Do you own a credit card? How many times have you bought stuff that you can´t really afford? How much do you have in debt (not counting car loan, student loan or house loan)?
I know this family. Two adults+two children at the ages of eleven and thirteen. The parents earn less than an average Swedish salary (judging by the statistics presented each year by SCB). Both the mother and the father have been completely stressed out over the last couple of months because they cannot get their finances from red into green, even though they made a complete bargain when they bought their house - and their "normal" living expenses (house, electricity, water&heat) are not abnormally high.
They do however live by the norm: "Our children should never go without". Now they are considering taking on extra work, nights and weekends, to be able to pay off debts and consume more.
What happened? When did it become a human right in Sweden to own a 52¨ flat screen, go on holiday several times a year and re-decorate the living room/bathroom/kitchen/bedroom over and over???
Which generation thought it would be a phenomenal idea to buy furniture, electronics, airline tickets, etc on credit?
When and with which generation did the mindset change? And WHEN did the idea of letting your children have everything they want, start sounding like a GOOD idea?
When I grew up, there were more things that my family could not afford than the other way around. When I wanted new riding boots, I had to save up half the cost myself. It took me 7 months. I started working weekends and holidays from the age of 13. There were a lot of things I wanted as a kid, but most of the time the answer would be: "No. We can´t afford it" (does anybody even USE that phrase today, or has it become extinct???) or "Ok, if you save up to half the amount yourself". My parents ended up owning half a stereo, half a pair of football boots, half a pair of Levi´s, amongst other things.
It taught me the value of money and to respect what you can and cannot afford. Something that a lot of adults out there seem to ignore....and something that it seems a lot of young people of today will miss out on.