What does the idiom "A penny saved is a penny earned" mean?

The expression A penny saved is a penny earned is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the A penny saved is a penny earned idiom.

Meaning of "A penny saved is a penny earned"


The idiom "A penny saved is a penny earned" is a proverbial saying that emphasizes the importance of being frugal and avoiding wasteful spending. It suggests that people should use the money they have with care, as saving a small amount of money now can be just as beneficial as earning more money later on. This phrase also hints at the idea that even the smallest amount of effort can be beneficial in the long run.


This popular idiom originated in the 17th century, when Benjamin Franklin wrote the phrase in his book “The Way to Wealth”. The book was filled with a variety of advice on personal finances and it was particularly popular among the lower classes who did not have much money to begin with. In the book, Franklin wrote "a penny saved is a penny got" which is the basic concept of the phrase we use today.


This idiom is used to encourage people to be mindful of their spending habits and to practice frugality, even when it comes to small expenses. It is also a reminder to save money whenever possible and to invest it in the right places. The phrase is often used as an expression of gratitude towards someone who has saved money instead of recklessly spending it.

Example Sentences

  • My grandmother always reminds me that "a penny saved is a penny earned" and to never waste my money on unnecessary items.
  • I'm so glad I listened to my parents' advice and stopped spending money on things I didn't need. A penny saved is a penny earned!
  • My dad always says "a penny saved is a penny earned" whenever I ask him for extra money.
  • I'm going to put my money in a savings account; a penny saved is a penny earned after all!

The meanings of the words in the "A penny saved is a penny earned" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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