Founding Fathers & Finance

With July 4th right around the corner, it is only appropriate to celebrate the individuals that made our independence possible and with that, their wisdom when it came to money. Let's hear what they have to say: 

1. become financially literate

John Adams stated "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. 

He knew blame for an individual's financial situation would always come back to the government if an individual was not properly educated on how it worked. Educating yourself on our monetary system, debt, and savings is the only way to ensure prosperity. 

2. Live within your means

Thomas Jefferson was a known "overspender" who was left penniless at the end of his life. He knew the pain of being in debt and stated "But I know nothing more important to inculcate into the minds of young people than the wisdom, the honor, and the blessed comfort of living within their income, to calculate in good time how much less pain will cost them the plainest stile of living which keeps them out of debt, than after a few years of splendor above their income, to have their property taken away for debt when they have a family growing up to maintain and provide for." – From a letter to Martha Jefferson Randolph in 180.

3. understand compounding

Benjamin Franklin was by far the wisest when it came to money and did his best to explain compounding, “Money is of a prolific generating Nature. Money can beget Money, and its Offspring can beget more, and so on. Five Shillings turn’d, is Six: Turn’d again, ’tis Seven and Three Pence; and so on ’til it becomes an Hundred Pound. The more there is of it, the more it produces every Turning, so that the Profits rise quicker and quicker.” 

4. Stay Frugal 

John Hancock knew that with great wealth comes great responsibility. He was a wealthy man but knew that could quickly go away without attention and careful planning, “I find money some way or other goes very fast. But I think I can reflect it has been spent with satisfaction and to my own honour.” – From letter to his uncle, 1761

And lastly, an old faithful from Benjamin Franklin, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." – From a 1789 letter to French scientist Jean-Baptiste Leroy. On that note, Happy (almost) 4th of July! 😂🇺🇸

 

 

 

Elizabeth Thompson