May 16, 2013
We have never lived the life of the miser nor of the squanderer. We followed the example set by our parents. Their main philosophy on how to survive the financial peccadilloes of a life was; don’t ever buy anything unless you have saved for it, even then, resist the temptation for buying things that are not essential. It might be a boring philosophy but it does help in the long run. Start off with living of nourishing lentils and you will feast on beef eye fillets or caviar later on
Waste not want not with a penny saved is a penny gained (gotten) are the sayings supposedly having originated in Yorkshire. In fact, the Yorkshire-men claim that it is two pennies saved. The first penny from not spending it and the second penny saved in case you would have spent it but did not. The logic escapes me a bit but as a Dutchman I might not be as fast on the penny uptake.
The Dutch have similar sayings and habits of parsimony. One famous saying “Sparen is Garen”. Roughly translated it means, “Sparing is Gaining”. For the Latin lovers there is also; “Magnum vectical est Parsimonia,” followed with a lovely and succinct, “Acquirit qui Tuetur.” I don’t know Latin but it sound lovely and musical, at least to my ears.
Alas, the frugality that parents installed in us seems to have got lost on the younger generation. How on earth can kids spend so much time on their Iphones? Forget about mobile phones. They would not be seen dead with a normal phone as a phone, it got to be 4 G stuff with internet and hundreds of Apps stuff probabilities and has to include global surfing and 3D-printing with lots of ‘stuff like that’ or(boys) include ‘shit like that,’ girls mainly ‘stuff like that’.
I just walked past a school, a high school with, I think, mixed sexes. It’s hard to tell now-a-days. They all seem to revel in mobs of unruly hair that they keep shaking around making sure it hides their distant horizontal vision and so enables them to continually look down better at their G4 Iphone and stuff in case of a missed bullying opportunity.
Apart from most school kids walking home with their heads down intent on gadget peeking, there was also a flourishing trade going on in a mixed shop opposite the school. A steady stream of school uniform attired kids were coming and going from the creaky swinging fly-screen door.
It was one of those ancient lollie shops that used to always be opposite any school but have mainly vanished through the rapacious tactics of the big super markets. They often, but not always, had fly-blown metallic and slanting show- cases with stale custard-tarts sprinkled with dodgy looking cinnamon, meat pies from last Tuesday or the week earlier and traditionally would leave trails of stomach complaints from school kids not able to resist their hunger pangs and wait till home cooking (and stuff like that). The lamb chops with mashies and gravy has been overtaken by the take away or micro waved instant meal consumed while standing up while bowed over the 4G and stuff.
Of course, the kids would hydrate themselves with 2 liter Coke. Perhaps not a bad thing in alleviating or killing the bugs in the custard tart or dodgy meat-pie. Alas, the history of those shops catering for the school kids has just about vanished together with parsimonious penny saving.
It’s a pity because, thanks to our parents example we are now able to ditch the lentils and feast on the Angus beef eye fillet and Kipfler potato with crispy green salad. (And stuff like that)