What is Finance?

we live in a chaotic worldEver the procrastinator, I’ve just now finished my taxes ~ April 14th at 10:00pm. During this traditionally painful event, I pondered why parents don’t just take care of their kids and do things like taxes and pay the bills throughout their lives. Wouldn’t it be great? Sigh.

Since that’ll never happen, I guess it’s about time I learn how to deal with my own financial life. Fortunately I’ve got a copy of Mabel Raef Putnam’s What Every Woman Should Know About Finance. Funny thing is, the book seems to have been originally owned by a gentleman named Stanley Love. Stan, honey, got some explaining to do?

1954: What is Finance?

Don’t let finance mystify you. Formidable it is until you understand it, and then it is fun. And undoubtedly it is the most fascinating study and work. This is what the dictionary says about it:

FINANCE, noun. The science of the profitable management of money and of monetary affairs; the systematic control and regulation of revenue and expenditures . . . funds on hand and coming in; the finances of an empire or an individual.
~ Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary

A knowledge of finance, for you, then, means a knowledge of the profitable management of your money ~ whether by you, your government, or a corporation in which you have invested money. And this profitable management of your money means an advantageous expenditure of it, that is getting good value for it, whether by you or by an empire. Or stated another way, the profitable management of your money is dependent upon your knowledge of how best to expend it, or of how to buy wisely. Moreover, it means a systematic control and regulation of revenue and expenditure ~ a budget, so to speak, whether by you or your government, or any project in which you invest.

Anyway, considering that today we live in a chaotic world, many women, and men too, have concluded that the time has come when women must qualify themselves to assume equal control with men of the nation’s wealth. But the basis of this accomplishment is a thorough knowledge of finance.

No one can even remotely comprehend the operation of our economic system without a complete understanding of the nation’s financial operations. In fact, good citizenship requires a knowledge of our country’s financial system. For finance is the key, the basis, of our national economy upon which our government and every other institution must depend.

Source: Putnam, Mabel Raef. What Every Woman Should Know About Finance. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1954.
~ pp. 4-5 ~