“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” – Mr. Micawber in “David Copperfield.”
1. Thrift is making the best of what one has in strength, time, or money; getting 100% in one’s relations with life.
2. Thrift is an appreciation and application of the accumulative force of little things.
3. Thrift is a constructive force; waste is its destructive opposite.
4. Sometimes thrift if saving, going without; sometimes thrift is spending – “there is a scattering that increases” – but always it is something for something.
5. Thrift is the base on which success of every kind is built, for either thrift or waste is used in everything.
6. The wise homemaker knows that in the household there are no trifles. She manages in such a way as to use no more than is needed, and to save a bit here and there.
7. Uneven, haphazard effort at saving is not an effective way to live frugally.
8. Thrift is not stinginess. Stinginess is selfishness. If you really take a look at people, you will find the best givers among the thrifty. What they have not wasted they share with others.
9. Most people don’t waste dollars at a time, but they make the mistake of wasting a lot of money in “cents.” They “nickel and dime” their money away. Everything that is wasted, no matter how small it is, must usually be replaced, so it is the “little foxes that spoil the vines.”
10. There is no thrift in saving when the value of the article saved is less than the expense of saving it, expense in money or time. Sometimes there is more thrift in throwing away than in saving.
11. To spend 25 cents to save 5 cents is a waste. To spend 25 cents to save thirty cents is gain.
12. It is not economy to spend time, materials, and strength in making something that the family will not like when it is done.
13. There is an old proverb that is true today. “A woman can throw out with a spoon in the kitchen more than a man can bring in with a shovel.” That is because a woman generally does not realize that what she throws out has any money value. There is no more exacting business than house-keeping and homemaking.
14. It is not a frugal practice to cook without recipes unless the homemaker has enough experience to do so. Also, it saves money to master the principles of cooking. For example, a good cook knows as soon as she reads a recipe whether or not it is worth cooking.
15. The less money that you have to spend on food, the more it is to your advantage to know the laws of cooking and how to apply them.
16. A full garbage pail could possibly mean the wasting of food. Wise homemakers learn how to make creative uses of leftovers and avoid throwing good food away.
17. A very small leak in a ship, if left unheeded, will sink a good-sized vellel. In the same way, the happiness of a household can be wrecked on small things. There is much stress in a home where the outgo is the same or greater than the income.
18. It is very difficult to get ahead financially if there is not good management of small expenses.
19. The direction that Christ gave his disciples applies to us today, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”
Adapted from Thrift in the Household, 1918
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