Business girls should learn to save (1913)

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Business girls should learn to save

by Lucille Daudet

Wouldn’t it be profitable for the business girl to give a little thought to the matter of saving?

Some business women do try to save a certain percentage of their salary, but others give no thought of it. And especially is this true of the beginner in business. It is such a novelty to her to have her own money to spend, it is so delightful to buy whatever she wants without having to consult anyone, that her money slips through her fingers like water. The thought of systematic saving has not yet entered her head.

But there is a pleasure in systematic saving that has to be experienced to be realized. And there are future benefits that are still more delightful. And it is a practice that in itself has a great effect on a girl’s character. So that there is no girl who will not be profited by saving, and profited in ways that will bring her keen satisfaction. So it will pay even the most thoughtless little business girl to give some attention to the matter.

The simplest way to save

The best way for the business girl to save is not to put by the quarter or half dollar or dollar that may be left in her purse at the end of the week. Of course, it is better to do this than not to save at all. But the most satisfactory way to save is to save systematically, to decide to put by so much each week, and then to do it, willy nilly.

And the surest way to succeed in this plan is to join some sort of saving association where, if one does not pay in the amount regularly, there is a fine. And the second essential half of the programme of successful savings is to put by the money at the beginning of the week, on the day the pay envelope is received. If the amount to be saved is in the saving fund, it cannot be spent, and one will get along somehow without it. But if it is in the pocketbook, it is liable to slip away and when the day for paying it into the fund comes, it is not at hand.

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Saving systematically in this way introduces system into one’s method of living. A girl is compelled to know what her expenses are order to know how much she can save. There fore, the beginning of systematic saving is apt to mean the inauguration of an expense account.

Manage your expenses

And few things are so helpful to the business girl as this. When she sees, in black and white; where her money is going, she is apt to spend more carefully. And though a girl may think the keeping of an expense account at this period of her life is all foolishness, and that the jotting down of five cents, for candy and 10 cents for soda and 25 cents for neck wear is a waste of time, its results reach much farther than she now dreams.

If she gets the habit of keeping tabs on her expenses, and learns in this way the proportion that should exist between the various items, if in time she has a home of her own to manage, and the probability is she will, then she will be able to run her household expenses more successfully.

She will not be the sort of wife who every week finds her be household allowance running short before the week is over. The sense of proportion she has gained in keeping her personal accounts will stand her in good stead now in more important matters. For making outgo and income match in household management is a most important matter, and upon it often rests the happiness of the home.

The psychological benefits of saving

The girl who has a bank account has a sense of independence and freedom that is worth a lot to her. If she has something to fall back upon, she doesn’t have to endure unendurable conditions of work. This doesn’t wsanf that she should let a bank account lead her into being whimsically fickle and changeable. But every business girl knows that there have been times when, for perfectly good, sound reasons, she would have given anything to have been able to “throw up her job.” But she had nothing whatever to fall back upon, and so she had to endure the long hours or the unhealthy surroundings or the unpleasant associates.

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But there are many other advantages besides this that results from systematic saving. Again, a girl may have seen a good opening. But with no money in the bank, perhaps, with someone depending upon her, she has been afraid to take any risk. And so she has had to let the opportunity slip.


Photo: Sears, Roebuck & Co order entry department in Chicago (1913), courtesy Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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