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  1. Excellent content and accurate. Id like to add a slightly out of the box thought on tattoos. (BTW I have none, never have, never will)…my thought is maybe another thing not to do actually! – work corporate. Most “real people” (read -small business owners – NON corporate would not reject a good fit applicant just because of tattoos. When you really think about it, it kinda no longer applies since this is 2017.
    Millennials are not putting up with corporate like “we ” had to! There is a revolution on in that regard.
    Thanks again

  2. Great list. I’ve hit a few of these traps myself and thankfully come through the other side, more by accident than anything else. What I would have given for some proper financial advice in my 20s though.

  3. I like the practical, no-nonsense advice. Kids need to start hearing this stuff towards the end of grade school. Forget the “you’re all winners”, “do what feels good”, “follow your dreams”, “express yourself” advice. They need to hear the cold, hard truth.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Live Free. We’re not all “winners.” Only a few people on this earth can make it to the NFL or Harvard Law. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Better to be a kick-ass plumber than a third-rate dentist. I’m with you. We need to tell our kids it’s more important to follow honor than to follow dreams.

  4. Solid advice for young people. My day job is in HR. I promote diversity for a living. I neck tattoo, however, just shows poor judgment.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Dave. Appreciate your comment. In some fields, a neck tattoo isn’t a deal breaker. But in a lot of fields, it is. People have to decide. Do they want an appearance that avails themselves to a large number of fields and jobs or an appearance that avails themselves to a small number of fields or jobs?

  5. Whoa wish I had this list about ten years ago ๐Ÿ˜‰ awesome post.

    I am definitely guilty of a number of these, though I have kept myself to one nose stud and one tattoo! And I can’t seem to give up on giving a small amount to an environmental charity monthly. But I have done great on the big ticket items – no kids, no pets yet.

    I couldn’t agree more that the margin of error right now feels crazy thin, and the challenges feel insurmountable at times. Graduating from college in the spring of ’09 was a brutal wake-up call, but all the more reason for a little tough love! Thanks for a fun post, Mr. Groovy!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Kate. I really appreciate your perspective. Our pundit class is great at pointing how things have changed dramatically over the past two generations. But they’re always short on specifics on how to deal with it, other than more welfare. And somehow I just don’t see how creating a nation of dependents rather than hustlers is a worthwhile goal. Meh. So here was my feeble attempt to help our young people. Hopefully it will resonate with some of them.

      P.S. I think a discreet, small nose stud works for a lot women. In other words, if done wisely, it can complement a woman’s looks much like earrings do. It’s bolts through tongues and rings through lips and eyebrows that are distracting.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Amanda. Hopefully this message will resonate with your son now rather than when he’s 30 or 40. But with you and Mr. CR at the helm, I’m confident he’ll “get it” sooner rather than later.

  6. I’m glad I didn’t read this at work today – as I dealt with a few “adults” (ahem…) who had done about seven of these things and never thought twice about it. Tattoos and piercings, three kids but no real “home”, yet their dog is having puppies (but they can’t pay for lunch). And they drove away in a Honda Pilot (right passed my little 12 year old Subaru). Dunderheads for sure. And they could stop with “needing” manicures and pedicures too…

  7. Great post, Mr. Groovy. I definitely am guilty of some of the things on your list. I got a credit card as a fresh-faced 18-year old college freshman without an income, partied a bit more than studied in college, financed a new $25k car on a $39k salary. I didn’t borrow too much for undergrad but had to take out a TON of student loans for medical school. Fortunately my profession provides me with a great ROI and I’m able to play catch-up, but it’s still difficult working your way out from behind the 8-ball.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, SRGO. Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your contribution to our discussion. Are you now a full-fledged doctor? Or are you still in residency? My niece married a doctor who’s in residency now. Their goal is to still live like he was a resident after he starts earning doctor money. If they can do that for five years, they’ll find themselves in a really good place.

      • Full-fledged doc now but still living like a resident while paying off those med school loans. Tell your niece that living WAY below your means as a new physician is super important when it comes to paying off debt and getting your finances in order.

