There is an old English proverb that proclaims: “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.” But what does the saying mean? And does it have any relevance in modern life?

Tracing the Origins

The quote implies that if you are careful not to waste small amounts of money, you will soon accumulate larger amounts. The first written evidence of the saying appeared in letters penned in the 18th century. The first, written in 1747, was sent from Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, to his son, also called Philip, and featured the line: “Take care of the pence; for the pounds will take care of themselves.” He described the quote as the reflections of a miser but thought it could be applied as a way for his son to make better use of his time. “Take care of minutes; for hours will take care of themselves,” he recommended. In a later letter, he ascribed the quote to Mr. William Lowndes (1652-1724), the former Secretary of the Royal Treasury.

Still Relevant Today

While the identity of the original author remains inconclusive, the saying is still used today. It perfectly captures one of the key habits of many successful people who are loathed to waste a single penny and will seek any opportunity to get something at a discount rate or even for free. The theory suggests that by adopting this mentality in everyday life, you are more likely to accumulate more money in the long run.

Money-Saving Habit

There are people who have shaped their lives around this philosophy. For example, some will always seek out voucher codes, discount sales and free offers when they are shopping. So much so, that they never pay full price for anything. Once you get into this habit, you can save hundreds or thousands every year. You can even start to accumulate free products that you can sell on for a profit. Some bargain-hunters have even turned their habit into a full-time activity.

Source: Pixabay

Taking Advantage of Special Offers

Many companies will offer discounts or special offers for signing up for their services in the hope that you will become a regular customer in the future. One typical example is online bookmakers and casinos who often offer incentives for customers signing up for the first time. Finding these offers is made easier by websites such as BonusFinder who have a huge list of brands to choose from, and they also list the best free bets, welcome bonuses and free spins for customers. If you enjoying playing these games on a regular basis, it makes sense to seek out such offers.

Some entertainment companies such as cinemas, bowling alleys or restaurants may offer discounts on certain nights of the week. So if you’re a movie buff or a foodie, you could save money every year just by going out on a different day of the week. If you take the time to look, there are ways of saving on almost every aspect of your life. Just switching your insurance company, internet provider, energy company or bank account could help you save a significant amount over a year.

If you get into the habit of applying these principles across all aspects of your life, from business and retail, to leisure and entertainment, you will soon find that the pounds start to look after themselves.

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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