If he finds that he is living beyond his in come or even with it, his duty is to begin again and re-apportion his expenses so as to leave a margin, for the future is only secure when a margin exists. It may be ever so small, but it positively must exist, or he is skating on ice so thin that he is in constant danger of breaking through and drowning himself and his loved ones.
There is required of him nothing less than actual courage, bravery of the highest kind, to give up things he has perhaps been accustomed to, and to establish the margin he must have; but if he is serious and manly, he will do it. His position now is this : He earns a definite amount; he has brought his expenses a little be low that amount. Every time the contents of the pay envelope is distributed, there is some thing left for the savings bank, or for life in surance, or for both.
He has now put his financial affairs in order. It has occurred to him that anything a man cannot afford is really waste, and waste is the most expensive of all habits. Extravagance is exceptionally expensive. Earnest men are unanimous in their denunciation of it. Mr. Theodore Roosevelt has said : "Extravagance rots character; train youth away from it. On the other hand, the habit of saving money, while it stiffens the will, also brightens the energies. If you would be sure that you are beginning right, begin to save." Five cents thrown away for a thing one does not need, is all the money a dollar can earn in twelve months, invested at five per cent. But five cents placed in the savings bank daily, amounts in fifty years, to nearly three thou sand dollars. A dollar bet on a game and lost, cannot be earned as interest in one year on a sum less than twenty dollars. Small sums saved daily, even for so short a time as ten years, accumulate impressively. Ten cents saved daily for ten years amounts, at four per cent, to nearly four hundred and fifty dollars. One dollar a week placed in a savings bank con tinually for fifty years, amounts to over eight thousand dollars.
These illustrations should give one faith in the power of a little money to reach consider able sums, if it is constantly set aside. John Wanamaker, who is said to have started in life on a ten-dollar a week salary, says: "The difference between the clerk who spends all of his salary and the clerk who saves part of it, is the difference, in ten years, between the owner of a business and the man out of a job." And Andrew Carnegie, whose success in ac cumulating money is known to everybody, thus speaks of the losses that the improvident man must suffer : "The failure of the man who does not save his money, is due not only to the fact that he has no money with which to take advantage of the opportunities that come in the way of every man, but also, and particularly, to the fact that such a man is not able or fit to avail of these opportunities. The man who cannot and does not save money, cannot and will not do any thing else worth while." When a man has actually adjusted his af fairs, he must next consider his equipment as a worker. Can he do more than his work calls
for? Does he feel that, with as much thought given to his skill as he has bestowed upon his finances, he can do more and better work? If so, he must not fail to realize upon this oppor tunity. It is his duty to do all the work there is in him, and it is a crime for him to do less. We have already discussed the value of a man's leisure time. It has an actual money value that he is justified in getting as soon as he can, and for two reasons : ( ) More and better work twill make a better man of him, a more efficient man, in fact ; (2) with the increased income of better work or of a better position, he can make his expense appropriation a little more gen erous, giving pleasures to himself and family that he could not afford before, and increasing the margin to be saved.
It is surprising to what an extent a man's fortune seems to improve, and does improve, the moment he spends wisely, saves something, studies his working capacity, and turns his spare time to account. These conditions es tablished, a man feels that he has himself and his affairs well in hand, not only for to-day but for to-morrow as well. He finds himself be coming more and more of a man; he realizes that he can get the most out of money only when he is seriously engaged in getting the most out of himself. It is quite possible that his affection for money will not increase. But he will take pride in knowing that he so gov erns his money that he has made it a security for the future for himself and his family.
That higher qualities than the love of money are stimulated in a man who is a wise steward of it, has been admirably pointed out by an other American merchant, Marshall Field: "If you want to succeed, save. This is true, not so much because of the value of the money that the young man who saves accumulates, but because of the infinitely greater value of the system and organization which the practice of saving introduces into his life. This result of the saving habit is not generally nor properly appreciated. I consider it to be almost the greatest element in making for a young man's success. In the first place, it creates deter mination; this at the start. Then it develops steady purpose ; then sustained energy. Soon it produces alert, discriminating intelligence. These all rapidly grow into an ability that en ables him to take the money he has accumu lated (even though small in amount) and em ploy it with profit. Better and better returns follow upon his industry, ability and judgment and to his capital—now steadily increasing. Soon he is secure, and that comparatively early in life; and each day widens the gulf between him and improvidence, and its invariable com panion, incompetence. This is the real frame work of the structure of success. Each of its supports, it will be invariably found, rests upon a foundation stone of an early dollar saved."