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Full text of "How to keep household accounts : a manual of family finance"

Boston Public Library 

Do not write in tliis book or mark it with pen or ^ 
pencil. Penalties for so doing are imposed oy the 
Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

This book 'uoa^ issued to the horrozver on th, .late 
1 .rf et^-K.-hnd helozv. . — , 










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B.P.L. FORM NO. 609; 2.29,40: 4t4M. 



HOW TO KEEP 
HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

A MANUAL OF FAMILY FINANCE 



BY 

C. W, HASKINS, L.H.M., C.P.A. 

Late Dean of the New York University School of 
Commerce, Accounts, and Finance 




NEW YORK AND LONDON 
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 



^-j/i J4 .1 fa ^ 



Copyright, 1903, by Harper & Brothers. 

rig^hts reserved. 



TO 

MY DAUGHTER 
RUTH 

DEDICATE THIS LITTLE BOOK 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/howtokeephousehoOOhask_0 



PREFACE 



HIS little book is not a treatise on 



more. Far less, because it treats of but 
one of many thousand applications of 
that useful art; and more, because, be- 
ginning with the very simplest exposition 
of general principles, it endeavors to un- 
fold, as pleasantly as may be, a science of 
accountancy, and to indicate its relations, 
in the sphere of domestic economy, to 
finance, administration, and the other sci- 
ences of social life. 

In view of the present unsatisfactory 
condition of instruction in domestic ac- 
countancy, it has been thought well to 




It is less, and it is 



v 



PREFACE 



employ, as far as possible, the historical 
method of teaching. The story form, it 
is hoped, will lend interest to the ex- 
ploration of the field and to the laying 
down of the bases upon which the ac- 
countancy of the house is built. 

Very little has been as yet written 
upon this important subject of household 
accounting. Especially is this true of 
books in our own language. To a few 
Italian, German, and French writers, 
however, a general acknowledgment is 
here due for material assistance in the 
effort to produce a manual of domestic 
money matters which may prove of prac- 
tical utility in the administration of the 
modern home. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. Domestic Economy i 

II. Household Accounts/ 9 

III. The Home Account-book /. .... 34 

IV. The Balance-sheet 57 

V. Budget, Vouchers, and Inventory . 66 

VI. The Bank Account 91 



HOW TO KEEP 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



DOMESTIC ECONOMY 
HE oldest existing literary work on 



X household management is the Eco- 
nofntcs of Xenophon. From this charm- 
ing Greek classic — of which there are 
many good translations — we have our 
very words economy and economics ; and 
for twenty-three himdred years it has 
held its ovm as the code, the breviar}^ 
the book of books, of all thrift. Aristotle 
adopted its title for one of his o^n trea- 
tises ; Cicero made a Latin rendering of it 



I 




I 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



in his youth; and the only other really 
great book on the same subject, the 
Italian Delia FamigUa, was written in 
imitation of it. 

The Italian work, fotmded upon that 
of Xenophon, is variously ascribed to 
the celebrated architect Alberti, whose 
name is closely associated with that of 
Leonardo da Vinci, and to Pandolfini, 
another Florentine of the early Renais- 
sance. It very closely follows its original, 
even to the incidents of the introductory 
prayer and the later advice to forego the 
use of face powders. It takes the yoimg 
bride over the house ; gives her the keys ; 
teaches her the oversight of servants 
and the right ordering of all her affairs ; 
makes honesty her chief virtue; inducts 
her into the science of family finance; 
in a word, develops her from a shy girl, 
brought up in careful seclusion, to the 



2 



DOMESTIC ECONOMY 

perfect mistress of the household, and 
sets before us, in a well-drawn picture, 
one of the ideal characters of early 
Italian literature. 

The Florentines became noted for their 
orderliness in the affairs of domestic 
economy; and when modem book-keep- 
ing, invented by a monk, was introduced 
into their household matters, the women 
we are told ''are supposed to have been 
in this respect model helpmates to their 
husbands." 

About twenty-five hundred books, in 
the English language alone, have been 
classed in one way or another imder the 
general head of domestic economy. A 
very great number of them are handy 
collections of recipes of various kinds; 
many are books of practical advice to the 
members of the household; some are 
special discussions of the application of 
3 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



particular departments of human knowl- 
edge to family life; and others are com- 
mendable and often successful attempts 
to develop or elucidate one or more 
of the administrative ftmctions of the 
housewife. A limited number of these 
books are of scientific aspect, and of the 
highest value within their sphere ; and all, 
no doubt, would be of use in a scientific 
treatment of the whole subject. Were 
some genius, however, to erect, out of 
the mass of their material, a science of 
domestic economy having its own iden- 
tity and its own broad comprehensive- 
ness, a few staring gaps, it is feared, 
would be left in the superstructure. On 
the financial front, certainly, the absence 
of accountancy would be noticeable. To 
supply this lack is the object of the 
present volume. 

Educational leaders and reformers in 
4 



DOMESTIC ECONOMY 

various countries have endeavored, not 
wholly without encouragement and suc- 
cess, to introduce domestic economy into 
their national systems of instruction. As 
in the case of our literature of the subject, 
their actual teaching, thus far, has been 
largely confined to particular branches 
of housekeeping. Their profession, how- 
ever, has induced a careful study of pro- 
found works on female education; has 
led them to a lively interchange of ideas ; 
and has kept alive their scientific as- 
pirations. Thus, aggressively, they have 
pushed on, enlarging and unifying their 
courses of study, imtil a few of them, have 
gained for domestic economy a sort of 
permissive foothold on the lecture plat- 
forms of certain imiversities. Their pro- 
grammes, if combined, would suggest a 
consideration of the household, its moral, 
intellectual, social, and economic welfare, 
5 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



and its organization and general admin- 
istration; woman, her sphere, her need 
of directive inteUigence, and the edu- 
cation of girls; the house, its location 
with reference to business, health, econo- 
my, and general convenience, and its in- 
terior arrangement ; heat, light, and venti- 
lation ; furniture, from the point of view 
of hygiene, art, and practical use, its 
disposition about the house, its freedom 
from dirt, and its repair and maintenance ; 
carpets, draperies, and the like ; clothing 
and toilet articles, their choice, cost, and 
care; foods, their varieties, succession by 
seasons, cost, use according to one's age, 
occupation, and condition of health, with 
rules for the detection of adulteration; 
care of the sick; and the advantages of 
keeping down expenses. 

The high school for yotmg women at 
Geneva teaches, both in its literary 
6 



DOMESTIC ECONOMY 



department and in its pedagogical sec- 
tion, the principles of domestic economy, 
the role of the mistress, the need of 
professional teaching, care of furniture, 
clothing, linen, washing, light, heat, ali- 
mentation, provisions, accoimts, budget 
of receipts and expenses, savings, and 
insurance. 

A programme of domestic economy 
laid before a congress of educators at 
Brussels is of value for the prominence 
it gives to a suggested course of family 
finance, and is interesting for the place 
upon the faculty accorded to ''Le Bon- 
homme Richard." Its concluding head 
is: 

"Money and work. Receipts and expenses. 
How to make the most of one's knowledge and 
talents. Gaining and keeping, a double profit ; 
temperance in the number of articles desired; 
how to buy; knowledge of the price of pro- 

7 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



visions, of cloth, of linen, of calico, of utensils, 
and the like. Avarice and prodigality. Ac- 
counts of the household. The memorandum- 
book and the monthly examination. The 
superfluous and the necessary. Buying on 
credit; danger of debt; honesty. Promptness 
in repairing or replacing articles broken, de- 
teriorated, or worn out. The toilet. Luxury, 
good taste, and simplicity. The maxims of 
Benjamin Franklin, 'Poor Richard': wise em- 
ployment of time. The habit of taking notes. ' * 



II 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

IT is clearly evident that domestic 
economy, or household manage- 
ment, is very largely a matter of money 
and money's worth, and that it marks 
out an important field of financial ac- 
countancy. 

Nor is this financial aspect of the sub- 
ject in any wise confined, as we are too 
apt to imagine, to that exterior" de- 
partment of administration which is to- 
day included under the head of political 
economy, or economics. All who have 
ever treated this phase of the subject 
have contended that finance and accoimt- 
ancy sustain important relations to wel- 
9 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



fare in the ''interior" management, to 
which we now more particularly apply 
the term domestic economy, and which 
lies within the special province of the 
woman. 

The story told by Josephus, and less 
fully by Esdras, of the Jewish captive 
who argued, in a prize essay read before 
Darius and his princes and grandees, that 
the care and preservation of all house- 
hold business is dependent upon wom- 
an's administration, shows that such an 
argument could be understood and ap- 
preciated throughout the whole Persian 
empire, from India to the Danube. 

To the Greek, as may be seen in Xen- 
ophon, the home interior was a depart- 
ment of economic administration, de- 
manding of woman a very fair measure 
of business ability. Aristophanes, in his 
comic argument that women should be 

lO 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



also at the head of all outside affairs, says 
that they are already taking care of 
everything within, as, from the days of 
old, they have been always doing, and 
adds that for ways and means there's 
nothing cleverer than a woman; that as 
for negotiation, she's hard indeed to beat 
or cheat. And i\ristotle, borrowing the 
time-worn figure of the Danaides, says 
that a domestic economy which does not 
join to the exterior talent for acquisition 
the interior one of managing and util- 
izing, and especially of calculating ex- 
penses so that they shall not exceed the 
receipts, is like the sieve, or the bucket 
pierced with holes, with which one tries 
to carry water. 

The Latins were a calculating, adminis- 
trative people ; and the matron of Rome, 
freer than her sister of Athens, and bear- 
ing undisputed sway in her household, 
II 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



guided her affairs frugally and with taste, 
and enriched the family treasury by her 
business-like activity and exactness. 

The woman of the Middle Ages, wheth- 
er lady of the manor, mistress of the 
city residence, or guardian of the humble 
cottage of the peasant, was remarkable 
for business ability. The Florentine imi- 
tation of the Economics of Xenophon, al- 
ready referred to, was one of the most 
popular books of the Renaissance. A 
hundred years later, Olivier de Serres, 
a French writer on rural and household 
affairs, could still describe the mistress 
of the mansion as Xenophon had de- 
scribed her; and Montaigne, avowing 
that he had no concern with business, 
and was glad that women do find de- 
light in managing affairs," could safely 
relinquish to his wife the planting and 
reaping of his crops, the oversight of 

12 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

his masons, the negotiating of bargains 
for him, the collection of debts due him, 
and the keeping of his accoimts, while 
he, as one of his coimtrymen has said, 
dawdled through Italy at his leisure.'* 
Writing of woman's administration as 
understood in the sixteenth century, Mon- 
taigne says: ''The most useful and hon- 
orable science and occupation for the 
mother of a family is that of domestic 
economy. I see many who are avari- 
cious, but of real economists I find but 
few. This, indeed, is the mistress qual- 
ity — the one that should be sought above 
all others, the dowry that will either ruin 
or save our establishments.'' 

Still later, two women, allied by mar- 
riage to the family of La Rochefoucauld, 
gave to the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries examples of the wisest ad- 
ministration of extensive cotmtry and 
13 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



city establishments. The former, Jeanne 
de Schomberg, Duchess of Liancourt, 
drew up a scheme of administration in 
which we discover a broad conception of 
family finance ; and the latter, x\ugustine 
de Montmirail, Duchess of Doudeauville, 
not only administered her own estate, 
but brought the large hereditary prop- 
erty of her exiled husband through the 
Reign of Terror, and ''left the family 
of La Rochefoucauld in the unusual posi- 
tion of landed proprietors when nearly all 
the French nobility were irretrievably 
ruined/' 

A close view of early domestic ac- 
cotmting may be had in many of the old 
household books'' of the women of 
England. ''We read," says an English 
writer, "of the abimdant hospitality of 
the great houses of past days ; but refer- 
ence to books like those which record the 
14 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

household expenses of Northtimberland 
or the Coiintess of Hardwick show how 
carefully every expense was regulated by 
the heads of the family. The famous 
' Bess of Hardwicke ' was a careful house- 
keeper. ' Avoiding superfluities or waste 
of an3^hing' is to be the rule of her 
establishment, as laid down in the house- 
hold books which have come down to 
us; and it is curious, in perusing docu- 
ments like these, to observe how careful 
our ancestors were to look into every 
trifle of their domestic expenditure.'' 

What is still more curious, however, 
and worthy of all admiration, is the sur- 
prising perfection of result obtained with 
the very primitive appliances at their 
disposal. The books were hardly more 
than diaries; the entries were mere 
memorandums, and were written, for a 
long time, in a crabbed Latin; and the 
IS 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



amounts were expressed, up to a late 
period, in the old Roman numerals, some- 
times in columns, oftener run in with 
the text, and almost impossible of addi- 
tion except by a roundabout method of 
figuring or with the aid of the abacus, 
a device somewhat similar to the cotmt- 
ing-frame of our kindergartens. So ut- 
terly unscientific, indeed, was the whole 
scheme, and so dependent upon con- 
trivance for the accomplishment of any 
general result, that men of great reputa- 
tion — as in the Rules of Saint Robert, 
''that the good Bishop of Lincoln, Saint 
Robert the Greathead, made for the 
Countess of Lincoln'' — gave themselves 
up to the writing of chapters on ''How 
you may know to compare the accounts." 

The household book of the ducal 
family of Buckingham is written in the 
abbreviated Latin of the year 1507, the 
16 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



numbers being expressed in Roman let- 
ters incorporated with the reading-mat- 
ter. The following is one of the shorter 
paragraphs ; it records the expenditure at 
Newbury for the dinner of the Lord with 
his household; dined, gentry, twenty; 
valets, fourteen; gargons, twenty-nine": 

Die D'nica die Janu. ib'm. 

Panet. ex it'm ex empcon. xxxiij pan. p'c. 
xvj^. ob. 

Cellar, expend, it'm ex empcon. ij pich. vini 

gasc. p'c. xvj^. 
Buttill. exp. it'm ex empcon. xv lag. cervis. 

p*cii iij^. ix^. 
Coquin. exp. it'm ex empc. j qrt. cam. boum 

p*cij iiij^. iiij^. vitul. p'c. ij^. viij^. 
Achates ex in i^b^* porcellis xij^. ij capon xiiij^. 

ij ctmictis xvj^. j curlew, v^. ix redshankes 

vj^. V disc, butir v^. ovis gallin. iiij^. herbis 

et farin. aven. ij^. 
Aul. & Camer. ex. de fagottes xxviij. p'cij 

ij^ iiij^. 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



[Translation.] 
Sunday, 30th January. 
Pantry, Spent, from purchase there, 33 
loaves price lOYzd. Cellar, Spent, from pur- 
chase there, 2 pitchers of Gascony wine price 
i6d. Buttery, Spent, from purchase there, 15 
flagons of ale price 35. gd. Kitchen, Spent, 
from purchase there, i quarter of beef price 
45. 4(i., veal price 2s. Sd. Fresh Provisions, 
Spent for two pigs i2d., 2 capons i4d., 2 
rabbits i6d., i curlew 5J., 9 redshanks 6d., 5 
dishes of butter 5J., eggs 4J., herbs and oat- 
meal 2d. Hall and Chamber ^ Spent, 28 faggots 
price 2^. 4d. 

Mistress Kytson, of Hengrave, widow 
of a wealthy London merchant of the 
time of EHzabeth, kept her accounts in 
EngHsh, but in the old memorandum 
form. Her outlay for one day, while 
travelling to the City in the winter of 
1574, is thus entered in her household 
book : 

18 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



Wednesday afternoon, December ist, my 
entering London, imtil she was en- 
tered the City, viz. for her dyett w^^ all her 
men in that space, \]s. ixd. — for the horses 
meet, Iviij^. hijti. — for firing, ijs. ixd. 

In reward at Mr. Bedal's house, where my 
jjjres lodged the first night, vj^. viijJ. 

In rewarde to the musicians at Ware, iijs. 

For the hire of certain horses to draw my 
m^ cooch from Whits worth to London, 
xxvj5. viijJ. 

Delivered to my m^^ to give by the way in 
her little purse, xx5. 

To the carrier for the carriage of simdry 
things, amounting to Ixxx. c. wayght, at ij5. 
m]d. le c. — ix/z. vi5. viijJ. 

To the hire gf certain men to attend upon 
his cart by the waye, being charged with 
plate, iij5. 

If we compare with these extracts a 
few lines taken, say, from the "booke of 
the howshold'' of Lord and Lady North, 
1577, and endeavor to foot the figures 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

up, we shall wonder why, unless in blind 
imitation of the new ** Italian method,*' 
columns have been introduced at all . 
and we shall adniire the administrative 
mind that could base a budget upon a 
book containing ** A "cartload, '* 2 " horse- 



loads, and " v 


" livres in a 


single line: 


Gammonds of 








bacon 


viij 


XXX5. 




Lardc 


xiij lbs 


viijs. 


viijrf. 


Neats tongs, 








feet, and 








udd" 


xi". i 


Iiij5. 


iiijJ. 


Butter 


iiijC XXX lb 


vj/f. 


vij5. vjJ 


Eggs 


ijM vC. xxij 


iij/f. 


iij5. 


Sturgeons 


iij caggs 


xlvj5. 


viijd. 


Crayc f yshcs 


viij doos 


xiij^. 


iiijj. 


Turbutts 


viij 


liij.s*. 


iiijc/. 


Oysters A cartload and 2 horseloads. 


v/i. 



These were the accounts of the titleil 
and the wealthy. The woman of hura- 
20 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

bier condition, whose afTairs were less 
complicated, had simpler methods. 

A story is told of an old lady who kept 
her accounts in chalk on the back of her 
shop door, in a system known only to 
herself. She fell ill, and her son came 
home to manage the shop until his mother 
recovered ; but he did not understand her 
method of booking.*' The result was 
that every time a customer came to set- 
tle up the son was compelled to unhinge 
the door and carry it up to his mother's 
bedroom, so that she might calculate the 
amount of the debt. He endured this for 
a day or two, and then gave the door a 
coat of paint, thus finally settling the ac- 
counts. The old lady declared,' when she 
came down again, that by this action she 
lost nearly five hundred dollars. 

But now comes an unexplained wonder ; 
and it is partly on account of the exist- 

21 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



ence of this unique riddle of economic 
history that the narrative form has been 
thus far followed in our attempt to instil 
into the mind of the reader the general 
principles of household accountancy. It 
must have been evident that we are deal- 
ing with a branch of human knowledge 
once and for long ages recognized and 
fully accepted as an important part of 
woman's education, but now, unfort- 
unately, almost extinct. It creates, in- 
deed, less surprise to-day to read that a 
woman of Babylon was a principal mem- 
ber of the great banking firm of that an- 
cient city than it would to be told that 
a thoroughly modem lady of the United 
States had incorporated into her domes- 
tic administration a fairly comprehensive 
system of financial accounting. We have 
seen that accoimting is an essential feat- 
ure of domestic economy, that its fimc- 

22 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



tions are embraced in the sphere of the 
woman, that her administrative abihty 
requires it, and that for a long time she 
was identified with its appHcation. Why, 
then, we are compelled to ask, and at what 
point in the world's history, did the wom- 
an of the household begin to lose interest 
in the science and practice of accounts? 
As early, at least, as the sixteenth century 
this falling away had become noticeable, 
and from that time on there is a general 
tone of regretful argument, instead of the 
old Xenophontean praise, in approaching 
the subject of household accounting. 

While women of the type of Madame de 
Maintenon were looking after their home 
accounts, others, more susceptible of ex- 
traneous influences, were drawn into the 
swirl of a less practical life; and we 
read that the Precieuses — a nickname 
bestowed upon the somewhat finical la- 
23 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



dies of the early part of the seventeenth 
century — ''left their servants' accounts 
unaudited that they might preach the 
doctrines of grace/' 

Sir Matthew Hale complains that in his 
time ''the young gentlewomen think it 
disparagement for them to know what 
belongs to good housewifery or to prac- 
tise it. They know/' he says, " the ready 
way to consume an estate and to ruin a 
family quickly, but neither know nor can 
endure to learn or practise the ways and 
methods to save it or increase it; and 
it is no wonder that great portions are 
expected with them, for their portions 
are commonly all their value." 

It had become a maxim of the Dutch, 
however, that " no one is ever ruined who 
keeps good accounts"; and Mary Astell, 
an English reformer of the seventeenth 
century, could still recommend to her 
24 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

countrywomen the example of the house- 
wives of Holland, who, she writes, *'keep 
the books, balance the accounts, and do 
all the business with as much dexterity 
and exactness as their own or our men 
can do.'' 

To the amiable Fenelon, however, we 
must look for a picture of the real con- 
dition of things, as well as for an in- 
dication of the true line of reform. He 
and Madame de Maintenon complained 
that in their day few girls could cast up 
the simplest household accounts without 
falling into confusion; and while the 
prelate, in his classical work on female 
education, developed his theories, the 
court lady endeavored to apply them and 
to promulgate them by the example of her 
famous school of Saint-Cyr. 

Fenelon thought that besides Latin, 
^ history, biography, travels, poetry, music, 

25 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



and art, a young woman should know 
something of law, trade, and manufact- 
ure, and should be taught the ''minutest 
details of domestic economy." He pre- 
scribed for her a knowledge of the four 
rules of arithmetic, not that she might 
become a second Hypatia, but in order 
that she might keep the accounts of the 
household. 

Miss Edgeworth, a century later, writ- 
ing of economy as a domestic virtue, says 
that children must have the management 
of money, and that girls ought to keep 
the family accounts; and Mrs. Ellis, in 
one of her remarkable works on English 
women, dedicated to Queen Victoria, says 
that married women who love justice to 
themselves as well as to others should 
always keep strict accounts." 

