Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology

Front Parlor of Farm Cottage

It has been said that Mothers of old time spent their leisure hours reading the Bible to their children.  These Mothers also lived a moral and virtuous life. The greatest witness of true character and holiness, are the eyes of the immediate family.

When Mother's hobby and devotion revolves entirely around the home, she has the freedom and the privilege of training her children in godliness. 

(Do we realize that this is why mothers are being pulled away from the hearth?)

I remember when my children were little. The main part of their education was Scripture. We did not  focus on memorizing some verses. We did not do short devotions or read little devotional books.   We, the children from the age of solid readers (5 and up) and I, read the entire Bible over and over again, year after year after year.

We also had some help. . .

If the children didn't know the meaning of a word, We looked to the 1800's Webster's Dictionary. This is an enormous, hardcover book that cost me well over $60.  It has thousands of pages.  The children greatly respected this treasured resource.   

If a phrase or passage confused me or the children, we looked to Matthew Henry.  Or we used the Strong's Concordance.   Later, we also added John MacArthur's study Bible to help answer our questions.

But the daily, hour by hour, readings took place using the trusty old KJV Bible.  The children sharpened their minds with those "antiquated" words.  They sharpened their reading skills and committed to memory (from repetitive reading) many precious truths.

As most of my children have grown up, I have heard and seen how they have faced "giants" of confusing doctrine. I have seen them stand their ground against unbiblical religions and people trying to convince them of another way.  And each time, these children have prevailed and stood strong, as the strongest roots of an ancient oak tree.  .  . Unbending and sure of their Faith.  While these children still struggle with their sin nature (as we all will until we reach the heavenly gates), nothing can sway them away from the lessons learned in the old parlour.  Why? Because they learned sacred, ancient truths, that have stood the test of time.

The other day, I was sitting at the parlour table.  I had my books and Bible laid out before me. One of my teenagers came by and wanted to read with me.  We looked through Scripture and looked to our "helpers" to understand passages. And we delighted in spending valuable, fleeting time, on that which was eternal. 

Our home may be old, with ripped up linoleum and cracks in the walls.  The furnishings may be torn and "dated."  We may have plain, inexpensive foods to share.  We may have a poor income.  But the time spent in my humble parlour, in my school of theology, is the greatest place this Mother could ever be.

Mrs. White

Make it Look Like - The Maid Was Here.

What To Do When - There Isn't Much.

Joyful Homemaking with - Kitchen Sermons.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How Much is a Housewife Worth?

Housewife in Kitchen Grating Carrot

It amazes me that people still think homemakers lay around and do nothing.  Obviously it varies in each family, but for the most part, a working- class housewife is very busy, and saves her husband a fortune.

Here are some examples of what she does on a regular daily/ or weekly basis. (Please note - I am speaking generally here. This is just a list of very common examples of what many housewives do at home) -


1. Cooks Homemade foods (saves money on restaurants). 

2.  Her home cooking keeps the family more healthy (less doctor bills or health troubles).

3. Her homemade meals and snacks fill the family up, so they are not as likely to eat large amounts of expensive store -bought junk food and snack items.

4. Her meal planning and frugal shopping strategies is like doing inventory-control in a restaurant. She works hard to avoid waste and excessive spending, keeping the grocery budget in line.


4. If she is home most of the time, she is not wasting money on gas, or impulse spending.  There is less wear and tear on the car. 

Being home helps her be more creative and resourceful. When she is less stressed, she can do more work at home.  (This is not to say she should never go out!)


5.  It would cost $40 and up each week to hire a maid to deep clean the house.  This includes washing floors, dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing the kitchen.  The housewife does these jobs herself. She also trains her children to help  with these chores.


6.   Hiring a babysitter or putting the children in day care can cost something like 100 plus dollars each week.  A Housewife who is home, can take on this job herself, saving a fortune of the household funds.

