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I’m sick and tired of the ridiculous line that members of my generation need help from the government, their families, or anybody but the person that stares back at them in the mirror to succeed. I get annoyed seeing articles like this one from US News & World Report that talk of how frustrated my generation is from a financial perspective. I especially hate the comments section — particularly the people who want to see President Obama “do something” to alleviate the debt burden they so happily and willingly took on for themselves.
I responded to the US News story above with this comment (I am listed as DAVE of PA):
I’m a member of Gen Y and I believe that if you take out a loan, you should pay the d**n thing off. Don’t look to Obama to save you and don’t blame Bush for it. You’re the one who majored in art, humanities, law, or gender studies — and you actually EXPECTED to be handed a fantastic job. The game has changed. College, grad school, law school, and med school are shams. Because you believed things would always increase — home value, income, etc. — you’re left with the realization that you were lied to. Such is life. Get over it. Figure it out. Stop complaining. Invest in income-producing assets, start a business, pay off your debt, and stop wasting future earnings on another meaningless piece of paper.
It’s true – some of us start out better off than others. I am blessed with a fantastic wife, wonderful parents, and an amazing set of in-laws. They all bend over backwards to help me get ahead in life whenever they can. On top of that, I only had to pay off $20,000 in student loans. I get that many people have 5 or 10 times that amount (or more). I understand that we all come from different backgrounds, situations, and perspectives.
My response: quit making excuses. My other response: yeah, so what? I only had to pay off twenty grand. You have $200,000. So, what? Having to pay off $20,000 when you first start out is insane for a 20-something. It might as well have been $200,000.
There will always be somebody “better off” then you. I get that it’s difficult. But, you CANNOT do anything about that person’s circumstances. You can, however, do something about your own.
My advice is to focus on yourself and pass what you learn on to just one other person. Man (or woman) up. Stop complaining and get to work. It will be a tough journey. Frankly, it will suck.
But, at the end of the day, you will be a better person for it.
Think about your grandparents Gen Y-ers the next time you want to complain. If it weren’t for their hard work, some of us may not even be here today.