Good advice is timeless. And the same goes for advice about personal finance. In this digital age, our banking transactions may be automated and we don’t even have to leave the house to go grocery shopping, but the basic principles of personal finance remain the same.
In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we’ve compiled ageless pieces of personal finance advice from vintage sources.
1. Get plenty of rest with “The American Woman’s Home” (1869)
“Late rising not only injures the person and family which indulge in it, but interferes with the rights and convenience of the community; while early rising imparts corresponding benefits of health, promptitude, vigor of action, economy of time, and general effectiveness both to the individuals who practice it and to the families and community of which they are a part.”
Entrepreneurs and famous minds all have one thing in common: they were early risers and got plenty of sleep. Time lost is money lost. Better utilizing your time makes a more productive and profitable day.
2. Maintaining good health with “First Lessons in Food and Diet” (1904)
“Each living thing has its food, without it it dies. This food may vary within certain limits; beyond them disease sets in, even if life continues.”
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And so does maintaining an over healthy and balanced diet. A bad diet that over indulges in junk and processed foods, along with little to no exercise, can result in long term illness and a stack of medical bills.
3. Teaching children the value of money with “The Use of Money; How to Save and How to Spend” (1915)
“Experience in actually earning and spending money is the basis of all real financial training. The problem of financial training is largely one of giving opportunities for educative experiences with money.”
Books and apps are great educational tools. However, the most effective way to teach a child about personal finance is through example. Bring your child with you when you go to the bank or go grocery shopping. Make them part of an experience that they will, eventually, engage in themselves. Practice, as we know, makes perfect.
3. Master Money Management with “Spending the Family Income” (1921)
“Careful accounting of the money spent so that the record may be studied and a better plan made for the next year is a necessity.”
A new year can mean a new financial you. Along with those New Year’s resolutions, look over your bank statements or refer to your handy financial app. Take a look at where your money went and see if there needs to be any improvements in spending and saving. Setting financial resolutions and goals are a great way to stay on a debt-free track.
4. Problem solve on your feet with “Essentials of Sewing” (1924)
“How does my garment compare in quality of material, workmanship, and price with ready-made bloomers? Did I spend too much time on the work and what can I do to improve my technique?”
Problem solving is at the core of every DIY project. Before pursuing any DIY, especially garment construction, ask yourself if you have more time or more money. Making a garment from scratch can be a very rewarding skill for the right person. But the task is not for everyone.
However, mending or sewing on a button should not require a trip across town to your tailor. From clothes, to wallets to purses, every piece of clothing and accessory will need maintenance. Knowledge of basic stitches and hand sewing techniques is both economical and practical.
5. Be a budding chef with Julia Child’s “The French Chef” (1963-1973)
“I had never taken anything so seriously in my life — husband and cat excepted — and I could hardly bear to be away from the kitchen.”
Taking her first culinary class at nearly 40, Julia Child went on to be one of the most recognizable names in home cooking. The Los Angeles Times called her repeatedly published cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” the best self-help book ever written.
Through her personal journey to the kitchen and into the kitchens of millions with her popular cooking series, she taught that there is more to cooking at home than saving money. Child continues to live as an example that it’s never too late to start new and learn a necessary life skill.
Expanding or acquiring any new still set, when learned well, requires hard work. Learning how to cook well, manage a household or effectively manage your finances takes commitment, hard work and trial and error. And 100 years later, this lesson has remained constant.