7. Tutoring, teaching and training of young children can generally be done by the housewife. Some homeschool their children which saves a fortune in "back-to-school" clothes, tuition, and transportation.


8.  Mothers who are home can nurse their families back to health, and help maintain their well-being. They can also help prevent the spread of germs and build up immune systems with their careful nursing.  Mom will certainly bring sick ones to the doctor when necessary, but she is able to generally care for many things on her own.

9. Housewives are also called on for psychology. They listen and guide and help solve the family troubles.  Their loving concern and attention soothes the aches of others and helps them back on the right track.  Since these mothers are home-focused, they are not being pulled in all directions, and have the time to peacefully handle a crisis when it comes along.


9. She is generally more content with a less expensive home.  There is no need to maintain an expensive two-income property. This saves money on insurance, repairs, maintenance, upkeep, mortgages, and so much more.

10.  The housewife can do her own frugal decorating. She can keep a nice (yet humble) home with all the time she has at her disposal. 


11. Have you ever noticed the joy of going into a home where the mom is home and happy? The house looks fairly neat. The children are being cared for.  There is good food waiting to be served.  It is a happy place to be. [Is there a dollar amount for that?]    Of course, this is not to say that a housewife will never get grumpy. How boring would that be? - gentle smiles.


12. The Housewife is able to have time to teach her children the Bible, to read with them and to encourage them to have strong religious values.   Abraham Lincoln grew up in a home where the Bible was valued, respected and read.  The Word of the Lord brings wisdom and this helps raise good citizens.  When a Home has the constant presence and  influence of a godly mother, such great things can happen to a nation!  [What is this worth in dollars and cents?]

(Are we, as a nation, losing more than just money when a diligent housewife is no longer at home?)

Please consider adding up how much is spent each month when a housewife doesn't do these things at home.  I know it would be time consuming, but those dollars and cents add up to a considerable sum of money, which could be used for so many other things.  Imagine taking that monthly figure and multiplying it by 12, then multiply that by several years, and you will have an amazing nest egg that will astound you.

What if having mom home made it possible for the family to NEED LESS INCOME?  Would the Dads be able to spend more time at home? Would the family have more time together?

Perhaps this is one way of getting off the common money quest, and of hiring out all the work a housewife is capable of doing at home.  

Now tell me, how much do you think a housewife is worth?  And what other ways is she saving her family a fortune?

Mrs. White

A Very Sweet Encouraging Book,  - Mama's Bank Account.

Bringing back excitement and hospitality - Just for Company.

Work at Home - No One Respects Homemaking Anymore.

A Very Precious Home Industry - The Gentle Art of Homekeeping.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Financial Separation of the Social Classes

Apartment of Wealthy White Russian Family About to Be Evacuated

Throughout the ages, there have always been different "classes" in society. We have the wealthy, the middle class, the lower class, and those in complete poverty.   In our current day, we have an illusion which masks our social status.   Obviously this is because we are able to carry debts to live at a higher standard of living. 

What I want to do today, is briefly examine the different classes. My hope is that once we see which class we are in, we can either be content and live accordingly, or we can work hard and responsibly to move to a higher financial class over a reasonable period of time.

The Wealthy

These are the financially independent. They have passive incomes. Passive - meaning without any effort. No labor required.  This income could be from a trust, an inheritance that was invested giving them continual payouts, stock income, or other investment income. Another possibility - generally for the young -  they receive an income from family as long as they do as they are told. (You've heard the threats of the ultra rich saying they will "cut off" all support if they don't do as they are asked?)

 Most commonly, the ultra - rich have wealth that has been carefully accumulated and passed down from generation to generation.

Characteristics -  They tend to own multiple homes, vacation properties, have a full staff of servants, own multiple businesses, own yachts, travel the world, have expensive cars and spend their time at charitable events, visiting, and carefully overseeing the family fortune.

If you have plenty of money to do whatever you wish, without any need to work whatsoever, you are in the wealthy class.  Very Few will ever move up to this rank.

