has an interesting article about how certain things we deem “needs” more likely belong in the category “wants” or even “entitlements.”

Jay McDonald writes,

A lot of us in wealthy, overspending America are either born or raised with a tremendous sense of entitlement. We say to ourselves, ‘I work hard or, I work at a job I hate — at least I should be able to have a Starbucks coffee every day or eat out for lunch.’ But of course, those are not needs, they’re wants. They’re pleasures.

A more theological treatment can be found here.

Personally, about 10 years ago, I had been buried under a pile of credit card debt that took a lot of discipline to pay for. I wish I had this perspective during those childish years of plastic swiping foolishness.

McDonald lists 12 things many Americans feel entitled to that can be a big drain on your budget.

12. The Daily Latte; this costs about 100 times the price of a home brewed variety.

11. Cable TV. This costs up to $780 per year.

10. Manicure/Pedicure.

9. Botox.

8. Bottled Water. This is one of the funniest scams ever perpetrated on the American public. Honestly, planet earth’s most abundant resource is bottled and sold for more than the cost of a soft drink. Buy a Brita filter.

7. Second Car.

6. Cell Phone. This is a tough one, because certain professions require constant contact. But a teenager? No way.

5. Lawn Service.

4. Clothes (excessive)

3. Private School

2. Childhood parties

1. Pet Grooming.

This is just a start, but most American middle class people could probably find several places to trim the budget and be more frugal. I know I could.

4 thoughts on “The Middle Class Entitlement Mentality

  1. Rex Fisher

    Wouldn’t you say this a symptom of a larger problem? How do we shift our perspective to accept that giving up our wants is actually and ultimately freeing? And, how do we develop the community we truly desire in our largely lonely American culture?

    Can our suburban consumerist culture change?…I mean, we’ve been told for so long that this is what we should want…this is success, right?

    1. Michael Clary

      Good call, Rex. Many things promise fulfillment until we actually obtain them, only to find that they aren’t fulfilling after all. Only the gospel satisfies us and brings us joy in the innermost places.

  2. Aaron

    Very true.

  3. Ryan

    Good topic. In a lot of ways we’re so blessed that it can have curse like effects.

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