Money tips from the Founding Fathers
For this Independence Day, here are words of financial wisdom -- to and from some of the Americans portrayed on US currency.
Benjamin Franklin famously coined the phrase "A penny saved is a penny earned." But, as it turns out, a few other founders of the United States of America had something to say on the subject of finance, too.
In the spirit of the Fourth of July, we present their timeless advice, which might just help you forge your own financial independence.
John Adams © iStock
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
Thomas Jefferson © iStock
Thomas Jefferson, on living within your means:
"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."
Benjamin Frankling © iStock
-- From a letter to Martha Jefferson Randolph in 1808
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. 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."
Alexander Hamilton © iStock
-- From "Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One," 1748
Alexander Hamilton, on what constitutes a sound economy:
"Industry is increased; commodities are multiplied; agriculture and manufacturers flourish; and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state."
-- Report on Manufactures, 1790
George Washington © iStock
George Washington, on getting rich quick:
"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."
-- From a letter, Aug. 17, 1779
This article was reported by Tina E. Korbe for Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.