A collection of popular sayings and quotes about money that will guide you towards financial freedom. These personal finance quotes highlight the importance of saving, budgeting, careful investing and living a frugal and fulfilling life.
1. “I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy.” –Warren Buffett
I personally apply this quote to guide my stock market investments because it encourages you to be wary of stock market bubbles. The rule of thumb is to buy shares when the prices are low (when others are fearful and frantically selling stocks, which lowers prices) and the sell shares when prices are high (when others a greedy and frantically buying shares, which pushes the prices higher).
2. “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
Complacency can lead to the deterioration of one’s personal finances, health, career and even relationships and this saying highlights how we only realize how important it is to make financial plans for the future before it is too late. For instance, we may only realize that living paycheck to paycheck is dangerous when we get laid off, or realize the importance of having an emergency fund when we face an unexpected medical bill or car expense.
3. “The Stock Market is designed to transfer money from the Active to the Patient.” –Warren Buffett
Research has shown that it is futile to try and time the market through constant buying and selling (in other words, being active) because it is mostly a matter or luck. A better way to make money in the stock market is to look for a few good companies and buy their stocks for the long-term. By reducing the number of times you trade in the market (in other words, being patient), your commission expense will be lower. Alternatively, invest in a hedge fund and patiently hold on to it because research shows that hedge funds outperform mutual funds in the long run.
4. “Never spend your money before you have it.” –Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson’s quote espouses the notion that debt should be avoided at all costs. To me, the logic behind staying debt free is simple – interest payments force you to lose money over time, hollowing out your bank balance as you make monthly payments to repay the debt. This is especially true for mortgages where most of the money you pay according to the installment plan ends up covering interest expenses for the first several years, instead of the principal loan amount. If we consider high-interest debt, such as credit card debt, the impact of interest rates is worse because your debt multiplies quickly each month you do not pay the credit card bill in full. Considering all this, it is simply better to save money for things you wish to buy and pay the full amount in cash. If you must use credit cards, avoid using them if you do not have money to repay the bill before interest charges add up to your debt.
5a. “Save money and money will save you.” Jamaican proverb
Being able to save money is probably the most vital personal finance skill we need to reach financial independence, yet many people do not save enough. When we learn to save sufficiently from our income and meet our savings goals, we can save up for emergency funds, retirement, education goals and also use that money to make investments that will earn more money for us. The truth is, you cannot achieve financial freedom if you do not save money, and that money, will in turn, save you when you face an unexpected expense, find yourself job less or in debt. Speaking of debt, saving money regularly can also help you avoid the need for debt altogether. When you can pay in cash for everything you need, you don’t need to rely on borrowed money at all.
5b. “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Benjamin Franklin
This quote ties in the to previous one about the virtues of savings, in that the money we save can help us earn more money if we invest it in shares or a business that helps us earn passive income.
6. “If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” Warren Buffett
This quote is great investment advice because it puts an end to speculative stock trading and encourages investors to investigate their stock choices thoroughly before buying shares in a company. Warren Buffet is also known to have said that he buys shares on the assumption that the market will close for the next ten years as of tomorrow, which means he only chooses companies that are bound to give his a high capital gain (profit) in the long run.
7. “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” Jonathan Swift
It’s human nature to get caught up in the rat race, whether it’s due to a desire to amass wealth or due to a fear of being poor and helpless. No doubt, money is important for survival and healthy living, but there’s a limit to how much impossible we ought to give to the idea of earning and saving as much money as possible. An old tale my mother once heard from a yogi elaborates this quote well. I’ll paraphrase.
“The value of money to us all is like the value of water to a boat sailing in the ocean. Too little water prevents the boat from sailing but too much water will drown it.”
When money takes over our hearts, we are bound to lose sight of what makes us human.
8. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin
A good education is the foundation of a good life, and this includes formal as well as informal education, which you receive at home or pursue on your own outside the schooling system. While this directly relates to personal finance in the sense that greater awareness about financial tools and opportunities leads to better financial management, which, in turn, moves you towards financial independence, it also relates to your general well-being.
My grandfather, a passionate academician, when asked by my mother about how she can secure the future of her young children in a world of uncertainties, promptly replied, ‘Get them a good education and they will be able to take care of themselves regardless of what situation life puts them in.’ That independence and resilience to move ahead in the toughest of times to make a life for yourself, is the ‘interest’ that knowledge pays, in the context of this quote. Of course, it is possible to make a mark in life without education too, as many people have proved, but it’s a lot harder without the stepping stone offered by ‘an investment in knowledge’.
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” Dave Ramsey
9. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Warren Buffet
This quote, I feel, differentiates between needs and wants in the sense that something that offers greater value to you, is a need, such as food or a house. Knowing the true value of a product also helps determine if the price is worth the purchase, especially when it comes to buying items that fall into the “luxuries” categories where the price premium often does not justify the value of the item. Branded perfumes and high-end mobile phones often fall into this group.
- “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffet
We end this article with another quote by Warren Buffet that simply highlights the importance of continuous hard work. There are no shortcuts to getting rich, with the exception of inheriting a fortune, of course, or winning the lottery. It takes years of determination and grit to accumulate money through savings and investments to supplement your regular income in order to amass wealth. Layer upon layer upon layer, as I once heard.
Make today the day you start this journey, if you aren’t already on it.