Anne Cobbett, in her once popular 
work for English housekeepers, seems to 
26 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

have in mind the comprehensive ac- 
cotmtancy of the chatelaine. After re- 
ferring favorably to her father's writings 
on cottage economy, she says: ''One 
branch of domestic economy which de- 
volves upon the mistress of a house is 
to keep an account of the expenditure of 
her family. She ought to make this as 
simple an affair as possible, by ascertain- 
ing, first, how much the housekeeping 
is to cost — that is to say, how much she 
can afford to expend in it; then, by keep- 
ing a very strict account of every article 
for the first two months, and making a 
little allowance for casualties, she may 
be able to form an estimate for the year ; 
and if she finds that she has exceeded in 
these two months the allotted sum, she 
must examine each article, and determine 
in which she can best diminish the ex- 
pense; and then, having the average of 
27 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



two months to go by, she may calculate 
how much she is to allow each month 
for meat, bread, groceries, washing, and 
the like. Having laid down her plan, 
whatever excess she may be compelled 
to allow in one month she must make up 
for in the next month. 

should not advise the paying for 
everything at the moment," she writes, 
''but rather once a week; for if a trades- 
man omit to keep an account of the 
money received for a particular article, 
he may, by mistake, make a charge as 
for something had extra and upon trust. 
A weekly account has every advantage 
of ready money, and it saves trouble. I 
should recommend that all tradespeople 
be paid on a Monday morning, the bills 
receipted, . . . and put by in a portfolio 
or case where they may be easily referred 
to as vouchers, or to refresh the memory 
28 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

as to the price of any particular article. 
It is a satisfaction, independent of the 
pecuniary benefit, for the head of a 
family to be able at the end of the year 
to account to herself for what she has 
done with the money." 

The same attitude of entreaty is seen 
in the writings of the Americans. Our 
best-known work on domestic economy, 
for many years, was a treatise by Miss 
Catherine Beecher. ''How few," she 
says, ''keep any account at all of their 
current expenses! If a woman," she 
again says, arguing for benevolence, " has 
never kept any accounts, nor attempt- 
ed to regulate her expenditures by the 
right rule, nor used her influence with 
those that control her plans, she has no 
right to say how much she can or cannot 
do. Let a v/oman keep an accotmt of all 
she spends for herself and her family for 
29 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



a year, arranging the items under three 
general heads. Under the first put all 
articles for food, raiment, rent, wages, and 
all conveniences. Under the second 
place all sums paid in securing an edu- 
cation, and books, and other intellectual 
advantages. Under the third head place 
all that is spent for benevolence and 
religion. 

''At the end of the year the first and 
largest account will show the mixed 
items of necessaries and superfluities, 
which can be arranged so as to gain 
some sort of idea how much has been 
spent for superfluities and how much 
for necessaries. Then, by comparing 
what is spent for superfluities with what 
is spent for intellectual and moral ad- 
vantages, data will be gained for judging 
of the past and regulating the future.'' 

And again, arguing on purely economic 
30 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

grounds, Miss Beecher continues : There 
are certain general principles which all 
unite in sanctioning. The first is that 
care be taken to know the amount of in- 
come and of current expenses, so that the 
proper relative proportion be preserved 
and the expenditures never exceed the 
means. Few women can do this 
thoroughly without keeping regular ac- 
cotmts. A great deal of uneasiness is 
caused to both husband and wife, in 
. many cases, by an entire want of system 
and forethought in arranging expenses. 
Both keep buying what they think they 
need, without any calculation as to how 
matters are coming out, and with a sort 
of dread of running in debt all the time 
harassing them. Such never know the 
comfort of independence. But if a man 
and woman will only calculate what their 
income is, and then plan so as to know 
31 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



that they are all the time living within it, 
they secure one of the greatest comforts 
which wealth ever bestows, and what 
many of the rich who live in a loose and 
careless way never enjoy. It is not so 
much the amount of income as the regu- 
lar and correct apportionment of expenses 
that makes a family truly comfortable. 

Young ladies also,'' she adds, should 
learn systematic economy in expenses; 
and it will be a great benefit for every 
young girl to begin at twelve or thirteen 
years of age to make her own purchases 
and keep her accounts, under the guid- 
ance of her mother or some other friend. 
How strange it appears,'' she concludes, 
''that so many young ladies take charge 
of a husband's establishment without hav- 
ing had either instruction or experience 
in one of the most important duties of 
their station." 

32 



HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Thus we have shown that fireside ac- 
countancy rests upon moral as well as 
economic bases, and have indicated the 
character of these bases as viewed by 
those who have made domestic admin- 
istration their study. 

3 



Ill 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

.CCOUNTING is commercial or non- 



xV commercial. Non - commercial ac- 
coimting applies to the finances of those 
who do not make commerce, or buying 
and selling for profit, their habitual pro- 
fession. Under this head are included 
the capitalist and all those who live on 
the labor of their brain and of their 
muscles. Household accounting is prac- 
tically identical with that of the brain- 
worker and laborer. It is simple and 
elementary, and is properly introductory, 
in an educational sense, to capitalistic 
and commercial accounting and to all 
the higher developments of scientific ac- 




34 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 



cotintancy. By a very pretty fiction of 
accountancy, the lady of the house may 
lead a son or daughter through all the 
experiences of an industrious and econom- 
ical yoimg man or woman who, from a 
wage-earner, becomes an investor and a 
leader of commerce and industry; and 
thus this domestic education will lay the 
foimdation for actual business life. (This 
method is followed in several educational 
institutions in Europe.*) 



For instance, the class is given the 
case of a poor young man w^ho, having 
saved a little money, goes to town and 
finds employment as a laborer in the es- 



conduct and intelligence are noted by his 
employer, who makes him his book- 
keeper and salesman. His continued 
activity advances him in favor, and the 
merchant gives him his niece in marriage. 




tablishment of a merchant. His good 



35 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



Then, with his savings augmented with 
the dowry of his bride and the facili- 
ties of credit gained by his character, 
the young man enters mercantile life on 
his own account. Thus the student, ac- 
companying a single individual through 
various conditions in life, sees how the 
simple accountancy of the laborer is 
transformed into that of the small cap- 
italist; how, alongside of the latter, the 
accountancy of the merchant is con- 
stituted; and how both of these sys- 
tems of accountancy, working side by 
side, establish the situation of the same 
individual as viewed in the double 
character of capitalist and merchant. 
Meanwhile, upon the simple accotmtancy 
of the young employe and that of his 
bride is formed the accountancy of the 
new domestic establishment. 

The matron will see, also, by this 

36 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

illustration, that her own household ac- 
counting will afford her an easy intro- 
duction to the care of money in bank 
or invested in securities, and that if 
thrown upon her own resources she will 
be able the more readily to adapt her 
methods to the administration of exterior 
business affairs. 

We labor to satisfy our needs and to 
increase our hoard. Our labor is pro- 
ductive of these results, however, in pro- 
portion as it is well ordered ; and it is 
by noting and writing down our dealings 
as regularly and methodically as possible 
that we are able, whether we belong to 
the commercial or the non-commercial 
community, to keep in touch with the 
progress and outcome of our affairs and 
to modify their direction to the best ad- 
vantage. 

Accoimtancy, which consists of a state- 
37 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



ment of receipts and expenses, is there- 
fore the controUing record of exchanges ; 
and the matron of the household, though 
not engaged in the pursuit of commerce, 
is none the less continually effecting ex- 
changes. She buys the goods or services 
of which her household is in need, and 
she settles with her dealers and her ser- 
vants, on the spot or on time, in coin 
or bills. The family accounts may in- 
clude the purchase of a piece of real or 
personal property, or a paper security, 
and the sale of it at a loss or profit. 
And in all this buying and selling the 
economic aim of the household, as that 
of the business establishment, is to amass, ^ 
year by year, a new capital — to save, to 
make, to become possessed of a part of 
the mass of social wealth. 

In thus producing, exchanging, con- 
suming, and saving, the household es- 

38 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

tablishment, as well as a business concern, 
must call to its aid the science of accounts, 
in order, first, to follow the movements 
of its receipts and expenses; second, to 
keep track of its investments ; and third, 
to determine, at the end of the year or 
other set period, the results of its opera- 
tions and the exact situation of its cap- 
ital. 

Now, it is well known that any blank- 
book, ruled for dates, details, and dollars 
and cents, and exhibiting receipts on the 
left-hand page and disbursements on the 
right, is far better than nothing at all 
as a help to the memory. Indeed, the 
income and outgo of money are often 
thus inscribed on the back and front 
of the stubs of a check-book; so that, 
if all receipts have been deposited in 
the bank and all expenses have been 
taken therefrom, the stub -book is left 
39 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

as a chronological record of cash move- 
ments. 

A series of ordinary expense books, 
though cumbersome, are of some as- 
sistance in keeping control of the cost 
of conducting the different departments 
of the home establishment ; and the pass- 
books of the grocer and other dealers, 
and miscellaneous receipted bills, are not 
wholly useless as accounting appliances 
even in the most hand-to-mouth ad- 
ministration. A miniature set of com- 
mercial books, consisting of ledger, cash- 
book, and journal, is now and then seen 
in the home, and would seem to have 
been heretofore needed wherever credit 
transactions have occurred. 

A convenient form for a very simple 
household cash-book, in which entries, 
both of receipt and expense, are con- 
fined to one page, is shown in example A : 
40 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 



1903 
Jan. I 
" 2 



" 8 



PARTICULARS 



Cash in hand 

Wood and oil 

Bread 

Ribbon 

Bread 

Potatoes 

Provisions 

Dry-goods 

Washing 

Mending 

Bread 

Salary 

Cloak 

Under^^ear 

Rent 

Paid grocer , . 

Paid butcher 

Fares and sundries . . 

(Balance $39.15). . 



RECEIVED 



$80.00 



40.00 



$120.00 $80.85 



EXAMPLE A 
41 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

In example B it will be noticed that 
the simple plan is carried a step further, 
making it even more convenient. 

But what is really needed, and the 
want of which has been a source of in- 
creasing discouragement in home man- 
agement during the centuries in which 
modem accountancy has been industri- 
ovisly fitted to the varying forms of count- 
ing-house administration, is a system of 
household accounting that shall be at 
once comprehensive in scope and aim, 
and easy to work and to interpret. And 
to meet these requirements a single reg- 
ister, scientifically arranged as will be de- 
scribed, is sufficient. 

The method recommended will be im- 
derstood from the following model and 
a few words of explanation. It meets 
the requirements already specified, estab- 
lishes the balance-sheet of the family and 
42 



DATES OF 
RECEIPTS 

AND 
EXPENDI- 
TURES 


RECEIPTS 


NATURE OF CASH EXPENSES 


CASH EXPENSES 


SOURCES OF INCOME 


SUMS 


SUMS 


DAILY 
TOTALS 


1903 

Jan. I 


Cash in hand 


$80.00 








2 






Wood and oil 


$1.20 
.80 














$2.00 








Ribbon . . 


.90 
.80 










Bread 










Potatoes 


2.00 










Provisions 


•65 


4-35 


" 5 






Dry-goods 


3-50 


3-50 


. " 7 






Washing 

Mending 


2.00 

•75 
•95 


3-70 





Salary 


40.00 




8.00 








Underwear 


3-50 










Rent 


I O.oO 










Paid grocer 

Paid butcher 










Car-fare and sundries y» 


m. 


i 67.30 




Total 


$1 20.00 


(Balance $39-i5)- • \ 




f $80.85 









Lie 



EXAMPLE B" 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

constitutes, as it were, the financial his- 
tory of the household. It enables the 
matron to keep a complete and exact ac- 
count of her domestic operations. 

Household receipts, independently of 
gifts and inheritances, consist of wages, 
salaries, allowances, fees, profits, ^rents, 
dividends, interest, and the like, and may 
be entered in the register merely as items 
of cash brought in by this or that mem- 
ber of the family. 

