The young man may marry, and in that event he finds all the incentive to save that anyone need have. When the wedding day comes he should have enough cash in hand to begin the business (which it is) of family home life; and, further, he should have enough life insurance to protect the girl who has en trusted her life and loyalty to him.
And this is no great act to be looked upon as a sacrifice. It is the ordinary fair-play that one owes to another.
Then it pays to think ahead. Human strength is bound to grow less some day, and, after that, to keep on growing less. A man may be well along in life before this happens, but it should not find him unprepared. He ought to think of this and begin in youth to prepare for it.
A good many tell us that we need not worry. "You will get along somehow." Don't believe it. "Somehow" may have promises in its pockets, but it supplies no wants. We have to do that.
Let no one despise the day of small things. If you can put away only a twenty-five cent piece now and then, do it Four of them make one dollar, and that amount earns in terest in the savings bank.
The hard part of the savings habit is keep ing it going. We can begin it with as much confidence as the man who boasts that he can "quit smoking when he wants to." It takes two to do that : the Man and the Habit. And the habit throws the man a good many times before he finally gets it down.
The first step toward saving is to start. That is easy. After the first step is taken the fight begins. But if you have an object you will win out, if you remember that every step brings you nearer to it.
But let us not love money save for the best purposes it can accomplish. Readers of Balzac's great book, Eugenie Grandet, will remember the inordinate passion for money that Grandet possessed. He loved the sight
and the touch of it. When his wife lay dying, all he could think to offer her was the privilege of seeing the golden coins run through his fingers as he dropped them on the bed. Gran det's pursuit of money was not inspired by economy, but by avarice.
Samuel Johnson, the English author and lexicographer, once met Richard Savage on a day when he had received his small annual allowance. At that time scarlet coats were in fashion, and Savage had spent all his money to provide himself with one, though his toes were sticking out of his shoes at the time. Savage was absolutely incapable of judging the present and future value of money.
The man intent on building a fortune and of enjoying life every day of life, will choose between these two extremes and avoid the terrible catastrophe that awaits him.
Money is not to be regarded as a gift of the gods, or as a pleasant contribution from Good Luck. When a man earns money he gives of his very self for it. It comes as the reward for labor of some kind—either labor of muscle, or of mind, or both. To waste money,, then, is to waste strength of muscle and of mind, a point of view that should throw the inadvisability of the act into bolder relief.
To have skill and strength for service, to re ceive for them a fair equivalent in money, to apportion that money so that wants and de sires lie within it, and to carry a portion of it forward for future use, when skill and strength have a lessened market value, these steps constitute the beginning of all fortune building, however simple or extensive.