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 Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Younger generation
needs to be more frugal

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew
I reckon I will receive some flak over this column as I almost never editorialize about current problems, religion or politics. So be it. Since my remarks are based on history and the parallels of The Great Depression and today, here goes.

Not everyone is in a panic mode over the current financial condition of America and the world. Not every family is behind in their house payments or owes a fortune on their multiple credit-card collection. In direct contrast to what the media seems to promote most, not everyone has lost their jobs or joined those who are homeless.

I believe for every family who over-extended and bought a home and furnishings they could not afford there are thousands who did the opposite and are snug and secure in their maybe-less-than- grand abodes and are happy in their older, paid-for automobiles.

Our local coffee and gas station owner on Interstate 40 tells of customer after customer that try card after card to find one that is not maxed out when paying for fuel.

We pay our one card off every month and I know of many others that do the same. The card problem is not universal.

Our location "way out in the boondocks" helps us resist the temptation to "eat out" on a regular basis. Many of our urban friends and relatives know about every restaurant in town and can quote the menus item for item. This can get to be a very expensive habit.

Anyone can make an innocent mistake in judgment involving investments. But, the consistent hunt for the highest possible return on your investment can sometimes backlash into unwise decisions. The highest return is not always the safest.

My parents and grandparents remained in place, on a dusty farm, in the heart of the Dust Bowl all through the Great Depression. It wasn't easy.

They squeezed every penny, spent no money unless they had it in hand, used it up, wore it out, repaired and despaired before making changes. It worked and with a little help from The New Deals of President Roosevelt they somehow survived.

Mother Nature finally came through with blessed rains just before the end seemed near. Persistence, frugality, starting earlier and staying later saved the day and they have prospered ever since. It took a sustained effort by them and a little from the government to get back on track.

My folks said they had no money but since no one else had money either it wasn't so bad. They gardened, butchered, bartered, traded, shared and donated to those less fortunate and day by day somehow stretched that effort into weeks, months and years. As the more prosperous years passed, these frugal habits lost their flavor with the younger descendants.

My father observed those who had the hardest time in bad times also had tough problems in good times. It hasn't changed with the passage of years. Some people are just not able to make it whether it is in good times or bad. In fact, the times don't seem to matter in many of their problems.


Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" June 23, 2009 Column
E-mail: trewblue@centramedia.net.
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