Below are two comments in full (only edited for spelling errors) posted by readers of this article that I think say a lot about the difference in thinking between people on issues of money:
trance951 - Thursday, July 24, 2008, 11:22AM ET
To all of these people who post about how much they have saved over the years because of their sacrifices and who scoff at anyone who doesn't already have a white picket fence that is paid for, I congratulate you on your wasted life. Time after time I read here about John and Mary who didn't get cable TV, drove a $500 car for 10 years, never travelled, budgeted to see a movie 3 times a year, shops at Goodwill, and probably still wears a same pair of underwear since high school. Great, now you're a king in your own castle, passing on your divine wisdom to your gardener who obviously is flawed as they should have everything you do. How fantastic that you finally bought that fancy new car that you've always wanted. It only took you 30 years since you got your license. Travelling and experiencing the culture of Europe is so much better from your scooter, don't you think? And can you believe how much better a movie sounds with surround sound? Just think, all those years in stereo. John and Mary, you've gone to an extreme. You've let the fruits of your labor dry out as much as your wrinkled skin. There is a happy medium between saving and living, and it is unfortunate that you were only able to experience one or the other at any given time. Me? I'll take a lifelong of memories. Enjoy your abbreviated AARP version. Stop comparing generations, it is apples and oranges.
And the reply:
Yahoo! Finance User - Thursday, July 24, 2008, 11:39AM ET
trance951, No one has a problem with your mentality, but read the comments you refer to carefully. You can value life experiences more than money. In fact, you probably should have a balance, as you suggest. What people here are complaining about is that fact that some people made a clear choice to save less, work less, spend more and live life to its fullest, and now they don't want to suffer the consequences of that choice. They want the government to bail them out. Those of us who saved and worked diligently are suffering the consequences of our choices, with a less fulfilling life by your standards. Why shouldn't people who chose the "fulfilling" path suffer the financial consequences? I mean, shouldn't such people be exactly the ones to say, "It's only money!" Does it really seem fair that the people who chose money now have to give up their money to take care of those who chose fulfillment? At least give us our consolation prize of greater wealth given we made the "wrong" choice to lead less fulfilling lives!
The 11:39AM commenter is 100% correct. People with the same mode of thinking as Trance951 want to live the "lifelong memories" style of living and have someone else pay for it.
Time and time again I have read articles and forum posts from people who gripe they are in their 40's or 50's or older and have nothing. They cry how horribly wrong it is that someone else has more than they do.
Did you ever stop to think the fault is your own? Nope!
First, realize that no matter what you do life is not about equality or sameness of result at the end of the day. For hundreds of reasons two people can start out doing the exact same things in life and one ends up with significantly more than the other. That doesn't mean the person cheat or stole it. Life is not as simple as A+B=C. Unfortunately.
Second, I wish I had $1.00 for every person I met who said "Why bother? I'll never be as rich as
You are the CEO of your own life. If you choose to live the good life today and not do what you should do for tomorrow, you're an adult over 21 so live with your choice. But don't you dare claim that I and others like me who have made tough decisions to scrimp and sacrifice to have more than two coins in my pocket are to blame you’re your lack of financial success.
How dare you think I should have to pay for your good times!
Kiss my ass!!
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