And it has all been done out of a penny business. No need to worry about an old age pension—nor about old age itself, for this business woman has apparently made up her mind to keep young.
She has been giving good service in the midst of the great moving picture show of life in a great city. It has amused her, and has given her a little fortune in return.
And she is not yet sixty years of age.
To get the full force of this story, just imagine yourself going to a foreign country, with not a word of its language at your com mand, thirty-five years of age, entirely de pendent on yourself, and making good.
The biographies in books are full of in terest, but the biographies of the streets are full of inspiration.
Here is another case, of simple industry, good judgment, and a life simply expressed : There died in Greenwich Village, New York, not long ago, a man who was a fa miliar figure to the entire neighborhood. When he was fourteen years old he arrived in America, from County Cork, Ireland, and he landed as poor as thousands of other im migrants.
He went to work on the South American steamboats, and not only made his body do a good day's work, but he kept his mind just as active as his hands.
In the course of time this mind of his led him to become an engineer, and becoming an engineer led him to invent various devices that proved practical.
Plain Tim, as he was always called, was apparently no man to talk much about him self. In outward appearance he continued day after day and year after year, the same man, worker, and neighbor.
Then he went into steam-fitting, which be came his principal business. He was always supposed to be in fairly well-to-do circum stances. But on this subject Plain Tim was not given to dispensing any information whatever.
For a time he served as chief engineer in a building occupied by a large publication company. A few years after he left his posi tion, or job, as he probably called it, the firm that hired him was informed that Tim, the engineer, was now owner of the building, and they were tenants of a former employe.
Then Plain Tim died. But how had he lived? Well, he lived about like this : Simple, quiet, industrious, active of mind, not talka tive of his plans or possessions, not ostenta tious.
What opportunity came his way he made as much of as there was light in him. He thought more of work than of the easy chair, and was a living illustration that if a man wants to do well, all that is needed is for him to do it.
Well, Plain Tim died, and in the course of a few days his will was offered for pro bate. Then Greenwich Village was amazed to learn that his estate was worth no less than three million dollars which, as anyone will admit, is a fair sized estate.
An announcement made by the Passaic (N. J.) Trust and Safe Deposit Company relates the case of a depositor who made it his cus tom to put small sums into the bank. This he did "every little while," merely setting aside the sums which he could have wasted in the small expenditures common to all.
After eleven years of this form of savings, the depositor wanted to buy a farm. On going to the bank he found that his savings had accumulated a substantial fund, on which the interest to his credit was over five hun dred dollars. The farm cost three thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars, and there was enough to his account to pay for it. All of which proves the truth of the old saying: "If thou shouldst lay up even a little and shouldst do this often, some time even this will become great." Franklin, wise in all things to which he turned his philosophic mind, expressed it char acteristically when he said : "If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting." An advertisement in a magazine asks : "Can you save seventeen cents a day ?" Seventeen cents a day is approximately five dollars a month (it seems more by the month, but it is not). This amount deposited, at four per cent compound interest regularly for twenty years, will amount in total deposits to twelve hundred dollars, to which there will be found added six hundred and thirty-two dollars and eighty-four cents in interest. Total : eighteen hundred and thirty-two dol lars and eighty-four cents.
It is a strain to many a mind to put aside five dollars a month for twenty years. That is two hundred and forty times. But for doing it there is a bonus of six hundred and sixty dollars. And yet there is no strain in wasting this amount by the day.
Now, how can we catch these pennies day by day? Let a man who tried it (and suc ceeded) answer. This is his letter to the cashier of a savings bank : "It may interest you to know that I have one of the little savings banks you give out to your depositors in my own home, left there by one of your representatives several years ago. It is, in fact, one of the prized posses sions of our household, as about it we have built up a complete banking institution, with myself, and my wife and children as the offi cers and depositors. I am the president, my oldest daughter is the vice-president, Mrs. B. is cashier, and my oldest boy is bookkeeper.
The little bank itself acts as receiving teller, each of us having certain of the self-register ing coin compartments for the deposit of our savings. We each, also, have a little pass book, made by my wife from memorandum books, in which the total of our savings is entered each time they are taken for deposit in your bank. When interest is declared on our total account at your bank it is entered in proper proportion on each of our individ ual books. The figuring of interest is quite an absorbing procedure; and that, together with keeping account of the total accumulated savings and credits of each, gives us all much entertainment and diversion, in addition to providing a night school of banking and gen eral commercial practice in our own home ; the effect of which upon the general develop ment of the children is noticeable."