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Wealth Virtues Journal: May 26, 2010

CLEANLINESS: How Franklin’s 10th Virtue Helps to “Change” Your Financial Future

Filed under: Franklin's Virtues: A Way to Wealth — Tags: , , , , — James Ward @ 6:55 pm
© 2009 Poor Richard Web Press, LLC

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Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues (of which Wealth Virtues is based) includes his virtue of Cleanliness. It reads, “Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.” Wealth Virtues looks to use the thirteen virtues as a basis for principles in which to increase personal wealth. Like Dr. Franklin, I attempt to practice the virtues on a regular basis as a matter of principle and occasionally, the effort does have its financial rewards, though sometimes small. After a bout of freezing weather, we were entertained by a 70 degree February day on 8 February. I took advantage of the weather to clean all of our automobiles, and in the process, re-acquired $4.79 in change. Not much, but when I think about “change” it refers not to the overhyped political buzzword, but real “Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington” type change, and how the Humphery family in New York made use of found change to benefit a charitable organization (see

I added my newly found gains to my change tray, which is emptied every month by my wife. When I queried her on it, she matter-of-factly stated that last month’s saved change total was $158.00. Since the minting of the U.S. “state” quarters, I have saved almost every one I received, looking to save them – for whatever reason. As it turns out, I will keep only five sets. What surprised me is that I had saved over $250.00 of those types of quarters.

I use Franklin’s virtue of Cleanliness to make a point of how the practice of such virtues can lead to small gains. Small gains compounded lead to – larger gains. The Humphery family in Staten Island has demonstrated how Franklin’s additional virtues of Resolution, Frugality, and Humility help benefit a local charity. More importantly, the Humphrey parents have provided a fantastic education to their children in getting them to understand the real meaning of Ben Franklin’s quote “many a little makes a mickle”.

For all of Franklin’s 13 Virtues, see

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