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THERE was one thing that Mr. Barnaby could not, as he said, " figure out;" and that was, where all his money went to. He was not extravagant; nor could such a charge be brought against any member of his family. They did not give parties in winter, nor go to the Springs nor the sea-shore during the sum
They did not keep a carriage, nor buy fine furniture, nor indulge in costly dressing. And yet, though Mr. Barnaby's annual receipts were in the neighborhood of two thousand dollars a year, the thirty-first of December usually found him with an empty purse. This was the more surprising, as the Malcolms, next door, indulged in many things which the Barnabys would have considered extravagant ; though the Malcolms had an income of only fifteen hundred dollars per annum. And what was more, Malcolm was putting three hundred dollars in the savings bank every year.
" I can't figure it out,” said Mr. Barnaby, one New-year's eve, as he footed up the cash column of his annual expenses.
5 Two thousand and sixty odd dollars have gone since last December. But where has it gone ? that's the question.”
“ I'm sure I haven't spent it,” meekly replied Mrs. Barnaby, who always felt, when any allusion was made to the amount of money expended, as if her husband designed to charge her with extravagance.
“I know that, Aggy,” said Mr. Barnaby, who understood, in a moment, how his wife felt. “I know that you haven't spent any thing more than is necessary. But, for all that, the cost of living has been enormous. We have only two more in family than Malcolm, whose salary is but fifteen hundred dollars; and what is altogether unaccountable, while I haven't ten dollars in my pocket, he has three hundred dollars of his year's salary snugly deposited in the savings bank.”
“I can't understand it,” sighed Mrs. Barna
by. I'm sure we don't indulge in any extravagances. We haven't bought an article of new furniture during the year; while the Malcolms have had a beautiful sofa, a set of candelabras, a large mahogany rocking-chair, and a dressing bureau for which they paid twenty-five dollars."
"I don't know how it is!" said Mr. Barnaby.
“And that isn't all,” continued his wife. “Mrs. Malcolm has bought her an elegant muff and boa, a velvet mantilla, and a pin and bracelet worth twenty-five dollars.”
“ It's unaccountable! We have had none of these things, and yet our expenses outrun their's some eight hundred dollars! It really makes me unhappy. There is a leak somewhere ; but though I have searched for it long and anxiously, I cannot find it out."
“Still, we must remember," said Mrs. Barnaby, “ that we have two more in family, and one of them an extra servant, whose wages and board do not come to less than a hundred and fifty dollars a year; and the additional child will swell the sum, put the expense at the lowest possible point, to two hundred and twentyfive dollars. Then we pay seventy-five dollars more rent than the Malcolms. So, you see, that, in these three items, we make up a sum of three hundred dollars."
Yes, but that isn't eight hundred."
No, although it is a very important sum for which I have accounted. Half of it I am resolved
Mrs. Malcolm does with two girls, and I ought to get along with the same number. I'll send Hannah away next week.”
“ Indeed, Aggy, you will do no such thing," replied Mr. Barnaby, in a positive voice. “ You're worn down with the toil and care of the children, as it is, and must not think of dispensing with Hannah. That would be a poor way to save."
· But I don't see why I can't do with less
help as well as other people. There is Mrs. Jones, over the way, with as many children as I have, and only keeps one servant.”
“I am sorry for her; that is all I have to say on the subject. Her husband's income is less than half what I receive. We can afford three domestics as well as they can afford one. No, no, Aggy. If we are to retrench at any point, it must not be in the one you propose.”
“I see no other way of reducing our expenses," sighed Mrs. Barnaby.
“ Then let them go on as they are going, and we will be thankful for an income sufficient to meet our wants."
“ But we ought to be saving something. We ought to be laying up three or four hundred dollars every year."
“I wish we could do so. However, as we cannot, there is no use making ourselves unhappy in consequence. We shall be as well fifty years hence as though we laid by a thousand dollars per annum.”
Mrs. Barnaby looked serious and unhappy, as she sat, without replying to her husband's last remark; while Mr. Barnaby, regretting now that he had introduced the subject, sought to change it for one that was more agreeable. His efforts to do so were not very successful, and the evening of the New-year was passed in reflections that were far from being pleasant to either party.
Although neither Mr. nor Mrs. Barnaby were able to answer the question, “ Where does the money go ?" we think the reader will be at no loss to "figure out” the matter, after we enlighten him a little as to the mode in which the financial affairs of the family were conducted.
On the morning that succeeded to the evening on which we have introduced Mr. and Mrs. Barnaby, the former, as was his custom, went to market. As he walked along, he run over in his mind the various articles he must purchase; and being in something of an economical mood, he summed up the amount they would probably cost. When he left the market-house, he had spent three dollars instead of a dollar and three quarters, which latter sum had fully covered, in his previous estimate, all the articles that were really wanted. How the additional dollar and a quarter came to be added, was in this wise. A loin of veal had been determined upon, which was not to cost over sixty-five cents; but a fine fat pair of
chickens met his eyes, and the cost was only twenty-two cents more than the veal, which was such a trifle that he decided at once in favor of the chickens. Having bought the chickens, to add a bundle of celery and a quart of cranberries was the most natural thing in the world, and these took twenty cents more, to say nothing of the pound of sugar at eight cents, that would be required to sweeten the cranberries. The man who had the chickens to sell, had also some very nice honey, the sight of which created in the mind of Mr. Barnaby the desire to have some. The price was twenty-five cents a pound, though what of that ? Mr. Barnaby had no means of taking it home, but Mr. Barnaby was a man of expedients. He never liked to be foiled in any thing, and was, therefore, rarely at a loss for some mode of accomplishing his ends. Just across from the market-house was the shop of a tinman; and as Mr. Barnaby looked up he saw the bright tin kettles, of all sizes and shapes, hanging before his door.
