The Way To Wealth: Benjamin’s Franklin’s Timeless Advice For Becoming Part Of The One Percent!


Benjamin Franklin is known to most as a scientist and inventor, and possibly as a politician. What most people are probably not aware of, however, are Franklin’s contributions to personal finance. In his book, “The Way to Wealth”, Franklin shared his unique perspective on wealth and spending.

The Way to Wealth was written in – believe it or not – 1758, and it still rings surprisingly true today. In a few paragraphs, Franklin quickly transmits the wisdom that made him a fortune.

The genius of Benjamin Franklin was that he placed all of the principles into a story that painted a picture of the benefits and consequences of either knowing and applying these principles or ignoring them and suffering the consequences.

I think most people need to see how some of the principles in the book work together to form a solid, prosperous and successful life and that’s the aim of today’s article. We’ll explore of few of Franklin’s maxims and how they tie together, namely the importance of industry and frugality to achieving financial freedom.

The focus of the first section of the book is on the importance of being industrious and using our time wisely:

Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

Diligence is the mother of good luck

Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of

There are no gains, without pains

Plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep

One today is worth two tomorrows

Have you somewhat to do tomorrow, do it today

Be ashamed to catch yourself idle

For industry pays debts, while despair encreaseth them

Little strokes fell great oaks

The first half of becoming wealthy is industry: working hard, using time wisely, and paying careful attention to the little things. Industry generates opportunity. Industry generates income. Industry puts you in the position to become financially free. As sexy as it sounds to become rich overnight and by not lifting a finger, most successful people worked for years before reaching the tipping point when their hard work paid off.

In the second section, Franklin emphasizes the importance of being frugal. It isn’t enough just to earn money, you have to be smart about what you do with it after you earn it. In this collection of sayings, Franklin describes how a lack of frugality will cause financial ruin and describes the dangers of debt:

A man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his nose all his life to the grindstone

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship

Buy what thou hast no need of, and before long thou shalt sell thy necessaries

Think of saving as well as of getting

Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them

When the well’s dry, they know the worth of water

If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing

‘Tis easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it

When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty

So many people have not achieved financial freedom simply because they don’t manage their money well after they make it. The world Is full of HENRYs, “high earner, not rich yets”. Don’t be one of them. By frugality, Franklin was not suggesting being cheap. Frugality is spending wisely and avoiding unnecessary expenses. The “aspirational wealthy” buy a bigger house than they can afford, an expensive car with payments that they can barely make, and expensive things just so that they can look rich. This undermines all the hard work they do to make money in the first place. Simply put, to build wealth you must save the money you earn.

Benjamin Franklin knew the way to wealth, the way directly to the top. Through hard work, diligence, and frugality he made a fortune. And so can you if you’ll read and apply the principles in this short, simple book. Most money problems are easy problems to solve once you learn the principles that have made so many people successful and prosperous.

I do not know of any other book that has so much wisdom packed into so few pages. The lessons in this book can give you the power to take control of your destiny, build wealth, and lead happier lives. Franklin’s quotes are timeless and his lessons are straightforward. They are indeed the way to wealth.

Be free. Nothing else is worth it.

Financial Freedom Monty Campbell

Latest tweets from Monty!

“Don’t let the mediocre convince you to be satisfied with where you are. Keep growing. Compare yourself to your potential, not to others.”

“Not saving regularly? Be prepared for a job later that requires you to wear a “greeter” name tag. It’s easier to keep up than catch up.”

“Discipline is not painful. It’s liberating. When you’re disciplined, there’s not a single doubt in your mind that you will get things done.”


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Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out these articles from the blog archives:

Will 2016 Be The Year That You Become Financially Free? 5 Simple Rules For Ensuring That You Succeed!

Infographic: Your Gift To Yourself. The Wonderful Benefits From Being Able To Retire Early!

Why I Agree With Warren Buffett On Solving Income Inequality: New Financial Freedom Podcast Episode!

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  • Zowoco

    I love “Little strokes fell great oaks”! BF has really coined some timeless phrases here and we all have a lot to learn. Wealth built slowly and wisely over the decades without undue haste will last for generations with careful management.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Yes. This is very similar to another one of my favorite quotes from John Wooden – “Little things make big things happen”. Always important to pay attention to the details.

  • Bernard

    I think we could all learn from Ben if we realize that working smarter, instead of harder, is the true meaning of being industrious. By conserving our energies and attention, we are being frugal.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Good points Bernard. Thanks for sharing.

  • Keith Horn

    Great sayings from a great American!!

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Absolutely. Ben was ahead of his time!

  • sir jorge

    This was such a great post it made my “top 5” today.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Thank you! Appreciate the feedback.

  • desty

    Plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Love it!

  • Ric

    I read the Way to Wealth a few years back and this does a great job capturing all the brilliant aphorisms. I guess there’s no substitute for timeless wisdom.

    • https://www.montycampbell.com/ Monty Campbell

      Thank you. That’s right. Wisdom like this is not only great, it has stood the test of time.