Looking back at the quotes about money that have survived through the generations, it’s apparent that thoughts about money and happiness have not changed all that much over the ages.
Money Can’t Buy Happiness
Several historical characters extol on the virtues of living simply and of the importance of faith, friendship, creativity and achievement over the pursuit of greater wealth.
- “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” And, “By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.” — Democritus, pre-Socratic philosopher (circa 460 B.C. to circa 370 B.C.)
- “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has, the more one wants.” — Benjamin Franklin, author, polymath and printer (1706-1790)
- “It is my opinion that a man’s soul may be buried and perish under a dung-heap, or in a furrow field, just as well as under a pile of money.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist (1804-1864)
- “He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; he who loses faith, loses all.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, author and first lady (1884-1962)
- “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
A Philosophical Disagreement
- “It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.” — Albert Camus, philosopher (1913-1960)
It Might Not Buy Happiness, but It Sure Is Nice to Have
- “I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.” — Mark Twain, American author and humorist (1835-1910)
- “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” — Pablo Picasso, artist (1881-1973)
- “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen, director, actor and comedian (1935- )
Money Equals Happiness
- “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.” And: “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from imagination.” — Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and writer (1854-1900)
My Favorite Quotes
- “Wealth is the ability to truly experience life.” — Henry David Thoreau, author, poet and philosopher (1817-1862)
- “There are people who have money, and there are people who are rich.” — Coco Chanel, fashion designer and businesswoman (1883-1971)
I want to be one of the “rich” ones. What do you believe about money and happiness?