The Ultimate Collection of Money Quotes

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There are so many money quotes around in the English language, but these are are the most popular I have come across. They range from kind of true to absolutely 100% true. We have all heard them, but only when we take time to think about them and apply their truths do we begin to take control of our money.

Below are the 20 most popular money quotes across social media.

The Obvious And Overused

“You’ve got to spend money to make money.”

Is this actually true? Yes – no – maybe. It depends on your position in the pursuit of money and financial independence. If you follow the advice out of one of my favorite money books, the 4-Hour Work Week, then you indeed will need to spend money to make it. This is especially true when you are building a sustainable business that you can walk away from. You have the need to invest in the business to get it off the ground and making money, but it will pay you back for years to come.

For the rest of us, though, spending lots of money is a great way to end up with none of it. So buyers beware, spending to make money is only done with extreme care.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

This is usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but it is unclear who it first came from. My favorite variation on it though is:

“A penny saved is not enough.”

These days, if you are not saving 10% or more of your income each month (on average) you will not be building up a large stash of money that can support you and your dependents. The premise of the quote that saving is earning is a much-needed lesson in society. We have been pushed towards consumerism instead of a life of having simply enough and being happy.

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

This saying is also from Benjamin Franklin, who did write it in a letter, but the phrase itself dates back to at least 1716. Both of these are mostly true these days, but if you are diligent about your spending and tracking you can minimize your income tax and actually make it $0. Yes, it is possible. You just need to play with the numbers in a tax calculator to see that there are scenarios that yield $0 income tax with high salaries.

Check out my free tax calculator below.

[tax calculator spreadsheet updated for 2018 new tax law

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Money may not grow on trees, but we can still wish, can’t we? Man has been searching for value from nothing for ages and has, as of yet, not been able to find one. My Ethereum miner comes about as close to it as is possible.

The Absurd but True

“If you think no one cares about you, try missing a couple of payments.”

The credit card companies want you to miss payments. If you are diligent and actually pay your full balance every month, the credit card companies don’t make any money off of you. They “care” so much about you to slap on some extra fees. Never forget, they are always watching.

“Banks will only loan you money if you can prove you don’t need it.”

Those people with low credit scores are the ones that probably need a loan to help out, but are not going to be given one with reasonable interest rates. If you can, however, prove that you have great credit and things that can be laid down as collateral, then loans are abundant.

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Basically, if you are not paying attention to where your money is going, then it will quickly depart your possession on the latest widget or whatchamacallit. Spending is easy and is what society has geared us up for, so we need to return to our frugal nature to avoid this truism.

“Retail is details.”

Which stores do you prefer to peruse around? Chances are its not Wal-mart, but something that is better laid out. If you sell “high-end” products you have to also provide a high-end storefront to prove the value of your products. Just look to Apple to see what I mean.

“I need more money.”

Don’t we all? There is a point where we reach enough, though, and that is the point where we don’t truly need more money anymore. More money gives us more security but does not do anything anymore for our happiness which is most important.

The Ridiculous

“Supply creates its own demand.”

This is a highly simplified and somewhat misleading version of Say’s Law, named for French economist Jean-Baptiste Say. Basically, it is only through the production of valuable goods and services that there can be the means to demand the same. Production creates the wealth necessary for consumption.

“There are no perfect solutions — there are only trade-offs.”

Perfection is not achievable anyways, so don’t even worry about it. Follow the Pareto principle and shoot for 80%. Trump may have put it this way: “the art of the deal”, but it could just as well have been: “the art of the trade-off.” Trade-offs are what we do to reach the best practical solution to all of life’s problems.

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but I will take a free lunch in exchange for a talk anytime. Things are not given away for free without strings attached. The only things that I know of that are given away for free with no strings attached is free-open-source-software, though even this still has a string attached in the form of the ridiculous licensing language of the GPL or MIT license. In the end, nothing is truly free with no hidden agendas behind them.

“No thing is just one thing.”

This is similar to the double-entry accounting principle. Things do not get created from nothing, but must be created from something prior to it. To the creator, it is one thing (ie a product), and to the consumer, it is a cool cell phone. Or another example, to you it is income and to your employer, it is an expense.

“Scarcity is a fact.”

Scarcity simply means that there is a limit on something’s supply. For the longest time, we treated oil as if it was not scarce. Sometimes we still do, but it will eventually run out because our consumption is larger than its creation. Everything has limits, and we would do quite well to remember that and live within our means.


From basic economics, the marginal benefit must be larger than marginal cost. In other words, if the benefit you get from making another widget is not greater than the cost incurred to make it, you are better off focusing your efforts elsewhere. If however, you are passionate and do not care about money (ie financially independent) then you can work on whatever you choose despite this rule of economics.

“An economist is a guy who thinks he knows more about money than those of us who have it.”

Attributed to financier Bernard Baruch, it is interesting that most economists spend their lives analyzing the markets and telling the rest of us how it works, yet they never learn how to make significant sums from it.

“All costs get covered. It’s just a matter of whose covering them.”

Like the saying above, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”, here everything has a cost. It is very true. Free services are great, but you are probably paying for them through higher than needed taxes. Many times it is more efficient for you to pay for the service yourself than to pay for it indirectly through taxation.

Cash Is King

“Cash is fungible.”

It basically means dollar bills (or euros, ounces of gold, or BTC and fractions thereof) are perfectly replaceable by others of the same “species.” This is the whole reason money came about in the first place. We can pay someone else with money from our productivity without having to trade our specialty for theirs. Cash/money makes everybody compatible with transactions.

“If you love somebody, give them cash.”

The universal gift. We all appreciate a little extra cash to help us on our way!

“I don’t love money; I love the things money can buy.”

Money is great, but it is not the end goal. The end goal of money is freedom from the need to worry about money. Since you can either have time or money, not both at the same time, you have to choose. And without time, you never have any chance to enjoy the money you traded your time for.


All of the above sayings represent how various people view money and their personal relationships with money. Despite our desire to have or not to have a relationship with money, we cannot avoid it in this lifetime. Money is the lifeblood of the economy and is what facilitates trading for different goods and services around the world.

Take a moment to envision a world without money. Can you do it?

I can’t. Money has become such an integral part of society that we cannot get on without it.

To that end, we need to appreciate where money has brought us and where it can take us to. The sayings above show us the breadth of opinions on money, so take them all to heart and make your life with money better.

What are your favorite money sayings? Please share them in the comments below.

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  1. Love all money collection quotes!
    I love this one so much ““An economist is a guy who thinks he knows more about money than those of us who have it.”” But not understanding ““MB>MC.””, can you explain me, please?

  2. Excellent blog! Do you have any helpful hints for
    aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website
    soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any suggestions? Bless you!
    Erna recently posted…ErnaMy Profile

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The ultimate collection of money, economics, and personal finance quotes to get you thinking about your money.