Facebook has given me a new view of our 20 and 30 something men and women in America. I've noticed that they want everything now, but they are wasteful when it comes to money. It's scary because they aren't frugal, and spend every dime that they make. They aren't thinking about the future or if they can provide for their kids. My husband and I have lived very frugal lives over our almost 17 years of marriage and our main concern since having our first child in 2000 is our kids.
Here are a few scary things that I've seen on Facebook.
Seeing parents or soon to be parents needing money just to survive. Then seeing a post a few days later with a new tattoo that either the mom or dad of that child received. They came into a little extra money and felt it was better to get a tattoo than to put it away for an emergency.
This issue is very common of young pregnant women. They are weeks out from having the baby and just decided that they need to start saving for daycare of the child. Really??? You had 8 months to save and now you're complaining that you need money for daycare.
Seeing people post that they have sick kids, but they spend the weekend running around town and shopping. Shouldn't the kid be at home resting and getting better? Can't you put off your plans until next week? Many of the same parents will complain that the kids have to miss school during the next week because they are now severely sick. Shopping, going to the movies and other money spending activities were more important than the sick kids. I feel very bad for these kids. One mom even had to hospitalize her 9 year old child in December, because they took him out in cold weather to Holiday parties and other social events that couldn't be missed. He developed pneumonia, but the mom doesn't believe it was result of her actions of dragging a sick child out of the house into the cold for 3 days. This is a mom that gets upset to have a kid at home sick during the school week, it takes away from her "Me Time" Yes, ME TIME! When you have a child, you gave up ME TIME. Good loving mom's don't have ME TIME. The ME TIME is usually for shopping.
I noticed today that my niece who has an 8 week old baby, is getting rid of all the clothes that her baby has out grown. Is she taking them to a consignment shop to sell them and buy bigger clothes? No, she is just giving them away. They live from paycheck to paycheck, with no savings. I pointed out that she should keep them for now, because she might have another baby. Our young adults figure they can buy all new stuff if they have another baby. The "I'm not having another baby" isn't a sure thing when you didn't plan on having the current baby. Money doesn't seem to be an issue, except when they paycheck that week isn't enough. I bought some clothes for her baby, but I'm not sure if I should send them. I spent good money on them and she'll just give them away in a few months.
Spending money on Movies, concerts, eating out and hanging out at bars, when you have money issues and kids isn't smart. You feel good for a moment, but then worry about debt and caring for the kids. We save thousands of dollars each year by not eating out or going to movies. My husband and I have a wine hobby, but we don't place that hobby before our kids needs. We have a savings account and we don't live from paycheck to paycheck. I also cut coupons and I save over $1000 a year. We are well established, so I don't have a need to clip coupons, but it is free money on items that I buy.
I was raised to stay out of extreme debt, and to only buy things I could afford. I have a mom that put her kids needs before her own, so I place my kids first too. I make my kids buy clothes off the clearance rack over 90 percent of the time. Do we have to do that? No! It makes sense to pay less for clothes if it is possible. I've taught my kids to be frugal, so hopefully they have a better sense of the value of a dollar than these current 20 and 30 something parents.
When I had my second child Susanna, I use to pack a lunch when I went to the mall. Once a week I took my girls to the mall and Emelie (2 years old at the time)and I use to eat PB sandwiches and drink juice or water from home for lunch. I would check out the clearance racks for clothes that was usually 70 to 90 percent off. Was this a sacrifice on my part? No, I still pack lunches when we go out sometimes, it just doesn't make sense to spend money on greasy food that doesn't taste good. When I tell some people who are living paycheck to paycheck my life of saving money, they see me as a cheap person, but I see them as an idiot that my taxes will bailout of debt several times in their lifetime.
I pray at times when it is family or close friends that are making these wasteful money decisions, that they will find guidance to a better life. Life isn't about what we have, it's about who we are and finding happiness in ourselves.