        • Mr. Groovy

          Awesome, SRGO. I love it. I’m sending a link to this post to my niece right now. I’m pretty sure her and her husband get it. But I’m sure it helps to hear the thoughts of someone who has faced the same hurdles. Thank you, sir.

  8. IMHO, there’s nothing better than honest advice for the purpose of educating others. I see SO many young people floundering via life as you describe above. We are mercilessly pounding the “do’s” into our kids, lately with tears as we watch helplessly as friends’ kids are heading down the “don’ts” path before they’re even out of high school. As a young person I fell into many of the “don’ts” list screw-ups and man, did they have long-term consequences. Young people: heed the advice of the wise Mr. Groovy!

    • Mr. Groovy

      The do’s are important. But the don’ts are just as important. The really sad part is that people–especially young people–think that by abiding by the don’ts they’ll remove all happiness from their lives. And that notion is simply false. When I was a young man, I didn’t think it was possible to have a good time without getting drunk. Now, I haven’t gotten drunk in years, and I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had. Thanks for stopping by, Laurie. I really appreciate what you had to add. And good luck with hammering home for your kids and the do’s and don’ts. I’m sure they’ll be fine.

      • I hear you about the drunk thing. When I was in my 20’s our whole group was a bunch of really fun drunks. I haven’t gone “there” in nearly twenty years (haven’t touched alcohol in 10 – no big story, just was done with it), and I’m SO much happier. The rest of the group? Still getting drunk regularly/making $10 an hour and living in really crappy rented apartments. Makes me very sad. ๐Ÿ™

        • Mr. Groovy

          Agreed, Laurie. One or two beers or glasses of wine and I’m good. Haven’t had a hangover in decades and I don’t miss those bad boys.

  9. Good stuff Mr Groovy, we waited until we were in a better place financially to have a kid, I honestly don’t know how we would have done it if we didn’t – we wouldn’t have been able to afford healthcare or daycare.

    I made some mistakes on the list, but was somehow able to manage a decent GPA while destroying my liver (racking up a shit ton of debt still haunts me though)

    I don’t know what the upper limit is on saving our dog, but it’s high. Hopefully we don’t have to ever test that boundary.

    • Mr. Groovy

      There’s a world of difference between having your first kid when you’re 25 or 30 as opposed to 15 or 20. No one’s saying not to procreate. Just give yourself some time. Get your schooling done first. Glad to see you and Mrs. AE gave yourselves and your children a fighting chance. And I hear ya about your dog. It’s damn near impossible to deny a loving family pet the care they need.

  10. I’m amazed you can remember all these college stories ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good advice here and much, if not all of it, can be applied to any generation at any age. I see many a non-young person not following this type of advice and the older they get the thinner their margin of error becomes.

    Looking forward to Mrs. G’s new song – “Snap That Garter”

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great point, Amy. I know several people who are in the mid-50s and haven’t saved a dime for retirement. Talk about a razor-thin margin! And, yes, I too can’t wait for Mrs. G to write “Snap That Garter.” She could become this era’s Ray Stevens.

  11. “get off my lawn”. I’m picturing the old principal in back to the future 2. I do agree with your list though. Sadly I didn’t have much of a choice on the loan thing. It is getting harder these days with how easy it is for bad feedback to stay with you and how much of society’s opportunities now requiring education. And yes I remember Hollywood squares.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I sincerely hope that we will one day find student loans as absurd as we now find driving without a seat belt, smoking indoors, and making a call on a rotary dial phone. And what kills me is how hapless our college leaders are when it comes to college costs. It’s all because the feds and the states cut college funding. And there’s nothing they can do about it. Really? The greatest critical thinkers in the world run our colleges, and they can’t figure out a way to make tuition cheap? How about getting rid of sports, student government, and Greek life? How about dismantling the climbing walls, food courts, and resort-like dormitories? How about every full professor teaching 5 classes a semester? How about a more streamlined bachelor’s degree that requires 90 credits rather than 120? Aaarrrggghhh! I’m sorry for the rant, FTF. I just can’t take the college-industrial complex anymore.

