THE only lasting favor
which the parent may
confer upon the child
is that of helping the
child to help itself.
“Man is a combination of flesh, bone,
blood, hair and brain cells. These are the
building materials out of which he shapes,
through the Law of Habit, his own
TO advise one to save money without describing
how to save would be somewhat like drawing the
picture of a horse and writing under it, “This is a
horse.” It is obvious to all that the saving of money is
one of the essentials for success, but the big question
uppermost in the minds of the majority of those who
do not save is:
“How can I do it?”
The saving of money is solely a matter of habit.
For this reason this lesson begins with a brief analysis
of the Law of Habit.
It is literally true that man, through the Law of
Habit, shapes his own personality. Through repetition,
any act indulged in a few times becomes a habit, and
the mind appears to be nothing more than a mass of
motivating forces growing out of our daily habits.
When once fixed in the mind a habit voluntarily
impels one to action. For example, follow a given
route to your daily work, or to some other place that
you frequently visit, and very soon the habit has been
formed and your mind will lead you over that route
without thought on your part. Moreover, if you start
out with the intention of traveling in another
direction, without keeping the thought of the change
in routes constantly in mind, you will find yourself
following the old route.
Public speakers have found that the telling over
and over again of a story, which may be based upon
pure fiction, brings into play the Law of Habit, and
very soon they forget whether -the story is true or not.
WALLS OF LIMITATION BUILT THROUGH HABIT
Millions of people go through life in poverty and
want because they have made destructive use of the
Law of Habit. Not understanding either the Law of
Habit or the Law of Attraction through which “like
attracts like,” those who remain in poverty seldom
realize that they are where they are as the result of
their own acts.
Fix in your mind the thought that your ability is
limited to a given earning capacity and you will never
earn more than that, because the law of habit will set
up a definite limitation of the amount you can earn,
your subconscious mind will accept this limitation,
and very soon you will feel yourself “slipping” until
finally you will become so hedged in by FEAR OF
POVERTY (one of the six basic fears) that
opportunity will no longer knock at your door; your
doom will be sealed; your fate fixed.
Formation of the Habit of Saving does not mean
that you shall limit your earning capacity; it means
just the opposite – that you shall apply this law so that
it not only conserves that which you earn, in a
systematic manner, but it also places you in the way of
greater opportunity and gives you the vision, the self-
confidence, the imagination, the enthusiasm, the
initiative and leadership actually to increase your
Stating this great law in another way, when you
thoroughly understand the Law of Habit you may
insure yourself success in the great game of
moneymaking by “playing both ends of that game
against the middle.”
You proceed in this manner:
First, through the law of Definite Chief Aim you
set up, in your mind, an accurate, definite description
of that which you want, including the amount of
money you intend to earn. Your subconscious mind
takes over this picture which you have created and
uses it as a blueprint, chart or map by which to mold
your thoughts and actions into practical plans for
attaining the object of your Chief Aim, or purpose.
Through the Law of Habit you keep the object of your
Definite Chief Aim fixed in your mind (in the manner
described in Lesson Two until it becomes firmly and
permanently implanted there. This practice will destroy
the poverty consciousness and set up, in its place,
a prosperity consciousness. You will actually begin to
DEMAND prosperity, you will begin to expect it, you
will begin to prepare yourself to receive it and to use
it wisely, thus paving the way or setting the stage for
the development of the Habit of Saving.
Second, having in this manner increased your
earning power you will make further use of the Law of
Habit by provision, in your written statement of your
Definite Chief Aim, for saving a definite proportion of
all the money you earn.
Therefore, as your earnings increase, your
savings will, likewise, increase in proportion.
By ever urging yourself on and demanding of
your self increased earning power, on the one hand,
and by systematically laying aside a definite amount
of all your earnings, on the other hand, you will soon
reach the point at which you have removed all
imaginary limitations from your own mind and you
will then be well started on the road toward financial
Nothing could be more practical or more easily
accomplished than this!
Reverse the operation of the Law of Habit, by
setting up in your mind the Fear of Poverty, and very,
soon this fear will reduce your earning capacity until,
you will be barely able to earn sufficient money to
take care of your actual necessities.
The publishers of newspapers could create a panic
in a week’s time by filling their columns with news
items concerning the actual business failures of the
country, despite the fact that but few businesses compared
to the total number in existence, actually fail.
The so-called “crime waves” are very largely the
products of sensational journalism. A single murder
case, when exploited by the newspapers of the
country, through scare headlines, is sufficient to start
a regular “wave” of similar crimes in various
localities. Following the repetition in the daily papers
of the Hickman murder story, similar cases began to
be reported from other parts of the country.
We are the victims of our habits, no matter who
we are or what may be our life-calling. Any idea that
is deliberately fixed in the mind, or any idea that is
permitted to set itself up in the mind, as the result of
suggestion, environment, the influence of associates,
etc., is sure to cause us to indulge in acts which
conform to the nature of the idea.
Form the habit of thinking and talking of
prosperity and abundance, and very soon material
evidence of these will begin to manifest itself in the
nature of wider opportunity and new and unexpected
Like attracts like! If you are in business and have
formed the habit of talking and thinking about
“business being bad” business will be bad. One
pessimist, providing he is permitted to continue his
destructive influence long enough, can destroy the
work of half a dozen competent men, and he will do it
by setting adrift in the minds of his associates the
thought of poverty and failure.
Don’t be this type of man or woman.
One of the most successful bankers in the state of
Illinois has this sign hanging in his private office:
YOU are a human
magnet and you are
constantly attracting to
you people whose
with your own.
“WE TALK AND THINK ONLY OF
ABUNDANCE HERE. IF YOU HAVE A TALE OF
WOE PLEASE KEEP IT, AS WE DO NOT WANT IT.”
No business firm wants the services of a
pessimist, and those who understand the Law of
Attraction and the Law of Habit will no more tolerate
the pessimist than they would permit a burglar to roam
around their place of business, for the reason that one
such person will destroy the usefulness of those
In tens of thousands of homes the general topic of
conversation is poverty and want, and that is just what
they are getting. They think of poverty, they talk of
poverty, they accept poverty as their lot in life. They
reason that because their ancestors were poor before
them they, also, must remain poor.
The poverty consciousness is formed as the result
of the habit of thinking of and fearing poverty. “Lo!
the thing I had feared has come upon me.”
THE SLAVERY OF DEBT
Debt is a merciless master, a fatal enemy of the
Poverty, alone, is sufficient to kill off ambition,
destroy self-confidence and destroy hope, but add to it
the burden of debt and all who are victims of these
two cruel task-masters are practically doomed to
No man can do his best work, no man can express
himself in terms that command respect, no man can
either create or carry out a definite purpose in life,
with heavy debt hanging over his head. The man who
is bound in the slavery of debt is just as helpless as
the slave who is bound by ignorance, or by actual
The author has a very close friend whose income
is $1,000 a month. His wife loves “society” and tries
to make a $20,000 showing on a $12,000 income, with
the result that this poor fellow is usually about $8,000
in debt. Every member of his family has the “spending
habit,” having acquired this from the mother. The
children, two girls and one boy, are now of the age
when they are thinking of going to college, but this is
impossible because of the father’s debts. The result is
dissension between the father and his children which
makes the entire family unhappy and miserable.
It is a terrible thing even to think of going
through life like a prisoner in chains, bound down and
owned by somebody else on account of debts. The
accumulation of debts is a habit. It starts in a small
way and grows to enormous proportions slowly, step
by step, until finally it takes charge of one’s very
Thousands of young men start their married lives
with unnecessary debts hanging over their heads and
never manage to get out from under the load. After the
novelty of marriage begins to wear off (as it usually
does) the married couple begin to feel the
embarrassment of want, and this feeling grows until it
leads, oftentimes, to open dissatisfaction with one
another, and eventually to the divorce court.
