[Prayers in Wailing
  Wall]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 14: Evening


Never exceed thy income. Youth may make

Ev'n with the yeare: but age, if it will hit,

Shoots a bow short, and lessens still his stake,

As the day lessens, and his life with it.

    Thy children, kindred, friends upon thee call;

    Before thy journey fairly part with all.

         Never exceed your income. When you are young, you may come out even at the end of a year: but when you are old, if you want to break even, you have to aim lower and shorten your expenses as you get older. Your children, family and friends may place demands upon you; before you leave, fulfill your duty to everyone.

          When you are young and have no obligations, wife, house or children, it is easy to stay within your salary. This is a good time to learn to budget your income. But as you grow older, you have more responsibilities and have to spend less. You can not know every expense that comes up so you plan to save something. As you get older you may need the savings because you work less and earn less. NEVER exceed your income. This is the archer's mark. Whatever your income is, spend less than you earn, and do not depend upon savings. Budget your expenses based on the income. Be sure to save a little to help your family and friends. As you grow older more unexpected expenses demand satisfaction. Learn to live and die without debt.

          Today we have social security, life insurance, health insurance, workman's compensation, national and private assistance. We may ignore this advice and be dependent on the welfare of others. We make others responsible for us and our families. When you give do it as an expression of your concern and love. Accept kindness when you need it, but do not rely, depend or demand benevolence from anyone. We cease being accountable for ourselves. We lower the value of our family and friends and our personal interdependency.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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