“I have a budget for my Christmas shopping!” the young woman said to her Financial Counselor in a rather irritated and demanding tone.
Having a budget and staying within its limits was the sensitive topic of discussion that Ms Twenty-Something didn’t want to discuss.
Long-ago statements such as “money doesn’t grow on trees,” have no meaning for today’s young people who shop, shop, shop and only when the credit card statement arrives, do they see what they’ve spent.
And it doesn’t much matter what they’ve spent because they’re only making the minimum payment and if you ask them about the interest they pay on the balance their dumb-founded glare says they aren’t much interested in mathematical computations.
Gone are the days when Christmas shopping was a cash deal; if you didn’t have it, you didn’t buy it.
“I get my kids everything on their list,” said Marion who went on to explain how bleak Christmas time was for her when she grew up.
I know an old-timer who had fond memories of times when there was more than one red apple in her Christmas stocking – and that was all she got for the big magic day.
In this friend’s storytelling, she never referred to life being bleak. It was what it was and she didn’t talk about what it could or should have been.
Maybe Marion’s shopping for the items on her kid’s list ought to follow the old lines “Making a list and checking it twice.” If she’d check it twice she might learn a few things – like which items cost more than her money allows.
Marion can change that line about “gonna find out whose naughty and nice”, and make the tune say “Gonna find out what fits in my budget or doesn’t get bought.”
Back to Ms Twenty-Something and her Financial Counselor. Counselors don’t come cheap and the young lady probably didn’t give this title to her Dad but fortunately for her he took on that hat when it came to snapping her in place. The only pay she owed was a little respect and learning the lesson.
She had way too many purchases on the Amazon account she’d opened on-line. She had far too many gifts purchased on the credit card Dad, the counselor, decided to confiscate.
Neither Marion or Ms Twenty-Something are anomalies. They represent the vast majority of the wheels in our society that keep the economy going and that keep all of them in debt from one Christmas to the next.
Is this really what December 25th should be about?