17 Best Financial Planning Quotes to Inspire Your Money Makeover

woman reading financial planning quotes on a sofa

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Whether you’re trying to shift your money mindset to get your spending under control or are wondering just how you’re going to start planning for retirement, having some great financial planning quotes and sayings on hand can give you just the push you need.

Hearing from those who’ve been there, done that – or who’ve fallen and pulled themselves up again and again – can be incredibly helpful when you’re carving out your own financial path.

So keep reading to find the best funny or inspirational financial planning quotes for all your money needs.

Best quotes on financial management

1. Thomas J. Stanley

“If your goal is to become financially secure, you’ll likely attain it… But if your motive is to make money to spend money on the good life… you’re never gonna make it.”

Thomas J. Stanley

Thomas J. Stanley is the author of one of the best personal finance books of all time, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, so you know that any financial planning quote from him has a solid basis. 

His book is based on a study done of millionaires in the US and found seven common traits that they all have, including that most millionaires live in blue-collar, middle class neighborhoods rather than the more affluent communities you’d expect.

It’s an incredibly interesting book and really makes it clear exactly how anyone, no matter your salary, can become a millionaire with some simple financial strategies.

2. Ramit Sethi

“Frugality isn’t about cutting your spending on everything. Frugality is about choosing the things you love enough to spend extravagantly on – and then cutting costs mercilessly on the things you don’t love. The mind-set of frugal people is key to being rich.”

Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi wrote the bestselling book, I Will Teach You to be Rich. His approach to money management is a bit different from some of the usual advice, which is what makes his book so great.

The book sets out some truly important financial points – but is written in a way that sounds like they’re coming from a friend you’re having a beer with.

One of my favorite things that he advocates for is intentional spending, which is what the above quote is getting at. Basically, you won’t get rich by spending nothing at all, as it’s completely unsustainable. Instead, figure out what’s important to you, spend money on that (within reason) and budget accordingly.

(In fact, the quote mentioned above continues by saying: “Frugality is about making your own decisions about what’s important enough to spend a lot on, and what’s not, rather than blindly spending on everything. The problem is that hardly anyone is deciding what’s important and what’s not!”)

3. Elizabeth Warren

“Budgeting your money is the key to having enough.”

Elizabeth Warren

This is a simple but oh-so-important quote from the Senator.

In fact, Elizabeth Warren is credited for popularising the so-called “50/20/30 budget rule” in her book, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan

It’s an easy but effective way of budgeting and involves dividing up your after-tax income and allocating it to spend 50% on needs, 30% on wants, 20% on your saving goals.

Essentially, by using a budget – whether or not you use the 50/20/30 budgeting method to do so – you’ll always know exactly how much you have to spend and where your money is going, meaning you’ll always have enough for what you need without going into debt.

4. Mellody Hobson

“If you understand how money can work for and against you, you can make better decisions. Financial literacy is not about wealth but about understanding money regardless of the amount. It’s about how you treat it and how you maximize opportunities.” – Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson has done a range of great things, including being the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation, but where you may know her is from her amazing series of TED Talks. This includes one of my personal favorites: this one on financial literacy.

Her financial literacy quote makes the point that understanding your money and having the right money mindset is key for taking control of it. 

That is, you don’t have to be earning a six-figure salary to get your finances under control. Instead, it’s about managing it as well as you can and making sure you’re using it your best advantage – especially by getting out of debt and starting to invest it so that your money starts working for you.

Related: How to Drastically Cut Expenses: 43 Easy Ways That Actually Work

5. Dave Ramsey

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey can be controversial, but there’s no question that he’s helped thousands of people get out of debt through his book, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

So with his very straightforward quote, you can immediately see how having a budget lets you take back control of your money. And it’s no surprise coming that this is one of the key ways to get out of (and continue to avoid) debt – a critical aspect for anyone to secure their financial future.

6. Merryn Somerset Webb

“Debt erases freedom more surely than anything else.”

Merryn Somerset Webb

Merryn Somerset Webb has been a financial writer for years, including of the bestselling book, Love Is Not Enough: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Money.

She’s mastered how to break down personal finance into smart, funny but 100% accurate snapshots. This includes the fact that, as her financial planning quote shows, you’ll never be financially free while you’re in debt.

So if freedom is your goal, it’s time to erase your debt – not vice versa.

7. Charles A. Jaffe

“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.”

Charles A. Jaffe

Charles A. Jaffe was a successful columnist for years before writing his simple yet incredibly effective book, The Right Way to Hire Financial Help.

And one of the great points that his book makes is also summed up in his quote. That is, how much you earn isn’t your key to building wealth – it’s how much you spend.

No matter your income, if you spend all of it (or, worse, go into debt), you’ll never build the wealth you need to secure your financial future. Instead, if you commit to saving a set portion of your salary, however much it is, you’ll be well on your way to setting yourself up for retirement

Related: How to Calculate Your Savings Rate – and Why You Should

Brilliant financial quotes on investing

8. J.L. Collins

“Stop thinking about what your money can buy. Start thinking about what your money can earn.”

J.L. Collins

J.L. Collins is the author of what’s easily my favorite personal finance book: The Simple Path to Wealth. If anyone asks what got me on my own financial journey, including how to get out of debt and start investing, I don’t even hesitate: it was this book, hands down.

