Monday, February 3, 2014

Life Is Hard, Debt Is Not Ok

If I ever had a chance to speak to a large group of teens, who would really listen and take my words seriously, I would talk about hard work and debt. Why? Because I think debt and laziness are some of the biggest problems our world faces, and the way my generation has been bought up is just going to make it worse.

Why are kids staying at home for longer and longer? Because it's comfortable. Daddy shares his big flat screen TV and video games, mummy does the washing and makes dinner. There's no rent, so you don't have to get a job.

House prices make it hard to buy a house in price range, and the mortgage the young adults will have to take on will take years and years of hard work to pay off. The way a lot of young adults have been raised has made them lazy - and I'm not exempted from this.

150 years ago, there would have been chores to do daily, and it was expected that the kids helped out. By the time they were in their 20's, they would be married and having kids of their own. Possibly even living in a house they helped build.

While life has changed in many ways, I personally believe that kids should have basic values - such as hard work - installed in them.

In my family, from a certain age, we were expected to do the dishers nightly, taking turns at the different jobs. Every night, my sister and I take turns at rinsing the dishers and loading them into the washer. We have the 'torture wheel' (mum calls it the chore wheel) which dictates who does what every week - such as folding the washing, cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming the floor. If we do all our jobs, we get our pocket money of $3. We also have to cook a meal at least once a week.

When someone complains to me about being asked to the dishers occasionally, I laugh and explain the torture wheel (You can see part of it in the picture up top). My parents firmly believe in teaching us that a house doesn't run itself. As a result, I could move out tomorrow, and apart from working to pay for rent (legal age problem), I would be able to take care of myself.

While the fact my parents expect us to take part in the family work, ultimately, I am very lazy. When I get really involved in something, I put effort into it, otherwise I will put the minimum amount of work into everything. This year, I have resolved to put 100% into everything. We'll see.

After I had finished explaining that leaving home, spreading your wings and life in general is hard work, I would move on to talking about debt. The New Zealand government is more than $60 billion in debt. $60 billion. The USA government owes trillions.

This should scare people! What happens if tomorrow China demands the money the USA owes it? The USA have no money to give! Instead of taking the holiday to another country, people should stay at home, where you can get family time (believe it or not, we've been doing it for years), and put the holiday money toward paying off debt.

Parents are not leaving behind a pretty world for their kids, and worse, kids have the same attitude as their parents! Debt is not ok.

I'm pretty sure you could live in a flat without a TV (gasp!), and put the money into your savings instead. I wish parents would talk to their kids about money, and explain that debt lulls you into a false sense of spending more than you can afford, and in the end, it does cost money. You nearly always end up paying back more than you borrowed.

There is such a thing as good debt, if it is an investment (such as education) but that is another discussion.

In summary, Teens:
Life is hard, you do have to work! For the first few years after leaving home, you will have to get down on your hands and knee's and really work. Debt is a false sense of security, and makes you a slave to the leander.

I would love to hear what you think in the comments. Feel free to correct me on any point, and I would be happy to enter into a deeper talk about my point of view.

(I don't hold myself or my family up as perfect, we definitely aren't, I just used us as an example. It's true we do not have TV. ) 


  1. OK, that is so true. The American engorgement should really shape up and try to pay off the debt. Being a couch potato all day isn't going to make you stronger. I believe in doing work and then having 'free time.' For example, personally I love the summertime. One thing that I don't necessarily like is all the hard work. But then in the evenings, when it begins to cool off and fireflies dance, it kind of seems like it's what I deserve. I'm not sure if that made sense, but I totally agree with you. Keep up the good work!
    (wow! this literally turned into a post :)

    1. Yes, I love 'hard work reaps reward' ;)
      Thank you :)