Monday , 17 June 2024

Founding Fathers’ Financial Advice Stand the Test of Time

To help you in your personal finances, consider what 6 of the founders of the United States of America – Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, John Adams and George Washington had to say on the subject. They definitely stand the test of time so we hope their original calls to action inspire you to forge a path toward your own financial independence.

This version of the original article from below has been  revised, edited, abridged and reformatted to provide you with a fast and easy read. Also note that this complete paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

  1. John Adams – On the Importance of a Financial Education
    • “All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from the defects of the Constitution, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.” – From a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1787
  2. Thomas Jefferson – On the Recipe for Debt
    • “Never spend your money before you have earned it.”– From a letter Jefferson wrote to his granddaughter outlining 12 “Canons of Conduct in Life”, 1811
  3. Thomas Jefferson – On Living Within Your Means
    • I know nothing more important to inculcate into the minds of young people than the wisdom, the honour…” – From a letter to his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph in 1808
  4. Benjamin Franklin – On the Magic of Compounding
    • “Remember that Money is of a prolific generating Nature. Money can beget Money and its Offspring can beget more, and so on… The more there is of it, the more it produces every Turning, so that the Profits rise quicker and quicker.” – From “Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One” (1748)
  5. Benjamin Franklin – On Enjoying the Wealth You Earn
    • “Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.”- From Franklin’s book, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1736
  6. Alexander Hamilton – On Sin Taxes
    • “It is a singular advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end purposed – that is, an extension of the revenue.” – From the Federalist Papers, “Federalist No. 21”
  7. John Hancock – On Having (and Not Having) Money
    •  Hancock knew a thing or two about money. He inherited a hugely successful mercantile business from his uncle, making him one of the wealthiest men in the American Colonies yet, he still understood how quickly a fortune could disappear without wise budgeting and planning.
  8. George Washington – On Tracking Your Expenses
    • Washington was a stickler about keeping track of his money. When he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in 1775, he did not accept a salary but, instead, was reimbursed of his expenses after the war and proceeded to record just about everything from brooms to mutton to payment to his soldiers.

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