How to Think About Money: Quotes From Famous People on Money

Updated on January 13, 2018
CatherineGiordano profile image

Inspirational essays and articles, with a touch of humor, are a favorite topic for Ms. Giordano, a writer and public speaker.

What can quotes from famous people teach us about money?
What can quotes from famous people teach us about money? | Source

Does Money Make the World Go Round?

Have you heard the song, “Money,” from the movie Cabaret? It begins “Money makes the world go around.” I can’t argue with that.

Nonetheless, this essay is more about attitudes towards money or thoughts about money than it is about literally making money.

Here are some some quotes by famous people about money. It’s a mixed bag of wisdom, wit, inspiration, and cynicism.

Is Money the Most Important Thing?

This is a trick question because in today’s world, it is hard to have the important things if you don’t have money. Food and shelter are among our most basic needs. It takes money to have adequate food and shelter.

Good health is very important also. However, it takes money to have good health because it is dependent upon a nutritious diet and the ability to access health care when you need it. These things cost money.

Money may not be the most important thing in the world, but in today’s world, it is hard to have the most important things without money.

Henrik Ibsen: Playwright

"Money may be the husk of many things but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintance, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness."

Zig Ziglar: Author, Motivational speaker

"Money isn't the most important thing in life, but it's reasonably close to oxygen on the "gotta have it" scale."

William Somerset Maugham: Author

"Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it."

Oscar Wilde: Writer, Poet

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."

Can Money Buy Love?

Everyone knows that love is very important also. You always hear, “Money can’t buy love.” That may be true. However, we also hear, “It is as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.” And that adage is not popular because it is advocating that a woman select a poor man for her mate. Romantic love is often based on attractiveness, and money can make someone very attractive.

I remember a joke I heard a long time ago. Two showgirls are talking. One says, “I could never find a short man attractive.” The other replies, “My man is very tall when he is standing on his money.”

Jackie Mason: Comedian

"Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money."

Katherine Hepburn: Actress

"If you’re given a choice between money and sex appeal, take the money. As you get older, the money will become your sex appeal."

People often say, “I’d rather marry for love than money” Who says it has to be an either/or choice? But if it was, which would you choose?

Can money buy love? Or happiness?
Can money buy love? Or happiness? | Source

Can Money Buy Happiness?

I don’t know if money can buy happiness, but social science researchers report that there is a correlation between how much money you have and how happy you are—up to a point.

According to a report in Forbes magazine, In the United States today, that point is around $75,000 dollars.1

It makes sense. It is hard to be happy if you don’t have enough to eat or a decent place to live. Once you reach that point, more money does not bring more happiness.

That does not mean that you cannot be happy if your income is under $75,000 a year. It just means that below $75,000 as money increases, happiness increases, but once you get above $75,000 more money does not bring more happiness.

Sometimes you will hear people say, “I’d rather be poor, but happy.” The implication is that being rich means being unhappy. Who says it has to be an either/or choice? Perhaps we can be rich and happy.

Author Unknown

"The best way for a person to have happy thoughts is to count his blessings and not his cash."

Benjamin Franklin: Author, Printer, Scientist, Inventor

"Money has never made man happy, nor will it—there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness."

Helen Gurley Brown: Magazine editor, Author

"Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort."

Spike Milligan: Comedian, Actor, Writer, Musician, Poet

"All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy."

Henry Youngman: Comedian

"What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy you money."

Is Money the Root of All Evil?

Money often is the root of all evil, but this is a misquote of a Biblical passage. The actual quote is “The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (Timothy 6:10). Some people make jokes on this theme.

George Bernard Shaw; Playwright

"Lack of money is the root of all evil."

Charles Edward Jerningham: Author of “Maxims of Marmaduke”

"We insist that money is the root of all evil, and behave as if it were the source of all good."

The love of money and the ensuing greed are at the root of many evils.
The love of money and the ensuing greed are at the root of many evils. | Source

Can Money Change People?

One reason we think there is a connection between money and evil is that people who have money are often obsessed with greed, and greed can lead to many evil things. For some people, money becomes an end in itself. Money should be seen as simply a tool. Money is a means to an end. Remember the old joke, “Whoever dies with the most stuff, wins.” Don’t play that game.

