The Generation that lived with its means

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The old-timers possessed a special uniqueness. The early 20th century continued the practice of their ancestors, that is, to live within their means. I recall my grandfather who resided in Atlanta in an old two-story home which only received basic repairs. It was just an old house with one bath room, heated by furnaces and fireplaces, and no air conditioning. Just like the other houses in the city. His salary remained the same “for years”. Few people owned automobiles and boarded the trolleys everyday to go to work, or walked.

All children walked to school. Not until the 1940s did people adapt a spendthrift attitude.

During the 1950s the popular “mortgaging the home” led the way to finer things, updated homes, modern conveniences, more automobiles, and …. debt.

Meanwhile, the old generation was debt-free, were regarded as poor. But never mind, because these oldies soon died off and cleared the way for the “big-time-people” who had to own the latest home or automobile, and then some. And here we are, unable to pay thirteen trillion dollars worth of US debt. Hmmm.



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Jeannette Holland Austin

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription.