Here’s a great article about expectations
I think that expectations might be really high, but on the other hand, most people I know are struggling to pay the bills. Its deceptive because I will never starve–we were on WIC in seminary–
so I don’t look that bad off, but on the other hand my debt is more and more a problem, and it feels like I’m barely staying afloat (nevermind paying stuff off)……….Its hard, because I guess I could have made different choices (ie not have 3 children and a grad degree, maybe one or both of these things should not have happened) but I’m not sure that I had UNrealistic expectations (that my husband would be able to work fulltime somewhere?) ….and the ONLY thing we spend money on for fun is eating out (and with kids sometimes thats a survival technique)…….
In a completely informal survey among friends, it appears there was this change between the babies born before the 80s and after…..apparently those born before the 80s got the “work hard and you will succeed” line and those after got the “Work hard and you will succeed and be happy.” But my observation is we aren’t succeeding, we aren’t happy and in reality we aren’t even making it……so I disagree about the exceptional expectations thing…..
The “whole you guys think your TOO special line” is a little annoying—“you guys are delusional” is angering……(and your solution to this situation is to change us? Is there a way other things can change too?). Adults who have careers, children and houses and are talking about retirement, those who get to refinance houses they actually own and that their kids are in a hard place that they don’t understand….. (those who tell me about how they worked part time to make it thru college where I worked 2 or 3 part time jobs seeming to make almost no difference, and I had WONDERFUL HELP paying for college)………
Then there’s the whole you need two parents working fulltime now to pay for kids–which is a socio-econmic problem.
But seriously other adults talk about refinancing and retirement, and meanwhile my ONLY capital (my car) got totalled by another driver which means no I have absolutely no capital, and lots and lots of debt…….
Here are my expectations
I expect my children to choose college based on their own finances and debt decisions, because we have no means to save to for them….
I expect Social Security to be gone by the time I am older, and I should not count on it
I expect to have nothing saved for retirement
I expect to be 100K in debt at least until my youngest starts school
I then expect that if my husband needs to live somewhere else to work fulltime, that we will be able to somehow manage it after my youngest starts school…….so that we can actually start paying down our debts….
I expect my two cars to last at least 5 more years as I am currently making payments on both
I expect my husband and I to continue tutoring, to trade off babysitting as much as possible to save money. I expect to rent out our car, trade favors and otherwise barter as much as possible to save money.
I expect to continue to never buy movies, books or clothes for myself or my husband unless we have an interview, or the shoes are leaking profusely
I expect to garner clothing for my children through wonderful grandparents and extended family for as long as possible, the same being true for extracurriculars, and the majority of toys received during birthdays and Christmas (because we can’t afford much more), and am SO lucky this is the case
I expect to continue to miss out on movies, shows and adult activities due to lack of funds/babysitting and to continue to do introverted/at home activities because they are cheaper and require less coordination
I expect if I ever am out of work to have to move the entire family back with our families because we are barely making it as is…
I expect that all the people my age will continue to look for second and third jobs to help finances–making our chances of being able to socially hang out all the less…(everyone I know my age is looking for fulltime/second/more work)
I expect to be unhappy whenever I think about money, but happy because I am in a steady career that I like and that I got to have a family
I expect never to own a house, ever.
I expect the library will continue to be our best friend.
I expect my kids will play outside a lot, because its free and because its good for them.
I expect Netflix, free arts and crafts and recycling, I expect a lot of creativity as we figure out how not to buy things (ex: I jimmied together a Spiderman Costume today, because my son wanted one)
The snarky part of me wants to ask “Do you think I’m setting expectations too high” Read: I am SO not a GYPSY
The realistic part of me wants to say “What do you make of my expectations?”