Recently some social research has shown that money can actually change a person’s personality. Some people who achieve financial success become greedy and less charitable than they were before. Money has had an evil effect on their personality. It is like money has become a drug that they are addicted to as they cry out, “More! More! I need more!” (See the TED Talk video below)

Some people have understood the poisonous effect of money long before social science proved it.

Logan Pearsall Smith: Essayist, Critic

"To suppose as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and stay sober."

D. H. Lawrence: Writer

"Money poisons you when you've got it, and starves you when you haven't."

Dorothy Parker: Author

"If I you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. "

Donald Trump: Real estate mogul, Reality show host, 45th President of the U.S.

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game."

Ted Turner: Media mogul, Founder of CNN, Philanthropist

"Life is a game. Money is how we keep score."

Please watch the video below. It will open your eyes to the effects of wealth on individuals and society.

The Science of Greed--Dr. Paul K. Piff

What Is the Secret To Making Money?

If I knew the secret, would I be sitting here writing this? However, after consulting the quotes of famous people on the topic of money, I can offer some facetious suggestions in response to this question.

1. Be born rich.

I’m reminded of the old joke. “How can I make a small fortune.” One man asks another. “Start with a large fortune,” his friend answers.

2. Be lucky.

“My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil.”~J.P. Getty: Billionaire industrialist who was named the richest man in America during his lifetime

3. Be smart.

"The safest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket.” ~ Kin Hubbard: Cartoonist, Humorist, Journalist

Should Money Be the Only Reason To Work?

Obviously, people work to earn money to have the things they want and need. But money is not the only reason to work. We also work for the personal fulfillment that comes from achievement.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 85% of people do not like their jobs. (It is 70% in America.)2 Sometimes it is better to do lower paying work, if it is the work that you love.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: 32nd President of the United States

"Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."

Barack Obama: 44th President of the United States

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled."

Are the Best Things in Life Free?

James Russell Lowell: Poet, Editor, Diplomat

"There is no price set on the lavish summer,
And June may be had by the poorest comer."

Henry David Thoreau: Author, Poet, Philosopher

"Wealth is the ability to truly experience life."

Oscar Wilde: Writer, Poet

"Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."

Author Unknown

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

Coco Chanel; Fashion designer

"There are people who have money, and there are people who are rich."

How much money is enough money? For some people, there is never enough.
How much money is enough money? For some people, there is never enough. | Source

Finally, How Much Money Is Enough Money?

Maybe those of us who have just enough money to live a comfortable life with a little left over are the lucky ones. We can enjoy life and not worry about money. And when I say "not worry about money,"{ I don’t just mean worry about not having enough money. I mean we don’t have to spend all our time making money, managing money, trying to make sure we keep all of our money.

When my son was little, he liked the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” One day, I don’t know why, he said, “Tell me the story about the boy who cried everything.” So I made up a story about a boy and his mother who were poor and then a genie in a bottle told them they could have anything they wished for. Every time the genie gave them stuff, the boy cried out, "More! More! I want more!" So they got a lot of stuff and then they needed to buy a really big house so they would a place to put their stuff. They spent more and more time taking care of their big house and all their stuff. They were always worried that someone would steal their stuff. They didn’t have time anymore to go on picnics or to do any of the fun things they used to do. They had to spend all their time looking after their stuff. So one day, they decided to give it all away and they were poor again, but they had time to go on picnics and to do all the fun things they wanted to do.

Democritus: Ancient Greek philosopher

"By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich."

Benjamin Franklin: Author, Printer, Scientist, Inventor

"The more of it [money] one has, the more one wants."

John D. Rockefeller: Billionaire business magnate, Philanthropist

[How much money is enough?] "Just a little bit more."

Just for Fun:

Do you have enough money?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Catherine Giordano

    I welcome your comments.

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      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 years ago from SW England

        Acting! That sounds really 'you' from what I can gather. You come across as very outgoing and forthright, with plenty of humour and 'get-go'. Good for you! I wish you luck with all you do and I'm looking forward to seeing you in lights someday.... We'll watch this space!

