Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Ladder of Thrift

"Frugality and Economy are Virtues without which no household can prosper. The necessity of economy should be evident to every one, whether in possession of an income barely sufficient for a family's requirements, or of a large fortune which seems to put financial adversity out of the question. We must always remember that to manage well on a small income is highly creditable. "He is a good waggoner," says Bishop Hall, "that can turn in a little room. To live well in abundance is the praise of the estate, not of the person. I will study more how to give a good account of my little than how to make it more." In this there is true wisdom, and it may be added that those who can manage small things well are probably fitted for the management of greater." ~ Isabella Beeton

Some years ago I clipped a picture from I know not where. The picture was a reproduction of "The Ladder of Fortune to the American Dream."  In the foreground the illustration shows a ladder leaning against a tree which was laden with yellow and orange round fruit.  Each rung of the ladder is labelled and reads from bottom to top; Industry, Temperance, Prudence, Integrity, Economy, Punctuality, Courage, and Perseverance. The side rails of the ladder are labelled Morality and Honesty. Each one of the fruits of the tree carries a name; Influence, Honor, Contentment, Happiness, A good conscience, The favor of God, Long life, Riches, Reputation, Self-Respect, Good will to men, and Success.

These trees also bear fruit

Looking at this illustration motivated me to consider what the rungs of my own ladder  might look like if I created a ladder of thrift.  Remembering that Thrift carries the meaning of exercising wisdom and caution in the management of money; I decided that each of my rungs would be named:


The side rails of my ladder would be named:


The fruit of my tree  would carry the same names as the fruit in the original illustration, with the addition of providence and serendipity.

What about your ladder of fortune or thrift  - what behaviours would you label each of your ladder rungs and side rails? 


  1. A separate post about each of your rungs please Sherri!

    1. Thanks Mr HM. I am planning on doing several posts on each rung as these are behaviours/values I would like to express them more fully in my life (she says writing from a desk littered with papers).

  2. A ladder would certainly spell out the line of thinking more clearly. I was raised with thrift as a child, out of necessity - being raised by a single parent. So thrift is about family integrity to me. Then it extends out to community integrity. But it's all tied together with love. Or respect, if others aren't too comfortable with a touchy-feely word like love, lol.

    1. I was raised in a from a young age by a single parent. However my mother did not have good skills in either domestic or money management. She kept a very clean home however she never once made soup from scratch, or bread, or grew veggies etc
      I am comfortable with the L word. The ancient Greeks had six expressions to our one L word. Agape is the selfless, principled love that can be extended to all people whether family or strangers. In Latin Agape was translated as Caritas and it is from there we have the word charity.