Benjamin Franklin's Virtues Week 4: Frugality

This is the fourth in a series of articles about the 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin


Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.

Benjamin Franklin grew up poor, and so he grew up knowing the value of money, and how important it was to waste nothing. Although he grew to be a very wealthy man, Benjamin Franklin never lived lavishly. He always lived a relatively simple life.

Today, many Americans live way beyond their means, and under a mountain of debts; mortgages, loans, credit cards, store charges. And, of course, due do that tremendous debt over our heads, we live life in constant anxiety over it. Franklin once said “Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.”

Take some time this week to think about your own personal finances. Wouldn't you feel a lot better if you began figuring out how to live without debt?  Are there ways to reduce your debt? How much of that debt is actually necessary? How much of it is due to those little extravagances in your life you could do without? Are those little luxuries really worth the amount of worry they cause when you find yourself deeper and deeper in the hole?  What would you have to do to stop worrying about money?

If you exercise a little self-discipline and restraint when it comes to spending money, you'll find you have more of it.  Ask yourself every time you pull out your wallet this week--is this purchase really necessary? 


This is one of a series of Wednesday posting that examine Benjamin Franklin’ 13 Virtues he believed necessary to achieve moral perfection.  You can find all the related articles by searching the blog under the “Franklin’s Virtues” label.

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