        Ann

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        annart: Thanks once again for encouraging me to produce more hubs. I hope I can get one up next week. I have started to pursue a career in acting. I just got an agent. I'm just mostly doing background work (being an extra), but I am also going on auditions for commercials. It takes a lot of time. Also, I got a job in main career, market research, and that took up an entire week. so as you see, it is always something.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 years ago from SW England

        I know what you mean, Catherine. Family has taken up a lot of my time lately (which is good!) so hubs have been neglected a little though I still have lots in the pipeline too. For once I'm organised in the run-up to Christmas but social demands are high - again, a good thing!

        Your hubs obviously take loads of research and are meticulously produced; your illustrations are always excellent too. Anyone can see how much pride you take in your work. I always enjoy what you publish.

        Ann

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        annart: Thanks so much for your comment. Remember, the statistics about how much money is needed to be happy are averages. It is possible to be happy and poor or rich and miserable. The point is if you don't know where your next meal is coming from or how you are going to pay the rent, it takes up all your mental energy and doesn't leave much room for happiness.

        I am so glad to hear that I am not forgotten. I have about 10 titles I plan to write, but life keeps getting in the way. I hope I can do a few this month. Every week I start out planning to do two hubs this week, and then I just get too busy. How did I ever do 2-3 every week for a year? Plus I spent a lot of time keeping up with hubs of the people I was following. It seems amazing to me now. I don't know how I did it. It takes me about 10 to 20 hours to produce a hub because I am usually doing a lot of research and i spend hours on the pictures.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 years ago from SW England

        I am happy because I have the people I love, to be happy with. It's true that you need a reasonable amount of money in order to eat, have shelter and live comfortably. However, I know many people who are really happy on very little. I've been poor and now I'm ok and all the better for it because I don't have to worry - that means a lot. Too much money can make for unhappiness but it depends on what you do with it. Being able to help others is one way of using it.

        I came over to your hubpage because I hadn't seen a hub from you for a while. It's good to read your work again. There is a great selection of quotes here. Oscar Wilde takes my vote every time; he had a quirky look on life!

        Hope all's well with you, Catherine.

        Ann

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Say Yes to Life: Thanks for your quotes. Especially the one about buying happiness. I love it.

      • Say Yes To Life profile image

        Yoleen Lucas 

        3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

        I like the French / Hungarian proverb; "He is rich who owes nothing."

        Here's another one I like; "Anyone who thinks money can't buy happiness just doesn't know where to shop." LOL!

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        fpherj48 (Paula): You sound like you are very sensible about money. I've been up and down the income scale myself. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub and thanks so much for voting up, sharing, pinning, and tweeting. I have felt that this hub didn't get the appreciation it merited--I think I need a different title--but maybe you have changed all that for you.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Love all the quotes. This is a fabulous hub...makes us sit up and really think!.......

        I'm so inherently attuned to incomes vs expenses.....Amt. of money vs. life style.....want vs need (as Bill mentioned) it's second nature to me to know what to do , what not to do and how to handle it.

        I've been at the really high end.....down to the lowest....just treading water and smooth sailing.....I, as a person, didn't change an iota in any way. This I am certain of because whatever my money situation was at any given time.....let me repeat.....I am programmed to live the same, be the same, eat the same, drive the same car.......get it?

        Our mother did a hard number on us and I'm forever grateful to her. Example....As a single Mom, my sister used coupons and shopped for sales and discounts, of course. Well, even after marrying a multi-millionaire, she continued to do the same things!

        In other words, it was drummed firmly into my head that just because you HAVE $$$, doesn't mean you need to spend it and throw it around. THINK! There may come a day the money will be scarce.

        Try to tell me that's not true!......

        Once again Catherine. Great hub. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Paula UP+++tweeted & pinned.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Uzo: Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you like it enough to want to read it over and over.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Vocalcoach: Thank you for your comment and shares. My aim was to provide a mix of serious advice with entertaining quotes. It's not really about how to make money. I should have titled it "Thoughts on Money."

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        I enjoyed everything about this hub Catherine. A good balance between serious and entertaining. Great video, quotes mixed with information. Will share and thanks.

      • Uzochukwu Mike profile image

        Uzochukw Mike 

        3 years ago from Oba

        This article is very unique and interesting. I love it and will like to read it over and over again.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Actually, if you live close enough, you can see the fireworks displays which is kind of cool.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        3 years ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        Catherine

        I am glad you appreciated it.

