Monday, November 10, 2014

You're the Asshole, Not Them!

Many kids think their Dad is an ATM - a broken ATM.

I can see what sort of search engine queries end up finding this blog.   And they are some interesting questions, to be sure!   Some folks finding this blog clearly won't "get it" and never will.   And they will be disappointed in what I have to say.

Prepare to be disappointed again.

I get a number of regular queries along the lines of:
"How do I communicate with my stingy parents?"

"How do I get my boyfriend to stop being stingy?"

"How do I get my parents to stop being stingy and buy me a new car?"

"Should I dump my stingy boyfriend?"

And so forth...
What is interesting about these queries is that the questioner has the attitude that they are somehow entitled to someone else's money, and the only problem is that the someone else is not forking it over fast enough.

I mentioned before that people like this are icky - Ick People, I call them.   20-something males who think their parent's "owe them" a new Camaro.  Girls who think their boyfriend should bankrupt himself buying them presents - and of course a huge diamond engagement ring, so the folks at DeBeers won't go hungry.

In their minds, money is something to be spent, and spent as fast as possible - preferably on them.

And like I said, they won't like the answers they find in this blog, to be sure.   Because the answer I have is, you're the asshole, not them!

Being mature with money means not spending every last cent you have and then borrowing more.   It means planning for the future.  It means setting up a budget and sticking to it.   It means not indulging every little whim you may have, just because you can.   It means sacrificing and doing without, even if it seems that "everyone else" has something that you don't.

A surprising number of people in this country simply don't get this.   Like small, petulant children, they stamp their feet and whine, "unfair!"   They can't figure out why they simply don't get their way the whole time.

And yes, I was one of those petulant children once.  I took what I wanted and wanted more.   And the only thing that stood in my way, it seemed, were "stingy" parents, greedy employers, unreasonable landlords, and parsimonious loan officers.   All these folks just failed to see what was in my best interests and act accordingly!

And sadly, when I started to make my own money, I went out and spent it like it was someone else's.   Most kids do, you know.   It is not an anomaly when a young rock star or sports star goes out and blows every penny they make on tacky bling.   It is a predictable event.

So, if you came to this blog, looking for hints on how to loosen up the logjam in Dad's wallet, I'm afraid I can't help you there.

But maybe you can help yourself.   Stop thinking in terms of how to get money from other people, and think about how to make your own money - and keep it.   Because owning money is so much better than spending it.   Wealth is power, and real wealth isn't in spending, but in keeping.

The alternative is bleak.  If you keep thinking the way you are thinking, you will spend the rest of your life beholden to others, mystified by finances and money, and constantly unhappy that there is never enough.   It is no way to go through life.

But sadly, many do.  Perhaps most do.   And if your query was one of the ones listed above, odds are, you will too.   You can't save people from themselves.  And I'm not going to try to save you.