 (Just in case you were wondering, I don't personally know anyone who is in this class. Also, if it wasn't obvious - I am not in this group :)

The Middle Class

Generally, this is the professional class. These tend to be college educated, white-collar workers.  This class has to labor to earn their income.   Many have been brought up in similar homes, by college educated parents and come from some sort of privileged background.  Privileged - meaning by white collar parents who have financially subsidised their children's growing up years and have helped them get established as adults.  

The key to surviving in this group, it seems to me, is the education.  These people are highly educated.

Characteristics - They own at least one very nice home in a beautiful neighborhood.   They may or may not have dual income couples. Many have only one parent working. The other parent tends to the affairs of the home, their social obligations, and community events.  This group has at least one domestic staff member. Either one full time maid, or a weekly maid service. Some have nannies and cooks.  This group goes on vacations and has a generously budgeted amount of spending money.  Their children tend to get an allowance, have plenty of new clothes, and can shop as needed.  This group has medical and dental insurance, and other benefits from work - like stock options, pensions and retirement plans.   This group has no financial  trouble getting on a plane when necessary.

This group is not wealthy since they have limited resources, which are dependent on working and getting paid in order to maintain their status.  

This group can, over generations of careful investments and a savings plan, move up to a budgeted state of financial independence. (This would be from passive income, built up and invested over time).  They would remain on a budget to make the money last, but they would be comfortable.

It is very difficult to  move up to this class, but can happen with help, encouragement, and possibly a generation or two of very hard study and work.   ( I personally know several people in this group. Some are even related to me.)

Can this group drop to a lower class? Are they in danger of this? Most definitely.   Two possible problems could come up - a lifetime of financial mistakes, or a collapsed economy.

The Lower Class

This is the blue-collar group who labor for their money. They may or may not live from paycheck-to paycheck.  Generally speaking, this group is NOT college educated. Or, at least does not have a college degree.  In my observation, there are two types of the lower class:

1. The Strugglers
[Those who struggle constantly to get to a higher class, and who are often in debt and have constant financial trials.]

Characteristics - This group may own or rent a home. They might finance a car. They might finance all manner of things and begin to require consumer debt just to survive. This group is often trying out the latest "get rich quick" program, hoping it will make their lives better. They are on a quest for money, but don't understand the concept of money. This group tends to have very little financial education. They may bounce checks at the bank, cannot balance their books and argue with bankers about overdrawn accounts. They have trouble paying their bills and misspend much of their earnings. They blame others and the economy for their woes.

This group cannot move to a higher class and will not even more to the class of "the content" [below] in their level because they cannot slow down long enough to change the way they live. In most cases, their children will repeat the same patterns.

2.   The Content
[Those who tend to avoid debt, and manage to generally be content with their lot.]

Characteristics - This group may rent a home, or own an inexpensive house. Very few of them ever finance a car, furniture or anything else that would cause debt. Not because they are necessarily averse to it (they are) but because they do not want to put other things in danger by promising over future money that they aren't sure they can consistently keep up with.  These people tend to be content with inherited furniture (or things bought at second-hand stores), and few possessions.   Once this group has enough chairs, and other furniture, they rarely ever buy more (or new) their entire lives.

They are very diligent at saving and careful spending. Their home expenses are kept to a minimum by very frugal endeavors.  This group will have to work their entire lives in order to keep to their standard of living.  They have no funds for a domestic staff. They generally do all their own home repairs, housework and car repairs. Or they trade out with friends, by helping each other.  In some cases, they do hire help for emergency situations but these expenses put a tremendous burden on their finances and could put them in danger of going hungry or having an electric bill shut off, or lose their winter heat, until they can get their bills caught up.  Some will find odd jobs (if they are lucky) and work a horrific amount of hours just to keep food on the table during this time. But these people have great characters, and a tremendous work ethic. 