Household expenses are composed' of 
purchases of articles for consumption — 
I such as food, raiment, fuel, and amuse- 
ments ; or of remunerationj'^s for service, 
instruction, rent, insurance, transporta- 
tion ; o? of purchases of durable utilities, 
such as tools, pictures, books, furniture, 
real estate; or'^f investments of money 
in enterprises or in securities. 

The receipts and expenses do not al- 
43 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



ways, however, exhibit this variety. In 
the larger number of households a saving 
— that is, an excess of receipts over ex- 
penses — is obtained only by a careful 
cutting off of the superfluous, by a wise 
employment of the necessary, and by the 
utmost order and economy in the domes- 
tic management. Those who impose this 
line of conduct upon themselves, and 
follow it persistently, create a capital 
which, in time, adds an interesting col- 
umn to their scheme of accounts. 

Receipts represent a simple account. 
Expenses represent another simple ac- 
count. These together form a true ac- 
countancy, as has been stated, which, 
however rudimentary, may register three 
kinds of result. First, if the expenses 
are more than the receipts, either by the 
insufficiency of the latter or because 
the household has been improvident and 
44 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

prodigal, not only is there nothing left 
at the end of the period, but, having 
lived upon credit — that is, upon the cap- 
ital of others — the household has con- 
tracted debts, and this will be expressed 
by the debit balance upon closing the 
annual account. Second, if the expenses 
exactly balance the receipts, the money 
has merely passed through the establish- 
ment ; nothing remains at the end of the 
year; and this fact will be shown upon 
closing the annual accoimt. Third, if the 
receipts exceed the expenses, \^a surplus 
has been created,\^ capital remains in 
the possession of the household ; and this 
is expressed by the credit balance ap- 
pearing upon closing the annual account. 

The books necessary for household ac- 
coimts, as well as for business accounts, 
are the journal and ledger, and, in ad- 
dition, the balance-sheet. But as the 
45 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



household journal is a mere record of 
movements of cash, it is practically re- 
duced to a simple original cash-book. 
As for the ledger, it is limited to the 
credit accounts of a few dealers,\together 
with a classified statistical display of 
expenses, which display, after a time, 
will furnish the means of comparison by 
which to regulate future expenses. Thus 
the cash journal records the dates and 
amounts of all moneys received or paid 
out; the ledger records the same trans- 
actions, which have been transferred to 
it from the cash journal, each item 
being placed under its proper account 
whether of a person or thing. And still 
further to simplify this rudimentary ac- 
coimtancy, the two books may be fused 
into a single journal-ledger, in which the 
receipts and expenses day by day are 
seen at a glance. This view indicates 

46 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

by dates, throughout the period, all 
receipts and their sources; all cash and 
credit purchases; detailed sums of all 
cash expenses; daily totals of cash ex- 
penses; all credit transactions with deal- 
ers; statistics, according to kind, of all 
articles bought on time and for cash, and 
daily totals of entire outlay; so that the 
whole financial situation of the household 
may be definitely determined at the end 
of a set period or at any other time. 

A view of the accompanying model 
will show the use to which the various 
divisions of the journal-ledger are de- 
voted. The left-hand page of the book 
is the journal, which, in the accoimtancy 
of the household, as we have seen, is re- 
duced to little more than a cash-book. 
The right-hand page is the ledger, carry- 
ing the accounts of persons and of things. 

Beginning on the left of the left-hand 
47 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

page, the first column is reserved for the 
dates of the entire record on both pages. 

The second column indicates the 
sources of the receipts. Whether re- 
ceipts shall be traced to their outside 
sources, as wages, fees, and other speci- 
fied earnings, or merely recorded as 
coming from the different members of 
the household into the hands of the 
matron, will depend upon the stand-point 
she may choose to occupy as keeper of 
the accounts. 

In the third column are inscribed the 
sums of the receipts and the cash in 
hand at the beginning of the period. This 
column should be totalled up at least 
once a week. 

The fourth column is devoted to a 
chronological record of the nature of all 
purchases. It is essential that this in- 
dication of kinds of goods bought should 
48 



H 

^ w o. 



iqo3 
Jan. I 

2 



RECEIPTS 



SOURCES 



Cash in Hand. 



"50.00 



Salary 



40.00 



Mea 
Woe 
Brei 
Gro( 

Rib; 
Brec 
Bee 
PoU 
Pro 



Wa. 
Me. 
Mut 
Brer 

Cloc 
Und 

Sug; 
Ren 
Paic 
Paic 
Car- 



Total 



20.00 



(I 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

be explicit, so as to furnish the informa- 
tion required for the statistical columns 
which follow on the ledger side; but to 
avoid the multiplication of detail, the 
entries here may be under somewhat 
general heads, and the particulars may be 
kept in the butcher's and grocer's pass- 
books or in a rough memorandum-book 
of daily expenses. The two following 
columns carry, in the one the detailed 
figures of the cash expenses, and in the 
other the daily totals of the same ex- 
penses. At least once a week the cash 
outlay should be totalled up and com- 
pared with the total receipts, and the 
balance, as found by the book and veri- 
fied by actual count of money in hand, 
may be set down within brackets in the 
fourth column, as shown in the model. 
It will be better still if this balance in 
hand be figured up and verified daily. 
4 49 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Credit purchases as well as cash pur- 
chases are described in the fourth col- 
umn, but their figures are carried forward 
to the credit columns of the dealers — 
that is to say, to the columns in which are 
placed all amounts due the dealers; and 
thus the housewife has, day by day, a 
view 6f her entire cash and credit ex- 
penses. The nimiber of credit accounts, 
of course, is optional. Each dealer has 
a debit and a credit column. When the 
payment, or a part payment, is made, it 
is described in the fourth and the amount 
is entered in the fifth column as a cash 
expense, and the amount of payment is 
also entered in the debit column of the 
dealer — that is to say, in the column 
which records the amounts paid the deal- 
er. When the columns of the dealers are 
footed up, if a debit column does not 
amount to as much as the adjoining 
50 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

credit column, the difference is the 
amount due the dealer. 

Following the accounts of the dealers 
on the ledger page are several columns 
exhibiting together a daily statistical 
abstract of all expenses. This abstract 
is merely a classified repetition of the 
entries already made, and must agree in 
its collective total with the combined 
totals of the cash and credit expense 
columns on the journal, or left-hand, 
page. It must be remembered, how- 
ever, that as credit expenses have been 
carried into these statistical columns 
from the credit columns of the dealers, 
they must not be again brought forward^ 
from the debit columns of the dealers, oij 
from the cash column on the journal 
page, when the payments are made. 

The statistical columns enable the 
housewife to make constant comparison 
51 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



of the cost of the Hving departments with 
one another and with her income; to 
make necessary modifications ; and to reg- 
ulate, at the end of any period, her bud- 
get for the ensuing period. The number 
of these columns is optional, depending 
upon the variety of statistical informa- 
tion desired. 

Mrs. Ellen Richards, an American au- 
thority on the cost of living, has suggest- 
ed a number of budgets under the follow- 
ing five general heads : first, food ; second, 
rent; third, operating expenses, wages, 
fuel, light, and so on; fourth, clothes; 
fifth, higher life, books, travel, church, 
charity, savings, insurance. On the other 
hand, in a table of actual family ex- 
penses, the same lady uses twenty-eight 
general heads of outlay. The simple dis- 
tribution adopted in the model will be 
sufficiently elaborate for a modest be- 
52 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

ginning; and the housewife may set off 
other columns, as desired, at the begin- 
ning of any new period. 

When, by industry and economy, and 
by order therein, a capital shall have 
been saved that may be invested in any- 
thing of permanent value, such as furni- 
ture, pictures, books, etc., a column may 
be set apart from the miscellaneous col- 
umn for the record of such transactions. 
This will lead, by an easy gradation, to 
the establishment of a capitalistic ac- 
cotmtancy ; an accountancy of the second 
degree, whose twofold mission is, first, to 
render account of current receipts and 
expenses ; and, second, of a capital amass- 
ed and successively modified. At first, 
however, it will be well to become thor- 
oughly familiar with the simpler form by 
carrying all unusual items into the mis- 
cellaneous column. 

53 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

The final column receives the entire 
daily total of cash and credit expenses. 
It should be footed up weekly. It must 
always agree with the sums shown by the 
statistical columns. It must also agree 
with the combined sums of the credit 
columns of the dealers and the cash 
column of expenses, minus the pay- 
ments to dealers, as already explained. 
It will agree with the cash expense 
column alone, if the dealers have been 
fully paid ; if not, the difference will show 
the entire amount remaining unpaid. 

Thus we see that the administrator of 
the household affairs, by means of this 
simple series of concurrent columns, may 
know from day to day: first, from the 
cash balance, her pecimiary situation 
with reference to herself; second, from 
the accoimts of the dealers, her pecuniary 
situation with reference to her creditors ; 
54 



THE HOME ACCOUNT-BOOK 

third, her daily cash expense ; fourth, her 
total current cash and credit expense; 
fifth, from the statistical columns, the 
current cost of each department. The 
columns should be totalled each week. 

The entries for each week follow with- 
out break the totals as shown under the 
preceding week, so as not to interrupt the 
addition of the columns. On the last day 
of December the total of the cash ex- 
pense column indicates the annual cash 
outlay; the columns of the dealers show 
the full yearly amount of debt incurred 
and the full amount paid in settlement; 
and the final column presents the grand 
total of the cost of the household, cash 
and credit, for the yeai'. On the first 
of January, or the day following the 
close of the old period, the journal-ledger 
is again opened, for the ensuing period, 
with the cash in hand entered as before, 
55 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



and with any balance that may still be 
due to a dealer entered in his credit 
column. 

All these financial details the house- 
wife must know, in order that she may 
regulate her administration 'intelligently, 
that she may economize methodically, 
and that she may constitute a savings 
fund and direct that fund in the way of 
increase. 



IV 



THE BALANCE-SHEET 

IT is at this point, when the accounts 
of a period are closed and those of 
the following period are opened, that the 
financial condition of the household is 
recorded on the balance-sheet. This 
closing and opening of the accounts in 
no wise interferes with the movement of 
affairs; and the balance-sheet is but a 
kind of instantaneous photograph of the 
status of the business at the chosen mo- 
ment, showing how the situation com- 
pares, on the one hand, with a former 
condition, and, on the other, with the 
ideal in the mind of the administrator. 
In form, a balance-sheet, as its name 
57 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



implies, is a sheet of balances. In the 
complicated accotintancy of modem com- 
merce and finance, it is the result of much 
labor expended in centralizing the figures 
of a more or less extensive system of 
books of account. Its appearance is 
often awaited with anxiety, and its con- 
tents are studied with care by the stock- 
holder, the bondholder, the manager, the 
competitor, and the political economist. 

