My friend has a daughter in her early 20’s that was living with a boyfriend and needed to move out. She works at a minimum wage job and does work hard. But according to her mother, she spends most of her paycheck after work shopping in the local mall. She wanted a place of her own—I totally understand—I would too. My question to her was, “Can you afford it?” Her reply, “Yes.” So off she went looking for an apartment. Of course, she soon realized, they’re expensive. I suggested staying within her budget and to make life financially easier for her, she should get a roommate. Her final decision was that a roommate would be an inconvenience in her life; she’ll go it alone.
Well again, apartments are expensive. She looks, and she looks, and she looks more. Finally, after deciding she couldn’t possibly live in any of the cheaper apartments she had seen, she upped her budget. Okay, she found a place. My question to her was, “Are you sure you can afford this place?” Her response, “Sure.”
So just last week my friend’s daughter moved into her new apartment. During the week, she went shopping for furniture. Not used furniture of course, new furniture. Here’s where my story begins.
I saw this gal today at her place of work. I said, “How are you?” She said, “Fine.” I asked her how she liked the new apartment. She replied that it was great. Then she said to me…. “After work today, I think I am going down to get food stamps.” Talk about shock! I asked her why. Her reply? “I can’t afford food.”
In a difficult attempt to hold what I really wanted to say to her, I said, “I’m sorry (okay, a little sarcastically), but didn’t you just move into a new apartment by yourself and buy all new furnishings for it?” She of course looked at me dumbfounded and replied with a “yes.” I then proceeded, “Honey, I have never minded paying taxes knowing the money I pay out will go to a person who probably has 3 roommates, maybe has children, works a minimum wage job, and truly has no money for food. But I do have a problem paying taxes to provide you with food, which in all reality, you could afford had you not moved into an expensive apartment, bought new furniture, and stayed out of the mall.”
Now here’s the real shocker (or maybe not). Upon my statement, she relies, “I actually never thought about it that way.” Now, I’m really shocked! Remember, this is the next generation who will run our country, or are they already doing it!