Thursday, January 20, 2011

National Thrift Week

Did you know that we are in the middle of National Thrift Week? Yeah me either! When I learned this last night, I thought how interesting it was to have a week devoted to being thrifty. Well, in my research this morning, I found its much more than that!

Apparently, years ago as the United States was on the cusp of entering World War I, some civic organizations got together and decided to promote a campaign to educated Americans and prepare them for a "War Economy." If you've ever sat down and talked to your grandparents about living during World War II, you'll get a good idea of what it was like to live in a war economy.  It usually begins with sentences like "You kids have no idea what it is to sacrifice!" "Shoes? Shoes? You want new shoes? When I was a kid we didn't even have feet!"

On a serious note, their stories really are amazing. Chris's Grandfather, who was only a young boy during the war, described how he and his friends would gather things like tin foil for scrap drives. My Grandmother would talk about the rations they were given during war time. It's always fascinated me that people were willing to collectively sacrifice for the greater good of society. It just seems we've lost that in our modern age.

Now if you think that National Thrift Week is about being stingy, you're mistaken. Thrift week begins on the king of thrift himself, Benjamin Franklin's birthday. Apparently each day in the week of January 17th to the 24th is assigned a principle or guidline to follow:

  • Sunday-  Have a Bank Account Day
  • Monday- Invest Safely Day  
  • Tuesday- Carry Life Insurance Day
  • Wednesday- Keep a Budget Day
  • Thursday-  Pay Bills Promptly Day
  • Friday- Own Your Home Day  
  • Saturday- Share with Others Day 
Aren't those great? So you see, it's much more than shopping at a second hand store or being a tight wad. It's promoting principles that we should be living by each day of the year. It's a practical application of things that if followed really do make life simpler. Come on, pay your bills promptly! That's great!

The best part is,  it all comes to a culmination at the end of the week with Share with Others Day.  That's the one thing I think we've lost the most these days. There's nothing like giving to others to remind you of what really matters especially if you don't have a lot yourself.

It seems that in 1966, National Thrift Week fizzled out and was lost with time. I guess all this economic turmoil lately has brought renewed interest in the holiday and there's a whole movement devoted to bringing it back into the public's awareness.

I'm attaching a video about National Thrift Week for you to watch. It's not very visually stimulating, but it's interesting.  I hope you get a chance to check it out!

Also, here's a link to the Bring Back National Thrift Week website

Happy Thrift Week!

1 comment:

  1. That "You want shoes?!" line cracked me up. Yep, I'm the daughter of a WWII era Mom - and after living in through the depression, she hoarded EVERYTHING.

    I try to make good use of things, and be thrifty, but try not to go overboard on saving thins that I could find at the store quicker than my attic - if you catch my drift.

    I love the National Thrift Week idea! I think in *announcer voice* "These Economic Times" folks are surely finding that a change in priorities is necessary. And, who doesn't want more for less?

    Like your blog :)


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