November 3, 2009


        There is something to be said about the "Victorian"  views on economical  spending. Today  many people are confused  into thinking that we need the things that we really want. We may think we live meagerly but if we strip all that we own away, we realize that we own a lot more than the bare necessities. Life today also seems to require these unnecessary things. How would we get to work without our cars? How would we do our homework without computers  (almost all assignments must be typed these days)? How do we keep our jobs unless we dress in the newest fashions?
        In many  period publications, there are fictional stories about women who try to live above their means and how it ruins their lives. This happens frequently today with credit cards and loans, it has become so easy to live above our means. We really need to evaluate the things we buy and whether or not they are true necessities or not-- yes we are entitled to a few comforts (we do work hard for our money.) We should make sure that these comforts facilitate a better household and not destroy it. If no one in the family ever talks to each other because each is in his own room on his own cell phone and watching his own T.V. while sitting on the internet with his own computer, the family will deteriorate. Despite what we may think about relaxation and fun, there were ways to relax and have fun with the family before the digital age started. We should rediscover these activities.

  I am almost envious when I am reading period fiction and sisters are playing games together or sewing together. When a visitor comes, the visitor even if friends with a particular sister, joins in sewing or playing the games with all of the sisters. Today, one of my sister's friends would just prance right into my sister's room with her and we would not see either of them again for the rest of the night. I admit that my friends would do the same, but my sisters would not be interested anyway.

A focus on economy and the family instead of wants, will lead to happier people in the long run. Many people have thousands of friends on networking sites, are they as happy as the family who plays board games on Friday nights or the sisters who go to the local park on Saturday with a few mutual friends? Sometimes work gets in the way of being a family. Through frugality, we can strengthen our relationships by not having to work so many hours and by being creative as a family to have fun on a smaller budget.
        What if we focused on economy with the scrumptious nature that our predecessors did? Lydia Maria Francis Child said in the American Frugal Housewife (1831,) "Look to the grease-pot, and see that nothing is there which might have served to nourish your own family, or a poorer one." What if we were likewise economical even with things that are inexpensive? If the whole family saved usable scraps of paper for quick notes or grocery lists, we would not spend as much on paper specially for this purpose and help preserve the environment. Lydia Maria Francis Child suggests just this kind of frugality. Imagine how we'd prosper, economically and as families?

Note: The pictures are from Arthur's Home Magazine (1860,) the engraving is entitled " The Cottage Home."


  1. So so true!!
    Just wanted to let you know that I *love* your blog writings! Would you mind if I added your link to my sidebar?


  2. Mia,
    Absolutely not. I love your blog too. Would you believe my friend just told me that I have to approve comments? I really didn't know that. :D Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

    Stephanie Ann


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