25 Best Money Quotes and the Lessons They Teach

The best quotes inspire and motivate us. They share little nuggets of wisdom in a few words and get us to think in ways we wouldn’t have otherwise.

From a quick laugh to a mindset shift, quotes may also be the nudge we need to make the changes we want to see in our lives.

In the hopes of inspiring, motivating, and encouraging, we’re sharing the best money quotes and their lessons.

25 Best Money Quotes

1. It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for – Robert Kiyosaki

Did you know that a significant portion of people who make over $100,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck? Or that 70% of wealthy families lose their money by the next generation?

Having or making money isn’t the key; it’s keeping it through living within your means and intelligent investments.

2. Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs. – Zig Ziglar

This quote is more of a metaphor than a literal quote. People with money watch TV, and many who have less read. The point here is that people who build wealth tend to invest more time in learning and bettering themselves than those who remain in the same place. While you may not get rich, those who continue to build skills and learn have a much better shot at improving their financial situation.

3. Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. – Epictetus

We’ve all heard the phrase “Money can’t buy happiness,” and this quote is another way of expressing the same sentiment. True wealth isn’t based on the amount of money one has, but on the degree to which they are fulfilled and happy with their life. If you have everything you want, even if it’s not much, you’re likely happier than the wealthiest person who constantly needs more.

4. Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You don’t want to dig a big hole that you will have trouble getting out of if you can avoid it. As with most things in life, it’s best to take care of your money before you’ve lost all of it. Otherwise, it’s going to take more time to crawl out of the hole. Similarly, you want to make sure you’re filling your time wisely and not waiting until you’re nearly out. Unlike money, time has a limit and is not a hole you can dig out of.

5. It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy. – George Lorimer

Money can buy security and many things that make us happy, but money can’t buy everything, and having more of it won’t necessarily fulfill you. Thus, this quote encourages us to make sure we don’t lose sight of the other important things in life during our pursuit of money.

6. Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. – Ayn Rand

It’s no secret that having more money opens doors and allows you more freedom to do what you want. But as this quote suggests, money cannot do everything for you. You are the driver at all times, and money is just the vehicle.

7. How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case. – Robert G. Allen

Especially in today’s world, simply saving money isn’t going to build you wealth. Those who have become wealthy do so through investing and multiple income streams. You must make your money work for you to begin making more money with minimal effort. If you only trade time for money, time will always win.

8. He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Losing money can make you feel as if it’s the end of the world, but the reality is there are far more important things in life. Losing the ones you love is a far harder blow to take, and those who lose their desire for life may lose their own. Losing money is difficult but remember that you can always earn more whereas you can’t replace a life.

9. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin

Investing in things like the stock market and real estate will typically provide you good returns, but you first need the knowledge and skill to successfully make those investments. Plus, the more you know and the more skills you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to make money and wisely invest so that your money works for you.

10. The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. – Anonymous

What are your core values, beliefs, personality, and skills? What would be left if everything was gone and you had to start over? Money mustn’t define you as a person, but rather, you have a solid foundation to add money and wealth.

11. Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. – Carl Sandburg

Time is a finite commodity. Each of us only has a little, and no matter how much money we acquire, we’ll never be able to buy more time. Thus, make sure you’re spending your time wisely along with your other pursuits.

12. Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant. – P.T. Barnum

You must have money to live, but you don’t want to live for money. Too many become consumed with making more money that they neglect the other areas of their life, including family and health. Ensure that your money works for you and not the other way around.

13. I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson

They say luck is when preparation and opportunity meet. Thus, this quote says that the more you work and grow, the more opportunities will present themselves.

14. Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value. – Joe Biden

We can say anything we like, but do we put our money where our mouth is? Where you choose to spend your money is very telling for what you most value in life. Do you spend your money on experiences or things, investing or spending, giving or taking? What you spend money on says more than you ever could with words.

15. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill

Many are focused on what they can get from life and how much money they can make, but at a certain point, your mindset should focus on what good you can do through giving. Can you make money using your skills to improve the world? If you have more than enough, can you give to someone who doesn’t have enough? The people we remember most are those who did the most for the world and others, not the richest.

16. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. – Mark Twain

Everyone has regrets in life, but you want to try and not make a habit of regretting. It’s necessary to take a few calculated risks in life and fulfill some bucket list items. Think about the things you want out of life or to do in life and then make it a priority to accomplish them.

17. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon

It’s the rare individual that has everything handed to them in life, and even if they do have things given to them early in life, some effort will be required to keep it. It’s also true that some have fewer roadblocks to overcome, but no matter your lot in life, you won’t be able to keep what you have or attain more without working at it.

18. If plan A fails, remember there are 25 more letters. – Chris Guillebeau

Perseverance is one of the most important skills to develop if you want to succeed. We often see the result and not the years and years of work, setbacks, and failures. Famous, rich, and successful people are often the final product, not the journey to get there. If something doesn’t work out, change course but don’t give up entirely.

19. The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient. – Warren Buffett

While there are active traders who make money, the vast majority of those who build wealth through the Stock Market make solid investments and hold them. Especially with index funds and other broad market investments, those who buy and hold through the ups and downs will almost always come out on top. Remember, you only lose money in the market if you sell during a downturn.

20. It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Although it takes the same amount of energy to wish as it does to plan, neither will yield results if the plan isn’t put into action. However, having a plan for accomplishing your goals is a great way to help you stay focused and motivated.

21. The four most expensive words in the English language are, “This time it’s different.” – Sir John Templeton

Part of being smart and successful is knowing when to quit. Not quit altogether, but move on from a venture that isn’t working out. Lots of money has been wasted on things that aren’t working out until you’ve run out of money and yourself into the ground. Know when to quit a pivot to something else.

22. No wealth can ever make a bad man at peace with himself. – Plato

We don’t want to build wealth at the expense of others or through any means that harm others. No matter how much money you make, that success will never erase the harm caused, and thus it’s better to be a little less successful and be at peace.

23. Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn

Again, the more skills you have and the more you learn, the more likely you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities. You may learn the basic skills to have a successful career in school, but it’s only through educating yourself about investing and building wealth that you’ll be able to take the money from your career and turn it into more.

24. You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you. – Dave Ramsey

I’m not a huge Dave Ramsey fan, but this quote does convey an important message. If you don’t control where your money is going, then you’ll be forever chasing your money instead of putting it where you want it to go. Liabilities mean you must allocate your money to those things, whereas fewer liabilities mean you have more choice over where your money is spent.

25. Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. – William A. Ward

Our world is fast-paced, and there are a lot of impulses involved in our decisions. However, the common thread of success is to take your time and carefully consider your decisions before making them. Make sure you aren’t putting the cart before the horse.

Moral of the Story

The above money quotes offer bite-sized nuggets of wisdom for how to think about money and use it in our lives. Hopefully, these money quotes inspired you, made you think, or at the very least, made you chuckle.

Which of these money quotes stood out the most to you?


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Tawnya is an elementary special education teacher by day and co-blogger at Money Saved is Money Earned by night.

She holds an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University and an MS in Special Education from Portland State University. She has had a pretty successful writing career, first as a writing tutor at the Oregon State University Writing Center, and in recent years, as a freelance writer.

Tawnya and co-blogger Sebastian have a wealth of knowledge and information about personal finance, retirement, student loans, credit cards, and many other financial topics. They teach people how to save money, make money, and understand money.