“Money can’t buy happiness” and “a penny saved is a penny earned” — two well-known quotes about money. But these aren’t the only sayings that have shaped our attitudes toward money or given us a new perspective about the almighty dollar. Each of us can probably recite a handful of famous money quotes off the top of our heads; however, on first glance, some of the best quotes about money don’t directly relate to finances.
Here are 15 famous quotes you never knew could change your perspective on personal finance.
1. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Do wealthy friends make you feel inferior? They might earn more, drive more expensive cars and live in nicer neighborhoods, but this doesn’t mean they’re better than you. There will always be someone in your circle with a bigger bank account, and because of egos or their own self-confidence issues, these people might look down on those who earn less. However, you’re responsible for your own self worth — and financial priorities — so don’t give others the power to make you feel inferior.
2. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
We live in a materialistic world where more is better, and people are willing to go into debt to achieve a certain lifestyle. You have a choice: You can either buy into the hype and spend your life keeping up with the Joneses, or you can go against the norm and live a simple life — a life you can comfortably afford.
3. What does not kill me makes me stronger. ― Friedrich Nietzsch
Most of us will experience at least one major hardship or obstacle in our lifetime — and sometimes, these hardships involve our money. A job loss, illness or divorce can send your finances on a downward spiral, to the point where you lose your savings, car or even home. It might feel as if you’ve hit rock-bottom, but these experiences build character — and if you use them as lessons, you can improve your financial habits as well.
4. Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be. ― Abraham Lincoln
This one might or might not have actually been said by Lincoln, but its meaning is valuable, nonetheless: We hold the keys to our own happiness. Some people think they’ll be happy once they have a high-paying job, buy a house or save a certain amount in their bank account. But if you’re miserable without these, reaching a milestone isn’t going to automatically bring happiness. Stop reserving happiness for the future and live in the moment — as long as it doesn’t harm your finances.
5. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. ― Theodore Roosevelt
Maybe you’re struggling with debt or have difficulty making ends meet each month. Earning a higher income might be the solution to your problems. But if your resources are limited, you have to accept the situation for what it is, and work with what you have. It might take longer to pay off debt, but this doesn’t mean you won’t reach this goal.
6. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default. ― J.K. Rowling
Don’t suppress your entrepreneurial spirit. Fear of failure is paralyzing and could keep you stuck in a dead-end job. If you’re tired of the 9-to-5 grind and ready to control your income, trust your abilities and ideas, and invest in yourself. You might surprise yourself and succeed.
7. Reality continues to ruin my life. ― Bill Watterson
As children, most of us daydreamed about our future lives as adults — and it was usually a fantastic dream. We had the perfect job, a beautiful home and plenty of money to enjoy life. But then we grew up and realized that the fabulous life depicted in movies is much harder to achieve. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t enjoy your life and afford it; you just need to be smart with your money.
8. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ― Confucius
Some people pick a career based on how much they can earn. This job might provide the income they need to live a so-called “good life,” but they might also sacrifice a lot to reach the top or deal with more headaches than the average worker. Money is important — but it’s not everything.
9. I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone. ― Bill Cosby
Between financial peer pressure and toxic friends who thrive on being overly competitive, you can get caught in an ongoing battle proving your success to others. And the attitudes of friends might rub off on you — such as measuring success by the size of a bank account. You have the power to think otherwise. Live your life and do what makes you happy.
10. The most important thing is to enjoy your life — to be happy — it’s all that matters. ― Audrey Hepburn
Yes, we need money, but it’s not the most important thing in life. Most people are at their happiest when spending time with family and friends.
Also read: Saving vs. Earning: The Rich Dad Perspective
11. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times. ― Paulo Coelho
You’re going to get knocked down financially — it’s inevitable. The secret is picking yourself up, learning from your mistakes and making better money decisions in the future.
12. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ― Oprah Winfrey
Some people put too much emphasis on what they don’t have and forget to enjoy what they do. You might not have extra money for shopping or vacations, but if you’re able to pay your bills and put a roof over your head, you’re better off than many people across the globe.
13. We need much less than we think we need. ― Maya Angelou
Living beneath your means — maybe even trying a fiscal fast — might seem restrictive, but you could be a lot happier by trying it. You’ll have fewer financial obligations, less debt and more money to enjoy life. You might even come to the realization that you can have less and be just as content.
Read more: Maya Angelou’s Legacy of Financial Wisdom
14. You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ― John Bunyan
Research proves that there’s more happiness in giving than receiving. Give a donation to an organization, or offer support to someone going through a tough time. It’ll put a smile on their face and yours.
Donating to charity can also be fairly easy and painless; for example, some checking products help you support causes just by using the account.
15. The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you. ― Bette Midler
You can move up the corporate ladder honestly and after years of hard work, but not everyone in your circle will applaud your success, especially if this means an upgrade to your lifestyle or salary. The best course of action? Stop trying to seek others’ approval and be content with a bank account that will support you and your family.