The best thing about Older People’s money is that you didn’t have to earn it so it’s much more fun to spend. The next best thing is that there is more of it. Your own little money pile is small and seems to be vaporized by fast food, electronics, video games and the right shoes. That’s where OPM comes in. You can buy things with it that you could hardly bear to spend your own money on, and it feels relatively painless as it wishes away. Why suffer? You didn’t have to work for it.
The odd thing about the Millennials and money is that they often feel that they deserve their parents’ money. I have friends who are resentful of their parents’ holidays, cars, bank accounts and home improvements. It used to be that as in Grand Budapest Hotel and Gianni Schicchi, the kids didn’t start wanting their inheritance until you had actually died or were imminently about to die. As Eliza so eloquently put it, “Them she lived with would have killed her for a hatpin, let alone a whole hat.” I’ve had students who covet their parents’ cars, houses and television sets.
It used to be a thing that you kind of expected yourself to be living a pretty tight lifestyle in your twenties, dependent on Happy Hour for eating out, and maybe by 35 or 40, things started to even out. I was 35 when we bought our house and I was 40 when I had my first real car, at 50 I got my first car that was automatic! My kids show up for holidays praising the whole meal situation to the skies. I know at their own pad they are sometimes eating rice or potatoes, Ramen or tuna, but that’s what kids do in their twenties.
What kids are supposed to be able to do in their twenties is sacrifice and hard work. You have fun because just being in your twenties is fun. You can get laid pretty easily, you don’t have to work that hard until you have offspring, just supporting one person isn’t that much to do, and you have time to party. What’s not to love? Even when kids start to come as long as you live simply and don’t need a fancy house, clothes or shoes you can have a lot of fun. Let’s face it, the best times are doing nearly free stuff. I say nearly free because even going to the beach requires gas.
If anyone else shakes their head and tells me their parents went on a cruise and they don’t even have dishwasher fluid, I’m going to look them straight in the eyes and say, Your parents’ money is their money. Your money is your money.
Everyone wastes money on something. Food that goes to waste. Going out to eat. More shoes, purses, clothes or jewelry than you need. Let’s face it, you need only a couple pairs of shoes and a couple of outfits.
Leave your parents alone. Let them eat cake. Let them go on cruises. Let them be world travelers. If you want a castle, build one, if you want a horse, buy one.