Camp White, Oregon
1 April 1943
Dear Aunty Clara:
From today on I am entering upon my new program of rigid economy. Yesterday I projected a tentative budget for myself but it went way beyond my means. That is when I began cutting down here and cutting down there until I have finally pared it down to the absolute minimum. At first I had allowed myself 2 shows a week and by buying a book of ten tickets for the price of eight which I did last night, I would be in keeping with my allowed expenditures. However, that was insufficient. I had figured in three days of golfing and from four to six days of ice skating. Beside those items there were the other evils connected with amusement: transportation and food.
What I finally ended up with is amazing when one first knows my original plan. For example, I am in the habit of buying two dollars worth of airmail envelopes the minute after pay day. Under my new plan I am only buying a dollars worth and am restricting myself to one airmail letter to you every other day and the other ones will be free mail. We will see how that works out for a while before changing it. Tell me what your idea is and how it works. If the letters become confusing because they are not in chronological order, please let me know and we will revert to the other system.
Well, back again to the budget. I started off by selling my book of theatre tickets with a 5¢ loss. Now Hanton is going to purchase my Virtue book on Administration which will add to my present cash on hand. All in all I am cutting things down so that it will end up by my needing only a few dollars from home this month to carry me over.
Here it is:
|2||days to be spent golfing||$3.00|
|2||nights to be spent iceskating||1.00|
|2||bus tickets (return trips only)||.40|
|16||air mail envelopes||1.00|
|Cash On Hand||2.40|
|I will need||$5.65|
I will probably get $1.25 to $1.50 for the book which will further reduce the amount of money which will be necessary for me to have in order to continue my operation of the budget. Not counted in the budget are the items of a haircut and soap. That will probably run to about 63¢ but it is indefinite. (You will note that there is an absolute lack of any appropriation for either candy or shows.)
Here is how I intend to eat on my golfing days: I am going to save your dates until the Sunday I golf and then eat them in lieu of lunch. I will also hitchhike into town.
Don't think that I feel bad about this situation. The almost opposite is the case. I am reveling in a chance to see if my powers of thrift (miserliness to some people) are still with me after so many months of carelessness with money. This last spending spree has lasted just about too long to suit me and it is now time to pile up some money instead of letting it go.
Last night I was the very last one to be paid off. I had come back from the show when Mersing came up to me and told me that Lt. Hanton wanted to see me in the Orderly Room so that I could get my pay. When I did come in, he was talking with one of the Staff Sergeants. Finally, Lt. Podelwitz leaned over and said "There's Klick, I imagine he wants his pay." Hanton said "He's not going to get one red cent unless he salutes me and asks for his pay like a soldier." I obliged. He tries to get me to go thru that procedure of saluting him because I so seldom do it. After all, working in the office with officers all about you gets a person out of that habit.
It's 1:30 now and I have gone well into my working period so I will have to close.