Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

It's amazing how many of the principles that personal finance bloggers are using today are the same ones put forth by Poor Richard over two centuries ago. Of course, they showed up in The Richest Man in Babylon a while back, too...but that was actually not written during Nebuchadnezzar's reign, you know.

A great quote:

'Friends,' says he, 'the taxes are indeed very heavy; and, if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.'

Remember..."God helps those that help themselves." Franklin

On the first of Franklin's virtues, Diligent Work,

"Sloth makes all things difficult...and...early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

I rather like,

"Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry..."

Another Franklin classic,

"Never leave that till to-morrow, which you can do to-day."

And perhaps more pointedly,

"Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;"

Coming unarmed to a battle of wits, I see. LOL.

Ever hear a businessman say that if you want the job done right, you've got to do it yourself? Franklin says,

"If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like,—serve yourself."

After hard work, Franklin's next recommended virtue is Frugality.

"If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting."

"Beware of little expences;(sic) 'A small leak will sink a great ship', Poor Richard says."

"Many a one, for the sake of finery on the back, have gone with a hungry belly, and half starved their families."

Wow, does that make you think of some folks running up the credit cards or what?

"If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing," says Franklin's alter ego, and, "Lying rides upon Debt's back."

A short work, readily available for download from Project Gutenberg, and well worth perusing. Far cheaper than Dave Ramsey's seminars.

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