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Quotations about Money


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Time flies, but not so fast as money. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1907, George Horace Lorimer, editor


True sterling happiness and joy
Are not with gold allied;
Nor can it yield a pleasure like
A merry fireside...
~J.J. Reynolds, "A World of Love at Home," in The New Monthly Belle Assemblée, October 1844


Old Philpot: I instill'd good principles into thee.
George Philpot: So you did, Sir— (aside) Principal and interest is all I ever heard from him...
~Arthur Murphy, The Citizen, c.1760


The man of the constitutional régime is not a merry-maker, quite the contrary. He is hypocritical, avaricious, and profoundly selfish; whatever question strikes against his brow, his brow rings like a drawer full of big pennies. ~Claude Tillier (1801–1844), My Uncle Benjamin: A Humorous, Satirical, and Philosophical Novel, 1843, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1890


There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)


This disparity in living standards between the rich and the poor is as great a threat to peace as the arms race, and narrowing the gap is as imperative as arms control. ~Adlai Stevenson, in LIFE, "Eloquent Guides to America's National Purpose," 1960


Car sickness is the feeling some persons get when each month's installment comes due. ~The Speaker's Book of Illustrations by Herbert V. Prochnow, 1960


Small vices make the big leaks in modern incomes. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


When your outgo exceeds your income your upkeep is your downfall. ~Author unknown, c.1945  [barrypopik.com]


MONEY  A disease of very peculiar symptoms. Those who have it seem to have no complaint at all and those who don't have it, have a great deal. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914


Money is like water: in sufficient volume, it erodes the bedrock of principle, and cuts its own channel. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, lumpenbangenpiano.com


"I'm opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position."
"You'd take it?"
"I would leave the funeral of my dearest enemy to go and assume its burdens and responsibilities."
~Mark Twain, The American Claimant


Though a man be worth millions, he can enjoy no more of life's blessings than his necessities require; any accumulation of wealth beyond these partake of theft from God and his fellowman. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money either. ~Robert Graves, c.1950s


How to get RICH? 1st, make more; 2nd, spend less. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague


The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money. ~Author unknown


A fool and his money are very attached. ~Student at Brookside School, Long Island, 1966, completing the first part of the proverb as given by Candid Camera, CBS


Money is a needful and precious thing—and, when well used, a noble thing—but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace. ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, "Meg Goes to Vanity Fair," 1868


There are no pockets in a shroud. ~Author unknown


When the biggest, richest, glassiest buildings in town are the banks, you know that town's in trouble. ~Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989


Take care of the pennies and the safe deposit companies will take care of everything else. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Why is it a penny for your thoughts but you have to put your two cents in? Somebody's making a penny. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com


This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. ~Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


I would fulfill my wildest dream of material possessions, that I might hear my soul wailing through marble halls. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


The "line of beauty" is a curve something like the letter S, but it attracts more attention when it has a parallel line drawn through it, thus—$. ~Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


One of the joys of wealth is the right to preach the virtues of poverty. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


A modern miracle is the building of a house within the original estimates. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor


In spite of spelling reform, success still ends in $$. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


A full purse makes disagreeable men, and even knaves, tolerable in society. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


A good story is being told of a prominent credit man for a New York hat house which runs thus:  A Philadelphia magazine having offered a prize for the best answer to the question "Which are the four sweetest words in the English language?" our friend the credit man secured the prize by sending in a slip on which he wrote these words: "Enclosed please find check." ~The American Hatter, 1903


I love to get letters
But the sweetest, by heck,
Are the ones that begin with:
"Inclosed please find check."
~Milwaukee Sentinel, 1906


"Inclosed find check!" The sweetest words that e'er outclassed the song of birds!... When sad and tired and short of kale, a letter comes by morning mail... The sun is once more cutting hay, the gloomy clouds are blown away, the world is glad that was a wreck, changed by the words, "Inclosed find check." ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "Sweetest Words"


