Thrift is the habit of living within one’s means, and saving something out of one’s income for future emergencies. Wealth, however great it might be, must sooner or later come to an end if one goes on spending without practising economy.
Extravagant expenditure without an eye to the future is sure to bring the richest man down to the level of a street beggar. A thrifty man with a small income is richer than an extravagant and earning several times more than the former.
Life on earth is not plain sailing. Throughout his life a man is subject to various reverses. A rich man to-day may become a beggar to-morrow. One may fall a prey to some serious disease or may be overtaken hy some accident, which may make him completely unfit to earn. The sole earning member of a family may suddenly die leaving helpless children behind him.
Over and above these, there are circumstances which even the most prudent man cannot control. How to safeguard oneself against these? It is thrift alone which can save a man from the dangers, which thus come upon him in life. When such cases occur, a man finds himself hopelessly involved in ruin, unless he has been able to lay by something to meet these emergencies.
A thrifty man does not find himself in want even though he earns little. His family and dependants have not to starve if disease and old age overtake him. The world is indebted to a large extent to thrifty men. Works of public utility ad charity. Which we see round us, have been because of men who have amassed wealth by thrift and have been able to spend it on these things. Men who are extravagant are concerned only with the present, and give no thought to the future they believe that their days will be prosperous and happy for every and under this impression they spend whatever they earn. It is these people who eventually find themselves in the clutches of ruin.
Reckless expenditure gradually leads them to live beyond their means and they soon find themselves running into debt. They can no longer life independently but have to depend upon the mercy of others, specially upon that of money-lenders. Life no more presents that rosy aspect to them as of old and they find that it is a burden, for “whoever goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.” All these evils are the result of not being thrifty.
Like all habits the habit of thrift should be practised from an early age. Once the habit of being extravagant gets into one, it becomes extremely difficult to shake it off and we can rarely see a spendthrift correcting himself. It is not very difficult to cultivate the habit of thrift. Everyone, Af he has the will, can be thrifty.