Proverbs and quotes about money, gold and silver; about economics, capitalism and greed.

'I assure you, my good friend, I have more money than I can ever need; far more than a man at my age can ever live to spend,' said Mr. Pickwick.
'No man knows how much he can spend, till he tries,' observed Mr. Weller.

The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens

The stars are far brighter
Than gems without measure
The moon is far whiter
Than silver in treasure:
The fire is more shining
On hearth in the glooming,
Than gold won by mining,
So why go a-roaming?

O! Tra-la-la-lally
Come back to the valley.

The Hobbit – Chapter 19 – The Last Stage
J.R.R. Tolkien
Part of a song by the elves.

A drop of wisdom is better than a sea of gold.

A fool and his money are soon parted.

A foolish person usually spends money without thinking.

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.

W.C. Fields

A woman is like the moon – some nights it is silver others gold.

Armenian proverb

All that glitters is not gold.

You can be deceived by appearances. What look good on the outside may acyally be bad.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

An ant may work its heart out, but it can’t make money.

An empty purse frightens away friends.

If you get poor, your ‘friends’ will disappear.

As soon as you take money for playing sport, it isn't sport, it's work.

Avery Brundage

Ashes or diamonds, foe or friend, we're all equal in the end.

Roger Waters

But I'm tired of this bustle. Everybody rushing over everybody, in their hurry to get rich.

North and South
Elizabeth Gaskell

Butterflies store no money.

Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress.

John Clapham

Every man has his price.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The Hobbit – Chapter 1 – An Unexpected Party
J.R.R. Tolkien
Part of a song by the dwarves

Fast food may appear to be cheap food and, in the literal sense it often is, but that is because huge social and environmental costs are being excluded from the calculations.

Prince Charles

Golden dishes will never turn black.

Great economic success doesn't produce national happiness. It produces Republicans and Switzerland.

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island
Bill Bryson

Health is better than wealth.

It’s better to be in good health than to be rich.

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes? Only two things that money can’t buy. That’s true love and home grown tomatoes.

John Denver

I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.

Mae West

If a flea had money, it would buy its own dog.


If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien

If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil.

Henry Fielding

In the age of acorns, before the times of Ceres, a single barley-corn had been of more value to mankind than all the diamonds of the mines of India.

Henry Brooke

It costs to be stupid. The stupider you are, the more it costs.

Sherrill Brown

Kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

Destroying a source of good income.

Lousy with money.

Abundantly supplied with money.

Money begets money, and fleas beget fleas.


Money begets money.

It’s easier to make money when you have money.

Money buys cherries.

Money doesn’t grow on trees.

It’s not easy to make money.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

Woody Allen

Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari

Money is the root of all evil.

Money so they say is the root of all evil today.

Roger Waters

Money spent on brain is never spent in vain.

No bees, no honey; no work, no money.

No money, no honey.

Penny wise, pound foolish.

This refers to someone who is careful about spending small amounts of money, but not careful about spending large amounts.

Perhaps if the churches had had the courage to lay their emphasis where Christ laid it, we might not have come to this frame of mind in which it is assumed that the value of all work, and the value of all people, is to be assessed in terms of economics.

Striding Folly
Dorothy L. Sayers

Public Art, defined as “art that is purchased by experts who are not spending their own personal money.”

Dave Barry

The bee that makes the honey doesn’t stand around the hive, and the man who makes the money has to worry, work, and strive.

The foolish slogans of a rich man often pass for words of wisdom by the fools around him.


The free market should not include the right to pollute our environment.

George S. McGovern

The more you have, the more you want.

The palace leads to fame, the market to fortune, and loneliness to wisdom.

Chinese proverb

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.

Frank Hubbard

There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.

Mahatma Gandhi

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either.

Robert Graves

Time is money.

Time should not be wasted because it has value.

To be clever enough to get all the money, one must be stupid enough to want it.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.

Stephen Hawking

When poverty come in the door, love goes out the window.

When the Spaniard sings he is either stupid or without money.

You are all striving for money. What do you want it for?

North and South
Elizabeth Gaskell