Wealth and Time – Time Is Money

 “Time Is Money” – Benjamin Franklin
Often it is said “time is money”. Many people don’t know where the phrase comes from. It comes from an letter by one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin. There is much wisdom that comes from the past. I have outlined the highlights for me here:
My Highlights (look for your own highlights after reading what Ben Franklin wrote) :
  • Time is money – Time spent not working loses the money that could be earned and the money spent
  • Credit is money – Interest on a loan is lost money to the borrower
  • Money can create more money – Interest on savings creates more money
  • Use your savings and end the ability to earn compound interest
  • Small sums wasted over time add up to big sums wasted
  • Be on time and truthful in business – people don’t like to do business if you are late and dis-honest
  • Little perceptions can have a big effect on your credibility
  • Pay back loans on time and in full – keep your word with promises
  • Keep track of what you owe – it helps keep you honest in business
  • Have debt and you don’t own the things in your possession – true ownership is debt paid in full
  • The way to wealth is use industry and frugality, therefore wasting neither time or money
  • Have faith in God’s wisdom whether he blesses you or not with being wealthy
Here is in it’s entirety Advice to a Young Tradesman by Benjamin Franklin. (1748) I have made bold the things that are the highlights of this essay.
 
Advice to a Young Tradesman.

To MY Friend A. B.

As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints,

which have been of service to me, 
and may, if observed, be so to you.

Remember that time is money.

He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes 
abroad or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends 
but sixpence during his diversion or idleness,
ought not to reckon that the only expense ; 
he has really spent, or, rather, thrown 
away, five shillings besides.

Remember that credit is money.

If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, 
he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. 
This amounts to a considerable sum 
where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.

Remember that money is of the prolific, generating nature.

Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five 
shillings turned is six, turned again it is seven and threepence, 
and so on till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, 
the more it produces every turning, so that the profits 
rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding-sow, 
destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. 
He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, 
even scores of pounds. 
 
Remember that six pounds a year is but a groat a day. 
For this little sum (which may be daily wasted either in time or expense unperceived) 
a man of credit may, on his own security, 
have the constant possession and use of a hundred pounds. 
So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage.

Remember this saying. The good paymaster is lord of another man’s purse.

He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises,
 may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. 
This is sometimes of great use. 
After industry and frugality, 
nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world 
than punctuality and justice in all his dealings ; 
therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised,
 lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.

The most trifling actions that affect a man’s credit are to be regarded.

The sound of your hammer at five in the morning or nine at night, 
heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer ; 
but if he sees you at a billiard-table, 
or hears your voice at a tavern when you should be at work, 
he sends for his money the next day ; 
demands it, before he can receive it, in a lump.  
It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe;
 it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, 
and that still increases your credit.

Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. 

It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. 
To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time both of your expenses and your income. 
If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect : 
you will discover how wonderfully small, trifling expenses mount up to large sums,
 and will discern what might have been, and may, for the future, be saved, 
without occasioning any great inconvenience.

In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market.

It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality ; 
that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. 
Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them everything. 
He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted), 
will certainly become rich, if that Being who governs the world, 
to whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavors,
 doth not; in his wise providence, otherwise determine. 
 
An Old Tradesman. 
 

 

 

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