I really enjoy this time of year, just because everyone usually tries to be friendly, the snow makes the days look so great and all the pretty girls are wearing scarves and boots — which I am just a sucker for.
Another awesome part of the yuletide times is getting presents for everyone and seeing the look of utter delight on their faces. And thankfully, through shrewd investing and working at my job, I have enough money for really anything I want.
However, this comfortable status of living did not come from an outside source; it is from my own fortitude and ability, something which I feel a good many others cannot say.
Some students are still not quite independent, and continue to rely on parents to take care of them. And the care seems pretty dang good indeed.
Every classroom I walk into, I see people with their thumbs buried in a laptop or an iPhone, while also dressed head to toe in the newest and snazziest designer clothing. The parking lots are filled with cars that no one in college can realistically afford of their own accord.
Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to look good, have nice things, but the level of appreciation that should come from having this stuff is nonexistent.
The endless moaning of “Oh, I am so broke,” or the countless utterances of something along the lines of “I am so poor, I just wish I had more money!” These are the statements that are hilariously accurate only because of lack of discipline and drive.
I have friends that, instead of working as a necessity, simply get a check of four to eight hundred dollars a month from their parents, in addition to paying all of their rent.
It’s incredibly awesome now, but unless you have an eternal trust fund somewhere, eventually the checks will stop coming and the bills will start piling up, at which point the obvious solution for your monetary woes is to turn to credit cards.
Even students without affluent parents usually have never learned to spend responsibly, often gorging themselves through the use of credit cards — the cause of private debt in America.
There is no jealousy, no envy from my standpoint; I do not need the monthly stipend from my parents just to keep myself afloat because I have learned how to manage my finances.
And it is not because I am ultra-special or anything, anyone could do it, it’s just a matter of actually doing it.
The friends that get the monthly checks from their parents are also, ironically — but not unsurprisingly — the same people who complain about being broke. Money has no value to them since they did not earn it.
I would make the argument that the whining of being broke is due to being incapable of managing money like an adult and people used to having mommy or daddy be there to constantly help you out.
If you were serious about making it in the real world, you would cut the umbilical cord now that you are in your late teens or early twenties. Parents should be there for advice and special occasions, but not for paying your rent, phone bill, or car payment.
Those are things you got when you were a child. Now that that you’ve been alive for two decades, it is time to make it for yourself.
It will be hard at first. You’ll probably have to stop buying all that alcohol and going out to eat or getting the new Apple product the day it comes out, but in the long term it will be infinitely better for you, as you will no longer be reliant on someone else.
Financial aid from parents is not a necessity. Everyone is capable of making it for themselves if they work hard both in and outside the classroom, but there is a definite distinction between personal or federal loans for yourself, and aid from parents.
Getting financial aid from the government is based on merit and need, and is an investment in an individual; one that will hopefully be paid back to society. Siphoning money off of parents is a separate, and less worth-based action.
While this column is in no way meant to alienate any readers, if this frivolously spending describes you at all, think about going it on your own for a while.
The holidays are about giving right? Well give something to yourself: the satisfaction of becoming financially independent.