Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Four Financial Lessons from the 40s and 50s

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If you’re a retro enthusiast, you probably know a great deal about the fashions and technologies of bygone eras, but how much do you know about the way people in the past managed their finances? Probably not a great deal, which is a shame because there are are lots of things that the families of the 1940s and 50s could teach us in the 21st Century about managing our money.

If you want to get a firmer grip on your finances, check out these sound financial lessons from the 40s and 50s:

Luxuries are Just That

Anyone who grew up in the 40s and 50s will be able to tell you that luxuries were few and far between. Something as simple as receiving a mandarin in your Christmas stocking was a cause for celebration! It often seemed like everyone was struggling to make ends meet and that meant that luxuries were really luxuries which were only purchased very rarely for special occasions. What can you learn from this? When your skint and when you need cash fast, don't waste it on non-essentials - use it for only what’s necessary. When you can finally afford a little luxury, you’ll appreciate it all the more!

Providing for Yourself Makes Financial Sense

A lot of people growing up in the 40s, in particular, would have spent a great deal of time growing and harvesting their own vegetables, rearing chickens and sewing their own clothing, quite often with wool from their own sheep! Whereas today, we pop to the store to buy all the things we need, in the past, self-sufficiency was much more common, and it meant that families could make their incomes stretch much further. We could all take a leaf out of their books and start doing more for ourselves, thus cutting the amount of our salaries that we give away to third parties.

Save for the Things You Want

Although it was possible to obtain credit in the 50s, it was very much less common than it is now and many people were naturally wary of getting into debt for anything. It was, then, much more common for families to save a small sum each payday until they had enough to buy those things they needed, Today, we’re much more likely to put it on the plastic and worry about it later, but that’s why so many people are in so much debt and why we should perhaps look to the past for advice before we open another line of credit.

Hard Work Pays

In the 40s and 50s, it wasn’t unusual for everyone in the family, including the kids, to do some form of work. People in those times understood that if you want to improve your financial situation, afford the basics and a few of the more desirable non-essentials, you have to be willing to work hard. Today, a lot of people seem to think that everything should be handed to them on a plate, but that just isn’t reality. If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to be willing to put the hours in to get it.

The 40s and 50s were simpler times in many ways, but for most people, especially in terms of finances, they were often harder too. Although we mostly have it easier now, managing our finances more like people from those eras can still help us to increase our financial stability and live better within our means.