|Library of Congress: Flower Vendor's Easter Display, early 1900's. New York|
I was in the hardware store the other day. They had an entire floor devoted to decorative gardening accessories, patio furniture and pretty benches. There were swimming pools and barbeque sets. It was so much fun just looking at everything. I saw the sweetest little garden turtle. It was a decorative item for the outdoors. It had the happiest, cutest face painted on. I thought my grandchildren would love it. But the cost was $28. So I just stared at it for a bit and then moved on.
Over the weekend, I was in the drugstore picking up a prescription for my husband. I love to browse around while I wait. They always have such nice seasonal items. I noticed they had a similar turtle as what I saw last week. This one was a bit smaller, but just as charming. It cost only $5. I was delighted and happily paid for it. I plan to put it in the front garden this coming week. I know the grandbabies will love to see it as we tour the grounds on our regular walks this season.
Buying things on impulse can be such a dangerous thing. Our money can disappear so quickly if we are not careful. But occasionally buying something inexpensive that makes us smile can be pleasant.
This winter, I took all my saved coins and gave them to one of my grown daughters. It used to be easy to save for a rainy day by filling up jars full of coins. But now the bank won't accept the rolled money. Instead, they direct people to a machine in their lobby. This machine counts all the change and prints out a slip so you can get dollar bills at one of the teller stalls. But the machine deducts a certain amount as a fee. I just cannot fathom paying this. It is such a waste, even if the charge seems small. So I have been keeping a change purse with me. Whenever I do any shopping these days, I count out the exact change. It takes a few extra minutes, but I no longer have to worry about what to do with a jar full of money that is difficult to spend. The days of saving change for a rainy day seem to be out of fashion.
Since we homemakers do a great deal of the spending in a household, it is important that we find ways to make the money last. Each week, I have been taking my receipts and recording my spending in a journal book. This is for groceries and gas and also any bills I have paid. I want to remember where the money went. This helps me be more careful. I also enjoy remembering some of our adventures by reading old entries. The day I bought the garden turtle and wrote it in the book will make me smile.
Dressing up to do errands or to go shopping was common in earlier days. My mother always did this. She would put aside her housedress and put on something nicer before going out. Rushing out the door all the time to get things we forgot, or to hurry some errand can cause us to be wasteful. Often we will be in such a rush that we buy what is convenient or quick. This will waste money. Finances are a serious matter. We need funds for food, housing and clothing. These are basic needs. But we should treat that money with a great deal of care and planning. I always dress up a bit before going out because I am more careful in what I do. Dressing up a little is part of being prudent. It is part of being cautious and precise in such an important job as spending the household funds to care for the family.
Impulse buying should be so rare that we are thrilled when we actually spend a bit of money that was not planned. This will make us very grateful for the little treats we have in life.
Making money last just means we don't easily part with it. We are slow and careful with our spending decisions. We keep our bills and expenses low so we can have money in a savings account. This is being a wise steward with what we have been entrusted with. It also brings great peace and happiness to make that money last as long as possible.
From the Archives -
The Example of D.L. Moody's mother - Poverty in the 1800's.
My first Mother's day garden - Attempting a Garden.
Calling the Family Home - Mother's Dinner Bell.
Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.