        I live close to Disneyland, the glow that I see is a lot dimmer.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        brad: You are funny. You made me laugh.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        3 years ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        Catherine

        That is probably the glow from Disney World. lol

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        bradmasterOCal: Like everything, there are pros and cons to money. These quotes are just to get you thinking, and it seems they have accomplished that. Now you have me thinking about sitting in the sun in the South of France on a yacht. Oh well, the same sun shines in my backyard.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        3 years ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        Catherine

        Great quotes, and so true.

        As I was reading them, I could see a line of truth, but some of them didn't factor in reality.

        A summer day can be enjoyed by the rich and the poor.

        Sitting under the train trestle on a summer day may be fine, but sitting on a yacht in the south of France would be much better.

        I thought how can we give a view of the money as applied to the Congress and they rake in our money.

        Just a thought

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Thanks Mark. I really should have named this hub "Thoughts About Money" or "Attitudes About Money," but I went for the grabber "How to Make Money." I hope you watched the video. It is really worth the 15 minutes. Usually, I throw a video in just to get a check mark from HP. It's a nice extra, but not essential. This video really is essential.

      • Mark Johann profile image

        Mark Johann 

        3 years ago from Italy

        This is a nice article Cathy. A full hub with concrete set of examples of quotes fit for making money and the choice of having it.

        Good hub. Voted up!

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Venka: thanks for voting up. I'm glad you liked my hub about money. Even though the title is "How to Make Money", it is more about the meaning of money in our lives.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Chitrangada: Yes, one of the great things about having a little more money that you need is that you can use that money to help others. if I were to win the lottery big, one of the first thing I would do is set up a charitable foundation.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Usochukwu: thanks for your comment. I can't disagree. Money can not buy you true love. In fact, it might get in the way. A rich person always has to wonder. does this person love me or just my money?

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Mel: Thanks for adding that quote from Forrest Gump. Yu are right about money being a way to show off. I hope you have a few minutes to watch the video in my hub to learn about the scientific studies that shows other ways money destroys character.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Thanks Jodah: I agree with you. How much money is enough? Just a little bit more. When we climb a ladder, we don't look down. We look up. We know there are people worse off, but the tendency is to look at the people above us and think "Why not me." My aim was to get people thinking about our attitudes about money. I'm glad you liked the hub.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Interesting topic for a hub!

        Great quotes about money. I think I have enough money to live comfortably. In any case I don't like overflowing money. But a little bit extra will be good because then I would be help those who really need it.

        Thanks for sharing and voted up!

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

        Very interesting article giving some facts and tips about money making and its effects on our life.

        Voted up.

      • Uzochukwu Mike profile image

        Uzochukw Mike 

        3 years ago from Oba

        No matter how much money a man has, true love cannot be bought with money.

      • Mel Carriere profile image

        Mel Carriere 

        3 years ago from San Diego California

        Great quotes, but did you leave out the philosopher Forrest Gump who said "Mama said that a man only needs so much money, and all the rest is just showing off." I suspect, and I would like to get the chance to prove it, that money makes us happier up to a certain point and then becomes a drug that changes our behavior. Great hub!

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        MsDora: Thanks for you comment. I think we all feel like spike Mulligan does. did you watch the TED Talk video in my hub. It will totally change the way you think about money. It explains so much. I promise you it is well worth taking the time to watch it.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 years ago from The Caribbean

        Great quotes! Spike Milligan speaks my thoughts exactly.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        3 years ago from Queensland Australia

        This was great Catherine, loved the quotes a good advice. We could do with more money to make life easier rather than just getting by, but can't complain as there are always many worse of. You need to make the best of what you have. I too heard that $50,000 to $60,000 per year makes you most happy too. Voted up.

      • CatherineGiordano profile imageAUTHOR

        Catherine Giordano 

        3 years ago from Orlando Florida

        Good for you billybuc. You have a very sensible attitude about money. I'm afraid I'm a spendthrift. Thanks for your comment.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I'm a big believer in purchasing according to needs rather than wants, so I have all the money I need and I'm happy. That's all any man could hope for.

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