Earning, Spending, and Saving

real thrift deals with little thingsFinancial woes ~ we are all familiar with them. With the new year upon us I’ve tried to get a handle on my own, so have done a bit of reading on the subject. Maude Richman Calvert’s First Course in Home Making offered some good tips for future savers, which I will share with you here. Who needs a financial planner when Maude is here to help?

1928: Earning, Spending, and Saving

How can we learn to be thrifty? How can we learn to save money? Why are most of the failures in the world caused by a lack of thrift? What do we mean by thrift? Does thrift apply only to saving money? Why should we learn to save money?

Spend Less than You Earn. Learn to be thrifty by spending less than you earn. Thrift is one of the chief objectives of education. Real thrift means making the most of time, money, food and self. By learning to conserve your time, your health, your talents and your money you can pick your own job, own your own home and be prepared for probable misfortune and old age.

Spend Intelligently. Intelligent spending is just as important as intelligent saving. When you spend all that you earn you are working for a mere living; when you spend more that you earn you are a financial failure. Much of our money is spent on clothing. Study clothing to know values; take care of your garments and when you decide that it is necessary to buy, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I need this article?
2. Can I afford to buy it?
3. Is the quality good?
4. Is the price reasonable?
5. Is the dealer trustworthy?
6. Can I pay for it now?
7. Is the garment appropriate?

Buy Food Intelligently. To buy food intelligently you must know food values; you must know the difference in actual values of certain qualities and brands of food; you must know how to plan, prepare and serve a well-balanced meal; you must know how to order a well-balanced meal at a hotel, cafe or cafeteria.

Learn to Eliminate Waste. In one sense, thrift means the elimination of waste. We cannot practice thrift merely by ceasing to spend money. Genuine thrift consists not in making money ~ or in saving it ~ it consists as well in taking care of things. A careless person cannot be successful ~ except by accident. Real thrift deals with little things and can be practiced by any one. Do you:

1. Eat all the food on your plate?
2. Mend and repair your clothing?
3. Take care of furniture, books and household equipment?
4. Waste light and fuel at home and in public places?
5. Waste money by buying novelties in food and clothing?
6. Buy cheap jewelry?
7. Waste money on candy, soda water and cheap amusements?

Learn to Save. Ask your father or your teacher what the figures of insurance companies show about people who never learned how to spend and save their money while young. Find out why it is important to begin to save our money while we are still children. Ask your teacher what happens to people in middle life or old age who did not learn while they were young how to spend and save wisely. We should always spend less than we earn. We should decide on a definite amount to be saved each week. Government authorities tell us that any one who starts with his first earnings and ‘puts out at interest one day’s wages every week will have ten years’ wages saved before becoming gray headed.’

Source: Calvert, Maude Richman. First Course in Home Making. Atlanta, Ga.: Turner E. Smith Company,1928.
~ pp. 248-50 ~