I’ve written before about my son’s food allergies, and because of them, I have started making our own ice cream. I bought an entry-level Cuisinart ice cream maker and have gone to town making homemade ice cream. Our favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip, and I’ll include the recipe below.
I’m going to be brutally honest here: I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated with my generation, the generation just older than me and the generation that’s younger than me. I’m frustrated with the lack of planning that people do, and in general, the complete and total lack of energy that people spend on their finances and their futures. It makes me nauseous, both for those who are unprepared, but for our economy in general. We are all worried about the boomers, with their expensive medical costs as they age and any lack of planning that they’ve done, but I think that they are going to be much better off in retirement than Generation X, Y, and the Millennial’s. Many of the boomers still have pensions, they’ve seen much rosier economic times than us, and haven’t gone to college in a time where it’s virtually unaffordable for all but the very rich to go to a state school without graduating in debt.
So why talk about ice cream? Because as I watched my beautiful, yet simple concoction of cream, milk, sugar, mint, and vanilla spin around in the ice cream maker, I contemplated a new career. What if I opened an allergy-friendly ice cream shop? I could hand make the ice cream, there would be no nut contamination, I could have gluten-free cones, and even dairy free options made from coconut milk, right? It would be the exact opposite of what I’m doing now; it would be instant gratification for customers, a simple product that I don’t have to twist people’s arms to come buy. Sure, I’d be contributing to the ever-expanding waistlines of Americans, but I’d be helping kids with food allergies enjoy a traditional family outing that they’d otherwise not be able to do. What’s not to love?
I told my husband, one of the most practical men I know, my idea. While he wasn’t immediately sold on it, he didn’t shoot me down. He did ask why I would want to do what sounded like an incredibly taxing job to him. I explained my frustrations about how I can’t get younger people at all focused on planning for their futures. They avoid, they act ashamed, and they don’t want to meet because they think that they aren’t on the right track. Or, they think in a magical place in the future, they will suddenly have enough money to start saving, not realizing that their 20s are flying by them and they are more concerned with going to all of their friends’ Vegas bachelor parties.
If I sound a little cynical, it’s because I am, which is not my normal personality.
So, back to my ice cream shop and financial planning frustrations: My husband agrees with me that our generation is heading down the wrong path, from a financial perspective. Some of that is our own doing, some of that we’ve had help from a mix of bad parenting and a bad economy. My husband says, “So, you know there is the huge problem out there, and because it’s big, you want to turn the other way and open an ice cream store?” Yes, yes I do. Except I don’t. I really want to help people prepare for their futures. I want to show them the opportunities that they have when they are young to be on the right path so that they have options when they are no longer young. I want to educate them on investing so it’s not this big, scary thing that they avoid doing.
So, how do I reach people in their 20’s and 30’s? How do I help them take time and energy away from their already busy lives and spend some time focused on their futures? How do I help younger people prioritize so that they aren’t waiting around for their parents to kick so that they have some money? I am asking these questions in all seriousness. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below. Thanks!