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March 14, 2010


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I agree with you that thrift appears to be making a comeback. We can only go so long consuming more than we produce before something has to give.

Excellent post! Something I wish they talked more about in church: Finance. I can't even remember the last sermon I heard dealing with money. I feel like the church should spend more time on this subject, considering it plays such a huge part in our lives. Also this is just MY church.

Great point: "Marital fidelity is only as good as your worst affair. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And thrift is only as valuable as your worst budget blunder". We use this concept is many other parts of our lives, why shouldn't it apply to our finance lives, I like that.

Your statement "Marital fidelity is only as good as your worst affair. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And thrift is only as valuable as your worst budget blunder" seem to be saying that thrift and fidelity only go so far to help?

I do agree--it's useless to save pennies on dishwashing detergent by clipping coupons while you purchase an expensive car on credit. It's also useless to be faithful to your husband/wife 90% of the time.

While I agree with the "old" definition of thrift, my experiences recently seem to indicate that the term has been co-opted by a different group of people---sorry, I've dated some of these guys!

They free-cycle and etc while being irresponsible in many other parts of their lives.

They have children (living with their wives or parents) and college educations (paid for by their parents), yet they choose to enjoy a slacker lifestyle of not working much and therefore don't really contribute to their kids' upbringing. Yet they are unbearably preachy about how "thrifty" they are, how they don't contribute to global warming, capitalism blah blah.

So I have negative associations with the word "thrift". Can't we just call it "responsibility" instead?

I love the Scout Law. Thrift and cooperative living are both old-time virtues that should have never gone old. Now you can easily do both on this new online resource:
that connects neighbors to help us save and build community to help us live more cooperatively.

That Depression-era slogan isn't much different from the "Reduce, reuse, recycle" we hear today -- only now it's promoted for environmental rather than financial purposes. I never understood why it's considered noble to avoid waste if it's done to save the environment but seen as miserly when it's done to save money.

In my book, WEALTH VIRTUES, Benjamin Franklin's use of Frugality to "make no expense but to do good to others or yourself - waste nothing" is confused by many in their understanding of Wants vs Needs. People often think that Frugality implies “doing without” and to deny themselves the pleasurable things in life. Rather, we need to look at Frugality as a means of appreciating what we have. We use it to make the best use of our resources to accomplish goals we set for ourselves. I applaud your statement that "Saving and giving or investing is the way to feed the hungry and raise the masses of the world out of poverty." Though Wealth itself is not a virtue, but simply a marker, our practice of the virtue of Thrift or Frugality can help not only ourselves, but those around us as well.

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