This kind of earning and spending does not make man a prisoner to life. It makes him free. It cultivates self-denial and self reliance. It kills debt and the loan shark.
While Jepson could not have told what he did with sixteen hundred dollars in cash in the course of a year, it soon became evident to him where it had gone, because the influence of his allowance system inevitably caused him to study his habits. He had been wasteful in his purchases instead of frugal. He did an amazing amount of "treating" for a man in his position. It became more and more easy for him to ride into town in an automobile, at a cost of two dollars, as against using the street car at a cost of five cents. He often remained in town for dinner, not from necessity, but from a disinclination to go home after business hours. His cigar box, and, in fact, his cash in hand, were always more or less available to others. His tips were nu merous and generous. In brief, he had be come a popular man because his trail was marked by shining coins.
Thousands of men live the same sort of reckless financial life. Well-to-do as they may seem to be from the amount of annual salary, they are really poor from their im provident administration of it. The simple device of taking himself in hand, ultimately put Jepson and his affairs on a sound basis. He recognized that he had been wasting the very money that would make him independ ent. Once he became aware of this fact, he set out to possess the independence that right fully belonged to him, and even more right fully to his family.
A man responsible to no one but himself may play the fool and escape censure, unless the misfortune overtakes him, in later life, of being thrown upon charity. But the man who stands as the protector of a family is a criminal if he endangers that protection.
The word husband means the bond that binds the household securely. If the bond be loosed and weakened until the household falls into want and misfortune, are we not justi fied in calling him who permits this, a de stroyer of the faith, one unworthy of the position he so eagerly sought when his heart was intent on winning the girl of his choice? We soon discover that we actually buy money. When we want more of it, we really are in the market to buy more. Whoever wants more is wise to figure the cost, for money has its price, just as better clothes and a finer house have.
How must the worker pay for money? A worker must pay for money in thought, skill, industry, reliability, and dependability. Thought makes him a more careful work man; takes him farther into his business; makes him an investigator; expands him.
Skill is his prime stock in trade. On skill particularly he can set his money value. To get the most in return for what he can do, his skill must be of a kind that is in demand.
A man whose specialty is the birds of the United States may find a small market in which to dispose of his skill and knowledge. If one knows how to make an article wanted by every household, can make it better than anyone else, his market is broad and conse quently richer.
Skill amounts to little without industry.
The English colliers of the last century earned high wages ; but they knocked off work on Saturday night and kept out of the mines until the following Tuesday or Wednesday. That is, most of them did. Those who did not, were paid not only for their skill and industry, but for Reliability and Dependa bility as well.
A man or woman who earns money sets the limit. To get more means to give more, and to give more one must not be asleep under the green bay tree of self-indulgence.