A man who is bound by the slavery of debt has no
time or inclination to set up or work out ideals, with
the result that he drifts downward with time until he
eventually begins to set up limitations in his own
mind, and by these he hedges himself behind prison
walls of FEAR and doubt from which he never
No sacrifice is too great to avoid the misery of
“Think of what you owe yourself and those who
are dependent upon you and resolve to be no man’s
debtor,” is the advice of one very successful man
whose early chances were destroyed by debt. This man
came to himself soon enough to throw off the habit of
buying that which he did not need and eventually
worked his way out of slavery.
Most men who develop the habit of debt will not
be so fortunate as to come to their senses in time to
save themselves, because debt is something like
quicksand in that it has a tendency to draw its victim
deeper and deeper into the mire.
The Fear of Poverty is one of the most destructive
of the six basic fears described in Lesson Three. The
man who becomes hopelessly in debt is seized with
this poverty fear, his ambition and self-confidence
become paralyzed, and he sinks gradually into
There are two classes of debts, and these are so
different in nature that they deserve to be here
described, as follows:
1. There are debts incurred for luxuries which
become a dead loss.
2. There are debts incurred in the course of
professional or business trading which represent
service or merchandise that can be converted back into
The first class of debts is the one to be avoided.
The second class may be indulged in, providing the
one incurring the debts uses judgment and does not go
beyond the bounds of reasonable limitation. The
moment one buys beyond his limitations he enters the
realm of speculation, and speculation swallows more
of its victims than it enriches.
Practically all people who live beyond their
means are tempted to speculate with the hope that they
may recoup, at a single turn of the wheel of fortune,
so to speak, their entire indebtedness. The wheel
generally stops at the wrong place and, far from
finding themselves out of debt, such people as indulge
in speculation are bound more closely as slaves of
The Fear of Poverty breaks down the will-power
of its victims, and they then find themselves unable to
restore their lost fortunes, and, what is still more sad,
they lose all ambition to extricate themselves from,
the slavery of debt.
Hardly a day passes that one may not see an
account in the newspapers of at least one suicide as
the result of worry over debts. The slavery of debt
causes more suicides every year than all other causes
combined, which is a slight indication of the cruelty
of the poverty fear.
During the war millions of men faced the front-
line trenches without flinching, knowing that death
might overtake them any moment. Those same men,
when facing the Fear of Poverty, often cringe and out
of sheer desperation, which paralyzes their reason,
sometimes commit suicide.
The person who is free from debt may whip
poverty and achieve outstanding financial success,
but, if he is bound by debt, such achievement is but a
remote possibility, and never a probability.
Fear of Poverty is a negative, destructive state of
mind. Moreover, one negative state of mind has a
tendency to attract other similar states of mind. For
example, the Fear of Poverty may attract the fear of
111 Health, and these two may attract the Fear of Old
Age, so that the victim finds himself poverty-stricken,
in ill health and actually growing old long before the
time when he should begin to show the signs of old
Millions of untimely, nameless graves have been
filled by this cruel state of mind known as the Fear of
Less than a dozen years ago a young man held a
responsible position with the City National Bank, of
New York City. Through living beyond his income he
contracted a large amount of debts which caused him
to worry until this destructive habit began to show up
in his work and he was dismissed from the bank’s
He secured another position, at less money, but
his creditors embarrassed him so that he decided to
resign and go away into another city, where he hoped
to escape them until he had accumulated enough
money to pay off his indebtedness. Creditors have a
way of tracing debtors, so very soon they were close
on the heels of this young man, whose employer found
out about his indebtedness and dismissed him from his
He then searched in vain for employment for two
months. One cold night he went to the top of one of
the tall buildings on Broadway and jumped off. Debt
had claimed another victim.
WHO told you it couldn’t be done? i and, what great
achievement has he to his credit that entitles him
to use the word “impossible” so freely?
HOW TO MASTER THE FEAR OF POVERTY
To whip the Fear of Poverty one must take two
very definite steps, providing one is in debt. First,
quit the habit of buying on credit, and follow this by
gradually paying off the debts that you have already
Being free from the worry of indebtedness you
are ready to revamp the habits of your mind and re-
direct your course toward prosperity. Adopt, as a part
of your Definite Chief Aim, the habit of saving a
regular proportion of your income, even if this be no
more than a penny a day. Very soon this habit will
begin to lay hold of your mind and you will actually
get joy out of saving.
Any habit may be discontinued by building in its
place some other and more desirable habit. The
“spending” habit must be replaced by the “saving”
habit by all who attain financial independence.
Merely to discontinue an undesirable habit is not
enough, as such habits have a tendency to reappear
unless the place they formerly occupied in the mind is
filled by some other habit of a different nature.
The discontinuance of a habit leaves a “hole” in
the mind, and this hole must be filled up with some
other form of habit or the old one will return and
claim its place.
Throughout this course many psychological
formulas, which the student has been requested to
memorize and practice, have been described. You will
find such a formula in Lesson Three, the object of
which is to develop Self-confidence.
These formulas may be assimilated so they
become a part of your mental machinery, through the
Law of Habit, if you will follow the instructions for
their use which accompany each of them.
It is assumed that you are striving to attain
financial independence. The accumulation of money is
not difficult after you have once mastered the Fear of
Poverty and developed in its place the Habit of
The author of this course would be greatly
disappointed to know that any student of the course
got the impression from anything in this or any of the
other: lessons that Success is measured by dollars
However, money does represent an important
factor in success, and it must be given its proper value
in any philosophy intended to help people in becoming
useful, happy and prosperous.
The cold, cruel, relentless truth is that in this
age, of materialism a man is no more than so many
grains of sand, which may be blown helter-skelter by
every A stray wind of circumstance, unless he is
entrenched behind the power of money!
Genius may offer many rewards to those who
possess it, but the fact still remains that genius
without money with which to give it expression is but
an empty, skeleton-like honor.
The man without money is at the mercy of the
man who has it!
And this goes, regardless of the amount of ability
he may possess, the training he has had or the native
genius with which he was gifted by nature.
There is no escape from the fact that people will
weigh you very largely in the light of bank balances,
no matter who you are or what you can do. The first
question that arises, in the minds of most people,
when they meet a stranger, is, “How much money has
he?” If he has money he is welcomed into homes and
business opportunities are thrown his way. All sorts of
attention are lavished upon him. He is a prince, and as
such is entitled to the best of the land.
But if his shoes are run down at the heels, his
clothes are not pressed, his collar is dirty, and he
shows plainly the signs of impoverished finances, woe
be his lot, for the passing crowd will step on his toes
and blow the smoke of disrespect in his face.
These are not pretty statements, but they have one
virtue – THEY ARE TRUE!
This tendency to judge people by the money they
have, or their power to control money, is not confined
to any one class of people. We all have a touch of it,
whether we recognize the fact or not.
Thomas A. Edison is one of the best known and
most respected inventors in the world, yet it is no
misstatement of facts to say that he would have
remained a practically unknown, obscure personage
had he not followed the habit of conserving his
resources and shown his ability to save money.
Henry Ford never would have got to first base
with his “horseless carriage” had he not developed,
quite early in life, the habit of saving. Moreover, had
Mr. Ford not conserved his resources and hedged
himself behind their power he would have been
“swallowed up” by his competitors or those who
covetously desired to take his business away from
him, long, long years ago.
Many a man has gone a very long way toward
success, only to stumble and fall, never again to rise,
because of lack of money in times of emergency. The
mortality rate in business each year, due to lack of
reserve capital for emergencies, is stupendous. To this
one cause are due more of the business failures than to
all other causes combined!
Reserve Funds are essential in the successful
operation of business!
