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In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Please sir, more.

Do any of you know someone who has never had to struggle financially? Maybe you are in that position. I'm not hating on the high-rollers. Really, I'm not. I have a lot of friends (and even some family) that are very well off.  I'm honestly not jelly and wouldn't begrudge them a thing. But when someone has never had to pause for a moment to think about the cost of something before purchasing it, their perspective on life and mine, differs greatly.

God love them,  a lot of my friends were born into homes where everything they could possibly want, was provided for them. They never experienced what it feels like to want or to go without. They never had to scrimp and save or sweat over purchasing something. One of my friends, has never worked a day in her life. But that's not the life I was born into or anywhere close to the life I live. And some high rollers can't seem to grasp the concept of not having the money to do something.

I'm not trying to demean anyone or put them down, it's just that sometimes, their reality is so  different from mine, it's like we come from different planets.  Of course, I'd love to be able to provide certain opportunities for my girls that The Husband and I can't. And I'm thrilled that they can do that for themselves and their children. But having a  conversation with some of my more affluent friends, is a bit comical. They are just flabbergasted that The Husband I don't go right out and do certain things for our kids. And they want to know why.

"Why don't you take Faith to all of the restaurants she likes so she can order and sample the menus she wants to review?"
"She saves up her money and when she has enough, we take her."
"Why don't you just give her the money?"
"We don't always have it. The restaurants she likes to review cost a lot of money."
"Oh."

"Why  don't you go buy Farrah that microscope she wants? And send her to that Marine Biology Camp?"
"The microscope costs close to $1,000. And  the camp costs even more."
"Oh."

"Why don't you just take Frankie to New York every day for casting calls?"
"Um, because it costs $50.00 (one way) and takes two hours to take the bus into the City. And then I have to wait around in crowded hallways with psycho stage moms that give me the stank eye. When they finally call my kid into a room, they take literally five seconds to look her over and decide whether or not she's what they are looking for. And then we get to ride the bus two hours home, which costs me another $50.00. If she gets hungry or thirsty during the hours we are waiting, I  have to purchase something to eat. (I've tried packing. Most food gets soggy on the bus. And granola bars will only hold you over for so long.) That's easily another $30-40 bucks if I'm being conservative. SO I will be out close to $140 bucks and she may not have even be cast."
"So, what's $150 bucks?"

To me, $150 bucks is a lot of toilets. That's how I think of things since that's what I must scrub to pay for all the little extras my kids want.  (How many toilets are we talking about?)


Bottom line, all of the things my kids need, like love, acceptance, food, shelter and clothing, are  provided for them. But my girls, (even if I could suddenly afford to) unlike my friends' kids, will NOT be receiving the keys to a brand new car, the day they turn seventeen. The Husband and I will expect our girls to work in some sort of capacity, when they are legally able to, just like we did.  Personally, I am of the mind that if you are handed things, without ever having to work for them, you never truly appreciate what you have. Maybe my opinion is in the minority.

What's your perspective? Perhaps  you were raised in a home where everything was handed to you. Maybe you were expected to work for things.  How do you feel about parents who hand over whatever their kids want, without making them earn it?

38 comments:

  1. Giving kids a brand new car is a bad idea.
    We were upper middle class, but nothing was handed to us.

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    1. Whenever I see kids driving brand new cars I pray that they will be safe. Sometimes, that teenage urge to show off is too hard to overcome and they drive stupid.

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  2. No I wasn't raised like that and neither are my girls! They both have had jobs to earn pocket money and now at 17 and 19 they both work in different shops a few hours a week alongside their continuing education. I think this is the only way to really appreciate the value of things in life. I'm with you Jaybird.

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    1. Hey Suzanne! I always worked and I appreciated everything I ever had. I started out babysitting and then moved into working at a marina, then onto bigger jobs, with longer hours. Honestly did me a world of good to be responsible and learn a good work ethic. Even if I were Donald Trump, I would still insist my girls work. I really believe it's makes you a more well-rounded human being.

      Thanks for weighing in!

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  3. I agree with you completely. I was never envious of the kids who got their car bought for them, because I'm incredibly proud of myself for being able to get a car of my own through my own means. I earned my car, and all of the other things I have, and I'd rather have earned them than have them given to me.
    My mum and I struggle sometimes, as it's just the two of us, but like you said, we appreciate the things we have all the more because of that.

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    1. Hi Laura! It's such a wonderful feeling knowing you worked hard for something and earned it. I will never forget my first car. It was nothing to look at, but it was mine! And I loved it.