It is possible, however, that their children can move to a higher class. Through sacrifice and hard work, their children can become educated in high paying trades, and carefully taught skills (both hands-on skills and book learning) to be able to earn a high and steady paycheck.  In must be noted here that the children themselves have to be hard working in order for this to work.

This group is highly educated in frugality and thrift. This is what helps them survive. They are also fully aware of the stock market, investments and money management, but are not able to use those skills with their limited earning potential.

Those In Poverty

This group can include those who are homeless, or those who are completely dependent on others for basic needs.  Anyone from any class can fall into this category, and it is devastating.   This group is not necessarily a "class" but a part of society where help is greatly needed, and always will be.  Those in the upper classes must find a way to be charitable, through organziations or their local food pantries, etc. to help on a regular basis.


They key to surviving in each class is financial education.  We need to constantly learn and understand the latest developments in our modern world - relating to money.   Even the ultra rich could possibly lose their wealth if a generation of their offspring spent away their money and made poor investment decisions. 

My recommendations to financially survive:

To Get Out of Debt

- Anything Dave Ramsey (He is the only one I recommend for debt elimination because he understands the difficulty of the "now," when one is struggling financially. He is also realistic and an incredible motivator.)

To Learn to Live on Very Little and Be Content

- Anything from The Good Old Days publications (with Ken Tate). Looking back in history to the Great Depression, will help us understand how they got by through incredibly rough times.  There are also a treasure trove of ideas for fun, happiness and inspiration that doesn't require any money.

To Learn To Live on Very Little

 - Your Money or Your Life will help put this all in perspective.  This book may also help you get off the crazy "Money Quest" that is ravaging our culture.

To Learn to Invest and Build Wealth

You will get many ideas and inspiration from Rich Dad Poor Dad.  

Learn how to Budget and Handle money wisely

Anything from Crown Financial Ministries, and the late Larry Burkett,  is amazing for this!

Being Content in your Class

Now that we've talked about the characteristics of each class, have you figured out where you stand?  I  know exactly which spot our family belongs in. But now the question is, are you content there? Or would you rather work your way up to the ultra rich?

The most important thing about the distinction of the classes, is learning to live as that class must live.  This includes studying money, staying within a budget and finding ways to build the education and skills of your family.  There are only 3 ways of moving up in a class:  1. An inheritance.  2. Winning the lottery. or 3. Hard work, tremendous study and patience!

One of the greatest books written for the lower class (which is the group a great many Americans are in) is The American Frugal Housewife.  Her introductory pages in the beginning are inspiring and sobering. She is also very clear that one should not "dress above their station in life," (which is a beneficial thought relating to the classes. We can't spend more money to live, than we can realistically afford.)

May I just say this? Don't be ashamed of the class you are in. Be grateful. Take pride in your lot in life.  It is amazing that we have so much freedom in this country that we can work our way up if we choose to.  We have the Immigrants as examples. Their hard work and determination helped build the wealth that generations of children now enjoy today.  Take pride in your class, just as the Immigrants took pride in theirs.

Mrs. White

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This post is part of The Christian Home Magazine in the Financial category. To see more articles in different aspects of Home life, please visit the latest issue, hosted at Day by Day in our World.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Home Entertainment without Movies or Television

The Music Lesson

Lately, I have gotten into some bad habits. I forgot what it was like to just enjoy home without distractions.   I forgot how to pass the time at home in a pleasant way. This coming week, I am hoping for a more quiet, simplified life.  I have a plan. It will last for 7 days.  I will not watch television. . . not even DVDs. I am even willing to stay away from classic favorites like The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie.

I want to read more.  I want to hand-sew, and bake, and spend more time enjoying kitchen work, and my household duties.  I wonder if this bit of time I didn't realize I was missing out on, will enable me to delight in washing windows,  iron more, and enjoy decorating and organizing on a regular basis.