And one of Collins’ main points is summarised perfectly in this quote, by showing that you have to make your money work for you. By having your money earn you even more money, you’ll be able to harness the power of compound interest – and, from there, you’ll easily be on the right path towards building your wealth.

9. Jack Bogle

“Investing is not nearly as difficult as it looks. Successful investing involves doing a few things right and avoiding serious mistakes.”

Jack Bogle

Jack Bogle may have done more for investing than anyone else in history, having been the creator of the index fund and Vanguard. And one of his consistent points about investing is that it should, above all, be simple.

This is why his quote so perfectly sums up this position. That is, when you’re just starting out, the idea of investing can seem completely overwhelming.

But the best investors aren’t those that get bogged down in the details. Instead, those people who simply pick a strategy (say, investing consistently in broad market index funds like the one Bogle himself invented) will, over time, be those who are by far the best off.

Best inspirational financial planning quotes

10. Oprah Winfrey

“Don’t make excuses for why you can’t get it done. Focus on all the reasons why you must make it happen.”

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah needs no introduction but if you’re not familiar with her entire personal history, let’s just say that she definitely wasn’t born into wealth. Her many successes are world renowned, but she built them all herself – which is why any quote from her on achieving your goals should definitely be listened to.

And from a financial planning perspective, we hear excuses all the time for why things can’t get done. 

You can’t pay off your credit card debt as you don’t earn enough. You can’t improve your credit score as it’s too hard. You can’t start investing as you don’t have enough money to do so. You can’t move somewhere cheaper to save money as it’s too much work.

All of these are, frankly, excuses. Which is why you need to shift your focus to the reasons why these things have to happen – just like Oprah says.

11. J.L. Collins (again)

“There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and to work for whom you respect.”

J.L. Collins

J.L. Collins was mentioned above, but I have to include his second quote too given what it represents.

That is, taking control of your money is, ultimately, all about freedom. Whether it’s the freedom to not work, to only work a few hours a week or to work in a job that you want, not that you necessarily need, building your wealth to a point where this is possible is exactly why financial freedom is so important.

Focusing on this as the end goal can be immensely helpful when climbing your own money mountain seems insurmountable. As this financial planning quote points out, the most valuable thing money can buy is freedom, which is why putting all your effort towards this financial goal is one of the best things you can do for your future.

12. Warren Buffett

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time, with his investing strategy being based on starting early and focusing on long term, simple investments (like index funds) by buying and holding for years on end.

This is why you won’t ever hear Buffett promoting something like day trading. Instead, by planting a tree today through starting to invest, you’re giving yourself the time for that tree to grow through the power of compound interest.

To continue his analogy, you won’t get rich overnight, much like your tree won’t grow overnight. Instead, by watering your tree consistently and giving it the time to grow, it – much like your investment portfolio – will be able to provide the financial shade you’ll need in future.

13. Amelia Earhart

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

Amelia Earhart

“Analysis paralysis” is a very real thing in financial planning, with many people failing to start taking control of their finances purely because they have all this information and no idea where to start.

And as Amelia Earhart points out here, getting started can be scary. But once you’ve gotten over that hurdle, the most important thing to do is to keep following your chosen path.

In the case of your finances, that first hurdle may be making your first investment. From there, simply hold on and continue to invest to give your portfolio the time and opportunity to grow. Even when times get tough, such as when the market crashes, tenacity is key to make sure you’re able to secure yourself the best financial future possible.

Related: The Personal Financial Plan Example You Can Use To Reach Your Financial Goals

14. Confucius

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.”

Confucius

If your goal is to get out of debt and it seems impossible to do, Confucius was completely right when he pointed out that it’s not the goal that can’t be reached. Instead, consider your action steps and make them more manageable.

Perhaps you could plan to pay off a quarter of your debt by the end of the year, followed by another quarter in the year after that – and so on. By breaking your goal down into small, actionable steps that you can actually do, you’ll find yourself getting to your previously insurmountable goal in no time.

Funny financial planning quotes

15. Sophia Amoruso

“Money looks better in the bank than on your feet.”

Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is the author of one of the best books for aspiring millennial entrepreneurs out there, #Girlboss. Having gone from dumpster diving to being a millionaire, she shows us exactly how she’s harnessed the power of money – and how we can do the same.

So next time you’re wondering whether to use some of your hard earned cash to put something nice on your feet (or on your back or in your house…), consider whether it would look so much better in your bank account. Chances are, your future self will be immensely grateful at being able to admire those numbers in your account compared to a long forgotten pair of shoes.

Related: Why Living Stingy Could Be The Key To Achieving All Your Financial Goals

16. Paul Samuelson

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”

Paul Samuelson

Paul Samuelson was a Nobel prize-winning economist – and agreed with everyone else on this list that investing is a long term game.

You’re not in it to make your fortune overnight, partly because it’s just as easy to lose a fortune overnight too (much like that $800 in Vegas). Instead, investing for the long term in steady, boring, reliable index funds is going to do so much more for building your wealth over time than any get rich quick scheme.

17. Anonymous

“Dammit, I saved too much for retirement! Said nobody, ever.”

Anonymous

Need we say more? Start saving and investing today as the worst that could happen is you become too rich.

And what a problem that would be!

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