  12. I vowed when I became a parent that I would never look down or differentiate a different generation. It seems to be a habit of older people to romanticize their generation and stereotype those younger.

    I never related to Gen X articles I read, ever. They were never talking about me. They were absolutely silly. When I hear other parents talking about “nowadays” I just roll my eyes and think about all the cool shit I did and was able to get away with that I’ll never tell my kids about.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Fair point, FP. But don’t older people usually lament how tougher they had it? I’m saying that my generation had it much easier, at least when it comes to higher education and the economy. I hope that my fears for young people are overwrought. Time will tell, of course. Otto von Bismarck supposedly once quipped that “God looks after fools, drunks, and the United States of America” Let’s hope he is far more prescient than I.

      • I don’t know that I had it easier, my kids have way more luxuries and guidance and help that I ever had. I am never going to use it against them. Life can be challenging in even the most easiest of situations. Anxiety is the biggest barrier to happiness in rich Countries. It’s still easy to get rich in the US with a tiny amount of fiscal discipline, much easier than many other Countries.

  13. Great post. Life is changing here in the US. I went to college in the early 90s and I think we still had it pretty good. After us, college got a lot more expensive. Our margin of error was still good. We could screw up big and still recover.
    It’s going to be tough for our kid. We’ll just have to prepare him the best we could.

    • Mr. Groovy

      So true, Joe. For my last semester at Buffalo University (Spring 1984), tuition and fees came to $540. Rent for my off-campus apartment as $100 a month. I could literally pay for the bulk of my college expenses with a full-time minimum wage job during the summer and a part-time minimum wage job during the school year. It’s nice to hear that your generation had a little more wiggle room than I suspected. Sadly, today’s kids have no such wiggle room. Their only hope is that the internet and technology disrupt higher education the way they have disrupted music, newspapers, taxis, and television. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  14. Sometimes the truth hurts and we don’t like to hear it. I think your post is spot on. I was trying to think of my own advice that I could add to this list of yours but I’m not coming up with anything right now. Although I think something could be said for spending more time playing video games than you spend studying.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Ty. I don’t play video games, but for some reason they’re rarely the object of my wrath. I think young people spend far too much time with them. But I’d rather have young people playing video games till 3 o’clock in the morning than chugging beer and doing shots. Every man must have his vice, after all. Better video games than alcohol, drugs, or gambling.

      • I know video games can become problematic for some. Even though I’m not a fan of them myself, I have two teens with a fondness for them. My 16 year old son spends a lot of time with his friends playing them, but he does his homework, gets decent grades, I know where he is and he’s not out getting into any trouble (at least not that I’m aware of). Compared to what I was doing at that age, I’ll take it. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Mr. Groovy

          Exactly, Amanda. There are a lot of distractions out there for our young people. Better that our sons and daughters are distracted by video games than by drugs and sex.

  15. Wow you really “went there!” lol! I won’t tell my tatted up president of my company you said that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do think you make great points though! I especially resonated with pets. I cringe when I hear roommates getting a dog together (huh?) and then at the same time complaint about the high cost of rent in LA and lack of places to live. Uh, wait till you get a dog! And who takes it when you don’t live together anymore. Pets are not just a cute novelty. When they get older, they cost money! I have a 17 year old cat I would do just about anything for, so I get it! And like Miss Mazuma said, once pepe is gone, it may be quite some time before I entertain the thought of getting another pet.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Every once in while evil Mr. Groovy has to come out. And like you and Miss Mazuma, our cat Ashby will be our last pet. The emotional pain of losing a pet is just too painful. We’re only willing to go through it one more time.

  16. Tough love Mr. Groovy, but you make some really good points. I remember when one of my good friends in college adopted a cute little kitten. All good until he decided to eat some fuzzy toys that became stuck in his intestines. He survived, but had to undergo emergency surgery, which meant a lot of stress and extra waitressing shifts for my friend.

