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The Managing Wife

The Managing Wife image
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[Hobatio Alokk, Jr., lu suiiduy Ulobe.] Era NVwton had just flninlied looking ovit tiis ycarly accounts. " Well," asked liis wife, looking up, " how do you come out?" "Ifind," siid her liusbind, " tint. my expenses during tlie last year lmve been thirty-MTuD eenti over a thousaiid dol1 118." "And yonr income has been a thousr nd dollitrs." " Ves, I inaiiKged pretty well, didn't Ir ' " Dn you think t niüiinsfing well to exceeu your Incomef" s;iil hls wife. " Whal's thiity-seven cents?" sald Mr. Newton, llghtly. ' Not nnicli to be f ure, bnt still something. U seenis to me tlnit we ouglit to have saved koeteutf ot' falling beliind " ' But bow can I save on this sulary Elizabetli? We haven' t lived extrnv"iiiitlv. Still it seeins to have taken all." " ' Perbaps tliere is soincthing in wbiili we niifrht retrench. Suppose you ïnention some of the items. " The most Important are house rent, one bundred and tlfty dollars, and articles of food, live huiulred dollars." ' Just half." " Yes, and you'll admit tliat we can t retrench there, Eliabeth. 1 like to live well. I liail eitoUL'h board before I uiarricd. Now I menu to live well." " Still we ought to be suvlng up sometlilng against u rainy day, K.m." " 'l'hiit would be sometuing like carrying au umbrell when the íiin shines." " Still it is well to have an unibrella in the house." . " l can't controvert your logic, i,U.abeth : but I am afluid we shan't be able to save up anythinjr this year. When I get my salary raised, It will be time enough to think of thau" "het me make a propositlon to you," saiü Mrs. Newton. " You say that oneImlfofyour h' CO til e bas beun expended on nrti. les of food. Are you wiUliig to allow me that sum for the purpo3e?"' '¦ Vou :uariintee to pay all liills out of t?" " Yef." "And relieve me of all cure on that polnt ?'' " Yes." "Thenlwlll shift the responsibility upon you with pleasnre. Hut I can teil you beloreband tlmt you won't be able lo suve inucli out ol it." " IVrliaps not. At nny rate I will ra(age 'iot to exceed it." " That's well. I sliouldn't rellsh lmvIng any addilional bilis to p ly. As I am paiü eveiy month I will at eaqli paymeut hand you huif the inoiiey." Tlie diffi ring elmracters of thelinsband and w ife muy be judged from theeonversalion wliioh bas been recorded. Mr. Newton had but little prudenee or foresinlit. He lived cbielly for the present, and seenied to funcy tbat wbatever eontiii;:encles niittlit arise in the futuro he wi'iild soihbIiow be provided for. Ndw trust in ProvUlence s a very proper feclinjj, but there is trutli in "tlie ojfl adae thal (4od helps those wbo help theinselveê, and in proportion as they are dispDsed to help themselves. Mn, Newton, on the contrary, had bee( broUffbt up in a family wlildl was eompelled to be económica], and although slie was notdisposed to deuy heiself eoiulints, yet !-he feit that il was desireable to pro t-ure thein at a fair priee. Tlie time at whicli this eonversation loik place H'as al tlie eomiueiieeinenl ui tlie secoi'd year of theii' uiarried lile. The flrststep whieh Mrs. Xewton touk on BO0eptlnj[ the (luirle of the liou-ehiild i'Xpensis, wns lo inslitute the iraelice of payloc easli for artlclea that carne under her depaitmeiit. Hhe aceordingly ealled on the bulclier and inquiieil, " Huw ot'ten h;ivi' you been In the habit of prescnlintr your bilis, Mr. Villiainv" " Once in six moBlli,1 was tlie reply. " And 1 iuppo-e you somelimi' have bad bilis." " Ye-, ouc thii'l of prnlits on aii uverig are swept uil' by them." " And you coulil nffrd, I suppose, to ell somewhnt chi-aper toi ¦ ready inoney?" " Yes, nd I would be glad f all my Cüstonjera would give loo a chance to do 8O." " I will set thein an example thn," saiü Mrs. Newton. " Hereatter whatever artieles