I’m in the midst of wedding planning — which doesn’t exactly sound like financial responsibility. However, we’re doing our best to budget for a beautiful wedding that is an investment in our love.
This article (A Story of a Fuck Off Fund) got me thinking and made me hugely disappointed in Americans and our spending habits. It’s as if we have to “keep up with the Joneses” who may have wealth or may just be pretending. The only positive thing out of this article was that the author pulled it together and has this fund.
How many people are struggling to pay their bills — rent/student loans/groceries/health/car/etc. — but are walking around going to parties, drinking Starbucks daily, ordering out lunch or dinner daily? It makes me wonder if Americans are even serious about their own financial struggles.
I was lucky to have been raised in a less than middle income family — both of my parents worked to make ends meet. From this experience, I learned a lot about saving money. I have one friend who always likes to call me a “tight wad” bc I don’t pick up the check every time a group goes out to dinner (but he doesn’t have a problem if I’m kind enough to pickup his bill). Granted, my income is higher than most of my friends, it shouldn’t be an assumption. I didn’t win the lottery and have just buttloads of money bestowed upon me. It was decades of schooling, decades of lost time, massive amounts of student debt (yes, that I chose to pay off early!). Everyone makes choices in life, and I feel that if my non-American, English-as-a-second-language speaking parents could provide me with all the tools to succeed…. then other people could also succeed.
But that seems to be where it stops short. Fun is way easier to experience than work. I had friends who were out partying nightly in college — and now they say I’m “lucky”. Luck isn’t synonymous with hard work. It’s almost like they think it was handed to me. The luck is that I believed in hard work. I learned that hard work would lead to financial stability…I just had to put the hard work in first.
Now, my thinking seems to be in line with this article (No You Cannot Have A Few Minutes of My Time). And going one step further… I evolved into what this article is all about (Why Most People Will Never Be Successful). The article may sound elitist, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s true in life that as you start to specialize and hon your craft, some things in life will have to give. I used to love going out with friends or acquaintances to “hang out”. But over the years, I found that nurturing the special relationships are way more important.
So here is where I am now (How I Learned to Love Investing , How to Choose Investments for Retirement , Why you need to start saving for retirement now!). And some point along the way, this (What I Learned About Money After My Parents Died) happened to me but with only one parent.
I commend this couple who realized how important it is to take care of debt: Interview with a person who paid off $48,000 in student loans in 4 years. But sadly, some people continue to live like this girl (but I hope they’re learning and figure it out like she did): What I learned about money in my 20s. And this guy… nailed it in What it Means to Save: A Year in the Life.
2 thoughts on “Financial Responsibility”
Doing my usual late night web-surfing/reading and facebook checking and stumbled my way here. This is a very interesting topic to me and I agree with the majority of this post and commend you on your hard work and dedication. Most very successful people have worked very hard and given themselves more chances to be “lucky”. Almost no one lucks their way to success but by the same token most successful people have had a decent amount of good fortune.
Like you I came from a less than middle income family with often only one of my parents working. When you grow up with less than those around you you definitely value money much more. Luckily I had was blessed with above average intelligence,
I worry about California as the expense of it all(housing in particular) may cause the state to implode on itself as even basic costs(housing,food,insurance, higher education) commands so much of families paycheck(s) that there is virtually nothing left for many to save.
Schooling has become so expensive that it is a gamble for many. The tuition at the school I attended has tripled since I graduated. I can tell you incomes haven’t tripled since then. In fact for many they’ve been nearly flat.
Financial freedom or even not living paycheck to paycheck is an illusion for many even if they worked very hard. Many simply won’t have the aptitude for a high paying job. And if everyone did there wouldn’t be enough jobs to go around anyway. For some partying and fun may be the only escape to realizing there is no light at the end of a very long tunnel. I’m somewhat playing devil’s advocate here but I think people simply being financially irresponsible or lazy only applies to some.
However the vast majority of people could definitely .afford to be more financially literate. That was one of the main reasons for the last housing crash. People buying houses they simple couldn’t afford.
I think we are going to get another correction in a year or two as the prices have gotten pretty frothy again.
Anyways enjoyed reading the post and good luck with wedding planning!
Thanks Dave for your reply. You touched on a lot of great points! Mainly, the post was a bit of an outlet for me, so I realize it may be a bit less generalized and less encompassing of the masses. However, improvement and growth are always on my mind. Thank you for reading and best wishes on your wedding plans as well!!