Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Money, money, money, money!

If you've never watched an episode of The Apprentice, you wouldn't get the title of this post. But that's okay, because in addition to being a reference to the show's theme song, it gives you a clear idea of what this post is going to be on: moolah.

Money doesn't grow on trees. We all know this; we've all been lectured by our parents about this at some point in our lives. So I don't get why people throw theirs around like they do. They spend so much cash on material things they think they need -- the latest gadgets (when theirs are working fine), new shoes (when they have pairs they haven't even worn yet), and whatever else catches their fancy.

At this point, you're probably wondering who I am to be sticking my nose into other people's spending habits. If they have the money, they should be able to do whatever they want with it, right? Well. When people spend money like crazy and complain (brag?) to me about it, they're practically shoving it in my nose, and I will most certainly form an opinion on it and express it if necessary.

My mom keeps lamenting that 'kids these days don't understand the value of money'...and I'm afraid she's right. When I go out with my friends, I notice that most of them, when they see something that strikes their fancy, they pull out their purses or wallets immediately. There's no deliberation, no stopping to think before making their purchase; that's instant gratification right there. (Something that may become a serious problem in my generation, but let's not go into that right now.)

I always wondered why they did that. Then I realised: they didn't have to stop to think beforehand because, as far as they were concerned, there would be no consequences to their actions -- that was their parents' money they were spending.

This attitude still scares me. 'Oh, I can spend however much I want because it's not my money.' What's even scarier is that I know some people who have free access to their parents' wallets. They don't have an allowance; instead, they help themselves to their parents' wallets as and when they like. When they go shopping, it's like an all-you-can-eat buffet that's not costing them a cent.

(From Bid or Buy.)

Come on, parents. Teenagers are impulsive creatures. You really don't want to be fuelling that.

I used to think it crazily unfair that my friends' parents gave them money for outings, my friends' parents bought them their phones, my friends' parents paid for their (phone) credits. Of course, I reminded my own parents of my friends' parents' generosity every half a chance I got. Now, though, I'm almost glad my parents (my mother in particular) were so mean to me. I think I can safely say that my sister and I really do understand the value of money.

During the holidays between Form Four and Form Five, I worked as a waitress in a Thai restaurant for about a month. The salary I got was added to my savings to buy a much-needed new phone (the one I'd been putting up with had a dying keypad which was awful to SMS with). It was quite painful -- all that money I'd saved over the course of a few years plus my salary, all that was gone in a matter of minutes. At least I had a sexy new phone to console myself.

(From 2day Blog.)

I have to say, I don't believe in retail therapy; I think it's horrible and foolhardy. However, I know people who swear by it, so good for them. Me, when I'm feeling low, I listen to music or watch YouTube videos...because I'm a hermit like that.

What about you? What's your view on money and spendthrifts and all that stuff? Did your parents ever set any rules or limits regarding money? If you're a parent, do you do that for your kids? Leave me comments, please. That might shoo the weird 'blogwalking' people in my cbox away.

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