Unexpected guests are more welcome when I am not involved in a program, even something as pleasant as You Can't Take it With You, Starring Jimmy Stewart.  I think this constant access to a "home theater" (television) where I can see "plays" (movies) and programs any time I want has made it less special.  I am hoping that this 7 day fast from television will help me set a new routine of watching one thing a week. . . one thing that is carefully selected. . . something that will be enjoyed and appreciated much more than what has been too accessible.

This week, I hope to do the following things:

1. Sweep my front porch every morning (in the beautiful summer air).
2. Hang clothes on the line before breakfast.
3. Read my Bible more, and read calming, inspiring literature more.
4. Bake and cook more often.
5. Mend and Sew for relaxation, while visiting in the parlour (my living room).
6. Enjoy hours of homemaking - such as decorating, organizing, polishing and shining things up.
7. Write old fashioned letters to cheer and surprise the recipients.

Dear Readers, I would love to hear your thoughts:

- If you were to take this week off from common home entertainments, what would you do?

- If you don't watch television or movies, what does your family do throughout the day?

Mrs. White

Home Economics - Why The High Cost of Food?

Class and Style in Homemaking - When Mother is the Maid.

Don't Change - Even When the Children are Growing up - Sitting Alone at the Kitchen Table.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Hosting a Baby Shower

In late June, I hosted a baby shower in my home. This was for my daughter, who is so excited!  I want to share a few pictures with you, and tell you some of the things we did.


1. I bought decorations at our local Rite- Aid.  This includes the pretty cut-outs on the walls, the table centerpieces and the colorful bears which trimmed the table.   The cost was under $10.

2. I bought blue (the baby is a boy) paper plates and a table cloth from dollar store.

3. I bought solo cups, napkins and plastic silverware for a minimal cost.


1.  I set up a small school desk. This is where we put a serving tray full of "goodie boxes" which contained mints and tootsie rolls.

2.  In the center of this tray were pastel mints in a little bowl.  

3. I used my computer to create "guest book" pages. There is a space for the date, the name of the event, the name of the expectant mother and a place for each guest to write their name and comments.
I used a hole punch and then tied the pages together with yarn.  [After the shower, these guest pages went into a special book - more on that later.]

4.  As each guest came in the door, they were directed to sign the book. I then introduced them to everyone in the group.

Guest Book and Treats in the Front Entryway


1.  I used a three-ring binder (with pockets) for this.  I found a pretty picture online and made a cover page. 

2.  I searched for quotes that would encourage the new mother.   Here are some examples:

"If I am Thy child, O God, it is because Thou gavest me such a mother." - St. Augustine.

"My Mother's occupation and hobby, vocation and avocation was motherhood." - Mary Higgins Clark.

"I remember my mother's prayers and they  have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life." - Abraham Lincoln.

"I looked on child-rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring it." - Rose Kennedy.

3.   Some of the people who were invited, but could not attend, sent notes and thoughts for the book.   The expectant mother can add more pages to the book over time.

4.  After the shower was over, we put all the cards and letters into the pockets on the inside cover. 

The Mother's Book


1. On the invitations, each guest was asked to bring a dessert or treat.  We had brownies, fruit salad, and crackers. 

2. I made two cakes. One was a white bunt cake with chocolate frosting.  The other was a white cake with vanilla frosting and was covered with fresh strawberries.

3.  We had lemonade and soda for beverages.


So many lovely gifts were given. Here is a small sampling:

1.  Baby Magic Lotion - This is my favorite and has a wonderful scent!

2. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy's Piano - This is such a cute toy! It is for ages 6 - 36 months. A baby can play the piano and listen to the sounds of counting, colors, and more.  It has English and Spanish words. 

3. Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker - When my children were babies, we had a more retro version of this. But the basic premise is still there.  Mother can sit in a chair and rock the baby with her foot when she needs to.  The baby will also be very entertained by the new modern features which include music!