Likewise, Savings Accounts are essential to
success on the part of individuals. Without a savings
fund the individual suffers in two ways: first, by
inability to seize opportunities that come only to the
person with some ready cash, and, second, by
embarrassment due to some unexpected emergency
calling for cash.
It might be said, also, that the individual suffers
in still a third respect by not developing the Habit of
Saving, through lack of certain other qualities
essential for success which grow out of the practice of
the Habit of Saving.
The nickels, dimes and pennies which the average
person allows to slip through his fingers would, if
systematically saved and properly put to work,
eventually bring financial independence.
Through the courtesy of a prominent Building and
Loan Association the following table has been
compiled, showing what a monthly saving of $5.00,
$10.00, $25.00 or $50.00 will amount to at the end of
ten years. These figures are startling when one comes
to consider the fact that the average person spends
from $5.00 to $50.00 a month for useless merchandise
or so-called “entertainment.”
The making and saving of money is a science, yet
EVERY failure, every
adversity, every heart-
ache may be a blessing
in disguise providing it
softens the animal
portion of our nature.
the rules by which money is accumulated are so
simple that anyone may follow them. The main
prerequisite is a willingness to subordinate the present
to the future, by eliminating unnecessary expenditures
A young man, who was earning only $20.00 a
week as chauffeur for a prominent New York banker,
was induced by his employer to keep an accurate
account of every cent he spent for one week. The
following is an itemized list of his expenses:
These figures tell a tragic story which might as
well apply to thousands of other people as to the
young man who kept this account. His actual savings
out of $20.00 were only 53 cents. He spent $7.47 for
items, every one of which could have been greatly
reduced, and most of which could have been
eliminated entirely. In fact, by shaving himself and
shining his own shoes, he could have saved every cent
of the $7.47.
Now turn to the table made up by the Building
and Loan Association and observe what the saving of
$7.47 a week would amount to. Suppose the amount
this young man actually saved had been only $25.00 a
month; the saving would have increased to the snug
sum of $5,000.00 by the end of the first ten years.
The young man in question was twenty-one years
old at the time he kept this expense account. By the
time he reached the age of thirty-one years he could
have had a substantial amount in the bank, had he
saved $25.00 a month, and this saving would have
brought him many opportunities that would have led
directly to financial independence.
Some who are short-sighted, pseudo-philosophers,
are fond of pointing to the fact that no one can
become rich merely by saving a few dollars a week.
This may be true enough, as far as the reasoning goes
(which is not very far) but the other side of the story
is that the saving of even a small sum of money places
one in position where, oftentimes, this small sum may
enable one to take advantage of business opportunities
which lead directly and quite rapidly to financial
The foregoing table, showing what a saving of
$5.00 a month will amount to at the end of ten years,
should be copied and pasted on your mirror, where it
will stare you in the face every morning when you get
up and every night as you retire, providing you have
not already acquired the habit of systematic saving of
money. This table should be reproduced, in letters and
figures an inch tall, and placed on the walls of every
public school throughout the land, where it might
serve as a constant reminder to all school children of
the value of the savings habit.
Some years ago, before giving serious thought to
the value of the savings habit, this author made up an
account of the money which had slipped through his
fingers. The amount was so alarming that it resulted in
the writing of this lesson, and adding the Habit of
Saving as one of the Fifteen Laws of Success.
Following is an itemized statement of this
This amount, had it been saved and invested as
received, in Building and Loan Associations, or in
some other manner that would have earned compound,
interest, would have grown into the sum of $94,000.00
at the time this lesson is being written.
The author is not a victim of any of the usual
habits of dissipation, such as gambling, drinking and
excessive entertaining. It is almost unbelievable that a
man whose habits of living are reasonably moderate
could spend $47,000.00 within a little over ten years
without having anything to show for the money, but it
can be done!
A capital reserve of $94,000.00, working at
compound interest, is sufficient to give any man all
the financial freedom he needs.
I recall one occasion when the president of a
large corporation sent me a check for $500.00 for an
address I delivered at a banquet given to the
employees, and I distinctly recall what went through
my mind when I opened the letter and saw the check. I
had wanted a new automobile and this check was
exactly the amount required for the first payment. I
had it spent before it had been in my hands thirty
Perhaps this is the experience of the majority of
people. They think more of how they are going to
SPEND what they have than they do about ways and
means of SAVING. The idea of saving, and the self-
control and self-sacrifice which must accompany it, is
always accompanied by thoughts of an unpleasant
nature, but oh, how it does thrill one to think of
There is a reason for this, and that reason is the
fact that most of us have developed the habit of spending
while neglecting the Habit of Saving, and any
idea that frequents the human mind but seldom is not
as welcome as that which frequents it often.
In truth, the Habit of Saving can be made as
fascinating as the habit of spending, but not until it
has become a regular, well grounded, systematic habit.
We like to do that which is often repeated, which is
but another way of stating what the scientists have
discovered, that we are victims of our habits.
The habit of saving money requires more force of
character than most people have developed, for the
reason that saving means self-denial and sacrifice of
amusements and pleasures in scores of different ways.
For this very reason one who develops the savings
habit acquires, at the same time, many of the other
needed habits which lead to success: especially Self-
control, Self-confidence, Courage, Poise and Freedom
HOW MUCH SHOULD ONE SAVE?
The first question that will arise is, “How Much
Should One Save?” The answer cannot be given in a
few words, for the amount one should save depends
upon many conditions, some of which may be within
one’s control and some of which may not be.
Generally speaking, a man who works for a salary
should apportion his income about as follows:
Savings Account 20%
Living – Clothes, Food and Shelter.. 50%
Life Insurance 10%
CAREFUL analysis of
178 men who are
known to be successful
disclosed the fact that
all had failed many
times before arriving.
The following, however, indicates the
approximate distribution which the average man
actually makes of his income:
Savings Account NOTHING
Living – Clothes, Food and Shelter.. 60%
Life Insurance 5%
Under the item of “recreation” is included, of
course, many expenditures that do not really
“recreate,” such as money spent for alcoholic drinks,
dinner parties and other similar items which may
actually serve to undermine one’s health and destroy
An experienced analyst of men has stated that he
could tell very accurately, by examining a man’s
monthly budget, what sort of a life the man is living;
moreover, that he will get most of his information
from the one item of “recreation.” This, then, is an
item to be watched as carefully as the greenhouse
keeper watches the thermometer which controls the
life and death of his plants.
Those who keep budget accounts often include an
item called “entertainment,” which, in a majority of
cases, turns out to be an evil because it depletes the
income heavily and when carried to excess depletes,
also, the health.
We are living, right now, in an age when the item
of “entertainment” is altogether too high in most
budget allowances. Tens of thousands of people who
earn not more than $50.00 a week are spending as
much as one third of their incomes for what they call
“entertainment,” which comes in a bottle, with a
questionable label on it, at anywhere from $6.00 to
$12.00 a quart. Not only are these unwise people
wasting the money that should go into a savings fund,
but, of far greater danger, they are destroying both
character and health.
Nothing in this lesson is intended as a preachment
on morality, or on any other subject. We are here
dealing with cold facts which, to a large extent,
constitute the building materials out of which
SUCCESS may be created.
However, this is an appropriate place to state
some FACTS which have such a direct bearing on the
subject of achieving success that they cannot be
omitted without weakening this entire course in
general and this lesson in particular.
The author of this course is NOT a reformer!
Neither is he a preacher on morals, as this field of
useful endeavor is quite well covered by others who,
are able workers. What is here stated, therefore, is
intended as a necessary part of a course of philosophy
whose purpose is to mark a safe road over which one
may travel to honorable achievement.
