FOR SO MANY of the problems now ailing us—from shameful wastefulness, to growing economic inequality, to independence-killing indebtedness, to runaway mindless consumerism—I believe that the philosophy of thrift is the closest thing we have to a miracle cure.
David Blankenhorn, Thrift: A Cyclopedia
BY NO MEANS runne in debt: take thine own pleasure. Who cannot live on twentie pound a yeare, cannot on fortie; he's a man of pleasure.
George Herbert, in "The Church-porch"
SERIOUSLY and frequently meditate on the account that men are to give of using their wealth. We are not lords of our riches, but stewards; and a steward must give an account of his stewardship.
William Gouge, "Of Well-using Abundance" (sermon, 1655)
FRUGALITY IS GOOD, if Liberality be join'd with it. The first is leaving off superfluous expenses; the last bestowing them to the Benefit of others that need.
William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude
GAIN ALL YOU CAN. … Save all you can. … Then give all you can.
John Wesley, "The Use of Money" (sermon, 1744)
THIS MAY BE SAID of all our estates: what God gives us, is not given us for ourselves, but, "for the Lord."
Cotton Mather, Essays to Do Good
SOMETIMES THE POOR are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'SPoor Richard's Almanac never tired of preaching the doctrine of saving. And now comes a new generation of alleged financial experts who seem to be telling us that black is white and white is black, and that the old virtues may be modern sins.
Paul Samuelson, Economics (4th edition)
MAYBE WE should start considering our sojourn on earth as a loan. There can be no doubt that for the past hundred years at least, Europe and the United States have been running up a debt, and now other parts of the world are following their example. Nature is issuing warnings [in the form of climate changes] that we must not only stop the debt from growing but start to pay it back.
Vaclav Havel, "Our Moral Footprint," in The New York Times
THRIFT, THE POWER to save, which means self-restraint, is mainly important, not because it means wealth in the end, not because it enables you to make others work while you watch or play, but because it gives you peace of mind. Without peace of mind no one can do his best work or lead a life really worth while.
Bolton Hall, Thrift
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