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October 22, 2008

Poor is the New Rich

3 Ok, maybe financially responsible or publicly frugal would be better terms in place of poor, but that would not make for as catchy a headline.

I live in an upscale suburban NY town. It is a wonderful community but certainly no stranger to wearing wealth on its sleeve in many cases. Raising teenagers in this environment has been a challenge.

Lately I have seen a drastic shift in the way people behave about money. No longer is it in good taste to show your wealth openly. Oh wait, it never was!

Yes, many have been drastically hurt by the financial problems this country faces, but many others are simply jumping on the bandwagon of hard times. It has become fashionable to use the tight financial climate as an excuse. This is now the cool table in the cafeteria of life. (Sorry, I always use that analogy. I really need to grow up).

I read this article in the Sunday NYT Styles Section that Myrna referenced in her post about the economy. I was taken by the absurdity of how some parents have validated indulging their kids. The measurement of their own success was linked to not denying their children… anything. They have feelings of extreme guilt in setting financial limits now that they do not have a choice. The suggestions for how to set these limits were almost comical to me. Oh right, teach them values. Who would of thought of that before the 401k and the stock account tanked? Brilliant idea.

A comment that I often here is, "My kids are so spoiled". And who exactly spoiled them?

In all seriousness, as hard as it is to go through these uncertain times, I truly believe the net of all this will be a healthier, more grounded generation. Parents will be forced to re-evaluate the idea of limits and their kids will grow up to be much healthier adults. Perhaps the value paradigm shifts. What we have given lip service to will now become our reality. Good health, family, passion and pride for one's work, appreciation for what we DO have, all will become the coveted currency moving forward.

And that my friends, is what I call lemonade. And a glass half full at that.

Original 50-something Moms Blog post. Posted by Amy Zimmerman. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i dont have time and leaving the zip code.

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