Monday, February 23, 2009

Boring Post

The most recent book that I purchased is called "The American Frugal Housewife: Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy" by Mrs. Child. It was written in 1833. I bought it because when I was browsing the book, I thought it was a little funny to read. It actually has some pretty insightful stuff in it. And I, being unashamed of economy yet ashamed of our current economy, found a particular bit pretty darn fitting for today, given the current state of said economy. Just see what I found on page five:

"The consideration which many purchase by living beyond their income, and of course living upon others, is not worth the trouble it costs. The glare there is about this false and wicked parade is deceptive; it does not in fact procure a man, valuable friends, or extensive influence. More than that, it is wrong--morally wrong, so far as the individual is concerned; and injurious beyond calculation to the interests of our country. To what are the increasing beggary and discouraged exertions of the present period owing? A multitude of causes have no doubt tended to increase the evil; but the root of the whole matter is the extravagance of all classes of people. We never shall be prosperous till we make pride and vanity yield to the dictates of honesty and prudence! We never shall be free from embarrassment until we cease to be ashamed of industry and economy."

Well said, Mrs. Child in 1833. Well said.


tearese said...

very interesting. I know a lot of people that should read it though. Here in Utah, most people at least claim to be somewhat frugal and cost conscious, and brag about deals they get. Where we lived before, Coworkers would brag about how exuberantly priced their possessions were, and were proud of winning thousands at the Indian casinos and spending it on crap, even though they had so many unpaid bills. It really was shocking to realize so many people thought that way for real!

JanD said...

Hear! Hear!

How many times do we have to be told to live within our means? And who has to tell us before we actually believe that it works?

Is it fair for the nation to pay for your health care and housing because you think you need to have a TV in each room of your house and 3 vehicles (when you only have 2 drivers)? Is induced poverty really poverty?

Cash said...

How did a woman in 1833 attempt to procure a man by living beyond her means? Society was different then, and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a direct 1833 equivalent to today's breast augmentation surgery.

Cardine said...

tearese - Yeah, people do brag sometimes about the good deals they get. It impresses me sometimes.

Jan - I really like how you phrased that question: Is induced poverty really poverty?

Cash - Maybe it was the ornamentation of her bonnet. Maybe it was meant to indicate her father's money, and therefore, maybe it helped procure the sort of man who wanted to marry a girl for her father's money. Or social situation. Or something.

Dana Cheryl said...

I love reading really old books! Very insightful. How long will it take before people start living within their means?

compulsive writer said...

Ha! When I first read the book title I read "Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of the Economy" and I thought, I just can't read this book right now. I'm so ashamed.

But no, it's good. I'm not always so good at living within my means. I could use a lesson or two.

What really impresses me is when someone I know who is well off and can afford to buy expensive things and pay full price is frugal. Not that they don't have nice things, but they are bargain hunters and they pass on things they really want sometimes. That's humbling to me.

julie said...

What an interesting book! One thing I've always appreciated and admired about you is how you are not ashamed of economy. In fact, most of my friends aren't. It has helped me be more economical in turn.

It's too bad that we've come so far away from living within our means. I realize that it takes sacrifice and hard work to do so, but both are important to individuals and to our country as a whole. I hope our current economic situation helps us better realize the importance of fiscal responsibility.

We won't go into what I think about our Economy right now or my opinions on what our government is doing to improve it. :)