    As we’ve struggled with paying off debt, I think one of the general principles we learned is that you need to keep everything as simple and predictable as possible. Isn’t it Ramsey who says that it’s not a matter of if, but when, “Murphy” is going to happen? Any time you introduce new variables, you’re running a risk of additional expenses.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, that’s so sad about the kitty. I’m glad things worked out. And you are so right about Murphy. As Dave so often points out, Mr. Murphy is a very opportunistic visitor, and he’s usually joined by his three cousins, Broke, Desperate, and Stupid. And I love your admonition to “keep everything as simple and predictable as possible.” Very wise, Harmony.

  17. I’m on the fence about the kids one. I mean, I don’t have any (not yet at least) and it wouldn’t have been right for me without financial stability. But my parents didn’t have much money when they planned me- watching how hard they worked really shaped me and I worry that being able to spend more on my (potential!) children will make them a hell of a lot more wasteful than I am. Looks like my dad will be retiring at 55 although financially he could have thrown in the towel already. I have a lot to live up to!

    Credit cards… now that’s probably right for most people. I had a credit card from 18 but have cleared any balance every month since I had it. For me, I hate paying for something when I’m no longer enjoying it’s newness!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Excellent point about kids, Sarah. My mom had me and my brother by the time she was 20. But this was in 1962. And she was married. And my dad just made it onto the NYPD. So it’s all about context. Having kids young isn’t always a recipe for disaster. If you have a committed partner and have one foot in the door of financial stability, having kids young shouldn’t be a problem. But how many young people are procreating on a foundation similar to the foundation our parents had before they brought us into this world? Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. It’s always a pleasure hearing your perspective.

      P.S. Your parents are awesome. I hope you let them know that every now and then.

  18. Oh, man. I used to work with a bunch of folks with visible tats and piercings. Many of them also had hygiene issues.There’s a reason they were having trouble moving on from $10/hour jobs. Sorry, if you want to earn more, you’re going to have to adjust your lifestyle to include daily showers and deoderant, and maybe even the occasional pair of khakis (or at least jeans without extra holes).

    Not sure how I feel about some of the others. 10-year-old reliable cars are one thing, but crappy cars that break down can be really expensive, especially if they cost you your job. It doesn’t have to look pretty, but it should be able to get you where you need to go.

    And people who prioritize regular giving, even in small amounts, are far more likely to give later and establish discipline with their finances. Plus, high school kids tend to have a ton of disposable income. Better $20 to charity than an extra t-shirt or video game.

    That said, pretty glad we’ve held firm on our no pets policy.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! At least we agree on one thing. Smelly co-workers + proximity to other co-workers with functioning noses = trouble. And I hear ya about my 10-year-old car rule. That might be a little too miserly. Reliability is nothing to scoff at. Thanks for stopping by, Emily. I really appreciate the push back. Someone’s got to keep me in line.

  19. I’m shocked that only 32% of Americans over 25 have a Bachelor’s Degree. I assumed it would be much higher.

    The kids one is a little tough. A lot of us make ill-informed decisions as teens, and that does result in accidental pregnancies. I applaud the young woman for working hard for her kids! I’m sure she didn’t plan on having two kiddos at such a young age, but it’s great that she’s setting a good example.

    But yeah, if you have the ability to plan your family, kids aren’t a good idea if you live paycheck to paycheck.

    And SO MUCH yes on the neck tattoos. I have tattoos and piercings myself, but I keep them hidden. You can secretly feel badass without hurting your job prospects.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I was shocked by that number too. I thought it was going to be at least 40%. It might have something to do with immigration. At one time a higher percentage of immigrants had college degrees than native-born Americans. But when I was googling the college degree data, I saw stats showing that immigrants now complete college less often than native-born Americans. Are we favoring too much unskilled immigration over skilled immigration? The plot thickens. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. PP. It’s always great hearing from a secret badass.

  20. Giving money to charity is an interesting one. I agree with your point and have tried to be careful when giving time vs. money.

    My dad laughs at me because I show up to a charity golf event without any cash… well here’s the thing, I need the money too!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      I definitely had problems with the charity rule. It seems so heartless. But we got to be fair to young people. They have enough problems as is. Being shamed into giving money they don’t have shouldn’t be another problem they must grapple with. Thanks for stopping by, Erik. I really appreciate your thoughts.

