Judy Blume Should Have Prepared Us for THIS – 2010

To put it bluntly, no one gives a flying shit about you or your money. Actually if any of the big corporations can make more money off you they’re going to. If a grocery store can raise it’s food prices so high that you have to work an hour for a loaf of bread and a small-sized can of coffee – they’re going to. If a bank can have you half way in debt and their pockets slightly fuller by the time you leave the building – they’re going to. There isn’t a single thing that can stop a corporation from taking your money. Even the little guys want in on the action and if they can find six different loop holes that results with more money in their wallets and less in yours – they’re going to make it happen. There are no free rounds where you can win prizes, no Time Zones where you can rest, and certainly no brown enveloped cheques in your mail box.  My parents, who are amazing people, have loved and cared for me my whole life. They’ve put me before themselves on many occasions and the love has never been lacking. So it is to say that they’ve given me admiration and respect, not money. It’s not that they wanted to watch me fail miserably, it’s just that a $1600 monthly income and a $1500 monthly expense rate isn’t something I would call fair. Which leaves a question that sits teasingly on the windowsill: Do I want to live now, or later?

With the way things are looking, the way the unions are going and the way the Pension Plan likes to turn us around and bend us over; I’ll probably be taking care of my parents well into my adult years. Of course, I have no problem with that. My problem resides in the eleven thousand dollars a year they expect my Dad to live on. Contrary to misguided belief, the Pension Plan is not solid and Old Age Security is not looking good. Perhaps you’ll be the fortunate fellow who has been able to stay with the same company for the last thirty-five years. That’s great but look at what is happening in Hamilton, Ontario with the steel workers. A full certified Union job with most people having worked thirty to forty years; there are more retirees than employees. The company was purchased four years ago by an American firm with the promise to keep pensions the same. Now – among many other vicious issues – with cutbacks they are taking them away. So for years they’ve believed them, taken refuge and subsided faith in them. These people have relied completely on their pensions, something that was guaranteed, only to have it ripped out from under them with no compensation or sympathy. Expected to have a backup plan, a personal savings account, but never told to secure one because with a Pension Plan why would they need to?  So steel workers of Hamilton, Ontario – fuckin’ protest on!

A full-time nurse of twenty-nine years in Kamloops attended a staff meeting where they calmly informed her and the other employees that they would be weaning through all the people who’ve worked twenty years or more. As they would like to recruit younger workers who are willing to follow company rules to the line aka. twelve dollars an hour. After twenty nine years you basically do what you want while hopefully still being proficient in your work. Most companies want slaves, sorry, employees who will be easily geared to their way of thinking. Even though we’ve been taught independence, even though we’ve fought for it, they want us to all be the same.

Nothing is guaranteed and if it is, you can’t guarantee it’ll pull through. The UN wants to inflict one child per family restrictions in Canada – the guarantee of children is starting to fade. Women living in today’s age are not thinking about establishing a family anymore, they want to build careers not Lego castles. Which means more women in the work field and more men at home with the duster.  The real estate market is a constant reminder of the useless attributes that working like a dog provides – any guarantee in the housing market is as flimsy as my guarantee to keep plans with you. The only way you can get a good job is if you go to school but you need a great job to be able to pay for the tuition. If you don’t mind the disemboweled techno beep of the cash register, I’ve heard that Safeway’s not a bad place to work. So who is it that says your money is absolute? Who is it that guarantees you’ll never be on the road with an idiot who drives into oncoming traffic or that your city will never face a massively damaging tax hike? Who is that guarantees your groceries, your car insurance, your phone service will all be waiting for you after a long day? And I really want to know who it is that guarantees the money tree in your yard. The pledged security of life, love, and liberty is slipping from our tiny, minimum waged grips and no one actually cares.

My generation and the all the shithead adults-to-be  have been given rather deserving titles: the NINJA Generation which is an anagram for No Income No Jobs or Assets, Generation Screwed which is quite fitting because we are exactly that, Baby Losers because as children of the Baby Boomers we’ve epically failed, and lastly we’ve been called Generation Y because we follow X. It’s not entirely that we have nothing, it’s that our predecessors have nothing, leaving us with nothing and forgetting to tell us that there isn’t anything. CIBC, BMO, TD are not even remotely  concerned with your personal financial plans. I called Scotia the other day to talk about an RESP and the stock market. When it comes to a safe resting place for my money I want to be guaranteed low interest rates and free-of-fee withdrawals. Scotia can’t provide me with what I’m looking for, nor can Prospera or RBC and I certainly don’t want my money sitting in the Superstore Community Bank. I already give them hundreds of dollars a month just so I can eat and the principal of the matter leaves me frustrated. Who can I trust? They want us to recycle but they charge us for reusable bags. They want us to invest and to spend so they entice us with tax deductions and loans but they raise the interest rate so high you’re stuck trying to pay it off – nevermind paying off all the fun gadgets and nights out you bought. If a company like Telus wants me to subscribe to their cable, phone, and internet perhaps they shouldn’t provide such lousy service for such an unreasonable price. No offense to India but why should I be calling overseas for an issue in Chilliwack. Not to mention I can’t understand what you’re saying yet my Telus subscription pays your wage. It’s not only Justin Bieber that has me worrying for the future of humanity.

Actually, the second thing you should be worrying about is saving. As important as it is to your life, the first thing you should be worrying about is what you owe. You certainly can’t save if you’re ridden with debt and loans. If you have tens of thousands of dollars in student loans or in credit card debt there is very little sense in putting away $250 a month while putting the same amount onto your debt when you could combine the two, paying your debt off now and being able to save more later.  If you’re used to spending whatever you want on the best food and wine you tend to see that as an entitlement. Budgeting isn’t easy, neither is buying the No Name brand rice but with fewer chemicals, less packaging, and a cheaper price than Minute Rice – the difficulty is rather silly.  Spend twenty dollars once on a plastic bottle and drink tap water. Are you working eight hours a day to pay for the water running through your pipes and out your kitchen faucet or to pay for bottled water with added minerals and environmental damage. Put on a sweater and save on your hydro bill so that you can buy the fancy cat food this week. Buy second hand books at a favorable price instead of a wallet denting book you may not actually enjoy.

Speaking for the majority I want fewer taxes, lower food prices, and free education. I don’t want to be in the low income bracket with a net worth of 89,000 because my tax dollars are going to a 36 year study on running shoes. I understand that Global News never ceases to disappoint but I’m seriously not getting any richer.

Be smart with your money because no one else really cares what you do with it. You’re on your own and I’m assuming you want to live well. Now’s the time to get ready for a life well lived. Judy Blume should have prepared us for this.

 

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