Riches may not bring happiness but they enable one to send a carriage for it. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


BORROW  to swap hot air for cold coin. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904


A banknote's beauty depends upon its figure. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


I will scourge the money-changers out of the temples of my life. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921


The difference between necessities and luxuries is generally measured by the pocketbook. ~Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897


Gold is the color that predominates throughout the pages of all history. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951


Gold.— Dead earth, for which many men sacrifice life and lose heaven. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824


Stan, don't you know the first law of physics? Anything that's fun costs at least eight dollars. ~South Park, "Trapped in the Closet," 2005, written by Trey Parker & Kenny Hotz  [S9, E12—tg]


PHILANTHROPIST  One who returns to the people publicly a small percentage of the wealth he steals from them privately. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904


Always borrow money from a pessimist — he doesn't expect to be paid back. ~Author unknown


If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. ~Author unknown


Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer. ~Author unknown


Of all the divers brands of joy that make our journey sunny, of all the bliss without alloy, there's none like spending money. It's well to put away a wad, against the rainy weather; it's well, when hard times are abroad, to have some coins together. But when you've salted down a roll of sesterces and talents, then, to invigorate your soul, go out and blow the balance. Don't let the saving habit grow, until you are a miser; salt down a part, a portion blow—that policy's the wiser. I like to toddle to the bank and put some bones in pickle; I like to save, but I'm no crank on saving every nickel. I like to take the extra plunk, and to the mart go flying, and buy a lot of useless junk, just for the sake of buying. ~Walt Mason


When a feller says, "It hain't th' money but th' principle o' th' thing," it's th' money. ~Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard, The Indianapolis News and Abe Martin's Sayings and Velma's Vow, 1916


Your friend lends and your enemy asks payment. ~Dutch Proverb


You have to be clever to live within your income, but you must be cleverer to live without it. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1909, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Never buy a what you do not want, because it is cheap... ~Thomas Jefferson, 1825


Count often the probable days of your life, and more seldom will you count your dollars and cents. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882  [Could be a great retirement savings advert. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Wall Street is a very small thoroughfare, but it is not a straight and narrow path. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


And that brings us back to this graph and this distribution of our life. I accumulated a lot of money when I think about it. When you think and you say, now is the time to give back — well, if you're giving back, you took too much.... [M]y financial advisor in New York, he says, look, you're a silly guy because you would have 4.1 times more money today if you had made money with money instead of sharing as you go. But I like sharing as you go better. ~Ricardo Semler, "How to run a company with (almost) no rules," TEDGlobal, October 2014


TIPS  Wages we pay other people's hired help. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904


Sermons on the dangers of wealth are not intended to discourage the collection plate. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Aunt Betsey made a bad bargain when she exchanged her girlish aspirations for a man whose soul was in his pocket. ~Louisa May Alcott, "Christie," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873


The three greatest BLESSINGS in this life are a clear conscience, a devoted wife and a little ready money. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague


Money that is obtained without effort is spent without conscience. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, lumpenbangenpiano.com


I am having an out-of-money experience. ~Author unknown


Extravagance is your neighbor's method of spending money. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


The world turns on a dime, the same now as it always has — which is to say, money makes the world go 'round. It's also what makes the world go spinning out of control. ~Joe Murray, "History updates current events," Spartanburg Herald-Journal, May 10th 1992


[T]his country is bigger than Wall Street, and if they don't believe it, I show 'em the map. ~Will Rogers, 1929


Blind is he as any Bat that flitters
Who can only see the Thing that Glitters.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Wealth," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


The little money I have — that is my wealth, but the things I have for which I would not take money, that is my treasure. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
We bargain for the graves we lie in;
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold...
'T is heaven alone that is given away,
'T is only God may be had for the asking;
There is no price set on the lavish summer,
And June may be had by the poorest comer.
~James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal


There's more fun running after the dollar than sitting on it. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