  21. Christian

    Nice post Mrs Groovy. I was a bit of a study nerd and hung out with the Asian students, and ended up living and working in that part of the world.

    By the way, I have just googled white castle and hollywood squares . Enjoying the learning curve…!

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re very wise, Christian. If I knew then what I know now, I would have hung out with the Asian students as well. What’s that famous Jim Rohn quote? “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And thanks for googling White Castle and the Hollywood Squares. Those are two glorious institutions that every well-educated person should be acquainted with.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Mr. FS. Any sober analysis would find the college experience to be very overrated. You don’t need to go to college to get sloppily drunk or attend a football game. Missing out on the college experience is way preferable to wallowing in financial purgatory later in life. As a renowned Rough Rider might say, “Party softly, and carry a big brain.” I suspect your son will appreciate this sentiment. Cheers, my friend.

  22. Great post Mr. G! It’s all about giving them a fighting chance. I’m afraid there are many parents who don’t have their financial acts together so it difficult for them to lead by example or to teach what is necessary for their kids to start off on the right foot.

    Our school systems don’t teach basic life skills, too wrapped up in the common core, so there’s a big percentage of kids that just miss the opportunity to get a head start.

    We need to continue to keep the conversation going and bubble these topics up, maybe more young people and/or parents will catch on.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You know what kills me? We’ve been doing this high school thing for 150 years now, and no one can tell me what every high school graduate should know. Just give me ten concrete things. Do they need to know the multiplication table? Do they need to know how to construct a sentence with a subject, verb, and object? Do they need to know how to perform a loop in Javascript? And because our educators won’t push for standards that will separate the sharp from the dull, a high school diploma means nothing. One high school graduate can do calculus frontwards and backwards. Another high school graduate trips over long division. And the same mushiness is now degrading our colleges. Meh. I’m sorry for the rant, Brian. But this mushiness is producing far more Gilligans than Professors. And it pisses me off.

  23. RocDoc

    I’m forwarding thus wise post to my nieces and nephews. They have good work ethic and none have tattoos yet. However, their choices for university seem to hover around degrees that seem prestigious or cool but might not net them the additional income they hope for. The choice of what to study in college is tough now days since even traditionally good choices such as dentistry or medicine or law may not pay off that well when you take loans and delayed time into the work force into account. It might be better to even skip university and become an electrician or plumber!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, RocDoc. I hope your nieces and nephews are receptive to my message. And I hope they’re receptive to your keen insights as well. Dentistry, medicine, and law are no longer slam-dunk fields. And if the forces for a single payer have their way, I’m afraid future doctors will find themselves in servitude. Meh. Blue color work is surely honorable. And a first-rate electrician will make far more than a second- or third-rate manager. Definitely something to consider before heading off to monster U with the monster tuition.

  24. Crankiness or not, this is very pertinent information. Your college experience sounds similar to my first go-around in the 80s. Wasted time and money. And I have a couple of nephews who incurred $50k of student debt (each) for jobs that pay $40k or so. Oh, and their parents are paying the debt, so their financial margins of error are fine. Not so much for mom and dad. Argh!

    I was very encouraged by the Dave Ramsey quote you included. I made that exact point to a niece recently who, despite being a Dave Ramsey follower, is in debt to her eyeballs and insists on tithing. I read something else that Mr. Ramsey wrote that seemed to encourage giving regardless of one’s financial situation, so I am going to pass this along to her.

    Stay cranky, Mr. G! It’s well-earned, and sorely needed.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Mr. Grumby. There’s a difference between being angry and being cruel. I didn’t create this do-not-do list because I wanted to humiliate young people. I created it because I don’t want young people to make the same mistakes I made–especially when today’s economic environment is so unforgiving. And you are so right about tithing. There’s a time and place for everything. And no functioning church out there is dependent on alms from its poor parishioners. There will be plenty of time for your niece to tithe when her economic sea legs are far more sturdy. Thanks for stopping by, Mr. G. I’ll do my best to stay cranky. Cheers.

