Entitlement: The sense that you should be given everything you desire even if you can’t afford it
I know a lot of people talk about entitlement, and immediately think of people in my generation (Generation Y) or younger.
Entitlement is definitely a social disease, but it doesn’t just affect the young folks — it also hits the Baby Boomers (my parents) and everyone in between.
Entitlement is everywhere, and in everyone.
Entitlement in my parents
My parents bought a car they can’t even afford and don’t even need on a daily basis.
My mother, the only breadwinner in the family, takes public transportation to get to work, to make a very healthy income (they have a capacity to save $2500/month if they choose to).
My father, the one who doesn’t work at all, is the one that uses this car purchased on credit, that my mother wholly pays for (gas, parking, insurance, the whole gamut).
Is that fair? No, but what makes it worse is that they don’t even really need the car if you think about it.
They could always just have a budget for cabs, or car rentals for the rare occasions they would really need a car for to get groceries or to go somewhere out of town.
It would have been a far better option, than to pay for a car on credit that they rarely use.
That car for them is a LUXURY, not a necessity
How do I know this? For two major reasons:
1. I HAVE THE MONEY, BUT I TAKE THE BUS
I personally take public transportation as much as I can. It gets expensive when you think about the parking costs to go downtown because it’s at least $15 per day, and frankly, when the bus costs $5.20 per round trip per person, you can’t beat that if you’re going downtown.
2. I bought my first car in cash, for $2000
When I bought my first car, I bought a used one in cash for $2000.
I had the cash to buy something far nicer, but I wanted to save the money instead, knowing that I would take the public transportation more often, and use the car only where the bus didn’t go.
I only used the car to get to remote places where I was working, and back.
Why can’t my parents do the same?
Reason: They assumed we would pay for their car
My parents are very traditional-ish, and even though they never saved a penny in their life, or paid for any of us past the age of 19, they think we’re going to pay for their lifestyles at the detriment of our own finances.
So naturally, they assumed that we, their kids, would pay for that car.
I put my foot down and said: No. I don’t pay for luxuries you don’t need.
They tried to tell me it was a necessity, but I don’t buy into that crap, considering that in my own personal life, I take the bus as often as I can, and I don’t even own a car any longer!
Why the heck would I pay for someone else to have a better life, than the one I’m living?
I will pay for the life that I consider necessary and comfortable, and taking into account where they live — that car is unnecessary.
It’s like eating gruel (oatmeal and water) for breakfast every day so that you can pay for someone else to have a fancy full spread caviar and toast brunch at a hotel.
So instead of saving the money, they defied our logic, and used credit to pay for something they don’t really need. Nice.
Entitlement is everywhere
I am using my parents as an example, but I see it in a lot of other people.
It usually starts with any of the following sentences:
- “But I NEED IT!”
- “I deserve to have it”
- “It’s my RIGHT”
- “I worked hard for that”
It’s something that has gotten out of control, and has been bred over years of being misguided.
I sometimes have to mentally slap myself when I whine about anything. I think: That’s being entitled, stop it. You don’t need it, you don’t deserve it, stop being a brat.
As a society, some of us are starting to realize this about ourselves, and feel sick at the ugly mess that is being created.
The only way to combat entitlement is to start with yourself, and then try to make sure others don’t make the same mistakes.