(by Benjamin Franklin, from Poor Richard’s Almanack (1737))

The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money. For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.

He that spends a groat a day idly spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.

He that wastes idly a groat’s worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day.

He that idly loses five shillings’ worth of time loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.

He that loses five shillings not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which by the time that a young man becomes old will amount to a considerable sum of money.

Again: he that sells upon credit asks a price for what he sells equivalent to the principal and interest of his money for the time he is to be kept out of it; therefore, he that buys upon credit pays interest for what he buys, and he that pays ready money might let that money out to use; so that he that possesses anything he has bought pays interest for the use of it.

Yet in buying goods it is best to pay ready money, because he that sells upon credit expects to lose five per cent, by bad debts; therefore he charges on all he sells upon credit an advance that shall make up that deficiency.

Those who pay for what they buy upon credit pay their share of this advance. He that pays ready money escapes, or may escape, that charge.

“A penny saved is two pence dear;
A pin a day’s a groat a year.”

This article is about Basics, Debt