A Study of the Home Management Program of Forty Negro Families in Washington County, Texas

Eddie P. Washington


Most families of Washington County, as in other places, seem unable to value money intelligently. Either they over-value it and deny themselves conveniences they can well afford, or they under-value it and spend it carelessly for things that impair more than promote their welfare.

It is the purpose of this study to analyze some of the factors related to the home management problem among the Negro families of Washington County, and to show what improvement will be made in their programs. The problems that are being discussed are here listed: (1) How the family uses its money. (2) To what extent is planning helpful? (3) What records are advisable? (4) Who shall decide the use of family funds? (5) Is it justifiable for a family to borrow money? (6) Is it wise to buy on installment plans? (7) If saving is possible, how shall it be invested?

To the writer's knowledge, no one has made a study of the home management program of Negro families in Washington County, Texas. Such a study should be available to those who are concerned with the management of family living.

A recent survey and various interviews, observations and home visits by the County Agricultural Agent and County Home Demonstration Agent, indicated that home management in Washington County has not been given the proper attention to attain the skills needed for effective management. It was revealed that families do not figure out what per cent of their income should go for food, clothing, shelter and all other things necessary to a well-rounded family life. It was also revealed that a large percentage do not keep records that would be adapted to their family need. In many of the cases, all members of the family were not allowed to participate in managing the family's income.

The survey showed that families in the study did not spend their money wisely, and in some cases, no provisions for personal allowance for each member of the family was made. It was revealed that many families did not carry enough of the right kind of insurance, nor was the best type of credit used.

The writer is working as the County Home Demonstration Agent of Washington County and observing the living conditions and financial problems of the families, she decided to determine some of the factors influencing their plight. This report is written in the hope that it might be of some use to the Negro families of Washington County in managing their expenses so that they will strengthen their economic status, and improve their home life.