stitch in time, a

a stitch in time (saves nine)

An action taken now will prevent problems later. You should consider getting your car repaired now before you're left stranded on the side of the road—a stitch in time saves nine. I know it's a month away, but I already started preparing for the big dinner party. A stitch in time, you know.
See also: stitch, time

stitch in time, a

A prompt action will avert more serious trouble. For example, Changing the car's oil every 7,000 miles is a stitch in time. The complete form of this adage, a stitch in time saves nine, appeared in Thomas Fuller's 1732 proverb collection, Gnomologia, and is so well known that it often is stated in shortened form. Ogden Nash played with it in the title for his verse collection, A Stitch Too Late Is My Fate (1938).
See also: stitch