Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Instant gratification

I think, therefore I am...oh wait that's something else.

I think we're definitely a nation of 'I want it, and I want it now' people. This has come to my attention so much in the last week. I've always known we were like that of course. It's just so much more noticeable in the recent economy.

I'm afraid for the younger generation. They haven't been around to learn how to dig themselves out of debt when they get in it. They don't know how to tighten the purse strings. They haven't been around the proverbial block. Well boys and girls, this is one helluva block! I sure looks like it'll only get worse before it gets better. I don't think they're watching the same movie I am!

Things got tight here, knowing it wasn't going to better itself, we did what we could. We both went and got jobs. We quit traveling. We combine trips for necessary things. I ride my bike to the library. I quit buying some food things that we like as the price just kept going higher. We quit going to movies and we go out to dinner only very occasionally. You just do what you have to do. Or so I thought.

I was at work the other day and the dishwasher was telling me how he'd found a new car insurance company and would be saving $300 every six months. "Ed", I said, "that is fantastic!" Ed is a nice guy, but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He's 50 some years old and the dishwasher. Need I say more? He was talking about digital cameras and DVD recorders. I wanted, therefore, to make sure he knew what he should be doing with that $600 a year. In my opinion, he should pretend he's still spending it on car insurance and bank it. Build a little nest egg. OK, so it would be a pullet egg, but hey, it's a start. I gave him my opinion...looking him in the eye so he'd understand. I saw a glimmer.

The girl I make salads with (no comment about my being 50 and making salads either! I'll have you know I'm a sharp knife indeed!), told me that her boyfriend had refinanced their car so their payments will be less money for longer. I gave her the 'oh you should keep paying the larger amount and the money will come off the principle" spiel. Oh no she says.....we want more spending money! Hellooooo you're 27 years old and you make salads. For a living. Every single day of your life for the past 10 years! Is this honestly what you want for the rest of your life? I mean I love my job, oh I really do. It's a job, not a career! She gets financial aid for college classes, and then spends the money on other things. Heaven forbid she'd get an education to improve their station in life. Oh no, if she did that, they couldn't have the Nintendo Wii or whatever that new game out there is. She's got no plan for the future. She lives for the present and what she wants, she wants now. No wonder other countries call us greedy Americans. We are!

Gas, as you all know, has gone up in price a bit more in the last year. We had planned to go visit my second son every two weeks this summer. He, after all, houses my first grandchild. He lives 3 hours away from us and it's $100 round trip in our gas guzzling behemoth. We haven't been once. We're now going to go once this whole summer instead of once every two weeks. You know, you just gotta do what you gotta do. Or at least I thought that was the idea.

People I know are still driving around like it's no different than it used to be. Someone needs to stop this madness. It's greedy. It's financially stupid for them and it's bad for our country. We need to stop and reassess. We need to start living more like some of the other more frugal countries. We should just stop with the instant gratification already.

Did I mention I've gained over 10 pounds in the last 3 weeks? Instant gratification.


Daphne said...

Whatever the Brits say about "greedy Americans" it's the same here. The thing that annoys me is that if you spend a lot on your credit card, the company immediately writes to you offering to give you even MORE credit!

Carlos said...

sorry about your gain. hang in there. economic cycles never last for ever. I cringe every time i fill up my suv.

Rosanna said...

You mean we are supposed to wait until we can actually afford things....

I would much rather buy them now and leave my kids the bills.... so much more fun!!!!