Monday, July 21, 2014

The Art of Husbandry

     The first time I saw the word husbandry was on my SAT’s. I had no clue. I looked it up and found out it meant, “The economical and sensible management of resources.” There should be a class on Husbandry; it should be taught before middle school when children are still somewhat malleable. After that, children tend to argue about everything and will not understand that being frugal can eventually lead to having your favorite piece of clothing, smart phone, or car. My favorite story about husbandry happened about twenty or so years ago. One of my husband’s customers, who was very wealthy, wanted some electrical work done. My husband gave him a certain figure of let’s say $740.00, which was spot on regarding expenses of material and man hour. This gentleman wanted my husband to reduce the price by forty dollars. My husband explained that the price was the best he could do. This man argued that forty dollars bought a lot of milk at the store, so he would not give him that extra amount. My husband finally acquiesced. The incident taught both Mike and I a great lesson. Every penny counts!
     There are some individuals who buy what they want when they want it, thinking it’s only $1.00 or it’s only $10.00. What they fail to realize is that every dollar counts. Believe it or not, every penny counts. I save all my coins and turn them in at the end of the month. At that point I have enough for a manicure or pedicure. Many of my friends, my daughter, and my daughter in law cut out coupons and literally save $50 - $70 dollars on food shopping. The money they save is set aside for vacations or children’s clothing and extracurricular activities like gymnastics, violin lessons, etc. Some people just do not understand that husbandry can lead to a wealth of surplus. Living within one’s means does not mean always living without. It means knowing when to buy, what to buy, and at what price one should buy.
     I find it sad that some people have to have brand names though they cannot afford them. They have to have the most up to date smart phone or I Pad even though they don’t need a newer version. Some individuals look at luxury items as necessary items, so they have all the “little” stuff and then are upset when they don’t have enough money to go on vacation or buy a better car or bigger home. They blame everyone except themselves. My mother’s generation survived the depression; my generation survived the civil liberation and women’s liberation movements. Women learned to become independent and we did so by having our own savings and checking accounts. We learned the art of husbandry and liberated ourselves from our husbands.
     I think what many need to learn is that being frugal does not mean one is denying oneself of the finer things in life. The truth is that in being frugal, one is preparing for the finer things in life. Poor Richard’s Almanac declares, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Good old Benjamin Franklin had it right. He lived the concept of husbandry. He could well afford anything he wanted, yet his home was not extravagant. He travelled the United States and abroad; he ate three square meals a day; he had fine clothing, and he provided well for his family. I think everyone should learn the art of husbandry, so we will never succumb to the temptation of buying what we cannot afford and be led into debt. 

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