Eugene was scrupulous about not unnecessary expenses for himself. Writing to Tempier from Rome, he gives an insight into the steps that his frugality led him.
With this money I have paid my debts, that is to say, two months board in the house where I lodge….
It is my clothes that give me trouble. You should see the care I take with them. I take advantage of the dry weather to use my old trousers which have holes at both knees, between the legs, before and behind, but the cassock covers all. When it rains, I have to lift up this coverall and thus let them see too much. I have too many half shirts but as for my stockings, they are a torment. Every time I pull them on I cannot help making holes in them. Were I not obliged to appear every day before some Cardinal or other, I would not put off my old cassock, of which my fine cloak hides the creases. I put it on in the morning before going out. It takes nothing less than love of poverty to make me dress three times a day for in the evening, when I return, I change once more. It is because I am afraid I have clothes for only half the time I will be here.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 28 January 1826, EO VII n 221
“Our life of poverty is as necessary as the work itself. Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them.” Mother Teresa