Continuing to pass through all the points of the scout law, we hit upon point nine, a scout is thrifty. What a concept for us all, son’t you think?
Don’t waste your money, don’t spend what you don’t have. Our economy would be much better off had millions of people practiced thrift instead of greed during the housing boom that precipitated this long and painful recession and its aftermath. (To clarify, the economy is not in recession by definition, but we sure as hell aren’t recovered yet.)
Thrift when times are good help get you through the times that are bad. A lot of people bought more house than they could afford, simply because they could. Many of those people were foreclosed upon. Over four years after getting laid off from an engineering job, I’m still current on my mortgage. That has to do with understanding personal finance. As the old saying sort of goes, “Earn 10 cents and spend 11 leads to a miserable life. Earn 10 cents and spend 9 leads to peace of mind.
Thrift is too large a subject to cover more than superficially, but I would encourage anyone struggling with debt or spending habits to get help, either from a book, a trusted friend, a financial planner, or a debt councilor. Nothing makes life more miserable than to be under a bank’s thumb.