“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
I found it fitting that Benjamin Frankin would provide the opening statement for this article. After all, it is his Thirteen Virtues that I am dissecting this year; and it is Frugality that we’re returning to for this article. In particular, this article will discuss the benefits received by one who seeks to avoid the “small leak” and succeeds in being frugal.
Sneaky Little Things
Everyone is likely familiar with the story of David and Goliath. Here we find a massive warrior—a giant among men—who causes the opposing army to tremble in fear at the very sight of him. When he steps forward as the way for the opposing army to avoid massive slaughter and loss of life, none dare respond. The sheer size of him and his reputation diminish the greatest of warriors on the opposing side to a fearful child. Then we have David; though fearful he is trusting in God, and with a sling in hand, he steps up to face the giant. The result is that David kills Goliath with a well-placed stone to the forehead: a small opponent taking down a fearsome foe. Usually, this tale is used to illustrate how someone facing overwhelming odds can come out on top. However, in this case, we are using our financials as Goliath, and those sneaky little things that pop up unaccounted for in David’s role.
Even the best-laid plans will potentially come apart with the right challenge, and our budgets are no less vulnerable. “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.” If we’re out and about, see a great deal on something, and purchase it solely because it is on sale, then we are not practicing frugality. If we’re running errands and find ourselves hungry, so we stop in at a fast food joint; chances are we’re not practicing frugality. We must be prepared to combat those sneaky little things.
“By sowing frugality, we reap liberty, a golden harvest.” – Agesilaus
Imagine what more we could do as Freemasons with the liberty and golden harvest sown. I’m not talking about having the funds for additional charitable donations, but rather the time to donate. If we’re not struggling to make financial ends meet, but are instead able to develop more free time; then we are able to donate of ourselves more frequently. The communities of Utah benefit, the charities we support benefit, and we, as men, benefit.
What are some ways to battle the sneaky little things?