“I have it,” said he, speaking aloud his thoughts. Such articles are always useful in a family.”
So he walked across to the tinman's, and bought a small kettle, for which he paid thirtyone cents, and then walked back and had a pound of honey placed therein, for which he paid twenty-five cents more. After he had purchased what vegetables he had designed getting, some dried Lima beans presented themselves, and a quart were taken, as the price was but fifteen cents. Some cakes and candies for the children took a shilling more. Thus it was that three dollars were spent, instead of one dollar and three quarters, the sum at first decided upon as sufficient.
When Mr. Barnaby went to market, he put five dollars in his pocket. On returning home and counting over his change, he could find but two.
“ That can't be,” he said to himself, searching first in one pocket and then in another. “I haven't spent three dollars.”
But no where could he turn up another copper.
“Somebody must have given me wrong change.” This was the most reasonable conclusion to which he could come, after adding up the cost of the various articles purchased, and forgetting to include the tin kettle, the
THE MONEY GOES.
cakes and candies for the children, and the quart of Lima beans. “ Hadn't
you better take your umbrella with you ?” said Mrs. Barnaby to her husband, as the latter prepared to leave for his place of business. " It looks very much like a storm.”
Mr Barnaby opened the door and glanced up at the sky.
“I don't think it will rain."
“It will be wisest to take your umbrella. If it don't rain, no harm will be done ; and if it should rain, you will save yourself froin being wet.”
Mr. Barnaby paused a moment to think, and then said, as he stepped out,
“I'll risk it.”
On his way to his office, Mr. Barnaby passed a window in which were some very handsome bouquets of artificial flowers made from tissuepaper. He paused to admire, and then went in to ask the price. Once inside of the store in which the bouquets were sold, and in the power of a saleswoman who knew her man the moment he entered, there was no such thing as retiring without becoming the owner of a splendid bunch of flowers, at the moderate cost of fifty cents, which the shop-woman promised to send home immediately.
Cheap enough,” said Barnaby to himself, as he left the shop. “How many dollars have I spent in real flowers that faded and became worthless in a day ; but these will retain their beauty for years. Aggy will be delighted with them."
During the morning, Mr. Barnaby had occasion to purchase some articles of stationery. While waiting to have them made up into a package, after selecting what he wanted, he commenced looking over the books that were displayed upon the counter.
“ Just the thing for Tom,” he said aloud, as he opened a book containing a number of gaylypainted pictures. “How much is it ?"
“Only thirty-seven and a half cents.”
“ You may tie it up for me.” And he tossed the book to the man who stood behind the counter.
Before twelve o'clock, the rain, which Mr. Barnaby's wife had predicted, began to fall. At one, it was still coming down freely, and at two, Mr. Barnaby's dinner hour, there was no sign of abatement. Mr. Barnaby opened the door of his office and gazed up at the leaden
sky; he then looked across the street and saw, hanging before a door, just the article he wanted-an umbrella. To get possession of this article, he must, of course, purchase it. But he had two umbrellas at home now.
“ What if I have ?” said he to hiniself, as the fact was presented to his mind. “It is here that I want an umbrella."
Not long was the question of buying another umbrella debated. He couldn't lose his dinner, especially as a fine pair of fat chickens were to be served ; and it was raining too hard to think of venturing on the journey home without some protection. He might go home in a cab for fifty cents; but then the half dollar would be gone as certainly as if it were thrown into the street. If, on the contrary, he were to buy an umbrella, even though it cost more, he would be in possession of a useful article, that would have to be bought, as the natural result of the wear and tear of those he now had on hand, before a twelvemonth elapsed. Moreover, he reflected, for as large a family as his, three or four umbrellas were almost indispensable.
Arrived at this conclusion, Mr. Barnaby ran across the street and supplied himself with a cheap cotton umbrella, at an expense of seventyfive cents.
“Where does the money go ?” said Mr. Barnaby that evening, as he searched his pockets, and could find but a solitary sixpence remaining of the cash he had taken from his secretary in the morning. “I can't understand it. Certainly I have not spent five dollars.” Then he took a piece of paper and his pencil, and tried to “figure it up." But he did not get beyond four dollars; and he would almost have taken his oath that he had not spent a copper more. As for the deficit, that must have occurred through his having received wrong change.
Here the reader has a history of one day's spendings; and he will perceive that from two to three dollars passed from the hands of Mr. Barnaby that had better remained in his possession. A system like this, pursued every day in the year, would use up from six hundred to nine hundred dollars, and there would be little or nothing to show for it in the end. In the day's expenditure, one dollar had gone, and Mr. Barnaby's memory was entirely at fault in regard to the manner of its disappearance. A dollar thus wasted each day, would leave, in the annual expense, three hundred dollars un