ure purchascd of you will be paid for on theepot, and we shall expect yon to sell as reasonable as yon can." This arrangement wns also made with otbers, wbo, it is scarcely needtul t sny, were very latí to enter hito the arranjeoment. üeady nioncy ife tlie jereat support of tradi'.andacash customer lwortli tw who purch:iHc on credit. Fortunately Mrs. Newton had a sniall supply of ïuoney by her, whieh lasted till the Ürst monlhly inslulliiicnl trom her Uaeband became due. Thaa slie was enabled to carry out her cash plan from the beginninj;. Another plan whicli occurred to her as llkely to save expense was to purchaee artieles in large qnantitles. She hadsoou sa ved enough from the money allo wed her to enable her to do this. For example, instead of buyinj{SULBf f' few ;ouik1s at a time, slie purchased a banel, and 10 succecded in saving a cent or more on a pound. This perbapi amounted to but a trifle in the coursc of a year, but the same system carried out in regard to other &rticles yielded a result wbicii was by no means a trifle. There were olher ways In whieh a carel ui hoiisekeeper is able to limit expense whieh Mis. Newton did not over look. W'ith an object In view she was alwayi on the lookout to prevent waste, and to get the lull vnlue of whatever was expended. Thtt rosult was beyond nor y tions. At llie closo of the ye;ir on si Iniug her bank book, for slie had regularly deposited wbatever money slie had si uot luid occasion to use in one of these h Institutlon?, uhe found that 8he bad $150 1 bebdes reiiubursing herseirfor the money o expended during Mie first month, and h liavlng enoiigh left to lust nnother. d 'Well, Kliz ibeth, haveyou kept within your ullowanoe? ' asked her liusbund at tliia time. " I fiiess yon have not fonnd it so easy to fave na you thouglit for." " I have saved somethiiiji, however," t( said his wife. " Hut how is it with yon?" , ' Tlmt's more than I tin say. y ever, I have not' exceeded my income. , That's one ood thing. I find I have cxactly apeut all. J?t 1 cnn't see how you b have saved anything. We have lived h lull as well, and I doel't kBOW lut wliat J better than last year, wlien we fpent t 500." , " It'8 knack, E.ra," said hls witc, snnl ing. ' She was not inclined to inention how much sbe luid saved. 3he waiited some time or other to surprise him with it , when it would be f some service. " Shc muy possibly have snved up $25, ' ) thought Mr. Newton, "or some such trifle," and so dismissed the matter trom I hld mliul. . At the end of the second year Mrs. J Newton's gavings including Interest, i amounted to $300, and she began to fi-el I quite rlch. Her husband did not tbink to inqnire 1 how she had succeeded, snpposing as hefore that it could le but i very smull 8um. However he had piece of good nows to communicme His salary liad been ralsed from $1,000 to $1,200. He added, " As 1 before allowed yon one-half my incoine for boiuehold expenses, it i no more than fair that I should do so now. That will give you a better chance to np :i part of it tban before. InOeed I J"'t k'i"w linw you bave succeeded in siiving anylhing Uiu8 f ar." . , As before Mr. Newton smi ly said that sbe had saved eometlltng without gpecifylnif the amouut. Her allowauce wa lncreased to ijjbW), but her expeuseg were nol proportionally increused. Indeed they were scarccly increased at all, so that her SaVlnfTi for the thlrd year gwelled tbe ggrcfate surn In the savlngá bur.k to $000. Mr. Newton, on the conlrary, i II fpite of hls Increused salary, was uo bttier ofl at tbe end of tbe third year liiaii before. His expenses bad increased by a liandreu dollars, though hc would bave found M difflcultto teil inwhatway his comtoit or happiness had been increased thereby. In splte of hls carelessneSB In regard to hisown affairn, Mr. Newton was au excellent man of business, and his services were valuable to bis einployers. '1'hey accordingly