My brother, Frank, left me with some great advice:
“Before you purchase ‘the stuff that dreams are made of’ –
make sure you can afford the monthly payments!”
When I read in the Wall Street Journal this morning that, “Communist-run Vietnam has risen from years of war to become an important cog in the global economy” I decided to find out how the Vietnamese feel about their economy, their dreams and their community.
I was shocked to hear what the Vietnamese youth are spending big bucks on these days – Designer Stuff! The young people are purchasing everything ‘designer’, from Mercedes Benz to Gucci pocketbooks. It appears that the younger generation in Vietnam want to live the high-life even when they cannot afford to do so and it is troubling for the older generations who stand back and simply shake their heads in disbelief.
When you are making the equivalent of $250 dollars per month, would you purchase a Mercedes? That is what Tran Van Hoan, 30, of Ha Noi’s Hai Ba Trung District did recently. He earns VND5 million ($256) per month but decided that he wanted to drive a Mercedes worth $64,000 to keep up with his stylish friends.
His mother is consumed with worry that he won’t be able to keep up with the payments and cannot afford such luxuries but she admits that her son imitated his friends despite her advice to the contrary. Most of Hoan’s family is employed by the Vietnam government which accounts for a third of Vietnam’s economy.
Hoan seems to represent the growing trend of young people in Vietnam who want to live the life of luxury even though they cannot afford to do so. While Vietnam is being touted as a communist country that is “churning out everything from computer parts and cellular phones to shrimp, shoes and oil” it would appear they are also churning out children who want more than they can afford.
I would ask them, “Can you afford the monthly payments?”