The Character of Thrift
Thrift is defined as: the characteristic of using a minimum of something (especially money). I also believe that Thrift defines a person because, to be considered thrifty means that a habit must form, a habit and a mental desire to use less.
“The habit of thrift is simply the habit which dictates that you shall earn more than you spend. In other words, thrift is the habit that provides that you shall spend less than you earn. Take your choice.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
If you are thrifty you are deciding to not live beyond your means, so that would require a control of your character. It means that when your mind says, “I want this, I want that and now!”, you will calm your desires by telling yourself not now, later, or just a no. Since it is an ongoing act of discipline, the patience learned and the satisfaction in having less does spread throughout your whole life, in many areas. Once you find that you have more control of your money and wants, you become a more content person. With that, you are able to not only take care of yourself but, those around you as well.
“Thrift is that habit of character that prompts one to work for what he gets, to earn what is paid him; to invest a part of his earnings; to spend wisely and well; to save, but not to hoard.” ~Arthur Chamberlain wisdom
Thrift allows you a surplus that gives you the power to dictate terms, to lead a life without the control from outward source, such as debt. Thrift allows you to say to yourself and those around you, “I am sufficient with who I am and what I have.” The habit of thrift allows you to understand the care of items and how to make them last. You also determine how much or how long you will use the item and in this way, you rely even less on others or on the land. In essence you provide self–sufficiency and who wouldn’t be happier knowing they are taking care of themselves.
“Save a part of your income and begin now, for the man with a surplus controls circumstances and the man without a surplus is controlled by circumstances.” ~ Henry H Buckley
“More people should learn to tell their dollars where to go instead of asking them where they went.” ~ Roger Babson
When you are thrifty and caring for your items, it is obvious that someone who makes their money last or to extend the life of a coat, will also be someone who wants their life to last. Thrift allows you to be healthier; you see the good in not overeating, getting a good amount of rest, and putting your body in the best physical condition it can be for a longer life as well. Thrift gives you new perspective on life. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” and “Time is Money”.
“Debt is the secret foe of thrift, as vice and idleness are its open foes. The debt-habit is the twin brother of poverty.” ~Thornton T. Munger
Thrift is not about skipping a meal or dressing poorly for the sake of a savings account. It is about having what you need and not buying what you don’t need. Moderation is the twin to Thrift; where as you have thrift you have moderation in life. You will find someone who understands thrift and vice versa. Where thrift is moderation on the spectrum, overspending with no thought of the future is on one end and hoarding with no thought of today is on the other end. Because of this, we may find ourselves inching closer to one end or the other. We need to make every effort to balance as close to moderation as we can, in order to keep our ‘world’ in balance as well.
Thrift in thought will produce thrift in deed and as every person understands, a little done every day produces a person who grows stronger in the discipline.
Dawn C. is site owner of Frugalforlife.com and is residing in Colorado with her spouse, Teri, of 11 years. Dawn can be reached at Frugalforlife@gmail.com