Friday, August 8, 2008

Frugality Revisited

I hope you can handle another post on frugality. I'm reading The American Frugal Housewife written in 1828 by Lydia Maria Child. It is fascinating to me the similarities in attitudes back in the 1800s and today.

Here are a few more nuggets of wisdom:

"If young men and women are brought up to consider frugality comtemptible, and industry degrading, it is vain to expect they will at once become prudent and useful, when the cares of life press heavily upon them. Generally speaking, when misfortune comes upon those who have been accustomed to thoughtless expenditure, it sinks them to discouragement, or, what is worse, drives them to desparation."

"There is one kind of extravagance rapidly increasing in this country, which, in its effects on our purses and our habits, is one of the worst kinds of extravagance; I mean the rage for travelling, and for public amusements."

"All of us covet some neighbor's possession and think our lot would have been happier, had it been different from what it is. Yet most of us could obtain worldly distinctions, if our habits and inclinations allowed us to pay the immense price at which they must be purchased. True wisdom lies in finding out all the advantages of a situation in which we are placed, instead of imagining the enjoyments of one in which we are not placed."

"A mind full of piety and knowledge is always rich; it is a bank that never fails; it yields a perpetual dividend of happiness."

There you have it. There is a lot of wisdom in Mrs. Child's book! I haven't quite finished it so I may have more to share. But I think it rings true for us even today. There is a whole section in the book on how to make puddings and pickles and take care of things around the house. Much of that would not apply today because of our modern conveniences. However, the wisdom she has about being frugal, working hard, stop trying to keep up with the extravagant makes a lot of sense!

I hope you enjoyed my little book report on The American Frugal Housewife.