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  4. You need to earn what you have to truly appreciate it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jay.

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    1. Thanks Sheena! I really believe that in my heart.

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  5. I was raised in a home where we could have been given a lot of things (and sometimes were) but we were expected to earn most of our extras. I'm thankful for it. I know a lot of people who had a hard time adjusting to life outside of their parents home because they were so used to getting all they wanted.

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    1. Yep- one of my friend's fathers that was extremely wealthy got indicted for bad business practices and they lost everything. She had a very hard time adjusting to "the real world" where she had to get a job and work. I wouldn't wish that on anyone! I felt so bad for her because she had no clue what to do. She always had cooks, people to shop for her, do her laundry. It was like she was a little kid learning how to do all of those things for the first time. To her credit, she managed to do it, and she is much stronger person now.

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  6. I'm grateful that I don't have "those" sort of friends....the 'money is no object' type. Like you said, God bless 'em, but I just can't relate to that sort of attitude when it comes to money.

    Being from the conservative Mid-West tends to give you a different view of the world, I guess :)

    Once again, we're on the same page, Jaybird :)

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    1. I have friends that like to "show" their money around- that's true. But on the flip side of this- I do have one amazing friend out in CA who is very, very wealthy. She comes from old money and she drove her parents out of their minds. She hated having such a notorious last name. She would come to my BFF's house, drop off her brand spanking new BMW for us to drive, and exchange it for my BFF's busted Ford Escort to tool around town. It bothered her to no end how people would change how they acted around her once they found out who's daughter she was. She also wouldn't date much because most of the guys who asked her out were either "pretentious rich tools" or they only wanted a piece of her inheritance. She is one of the most down to earth people I have ever known. And one of the best!

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  7. We agree! Our children saved money for their cars, and paid for their gas. We paid for the insurance, but we expected them to save up and pay for their "wants". We covered their "needs".

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    1. Thanks Susan! It feels like this generation of kids have a sense of entitlement that I am just not comfortable with. Not all, but a lot, expect to have things just handed to them. The Husband and I don't roll that way.

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  8. My husband and I came from very modest means, had to work for everything, and we appreciate those lessons so much. Even though our kids are much more fortunate than we were, we instill those same values in them.

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    1. Yeah- my girls are in a much better position financially than I was growing up- and they do get everything they need. Just not every single thing they "want". I like them to know what it feels like to save up and use money wisely. I don't think I'm doing a good job as their mom if I didn't teach them at least that much! Glad to hear I'm not the minority.

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  9. I grew up super poor--no shoes for school, city housing project, food stamps...the whole deal. My husband makes a pretty penny now and we have been filled to overflowing with blessings. BUT, I still buy clothes from the thrift store, stretch the food in meals, etc. I think it's important to teach my kids to be frugal and self-reliant and not take what we have for granted.

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    1. I love that! I am so happy that you are in a better position now and don't have to struggle. I lived that way too, so I understand. And don't get me wrong, my girls are so much better off than I was growing up. They get everything they need- just not everything they want.

      Once, Frankie was squawking because I didn't buy her a certain toy she wanted in the store. (Don't feel bad for her, she had two others at home of the same) I said, "Frankie, do you realize you have more toys sitting on your bed right now, than Mommy had her entire life?" She couldn't believe it. Just because I can spoil her, doesn't mean I will :)

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  10. When we were growing up my parents made sure we had everything we needed, but we definitely didn't have everything we wanted. If I'd wanted to go on the ski trip, I'd have had to pay for it myself. For my senior year formal, I wore my cousin's dress rather than buying a new one. But that said, I don't think we ever knew it was because our parents were being frugal with money. We were never made to worry about money and whether it there, just taught how to be responsible with it.

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    1. That's awesome Kellie. I think a good balance is the key! If you get every single thing you want, it tends to take the special out of it.

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  11. There's so much I can say about this, but not in public! Suffice to say, I agree Jaybird :-)

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  12. I grew up very poor, like sometimes on welfare poor. Now I make enough to support myself, but because I work for a non-profit, which I love, there is not much extra money. But the more important thing is whether I'm enjoying life, whether I'm good to other people, whether I'm satisfied at the end of the day. None of that has anything to do with money. I don't begrudge people their money, but it doesn't impress me about them, either.

    I definitely think kids appreciate things when they have to work for it. AS a nanny, I saw a lot of rich kids with lots of things that they would regularly trash, because their parents would just buy new ones. Drove me nuts! If i wrecked something as a kid, it was gone, simple as that.

