In A Human Moment

Miscellany from the 19th century

Living Within The Means


LIVING WITHIN THE MEANS. – Every man ought to contrive as to live within his means. This practice is of the very essence of honesty, for if a man do(es) not manage honestly to live within his own means, he must necessarily be living dishonestly upon the means of somebody else.

Those who are careless about personal expenditure and consider merely their own gratification, without regard for the comfort of others, generally find out the real uses of money when it is too late. Though by nature generous, these thriftless persons are often driven to do very shabby things. They dawdle with their money as with time; draw bills upon the future; anticipate their earnings; and are thus under the necessity of dragging after them a load of debts and obligations which seriously affect their action as free and independent men.

The loose cash which many persons throw away uselessly, and worse, would often form a basis of fortune and independence for life. These wasters are their own worst enemies, though generally found amongst the ranks of those who rail at the injustice of “the world”. But if a man will not be his own friend, how can he expect that others will be?

Orderly men of moderate means have always something left in their pockets to help others; whereas your prodigal and careless fellows who spend all, never find an opportunity for helping anybody. It is poor economy, however, to be a scrub. Narrow mindedness in living and in dealing is generally short-sighted, and leads to failure.

The penny soul, it is said, never came to two pence. Generosity and liberality, like honesty, prove the best policy after all.

Though Jenkinson, in the Vicar of Wakefield, cheated his kind-hearted neighbour Flamborough, in one way or another, every year, “Flamborough” he says, “has been regularly growing in riches, while I have come to poverty and gaol.” And practical life abounds in cases of brilliant results from a course of generous and honest policy. – Self-Help

Nottinghamshire Guardian Thursday, January 26, 1860; pg. 3; Issue 723.
Gale Document Number: R3208379530
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