Insurance. As already stated, fire insurance on house is charged with the other costs of the house under Rent, that for household equipment and clothing under Care of House and Clothing-Accessories. If it is convenient to have all insurance charges on one card, one column can be used for those charged here only, and the second with *d duplicate charges. In entering, the name of company, number of premium and time covered should be included, as this is useful for reference. It must be kept in mind that when premises or conditions are changed the insurance company must be notified.
Health and accident insurance might at first sight seem to belong under Health, and allowance may be made for them there. But when their purpose is to provide income or additional income, which is not always all spent on physician, nurse or medicine, it is quite legitimate to charge them here.
Life insurance as a form of investment is discussed in Chapter XV.
There are many forms of insurance. It is said that Lloyd's, the great English firm, will issue insurance on any risk of any kind. To insure against loss of crop by hail or storm, against loss of business caused by rain on a holiday, against the non-arrival of a given train (on time) - there is no end to the list. But few of these affect the household as such or the individual in his private life.
Laundry. This is an advisable item to keep separate, even when the work is done at home and no separate wage is paid for it. Fuel that is used for the purpose is of course not counted in the household, as it would be in an institution where cost accounting is careful. But soap, starch, bluing, clothes pins, other equipment - all are easily recorded, and if a laundress is employed the wage goes here too. Dry cleaning may be charged here or in Clothing-Repair or Care of House (according to article cleaned).
The item of Laundry may become a very heavy one, and it is one that can be cut down by the careful planning of clothing and house linen, by the proper care of both, and often by the laundering oneself of at least part of the clothes. As is pointed out under Clothing, in calculating its real cost, one must consider the cost of cleaning or repairing and the wearing quality. Delicate collars and blouses that will be worn out in a few washings by the average laundry or laundress will last through many careful launderings by the owner. Many a wise young man washes out his silk socks after every wearing, and can listen calmly to the accusation of extravagance from some comrade who says he cannot afford silk socks, yet wears cotton ones several days, sends them to the laundry, has them worn out rapidly and actually spends more on socks than his "extravagant" friend. Many a young woman appears day after day in immaculate dainty collars that she washes or at least presses after every wearing, and handles so carefully that she can afford a hand-embroidered collar, or one with real lace, while some of her companions accuse her of extravagance and themselves wear machine embroidered "cheap" collars that they send to the laundry and whose cost per day of actual wearing is double that of the collars of the "extravagant" one. But only those who have the budget and account habit find it easy to tell which methods are best in the end.
Light. In many budget classifications Light and Fuel form one item. In the city apartment where heat is furnished with the rent and gas (or electricity) is used for both lighting and cooking, it is not possible to separate them exactly. Otherwise it is far better to keep them under separate heads. In most households "Light" can be cut down by careful use when "Fuel" is not so easily controlled. The separation enables one to judge how far control is possible with either.
Matches should be put with Fuel unless they are used for lighting also, in which case their cost should be divided between the two headings. Candles of course go here, but candlesticks and shades are part of house furnishing, as are lamps, shades and fixtures.
Lost. This is a melancholy heading, never to be provided for in the budget, but appearing occasionally in the accounts. It is possible to avoid it when the loss is anything but money by charging the cost of return or replacement to the item under which the original purchase was classified. For example, a lost watch may mean cost of advertisement and reward or, if the watch is not returned, replacement. All of these charges may be made to Clothing-Jewelry, and the amount planned for Clothing for that year lessened by that much.
If a sum of money is lost, however, it lessens the whole amount available, but is not directly chargeable to one head. And as a matter of check on carelessness it is probably better to charge all expenses of loss and replacement under the single heading.
Luxuries. This is a heading that many people find useful in their accounts, but it should not be a budget item, and should be a repetition as far as accounts go, ignored in a balance. That is to say, each item that appears under this heading must appear also under its own. To charge here a new gown - or the cost above the average if a more expensive gown than usual is bought - and not to enter the amount also under Clothing-Gowns conveys false information, since the total of the latter card will in that case not show all that has been spent on that form of clothing. No "luxury" should cause overspending in any item. To the person who for present satisfaction or future guidance wishes to know what he or she could have done without comfortably, such a list may have excellent psychological effect. But in the interests of honest accounting it must be repeated that the charges on this card must be duplicates, the regular charge under the proper heading being made in the usual way.
Man's Expenditure. This is an elastic item. It may include only the "pocket money" any man needs for carfares, lunches, tobacco, papers and the like, or it may be stretched to include all the man's personal expenditure, including Clothing and Entertainment. In the latter case the sum must be comparatively large. And also the expenditure (without budget) is not very well controlled. Yet the fact remains that very few men, however much they may declaim against the unbusiness-like habits of the housekeeper who keeps no account, are willing themselves to keep account of their personal (as distinguished from their business or professional) expenses. And it is quite possible for the general family expenses to be carefully planned and checked even when the "head of the house" refuses to bother with accounts, provided that a definite sum is set aside at the time of planning the budget, and that all cash he keeps or all expenditures made for him are charged against that sum. Without any intention of unfairness on his part, many a man asks his wife to buy or make for him shirts or socks or what not, and forgets that the articles or materials cost money that must be provided specifically. These items charged on the Man's Expenditure card show just where his expense stands. As with all those who do not keep accounts, the average man fails to realize how small expenses mount up, and almost inevitably thinks his personal expenditure smaller than it is. He too will get his money's worth only when he knows exactly what he does spend, even if he still refuses to classify the expenditure.