Monday, January 18, 2010

National Thrift Week

Did you know there was such a thing as National Thrift Week? Neither did I, but here's a story about it from Education Week. And guess what? It's this week.
National Thrift Week had a 50-year run in our history before being dispensed with in the 1960s. It began on Jan. 17, 1916—the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, the “American Apostle of Thrift”—and soon spread to more than 300 communities. Everyone from the YMCA to the Jewish Welfare Board to the National Education Association sponsored the event. Indeed, educators, partnering with financial institutions and businesses, played a key role in promoting thrift during the week.
They apparently had essay and poster contests, and states sponsored savings accounts for kids at community banks.

Three bullet points in favor of thrift from the article:
  • Thrift builds good character, through delay of gratification,
  • Thrift encourages generosity, and
  • Thrift encourages a wise use of resources.
Nowadays we're as likely as not to hear that thrift is a threat to the economy, because so much of our economy is dependent on consumer spending. That's an argument for another day, but here it can suffice to say that spending beyond one's means does no one any good, save the banks and credit card companies who can charge interest and fees on our largesse.

Here are a couple more webpages on the subject:, and the same group's Facebook page.

(h/t Michelle Weiss Persons)

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