Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Live Small: Does thrift draw you to the bank?

“Thrift comes too late when you find it at the bottom of your purse,” warned Nero’s adviser Seneca. (Oct. 13, Time Magazine)

Almost 100 years ago, Senaca’s words may have inspired Louis Sullivan’s work during the building of the People's Federal Savings and Loan Association bank in Sidney, Ohio.

It is an early-modern building, designed by the Chicago architect, the mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright.

"It was designed and built in 1917 for use by Peoples Federal Savings and Loan Association, which still operates out of it." (More details at Wikipedia)

Imagine walking into a bank built to inspire thrift. Wouldn’t your main impulse be to make a deposit into your savings account?

Not today, it appears.

Though Sullivan “carved the word THRIFT over the door of his jewel box bank nearly a century ago, for it was private virtue that made public prosperity possible” (N. Gibbs, Time), today we seem chiefly to enter banks to pay bills, withdraw money or take out loans.

THRIFT is no longer a big part of the equation here in Canada.

Gibbs continues:

“That virtue died with the baby boom, but it had been ailing ever since the Depression, argues cultural historian David Tucker in ‘The Decline of Thrift in America.’ That crisis, he writes, invited economists to recast thrifty as “the contemptible vice which threw sand in the gears of our consumer economy.”

In my opinion, we do not save at our peril.

This is a good time to reduce spending, pay down debt, save money for tough times ahead and not worry about a wee bit of sand.


In which direction is your savings account going?

Sure, Christmas is coming, but we can still put a bit aside for the future, can’t we?

Even if it means we spend less at Christmas? Sure!


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