What About Ben Franklin?
by Doris Dobkins
I was reading a book to my kids this week called "The Value
of Saving". It was the story of Benjamin Franklin. When Ben was
a little boy of around 8 years old, he was already thinking of
things to invent that would save him time and money so he would
have more of both.
One day when he was walking along the sidewalk he found a
penny that a rich man had dropped. When he tried to give it back
to the man, the man said he was an honest boy and could keep it.
Do you know what young Ben did with that penny? He decided to
save it so that when he needed it for something important, he
would have it.
When Ben was ten, he began working as an apprentice for his
brother; he received no pay. This made him feel so helpless when
he didn't have any money. So one day he convinced his brother to
give him half the money he spent for his food and he would buy
it himself. Then what Ben did is took the little bit of money he
received from his brother and spent half of it on the food he
needed and saved the other half for himself. With the money he
saved, he would buy books, read them and then sell them to
Eventually he came up with the idea of a library where books
could be checked out for free. Ben's family was religious,
frugal and self-reliant. Ben was taken out of school at the age
of ten and decided himself to pursue self-education since his
family couldn't afford to send him to school. When Ben was 17,
he ran away from his overbearing brother who he worked for as an
apprentice. He opened up a print shop in Philadelphia and worked
day and night to save enough money to pay back his debts. He
couldn't stand being in debt and felt that the only way to be
released from poverty was through hard work, thrift and honesty.
Ben then went on to found institutions such as libraries,
fire companies, American Philosophical Society, a school for
needy boys and America's first medical center. He then went on
to experiment with electricity, invent the lightning rod,
bifocals, static electric generator and the Franklin stove.
A lot of this was possible because he had the discipline to
save when he had extra, allowing him to have money when he
really needed it.
This story was a real inspiration to me about a thrifty and
inventive person. I realized these are the characteristics
required to be debt free. Creativity is a big part of the
process in learning to make do with less, save a little here and
there and find creative solutions to the situations we are in.
Ben was very proud of himself and his accomplishments. You
should be too. Every time you save a dollar or do something
smart with your money, give yourself a pat on the back. You
P.S. You might even want to glue a penny to a wall - just as
* * * * *
Dobkins, is a money saving expert and the author of the book
" Financial Freedom from A-Z". She is also the
publisher of a weekly online ezine $mart Money New$
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