Graduating from college is a big transition—it signifies the completion of years of education and the beginning of your career. While it is exciting to get your first job and start earning your own money, there are a lot of responsibilities and decisions that come with being on your own as well (even if you're trying to be a minimalist). And, even though you might know how to create a marketing strategy, build a website, teach a 3rd-grade class, or take a pulse, you might not have a clue about how to manage your bills, coordinate a move to another city, or deal with your student loans.
Given how important financial management is for every American, you would think financial literacy would be given a more prominent place in our schools and universities. But alas, that is not the case. The good news is that even though you might not be taking classes anymore, you do not have to stop learning. Take a note from some of the world's greatest financial advisers (maybe for a unique, albeit unusual, date idea). Their money quotes might be centuries-old, but their wisdom about managing money endures even today.
Here are 10 money quotes every recent college graduate should read at least once:
- "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -Benjamin Franklin
- "A man in debt is so far a slave." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
- "A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money." -W.C. Fields
- "Never spend your money before you have earned it." -Thomas Jefferson
- "Too many people spend money they earned to buy things they don't want to impress people that they don't like." -Will Rogers
- "If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed." -Edmund Burke
- "I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy."-Warren Buffet
- "A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some."-Joe Moore
- "Financial peace isn't the acquisition of stuff. It's learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can't win until you do this." -Dave Ramsey
- "It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor." -Seneca
1. "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
· Who: Benjamin Franklin
· When: 18th Century
As a recent college graduate, one of the most important lessons you can learn is the value of ongoing education. Benjamin Franklin, one of the most prolific Americans of all time, understood this better than most. Even into his 70s, Franklin was always experimenting, trying new things, and keeping his famous zest for life by refusing to become set in his ways. Another famous Franklin quote (among many) is, "Most people die at thirty. But they aren't buried for another forty or so years." What Franklin meant by this is that most people stop learning and stop growing at such a tragically young age. And, the moment you stop learning and stop growing is the moment you die.
If you are reading this article, you are already practicing Franklin's life lesson. Taking time out of your day to read these money quotes and learn a thing or two about managing your money can have huge benefits—in both the short term and the long term.
2. "A man in debt is so far a slave."
· Who: Ralph Waldo Emerson
· When: 19th Century
Ralph Waldo Emerson had a timely message about the nature of debt way back in the 1800s. Whether it is student loan debt, credit card debt, rent, or a mortgage you cannot afford, owing more than you have is not a good practice. Burdening yourself with debt, especially at a young age, is a bad idea. It limits your opportunities and "enslaves" you to making money that you simply need to continue paying your bills.
If you are debt-free or have only a small "seed," suddenly the world opens up to you. Moving to another city becomes a possibility, as well as many other financial moves. Living beyond your means is a mistake, one that you will pay for—sooner or later.
3. "A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money."
· Who: W.C. Fields
· When: 20th Century
The great American comedian W.C. Fields said many witty and hysterical things. This comment about money, however, stands as one of his most prescient. While it is perfectly reasonable to emulate financially successful people and appreciate what they had to do to get where they are, we should not elevate them to the point of making them more than human. When you look at a rich or otherwise successful person as being somehow superior, you hurt yourself. How? Because you give yourself an excuse not to work hard or to try and achieve ambitious goals. You may find yourself saying things like, "So-and-so is only successful because they are special and or have unique talents." This is rarely the actual case, so putting people above yourself or thinking others can do things that you simply cannot is always a mistake.
One final note on this money quote: Just because you should not put someone on a pedestal does not mean you cannot respect them. But when you respect someone, you should do so with a clear head, understanding that they did things that you, too, are capable of doing if you only work hard enough.
4. "Never spend your money before you have earned it."
· Who: Thomas Jefferson
· When: 18th Century
Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Never spend your money before you have it. There are many versions of this particular money quote, and all of them say the same thing: You should think conservatively about your financial future and not simply assume that because things are going well now that they will continue to go well in the future.
This is one of the most important money quotes to understand. You do not need to live in a state of constant panic or worry, but you also should not have your head in the clouds. If things are going well for you—great! Enjoy it. But also make sure you are making plans and saving just in case the good times don't last.
5. "Too many people spend money they earned to buy things they don't want to impress people that they don't like."
· Who: Will Rogers
· When: 20th Century
Spending money to impress people or make people like you is a tactic many young people take—and it almost always fails. Even when this type of spending appears to work, this approach is a bad idea since it ensures that you will be surrounded by people who are only interested in glomming onto you for your money.
Like many of the most famous money quotes, this one indicates that you should only spend money on things you need and things you inherently like. Do not waste your hard-earned money on things that are only valuable to you because other people say that they are.
6. "If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed."
· Who: Edmund Burke
· When: 19th Century
This is the old-school version of "More money, more problems." But things do not have to be this way. Just because, as we get older, we typically start making more money, it does not necessarily mean that we have to accept "more problems" lying down. If you make an effort to "command" your wealth, you can avoid walling yourself in with unnecessary expenses.
What we are discussing here can take the form of something called "lifestyle creep." What this refers to is the gradual increase in spending that is proportional to increases in our earnings. Those affected by lifestyle creep might make two, three, or more times what they used to make, and yet, they still have trouble saving. The first thing you need to do when your annual income gets a healthy distance in front of your required expenses is to start saving. Only then should your lifestyle expenses (i.e., the amount you spend on yourself) increase.
7. "I will tell you the secret to getting rich on Wall Street. You try to be greedy when others are fearful. And you try to be fearful when others are greedy."
· Who: Warren Buffet
· When: 20th Century
Many famous money quotes have come from financial wizard Warren Buffet. This advice, though, can be boiled down to the following: Do not be a conformist. While there is something to be said for conservative financial moves—it is not always best to blindly follow the crowd. Educate yourself on financial matters and investments so that you can make independent, wise decisions when it comes to your financial future.
8. "A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some."
· Who: Joe Moore
When: 20th Century
You should hope for the best and plan for the worst. That is what Joe Moore is trying to say here. This is one of the most important money quotes because, all too often, when people are doing well, they assume the gravy train will never come to a stop. Usually, though, it does. Save when you are doing well to protect yourself for when you are not.
9. "Financial peace isn't the acquisition of stuff. It's learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can't win until you do this."
· Who: Dave Ramsey
· When: 21st Century
There are many money quotes above saving. But how to save is a question that many people struggle to answer. Well, here it is: You save money by making more than you spend. Period. You will not have financial peace or stability until you successfully learn only to spend what you have. That means avoiding credit card debt (as well as other kinds of debt) and paying all of your expenses directly out of what you earn.
10. "It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."
· Who: Seneca
· When: 7th Century
The oldest and last of our money quotes comes from the Roman philosopher Seneca. Here, Seneca is telling us to be satisfied with what we already have. The constant need to consume, consume, and consume more can become a poison. The only antidote is material contentment with what we already have.
Now that you have read and understood some of history’s most important money quotes, hopefully, you can and will create a more positive financial lifestyle. This may mean saving more or maybe simply having a better mindset. Either way, a healthy relationship with money is a big step in the direction toward security and happiness. Here is one more quote from Benjamin Franklin for you: Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today!
Make $50-$500 each month renting your garage, basement, shed or other storage spaceList Your Space