In his autobiography, Ben Franklin describes having come up with a list of 13 virtues for living around 1728. Among them:

FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

Frugality was a frequent topic in Poor Richard's Almanack; Franklin recapitulated its advice in The Way to Wealth:

"Pray, Father Abraham, what think you of the times? Will not these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we ever be able to pay them? What would you advise us to?" Father Abraham stood up, and replied, "If you would have my Advice, Iwill give it you in short; for A word to the wise is enough., as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and gathering round him, he proceeded as follows.

"Friends," said he, "the taxes are indeed very heavy, and, if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement.

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