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Luxuries are good, and we all need some, but it is essential to teach kids to weigh luxury vs necessity when spending their hard earned money.
Gone are the days when we used to find happiness in small things. Two-minute noodles, bread tikki, a cold drink during festival times or multi-cuisine food in marriage functions.
I remember the luxuries of my childhood which were limited to a few times of the year. Or we were one of those who really knew the difference of luxury and a necessity!
These summer holidays, in the month of April, we were traveling to Uttarakhand by the Rajdhani. I think that a train journey is more enjoyable than going by car if you have an option.
It was early morning train at 6 and we with two kids, just managed to reach on time. Soon after we settled into our reserved seats we noticed the attendant who was already on his job to distribute water bottles and breakfast. He must have been in his twenties. He was wearing a rather strong and expensive smelling perfume, that we could smell even from a distance.
The thought which struck me was, “How much does he earn and how much out of that does he spend on the perfume?” I would not like to judge him, but most of the attendants in the Railways are outsourced or temporary and very few are permanent. And as far I know they are not highly paid for their jobs.
I am not against keeping yourself well groomed and we are no one to judge their expenses. It could be the magic of this age for those who are in their twenties and have recently started working. Surely, there is a different kind of satisfaction and freedom you get when you earn and spend your hard earned money?
But is this is at the cost of basic necessities? Or spending out of their pockets?
When I look around and talk to people I know, I realized that the race is already at its peak. A Race of Rolex watches, i -phones, luxury bikes, branded clothes and bagfuls of expensive footwear. The impact of social media and a glitzy lifestyle is everywhere. But my question is, “Can everyone really afford this? And if by chance someone can’t afford it, then how does he or she justify their social status or symbols?”
Or another question which keeps pestering my mind, “why spend when you know your pocket doesn’t allow you”?
I personally know a few people who are young and earning well but at the end of the month their credit card bill overwhelms them. What could be the reason? Is it just a craving for luxury?
I am sure this trend will come to bite me too, in time. Soon my kids will demand these things when they see their friends carrying imported and expensive brands. I believe in simple rules. Afford your luxury after you are done with the basics! I cannot prove anything to anybody with just show off! On the contrary, as a mother, it’s my duty to tell my children that if it’s not a necessity we can’t burn our pockets to satisfy the demand for luxury.
There is always a thin line between the luxury and necessity and they should learn it as early!
As a parent, I need to make sure to instill the fact that you can be confident in what you have and not crib for what you can’t have or afford. Speak out frankly, yes I can’t afford this and I don’t regret it. I am happy with my Titan watch and non-branded handbag. This serves my purpose at this moment. And the time will certainly come when I would be able to afford it as a necessity.
I firmly believe that managing money is nowhere related to the age when you start earning. It has its roots in childhood, and that lies with us as the parents. We really need to take a call to make them understand that they need to prioritize their needs and expenditure. Surely, there is no limit for luxury but it should come only after necessity.
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Published here earlier.
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