During the year 1926 the author was in
partnership with the late Don R. Mellett, who was, at
that time, the publisher of the Canton (Ohio) Daily
News. Mr. Mellett became interested in the Law of
Success philosophy because it offered, as he believed,
sound counsel to young men and young women who
really wish to get ahead in life. Through the pages of
the Daily’ News Mr. Mellett was conducting a fierce
battle against the underworld forces of Canton. With
the aid of detectives and investigators, some of whom
were supplied by the Governor of Ohio, Mr. Mellett
and the author gathered accurate data concerning the
way most of the people in Canton were living.
In July, 1926, Mr. Mellett was assassinated from
ambush, and four men, one of them a former member
of the Canton police force, are now serving life
sentences in the Ohio State Penitentiary for the crime.
During the investigation into crime conditions in
Canton all reports came to the author’s office, and the
data here described are, therefore, known to be
One of the officials of a large industrial plant
whose salary was $6,000.00 a year paid a Canton
bootlegger an average of $300.00 a month for the
liquor (if “stuff” can be called liquor) which he used
for “entertaining.” His wife participated in these
“entertainments” which took place in his own home.
A paying teller in a bank, whose salary was
$150.00 a month, was spending an average of $75.00 a
month for liquor, and in addition to this unpardonable
waste of money, out of a salary which was none too
great at most, he was traveling at a pace and with a
crowd which meant ruin for him later on.
The superintendent of a large manufacturing
plant, whose salary was $5,000.00 a year, and who
should have been saving at least $125.00 a month, was
actually saving nothing. His bootlegger’s bill averaged
$150.00 a month.
A policeman whose income was $160.00 a month
was spending over $400.00 a month on dinner parties,
at a near-by roadhouse. Where he got the difference
between his legitimate income and his actual expenditures
is a question that reflects no particular credit on
A bank official whose income, as near as it could
be estimated from his previous years’ income tax
reports, was about $8,000.00 a year, had a monthly
bootlegger’s bill of more than $500.00 during the
three months that his activities were checked by the
A young man who worked in a department store,
at a salary of $20.00 a week, was spending an average
of $35.00 a week with one bootlegger. The assumption
was that he was stealing the difference from his
employer. Old Man Trouble awaited this young man,
just around the corner, although it is not known by the
author whether or not the two have come together as
A salesman for a life insurance company, whose
income was not known because he worked on a
commission basis, was spending an average of $200.00
a month with one bootlegger. No record of any
savings account was found, and the assumption is that
he had none. This assumption was later confirmed
when the company for which the young man worked
had him arrested for embezzlement of its funds. No
doubt he was spending the money which he should
have turned in to the company. He is now serving a
long sentence in the Ohio State Penitentiary.
A young lad who was attending high school was
spending large sums for liquor. The actual amount was
not obtainable for the reason that he paid cash as he
got the liquor, and the bootlegger’s records did’ not,
therefore, disclose the actual amount. Later this boy’s
parents had him locked up “to save him from himself.”
It was found that he was stealing money from a
savings fund kept by his mother, somewhere about the
house. He had stolen and spent more than $300.00 of
this money when discovered.
This author conducted a Lecture Bureau in forty-
one high schools, where he lectured once a month
during the entire school season. The principals of
these high schools stated that less than two per cent of
the students showed any tendency toward saving
money, and an examination through the aid of a
questionnaire prepared for that purpose disclosed the
fact that only five per cent of the students, out of a
total of 11,000, of the high-school age, believed that
the savings habit was one of the essentials for
It is no wonder the rich are becoming richer and
the poor are becoming poorer!
Call this a socialistic statement, if you please, but
the facts bear out its accuracy. It is not difficult for
any man to become rich, in a country of spendthrifts
such as this, where millions of people spend every
cent that comes into their possession.
Many years ago, before the present wave of mania
for spending spread over the country, F. W.
Woolworth devised a very simple method of catching
the nickels and dimes that millions of people throw
away for trash, and his system netted him over ONE
HUNDRED MILLION DOLLLARS in a few years’
time. Woolworth has died, but his system of saving
nickels and dimes continues, and his estate is growing
bigger and bigger.
Five and Ten Cent Stores are usually painted with
a bright red front. That is an appropriate color, for red
denotes danger. Every Five and Ten Cent Store is a
ALL salesmen will do well to remember that no one wants
anything that someone else is trying to “get rid of.”
striking monument that proves, to a nicety, that one of
the cardinal faults of this generation is the
We are all victims of HABIT!
Unfortunately for most of us, we are reared by
parents who have no conception whatsoever of the
psychology of habit, and, without being aware of their
fault, most parents aid and abet their offspring in the
development of the spending habit by overindulgence
with spending money, and by lack of training in the
Habit of Saving.
The habits of early childhood cling to us all
Fortunate, indeed, is the child whose parents have
the foresight and the understanding of the value, as a
character builder, of the Habit of Saving, to inculcate
this habit in the minds of their children.
It is a training that yields rich rewards.
Give the average man $100.00 that he did not
contemplate receiving, and what will he do with it?
Why, he will begin to cogitate in his own mind on
how he can SPEND the money. Dozens of things that
he needs, or THINKS he needs, will flash into his
mind, but it is a rather safe bet that it will never occur
to him (unless he has acquired the savings habit) to
make this $100.00 the beginning of a savings account.
Before night comes he will have the $100.00 spent, or
at least he will have decided in his mind how he is
going to SPEND IT, thus adding more fuel to the
already too bright flame of Habit of Spending.
We are ruled by our habits!
It requires force of character, determination and
power of firm DECISION to open a savings account
and then add to it a regular, if small, portion of all
There is one rule by which any man may
determine, well in advance, whether or not he will
ever enjoy the financial freedom and independence
which is so universally desired by all men, and this
rule has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of
The rule is that if a man follows the systematic
habit of saving a definite proportion of all money he
earns or receives in other ways, he is practically sure
to place himself in a position of financial
independence. If he saves nothing, he IS
ABSOLUTELY SURE NEVER TO BE FINANCIALLY
INDEPENDENT, no matter how much his income may
The one and only exception to this rule is that a
man who does not save might possibly inherit such a
large sum of money that he could not spend it, or he
might inherit it under a trust which would protect it
for him, but these eventualities are rather remote; so
much so, in fact, that YOU cannot rely upon such a
miracle happening to you.
This author enjoys a rather close acquaintance
with many hundreds of people throughout the United
States and in some foreign countries. For nearly
twenty-five years he has been watching many of these
acquaintances, and knows, therefore, from actual
experience, how they live, why some of them have
failed while others have succeeded, and the REASONS
FOR BOTH FAILURE AND SUCCESS.
This list of acquaintances covers men who control
hundreds of millions of dollars, and actually own
many millions which they have acquired. Also men
who have had millions of dollars, all of which passed
through their fingers and they are now penniless.
For the purpose of showing the student of this
philosophy just how the law of habit becomes a sort of
pivotal point on which success or failure turns, and
exactly why no man can become financially
independent without developing the habit of
SYSTEMATIC SAVING, the living habits of some of
these many acquaintances will be described.
We will begin with a complete history, in his own
words, of a man who has made a million dollars in the
field of advertising, but who now has nothing to show
for his efforts. This story first appeared in the
American Magazine, and it is here reprinted through
the courtesy of the publishers of that publication.
The story is true, in every respect, and it has been
included as a part of this lesson because the author of
the story, Mr. W. C. Freeman, is willing to have his
mistakes made public with the hope that others may
“I HAVE MADE A MILLION DOLLLARS BUT I
HAVEN’T GOT A CENT”
While it is embarrassing, yes, humiliating,
publicly to confess to an outstanding fault that has
made a good deal of a mess of my life today,
nevertheless I have decided to make this confession
for the good it may do.
