Friend Bushka’s current post touches on this subject. With the recession biting harder and harder we are all assured that we must tighten our belts. I wonder what that means these days?
Baby boomers like me and those with just a little more maturity will think of the very different childhoods we had when the war was on, or we were on ration cards. I know we’re getting older when we start talking about ‘in my day’ … but it can be an interesting viewpoint for comparison. I got to thinking, what are luxuries (see Bushka’s post) and therefore are not really needed?
Here are some thoughts:
- we do not need…
crisps, chocolate, cake, biscuits, alcohol, cigarettes – we don’t even need to go down those aisles in the supermarket
- magazines and daily newspapers
- loads of clothes, shoes, handbags
- masses of make-up, hair products, skin creams
- expensive cosmetic treatments such as nails and tanning
- holidays abroad
- huge flat TV screens, Wii and computer games
- mobile phones with all the latest apps and games
- expensive hobbies
Our children and grandchildren don’t need:
- shedloads of toys
- crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets etc (see above)
- expensive trips out
- designer gear
- computers, TV and games in their bedrooms
parents paying through the nose for frequent mobile calls
So what do we and our youngsters need?
- healthy food – if we want cakes etc then we can bake them
- exercise – bikes, skipping ropes, walks and footballs still work – for adults too!
- outings can be something simple like a trip to the park and a picnic in fine weather
- a mobile phone is good in this day and age but give the kids sufficient credit to keep parents in touch when the kids are out: the rest of the time they earn the money to talk to their mates
- a good night’s sleep – studies show that children getting an extra hour in bed do noticeably better at school
- board games at home …
Our children need time, attention, love, security, encouragement, support, discipline and praise. We don’t have to tighten our belts to supply all those. We adults need to relax and unwind – but how can we do that cheaply? We’d be better off, life would be simpler, kids would be more financially responsible (and so would we) and they would do well at school … or am I living in cloud cuckoo land?
What do you think – am I a terminal killjoy? What would you add – or subtract – and why?