The Way to Wealth By Benjamin Franklin Book Notes

🙋‍♂️About the book & author:

The Way to Wealth was first published in 1758 as a preface to Benjamin Franklin Poor Richards Almanack and summarized his thoughts about how to achieve success in business and life.

🫰Buy the Book:

Read the book here on Amazon

The Way to Wealth By Benjamin Franklin
The Way of Wealth Book Cover From Amazon

Subscribe to the newsletter to get future book notes and other interesting things.

📕Book Notes:

  • “We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.”

Idleness = laziness
Folly = lack of good sense; foolishness.

  • “God helps them that helps themselves.”
  • “If you love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Squander = Waste

  • “The sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave.”
  • “If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be as Poor Richard says, the greatest prodigality.”

Prodigality = Excessive spending or Waste.

  • “Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough.”
  • “Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and, he that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him.”

Sloth = An animal often referred to as slow and lazy.
Riseth = Rise
Trot = Moving fast

  • “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
  • “He who lives upon hope will die fasting.”
  • “There are no gains without pains.”
  • “He that hath a trade, hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour.”

Hath = have

  • “At the working man’s house, hunger looks in, but dares not enter.”
  • “Industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.”

Despair = Complete loss
Increaseth = Increase

  • “Plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have come to sell and keep.’ Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow.”

Sluggards = Lazy person

  • “One today is worth two tomorrows.”
  • “Never leave till tomorrow, which you can do today.”
  • “Be ashamed to catch yourself idle when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family.”
  • “The cat in gloves catches no mice.”
  • “Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.”
  • “Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.”

Thy = Your
Thou = You
Meanest = Mean
Leisure = Free time

  • The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.
  • Want of care does more damage than want of knowledge.
  • Trusting too much to other’s care is the ruin of many.
  • If you want a faithful servant, and one that you like—serve yourself.
  • A little neglect may breed great mischief – for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost’ being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse shoe nail.
  • A fat kitchen make a lean will.
  • If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting.
  • Women and wine, game and deceit, Make the wealth small, and the want great!

Deceit = Practice of deceiving someone by misrepresenting the truth.

  • What maintains one vice, would bring up two children.
  • Beware of little expenses; A small leak will sink a great ship.
  • Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
  • At a great penny worth pause a while.

Thou = You
Hast = Has
Shalt = Shall
Thy = Your

  • The cheapest is apparent only, and not real; or the bargain, by straightening thee in thy business, may do thee more harm than good.
  • It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance
  • Silks and satins, scarlets and velvets, put out the kitchen fire.
  • A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.
  • It is day, and never will be night; that a little to be spent out of so much is not worth minding.
  • Always taking out of the meal tub, and never putting in, soon comes to the bottom.
  • When the well is dry, they know the worth of water.
  • He that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing.
  • So does he that lends to such people, when he goes to get it again.
  • Fond pride of dress is sure a very curse, Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.
  • Pride is as loud a beggar as need.
  • When you have bought one fine thing, you must buy ten more, that your appearance may be all of a piece.
  • It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.
  • Vessels large may venture more, But little boats should keep near shore.
  • Pride that dines on vanity, sups on contempt.

Vanity = Excessive pride in one’s own appearance or achievement.
Sups = Sip
Contempt = Worthless

  • What you do when you run into debt; you give to another power over your liberty.
  • If you cannot pay on time, you will be ashamed to see your creditor; you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor pitiful sneaking excuses, and by degrees, come to lose your veracity, and sink into base downright lying.
  • The second vice is lying the first is running in debt.
  • Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue.
  • It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
  • When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think a little of payment.
  • Creditors have better memories than debtors.

Creditor = Who give money
Debtor = One who owes the money (debt)

  • The day comes round before you are aware, and the demand is made before you are able to satisfy it.
  • Those have a short lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter.
  • For age and want save while you may, No morning sun lasts a whole day.
  • Gain may be temporary and uncertain, but ever, while you live, expense is constant and certain.
  • It is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel.
  • Rather go to bed supperless, than rise in debt.
  • Be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
  • Experience keeps an expensive school, but fools will learn in no other.
  • We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.
  • They that will not be counseled, cannot be helped.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top