Savings and Investments

It is a matter of great importance to every one to learn early in life the difference between monthly or yearly savings and wages; and also the difference between personal expenses and profitable investments.

When a boy works on the railroad and has to supply all his daily wants, he knows what his wages are and answers the question quickly, stating what he receives by the day when he makes a full day’s work. But when he is asked, “What are your monthly savings?” he is bothered and frankly confesses he cannot tell. Before the end of the second month the wages of his first month have slowly passed through his hands for personal expenses and little or nothing has been saved for profitable investment.

When a boy works for a farmer, who receives him into his home, providing for him a furnished room, fuel, light, boarding and washing, he does not seem to receive more than half what the other boy receives who works for the railroad. When he is asked the same question, “What are your monthly wages and what your monthly savings?” he makes reply by stating the balance in the farmer’s hand as his savings, and that is correct; but he cannot tell what his wages are, by way of comparison with the other boy. The first boy at the end of the month has received wages the other boy his savings, save for his clothing. The latter at the end of the year has ordinarily saved more than the former, though all the time he may have imagined he was not receiving sufficient wages, merely because the monthly allowance of the farmer is commonly called “wages,” instead of by the right name, “monthly savings.”

That which the farmer does for his boy, in providing him a home and helping him to save his earnings, this Industrial Academy is now doing for every boy, that is received into the membership of the Oak Hill Family and makes his home there during the summer season.

At the Academy he not only finds steady employment, but is removed from the places that call for worse than useless daily expenditures; and the monthly allowance, made by the Superintendent, represents not his wages but his monthly savings, in the deposit bank of the institution.

When a parent or boy makes the discovery, that the boys who remain at the Academy during the summer months have more funds to their credit in the Bank of the institution in the fall of the year, than many of those who receive a higher daily wage elsewhere, and that they also make the most rapid progress in their studies, they begin to see the difference between working for savings and working for wages; and how much better off is the boy, who takes the training and grows up under the stimulating and elevating influence of a good educational institution.


A personal expense is an expenditure of money for some article that may indeed be necessary, as a pair of shoes, but it begins to depreciate in value as soon as the expenditure has been made. A profitable investment is an expenditure of money, time or talents, that is expected to increase in value or yield an income. If a lamb is purchased it will grow into a sheep and its value is doubled. If an acre of good land is purchased it is sure to increase in value according to its quality and location.

The ability to avoid personal expenses and to make profitable investments is one of the things that determines our good or ill success in life. The education of a thoughtful, earnest boy or girl is ordinarily a good and profitable investment, for their value or usefulness may be increased many times more than that of the lamb or the acre of land. If they are gratefully responsive to their training no better investment can be made, than that which has for its object the intellectual, moral and religious training of our boys and girls.

A Christian educational institution is an investment for producing manhood and character, things that money will not buy. One may invest in bonds or stocks, and make or lose money; but he who aids in the production of Christian men and women, trained for service, increases their usefulness and continues to live through their consecrated lives and achievements.

This institution makes its appeal to the friends who have money and who would make a profitable investment; and also to the thoughtful boys and girls, who would greatly increase their value to society, the Church and the world, by obtaining a good education in their youth.

Flickinger, Robert Elliott. Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valliant, Oklahoma. Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. Pittsburgh. 1914

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