs.
17. Pay too much in rent so I can live in a “hip” part of town.
18. Buy for my kids every little thing they just have to have.
19. Fail to carry adequate insurance policies.
20. Post personal drama and dirty laundry on social media where potential employers might (will) find it.
I’ve heard it said that we’re getting paid nearly double what our parents earned at our age, but are living triple to quadruple their lifestyle.
Perhaps there was a reason so many of our parents loaded-up a good used station wagon and drove to the beach rather than flew the family to Cancun?
Our daily choices have far more impact on our prosperity than our government does.
Food for thought.