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The meaning and origin of the expression: Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves

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Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves'?

Literal meaning.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves'?

'Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves' is the kind of admonition to a virtuous and principled lifestyle favoured by Victorian moralists - the principle here being thrifty and careful not to squander money. In fact, the saying predates the Victorian era by almost a hundred years.

In 1747 Lord Chesterfield wrote to a friend saying this:

I knew, once, a very covetous, sordid fellow who used frequently to say, ‘Take care of the pence; for the pounds will take care of themselves’.

William Lowndes - the suthor of 'take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.'The covetous fellow that Chesterfield was referring to was William Lowndes, the British Secretary of the Treasury, 1696–1724.

Lowndes never had to concern himself much with saving pennies. He was a wealthy man whose life's course took him from Eton to Oxford University and then to the Treasury.

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