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ADVICE TO A YOUNG TRADESMAN.
Written anno 1748.
TO MY FRIEND, A. B.
you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of service to me, if observed, be so to you.
REMEMBER that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a-day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but six pence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides.
Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my bands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.
Remember that money is of a prolific generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six turned again is seven and three pence; and so on till it becomes an hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.
Remember that six pounds a-year is but a groat a-day. For this little sum, (which may be daily wasted either in time or expense, unperceived,) a man of credit may, on his own security, have the constant possession and use of an hundred pounds. So much in stock, briskly turned by an industrious man, produces great advantage. Remember this saying. The good paymaster is lord of another man's purse." Ile that is known to
pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world, than punctuality and justice in all his dealings: therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.
The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard-table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it before he can receive it in a lump.
It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.
Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account, for some time, both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect; you will discover how wonderfully small trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
In short, the way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly ou two words, industry, and frugality; that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality nothing will do, and with them every thing. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he gets (necessary expenses excepted.) will certainly become rich-if that Being, who governs the world, to whom all should look for a blessing on their honest endeavours, doth not in his wise providence otherwise determine.
AN OLD TRADESMAN.
NECESSARY HINTS TO THOSE THAT WOULD BE RICH.
WRITTEN ANNO 1786.
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 year.
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 advantages 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 any thing 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 sav'd is twopence clear:
A pin a day's a grout a year.
THE WAY TO MAKE MONEY PLENTY IN EVERY MAN'S POCKET.
Ar this time, when the general complaint is thatmoney is scarce," it will be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they may reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint them with the true secret of money-catching-the certain way to fill empty purses-and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules, well observed, will do the business,
First, Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions; and, Secondly, Spend one penny less than thy clear gains.
Then shall thy hide-bound pocket soon begin to thrive, and will never again cry with the empty bellyach; neither will creditors insult thee, nor want op. press, no hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and plea. sure spring up in every corner of thy heart. Now, therefore, embrace these rules and be happy Banish the bleak winds of sorrow from thy mind, and live independent. Then shalt thou be a man, and not hide thy face at the approach of the rich, nor suffer the pain of feeling little when the sons of fortune walk at thy right hand, for independency, whether with little or much is good fortune, and placeth thee on even ground with the proudest of the golden fleece. Oh, then, be wise, and let industry walk with thee in the morning, and attend thee until thou reachest the evening hour for rest. Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny, when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid; then shalt thou reach the point of happiness, and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright, nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.
AN ECONOMICAL PROJECT.
A translation of this Letter appeared in one of the daily papers of Paris about the year 1784. The following is the original piece, with some additions and corrections made by the Author.
To the Authors of the Journal.
You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility.
I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of Messrs. Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for its splendour; but a general inquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so much augmented.
I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I love economy exceedingly.
I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject. An accidental sudden noise waked me about six in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with light; and I imagined at first, that a number of those lamps had been brought into it: but, rubbing my eyes, I perceived that the light came in at the windows. I got up and looked out to see what might be the occasion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber, my domestic having negligently omitted the preceding evening to close the shutters.