HOW TO KEEP PERSONAL ACCOUNTS
By THE EDITORS
B OOKS ruled after every conceivable system can be bought at the stationer's, but none of them are just exactly what you want for this purpose, and accordingly it is just as well to get a cloth-covered blank book which you can rule yourself according to the system illustrated here. The sample page was suggested by a recent article in the Youth's Companion.
Every item of receipt and every item of expenditure should be entered in order, but the chief value of the account will be lost unless the sums paid out are grouped under certain heads, instead of being merely set down one under the other and then added. What you need to know is not merely how much you spend but what proportion you spend needlessly.
The column for clothing implies that you buy your own clothes and this account is kept from month to month and year to year, and is very important to you in checking the cost of staple articles of apparel. The column for food does not include the regular family meals, unless you pay your board, but is intended rather to keep account of school lunches, sodas, etc., or anything in the way of food which you pay out of your own pocket.
The column for recreation is intended for the amount you spend upon the "movies," theater, parties, picnics, camping, or any form of pleasure. The column for higher life includes expenses of educational journeys, books or magazines bought, tickets to lectures and concerts that are educational rather than recreational, and money given to the church or charity. The column for sundries will include everything that eludes classification. Put down frankly everything that you have forgotten.