In the accountancy of the household, 
however, the balance-sheet is a much 
simpler affair. The journal-ledger here 
recommended affords a ready view of the 
situation from day to day; while the 
weekly or monthly balancings, appearing 
at a glance in one short, horizontal row 
of figures, are a kind of periodical review ; 
and thus, in this progression of the 
whole record together, the housewife has 
a complete history of her conduct of 

58 



THE BALANCE-SHEET 



affairs. But for permanent comparison 
of the results of her administration, it 
is convenient to make a division of time 
into periods of uniform length and 
character, and to sum up the results of 
each period and record them by them- 
selves. The natural uniform period is 
the year; and the form in which the re- 
sults of the period are brought together 
for convenient reference and comparison 
is the balance-sheet. 

Three kinds of result, as already noted, 
are possible: the income may have been 
insufficient, or just enough, or more than 
enough, to meet the expense. We may 
apply these three results to the ac- 
coimtancy of a yoimg couple who, let us 
say, open their book of financial record 
on Januan,' i, 1902, with S80 cash in 
hand. The first year, besides the S80 
entered on the ist of Januar}^ there is 
59 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



an income of $40 a week for fifty weeks — 
two weeks having been lost in one way 
and another — ^being a total of receipts of 
$2,000 + $80 = $2,080. Their expenses, 
by reason of their want of experience in 
the practice of economy, and because of 
their early need of household effects, 
have reached the sum of $2,300, leaving 
a deficit of $220, of which $70 are due 
to the butcher and $150 to the grocer. 
To express, at the close of the year, this 
result in a methodical manner, they pre- 
pare their simple household balance-sheet, 
dated December 31, 1902, based upon the 
following facts as shown by their jour- 
nal-ledger : 

Their cash income, including the cash 
in hand at the beginning of the period, 
has given them $2,080, and the grocer 
has loaned them $150 and the butcher 
$70 worth of goods, making in all $2,300 
60 



THE BALANCE-SHEET 

to meet a total expense of $2,300, $220 of 
which is an indebtedness which they will 
carry over to the credit of the grocer and 
butcher when the accounts are reopened. 
This situation is expressed in tabular 
form as follows : 



DECEMBER 3I, I902 


DR. 


CR. 






$2,080 
70 


Balance due on credit pur- 
diases : 




Butcher 




Expenses for the year 

Totals 


$2,300 


$2,300 


$2,300 



HOUSEHOLD BALANCE-SHEET EXPRESSING A 
DEFICIT. 



The table given above may be in- 
scribed in any convenient place, say 
near the end of the journal-ledger; and 
on the first day of January, 1903, the 
61 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



journal-ledger is reopened with the $70 
carried to the credit of the butcher and 
the $150 carried to the credit of the 
grocer. 

The second year a total of $2,080, 
being $40 a week for the full fifty-two 
weeks, is earned and entered in the cash 
receipts. An examination of the statis- 
tical columns has shown the yoimg house- 
wife that money has been spent in one or 
two of the departments which might have 
been saved ; and this second year she has 
not only paid off the debt of $220 to the 
butcher and grocer, but has kept her 
nmning expenses down to the $1,860 
remaining of the $2,080, thus equaliz- 
ing the receipts and expenses. At the 
close of the second year, therefore, she 
is in a position to prepare a balance- 
sheet expressive of freedom from obliga- 
tion : 

62 



THE BALANCE-SHEET 



DECEMBER 3I» I903 


DR. 


CR. 


Cash resources 




$2,080 


Balance paid on credit ptir- 
chases : 

Grocer 


$150 
70 
1,860 


Butcher 

Expenses for the year 

Totals 


$2,080 


$2,080 



HOUSEHOLD BALANCE - SHEET EXPRESSING 
FREEDOM FROM OBLIGATION. 



On the I St of January, 1904, the house- 
wife, upon a serious consideration of this 
second result, resolves to bring her affairs 
to the close of another year with a still 
better balance-sheet, and to this end they 
endeavor together to decide upon a min- 
imum outlay upon which they may live 
comfortably. Upon the same day the 
young man learns that his salary is raised 
to $50 a week, and this good news con- 

63 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



firms them in their projects of economy. 
The income during this third year is 
S50 X 52 = $2,600, while the expenses are 
82,025. Thus there is a cash balance at 
the end of the year of S575, and the new 
balance-sheet shows the young domestic 
economist is now prepared to add to her 
household accountancy the further feat- 
ure of capitalistic accoimtancy: 



DECEMBER 3I, I904 


DR. 


CR. 






$2,600 


Totals 


S575 
2,025 


$2,600 


$2,600 



HOUSEHOLD BALANCE - SHEET EXPRESSING 
POSSESSION OF CAPITAL. 



It ought here to be again noted that 
the simple journal-ledger contains in it- 
self all the accounts of the household. 
64 



THE BALANCE-SHEET 

The balance-sheet, valuable for purposes 
of administration and the full expression 
of the financial situation, can be made up 
at any time for any past period or series 
of periods, and need not give the house- 
wife any concern for at least a year after 
the first opening of her journal-ledger. 

This journal-ledger may be any wide- 
paged blank-book, in which she may rule 
off her columns a couple of pages at a 
time as wanted; and the ruling, it need 
hardly be said, may be with pencil or with 
pen and ink, and with or without all the 
captions fully expressed as in the model. 

It cannot be too strongly emphasized 
that the entire value of the book rests 
upon a recognition of the absolute need 
of order and method in the financial 
administration of the modem household ; 
that is, that the whole question is first 
and last a matter of business. 

65 



V 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 

THE budget, though one of the most 
important features of the matron's 
administration, and the twin -sister, we 
may say, of her accoimtancy, is not to be 
considered as in any way affecting the 
completeness of the subject as already 
viewed. And so with the voucher ; and 
so, also, with the inventory. All these 
are of greater or less importance; but, 
with or without them, the journal-ledger 
embraces the entire movement, the bal- 
ance-sheet records the exact situation, 
and whatever is more is, at most, only 
of correlative value to accountancy. 
66 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



THE BUDGET 

The budget has been often called the 
prospective balance-sheet/' We have 
seen that the statistical columns of the 
journal-ledger are for the purpose of 
distributing or classifying the household 
purchases according to the nature of the 
articles bought, and that the number and 
headings of these columns are dependent 
upon the variety of information the 
matron may desire thus to preserve. She 
may have a special reason for wishing to 
know just how much money she is spend- 
ing on some particular object in which 
another household might not be interest- 
ed, and to this end she can mark off a 
column in which to carry the cost of each 
purchase of this article ; and so on. 

But the principal use of this informa- 
tion is to furnish a basis for estimating 
67 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



the cost of maintaining the household in 
the immediate future. This estimate is 
known as the budget, so called from the 
bag or budget of financial estimates laid 
before the British House of Commons by 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

*'And let us not deceive ourselves," 
says Louise d'Alq, in La Mattresse de 
Maison ; ''many a household has quite 
as much trouble as certain ministers, and 
much more, to attain this object of es- 
tablishing its budget of receipts and ex- 
penses; for it cannot have recourse, as 
they can, to forced loans and other ar- 
bitrary sources of income." 

The household budget, or statement of 
the probable revenue and expenditure of 
the establishment for the ensuing period, 
is the result of a careful comparison of 
what is wanted or desired with what can 
be attained. '' The budget is bom," said 
68 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



a noted French journalist, ''of the im- 
perious necessity for an equihbrium of 
receipts and expenses/' There must be, 
first of all, an approximately correct 
notion of the amount of income from 
which the expenditure may be drawn; 
and within this limit — by reason, indeed, 
of the limitation itself — there is ample 
room for the fullest exercise of woman's 
ingenuity and judgment in arriving at a 
well-proportioned estimate of expenses. 
In this work, the one indispensable ally 
of the matron will be the statistical 
department of her journal-ledger. Her 
accountancy will unite the past to the 
future of her finances, and her household 
budget will be the connecting link be- 
tween this accountancy and her active 
administration. 

A few general considerations, founded 
upon a study of many budgets, will not, 
69 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



it is hoped, be out of place. This study, 
it must be admitted, Hke that of the more 
elementary household accounting upon 
which it is fotmded, has not, in our 
modem civilization, gone very deep or 
very far. The commissioner of labor of 
the United States has tabulated the 
average percentages of various expenses 
to income of a number of families en- 
gaged in the iron, coal, glass, cotton, and 
woollen industries. Dr. Engels, head of 
the Prussian royal bureau of statistics, 
has published a series of studies on fam- 
ily budgets; Ellen Richards, to whom 
reference has already been made, has 
instituted inquiry in the same line of re- 
search ; and a number of valuable articles 
have been contributed to various peri- 
odicals on the same subject. And thus 
it will be seen that a beginning has been 
made, and that ''it is for those educated 
70 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



persons with one thousand to three 
thousand dollars annual income to lead 
the way in the studies necessary to be un- 
dertaken before any authoritative state- 
ments can be made/' 

The Bulletin of the International Insti- 
tute of Statistics has printed a formula- 
tion of four laws by Dr. Engels, which 
have been pronounced by other statis- 
ticians to be ''absolutely exact/' These 
laws, the result of observation, are ex- 
pressed in the language of mathematics ; 
the drift of them is : first, that as income 
increases, the smaller is the relative 
percentage of outlay for food; second, 
that the outlay for clothing maintains a 
constant proportion to the whole; third, 
that the percentage of the outlay for 
shelter, and for heat and light, is the 
same, whatever the income; and fourth, 
that the percentage of outlay for stm- 
71 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



dries (expressing the degree of prosper- 
ity) increases as income advances. A 
concluding observation is, that the less 
a household earns t^ie greater is the pro- 
portion expended for nutriment, what- 
ever ^Ise may have to l>e renounced. 

The Prussian statistician estimates 
that, taking one country with another, a 
poor family, with an inconie qf a dollar 
a day for the working year of three 
hundred days, will expend oii an aver- 
age $i86 for food, $36 for rent, $15 for 
light and heat, $48 for raiment, and $15 
on the higher life. A modest household, 
dependent upon one of the industries se- 
lected by the commissioner of labor for 
comparison, and having a total of receipts 
of $1,000 a year, lays out $343.40 for 
food, $149.60 for rent, $40 for fuel, 
$7.40 for light, $168.40 for clothing, and 
$291.20 f(^r all other purposes. 

72 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 

A very common American budget is 
that of a household of four adults and 
two children, who, with an income of 
$2,000, spend $726 for nutriment, $484 
for shelter and car-fares to and from place 
of business, $418 for light, heat, semce, 
and other operating items, and $372 for 
clothing, education, amusements, benevo- 
lence, savings, and the higher life general- 
ly ; in contrast with which Mrs. Richards 
has suggested, for the same income, a dis- 
tribution of $500 for food, about $400 
for rent, about $300 for service, light, fuel, 
and other operating expenses, about 
$400 for raiment, and $400 for the higher 
life, books, travel, church, charity, sav- 
ings, and insurance ; while Miss Florence 
Stacpoole, an English lecturer and writer 
on domestic economy, recommends tq^her 
countrywomen, for the same total outlay, 
$300 for rent, $835 for housekeepiiife, 
73 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



$200 for service, S80 for heat and light, 
$225 for dress, and $360 for education, 
amusements, sickness, and incidentals. 
It will be remarked that if these amounts 
are reduced to percentages, a very wide 
latitude is seen in the proportioning of 
expenses; food, for example, ranging all 
the way from 62 down to 25 per cent. 
This may be partially attributed to eco- 
nomic differences between Great Britain 
and America. 

