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No one should be satisfied without keeping regular accounts, of what she receives and what she spends. She then knows what her position is, and how her money has been spent; and if at the end of the year, her expenditure has exceeded her income, she can refer to her books and see where to retrench. A person who keeps no accounts, may be compared to a ship without a chart. Such a person goes on without knowing where she is. There are many ways of keeping accounts which it would be beyond the limits of this book to go into, but the way you can [-142-] easiest understand is the best to adopt. Once a month, transfer from your daily Account-book to another Book, called a Ledger, what you have spent during that month; and place the items under different heads. For instance, under the head "Dress" put all you have spent in dress; under "Amusements," all that you have spent in that way. Every year add these up, and then you will see at a glance how your income has gone, where you have exceeded and where you have saved. Have no Christmas Bills; pay all creditors once a week, and your servants once a month or quarter. You then know how you stand; you feel out of debt with everybody; you cannot easily be imposed upon, because you can readily look back a week to see that your Bills are correct, though you are perplexed in looking back a year.
Periodical Receipts and Payments. It is a great convenience to rule two pages at the end of your Account-book into twelve columns for the twelve [-143-] months one to remind you when your Dividends become due ; the other when Payments should be made. Some people have a page for "Statement of Property and Incomings," and one for yearly expenses. I insert a few specimens which may be useful to some of my readers.
|1||Cheque to self . . . . . . .||50||0||0|
|8||Pratt Shawl . . . . . . .||1||10||0|
|18||Pratt A Dress . . .||3||6||0|
|20||Fessey Work Table||4||0||0|
|24||Smith Loan (in cash, A)||5||0||0|
|31||House Expenses . . .||15||0||0|
|31||Wages to Servants . . .||8||0||0|
|31||Jones Received a Present (in cash, A) . . .||5||0||0|
|1||Balance in hand . . . .||13||4||0|
|2||Cheque to self . . .||30||0||0|
|4||Whitehouse Linen . . .||3||2||0|
|8||Dobbs Looking Glass (Furniture). . . . .||18||0|
|10||Cabs, 3s. Railway Journey, 15s. . . . .||18||0|
|12||Present to Poor Person (cash, A) . . . .||5||0|
|19||Subscription to School (cash, A) . . . .||2||10||0|
|20||House Expenses . . . .||16||5||0|
|21||Pratt Cloak . . . .||3||18||0|
|Balance in hand . . . . .||15||8||0|
A. The words cheque and cash are unnecessary to insert. They are put merely to show the learner on which page to place payments, when made by cash, and when by cheque.
|1||Put in Bank . . . . .||150||0||0|
|1||Cheque to self . . . . .||15||6||0||50||0||0|
|4||Three per Cent. Consols paid . . . . .|
|5||Present to a Friend (by cheque, A) . . . . .||3||0||0|
|13||Subscription to Hospital (cheque, A) . . . . .||2||0||0|
|15||Jenkins, for Taxes (cheque) . . . . .||3||2||6|
|17||Sold, L.& N.W. Railway Stock, B. . . . . .||50||0||0|
|25||Farm, Rent of . . . . .||70||0||0|
|31||Smith repaid Loan (by cheque) . . . . .||5||0||0|
|1||Balance in Bank . . . .||232||3||6|
|2||Cheque to self . . .||30||0||0|
|10||L.& N.W. Railway Dividend . . . .||50||7||4|
|12||Bought Shares in Water Works . . . .||100||0||0|
|14||Paid 3d Call in Water Works . . . .||15||0||0|
|15||Forbes, Timepiece (cheque, A) . . . .||5||10||0|
|15||Thomas, Lamp (cheque, A) . . . .||2||5||0|
|23||Water Works Dividend||35||2||4|
|28||Received a Present and put in Bank . . . .||10||0||0|
|Balance in Bank . . . . .||174||18||2|
B. This being part of Principal sold, must be set down on that side as it does not enter into Income.
STATEMENT OF PROPERTY AND INCOME, 31ST DECEMBER, 187
|Bought during year.||Sold during year.||Value of principal at end of year.|
per Cent. Consols. . .
£744 9s. 10d.
|50||3,682||19||2||London and N.W. Railway Ordinary Stock £2,423||Feb.||84||16||1||Aug.||83||11||4|
Water Works . . . .
Loan of £1,000
Railway . . .
other sources Presents.
|Banker's Balance . . .|
|DRESS||FURNITURE AND REPAIRS||GIFTS||HOUSE EXPENSES||SUNDRIES||WAGES AND TAXES||TOTAL|
WHEN INCOME BECOMES DUE
|1||L W.works||L W.works|
|5||Consols||Bank Stock||Consols.||Bank Stock.|
|15||L.& N.W. Bond.||L.& N.W. Bond.|
WHEN PAYMENTS SHOULD BE MADE
Sharing Expenses. In travelling with a friend on the Continent, it is sometimes difficult to divide the expenses correctly. When the expenses of the two are included in one account, the respective shares will be readily separated by adopting the following plan. The Bill occupies the right-hand compartment of the table; in the left-hand compartment are the calculations of A. and B., which would probably be made on a separate piece of paper. The principle is to have three columns; one for A.'s peculiar expenses, one for B.'s. and one for common expenses. The sum of the common expenses is halved, and one of the halves is added to A.'s column and the other half to B.'s. Finally, A. and B.'s shares are added together to see that their sum tallies with the amount of the Bill.
|4.00||||||1 Diner table d'hτte||4.00|
|||5.00||||1 Diner ΰ part||5.00|
|0.60||||||Timbres de Poste||0.60|
|||||2.00||Omnibus et Bagage||2.00|
When the common expenses form the bulk of the Bill, it is hardly worth while to copy them out. In that case, subtract the sum of A. and B.'s private expenses from the total of the Bill; [-152-] the remainder will of course be the sum of the common expenses; halve this, and proceed as before.
Taking Stock Once a year some people "take Stock ;" that is, calculate the market value of all their property. Their Stock and Shares they value by the help of a Share-list of that date, such as is published in every day's Times, or in a more complete form as a separate daily publication. (See "Share-list" in Index.)