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The Savings Bank and Other Investments

But suppose one has saved five dollars a month regularly for three years and then the necessity arises for money. With this thrifty observance behind it, the family has nearly two hundred dollars, to meet the emergency. And that, by the way, is the one and sole purpose of an emergency fund.

All people who save have what may be called "saving tricks" or "devices." One will put aside every nickel or dime he receives. Another will put a twenty-five cent piece aside once a week. Any device of this kind is prac tical if the money eventually reaches the sav ings bank and is left on deposit long enough to give the force of compound interest a chance to act.

The man who began to put in a penny bank a five cent piece every day from the day his son was born could have benefited his heir and successor quite materially had he not grown weary of well-doing, and discontinued the practice. For five cents a day, earning four per cent compound interest, would have pro vided the young gentleman in question with no less than six hundred and six dollars and seventy-seven cents, on his twenty-first birth day; of which sum three hundred and eighty three dollars and twenty-five cents would rep resent nickels actually deposited, and the bal ance, or two hundred and twenty-three dol lars and fifty-two cents, would have been added as the earning power of five cent pieces while the boy was growing up.

Manifestly the difficult thing, the one huge strain on human nature, is not the money end of it, but the Quality of Persistence. A man who actually saves a five cent piece every day for twenty-one years has (without ac counting for the leap years) put his hand in his pocket, drawn it out, and deposited the nickel in a tin bank seven thousand six hun dred and sixty-five times. That is the test. We tire of it and stop; and the cost to us of stopping is the money we could have saved without any sacrifice, and did not.

This proves that the art of saving money, involving regularity, patience, and self-denial is not only a money-maker but, far and beyond that, it is a character-builder. It results not only in . giving a man some measure of inde pendence in the end, but it makes him master of himself and of his affairs all the way along.

What savings accomplish in this particular for the individual, they do for a nation or a community. Chauncey M. Depew gave the following interesting illustration of this fact, in an address in the United States Senate : I recall an instance in my own experience which illustrates the situation. In the village

where I was born and which had many pros perous industries there never had been a sav ings bank. The artisans in the foundries earned good wages, but the shops were shut down during the winter and also when there was a depression in the trade. All of the workmen lived up to their wages, with the re sult that in these times of depression there was the greatest distress among them and their families. Thrift is not a natural gift, but an acquired habit. Self-indulgence is according to nature. An astonishing number of people must be placed upon their feet by agencies out of themselves, and kept there and kept moving by extraneous help. That accounts for the wonderful and increasing movement for the prohibition of the sale of liquor in the various states. All temperance laws were carried largely through the influence of the women. In one of the great conventions of the ladies of Georgia, one of the orators said : "The reason why we want and must have this legislation is that our men are tempera mentally so constituted that they cannot resist temptation." There settled among us in the early years of my practice at the bar a savings bank man from New York. He called together the citi zens and organized an institution. As an ex ample and to start it, all who could deposited a hundred dollars. The hundred which I put in, and which represented the extent of my capital, I have never touched to this day, though nearly fifty years have elapsed. Its influence as an anchorage in all crises of a long life has been incalculable. It required eight or ten years to cultivate among the peo ple the saving habit, but when success was as sured for the bank, distress disappeared among the artisans and workingmen of the town.

The money for the rainy day was in the savings bank and hard times were tided over without suffering, though a greater gain was that in these deposits were the beginnings of the purchase of homes. Before that time for an artisan or workingman to own his home was exceedingly rare, but afterwards it became the rule and not the exception. Good citizen ship, a keen interest in public affairs, the pros perity of the church and the school, were all incalculably promoted by the independence and self-respect in the ownership of homes.

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