I am going to make a clean breast of how I let
slip through my fingers all the money I have earned
thus far in my life-time, which approximates one
million dollars. This amount I made through my work
in the field of advertising, except a few thousand
dollars I earned up to twenty-five years of age by
teaching in country schools and by writing news
letters to some country weeklies and daily
Maybe one lone million does not seem a lot of
money in these days of many millions and even
billions; but it is a big sum of money, just the same. If
there are any who think to the contrary, let them count
a million. I tried to figure out the other night how
long it would take to do so. I found I could count an
average of one hundred a minute. On this basis it
would take me twenty days of eight hours each, plus
six hours and forty minutes on the twenty-first day to
do the stunt. I doubt very much if you or I were given
an assignment to count one million one-dollar bills,
upon the promise that all of them would be ours at the
end of that time, that we could complete it. It would
probably drive us mad – and a lot of use the money
would be to us then, wouldn’t it?
Let me say at the outset of my story that I do not
regret, not for one minute, that I spent ninety per cent
of the money I made. To wish any of this ninety’ per
cent back at this time would make me feel that I
would have denied much happiness to my family and
to many others.
My only regret is that I spent all of my money,
and more besides. If I had today the ten per cent I
could have saved easily, I would have one hundred
thousand dollars safely invested, and no debts. If I
had this money I would feel really and truly that 1 was
rich; and I mean just this, for I have never had a
desire to accumulate money for money’s sake.
Those school-teaching and newspaper-correspondence
days of mine brought some cares and
responsibilities, but they were met optimistically.
I married at the age of twenty-one, with the full
approval of parents on both sides, who believed
thoroughly in the doctrine preached by Henry Ward
Beecher, that “early marriages are virtuous
Just one month and one day after I was married
my father met a tragic death. He was suffocated by
coal gas. Having been an educator all his life – and
one of the best – he had not accumulated any money.
When he passed out of our family circle it was up
to all of us to pull together and get along somehow,
which we did.
Apart from the void left in our home by my
father’s death (my wife and I and my mother and only
sister lived together), we had a joyful life, despite the
fact that it was a tight squeeze to make ends meet.
My mother, who was exceptionally talented and
resourceful (she had taught school with my father
until I was born), decided to open our home to a
married couple, old friends of the family. They came
to live with us and their board helped to pay expenses.
My mother was known far and wide for the wonderful
meals she served. Later on, two well-to-do women
friends of the family were taken into our home; thus
increasing our revenue.
My sister helped very substantially by teaching a
kindergarten class, which met in the big living-room
of our home; my wife contributed her share to the
household by taking charge of the sewing and
THINK well before you
speak because your
words may plant the
seed of either success or
failure in the mind of
some other person.
Those were very happy days. Nobody in the
household was extravagant or had any extravagant
tendencies except perhaps myself, for I was always
inclined to be free with money. I liked to make gifts
to the family and to entertain friends.
When the first baby came into our home – a boy –
we all thought heaven had opened its doors to us. My
wife’s parents, who took the keenest and deepest
interest in our affairs, and who were always ready to
lend a helping hand, were equally happy over the
coming of their first grandchild. My brother-in-law,
much older than my wife, and a bachelor, could not
understand at first the joy we all felt; but even he
began to strut around like a proud peacock after a
while. What a difference a baby makes in a home!
I am injecting these details into my story merely
to emphasize how the early days of my life were lived.
I had no opportunity to spend much money, and yet I
had as much happiness in those days as I have ever
The strange thing about it all is that the
experience of those days did not teach me the value of
money. If anybody ever had a practical lesson to guide
him in his future, I certainly had it.
But let me tell you how this early experience
affected me. The birth of my son inspired me to do
something that would make more money than I was
getting at teaching school and in writing for
newspapers. I did not want my wife, mother and sister
to feel that they would have to continue indefinitely to
do their part in sustaining the household. Why should
a fellow, big and strong and healthy as I have always
been, and with a reasonable amount of ability, be
content to remain a spoke in the wheel? Why
shouldn’t I be the whole wheel, as far as providing for
the family was concerned?
Following my desire to make more money, I took
on the selling of books in addition to teaching and
writing for newspapers. This earned for me quite a
little extra money. Finally, I gave up teaching and
concentrated on selling books, and writing for
My book-selling took me to Bridgeton, New
Jersey. It was here that I got my first real start in ma
money. I had to be away from home a great deal to do
this work, but the sacrifice was worth while. I earned
enough money in a few weeks to send more money
home than I had contributed to the household in any
year from my school-teaching and newspaper
correspondence. After combing the territory in the
Bridgeton zone, I became interested in a newspaper in
that city, the Morning Star. It seemed to me that the
editor and publisher of this paper needed a helper I
called on him and told him so. He said, “Heavens
young man, how can I hire you? I am not earning
enough money to pay for my own living!”
“That’s just it,” said I. “I believe together we cal
make the Star a success. I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I’ll
work for you for one week for one dollar a day. At the
end of the week, if I have made good, I’ll expect you
to pay me three dollars a day for the second week; and
then, if I continue to do well, I’ll expect you to pay
me six dollars a day for the third week and will
continue from then on until the paper makes enough
money to pay me fifty dollars a week.”
The owner agreed to my proposition. At the end
of two months, I was being paid fifty dollars a week
which in those days was considered a big salary. I
began to feel that I was well on my way toward
making money -but all I wanted it for was to make
my family more comfortable. Fifty dollars a week was
just four times as much as I had made teaching school.
My job on the Star embraced editorial writing
(not very brilliant), reporting (just ordinary), the
writing and selling of advertisements (fairly
successful), proof reading, bill collecting, and so
forth. It kept me humping six days a week; but I could
stand it, for I was strong and healthy, and, besides,
the work was very interesting. I also contributed
correspondence to the New York Sun, Philadelphia
Record, and the Trenton (N. J.) Times, which brought
me in an average of one hundred and fifty dollars a
month, for this was a good news territory.
I learned a lesson on the Star which eventually
shaped the course of my life. I found out that there is
a great deal more money to be earned by selling
advertising for newspapers than in writing for them.
Advertising brings grist to the mill.
I put over one advertising stunt on the Star – a
write-up of the south Jersey oyster industry, paid for
by the oyster men – that brought in three thousand
dollars cash, which the publisher divided with me
fifty-fifty. I had never seen so much money at one
time in all my life. Think of it! Fifteen hundred
dollars – twenty-five per cent more than I had made in
two years of school-teaching and odd tasks.
Did I save this money or any part of it? I did not.
What was the use? I could do so much with it to make
my wife, boy, mother and sister happy that I let it go
far easier than I had made it.
But would it not have been a fine thing if I had
put this money away for a rainy day?
My work in Bridegton attracted the attention of
Sam Hudson, New Jersey correspondent of the
Philadelphia Record, who was a shining example of
that type of newspaper men whose greatest pleasure in
life is doing things for others.
Sam told me that it was time for me to get located
in a big city. He thought I had it in me to make good.
He said he would get me a job in Philadelphia. He did,
and I moved with my wife and baby to Germantown. I
was given charge of the advertising department of the
Germantown (Philadelphia) Gazette, a weekly
At the start I did not make as much money as I
had earned in Bridegton, because I had to give up my
newspaper correspondence. The news for this section
was covered by other correspondents. But very soon I
was making twenty-five per cent more money. The
Gazette increased its size three times to accommodate
its advertising, and each time I received a very
substantial increase in salary.
In addition to this, I was given a job to gather
social news for the Sunday edition of the Philadelphia
Press. Bradford Merrill, managing editor of that
newspaper, now a very important New York newspaper
executive, assigned me a big territory to cover. This
kept me busy every night in the week except
Saturdays. I was paid five dollars a column; but I
averaged seven columns every Sunday; which made
me thirty-five dollars a week extra.
It was more money for me to spend, and I spent
it. I did not know anything about budgeting my expenses.
I just let it go as it came. I did not have time,
or thought I hadn’t, to watch my step in spending.
