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ADVICE TO A YOUNG TRADESMAN.
WRITTEN ANNO 1748.
TO MY FRIEND A. B.
As you have defired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of fervice to me, and may, if observed, be fo to you.
REMEMBER that time is money. He that can earn ten fhillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or fits idle one half of that day, though he spends but fixpence during his diverfion or idlenefs, ought not to reckon that the only expence; he has really fpent, or rather thrown away, five fhillings befides.
Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the intereft, or fo much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a confiderable fum where a man has good and large credit, and makes good ufe of it.
Remember that money is of a prolific generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and fo on. Five fhillings turned is fix; turned again, it is feven and three-pence; and fo on till it becomes an hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, fo that the profits rife quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding fow, deftroys all her offspring to the thoufandth generation. He that murders a crown, deftroys all that it might have produced, even fcores of pounds.
Remember that fix pounds a year is but a groat a day. For this little fum (which may be daily wafted either in time or expence, unperceived), a man of credit may, on his own fecurity, have the conftant poffeffion and use of an hundred pounds. So much in ftock, briskly turned by an induftrious man, produces great advantage.
Remember this faying, "The good paymafter is lord of another man's purfe." He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promifes, may at any time, and on any occafion, raife all the money his friends can fpare. This is fometimes of great ufe. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raifing of a young man in the world, than punctuality and juftice in all his dealings: therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promifed, left a disappointment fhut up your friend's purfe for ever.
The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The found of your hammer at five in the morning, or nine at night, heard by a creditor, makes him eafy fix 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 fends for his money the next day; demands it before he can receive it in a lump.
It fhews, befides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful, as well as an honeft man, and that ftill increases your credit.
Beware of thinking all your own that you poffefs, and of living accordingly. It is a miftake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account, for fome time, both of your expences and your in
come. If you take the pains at firft to mention particulars, it will have this good effect; you will discover how wonderfully fmall trifling expences mount up to large fums, and will difcern what might have been, and may for the future be faved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
In fhort, the way to wealth, if you defire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality; that is, wafte neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without induftry and frugality nothing will do, and with them every thing. He that gets all he can honeftly, and faves all he gets (neceffary expences excepted), will certainly become rich-if that Being who governs the world, to whom all should look for a bleffing on their honeft endeavours, doth not, in his wife providence, otherwife determine.
AN OLD TRADESMAN.
NECESSARY HINTS TO THOSE THAT WOULD
WRITTEN ANNO 1736.
THE ufe of money is all the advantage there
is in having money.
For fix pounds a year you may have the ufe of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honefty.
He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above fix pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.
He that waftes idly a groat's worth of his time per day, one day with another, waftes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day.
He that idly lofes five fhillings worth of time, lofes five fhillings, and might as prudently throw five fhillings into the fea.
He that lofes five fhillings, not only lofes that fum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a confiderable fum of money.
Again he that fells upon credit, afks a price for what he fells equivalent to the principal and intereft of his money for the time he is to be kept out of it; therefore, he that buys upon credit, pays intereft for what he buys; and he that pays ready money, might let that money out to ufe: fo that he that poffeffes any thing he has bought, pays intereft for the use of it.
Yet, in buying goods, it is beft to pay ready money, because, he that fells upon credit, expects to lofe five per cent. by bad debts; therefore he charges, on all he fells upon credit, an advance that fhall make up that deficiency.
Those who pay for what they buy upon credit, pay their fhare of this advance.
He that pays ready money, efcapes, or may efcape, that charge.
A penny fav'd is two-pence clear;