WHAT MONEY MEANS.
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
Money answereth all things.
In a discussion of the Factors of Success, comparatively few human beings would fail to insist that the one thing above all others in desirability and importance, is money. We give precedence to money because we believe in its power, and yet, at the same time, it is the most impotent of our many servants.
Rightly regarded, money is a wholesome possession. The amount of good it can be made to do is so astounding that it is no wonder we regard it as the greatest thing in the world. Yet it is not the greatest thing in the world ; it is merely one essentially im portant thing, and about its importance every one should rightly inform himself.
Not infrequently the man who inherits money fails to perceive its just value. He neither realizes mentally, nor feels physically, the reflex that comes to him who originally earned the money by frugality and labor. It is the thoughtful, active worker who is the care ful steward, who perceives the real meaning and right value of money. Let us, then, keep before us the average working man and his money, and let us ask what his money means, what its power is, and how it may serve him now and in the future; for every man who earns little or much, looks upon money al most hungrily as the one resource of safety. He wants the use of it now, and the comfort of it in the future. Most people get the one— the use of it in the present—but not the other, the future protection of it. Can a man have both? It is a comforting fact to state that he can. But in order that a working man, of any status, may have this two-fold use of money, he must begin the study of two things: 1. Of the money he earns. 2. Of the time he possesses.
From these he must get the two-fold satis faction he seeks—present comfort and future insurance.
How shall he begin? He must realize that he receives money from the world about him, either directly or through an individual employer, in exchange for what he can do. Hence, what he can do is a quality or power in himself that he sells for money. Assuming that he gives the very best there is in him for the money he receives, it becomes clear that money is only another form of the best there is in him. He thinks and works, is
faithful to his task, and at the end of the week the pay envelope gives him these qualities back again in another form. This money is a thing he can exchange readily for other things. But before he begins to exchange it, he should pause a moment to reflect and to say to himself : This envelope contains all the effort of my health, strength and thought for a week. I may, or may not, be able to keep health, strength and thought up to the present pitch to the end of my life, hence this money should protect me and mine now while I am efficient, and guarantee me protection later, when I may possibly be less so.
Pursuing this line of reasoning, his first de duction will be this : of all evils against him self that he commits, the wasting of money is one of the most disastrous, for it is equivalent to wasting his own power of mind and body. The money he earns should serve him faith fully ; and he, in turn, must be faithful to him self in the use of his money. Up to the present moment he has, perhaps, saved nothing. The rule of his life has been a variation of "easy come, easy go." But it has not put him for ward. He is no better off, has nothing in hand; he is in fact, a little older and a little nearer the time when his efficiency may be less than it is to-day.
If he can succeed in seeing himself in this light, he will begin to be a student of money.
The first thing he must do is to study in order, the following subjects: x. Appropriation.
2. Equipment of himself as a worker.
3. The daily leisure he enjoys.
By appropriation is meant this : If he is a family man, certain fixed items of expense must be met regularly. He should sit down and make out an accurate list of these. He should study this list until he is positive that it is right, that it represents only those things necessary to himself and to his family. One of three results will be before him. ( ) The appropriation is beyond the amount he earns, (2) or it is equal to it, leaving no margin, (3) or it is below it and actually does leave him a margin.