The following interesting budget, the 
original of which is preserv^ed at Osmas- 
ton Hall, Derbyshire, England, will show 
that the latter percentage for food was 
considered fair in the middle of the 
eighteenth century; though to produce 
this proportion we must leave out of 
the 25 per cent, the beer and liquors, 
the cows, and the board of the boys at 
school : 

74 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



Computation for Yeardley 19 May 1753 

£48$ a year at Osmaston. 
Upon a plan of living altogether at Osmaston. 
2 and Sister Wilmot 

2 Marow and Betsey 

3 Maids 
3 Men 

10 in Family 

I constant in addition 

11 to be provided for 

Simday Roast or boiled fowls 

Roast and boiled beef & 
Pudding P^'e or Pancake. 

Monday Boiled or Fry^ Cow heel 
Roast Mutton & Do. 



Tuesday Veal & Bacon, Mutton & Stakes 

Wednesday Herbs & Bacon, Roast veal 

Thursday Boiled Mutton Roast Pork 

Rabbits Fowls & Pudding Pye 



Friday Fish Boiled or Roast Beef and do 

75 



HOV TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Saturday Marrow Bones. liver 
heart, etc. 

The above to be varied just as most agree- 
able or convenient according to the season 
and cheapness or goodness of things. 



Sunday 2 fowls o i 3 

II lbs of hi^vi 

at 2^ . . o 2 6% 

a lb of bacon at 

o o 6 

Pudding or Pye o o 3^ 
047 

Monday Cow heal o o 6 

Pudding o o 3^^ 

II lbs of Mut- 
ton at 2 f< . . . o 2 6]i 
034 

Tuesday 11 lbs of Veal 
& Mutton 

at 2 54 o 2 654 

Puddinj* 003^ 
Bacon 006 
034 

76 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



Wednesday 


Bacon 


o 


o 


6 




II lbs of Veal 


o 


2 


6% 




Pudding 


o 


O 


3^ 






o 


3 


4 


Thursday 


II lbs of mut- 










ton or pork 


o 


2 


6% 




Pudding 


o 


o 


3^4 




Rabbits 


o 


I 


o 






o 


3 


lO 


Friday 


Fish removed 










with chickens 


o 


2 


6 




II lbs of Beef 


o 


2 


6/4 




Pudding 


o 


O 


3% 






o 


5 


4 


Saturday 


Marrow Bones. 


o 


o 


6 




Fry 


o 


I 


6 




Pudding 


o 


o 


6 






o 


' 2 


6 






I 


6 




1 1 lbs of butter a week at 6'^ 


o 


c 


6 ^^f^ 


Bread and M 


uffins 


o 


7 




Salt Vinegar & pepper oyl . . . 


o 


2^ 


3 


Cheese 




o 


I 


o 






2 


2 


o 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



Two guineas a week amount 

to 109 4 o 

Strong beer, small beer, or ale . . 30 o o 

Wine 15 o o 

Spirits 10 o o 

Coals 12 o o 

Soap, candles, blacking 12 o o 

Tea, chocolate, coffee, rice 6 o o 

Sugar for tea and house 7 o o 

3 maids wages 10 o o 

3 mens wages and liveries 25 o o 

Sister Wilmots Cloathes and pin 

money 20 o o 

Marow Do 10 o o 

Betty 10 o o 

Gardeners [2] 13 o o 

3 Boys at School £^0 90 o o 

Yeardley 50 o o 

4 horses ^£40 coach tax and re- 
pairs 10 o o 

2 Cows etc 5 16 o 

£445 Q o 

Balance over 
£40. 

78 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 

These budgets emphasize the perma- 
nence of certain wants, and indicate the 
few statistical columns to which the in- 
experienced housewife may confine her 
distribution of expenses. A matron who 
should begin with a record of outlay 
for shelter, for general operation of the 
house, for nourishment, for dress, and 
for stmdries, might have occasion, in the 
course of years, to set off particular col- 
umns for board, meat, groceries, medi- 
cine, the doctor, the lawyer, servants, 
travelling, local car -fares, amusements, 
books, periodicals, papers, furniture, 
taxes, interest, insurance, stable, charity, 
education, latmdry, music, water, repairs, 
milk, ice, and the private expenses of 
the sons, of the daughters, and of mon- 
sieur and madame. 

But, in the main, the reasoning of the 
domestic economist will be that we must 
79 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



eat and drink, wear clothes, have a roof 
over our heads, pay for service, edu- 
cate the young, look after the general 
comfort and well-being of the household, 
and save what we may, conveniently, out 
of our income. And nothing, it may be 
said, will require more careful considera- 
tion — will more clearly reveal the charac- 
ter of the mistress of the home, or repay 
her with greater results — than the pro- 
duction of a well-balanced and economi- 
cal budget founded upon well-kept ac- 
counts. 

THE VOUCHER 

The voucher is a written evidence of 
payment, and, as we have seen in the 
administration of the chatelaine and the 
recommendation of modem writers, it 
ought as such to be preserved. 

The voucher is of threefold value — ac- 
80 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



counting, administrative, and legal. A 
complete series of vouchers would alone 
constitute a reliable though clumsy rec- 
ord of expenses. But, as in the case of 
the check -book used for a cash-book, 
this is not the primary object of the 
voucher; nor does accountancy depend 
upon any such secondary employment 
of borrowed appliances. 

In the organization of extensive en- 
terprises, the idea of the voucher in- 
cludes all kinds of interior documentary 
authority for payment, as well as ex- 
terior evidence of it; and as labor is 
more and more divided in these vast con- 
cerns, the voucher becomes of greater 
importance and variety. But, as Eu- 
gene Leautey, author of La Science des 
Comptes, has said, ''we must admit that 
in the accountancy of simple individuals 
the need of classifying all vouchers as 
6 8i 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



supports for the movements of money is 
much less rigorous than in mercantile 
and industrial accounting/' The matron 
of the household will find her receipts, 
receipted bills, dealers' passbooks, letters 
of acknowledgment, and the like, useful 
as memoranda when making up her ac- 
counts, and legally valuable as vouchers 
in case of dispute, and may be content 
merely to keep them for a reasonable 
while in some handy way of reference, 
and then either to get rid of them or store 
them away in packages. 

THE INVENTORY 

The inventory, if kept at all, will take 
form according to its intended use. It 
may be a simple list of household goods, 
made up either with or without order; 
it may be either without valuation, or 
priced according to cost, or according to 
82 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



some notion of present worth ; and it may 
be kept entirely apart by itself, or the 
money value may be entered, either as 
a total or as several sub - totals, in the 
accounts. Such entry, to keep the ac- 
counts in balance, can be made, with 
accompanying explanation, as cash re- 
ceived and cash expended for the goods, 
and thus the household effects will obtain 
representation. 

But as no practical purpose is served 
by the introduction of this element into 
the book, and as all articles bought since 
the opening of the book are already ac- 
coimted for, the inventory will better be 
kept out of the account-book until the 
housewife shall have studied the mys- 
teries of fluctuating values in connection 
with capitalistic accountancy. 

Small articles of value, if not kept in a 
safe-deposit vault or under lock and key, 
83 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



especially silven\'are, ought to be care- 
fully noted in such a list and compared 
with the list frequently, as one of the 
principal uses of a methodically arranged 
and conser\'atively priced inventor}^ of 
household effects is as an insurance record 
in case of loss by fire. 

How a catalogue of household goods 
appeared in the olden time may be seen 
from a few conserv^ative lines in a long 
Inventor}' of the Goodes belong\'ng to 
the Kynges Grace by the forfettoure of 
the Lady Hungerford,'* who was attaint- 
ed in the fourteenth year of the reign of 
Henry VHI. : 

Item, a flowre of golde, fulle of 
sparkes of dyamondes set abowte 
with perles, and the Holy Gost in 
the mydste of yt. 

Item, a table of golde with the 
pyktor of Seynt Cristofer in hym. 

84 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



Item, a harte of golde inhand with 
a wyd chene, inameled with white and 
blewe. 

Item, a gret broiche of golde with a 
man and a woman in hym, the valure 
iiij pounde iiij ^. 

Item, ij broches of golde with the 
pykter of Seynt Kateren in them, the 
value of them v marcs v marc. 

Item, XXXV payre of aglettes of 
golde, which coste iiij^ xiij^ iiij'^. 

The following inventor}' of the house- 
hold effects of a young couple Hving in 
comfort in one of the suburbs of Xew 
York is fairly representative. The fur- 
nace and ranges are fixtures ; therefore no 
account is taken of heating apparatus. 
Wearing apparel, books, pictiu-es, a sew- 
ing-machine, and the parlor organ are 
also excluded, in order that the list may- 
be suggestive merely of what is usually re- 
quired for the furnishing of the house : 
85 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Sitting - room or parlor. — Carpet, in- 
grain, thirty yards, say $45 ; two roller 
shades, $4 ; two cornices, S8 ; lace curtains 
for two windows, $30; rep-covered sofa 
and two chairs, $80 ; two reception-chairs, 
$8; fancy chair, Sio; sewing-chair, S4; 
marble-top table, $15. Total, $204. 

Dining-room. — Carpet, ingrain, thirty 
yards, say S30; two roller shades, $3; 
cornices, $5 ; curtains, $7 ; extension-table, 
$12; six cane-bottom chairs, $15; side- 
board, $30; cooler, S2.50; two trays, $2; 
coffee-pot, $2.50; egg-boiler, 50c.; three 
dozen spoons, three sizes, S20; two dozen 
forks, two sizes, $15; dinner caster, $8; 
one dozen knives, $5 ; carving-knife, with 
steel sharpener, $3; mats, Si; two bells. 
Si. 50; dinner-set, china, 134 pieces, 
$27; tea-set, china, forty -four pieces, 
$7 ; one dozen cut-glass goblets, S3 ; one 
dozen timiblers, $1; two cut-glass pre- 
86 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



ser\'e-dishes, $3; china fruit-basket, Si; 
glass, $1 ; celer}^-glass, 50c. ; pitcher, 50c. ; 
molasses-jug, 50c. ; one dozen salts, soc. 
Total, S208. 

•Bedroom. — Carpet, thirty yards, say 
$30; two shades, cornice, and curtains, 
$12; furniture, ten piece 5, S55 ; springs, 
$5; mattress, hair, S26; pillows and 
bolster, $12; pair blankets. Si 2; two 
spreads, $6 ; sheets and pillow - cases, 
three sets, Sio; china toilet-set, $7. 
Total, $175. 

Bedroom, or ser\'ant's room. — Carpet 
twenty-five yards, S25; window - shade, 
$1; table, Si. 30; bureau and glass, $S; 
wash-stand, $2 ; two chairs and rocker, 
$4; bedstead and springs, $9: mattress, 
$15; pair blankets, S6; spread and com- 
fortable, S4; pillows and bolster, SS; 
sheets and pillow-cases, three sets, $6: 
toilet-set, S4. Total, S93.50. 

87 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Hall and stairs. — Hall carpet, $12; 
stair carpet, $10 ; padding, $3.50 ; eighteen 
rods, $6 ; hat - stand and umbrella - rack, 
$9. Total, $40.50. 