4. Snoopy Crib Bedding - We had sort of a snoopy theme! This adorable bedding will brighten up the baby's room and look so sweet!

Some of the Presents before all the Guests Arrived

Overall, my daughter had a lovely time and was so grateful for all the sweet gifts and fellowship she received!

Mrs. White

*Disclosure - Fisher Price provided me with the piano puppy for review/ promotional purposes.*

Joining with
French Country Cottage, My Romantic Home, The Shabby Nest, Home Stories A to Z.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Laboring Despite Weariness

Home of Lincoln at Gentryville, Indiana, from a Book Pub. 1896

I have often marvelled at the reserves of energy my tired husband seems to have.   He will drink coffee in the early evening so he can be awake to finish a few more chores.  I couldn't understand why he didn't just sleep and forget the extra work. 

In the last few weeks, I have been overly busy with my older children. I hosted a baby shower, had guests in my home at all times of the day, went to several events, did heavy shopping, and extra cleaning.  Somehow, I got stronger and learned to pace myself enough to get it all done.   I pushed aside distractions and wouldn't allow myself to be pulled away from the task at hand. 

My goal is to make the most of my time as a mother. (How long do I really have left?)  I want to make events special, and my home a happy haven.  This all takes a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes labor, which is seemingly unnoticed.    Lately, I have done this all cheerfully, and have been thrilled with my daily accomplishments.

I also noticed this working in other areas of our life.  I have daily Bible time with my teenage son (he is my last homeschool student).  John and I read two chapters at each reading.    However, sometimes life gets in the way, and our time is delayed.   Last night, it had gotten so late, I mentioned that perhaps we should read only one chapter?  He gave me such a look. Like I was a slacker (smiles). And said almost sternly, almost accusingly,  "Why can't we read two?"  I was grateful for his persistence and we read the required two chapters.  We were both proud of ourselves, realizing that if we had all day for other things, why on earth would we skip the daily religious disciplines?

My children watch Mr. White and I work hard on a daily basis. They see us quietly laboring without complaint.  They watch as we do difficult things despite weariness.  They also see us enjoy our rests and the fruit of our labor.  This example in life, and in religious duties, helps our children learn to work despite the hard times.  It teaches them to persevere, but to also come alongside and help us when we start failing. 

If I gave in to my "tiredness" and slept as much as I wish I could, what kind of life would I be portraying to those around me?    To work hard each day, and yes to earn my rest, is one of the best examples I can give to my children.

Mrs. White

The Warmth of Home - The Light in the Window.

Remembering - The Blessing of Being a Half-Southern Mama.

Let All Godly Homes be like - The Mission House.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day in Vermont

A View of the Declaration of Independence

Yesterday, in our homeschool, I read the Declaration of Independence. It was heartbreaking, sad and amazing.   As I read, I explained brief sections, difficult vocabulary words and phrases, making it come alive for my student.     We were both amazed at what happened in our country.  We are both grateful for the freedom in America and the fact that our country was built on a strong Biblical foundation.

Today, I will read about some of the signers.  I am using "For You They Signed," by Marilyn Boyer.  We will continue to study it for many months.  There is enough inspiration in this book to last an entire year.

Today, we will celebrate and remember.  I will bake a lemon cake and decorate it with cool whip, strawberries and blueberries.  We will have corn on the cob and watermelon. 

Some of my children will attend a parade, here in rural Vermont.    There will be fireworks in town later tonight.    We will have a few visitors throughout the day.  We will use the opportunity to discuss the founding fathers of this country and the sacrifices they made.  It will strengthen our own courage, and our faith.

Right now, I am missing my home state of Massachusetts. One of my children was born in Boston and we are so proud! (smiles)  There is so much history in that great city!   The parade in my hometown is the most incredible, patriotic event I have ever attended.  I miss it dearly!   To soothe some of my homesickness, I will watch  "Boston Pops" on television.  When I was a teenager, I took the subway into the city of Boston, with some relatives, and we saw the entire live performance.  It brought tears to my eyes. Tears of pride and gratefulness.

