Since the first Independence Day back in 1776, the Fourth of July has been a day of celebrating the men and women who founded our country.
Among the best-educated and wisest people of their time, the founding fathers left a treasure-trove of great quotes to show us the way on everything from liberty and peace, to money and fiscal responsibility.
These ten founding father quotes will help remind you to be as smart with your dollars as you are with your celebrations this Independence Day.
Founding father quotes to keep you fiscally smart this holiday
1. “To contract new debt is not to pay the old one” – George Washington
When unexpected expenses pop up it’s tempting to whip out a credit card to cover the bills, or to get a personal loan to handle an emergency. But taking on that new debt isn’t getting rid of the old one.
In fact, when it comes to debt outside of student loans, the interest rates can be completely unrealistic. Instead of paying the current average interest rate of 4.29% for a direct student loan, you may end up shelling out up to 40.00% APR for a payday loan!
Instead of digging yourself a bigger hole to pay the first debt, contact your loan holder and apply for a deferment. Or, lower your payments by changing to an income-based repayment plan.
2. “When you run in debt, you give to another power over your liberty” – Benjamin Franklin
In a 2015 report from American Student Assistance titled LIFE DELAYED: The Impact of Student Debt on the Daily Lives of Young Americans, 62 percent of respondents said they have put off saving for retirement or other investments because of their student loans.
That same percentage also said their loan was a hardship or major hardship on their personal budget when combined with all other household debt.
If you begin racking up debt on your student loans and credit cards, it can hinder your ability to make important purchases later on. Be sure to budget wisely and prioritize paying down on your debt if you want to free up your finances later on.
3. “All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arises […] from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation” – John Adams
Let’s be honest here — the whole concept of federal student loans is complicated. Who really loans the money, and how much of a burden does it put on taxpayers?
Even if you’re not political, it’s important to remember this Adams’ quote when you go to the voting booth. One candidate’s lowered interest rate may be the difference between paying a few dollars back a month versus paying a substantial amount more with another candidate’s plan.
4. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” – Thomas Jefferson
This is one of the founding father quotes that should be hung and framed on a wall for every person who has ever dreamed of being debt-free to look at.
When you’re saving up your pennies and sacrificing a night out, it can be hard to see the positives. And that’s why many people fail.
If you’re ready to conquer your debt once and for all, here are some easy and painless ideas on how to make an impact without wrecking your mood. Just remember to keep your head up and make Thomas Jefferson proud with your positive mental attitude.
5. “A promise must never be broken” – Alexander Hamilton
When you took out your student loans, you signed a promissory note to pay back the financial institution you borrowed from. Well, a promise is a promise.
But what if there was a perfectly legit way to get around paying back your student loans? Forgiveness programs offer the perfect loophole for non-profit workers, teachers, medical workers, and more. And you don’t even have to break your promise.
6. “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people” – James Madison
Madison believed that the only way to be free is to be educated. When it comes to fiscal knowledge, it’s essential to do all your research and know what you’re getting into from the get-go.
Never be afraid to call your lender’s representatives to get your more pressing questions answered if you have private student loans. And become familiar with the federal student aid site so you can stay on top of the latest changes and updates on federal student loans.
7. “I find money some way or other goes very fast” – John Hancock
Did you know that some of the greatest money hustlers of our time were actually founding fathers? It’s true! John Hancock was actually one of our country’s first great businessman, making this one of the more significant founding father quotes when it comes to money.
Hancock knew how important it was to find streams of income to keep the cash coming in. Today, we call that side hustling.
Outside a normal 9-5, you can earn cash to pay down your debts by doing jobs such as delivering groceries, walking dogs, or freelancing on the side.
8. “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence” – Abigail Adams
Sometimes we get so bogged down in numbers that we forget what our student loans paid for. They help you pay for a degree in higher education.
There are tons of ways to continue learning and growing without going into more debt. Look into local community colleges, attend professional conferences and seminars, and don’t forget online courses as well.
Being highly educated doesn’t also mean spending a fortune or going into debt.
9. “A penny saved is a penny earned” – Benjamin Franklin
As you get older, savings takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not just about saving for a new gadget or trip. It’s about planning and foresight.
One of the best things you can do with your money is to start an emergency fund. While it may not earn you much with interest each month, it will save you big bucks in case something comes up.
For example, instead of putting an unexpected car repair on a credit card, you can pay with money in your emergency fund. This will potentially save you substantial money in interest payments or fees later on.
10. “I know not what others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death” – Patrick Henry
It may seem extreme, but if you’re in the middle of paying a car loan, a student loan, or a racked up credit card bill, you might do anything to be free from debt.
If you haven’t started yet, it’s time to make a plan for conquering your own debt. However you decide to pay down your debt, never forget the end goal and what it will feel like when you set your debt owed to zero.
What you can take away from founding father quotes
With these founding father quotes in mind, you can declare your own freedom from bad money mistakes for years to come.
Focus on investing in yourself, reach for your fiscal goals and put your efforts into keeping your overall debt down. You’ll be ready for real financial independence before you know it.
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