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The Savings Bank

A young man who leaves fifteen cents on a counter every morning for something he does not really need would be amazed if he ac cumulated this daily amount, say for twelve months.

The sum total would take him to Europe— second class—and lots of good people go that way.

Somebody once made a statement that made everybody else laugh, but he was right. What he said was this : It's the easiest thing in the world to be well off. All you have to do is to begin with pen nies.

When a nation becomes thrifty throughout its social strata, the small coins must neces sarily represent an important factor in produc ing the aggregate of wealth. A thrifty nation is a tremendous financial force when the call comes. C. H. Coffin has illustrated this fact in the Bulletin of the American Institute of Banking: Prior to the war of 1870 the entire soil of France was owned by about forty thousand people. The land is now owned by between eight and ten million people, nearly all men ; the women buy government bonds or such foreign securities as are offered by French bankers and approved by the authorities. Thus everyone has a stake in the country, and the tendency is toward a growth of conser vatism.

At the close of the war of 1871, when Bis marck demanded the payment of an indemnity to Germany of one thousand million dollars, he supposed he had permanently crippled the French people. To the astonishment of the world the people went down into their private reservoir of cash and answered the appeal of the Government by paying in this sum, re ceiving in exchange therefor 5 per cent rentes. These rentes or Government bonds are unlike ours, having no date of maturity. The war was followed by a period of economy and a great increase in production. Germany was debauched by the great sum of money poured into it and embarked upon a period of speculation and extravagance which eventually caused a crash and a long period of depres sion. France continued to gain wealth and to have its wealth divided among the people in a most remarkable way.

Naturally an American would suppose a five per cent bond would be called in and paid off at once, but no French Government ever proposed to do this, it being thought due. to the people who came to the rescue that they continue to receive the five per cent interest for which they laid down their money.

In short, the French investor invariably combines investment with patriotism and puts his money where it will enable him to control something in the interest of his country or to exercise an influence upon another country in favor of France.

The following true incident will show how one family uses the savings bank as a part of the family business : My salary is moderate. I work for a cor poration, and though I have heard all corpora tions condemned, the one I serve has been good to me and to the rest of the men.

I have learned a little about corporation rules and system, and some time ago I made up my mind that I would regard my family as a corporation and have a set of by-laws for doing business.

Here is what I wrote out: 1. Regard yourself as a corporation.

2. Vote to have no bonded indebtedness if it can be avoided.

3. Never create a bonded indebtedness without agreement of all your company.

4. Make up your Net Quick Assets every month.

5. Keep Net Quick Assets in hand to a value approximating annual expenses for one year.

6. Create a Cash Sinking Fund during ten years, of ten per cent of each year's gross receipts.

7. Appraise your property annually.

8. Keep a strict monthly record of Expen ditures and Receipts.

9. Keep a strict list of charge accounts; and pay monthly.

to. If possible, never allow overdues.

1. Keep a strict account of Personal Ex penses until they become automatic.

12. Keep a Personal Property Account, and do not buy what you do not need because it is cheap.

In regard to these rules, let me say that all I was aiming for was a plan--some sort of order that would make me systematic.

By observing Rule 3, we bought a little place carrying a mortgage, but before doing so I discussed it with my wife and her father, who lives with us, and we all voted for it.

We kept to Rule 4. By Rule 5, we have saved a little money that I get extra, as roy alty on an invention. It does not pay much, but we have it all in the savings bank.

Rule 6 simply means that ten per cent of my salary is saved every month. Sometimes when expenses occur that we do not expect we have to draw on the savings account. But the main fact here is that we have a savings account on which to draw. I have always maintained that a saving is an umbrella to be used on a rainy day.

By Rule 1o, I simply mean that we let no bills run behind. When they are due we pay them.

Rule II bothered me a bit. I settled the matter by making my wife Treasurer of the Corporation, and she gives me a weekly al lowance. Some men smile at me for this, but it works because my wife and I are partners. I earn the money, but she works as hard as I do (and I think most wives do) and so she is a corporation member, owning half the stock. Hence she has a voice in its affairs.

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