- Many little sums of money amount to a large sum.
- Money must be spent with method, not at random.
- You must regulate your spending by your means.
When one is in the habit of spending small sums without thinking about them, it is strange how quickly money seems to disappear. A ten-rupee note seems a good sum, but, when once it has been changed, how quickly it goes! It is no good afterwards to try to remember every little purchase that has been made; they should be noted down at the time. If this is not done, and a kind of daily account is not kept, small sums will have mounted into big ones and we will be in difficulties without realising, how it has happened. I met a friend walking home one evening, a distance of nearly three miles. He explained that he had but one ten-rupee note, and he did not wish to change it for the sake of bus fare, because he knew that it would then quickly melt away. There is an old proverb in English, “Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves”. But, like several other proverbs, it is only partly true, for some people are “Penny wise, pound foolish.” That is to say, they are very saving in small matters, and then throw away the benefits in some big spending.
The man with a small salary is very likely to get into difficulties unless he learns to “budget” for his monthly spending. A fixed amount should be set aside under each heading-rent, food, clothing, insurance, school-fees, and so on. The ideal budget. would also include a fixed sum, no matter how small, to be set apart each month as “savings”. Indeed, this had better be paid into the Post Office, and not kept at home. Until all this has been done, nothing should be spent on luxuries, by which we mean things which are pleasant, but not strictly necessary. Only by such a method can a man live within his income and make both ends meet.
When there is no system, spending is sure to be a little more than income. The result of this is that a debt gradually begins and that is very difficult to get rid of. If you earn one hundred rupees a month and spend ninety-nine, you are all right: But if you spend one hundred and one, then that is the beginning of unhappiness. So keep on the right side of the line, and the only sure way to do this is to spend with method.