Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Practical Wisdom From Yesterday's Women: Have A Budget!

I'm still reading through the introductory paragraphs of The American Frugal Housewife (free for Kindle), and I've come across yet another bit of wisdom:

"It is wise to keep an exact account of all you expend.  This answers two purposes; it makes you more careful in spending money, and it enables your husband to judge precisely whether his family live within his income. No false pride, or foolish ambition to appear as well as others, should ever induce a person to live one cent beyond the income of which he is certain."
Child, Lydia Maria Francis (2009-10-04). The American Frugal Housewife (Kindle Locations 107-109). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 


The book goes on to give a few examples of daily wages (which were between $2 and $0.50) and how whatever your wage, or your husband's wage I suppose, you should spend only roughly 80% of that.

It also goes on to talk about how trying to keep up with those of a higher social class will come back to haunt you when calamity arises, and you've not saved up anything.


I don't think these are very hard to relate to today at all!  Here are a few of my thoughts:


  • You need to have a budget in place and STICK TO IT!  My husband and I will be revamping ours when his next paycheck comes.  There have been some changes to our income and finances since we last took a look at it, and we've been spending through some money we'd saved up so we need to take a very close look at that.
  • Unlike then, now there are credit cards.  Don't use them.  If you don't have the cash to pay for something, don't buy it.  It's very tempting to want to buy that item on credit to "appear as well as others", but save up for it so you don't end up paying much, much more in interest.
  • Use CASH!  We've gotten away from this system, as we always just seem to be too busy to go to the bank and needing to hit the store as soon as the deposit hits the account.  But I really liked using cash, and intend to go back to it because, like she said up there..it makes you more careful in spending money...when you can actually see in being spent rather than swiping a piece of plastic.

I will be working on making, trimming, and sticking to my own budget, but I'm going to leave you with one more thought that she had on this subject, and particularly on the topic of our children watching our actions.  I think it speaks volumes all by itself!

Self-denial, in proportion to the narrowness of your income, will eventually be the happiest and most respectable course for you and yours. If you are prosperous, perseverance and industry will not fail to place you in such a situation as your ambition covets; and if you are not prosperous, it will be well for your children that they have not been educated to higher hopes than they will ever realize.
Child, Lydia Maria Francis (2009-10-04). The American Frugal Housewife (Kindle Locations 115-118). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition. 

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