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Managing Your Money

Manage Money Better with Financial Tips from Founding Fathers Some personal finance tips stand the test of time. Learn how to manage money better with financial tips from the men who grace our currency. Money Talks financial tips, personal finance tips, how to manage money better

4 finance tips from founding fathers and
past presidents

From currency to current day, these personal finance tips stand the test of time

It might sound a little odd to go back in time in search of financial tips, but there’s a good reason the gentlemen quoted below ended up gracing our coins and paper currency. Turns out, the saying is true. Money talks, and it’s pretty smart sometimes. These still-relevant quotes from past presidents and founding fathers are just a few of the reasons you might want to listen.

1. “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship”
-Benjamin Franklin

Small purchases have always had a way of adding up. Before he graced the $100 bill, Benjamin Franklin was known for giving sound, even brilliant advice about all manner of things—and personal finance tips are no exception. This quote demonstrates that the little things have always had a way of adding up, even before ATM, credit and debit cards made impulse buying easy. Next time you’re left wondering where your paycheck goes, grab your account statement and highlight every purchase under $20. The results might surprise you—and they'll give you great ideas about where and how to start cutting back. Learn about more ways to save on everyday expenses or watch the video from Better Money Habits.

2. “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity.”
-John F. Kennedy

Beware of pitfalls, but don’t stop looking for opportunities. John F. Kennedy understood crisis only too well—better than he understood Chinese, according to linguistic scholars.Footnote1 Judging by this quote, he also knew that the greatest danger lies in the paralysis that crisis can bring. Even during times of upheaval, it’s possible to make progress. The same can be said of financial crises as well. Investing is a great example. Whether it’s a bull or a bear market, some investors have found smart opportunities by staying focused on long-term goals.Footnote2

If you have questions or want to learn more about investment types and strategies, visit to find out how you can talk to a Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ or call 1.888.637.3343 (1.888.MER.EDGE)—it’s a smart place to start taking charge of your finances.

3. “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today”
-Abraham Lincoln

Procrastination is seldom a smart strategy. Once today is over, it's lost for good—you won’t get it back. That’s why procrastination is almost always your enemy. Now is probably the best time to start anything worthwhile. Take retirement planning, for example. You don’t even have to start with much — say you were to invest just $100 a month. If you earn 5% a year, you'd have $81,870 thirty years from now. Keep putting it off, on the other hand, and your future will look very different indeed. Say you wait another 10 years to start your retirement fund. That same $100 a month at 5% earnings per year will only add up to $40,746.Footnote2

4. “A penny saved is a penny earned”
-Benjamin Franklin

When you save money, you’re paying yourself…with interest. It's no surprise that Benjamin Franklin appears on this list more than once. In fact, this may be his most-repeated quote ever, and with good reason. When you put money into a savings account instead of spending it, you keep money you would otherwise have spent and you’re able to tap the power of compound interest. So saved money can actually generate even more money.

Remember, Bank of America and Merrill Edge are here to help—whether you want to start with a Bank of America savings account or take the first step towards planning a solid financial future with Merrill Edge, you can get started in just a few clicks.