We all like to think we’re pretty smart when it comes to money, but if one thing seems certain about money, it’s this: you can never know enough. That’s why we decided to source some financial wisdom from various thought leaders, game changers and entrepreneurs. Ahead, you’ll find 25 quotes designed, at the very least, to make you think.
1. Sophia Amoruso
“Money looks better in the bank than on your feet.” — Sophia Amoruso
Serial entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso founded ecommerce store Nasty Gal in 2006 before going on to launch an online media company for women called Girlboss (named after Amoruso’s best-selling book, #GIRLBOSS). With this quote, Amoruso reminds us to think before we spend money; you may regret your purchase, but it’s unlikely you’ll regret saving your money.
2. Warren Buffett
“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” — Warren Buffett
The inimitable Warren Buffett has plenty of wise money quotes, we’re sure. But we like this one, specifically because it emphasises the difference between cost and value. It’s especially applicable when it comes to stocks. You might pay 25 cents for a stock (which might seem like a reasonably cheap price), but the intrinsic value of the stock might be miles more valuable.
3. Shonda Rhimes
“Be a doer, not a dreamer.” — Shonda Rhimes
Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes told the Dartmouth College class of 2014 these words. While she didn’t directly relate them to money, we think they’re important. Whatever your financial goals are, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve them without taking action.
4. William Shakespeare
“Think’st thou, Hortensio, though her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?” — Gremio in Taming of the Shrew, Act 1 Scene 1
Next time you want to remind someone there’s “no such thing as a free lunch,” perhaps you can quote Shakespeare’s Gremio instead. Essentially, this Taming of the Shrew quote is reminding us that you can marry rich, but is it worth it if your partner is unpleasant?
5. Dorothy Parker
“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” — Dorothy Parker
American poet and writer Dorothy Parker offers up a possible indictment on the 1%.
6. Richard Branson
“It’s a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur’s metric for success. It’s not, and nor should it be.” — Richard Branson
Take it from billionaire Richard Branson, who espouses that making money should never be the sole motivation for starting a business or heading down an entrepreneurial path.
“I felt like it was time to set up my future, so I set a goal. My goal was independence.” — Beyonce
If you already take your cues from Beyonce, this is a pretty good goal to set.
8. The Grateful Dead
“Put your gold money where your love is.” — Lyrics from the song “Loser” by The Grateful Dead
Iconic American rock band The Grateful Dead riff on the idea of following your passions in their song “Loser.” This lyric is similar to that oft-quoted phrase: “Figure out what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
9. J.K. Rowling
“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realised, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling
If Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling isn’t living proof that you should never give up hope — no matter how little money you have — then we don’t know what is.
10. Will Rogers
“Too many people spend money they earned… to buy things they don’t want… to impress people that they don’t like.” — Will Rogers
Late American humorist Will Rogers brings us back down to earth by reminding us of all the times we’ve spent money and later regretted it.
11. Ayn Rand
“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonourably; the man who respects it has earned it. Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter.” — Ayn Rand
Russian-American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand doesn’t hold back when it comes to issuing a warning on the motivations of certain men, does she?
12. James Packer
“I prefer to be sitting on the beach, but I can’t. I want to be a billionaire.” — James Packer
Businessman and investor James Packer is now a multi-billionaire, so obviously he made the right move by not sitting on the beach. Even if you can’t start your career by inheriting an empire from your parents, the overarching message behind this quote remains true: hard work generally pays.
13. J. Paul Getty
“Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells.” — J. Paul Getty
Here’s an eccentric piece of advice that seems to align with J. Paul Getty’s eccentric reputation.
14. Clare Boothe Luce
“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable.” — Clare Boothe Luce
Clare Boothe Luce was an American author and politician. She also authored the 1936 play The Women, which had an all-female cast. Here, she extols on the virtues of financial freedom.
15. Joe Biden
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” — Joe Biden
Former US Vice President Joe Biden makes a pretty salient point. Essentially, he’s saying that what you spend your money on is what you consider important. So, if you spend all your money on shoes, that’s what you consider important. (No judgement.) Likewise, if you put all your money into a high-interest savings account, it could be said you value financial freedom.
16. Suze Orman
“A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” — Suze Orman
Suze Orman is an author, financial advisor, motivational speaker, and television host — and she is here to remind us about what financial freedom really means.
17. Rene Rivkin
“When buying shares, ask yourself, would you buy the whole company?” — Rene Rivkin
Andrew Denton once called flamboyant stockbroker Rene Rivkin “fabulously flawed.” Whatever your thoughts on Rivkin, you can’t deny that this quote is a doozy. When buying shares in any company, you’re essentially becoming a part owner.
18. Bob Marley
“Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.” — Bob Marley
Some say money can buy happiness, but late reggae singer Bob Marley is not one of them.
19. Charles Dickens
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” — Charles Dickens
English writer and (according to Wikipedia) social critic Charles Dickens has a few thoughts on what happens when you spend more than you earn.
20. William A. Ward
“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticise, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.” — William A. Ward
Here’s some wisdom on being mindful about your money (and life in general) from William A. Ward, the late American writer. To sum up: never get ahead of yourself.
21. Lisa Messenger
“Dare to deserve. Know your own worth.” — Lisa Messenger
Collective Hub founder Lisa Messenger has a reminder for all freelancers and entrepreneurs. After all, if you don’t value your time, who will?
22. Jim Rohn
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn
Late American author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn had some compelling thoughts on education — and why we should never stop learning.
23. Oprah Winfrey
“All the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have time to enjoy it.” — Oprah Winfrey
Leave it to Oprah to remind us about the importance of balance.
24. Carl Fox (Martin Sheen)
“Money’s only something you need in case you don’t die tomorrow.” — Carl Fox (the fictional character played by Martin Sheen in 1987’s Wall Street)
Taking financial advice from a fictional character is not always wise, but we see an important message here: when it comes to money, don’t live everyday as though it’s your last.
25. Michelle Obama
“Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” — Michelle Obama
We’ll finish with some wise words from Michelle Obama, the former first lady of the United States, who reminds us that true wealth comes from within. (Cheese alert!)