A year later I was invited to join the advertising
staff of the Philadelphia Press, a big opportunity for a
young man, for I got wonderful training under the
management of William L. McLean, now the owner of
the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. I still retained my
job as gatherer of social news – so my income was just
about the same as I had been making in Germantown.
But before long my work attracted the attention
of James Elverson, Sr., publisher of the old Saturday
Night and Golden Days, who had just purchased the
Philadelphia Inquirer. I was offered and accepted the
advertising management of this newspaper.
This meant a big increase in my income. And
soon afterward there came a happy increase in my
family, the birth of a daughter. Then I was able to do
what I had longed to do since the birth of my son. I
got the family together again under one roof – my wife
and two babies, my mother and sister. At last I was
able to relieve my mother of any cares or
responsibilities, and never again did she have either as
long as she lived. She died in her eighty-first year,
twenty-five years after my father’s death. I shall never
forget her last words to me: “Will, you have never
caused me a moment’s worry since you were born, and
I could not have had more than you have given me had
I been the Queen of England.”
I was making at this time four times more money
than my father had made as superintendent of public
schools in my home town of Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
I AM thankful that I was
born poor – that I did not
come into this world
burdened by the whims
of wealthy parents, with
a bag of gold around ray neck.
All the money, however, passed out of my
pockets as easily as water flows through a sieve.
Expenses increased with every increase in my income,
which is the habit, I suppose, with most people. There
was no sane reason, though, for letting my expenses
go beyond my income, which I did. I found myself
piling up debts, and from this time on I was never out
of debt. I did not worry about my debts, though, for I
thought I could pay them off at any time. It never
occurred to me – not until fully twenty-five years later
– that debt eventually would bring upon me not only
great anxiety and unhappiness, but that I would lose
friends and credit as well.
But I must pat myself on the back for one thing: I
was giving full rein to my big fault – spending money
as fast as I made it, often faster; but I never shirked
my work. I was always trying to find more things to
do, and I always found them. I spent very little time
with my family. I would go home to dinner every
night and romp with the babies until their bedtime,
then I would return to the office and often work.
So the years went by. Another daughter arrived.
Presently I wanted my daughters to have a pony and
cart, and I wanted my son to have a riding horse. Then
I thought I needed a team to take me around with the
family, driving them to a closed coupe or an open
trap. I got them all. Instead of one horse and a carry-
all, or perhaps a team, which would have been
sufficient for our needs and something we could have
afforded, I had to have a stable, with all that goes
with it. This outfit cost me nearly one fourth of my
Then I took up golf. This was in my forty-first
year. I went at my play the same as I went at my work
– put my whole heart in it. I learned to play pretty
well. My son and elder daughter played with me, and
they learned to play well, too.
It was necessary that my younger daughter
should: spend the winter in the South and summers in
the Adirondacks; but instead of her mother going with
her alone, I felt it would be fine if the son and other
daughter went along with them. This arrangement was
carried out. They went to Pinehurst, North Carolina,
every winter and to expensive resorts in the
Adirondacks or in New Hampshire in the summer.
All this took a great deal of money. My son and
elder daughter were keen about golf and spent a lot of
money on it. I also disbursed quite a little on golf
courses around New York. Between the three of us we
won 80 prizes, most of which are now in storage. I sat
down one day and calculated what these prizes had
cost me. I discovered that each trophy had cost
$250.00 or a total of $45,000.00 over a period of
fifteen years, an average of $3,000.00 a year.
Ridiculous, wasn’t it?
I entertained lavishly at my home. Montclair
folks’ thought I was a millionaire. I frequently invited
groups of business men to have a day of golf at the
club, and then to have dinner with me in the eve They
would have been satisfied with a plain home’ dinner,
but, no, I must serve them an elaborate affair staged
by a famous caterer. These dinners never cost less
than ten dollars a plate, which did not include to
money spent for music while they were dining. I had a
negro quartet come to the house. Our dining-room
comfortably seated twenty people, and it was filled to
capacity many times.
It was all very lovely, and I was glad to be their
host. In fact, I was very happy over it. I never stopped
to think how rapidly I was piling up debts. The day
came when they began to bother me a lot. I had
entertained so many guests at the golf club one month,
paying for luncheons, cigars, and greens fees, that my
bill was four hundred and fifty dollars. This attracted
the attention of the directors of the club, who were all
good friends of mine and very much interested in my
welfare. They made it their business to tell me that I
was spending entirely too much money, and they
wished for my sake that I could check my expenses.
This gave me a bit of a jolt. It made me think
seriously long enough to get rid of my horses and
traps – at a big sacrifice, of course. I gave up our
home and moved back to the city; but I did not leave
any unpaid bills in Montclair. I borrowed the money
to pay them. It was always easy for me to get all the
money I wanted, despite my well known financial
Here are two sidelights on my experience during
my “flaring forties.”
Besides spending money foolishly and perhaps
recklessly, I loaned it with equal abandon. In cleaning
out my desk at home before moving to the city I
looked over a package of due bills, the total of which
was over forty thousand dollars. That was money
handed out to just anybody who came along. I tore
them all up; but I realized that if I had that money in
hand I wouldn’t owe a dollar.
One of the prosperous business men I had
entertained many times and who in turn had
entertained me, said to me: “Billy, I’ve got to stop
going on outings with you. You spend entirely too
much money for me. I can’t keep up with you.”
Think of that coming from a man who was
making 1 more money than I was! It should have struck
home, but it didn’t. I went on spending just the same,
and foolishly thinking that I was having a good time,
and with no thought of the future. This man is now
one of the vice presidents of one of New York’s
greatest financial institutions, and is reported to be
worth many millions of dollars.
I should have taken his advice.
In the fall of 1908, after my disastrous experience
of six months in another line of business following my
resignation from the Hearst organization, I resume:
newspaper work as advertising manager of the New
York Evening Mail. I had known Henry L. Stoddard,
editor and owner, back in the Philadelphia days, when
he was political correspondent for the Press.
Despite the fact that I was bothered by debts, r
did the best work of my life on the Evening Mail, and
made more money during the five years I was
associated with it than I had ever made before.
Moreover, Mr. Stoddard gave me the privilege of
syndicating advertising talks, which ran in his paper
for one thousand consecutive publication days, and
earned for me more than fifty-five thousand dollars
Mr. Stoddard was very generous in many other
ways, and frequently paid me special sums of money
for doing what he considered unusual things in the
way of developing business. During this period, I was
so deeply in debt that, in order to keep things moving
as smoothly as possible, but without retrenching in the
slightest way in my expenses, I borrowed money from
Peter to pay Paul and from Paul to pay Peter. That
item of fifty-five thousand dollars earned from
syndicating advertising talks would have more than
paid all my debts and left a nice nest egg besides. But
all of it was spent as easily as though I hadn’t a care
in the world.
In 1915 I went on my own in the advertising
business. From that time until the spring of 1922 my
fees ran into very big figures. I was still making more
money than I ever did, and was spending it just as fast
as I made it, until finally my friends got tired of
making me loans.
If I had shown the slightest inclination to curb my
expenses to the extent of only ten per cent, these
wonderful men would have been willing to divide
fifty-fifty with me, letting me pay them five per cent
of it and saving five per cent. They did not care so
much about the return of the money they had loaned
me, as that they wanted to see me pull myself
The crash in my affairs came five years ago. Two
friends who had stood by me loyally became
impatient, and told me frankly that I needed a drastic
lesson. They gave it to me all right. I was forced into
bankruptcy, which nearly broke my heart. I felt that
every person I knew was pointing the finger of scorn
at me. This was very foolish. While there was
comment, it was not at all unfriendly. It was
expressive of keen regret that a man who had attained
so much prestige in his profession, and had earned so
FORTUNATE is the person who has learned that the most certain way to “get” is to first “give” through some sort of useful service.
much money, should have allowed himself to get into
Proud and sensitive to the core I felt the disgrace
of bankruptcy so keenly that I decided to go to
Florida, where I had once done a special piece of work
for a client. It seemed to me to be the coming El
Dorado. I figured that maybe I could make sufficient
money in a few years so that I could return to New
York, not only with a competency but with enough to
pay all my debts in full. For a time it looked as though
I would realize this ambition; but I was caught in the
big real estate collapse. So here I am back in the old
town where I once had big earning power and
hundreds of friends and well-wishers.