  25. Well, I definitely haven’t followed all of life’s rules but somehow I managed to make it well into my 30s without a neck tattoo. ๐Ÿ˜… As a flight attendant recruiter, we tell all applicants no tattoos of any kind or size that are visible. No piercings, no spacers, no gauges (to me , the worst of all!). People still show up to the interview with all of the above. Really?! We are all for individuality but when you are applying for a job that over 20k others applied for (within 24 hours!) you need to put your best foot forward. Ugh…

    As for the dogs, I get it! I would pay all the money in the world to save my pup as she is the only thing I have close to a child. Dogs are like having children that never grow up. Though I can leave her home alone, she can never let herself out, feed her self, or pick up her own poop. She will never pay her own way and she will never move out…she’s an absolute mooch and I love her. ๐Ÿ™‚ That being said, after she goes I most likely will not get another dog for a very long time. Beyond the cost as they get older, the amount of time I commit to my girl is insane! Geez…good thing I didn’t have kids!

    • Mr. Groovy

      I don’t even know what spacers and gauges are. And I’m afraid to google them! I understand individuality and respect it. But the last thing I want to see flying in an aluminium tube at 30,000 feet is a flight attendant with neck tattoos and earrings through her/his lower lip, nose, and eye brows. Call me nuts, but it kind of denotes a lack of seriousness on the airline’s part. Thanks for stopping by, Miss. M. I always love your take. And your points about dogs are spot on.

    • Omg our vet bills this first part of 2017 have been horrid. Between Quinn succumbing to old age and multiple visits to confirm there’s nothing we can do, to teeth cleanings fearing Lola was going to lose a tooth, and 3 visits with Zoe our newest family member only to find out she’s had hookworms since we got her. “Oh that explains the upset stomach, food issues, weight loss, poor bowel control (ugh.. yeah for all tile floors) and more, but it’s been about $900 per month. And that’s with them healthy. It’s great they’re snuggle bugs and are super cute and easy now that the hookworms are being dealt with, sheesh pets can get spendy. Quickly, so quickly…

      • Mr. Groovy

        Thank you for sharing, Mr. SSC. I’m glad Quinn, Lola, and Zoe are doing much better. And, yes, pets can get spendy real fast. It’s something every potential pet owner should be aware of.

  26. Technology now also empowers global competition for many jobs. For example, India will graduate from college 1MM engineers this year. Talk about razor thin margins!

    So you got that going for you too…

    • GREAT point, Ian. The world is smaller than it’s ever been, and there are a TON of really smart, really motivated folks looking to land their “dream job” in the land of opportunity.

      Stay sharp. Take nothing for granted. Hustle like you’ve never hustled. They’re coming for you, and you’re entitled to nothing. Earn it!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Those are daunting numbers, my friend. And something tells me their colleges don’t fret too much over transgender bathrooms and Untouchable Lives Matter. Sigh. America needs to sober up. The cushy days are over. Companies no longer have to tolerate the mediocrity coming out of our colleges. All they have to do is lobby for more H1-B slots. Goodbye Smith, hello Patel.

  27. I don’t think you’re cranky. The world needs more tough love — it’s for everyone’s own good. If parents won’t be honest with their kids (or perhaps they don’t know themselves), then other people need to tell them how the world really works.

    Completely agree with you about the pets. My diabetic cat has cost me a pretty penny over the last year but I love him like crazy and I can, fortunately, afford the cost.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Same here, Kate. Mrs G and I love our one remaining cat, and thankfully we have a big enough emergency fund to cover any illness that might befall that little bugger. Thanks for stopping by.

  28. Oh man, nice list! I’ve done lots of things on that list, let me tell you. My first 2 semesters in college my GPA was close to yours, 2.0 and 2.2. I was killing it! Not with the studies, but at parties, playing music, disc golf, anything but studying. The next semester I actually tried and got 3 .8 and stayed on Dean’s list every semester afterward.

    I borrowed money for college, I borrowed money for life (credit card) and I have a tattoo (it can be covered with a shirt though). These things didn’t doom me, but holy hell they made my life a LOT harder than it needed to be. Seriously, my credit cards were a worse version of your ~$2200 stereo. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I saw a lot of my sister’s friends end up pregnant right after highschool, and only one still got a degree and a “normal” career type job. All the rest (20 yrs later) are still schlepping drinks or food or whatever gig they can get to pay the bills. It definitely makes life harder than it has to be.

