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Money Lessons Learned From Our Founding Fathers

By Erik Folgate

I meant to do this post yesterday during the designated President’s Day, but I didn’t get to it, so I thought I would share it with you a day late. I think one of the biggest tragedies of our modern culture is that we do not follow the guidance and wisdom laid out by the people that shaped this country into the greatest nation the world has ever seen. We are the hallmark for freedom and liberty. People flock here every year to have the opportunity to change their financial lives. We learn that George Washington and Abraham were great Presidents, but we seldom go beyond that. We seldom analyze their philosophy for the direction of the country. Here are some quotes from Washington and Lincoln that we can learn from about personal and financial development.

Lincoln: You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.

This is extremely important when it comes to making sure that we never elect politicians that will pass legislature that hinders us from encouraging initiative and giving us independence. If you want to become wealthy, you must take the initiative to do it. Wealth will not just fall in your lap. You must set yourself up by taking the initiative of getting out of debt, investing in real estate and mutual funds for the long-term, and keeping a budget no matter what your income will be. For those people that become independent in the career field such as small business owners and self-employed professionals, the potential for you to become wealthy is very high, but the potential to lose a lot of money is high as well. I always encourage people to pursue their career dreams, and if working for yourself is one of those dreams, you CAN make it happen.

George Washington: Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

Washington knew that the people you associate with and learn from will directly affect the person that you become. If you want to win with money or be a successful business owner, you must surround yourself with people of high character that are smarter than you. Find a mentor who’s a millionaire and ask them how they did it. Find a business owner whose business is thriving in the area. Suck all of the information you can out of them. Choose people you can trust to help you with your financial life such as quality attorneys, CPA’s, real estate agents, and stock brokers. Dave Ramsey has an Endorse Local Provider network to help you find quality professionals with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of getting their pockets fatter.

Washington: Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.

Washington knew that at the core of every good, successful person, is a giving heart. You’ll never be successful with money if you don’t develop the heart of a giver. The cliche is true that the more you give, the more you’ll get back. Plus, it keeps you honest with your money and keeps you from worshiping it. Money can and will destroy your life if you let it. Developing the heart of a giver will help you to become wealthy, because it makes you a better person and makes you appreciate the money that you have

Washington and Lincoln were very wise men. If it weren’t for them, we may not have the freedoms that we enjoy each and every day. Learn from history, your elders, and your ancestors. You’ll find that it will improve your bottom line. .

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.financialimbalance.com Financial Imbalance

    Excellent post. I think the biggest thing in becoming financially independent is creating the budgets and sticking to them. I know lots of people that will create a budget with the intentions of sticking to it, but it may only last a couple of weeks and then they are right back to where they started.

  • http://onetwogrowon.blogspot.com JJ

    Very true, excellent points. I enjoyed this tremendously. I’m a big fan of presidential history from the standpoint of who were these guys as individuals? Good work.

  • author

    thanks for the kind words FI and JJ. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think that our culture gets too wrapped up in the progressive nature of looking ahead without reflecting on the past and learning from our ancestors and their mistakes and successes.

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