Five Essential Money Quotes And Related Thoughts

My head is full of quotes from various cultural figures and I often like to use them in conversation when appropriate. I like to collect good ones on various topics, and so here are five great quotes on the topic of finances. Feel free to pilfer these and use them wherever you feel appropriate.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
– 1 Timothy 6:10

Most people just use a little piece of the first part (“money is the root of all evil”) without continuing with the rest for clarification. This quote is not saying that money is evil at all, just that people who covet money and place it at the center of their lives are the source of evil in the world. I think few people would really argue with that.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.
– George Bernard Shaw

Here is a trite version of the same principle, also often misinterpreted. At a quick glance, it seems to be saying the exact opposite of the Timothy quote, but they’re both saying the same thing: people who covet money and place it at the center of their lives produce evil acts. In this case, Shaw is nodding that people who think that they don’t have enough money as the source of that evil.

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
– Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, for all his quirks, understood a lot of fundamental truths about humanity, and this is one of them. Money is just a tool that lets us live our lives how we want to live them, not at the whims of others.

He had heard people speak contemptuously of money: he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it.
– W. Somerset Maugham

I love it when liberal academics speak of money as some sort of taint on Western society, yet they make more money a year than my parents used to bring in in an average decade when I was younger. If you’re going to talk about poverty, you need to have experienced poverty.

So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal wlth one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
– Ayn Rand

Money is the product of hard work and is only a representation of other things. If you ever lose sight of that, your perspective has become greatly skewed, because every dollar is the result of hard physical and mental labor by someone.

… and here’s a final quote, not really financial in nature, but simply my favorite quote of all:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
– Benjamin Franklin

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