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My notes on The Richest Man in Babylon Part 2 – Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

(1) Start your purse to fattening

Always save a minimum of 1/10 of all your income. The given analogy is simple.

“If thou select one of thy baskets and put into it each morning ten eggs and take out from it each evening nine eggs, what will eventually happen?”

“It will become in time overflowing.”


“Because each day I put in one more eggs than i take out.”

(2) Control your expenditures

“Now I will tell thee an unusual truth about men and sons of men. It is this: That what each of us calls our ‘necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our income unless we protest to the contrary.”

“Confuse not the necessary expenses with thee desires. Each of you, together with your good families, have more desires than your earnings can gratify. Therefore are thy earnings spent to gratify these desires insofar as they will go. Still thou retainest may ungratified desires.”

“All men are burdened with more desires that they can gratify. Because of my wealth thinkest thou I may gratify every desire? ‘This a false idea. There are limits to my time. There are limits to my strength. There are limits to the distance I may travel. There are limits to what I may eat. There are limits to the zest with which I may enjoy.”

“Therefore, engrave upon the clay each thing for which thou desireth to spend. Select those that are necessary and others that are possible through the expenditure of the nine-tenths of thy income. Cross out the rest and consider them but a part of that great multitude of desires that must go unsatisfied and regret them not.”


” Budget thy expense that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenth of thy earnings.”

(3) Make your gold multiply

“I tell you, my students, a man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually floweth into his purse and keepeth in bulging. That is what every man desireth. This is what thou, each one of thee desireth; an income that continueth to come whether thou work or travel.


” This is, then, is the third cure for a lean purse; to put each coin to laboring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.”


(4) Guard your treasures from loss (safe investment)

“Guard thy treasure from lose by investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advise of those experienced n the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investment.”

(5) Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment

“Thus come many blessings to the man who owneth his own house. And greatly will it reduce his cost of living, making available more of his earnings for pleasures and the gratification of his desires. This, then, is the fifth cure for a lean purse: Own thy own home.”

(6) Insure a future income

“Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”

(7) Increase thy ability to earn

“Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite.”


“The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded.”


“Cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself.”




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