Personal Finance Quotes
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I decided to start collecting personal finance quotes and quotes about life in general that I think can be useful to people on their personal finance journey. I plan to keep adding to this page as I come across useful quotes to add to my collection. After each quote, I will make some comments about where I heard the quote and how this can help inspire penny pinching.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor." Seneca
This quote really covers the ideals of living a frugal lifestyle pretty well. Some people who have a lot of wealth choose to live simply, spending little money and having few possessions. Many people who have adopted simpler lifestyles report that they are happier living with less. The difference between what you have and what you want is a big factor in happiness, more so than how much stuff you have...
Seneca was a Roman philosopher who lived from 4 BC to 65 AD. Clearly, people have been thinking about possessions and happiness for a long time!
"You loan your friend your money, you gonna lose your money and your friend." Buddy Guy
Buddy Guy is a legendary American Blues musician. I heard this quote from him during an interview on NPR. He said he has a sign in his club with this quote on it. Sounds like great advice to me! Speaking of great advice, here's some advice from someone who has a lot of success following simple principles:
"It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results." Warren Buffett
This quote seems to apply to a lot of advice on saving money- it does not really take extraordinary effort. If you work at it, you can find ways to cut expenses and end up with a little extra money to invest every month. The extraordinary part is the results- even someone with a modest income can become a millionaire over time. If you could save $500 per month from your budget every month and invest it, you would be a millionaire after 33 years with a historical average return from stock market investment.
"Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." Warren Buffett
Another one from Warren Buffett. Obviously he is talking about the power of growth over time for investments. The sooner you can start investing, the more time you have to benefit from growth, and maybe you will have plenty of time in the future to relax in the shade of a tree and not worry about money.
"Life is full of contradictions and strange things." Yossi Kuperwasser
I heard this one on a news story about strange alliances in the Middle East. The guy being interviewed, an Israeli Defense expert, was speaking with a very heavy accent, and the reporter asked him a question in English. He responded with this quote, which I think is great. I figured it was a famous quote and tried to look it up, but apparently he came up with this on the spot. Impressive.
One example of a contradiction that comes to mind for me- breaking my budget and buying a very expensive puppy a couple years ago. As a result unplanned expense, I started writing about ways to save money- and I have made many times more money from my blog and books than the cost of the puppy!
"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it." Ellen Goodman
I think this quote describes life for a lot of people. Why do you need the car- to get to work. Why do you need to work- to pay for the car... The good news is that if you do things right, eventually you can pay for the house and the car and even have time to do what you want.
"Well done is better than well said." Benjamin Franklin
This is well said... Ben did a lot of things well too. I don't need to add anything to this one.
"The future depends on what you do today."
I don't know if Gandhi was thinking about personal finance when he said this, but it certainly applies to taking control of your budget and achieving financial independence!
"When life gives you lemons, take them. Free stuff is awesome!" Dr. Penny Pincher
Of course I had to put in some of my own quotes.... The example above of turning an unplanned expense into the inspiration to make extra money is a good example of taking the free lemons. What else can you do?
"The easiest way to get money is to spend less." Dr. Penny Pincher
Maybe 2,000 years from now people will be quoting this... I think it is true that the easiest way to get more money is to cut spending. Most people can easily identify expenses they can cut and immediately have more money in their pocket. The downside of getting money by spending less it that there is a limit to how much less you can spend. I said it was the easiest way to make money, not the way to make a lot of money.
That being said, even a little extra money can add up to big money over time. If you can cut your spending and invest a little money very month instead of spending it, you could end up with real wealth. Here is an investment calculator you can use to see how long it would take to reach your goal if you can find a little money to invest every month.
"Most people drink bad coffee, and pay too much for it. I'm not sure which is worse..." Dr. Penny Pincher
I could go on for a long time about how to make great, world-class coffee really cheap at home. In fact, I have even written a book about this! We all know you could improve your financial situation by saving the money you would normally spend on coffee. I don't mind spending 60 cents a day to get a cup of really good coffee that I make at home. Buying coffee at a coffee shop is expensive enough that I almost always avoid this- plus I can make better coffee at home. Buying expensive BAD coffee at a convenience store or fast food place is the worst case scenario...