By: Kyle Prevost
Bio: Kyle is a teacher by day and personal finance blogger by night. You can catch him on his soapbox at Birtle Collegiate or providing the answers to Gen Y’s questions over at YoungandThrifty.ca and MyUniversityMoney.com. He is also the co-author of a critically-acclaimed book for Canadian students: More Money for Beer and Textbooks.
Psst: Have you voted for your favourite Get Out Of My House finalist yet today? Head over to getoutofmyhouse.ca to cast your ballot – and the chance to WIN one of three sweet voter prizes!
Some Hard Questions For Generation Y
My folks loved me very much and I definitely didn’t want for any necessities or many luxuries growing up (at least relative to those around me in my solidly middle class rural town). That being said, the expectation that I would move out when high school was done was always crystal-clear. My parents put supports in place for me, such as helping me out with my post-secondary education, and allowing me to temporarily reclaim my old bedroom in order to pursue a summer job, BUT there was never any question when it came to me moving out permanently as soon as it was economically feasible for me to do so. I think RateSupermarket.ca has put together a great giveaway here, and the prize will certainly make some mother’s day; however, I have to admit that several of the contestants had me shaking my head at the absurd level of entitlement that exists amongst my generational cohorts.
I’m Taking Excuse-Making 101
I have a friend who worked a part-time job while she pursued her Bachelor of Nursing degree. This isn’t all that noteworthy until your consider that she and her fiancée also managed a housing complex with several dozen units in their downtime, and she was pregnant for the last year of her education. Super Mom graduated in May 2012 with almost no debt, and has since purchased a house of her own after working full-time for a year. (Now you know why I didn’t use anything from my life as an example to aspire to). Many young people manage to fight and claw their way through a post-secondary education while living away from home – so being a student is no excuse for driving your parents crazy.
Don’t Blow Savings On Soul Searching
Now I don’t mean to get all “teacher at the front of a class” on you all here (my day job), but jetting around the world is NOT a valid reason for postponing adulthood! I couldn’t believe some of these contestant profiles. One states, “Rather than responsibly save and plan for the big jump, I have spent all my savings on last-minute character-building treks through the Amazon, soul-searching weekends in the mountains, and stress-managing jaunts to Vegas.” I bet the Amazon does build character, but you know what also does? Working at an entry level job for a while! You know what builds even more character? Working several entry level jobs while starting life on your own and upping your education credentials somewhere. The only Amazon most people would consider if they were still living with their folks would have a www in front of it. Did you find your soul up in the mountains? Personally I suggest looking for it in Sin City since that’s where many people tend to sell theirs as they “de-stress”.
I Travelled Around the World and Still Didn’t Find Adulthood
Another contestant states, “I took time off from university to travel and haven’t returned yet, but I do want to finish my degree and get an ‘adult job’, although I’m still going to travel of course. That’s a part of me for life now.” This drives me insane. Not only do they readily admit that they are placing a burden on their parents because of their own all-encompassing quest for immediate gratification, but then they state that they aren’t done with their luxury jaunts all over the world. Unless you’re loud, obnoxious, and have your own reality TV show, travelling is not commonly considered to be making a positive contribution to society. Hey, I’m all for travelling here. I’ve got a weekend of “de-stressing in Vegas” under my belt as well, but it wasn’t done at the expense of the rest of my life. I plan on doing a ton of travelling in my life – after I plan for it and can afford it without being a burden on society and my family.
Do It for Mom – The Poor Thing
A few of the other contestants based their case for the big prize around how sick their parents were of them. Now I had my disagreements with my parents (sometimes at decibels that dogs might have heard 3 km away) but to be so ungracious for the incredible support and patience your parents are showing you as to not even wash your own dishes? That’s just incredible to me. When I went home for a couple of summers it was not only expected, but demanded that I help with several chores and give my dad the odd hand with his small business. I figured I had a pretty good deal since my buddies that came from farms got to go home and work 16 hour days during their summers away from post-secondary study.
Ladies and gents, as someone who is arrogant enough to have “Saving Generation Y” on their blog, I can tell you that you aren’t making a very strong argument for us in this whole generational tug-of-war we find ourselves in with our parents and grandparents. On a purely financial level, you need to reconsider a whole lot of things in order to really make it on your own. On a moral level, if you’re old enough to elect our Prime Minister, you’re old enough to clean your own dishes.
*Kyle climbs down off of his holier-than-thou soapbox*
Meet Mike – A Pretty Cool Guy
This all brings me to my choice as to who should win the giveaway grand prize – Kim and Mike. First of all Mike, great form on your jump shot in the profile picture – that definitely got you bonus points. Mike has much more than that to be proud of though. A positive story that involves helping someone through a tough time in their life is really cool and uplifting to hear about. I’ve never had to make a sacrifice like that and I thought that the fact his mom wasn’t in a hurry to see him jump out of the nest, but instead simply wanted to help him soar for his own benefit was pretty cool. Great job Mike. I have no idea if you know anything about financial management or what you want to do in life, but if there is anything I can do to help (like say mailing you a free copy of the hottest self-published book on the market – More Money for Beer and Textbooks – signed by two of the most modest authors around) then by all means drop us a line over at YoungandThrifty.ca and let us know what’s up.
Your mom having breast cancer is an excellent reason to put life on hold and become your parents’ roommate. Exotic trips that you can’t afford, and a refusal to address some pretty basic financial realities revolving around wants vs. needs are not legitimate reasons to be inconveniencing your parents, in my opinion. Come on Gen Yers, we can do better. After all, if we’re trying to convince our elders that we are ready to take the reins of power from them, we should at least prove we can wash the dishes and pay the rent before scooting off to Bora Bora to build a little character.