Ben Franklin, one of the founding fathers during the American Revolution, is also famous for being the face of the one-hundred dollar bill. Even in a contemporary context, Franklin’s contributions to invention, industry, and good citizenship continue to resonate with a wide audience. Today’s posting will examine some of Franklin’s wisest adages regarding personal finance and wealth. Although more than 200 years have passed since Franklin’s era, his legacy continues to prevail through his astute observations and sage advice about financial happiness and wellbeing.
“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Perhaps one of Franklin’s most famous aphorisms, this statement places emphasis on the value of saving money. Regardless of circumstances, it’s important for all of us to make better efforts to set aside money for when we truly need it. When we come into the good fortune of extra funds through gifts, work bonuses, or family inheritances, we should always prioritize saving. While it’s important to find ways to reward yourself every once in a while, never make an intentional move that will break the bank. Always make a conscious effort to put extra money aside into a savings account.
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”
In addition to encouraging us to save money, Franklin emphasizes the importance of being mindful of our day-to-day spending. Even if we make conscious efforts to maintain a budget, it’s easy to get off track if we do not pay attention to how small expenses add up over time. Be sure to include a small budgeting category if you are prone to stopping at the coffee shop, picking up a midday snack, or hanging out at happy hour after work. Franklin would advise to keep this budgeting category minimal and to limit these little rewards as once-a-week treats at most.
“Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it is “
Franklin always believed in taking ownership of personal experiences to become a better person. Here, he encourages us to embrace times of financial hardship and to learn from them. If you have struggled with finances in the past due to a difficult upbringing or personal troubles, you have to take ownership of these times of personal strife. Even when you persevere and escape from past financial woes, it’s important to never flaunt your wealth or to look down on those who are less fortunate than you. When you know how to embrace your personal experiences, you will understand the importance of treating all people with respect. As a result, you will be admired by all.
“Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion.”
Franklin firmly believed in maintaining a sense of self-pride and avoiding making comparisons to others. Through this statement, Franklin encourages all of us to be happy with what we have and not to be envious of others that appear to have more than us, especially in terms of financial wealth. Beyond our financial situation, our lives gain value through family, friends, and meaningful experiences. When we rid ourselves of envy and learn to value the things that we do have, we will ultimately find it easier to be truly happy.
“If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.”
Franklin outwardly promoted managing personal finances. Here, Franklin suggests the importance of understanding your earnings and always striving to have money remaining after each paycheck. When we pull in the reins on our spending categories, we bolster our capacity to save money, get ahead on bill payments, and, even more importantly, avoid incurring any additional debts. By controlling your spending, you will never have to worry about your financial future.
BMG Money encourages you to embrace Franklin’s financial philosophies, get your finances under control, and work toward achieving happiness and a positive financial future. We are always willing to offer our services whether you need financial advising, want to apply for a loan, or need help managing your accounts and investments.