Linen. — Table - cloths, eight yards 
damask, $5 ; five yards fine damask, bor- 
dered, $7.50; two plain table-cloths, $2; 
three dozen napkins, two qualities, $7.50; 
three dozen common towels, $1.50; one 
dozen dish-towels, $1. Total, $32.50. 

Kitchen. — Large and small table, $7; 
five chairs, $2.50; refrigerator, $12 ; clock, 
$2.50; ladder, $2; hammer and tack- 
hammer, 50C. ; scales, $1.25; clothes- 
basket and market-basket, $2 ; scuttle, 
$1 ; covered slop-pail, $1 ; hatchet and 
screw-driver, $1 ; knife-board, knife-box, 
spoon-basket, and can-opener, $2; pint 
and quart measure, 25c.; canisters for 
tea, coffee, and sugar, $1 ; nest of boxes, 
75c. ; bread and cake boxes, $2.50 ; funnel. 



BUDGET, VOUCHERS, AND INVENTORY 



ISC. ; wash-tubs, $3 ; ironing-boards, $1.25 ; 
wash - board, 2 5c. ; clothes - pins, 25c. ; 
boiler, $2 ; clothes-line, 50c. ; six irons and 
two stands, $3.25; brooms and brushes, 
$2; dust -pan, 25c.; tea-kettle, $1; two 
iron pots, $3; preserve - kettle, $1.50; 
saucepans, $2 ; frying-pans, $1 ; dish-pans, 
$2 ; tin pans, various sizes, $3 ; earthen 
pans, $1 ; bowls, $1 ; pudding-dishes, 50c. ; 
griddle, soapstone, $1.50; chopping-knife 
and board and, bowl, $1.50; rolling-pin 
and kneading board and bowl, $1.25; 
cutters, 25c.; coffee-pot, 75c.; dipper and 
skimmer, 40c. ; two pails, 50c. ; three 
sieves, $1.25;, masher, loc. ; dredgers, 
40c.; egg-beater and cake -turner, 30c.; 
pie-plates, 50c. ; patty -pans, 50c. ; lemon- 
squeezer, 20c. ; graters, 50c. ; gridiron, 
50c. ; colander, 50c. ; jelly - mould, 50c. ; 
salt-box, 30c. ; feather duster, $1. Total, 
$82.95. 

89 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Recapitulation. — Sitting - room, $204 ; 
dining-room, $208; bedroom, $175; bed- 
room or servant's room, $93.50; hall and 
stairs, $40.50; linen, $32.50; kitchen, 
$82.95. Total, $836.45. 



VI 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 

IT has been already remarked that if 
all the household money were passed 
through the bank, the bank check-book 
might be used as a cash-book ; but such 
a proceeding is neither desirable nor nec- 
essary in view of the simple accoimtancy 
of the journal-ledger, in which the cash- 
book is a component part of a tabular 
system fully controlling all the finances 
of the matron. 

To say that accoimtancy is able, upon 
occasion, to adapt itself to all the circum- 
stances and exigencies of place and time; 
that it can utilize, and has utilized, for 
its own scientific ends, the check - book, 

91 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



the voucher, the wooden tally of the old 
exchequer, the fringe - record of ancient 
America, the terra-cotta book of the far- 
thest antiquity of the Orient, and a thou- 
sand other interesting appliances, is but 
to emphasize the vitality, the wonderful 
flexibility, and the vast importance of 
the science of accountancy itself. 

The modem bank, by means of the 
check-book given to its depositors, will 
act for them without salary, as a cashier. 
That is to say, it will not only become the 
depository of the money of the household, 
but will, to whatever extent required, 
make the payments of the establishment. 
And these payments can all be made 
direct to the creditors of the housewife, 
or a part can be handed back to her by 
the bank to be dealt out by herself as 
petty cash. Thus it will be seen that 
banking, for the requirements of any con- 
92 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 

siderable domestic establishment, is a con- 
venient and very accommodating institu- 
tion. 

But, on the other hand, the frequent 
inconvenience of this double handling of 
petty cash will show that the turning of a 
check-book into a cash-book, because of a 
cast-iron rule that all money must go 
through the bank, is an accoimting con- 
trivance inferior in every way to an in- 
dependent, comprehensive, and scientific 
system of household accountancy. 

The possession of a considerable 
amotmt of cash imposes upon the house- 
wife the consideration of two distinct 
questions. If the money is a surplus 
above the requirements of the household, 
the question is one of investment. She 
is a capitalist ; and the moment her cap- 
ital is put in the way of becoming itself 
productive, her accountancy takes on a 
93 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



feature more than that of mere household 
accounting. But the handUng of money 
in the affairs of a more or less extensive 
domestic establishment is a matter for 
the consideration of the housewife as such ; 
the question here is purely one of house- 
hold administration. In any case, the 
regular bank of deposit offers her its ser- 
vices, exactly as it offers them to the man 
of business. 

The bank will pay any bill in answer to 
her order by check, and will see that the 
amount paid is exact and that it is paid 
only to the proper party. Thus she will 
avoid the inconvenience and risk attend- 
ing the possession of a large amoimt of 
loose cash. She cannot be robbed; she 
need not run to the savings-bank for the 
amount ; and she is not afraid that she has 
miscounted, or that perhaps her money 
is counterfeit. If she desires to send 
94 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 

money by mail, or by the hands of a 
messenger, she may send a check so made 
out that it is worthless without proper 
indorsement. Her checks, also, after 
payment, are returned to her by the 
bank, and are perfect receipts. By 
means of her bank, also, she may have 
upon her person a check representing cash 
to herself, but worthless to any other if 
lost or stolen. Through her bank she also 
collects the checks of others, and cashes 
the coupons of such bonds as may be 
in her possession. 

Thus it will be seen that there is a 
wide difference between a bank and a 
savings - bank. The savings - bank is a 
quasi-benevolent institution, existing for 
the encouragement of the habit of sav- 
ing. It pays interest on deposit, refunds 
money only to depositors who present 
their pass-books, and knows nothing of 
95 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



the check system. The deposit of money 
in a savings-bank is therefore an invest- 
ment, and its consideration does not He 
within the field of household administra- 
tion. 

The bank, on the other hand, is a busi- 
ness convenience; and it is because of 
the value of the service rendered by it 
in permitting the depositor to draw or 
transfer her money by check at any time, 
and in any amount within her existing 
balance, that the money is left with the 
bank for safe-keeping. Certain other in- 
stitutions, known generally as loan and 
trust companies, add to their other busi- 
ness functions those of the bank, and 
allow a conservative rate of interest on 
deposits. But to the housewife, the dis- 
tinction is very important between the 
various enterprises which offer opportu- 
nities for the investment of her surplus 
96 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 

capital and the bank which will act as her 
cashier in handling the income and outgo 
of her domestic establishment. 

Tfhe bank finds a profit in rendering this 
service and thus attracting deposits, be- 
cause it has been found that the sum 
total of the money of depositors on hand 
from day to day will generally be about 
twenty times the amount called for by 
check; that is, that depositors, at any 
one moment, are using only, say, about 
five per cent, of their money, so that the 
bank, by careful management, can itself 
have the temporary use of nearly the 
whole amount. , 

Other sources of profit to the bank are : 
the use of its own capital, of its own ac- 
cumulated profits, and of its own notes. 
Its debts may be said to consist of what 
it owes to the depositors who leave their 
money in its keeping, to the stockholders 
' 97 ^ _ _ 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



who furnish its capital, to the individual 
creditors from whom it has borrowed as a 
business organization, and to the mem- 
bers of the general public who are us- 
ing its circulating notes. To meet these 
debts, it usually has outstanding loans 
made on short time to the active busi- 
ness men who are transacting their af- 
fairs many miles apart on the credit sys- 
tem; securities in the way of stock and 
mortgage held as investments; real es- 
tate that may have been acquired ; debts 
due from other banks; and cash either 
in hand or readily collectable by check. 
Any surplus, of course, is the profit of the 
bank; and it must be remembered, also, 
that the known character of a bank for 
careful, conservative, and upright dealing 
constitutes in itself a moral security upon 
which the housewife may safely rely for 
assistance in her financial administration. 
98 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



Banks in the United States are of three 
general kinds : private, State, and nation- 
al, organized respectively as firms or indi- 
vidual dealers, as institutions doing busi- 
ness under State authority, or under the 
laws of the general government with ex- 
clusive authority to issue bank-notes, the 
notes being secured by national bonds de- 
posited with the Treasurer of the United 
States. These distinctions, however, are 
not of as great weight as might be sup- 
posed in deciding the selection of a bank 
in which to deposit the money of the 
household. What the matron of any con- 
siderable establishment needs is banking 
accommodation ; and this being available, 
and the question of financial soimdness 
being disposed of, the rest will be settled 
by local convenience and personal pref- 
erence. 

The bank, at first view, has the ap- 
99 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



pearance of an extensive accounting in- 
stitution ; and from this point the house- 
wife begins to understand that the jour- 
nal-ledger of her own establishment is 
part of one universal system of financial 
accountancy. All the money coming into 
her household monthly or weekly has 
been drawn, doubtless, in one way or an- 
other, from this or other banks ; and all, 
or nearly all, that she has laid out for 
its support has found its way back into 
some bank. And thus, time and again, 
the books of the bank have already re- 
corded the income and outgo of this 
floating capital. Her business here will 
be with a concern organized for profit, but 
conducted, under severe legal restrictions, 
in the interest of the entire world of af- 
fairs. Her money will be in the hands 
of a board of directors and of a staff of 
officers and assistants consisting, with 

lOO 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 

more or less variation, of a president, a 
vice-president, a cashier, an assistant- 
cashier, a chief clerk, a country book- 
keeper, a dealers' book - keeper, several 
ledger-keepers, a discount clerk, a note 
teller, a receiving teller, a paying teller, 
and a general book - keeper. Her per- 
sonal dealings, ordinarily, will be with 
the president and cashier, or their im- 
mediate representatives, and, in the 
routine of business, with the receiving 
and paying tellers and a certain book- 
keeper. 

Upon her first introduction, she will be 
asked to sign her name in a special rec- 
ord for identification; and having been 
then supplied with a number of de- 
posit tickets, a pass-book, and a book 
of blank checks, she hands in her first 
deposit to the receiving teller. There- 
after, if she would rather transact her 

lOI 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



business by messenger, she will have 
little occasion to visit the bank in per- 
son. 

Her signature will be kept either in a 
book of signatures or in a cabinet of 
signature cards. It should contain her 
first and last names in full. Prefixed or 
suffixed words and abbreviations are gen- 
erally objectionable, as well as the use of 
the first name of the husband. Thus, her 
signature should be ''Mary Smith,'' or 
''Mary A. Smith,'' not" Mrs. Mary Smith," 
or "Mrs. John Smith," or "Mary Smith, 
M. D. " This rule, of course, is not absolute, 
and is not without necessary exception. If 
Mary A. Smith, for example, is acting for 
another, she must add the distinguishing 
title, as "Agent," "Attorney," "Treas- 
urer," " Trustee," and the like, to her own 
name. It is upon comparison with her 
signature as kept upon record, and with 

I02 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



which the paying teller quickly becomes 
familiar, that her checks are honored by 
the bank. If transactions are extensive, 
or if the housewife has reason to believe 
that her signature may be counterfeited, 
she may follow the rule of certain finan- 
ciers and adopt some slight peculiarity 
in the bank signature, to be known only 
to herself, and not used in general cor- 
respondence. 

