Wednesday, 9 November 2016

On Being a Spendthrift.




"But it is perfectly clear that people who live from day to day without plan, without rule, without forethought--who spend all their earnings, without saving anything for the future -- are preparing beforehand for inevitable distress. To provide only for the present, is the sure means to sacrificing the future. What hope can there be for a people whose only maxim seems to be, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die"?"  ~ Samuel Smiles

  
The definition of spendthrift is a person who is reckless and wasteful with his money. I look back on my life and cannot see a time when I was reckless and wasteful with my income. Another definition is 'a person who spends all his savings'. Well I cannot deny that there have been times, many times, I have spent all my savings. It might have taken me a while to go through them, but go through my savings I have done, more than once. So there it is; I am  a person who has spent my thrift.



Like most working people I have been steady at earning money but have not always been so wise when it comes to economising and to thoughtful spending.  This is not a modern problem. This is a human problem. Cicero wrote "Not to have a mania for buying, is to possess a revenue." Well I have spent too freely. It is easy for my older self to condemn my younger self. But the point of power is in the present moment. So I need to keep improving with money management skills and for me that means improving my household management skills.

Home economics which I studied at school was about household management including cooking from scratch. Home economics has now become known in some parts of the world as family and consumer services.  So now days young people are being educated as consumers not as citizens. No wonder many people believe democracy is disappearing.

Advertising encourages us to be 'kind' to ourselves. We have worked hard, now is the time to reap the fruits of our labour. Rather than being duped into spending too much, economising helps  improve circumstances for our future selves.



A budget created with a view to creating savings will dispense with anything that is not essential. Waste is eliminated. Household items are re-used and re-purposed. Self-reliance such as in cooking from scratch and growing food help us to manage our house-hold economy.

Be wary of the  trap of bargain buying. It is easy to become carried away by bargain buying.  If there is no immediate use for an item it can hardly be considered a bargain. I once had a neighbour who was always buying bargains to fix. He never did fix these bargains and he became surrounded by unusable, unwanted, stuff. Even a bargain that is in perfect condition is money wasted if that bargain is never used.

 It is not the amount of income we earn but the amount of it we retain in savings that should be our concern. Now is the time to employ both good sense and good taste,  and hand the pink slip to the spendthrift within.

10 comments:

  1. What a great post and message. I completely agree!

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  2. Well written! I so agree.......

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  3. That's very kind of you Sue, thanks.

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  4. I may have been a bit careless with my money when I was single but not greatly as I was brought up by frugal parents. However since I married frugality is just a way of life...both out of necessity and a desire to live that way.

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    1. Chel my desire is to make the money I do earn go as far as possible because time is the stuff life is made of and and I have to 'spend' so much of my time at work. Why would I want to exchange that time for useless doodads? However in life desire and activity don't always support each other, but I am improving.

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  5. My Nan used to say "It isn't a bargain unless you have the money to pay for it, the absolute need to own it and it is well made". I have lived the Samuel Smiles quote for 90% of my life and am now clawing my way back.

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    1. Your Nan sounds like a good source of wisdom. What does continues to confound me is the amount of organisation it takes to live an economical life. However the progress I have made good progress in the last couple of years.

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