This post is in reply to a post that Emily made on her blog about her pet peeves. I could probably take the time to think about what my own pet peeves are, but mostly I just want to reply to Emily’s post.
I totally agree. I come from a very modest family (single dad w/o college education raising 3 kids)…I have been completely self-sufficient since I was 19. By my choice- because I didn’t want my dad to have to work so hard to take care of me when I was perfectly capable. I’ve been working since I was 15. Even then I bought much of my own clothes. I paid for my own drivers ed and saved up and paid for my first car in cash. Then I started paying my own cell phone at age 17 or 18. I have completely provided for myself since I moved out on my own.
Becoming completely independent of my dad was a long and slow process, about 6 years (age 15-21). But I think that was perfect and it should work that way for everyone. It makes it easier on the parents (especially if they are struggling financially) and it made me a better person today. I understand the value of money and the value of hard work. I think that it is really important for people to work for what they have and understand what is out of their reach so they don’t get totally blindsided by reality. What happens when the rich girl (whose parent’s pay her tuition, Coach purses, Gucci this, LV that) is cut off by her parents? When little Suzie* gets a real job and has to live on Spaghettios and rice… and buy (OMG *gasp*) a purse from a discount shop. She is going to be devastated. OR WORSE: What if Suzie gets a credit card and continues to buy designer makeup and clothes and accessories and purses and….. then is $40,000 in the hole?
Ok seriously that was a long rant in which I seem to basically call myself perfect. Which I’m not. But when it comes to independence from my father and other financial decisions**, I’m pretty damn close to perfect. Most other things, not at all.
*Suzie is completely hypothetical, as always
** Edit in 2014: Hindsight is 20-20 – I thought buying a home was a fantastic financial decision but ended up being a terrible one! My area has not yet recovered from the housing crash and I’m totally upside-down on my house! Woops. Lesson Learned!