Updated: Mar 5
Money is a mental thing in that it carries a lot of emotion. The high percentage of choices that you make in your life are centered on personal finance. The irony is that most citizens are not disciplined with budgeting and overall money management.
How many times have we been told by people, especially younger adults, that there is a total lack of personal finance education through the school system in the United States which means that the burden falls on the parents and guardians to incorporate sound principles.
However, the problem is that 75% of people live paycheck-to-paycheck and 67% do not budget hence, the proper education is not passed down to generations.
Generational Wealth Differs
The item to consider is that each generation tends to have different viewpoints with their values and life choices. People that survived the depression socked money under a mattress as they did not trust the financial system. Baby boomers post World War II, known as the greatest generation accumulated much more wealth and Millennials hold very little wealth.
For example, taken from CNBC, despite making up the largest portion of the workforce, millennials controlled just 4.6% of U.S. wealth through the first half of 2020, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
Baby boomers, which is not me by the way, control over 53% of the country’s wealth, while Gen X accounts for just over 25% and the silent generation holds around 17%, according to the Fed’s data, which breaks down U.S. wealth in the beginning of 2020 by age, class and race.
So we can see that as the generations have progressed, their wealth has gone down. Wages on the whole have been flat for roughly 30 years and despite little-to-know inflation for the last decade-plus, the cost of living has increased.
Part of this may be attributed to the people that can’t retire are still in the workforce that leaves less jobs or the ability to advance in companies.
You Have to Be Responsible For Your Money
In fairness, when one becomes an adult, he/she is on their own and there are plenty of resources to learn about money and maintain a budget. The Internet is free. With that being said it is plausible that people need to find educational resources from a physical-type viewpoint to learn - and the most important thing is that people have to care.
Living within an instant gratification society is a major reason why personal finance is not taught in school or is properly conveyed to children by their parents. This causes many to live for today without planning for tomorrow.
If someone has no interest with their finances they won’t give the proper effort and more than likely will not succeed. This means that each individual cannot have an excuse and has to treat money with the same vigor that comes with the pillars of life.
Here are other common examples that most of the population values:
-Health and wellness
You Chose it and You Can’t Blame Anyone
Other than a catastrophic or an unforeseen major event that stifles one’s ability to effectively manage money, there is no excuse to blame others or for their choices. To put it simply, if you have the ability to live on your own, then you have many choices with how money is spent.
The next section here runs through many common items that people could opt to pay for and could have spent less.
Home Ownership We commonly see many people living in houses that they can’t afford. Lenders typically do not like borrowers to exceed 36% debt-to-income ratio; and that is the debts that you have relative to gross income. However, some will go to 43%.
So here is what the lender does: they take all your major debts such as a current mortgage, student loans, auto loans, child support, credit card payments any entity that has established debt with.
Then they take your debt amount owed each month and divide that by your gross monthly income each month. Assume you have a $1,200 mortgage payment. $400 for a car and $400 for the rest of your debts each month.
So you’d divide $2,000 by $6,000 and this comes to a 33% DTI.
So many Americans are spending 50% or more just on the ownership and maintenance of their homes. Therefore, Americans have a choice.
I could have stayed in my first home that was $72,500 and raised a family there and would have owned it several times over today. I have since owned four other properties.
So when one says, I am mortgage-poor or I don’t have enough savings for repairs and upgrades or money for up-to-date furnishings, this is just an excuse. People can always live in a smaller dwelling and have a healthy and probably a more prosperous life.
Groceries, Dining out and Food Delivery
For starters, we waste 40% of the food that we eat.
It costs five times as much to eat out as it does to eat at home. So dining out speaks for itself.
If you get food delivery such as DoorDash or UberEats it is commonly in the range of 25% - 50% more of a cost over the food itself.
The average lunch is $10 per day and with 22 days per month that is $220. Just shaving down eight lunches per month comes to roughly $83 per month; over the course of a year that’s $1,000 - and that is the average amount of what people spend on the December holiday.
The formula is simple: if you buy things on credit and cannot pay them off each month, then you are buying things that you cannot afford.
If one is forced to buy on credit to pay for essentials then this is a bad sign. This usually means that an emergency and a rainy day fund are not in place as well as no savings.
If you lease, you will always have the same payment. Buying leads to eventual ownership.
Car prices are on the rise and according to CNBC the average price for a new car is $39,950 This is more than the average balance of student loan debt which according to US News was just over $30K through 2019. Even though people may not think so, That is expensive! Keep in mind that the car payment is just one factor in driving a vehicle: there is maintenance, insurance, plate fees and gasoline.
Here’s some stats taken from Nerdwallet: the value of a new vehicle drops 20% - 30% in the first year of ownership and five years the value goes down up to 60%. For example, a five-year old vehicle that sold for $30,000 will be worth $12,000.
Everyone loves to travel - it creates memories that no one can take away from you.
However, traveling is expensive. For example, we recently came back from Nashville for a one-week trip and spent a good chunk of money. The hotel was $200 per night plus taxes and fees.
The rental car was a convertible Mustang that was around $1,200. So that’s approximately $2,600 right there. The plane fare was $700 and then throw-in food/dining.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, an average four-day domestic vacation costs $581, or $144 per day. Transportation represents 38.5% of the total cost of an average vacation, food and entertainment represent 35.6%, and lodging represents 25.8%.
For a 12-day international holiday, the average American spends a total of $3,251, or $271 per day. In this scenario, transportation represents 53.9% of the total cost, food and entertainment represent 25%, and lodging represents 21%.
We have to say that we refute these statistics. People must be staying in the most humble of accommodations or sleeping in a tent. Plus they must not be eating out. One dinner with alcoholic drinks for a family of four on the cheap side still runs around $100 including tip.
There are approximately 80 million dogs and 70 million cats. Especially when it comes to canines.
We have talked about pet insurance in the past as a monthly and beneficial cost; however, there is food, potential lodging or dog sitting, grooming and toys.
Now you take the cost for a puppy that is a purebred it can be a good chunk right off the bat. According to petbudget.com, they have listed the average cost for 151 breeds. The lowest is at $500 and that occurs just once and the highest is $2,750.
Some went for over $4,000. I ran some stats and the average cost for a puppy is $1,406.