May this special day be full of meaning for you and your family. 

Mrs. White

Calling the Children to Supper - Mother's Dinner Bell.

Those Were the Days - When Television Was Special.

Fighting off Feminism - The Old Time Housewife.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Living Without Credit Cards

Daughter of Jobless Miner Standing in Alley Between Rows of "Company" Houses

I don't think we realize the extreme poverty that is hiding behind the modern credit industry.   American culture is under the illusion of wealth because of our growing consumer debt.   

There has always been 'credit' and 'debt', but not the dependence on credit cards to survive.  This is what frightens me.

In the early years of my marriage, credit cards were rare. We all waited for the next paycheck, or the next month, before we bought items that weren't essential.  We had our budget for food and rent. But things like clothes, home decor, or gifts were not part of the financial plan.  We had to save and wait to buy those things.   I remember waiting an entire year before we finally got curtains for our apartment.   If we didn't have a bed, we slept on cushions on the floor.

 If we needed shoes for the children, and didn't have the money, we would go to the local thrift store and see what we could buy, using some scrounged-up change.  (I remember taking a nice new looking pair of shoes, and trading them for a smaller pair, in my pre-schooler's size, at the local thrift store.)  Sometimes, this got us through a month or two before we could buy the necessary new pair of shoes our little ones needed. 

Our family is from a wealthy town in suburban Massachusetts. We are used to all the shops and malls and restaurants. Going to "Brighams" for ice cream after a movie was part of life for the young people.  Spending money was the way we  lived.  We all worked hard and earned what we spent. We teenagers did not borrow money from our parents or even have an allowance. We all had ways to earn a small income - through jobs, babysitting, yard care or whatever we could do.  The idea of credit cards or borrowing money never entered our minds.  I didn't know this kind of thing even happened until many years into my marriage.

The only consumer debt I was aware of was a layaway plan at the local K-Mart or Ames department stores.  We mothers would wait for a good sale, and buy the items we needed for our families, including gifts and clothes. We would pay a little each week, without interest or obligation, until our items were paid for.  THEN we would receive the merchandise. Or, if we decided we couldn't afford our things, (perhaps a problem came up) we would cancel the layaway.

There is a common type of debt that occurs in life, which includes emergency car or house repairs.  For us, these kinds of things are rare, but every company has worked with us to come up with a payment plan.  We did not need credit cards for this kind of debt.   These bills were always paid off within a few months.  However, it always put a strain on our budget. We would cut back on other things to make the payments.  It is impossible to get ahead in life when we overextend ourselves financially. 

Patience and going without are crucial for the working class.

There are many times in my marriage that we have lived in utter poverty.  These struggles taught us valuable financial lessons. We appreciate everything we have. We know how  to live with very little.  We have never raised our standard of living, even when Mr. White's income has increased over the years. We have only lived in cheap apartments or bought homes with a tiny mortgage.  We live simply so we can survive the rough times.

Have I ever used credit cards? Of course.  I hate them. They are dangerous and devastating.  Currently we have no debt (other than our mortgage). We don't own a single credit card.  We don't want anything to do with them. They enslave us.  They train us to depend on them for our existence. By having everything NOW, and not waiting for it, we slowly build up a burden of debt and misery that very few can ever escape from.

I would rather go without.  I would rather wait for the treats and the seeming necessities.  I would rather have this historical, working class approach to spending, than live with the illusion of having what I want now.

 Even though it may seem harder to live without credit cards, it is the most freeing, amazing, peaceful financial experience you could ever imagine!

Mrs. White

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is one of the best tools for frugal living.

When Mother is Poor - To Encourage the Downcast Housewife.

A Very Precise way to Conserve Food - Kitchen Inventory - The Pantry.

Essential Virtue - A Wife Who Does Not Complain.

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