The 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin are:
- TEMPERANCE: Eat not to dullness, drink not to Elevation
- SILENCE: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation
- ORDER: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time
- RESOLUTION: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
- FRUGALITY: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing
- INDUSTRY: Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
- SINCERITY: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly
- JUSTICE: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty
- MODERATION: Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve
- CLEANLINESS: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation
- TRANQUILITY: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable
- CHASTITY: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation
- HUMILITY: Imitate Jesus and Socrates
To look deeper on how these Virtues can help you to create wealth, we take a look at the virtue of Order.
This virtue allows us to remove worry in matters that are small to concentrate on the bigger picture. In terms of finances, you absolutely need to know how much money flows to you and how much is spent. How many checks have bounced and unnecessary fees incurred due to the neglect of the simple task of filling out a checkbook?
The keeping of accurate records helps when filling out tax returns, determine monthly bill payments, growing your savings account, and so forth. By practicing the orderly management of your day-to-day finances, you can then devote more time to focus on important things like friends, family, education, and business.
Tracking extraneous purchases will allow you to focus on what you can save and used for things that are more important. Bringing your lunch to work vice buying can save about $1000 per year. Eliminating the buying of exotic coffee drinks can save you from not only excessive fat intake, but also roughly $500 a year. Nevertheless, how would you know unless you accurately gauge your daily expenditures?
Some wonderful tools exist that can be used to help you. The money you save would certainly help pay for these tools. For my business, I use software from Intuit called QuickBooks. I can track every bit of money coming in as well as all expenditures from cash or credit purchases. Intuit has a similar product for household expenditures called Quicken. However, the software is only as good as how it is used. Your discipline in maintaining Order allows you to spend the time tracking your money to see where you can use it toward savings or retirement funds.
Begin to Use Order in Improving Wealth
- Create a detailed list of all of your debt balances and break those down into monthly costs. Ensure you save receipts for ordinary things like groceries, dry cleaning, phone, cable, Internet, taxes, deductions, and utility costs as well.
- Make a list of all your gross income and break that down by month.
- Make a list of all your savings to include any accounts to which you make periodic contributions.
- Compare 1 and 2 to see if your debt cost per month exceeds your ability to pay your debts. If you do, look to cut costs before cutting the amount you save.
- Take the time to organize all your financial records.