Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

9th trait – The modern man spends less than he earns.


The next post on the fascinating list is:

The modern man spends less than he earns.

Let’s start this off with a quote from Dicken’s masterpiece, David Copperfield:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”

Our governments have been ignoring this fundamental principle for generations now. It’s an unwholesome fact that if a young girl falls into prostitution then it is common for her to recruit her friends as well. The company makes her feel better about her own poor decision. Well, our governments have been doing the same with their own citizenry, but the poor decision in this case is debt.

Debt owns you. Royalty trades with gold. Gentlemen trade with silver. Peasants barter. Slaves use debt. One of the principle causes of the 1929 stock-market crash was the bull market caused by ordinary folk buying shares via loans from banks. This behavior had been encouraged by the government of the day. Needless to say, it didn’t work out too well for everyone concerned.

Money is not hard – spend less than you earn. Having the discipline to achieve that in today’s instant-gratification and debt-laden world is another matter for a young man entering adulthood. A young man will see flashy adverts for beautiful cars and he will reason that he will get more enjoyment from such a car when he is young than when he is old. The adverts promote exactly this type of thinking. Housing, travel, dining out, credit cards, trying to hit on women while buying them expensive drinks – all of these behaviors are easily fueled by debt. And as the 8th trait showed, a college degree is one of the biggest debt traps a young person can fall into.

I’m focusing on young men here, but of course plenty of older men have enormous problems with money and debt. And this is because they didn’t learn these lessons when they were young and instead they got into a habit of debt.

A debt habit is when being in debt is normal to you. It becomes like a second skin, a second skin that slowly strangles you. Your waking days are spent calculating not how to extricate yourself from the debt but how to manage it. The only way to get yourself out of debt is to pay it off as quickly as you can. Paying the monthly minimum amount on your credit card, even if it is cancelled, will not get you out of debt.

Winning the lottery does not get you out of debt. Because your mindset will still be the same. Your lifestyle will rise to meet your new ‘income’, which will be brutally unsustainable.

The modern man values freedom, and economic freedom is one of the most salient in the world of today. You either learn this the easy way when you’re young or the hard way when you’re older. If you’re a father then it is your responsibility to educate your children about debt. Going guarantor for a loan for them is not an acceptable action in this sense.

The modern man is prudent. The modern man spends less than he earns.


First bookstore to stock my book.


10th trait – The modern man is confident.

1 Comment

  1. dearieme

    Well quite. Polonius was sound on this, as on so much else.

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