increased his salary from time to time, til 1 It reached $1,('.OO. I'1' had fteadily pieserved the (Histom of Msigning one-half to his wife for the same purpose as heretoforc, and tlils had beconie such a habit that he never thougnt to ioqulre whetbor she found it uecessary to employ the whole or not. Thus ten years rolled away. During ill this time Mr. Newton lived In the -ame hire.d house, for which he luid puld tin annual rent of $150. Latterly, however, he had hecoine dinsatlslled with it. [t had passed into the hands of a new laudlord, wlio was not disposed to keep it in the repair which he eonsidered desiruble. About thU time a block of excellent liouses was erected by a capitnlist, wlio áesigned to sell or let them, as he might llave an opportuuitv. Tliey were more modern and inucli botter arranged than the one in wliich Mr. Newton now llved, iind lic lelt a strong desire to move to one :f tlit'in. 11e meiiLioned thi8 tu hia wife one mornlng. " Wlmt is the rent, E.m?" inqulred hls wife. ¦' Two Imndred and twenty-five dollars for the comer house; two hnndred dollars for eitlier of' the othera." " The comer one would be preferable on account of the side Windows." " Yes; and they have a larger yard beBldes. 1 think wê must hire one of thcin. I miess 111 engage one to-day; you know our year is out here next week.1' " Please wait, Ezra, till to-morrow, before engaglng one." " For what reason?" " I ühould like to examine the house." " Very well; I euppose to-morrow will be sufliciently early.1 Soon after breaktast Mrs. Newton calli'il on Sqiiiie Bent, theownerof the new lilork, and ntiiniteJ lier desire to be -liown the corner bonae. Ti i i s request U clieiMlully complieil with. Mrs. Newtou was quite delighleil with t lie arrangeiiients, and expressed her salisfaction. "Are these liouses for Hale or lo let?" she pquired. " Either," Srtld the owner. " The rent is, I ondeNtand, W26." " Yes. 1 oonslder the comer house wottli $2." more leut than Ihe lest." " And what do you ohurge for the house, to a cash puieliaseif'" asked Mis. Nrwlon, with tubdueil eajreniess. " Four thuusand dolUrs," was the reply, "and that is bUC a small adviince upon coft."' "Very wcll; I will buy it of you,"said Mi-í. Newton, quletly. ' h it dld I uodentand you to say ?" isked t ne siiuire, scarcily believing his e ars. "I repcat that I will buy the house at your priee and pay you the mouey within a week." "Then the house is you rs. Hat your hushaml .-ai. I noüilng of his intentiou, and, in fact, I did not know - " "That he had the inoney to invest, I snpposc you woulil sfiy. NHlior ilucs lie know it, and I must ask you not to say anything nbout it for the present." The next morniug Mrí Newton invileil her luiaband to takc a walk, bilt without specifyhijj the direction. 'l'hey soon stood in front ol the house which he deslred to live in. "Wouldn't you like to t;o in ?" she askeil. " Y'es. It'a n pily wc haven'tgot the key ." " I have the key," gaid hls wife, and furthwith walked up the steps and proceeded to open the door. " Wlien did you get the key of Squire Bent ?" asked'her hushand. " Yesterdny wlien I houglit the Iioii9e," said his wife, quletly. Mr. Newton gnzed at his wife in profound astonishment. ' What on earth do you mean Elizabeth y" he inquired. " Juet what I say. The house is mine, and what Is mine is thiue. So the house is yours, Ezra." " Where in the name of goodness dld you ralse the money ? ' asked her hush.iihl, his amazement still as great as ever. " I haven'c been a saving wife ten years for nothing," faid Mrs. Newton, Slllililljf. With some dilliciilty Mrs. Newton persuaded her husband that the price of the house was really the result of her savings. He feit wheii he surveyed the commodious arrangements of the new house that he had reason to be ffiateful for the prudence of his managing wife.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News