The deposit ticket, which she herself 
or her messenger fills out and hands in 
with each deposit, is a small printed 
blank form, ruled for dollars and cents, 
and worded for amounts in specie, bills, 
checks," or, sometimes, ''gold, silver, 
bills, checks,*' and often having also a 
special column for out-of-town checks. 
The following is the usual form of a de- 
posit ticket, and shows how it should be 
filled out: 

103 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



DEPOSITED BY 



IN THE 



3Pra«kltn ^quar? Nattottal lank 



New York,. . / 190 



25 
40 



104 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



The depositor's name, with the date, is 
written upon the ticket ; the coin is count- 
ed and entered in the doUars-and-cents 
columns ; then the bills ; then the amount 
of each check, if any checks are to be de- 
posited. The whole is then footed up, and 
deposit, deposit ticket, and pass-book are 
handed together to the receiving teller. 
He counts the deposit, verifies the figures, 
enters the total amount against the bank 
in the pass-book, which he hands back to 
the depositor, the money going into the 
treasury and the deposit ticket into the 
accounting department. It must be re- 
membered that, the name of the depositor 
written on the deposit ticket is not nec- 
essarily her signature; and, as already 
noted, anybody whom she chooses to 
send to the bank can make the deposit. 

A check is any written order, dated 
and bearing the signature of the de- 
105 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



positor, directing the bank to pay on 
demand a specified sum to the bearer of 
the check, or to a person named, or to 
that person's order. 

A person to whose order a check is 
made payable can collect the money 
from the bank itself, or can deposit it in 
another bank and have that bank collect 
it from the first bank, or can sign it over 
to another person, and that person can 
collect it, or sign it over still further, and 
so on. When the check reaches the de- 
positor's own bank, and is paid, it is can- 
celled and returned to the depositor when 
her pass - book is balanced, and becomes 
her voucher or receipt of payment. As 
her check may pass through the hands of 
others, so theirs may pass through hers, 
and thus it is that at times her deposits 
in the bank will consist of checks as well 
as of cash. 

1 06 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



She must, of course, have in bank the 
amount called for when her check is pre- 
sented for payment, otherwise the bank 
must refuse to honor the check, or must 
pay the amount out of its own funds, in 
which latter case the bank would assume, 
for the time, the character rather of a 
charitable institution, or a chivalrous un- 
dertaking, than a true business organiza- 
tion. Depositors are creditors, to whom 
the bank is debtor. 

A check may be drawn payable to 
bearer, " in which case the paying teller 
will pay it to the person presenting it, 
unless some suspicious circumstance may 
seem to warrant an inquiry into the 
genuineness of the check. Or it may be 
made payable to the depositor herself 
by using the word ''cash" or ''myself." 
Or it may specify by name the person, 
firm, or corporation to whom it is to be 
107 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



paid. In all cases where the payee is 
named, the words **or order," or ** to the 
order of," will make the check trans- 
ferable by indorsement, and thus it may 
finally reach the bank by some unexpect- 
ed channel. 

Indorsement is the writing by the 
payee of his or her name across the back 
of the check, either with or without di- 
rection to pay it to, or to the order of, 
another party. To indorse a check in 
the conventional way, hold it by the 
upper left-hand comer and timi it over 
so that this will still be the upper left- 
hand comer, and thus vrrite across the 
back of the check, beginning the first in- 
dorsement about one-third the length of 
the check below what is now the top. 
Subsequent indorsements are written be- 
low in chronological order. 

To indorse a check in which the payee's 
1 08 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



name is made to differ from the name 
she uses at the bank, both names must 
be signed — as, for example, a check made 
out to Mrs. John Smith " woukl be taken 
to the bank with the indorsement **Mrs. 
John Smith" followed by the proper in- 
dorsement Mary A. Smith/* When the 
depositor has given her check to any 
one, she may still, if there is reason for 
so doing, instruct her bank not to pay it, 
and the request will, as a rule, be respected. 

A final safeguard in the interest of all 
concerned is that any specified person 
to whom a check ought to be paid must 
be known to the bank or must be iden- 
tified** by somebody who is so known. 

The check may be wholly in writing; 
it is usually, however, made out on the 
bank's own printed blank. These blanks 
are furnished singly, or in packages 
bound together into books with a very 
109 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



wide inner margin. This margin, known 
as the stub, and numbered to corre- 
spond with the accompanying check, is 
commonly ruled for dollars and cents, 
and is filled out as a memorandum of 
the date, amount, and purpose of the 
check. The stubs, thus filled out, form 
a record of money paid out through the 
bank; and by using their backs as a 
record also of money deposited in the 
bank, a sort of cash-book is obtained, 
which, in the absence of any proper 
domestic accountancy, would be of some 
assistance as a book of the household. 
It is best to have a check-book with not 
less than three checks to a page. The 
words *'or order" or ''to the order of," 
appearing on the printed form, are 
erased, when not required, by drawing 
the pen through them. The accompany- 
ing is the usual form of a blank check : 
no 



Nn lurk ^ ^^^^^ ^7 i^n: 

Jmttklm i^quar^ Nattnnal lank 

ro r/>e order of ^ ^ 



_qo_ 
^00 



~- DolUrs 



SHOWING A PROPERLY DRAWN CHECK 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 

The pass - book is the depositor's 
voucher; it serves as a receipt for her 
deposit. In form it is a small and very 
simple account-book, containing a copy 
of her account as it stands in the bank's 
own books. She should not make any 
entries in the pass - book, but should 
merely present it to the receiving teller 
with each deposit, and should also send 
it to the bank about the last day of each 
month, or whenever requested to do so, 
in order that it may be written up and 
balanced to agree with the bank ledger. 

When a deposit is made, the receiving 
teller enters, on the left or debit side of 
the pass - book, the date and the amount 
of the deposit as by count' he finds it to 
agree with the deposit ticket, sets his 
own initial to the entry, and hands back 
the book to the depositor or her messen- 
ger. When the book is left or sent in to 
III 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 



be balanced, all payments that have been 
made by the bank for the depositor are 
entered on the right or credit side, and 
the book is returned. These payments, 
as we have seen, have been made upon 
presentation of the depositor's order in 
the form of a check, and these checks are 
now cancelled as paid and are returned 
to the depositor with her pass-book. 

From all this it will be seen that the 
pass-book should be preserved as an im- 
portant document, and that cancelled 
and returned checks should be carefully 
examined and compared with their stubs 
in the check-book. 

It will be found that the balance as 
shown by the check-book and the balance 
as shown by the pass-book will differ 
by the amount of checks that may have 
been issued by the depositor but not yet 
received at the bank ; and the reconciling 

112 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



of these will be an easy task if she re- 
members, in her calculation, that the 
total amount of these outstanding or un- 
paid checks, subtracted from the balance 
as given by the bank pass-book, should 
equal the balance as shown by her own 
check-book. To arrive at this result, she 
puts down, on the left-hand side of her 
check -book, where the balance in bank 
is shown, the balance as given by the 
bank pass-book, and deducts from it the 
amoimt of the outstanding checks, noting 
the number and amount of each. This 
should give the true balance of cash 
available, and should agree with the 
figures of the check -book. The out- 
standing checks will have been found, 
of course, by the comparison of the re- 
turned checks with their stubs. 

The following is the usual form of 
pass-book : 

8 113 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

^vmkixn ^qmn JJatuinal lank 

TSfV* account with 



LEFT-HAND PAGE OF BANK-BOOK 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



^^^^ Q^. <^mtM 



dr. 



RIGHT-HAND PAGE OF BANK-BOOK 



HOW TO KEEP HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS 

Neither pass-book nor check-book in- 
terferes in any way, as help or as hin- 
derance, with a scientific system of domes- 
tic accountancy. The pass - book shows 
what was in the bank at the last date 
of balancing. The check-book shows a 
present safely dependable balance upon 
which the depositor may draw. 

Her bank account is but another form, 
in part or in whole, of her cash account, 
the bank itself being only, as it were, a 
very convenient department of her cash- 
drawer. Cash in hand and cash in bank 
are, to her own domestic accountancy, 
one and the same thing. 

Her journal-ledger is a component part 
of her own independent system of ad- 
ministration. It utilizes, for purposes of 
scientific interpretation, all that may be 
read from such financial and commercial 
books and papers as have come in its way, 
ii6 



THE BANK ACCOUNT 



and been incorporated day by day into 
its columns. But the end of this inter- 
pretation is domestic economy, and not 
finance or commerce. While the journal- 
ledger of the household is essentially a 
conservator of the public welfare, its pri- 
mary vajue, as a trusted domestic, is not 
to those who ring the door-bell on outside 
business, but to its ,ownen the matron of 
the home, and, by reason of her faithful 
domestic accountancy, true mistress of 
the situation. 



THE END 



By M. E. W. SHEEWOOD 



AN EPISTLE TO POSTERITY. Being Rambling 
Recollections of Many Years of My Life. With a 
Photogravure Portrait. Crown 8vo, Cloth, Orna- 
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greeted by the name of some figure of national reputation, 
and most likely a bit of lively incident or an anecdote that 
throws light upon his or her character. It is the note-book 
of one whose fortune it was to be thrown into the company 
of the makers of history, and who cherished with apprecia- 
tion the most of what she observed and heard when in that 
company. — Philadelphia Bulletin. 

The whole book is a delight. — Boston Advertiser. 
Mrs. Sherwood has had an interesting life, and she has 
made an especially interesting narrative of its incidents. — 
N. Y. Press. 

MANNERS AND SOCIAL USAGES in America. A 
Book of Etiquette. 16mo, Cloth, $1 25. 
Mrs. Sherwood's admirable little volume differs from ordi- 
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A TRANSPLANTED ROSE. A Story of New York 
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Might well be dedicated to society at large and its aspirants. 
. . . There is a great deal about social forms in New York which 
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W. M. THACKERAY'S COMPLETE 
WORKS 



BIOGRAPHICAL EDITION 



This New and Revised Edition Comprises Additional Ma- 
terial and Hitherto Unpublished Letters, Sketcfoes, and 
Drawings, Derived from the Author's Original Manu- 
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Edited by Mrs. Anne Thackeray Ritchie. 

1. VANITY FAIR. 7. ESMOND, Etc. 

2. PENDENNIS. 8. THE NEWCOMES. 

3. YELLOWPLUSH 9. CHRISTMAS BOOKS, 

PAPERS, Etc. Etc. 

4. BARRY LYNDON, Etc. 10. THE VIRGINIANS. 

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PUNCH." 13. MISCELLANIES, Etc. 

/ Crown 8vo, Cloth, Uncut Edges and Gilt Top8,$l 75 
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The edition is one which appeals peculiarly to all Thack- 
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Although we are not to have an authorized life of Thack- 
eray, we are to have the next best thing, in the notes that his 
daughter, Mrs. Richmond Ritchie, has supplied to the bio- 
graphical edition of her father's work. — Chicago Tribune. 

The biographical introductions, which promise no little per- 
sonalia fresh to most readers or not before collected, will to- 
gether invest this edition with unique interest and give it a 
value which will easily place it at the head of editions of the 
great English novelist. — Literary Worlds Boston. 



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