Adolsent Habits of Spending Money Essay
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I think that many people are familiar with the economic crisis that has plagued the front of newspapers and run rampantly across countless television news networks throughout the day.
Billions of dollars are flying around to help businesses in hope of avoiding a catastrophic financial meltdown. A barrel of oil has dropped to the lowest price anyone has seen in months, and multibillion-dollar companies are crashing into the rocks.
In all honesty I really don’t have any opinion on the financial crisis.
Of course I know the economy is failing. I see the stock market plunging and then slowly coming up for breath and quickly plunging once more, but in my mind this really doesn’t affect me because I don’t know what I am looking at. It doesn’t interest me, and I almost forget that it exists at times because I don’t have anything invested and I didn’t lose anything but 20 minutes in a day sitting on the couch watching some numbers drop.
This is by far not the healthiest way to perceive something as serious as this. I really only care about financial aid as of now, which is quickly dwindling by the way, in the hope that when I finally leave this place and move on with whatever I plan to do to make a little money in my life, I will not have to pay anything for a college education. Second on my list is surviving until that point, and I plan to take it from there — what I have always done through financial turbulence and what many others should begin to think about.
So when I read an article in the New York Times yesterday titled, “The Frugal Teenager, Ready or Not” written by Jan Hoffman, I was quite intrigued. It seems that most teenagers are being spoiled to an extravagant degree. Parents have had success in their lives after the late 1980s, ultimately giving them the ability to care for their children and essentially give their kids whatever they ask for, generally.
I can admit I was spoiled as a child and when I was a teenager as well. My parents have done everything to their ability, and so have many other parents. What interests me more than anything is that many of the teenagers in this article took spending less on designer clothes or whatever else teenagers want as an insult. Many of these kids have never been told no and they really don’t like the sound of it.
This is fairly sad. I know that parents want the best for their children and feel the need to do whatever they possibly can for them. This is perfectly understandable, but I believe that it has gone way too far, and the fact that it takes an economic meltdown that debilitates the United States and erases millions of people’s savings, investments, bank accounts and jobs to actually say no to privileged children is quite ridiculous.
What does this really mean, though? Nothing. I guess that 20 years of good fortune has led parents to think that their financial situation would stay pretty much consistent, and the cash crunch got the better of them. My parents experienced this almost 15 years ago when my mom lost her job. When a family’s budget goes from over $100,000 a year to less than $30,000, it is quite unimaginable. Your standard of living is completely pulled out from underneath of you and the only way to continue is to move on.
I had to be said no to — quite often actually — and it has done me well, and the teenagers today do not seem to know what money is. The only way to reverse this is to simply tell them there are going to be cutbacks and you will have to sacrifice just as much as we do.
I was surprised by some of the teenager’s reactions, though. They seem as though they actually care about helping their parents in this difficult situation, which is quite relieving, by agreeing to a lower spending limit, shopping at lower brand stores and helping out with household chores to earn their allowance. This is how it should be.
The value of a child growing up with responsibility is the greatest gift a parent could possibly give to his or her child, and instead of a teenager entering a completely new world after graduating high school and moving on to college or right into the workforce, they will actually realize that the world just isn’t something in Google Earth. The responsibility that my friends and I have learned while we were teenagers is priceless, and I wouldn’t trade making food for a bunch of tourists 40 or 50 hours a week when I was barely able to work for anything.