This has been called by many, drudgery and tedious routine. Many business men go through much such drudgery to attain their goals, why should not the housewife be willing to make a similar sacrifice in her home for the sake of the service she is rendering the members of her household ? The aim in keeping the accounts is to register the amounts spent for various purposes so that all phases of life will be considered and so that the manager will be able to profit the second year because of the experience of the first year. This makes housekeeping interesting and businesslike. The expenditure is made to produce the maximum of value received and is accompanied by the greatest possible pleasure.
In keeping accounts there should be some method of showing the receipts and expenses, the income and the outgo, so that a balance can be made at any time. The items should be so listed, too, that it is possible to tell what expenditure has been made for any one item, as rent, or food, or other necessities. It is only in this way that the accounts become of value for future use.
There are many ways of keeping such accounts. The simplest one for the housewife is the best if it shows the points mentioned above. The envelope system is used by some when the income is small, and a certain amount of money according to budget plan is put in labeled envelopes for various purposes, as rent, food, operating expenses, etc. As sums are drawn from the various envelopes, a slip of paper put in the particular envelope registers the amount drawn. It is easy at the end of the month to balance the accounts. This system necessitates the presence of a good deal of money on hand, and sometimes of confusion of accounts, if money is borrowed from one envelope for use in another.
Various systems of card catalogues, journals, and ledgers are in use, and all have more or less value. The simplest form for the average young woman or housewife can be kept in an ordinary blank book and the spaces ruled according to one's need. The account book can be started in somewhat the following manner, with the dates of expenditures in the first column and the respective amounts opposite under their
Jan. 1 ..................................
Jan. 5 ..........................................
(Dates of expen-ditures)...........................
Totals . . .
proper heads. In this way it is possible by using double pages of the blank book to keep all the items for each month in horizontal series. The columns for items of expenses should be ruled as needed, but it is desirable to keep them under as few heads as will suffice to give the information which may be desired. The use of the double page is advisable, for then the outer edge of the left-hand page can be used for the dates of purchase and plenty of room for columns of expense left across the two pages. The total in the various columns can be easily calculated at the end of the first month and a new set of pages ruled for the second. The expenditures should be entered daily so as not to be forgotten. A slip of paper kept in one's purse is of help if amounts are jotted down while one is shopping. The totals for each month should be entered in another part of the blank book. Rule spaces for the year with columns for the months across the page and items of expense corresponding to those in the daily entry at the left-hand side. In this way at the end of twelve months the totals for each item of expense can be easily found. If one desires to know from day to day of a month how the balance stands, it is possible to add to Form I two columns for this purpose. One column should show the income or amounts received with dates, and the second the total sum expended each day. This sum is found by adding the expense of each item across the page for the day and entering in the expense column.
Fuel and Other Heading According to Expense