"Away with your expensive follies, and you will not then have so much cause to complain of the hard times, heavy taxes, and chargeable families; for --
'Women and wine, game and deceit,
Make the wealth small, and the want great.'
And farther, 'what maintains one vice would bring up two children.' You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little entertainment now and then, can be no great matter; but remember, 'Many a little make a mickle.' Beware of little expenses; 'A small leak will sink a great ship,' as Poor Richard says: and again, 'Who dainties love, shall beggars prove;' and moreover, 'Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.' Here you are all got together to this sale of fineries and nic-nacs. You call them goods; but, if you do not take care, they will prove evils to some of you. Remember what Poor Richard says, 'Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy neccessaries.'
It is foolish to lay out money in a purchase of repentance."
Benjamin Franklin - Photo by Peter Sussex
Poor Richard's Almanac was a very popular book by Benjamin Franklin, known to all a few generations ago. Sadly we learn most of these lessons the hard way now.