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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/711

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TEACHING GIRLS THE VALUE OF MONEY.

calculate interest quickly, the manner of filling out a lease in renting property, explaining about mortgages, and giving her a lesson as to what were the best investments—she would know enough to steer clear of the many sharks and vultures which usually find her a ready prey. The woman who does not know the difference between a registered and coupon bond should be ashamed to acknowledge such ignorance. A parent's neglect in teaching his child about monetary affairs is culpable, almost amounting to a crime. There is nothing so costly as ignorance. This very fortune which you have taken infinite pains to accumulate will be perhaps dissipated, owing to your want of forethought in imparting the requisite knowledge to your child. This information she will in after years buy for herself at a heavy premium. If knowledge is power in other matters, it is more than ever true in monetary affairs. Power to keep your fortune is a power worth having, and more difficult to acquire than to make a fortune. Let a girl but try to earn five dollars, and she will see the task is not an easy one. Then, unless she be a fool, she will realize that what is so difficult to obtain should not be wasted.

I recall the case of a fashionable woman in New York society which came under my own observation. Her husband told me he had deposited in a bank a large sum of money for his wife to draw on, given her a bank and check book, explained and showed her how to draw checks. He very sensibly thought that it would be a far better plan for her to pay her bills herself, instead of coming to him every time she needed money. His relief from being her almoner was of short duration, for in less than a month she came to him, and, throwing the check and bank books on his library table, told him it was too much trouble—she could not make head or tail of it; she wished to return to the old system! He could pay her bills in future. This woman had been married twenty years. Too much trouble, is it? Yes, I believe this is the keynote why women are so ignorant. They are lazy, pure and simple. The details of business are too dry and uninteresting. It is so much easier to have some one else do the work for you. So much less exertion to read a novel, or ride the wheel with some attractive man. "How prosaic," you say, "to add up account books, balance check books, and calculate whether your tax bill is correct when your property is assessed at the rate of 2.01!"

I believe, if the truth were told, half the divorces in which the reason given is incompatibility of temper arise from the fact that women know nothing of the value of money. I am not speaking entirely of women who have their own property, but also of those who are dependent on a husband's income. The wife has a vague idea that there is an inexhaustible supply of cash somewhere! What man