It has been a strange experience.
One thing is certain: I have learned my lesson at
last. I feel sure that opportunities will come my way
to redeem myself, and that my earning power will be
restored to me. And when that time comes I know that
I shall be able to live as well as I ever did, on forty
per cent of my income. Then I shall divide the
remaining sixty per cent into two parts, setting aside
thirty per cent to pay my creditors and thirty per cent
for insurance and savings.
If I allowed myself to feel depressed over my
past, or filled my mind with worries, I would not be
capable of carrying on the fight to redeem myself.
Besides, I would be ungrateful to my Maker for
having endowed me with wonderful health all my life.
Is there any greater blessing?
I would be ungrateful to the memory of my
parents, whose splendid training has kept me anchored
pretty safely to moral standards. Slipping from moral
moorings is infinitely more serious, in the end, than
slipping from the thrift standard.
I would lack appreciation of the encouragement
and support I have had in generous measure from
hundreds of business men and to many good friends
who helped me build a fine reputation in my
These memories are the sunshine of my life. And
I shall use them to pave the way to my future
With abundance of health, unfaltering faith,
unflagging energy, unceasing optimism, and
unbounded confidence that a man can win his fight,
even though he commences late in life to realize the
kind of fight he must make-is there anything but death
to stop him?*
Mr. Freeman’s story is the same as that which
might be told by thousands of other men who save
nothing, with the exception that the amounts of their
incomes would vary. The manner of living, the way
the money was spent, and why, as told in Mr.
Freeman’s narrative, show the way the spender’s mind
Compilation of statistics covering family incomes
and expenditures of over 16,000 families of men who
have been analyzed by the author disclosed some facts
that will be of help to the person who wishes to
budget his income and disbursements on a practical
working basis that is sound and economical.
The average income runs all the way from
$100.00 to $300.00 per month. The budget allowance
covering incomes within these two amounts should be
about as follows:
A family consisting of two persons, whose
income is $100.00 a month, should manage to set
aside at least $10 or $12 a month for the savings
account. The cost of shelter, or rent, should not
exceed $25 or $30 a month. Food costs should average
about $25 to $30. Clothing should be kept within an
expenditure of $15 to $20 a month. Recreation and
incidentals should be kept down to about $8 to $10 a
A family whose income is $100.00 a month,
should that income be increased to $125.00, ought to
save at least $20 of the amount.
A family of two persons, whose income is
$150.00 a month, should budget their funds about as
follows: Savings $25. Shelter or rent $35 to $40. Food
$35 to $40. Clothes, $20 to $30. Recreation $10 to
On a salary of $200 a month the budget should
be: Savings $50. Shelter or rent $40 to $50. Food $35
to $45. Clothes $30 to $35. Recreation $15 to $20.
A family of two, on a salary or income of $300.00
a month, should apportion the income about thus:
Savings $55 to $65. Shelter or rent $45 to $60. Food
$45 to $60. Clothes $35 to $45. Recreation and
education $50 to $75.
Some might argue that a family of two, making a
wry of $300.00 a month, might live just as cheaply as
one making but $100 or $125. However, this is not
quite correct, because one who has the ability to earn
$300.00 a month must as a rule associate with people
who make better appearances and more entertainment
A single man, earning $100.00, $150.00 or
$300.00 a month, should save considerably more than
a man with a family could save on the same amounts.
As a rule, a single man, who has no dependents, and
who is not in debt, should live on a budget of $50 a
month for room and food, and not to exceed $30 a
month for clothes and perhaps $10 for recreation.
These amounts might be slightly increased by one who
earned from $150.00 to $300.00 a month.
A boy who lives away from home, and whose
weekly income is only $20.00 should save $5 of the
amount. The remainder should cover cost of food,
room and clothes.
A girl, living away from home, on the same
income, would require a slightly larger allowance for
clothes, as women’s wearing apparel is more costly
than men’s, and it is generally imperative that women
watch, more closely than men, their personal
A family of three will be able to save
considerably less than the amounts which can be saved
by a family of two. With rare exceptions, however,
such as cases where the family is involved in debt
which must be absorbed out of the monthly income,
any family can save at least five per cent of the gross
It is a common practice today for families to
purchase automobiles on monthly payments which
involve too great an expenditure compared to their
income. A man with a Ford income has no business
purchasing a Studebaker car. He should curb his
desires and content himself with a Ford. Many single
men spend their entire incomes, and often go into debt
besides, because they maintain automobiles out of
keeping with their incomes. This common practice is
fatal to success as far as financial independence may
be considered a part of success, in thousands of
The instalment plan of buying has become so
common, and it is so easy to purchase practically
anything one desires, that the tendency to spend out of
proportion to one’s income is rapidly increasing. This
tendency must be curbed by the person who has made
up his mind to gain financial independence.
It can be done by anyone who is willing to try.
Another evil, which is both an evil and a
blessing, is the fact that this country is so very
prosperous that money comes easily, and if not
watched it goes still more easily. Since the beginning
of the World War there has been a steady demand for
practically everything manufactured in the United
States, and this condition of prosperity has caused
people to lapse into a state of careless, unjustified
There is no virtue in “keeping up with the pace
set by neighbors” when this means sacrifice of the
habit of saving a regular part of one’s income. It is far
better, in the long run, to be considered a bit behind
the times than it is to go along through youth, into the
days of maturity, and finally into old age, without
having formed the habit of systematic saving.
It is better to sacrifice during the age of
youthfulness, than it is to be compelled to do so
during the age of maturity, as all who have not
developed the habit of saving generally have to do.
There is nothing quite so humiliating, that carries
I AM thankful for the
adversities which have
crossed my pathway, for
they have taught me
tolerance, sympathy, self-
control, perseverance and
some other virtues I
might never have known.
such great agony and suffering, as poverty in old age,
when personal services are no longer marketable, and
one mutt turn to relatives or to charitable institutions
A budget system should be maintained by every
person, both the married and the single, but no budget
system will work out if the person trying to keep it
lacks the courage to cut expenses on such items as
those of entertainment and recreation. If you feel so
weak in will-power that you think it necessary to
“keep up with the Smiths” with whom you associate
socially, and whose income is greater than your own,
or who spend all of their income foolishly, then no
budget system can be of service to you.
Forming the savings habit means that, to some
extent at least, you must seclude yourself from all
except a well selected group of friends who enjoy you
without elaborate entertaining on your part.
To admit that you lack the courage to trim down
your expenditures so that you can save money, even if
only a small amount, is the equivalent of admitting at
the same time a lack of the sort of character which
leads to success.
It has been proved times too numerous to be
mentioned, that people who have formed the habit of
saving money are always given preference in positions
of responsibility; therefore, the saving of money not
only adds advantages in the nature of preferred
employment and a larger bank account, but it also
increases the actual earning capacity. Any business
man will prefer to employ a person who saves money
regularly, not because of the mere fact that such
person saves money, but because of the characteristics
possessed by such a person which make him or her
Many firms will not employ a man or a woman
who does not save money.
It should be a common practice for all business
houses to require all employees to save money. This
would be a blessing to thousands of people who would
not otherwise have the will-power to form the savings
Henry Ford has gone a very long way, perhaps as
far as is expedient, to induce his employees not only
to save their money, but to spend what they do spend
wisely, and to live sanely and economically. The man
who induces his employees to form the habit of saving
is a practical philanthropist.
OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME TO THOSE
WHO HAVE SAVED MONEY
A few years ago a young man came to
Philadelphia, from the farming district of
Pennsylvania, and went to work in a printing plant.
One of his fellow workmen owned some shares in a
Building and Loan Company, and had formed the habit
of saving $5.00 a week, through this Association. This
young man was influenced by his associate to open an
account with the Building and Loan Company. At the
end of three years he had saved $900.00. The printing
plant for which he worked got into financial difficulty
and was about to fail. He came to the rescue with his
$900.00 which he had saved in small amounts, and in
return was given a half interest in the business.
By inaugurating a system of close economy he
helped the business to pay off its indebtedness, and
today he is drawing out of it, as his half of the profits,
a little better than $25,000.00 a year.
This opportunity never would have come, or, if it
had, he would not have been prepared to embrace it,
had he not formed the habit of saving money.
When the Ford automobile was perfected, during
the early days of its existence, Henry Ford needed
capital to promote the manufacture and sale of his
product. He turned to a few friends who had saved up
a few thousand dollars, one of whom was Senator
Couzens. These friends came to his rescue, put in a
few thousand dollars with him, and later drew out
millions of dollars in profits.
When Woolworth first started his Five and Ten
Cent Store Plan he had no capital, but he turned to a
few friends who had saved, by the closest sort of
economy and great sacrifice, a few thousand dollars.
These friends staked him and later they were paid
back hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits.
Van Heusen (of soft-collar fame) conceived the
idea of producing a semi-soft collar for men. His idea
was sound, but he had not a cent to promote it. He
turned to a few friends who had only a few hundred
dollars, who gave him a start, and the collar made
each of them wealthy.
The men who started the El Producto Cigar
business had but little capital, and what they did have
was money they had saved from their small earnings
as cigar makers. They had a good idea, and knew how
to make a good cigar, but the idea would have died “a-
bornin’ ” had they not saved a little money. With their
meager savings they launched the cigar, and a few
and a few years later they sold out their business to
the American Tobacco Company for $8,000,000.00.
Back of practically every great fortune one may
find, as its beginning, a well developed habit of
John D. Rockefeller was an ordinary bookkeeper.
He conceived the idea of developing the oil business,
which was then not even considered a business. He
needed capital, and because he had developed the
habit of saving, and had thereby proved that he could
conserve the funds of other people, he had no
difficulty in borrowing what money he needed.
It may be truthfully stated that the real basis of
the Rockefeller fortune is the habit of saving money
which Mr. Rockefeller developed, while working as a
bookkeeper at a salary of $40.00 a month.
James J. Hill was a poor young man, working as a
telegrapher, at a salary of $30.00 a month. He
conceived the idea of the Great Northern Railway
System, but his idea was out of proportion to his
ability to finance. However, he had formed the habit
of saving money, and on the meager salary of $30.00 a
month had saved enough to enable him to pay his
expenses on a trip to Chicago, where he interested
capitalists in financing his plan. The fact that he,
himself, had saved money on a small salary was
considered good evidence that he would be a safe man
to trust with other people’s money.
Most business men will not trust another man
with their money unless he has demonstrated his
ability to take care of his own and use it wisely. The
test, while it is often embarrassing to those who have
not formed the Habit of Saving, is a very practical
A young man who worked in a printing plant in
the city of Chicago wanted to open a small print shop
and go into business for himself. He went to a printing
supply house manager and made known his wants,
saying he desired credit for a printing press and some
type and other small equipment.
The first question asked by the manager was
“Have you saved any money of your own?”
He had! Out of his salary of $30.00 a week he had
saved $15.00 a week regularly for nearly four years.
He got the credit he wanted. Later on he got more
credit, until today he has built up one of the most
successful printing plants in the city of Chicago. His
name is George B. Williams, and he is well known, as
are also the facts here stated, to the author of this
Many years after this incident, the author of this
course became acquainted with Mr. Williams, and at
the end of the war, in 1918, the author went to Mr.
Williams and asked for credit amounting to many
thousands of dollars, for the purpose of publishing the
Golden Rule Magazine. The first question asked was:
“Have you formed the habit of saving money.” Despite
the fact that all the money I had saved was lost in the
war, the mere fact that I had actually formed the
savings habit was the real basis on which I got credit
for upward of $30,000.00.
There are opportunities on every corner, but they
exist only for those who have ready money, or who
can command money because they have formed the
Habit of Saving, and developed the other
characteristics which go with the formation of the
savings habit known by the general term of
LOVE and Justice are
the real arbiters of all
disputes. Give them a
chance and you will no
longer want to defeat a
brother sojourner by the
wayside of life.
The late J. P. Morgan once said he would rather
loan a million dollars to a man of sound character,
who had formed the habit of saving money, than he
would a thousand dollars to a man without character,
who was a spendthrift.
Generally speaking, this is the attitude which the
world takes toward all men who save money.
It often happens that a small savings account of
no more than two or three hundred dollars is sufficient
to start one on the highway to financial independence.
A few years ago a young inventor invented a
household article which was unique and practical. He
was handicapped, as inventors so often are, because he
did not have the money to market his invention.
Moreover, not having formed the savings habit he
found it impossible to borrow money through banking
His room-mate was a young machinist who had
saved $200.00. He came to the inventor’s aid with this
small sum of money, and had enough of the articles
manufactured to give them a start. They went out and
sold, from house to house, the first supply, then came
back and had another supply made up, and so on, until
they had accumulated (thanks to the thrift and savings
ability of the room-mate) a capital of $1,000.00. With
this, plus some credit they secured, they bought the
tools for manufacturing their own product.
The young machinist sold his half interest in the
business, six years later, for $250,000.00. He never
would have handled this much money, during his
entire life, had he not formed the habit of saving,
which enabled him to come to the rescue of his
This case might be multiplied a thousand times,
with but slight variation as to details, as it is fairly
descriptive of the beginning of many great fortunes
that have been made and are now in the making, in the
It may seem like a sad, cruel fact, but it is a
FACT none the less, that if you have no money, and
have not developed the habit of saving, you are “out
of luck” as far as availing yourself of the opportunity
to make money is concerned.
It can do no harm to repeat-in fact it should be
repeated over and over again-that the real start of
nearly all fortunes, whether great or small, is the
formation of the habit of saving money!
Get this basic principle firmly founded in your
mind and you will be well on the road toward
financial in dependence)
It is a sad sight to see a man, well along in years,
who has sentenced himself to the wearisome treadmill
of hard labor all the days of his life because he has
neglected forming the habit of saving money, yet there
are millions of such men living, in the United States
The greatest thing in life is FREEDOM!
There can be no real freedom without a
reasonable degree of financial independence. It is a
terrible thing to be compelled to be at a certain place,
at a certain task (perhaps a task which one does not
like) for a certain number of hours every working day
of the week, for a whole life-time. In some ways this
is the same as being in prison, since one’s choice of
action is always limited. It is really no better than
being in prison with the privilege of a “trusty,” and in
some ways it is even worse because the man who is
imprisoned has escaped the responsibility of providing
a place to sleep, something to eat and clothes to wear.
The only hope of escape from this life-long toil
which curtails freedom is to form the habit of saving
money, and then live up to that habit, no matter how
much sacrifice it may require. There is no other way
out for millions of people, and unless you are one of
the rare exceptions this lesson and all these statements
of fact are meant for YOU, and apply to you!
Neither a borrower, nor a
For loan oft loses both itself
And borrowing dulls the edge
This above all: to thine own
self be true,
And it must follow, as the
night the day,
Thou canst not then be false
to any man.
EVERYTHING PASSES AT PAR, TEMPORARILY; TRUTH ALONE REMAINS PERMANENTLY