A penny sav'd, is a penny got— He that hath money in his purse won't want a head on his shoulders. Rome was not built in a day— Fortunes are made by degrees— Pains to get, care to keep, and fear to lose— He that lies in bed, his estate feels it. The old curmudgeon thinks nothing mean that brings in an honest penny. Love your neighbour, but don't pull down your hedge. Friendship has nothing to do with trade. Charity begins at home. A fool and his money are soon parted. Too many eggs in one basket... ~Arthur Murphy, The Citizen, c.1760  [a little altered; a fun little collage of sayings, thought I to myself — of course, it's funnier in the play, where they're said singly amongst the older Philpot's egotistical remarks —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Any fool can spend money; some fools can make it; but the fool who can make and keep it cheats folly and becomes wise. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906


I wonder now if you ever remember...
Whether your June is all turned to December...
Gone are those winters of chats and of dances...
Gone the aroma of life's young romances...
Ah! well enough, as you dance on in joyance...
Fashion and riches will mask much annoyance...
~Christopher Pearse Cranch, "Marion Dale"


OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The other are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February. ~Mark Twain


If I had her money, I'd be richer than she is. ~From the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote, spoken by the character Holly Golightly


Few are aware that they want any thing, except pounds schillings and pence. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


...he that wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends... ~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, c.1599  [III, 2, Corin]


A little satisfies the poor, while the rich never cease their longings. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


How quickly nature falls into revolt
When gold becomes her object!
For this the foolish over-careful fathers
Have broke their sleep with thoughts,
Their brains with care, their bones with industry...
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, c.1597  [IV, 5, Henry IV]


Sometimes I think that all mankind
     exist but to be bought and sold:
The rich man's paramour is gold,
     the poor man's goddess, gold, gold, gold.
~Frederic Ridgely Torrence, The House of a Hundred Lights: A Psalm of Experience After Reading a Couplet of Bidpai, 1899


Save the pennies and the dollars will not have to be broken for street-car fares. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


The Millionaire is Needy, I am not;
For I need Nothing while he needs a Lot.
Shall he be held the Richer of the Two
Whose Wealth is great — or he whose Wants are few?
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Wealth," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


Foul-cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,
But gold that's put to use more gold begets.
~William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis


A dollar picked up in the road is more satisfaction to you than the ninety and nine which you had to work for, and money won at faro or in stocks snuggles into your heart in the same way. ~Mark Twain (at Bayreuth)


A penny saved is an example to the other ninety-nine cents. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor


It is natural that affluence should be followed by influence. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


He never clipped a coupon for he never owned a stock;
He never had a bank account—not even in a sock;
He never was mistaken for a putter-by of wealth—
His int'rest came in sunshine and his dividends in health.
~Author unknown, "The Happy Investor," 1914


I hire everything. I hire water, heat, light. I hire tea by the teabag. I've lived here for ten years now and nothing is mine. ~Martin Amis, Money: A Suicide Note, 1984


Life Insurance is a legalized Hold-up at the point of a premium, "Your money for your Life." ~Gideon Wurdz (Charles Wayland Towne), Foolish Finance, 1905


Wallets are the fabricated items into which we put our fabricated money, which most people believe to be their possession of the realest value. ~Terri Guillemets


If all the economists in this country were laid end to end, they would never reach a conclusion. ~Author unknown


No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has. ~Henry Ward Beecher


Ninety nine is a famous number
For at the market the seller knows
In our minds it's so much softer
Than its bigger brother the dollar!
~Terri Guillemets, "99¢"


Nature gives the poor an appetite that they may like what they eat. The rich do not need one as they can eat what they like. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


By the time I have money to burn, my fire will have burnt out. ~Author unknown


Money talks — but the lack of it is a good grumbler. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


When money talks it often merely remarks "Good-by." ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Money is a headache, and money is the cure. ~Terri Guillemets



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