    Again, nice list, and good perspective on that. the margin of error is a lot thinner nowadays it seems and one little misstep can make your life way harder than it has to be.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Mr SSC. It’s good to know I’m not the only dunderhead around here. The anecdotal evidence from my life matches pretty closely with yours. All my family, friends, and acquaintances who delayed having kids until their mid or late 20s have struggled a lot less than my family, friends, and acquaintances who had kids in their teens or early 20s. It’s very ironic. Nature built us to have kids a lot sooner than modern economics would prefer. Will we ever be able to overcome that predicament? Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  29. Great post, Mr. G. I worry about our younger generation, things are so much tougher now than what we faced. Further, many have an attitude of entitlement, when what they really need is an attitude of determination and grit.

    My daughter’s doomed. She has tats (against our will, but fortunately none “where they can’t be covered with clothes”) and has 3 dogs. We love her to death, tho!

    Gees, kids these days! I hope they all read your post, it would serve them well.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Fritz. Somehow I think your daughter will muddle through. Discreet tattoos and three dogs are hardly fiscally debilitating millstones–especially when you consider she has a debt-free college degree, an established 401(k), a fabulous husband-to-be, and a very accomplished financial guru as a father. We should all be so “doomed.” Thanks for stopping by, my friend. You never fail to make me smile with your sardonic wit.

      • “Discreet tatoos?” Let’s call them “hideable, but not discreet?”

        Funny story: one (of many) tats is a lace garter belt around her thigh. On the outside of her leg, the belt holds a gun holster made of flowers, with a nice 1911 pistol in the holster. We visit (Alzheimers) grandma, kid wearing shorts, garter visible. Grandma keeps trying to slide her finger under the garter. Doesn’t quite get the tat thing.

        Parents and kid hold back laughter. Explanation provided. Puzzled look.

        2 minutes later, the attempt is repeated.
        2 minutes later, attempted again.

        Isn’t life grand!? Enjoy every day you get, life can be short.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Picture the Groovy household. We’re on our laptops in separate bedrooms. I’m shouting to Mr. G. “Did you answer your older comments?” “Not yet,” he says, “I’m answering the Fritzer on my current post.” So I read your comment and start thinking of the song from Bye Bye Birdie and he doesn’t know what the F I’m referring to. “Who was the middle square in Hollywood Squares?” I ask him and he says “Paul Lynde”. So I start singing “Kids today. What’s the Matter with Kids Today”. Not a sound out of him. Sometimes I think I married someone 20 years younger than me, not 2 years.

      • What’s Hollywood Squares? And who’s Paul Lynde?

        You two crack me up! Seriously, I’m LOL at work, hope the boss doesn’t drop by! (then again, that may be just my ticket to get that early buyout package I’m dreaming about!).

        Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? Hey, I should write that into a song. Kinda catchy, right? You two are awesome! Thanks for making my day great!

        • Mrs. Groovy

          Seriously, think how many PF bloggers and readers donโ€™t know what Hollywood Squares is. Oh my, itโ€™s happened. Iโ€™m becoming my mother. The garter tattoo story is hysterical. That itself sounds like a scene in a musical. I should write a song with that lyric. Iโ€™ll call it โ€œSnap that Garter!โ€

          • I just turned 35 and I know what Hollywood Squares is. Does that mean my generation still has some hope? ๐Ÿ™‚

            Actually, my wife always teases me about how many old TV shows I watched. While my friends were watching Dawson’s Creek and other drivel in High School, I was soaking up reruns of the Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Mr. Groovy

              I knew you were a righteous dude! Yes, there’s definitely hope for your generation. But, sadly, those of your generation who were in thrall of Dawson’s Creek are probably lost. So sad. If only their television consumption during their formative years had consisted of The Odd Couple, Barney Miller, Sha Na Na, and The Gong Show, they’d be in a much better place today.