    You and your husband are CLEARLY raising your girls well, even without a lot of money, as they are all very impressive kids. Yeah, it would be nice if you had more money so you wouldn't have to struggle, but I find no matter if times are lean, or if I'm making a bit more, I tend to spend it anyway.

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    1. My sister did some nanny work as well, in Princeton. It was an eye-opening experience for her, to say the least. What seems "normal" to some people, certainly isn't normal to us!

      Thank you for the compliment on the girls. I feel truly blessed to have such great kids. But it's nothing The Husband or I can take credit for. Honestly I give God all the glory. I know it's only because of Him and the power of prayer!

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  13. I grew up very comfortable, but I had to bust my chops to get what I wanted. My parents helped when they could, but I had to provide some monetary renumeration towards the large purchase in order to get their help.

    But...somehow when it comes to kids, my surviving parent has forgotten the values that she had installed in me and my brother. I can safely say that my children are spoiled rotten brats who will get a very bad reality check when my mother passes away.

    Until then, we try to do the best that we can to our kids.

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    1. Hi GB- Welcome to the Bird's Nest!

      Ah, isn't that the case with grandparents? The rules that applied to us while growing up don't apply for grandkids!

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  14. I was raised with very frugal, much older parents, who were adults in the workforce during the depression. I worked for everything I got. I know my folks would have liked to do more, but there just was never enough money. I raised my kids the same way and they are successful women who are not afraid to work for what they want and need.

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    1. I hope that for my girls one day. They already seem to know what they want direction they want to go in their career paths, and that's really important! It takes most people years before they know what they want to do.

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  15. This is such a well written, refreshingly honest post! As a kid we didn't have a lot, although I never went without things that were needed. Knowing the value of money from a young age helped me appreciate what I did have right into my adult life. Xx

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    1. Hi Scarlett! Thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind comments- and am glad you could relate to my post.

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  16. I can so relate to you on this. My family had to be frugal growing up. We didn't even own a computer until I was halfway through high school, and that only happened because my grandfather gifted it to us. I remember some kids in school talking about vacations to Europe and other fancy stuff, and it was like, WTF?! It feels like living in a completely different world sometimes...

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    1. I had friends that were handed the keys to such high end vehicles I wouldn't even want to take for a test drive for fear I would scratch or ding them. But they didn't even think twice about driving those vehicles into the ground. It would drive me a bit batty. Talking to them about it was like talking to the wall; or like I spoke a different language. I would just get blank stares.

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  17. My daughter is fourteen and just got her first job. At first she hated it. It was work. She, knowing I started working at the same time, asked how I talked myself into going in each day. I was amazed at the difference a generation makes! I didn't talk myself into working. It was a necessity. If I wanted clothes, a car, insurance, I had to work. Bottom line. It made me feel bad for her. Sometimes having too much isn't such a good thing.

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    1. I feel bad for these kids today too- because most need a wake up call. I had a conversation with a kid who couldn't believe he had to take a position, "at the bottom" of a company. He felt like he deserved to walk in and start at the top. He has this false sense of entitlement that just baffles my mind. He really feels like this world owes him something for doing nothing. Sad, but his twisted way of thinking is the norm these days.

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  18. I came from a house that was neither rich nor poor, and I had to work for what I got. For example, the car thing. On my 16th birthday, when I got my license, I felt incredibly blessed that I got a $1000 car that was as old as I was. But I took amazing care of it, and when it broke, my dad taught me how to fix it. Now as an adult I have 3 nice, sporty, newish cars. Am I rich? Not by any stretch of the imagination. I buy a car when it's broken, for much cheaper than it's worth, in cash (so I have no monthly payment), and then I fix it up into a pristine show car with my own two hands.

    So it's kind of ironic, really, when people come over to my house, see 3 nice cars, and think I'm just spoiled. Quite the opposite, actually. :)

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    1. Working on your own car and fixing it up has to be such an amazing feeling! Good for you that you have the skillz to make that happen. Whenever anything brakes on my van, it's all run by computers so I HAVE to bring it to the dealership- which is whole other blog rant!

      Random bit of trivia about Jaybird: I used to race stock cars, back in the day. Best part of racing: taking my helmet off after I won a race and letting my long hair out, so everyone knew a girl just spanked them! (This was a long time ago; girls rarely if ever raced back then.) SO much fun!

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  19. Giving kids a brand new car is always a bad idea. They are practically pushed to cause trouble.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Gina- if they are responsible for it, I might make an exception. But most of the kids I knew were off the charts irresponsible. They drove like maniacs! And their parents paid for it.

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