15 Quotes from Personal Finance Books That Have Had a Profound Impact on My Life

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Sometimes the most memorable ideas from books can be summarized in a few simple quotes. Here are some of my favorite quotes from a few personal finance books that have had a profound impact on my financial life.

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez

“Frugality is enjoying the virtue of getting good value for every minute of your life energy and from everything you have the use of.”

The Behavior Gap by Carl Richards

“But in the end, financial decisions aren’t about getting rich. They’re about getting what you want—getting happy.”

I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

“My friend Jim once called to tell me that he’d gotten a raise at work. On the same day, he moved into a smaller apartment. Why? Because he doesn’t care very much about where he lives, but he loves spending money on camping and biking. That’s called conscious spending.”

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

“Many people who live in expensive homes and drive luxury cars do not actually have much wealth. Then, we discovered something even odder: Many people who have a great deal of wealth do not even live in upscale neighborhoods.”

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

‘A part of all I earn is mine to keep.’ Say it in the morning when you first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky.”

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

“We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.”

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

“Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known said their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”

The Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins

“I may not have owned a Mercedes, but I owned my freedom. Freedom to choose when to leave a job and freedom from worry when the choice wasn’t mine.”

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn

“Looking back on their past decisions about whether to purchase experiences, 83 percent of people sided with Mark Twain, reporting that their biggest single regret was one of inaction, of passing up the chance to buy an experience when the opportunity came along.”

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

“Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep.”

Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker

“The question you need to answer is what you want to do with your life given that you don’t have the time to do everything?

Do you want to spend most of your life paying off the interest of a 30-year mortgage and working so you can fill increasingly bigger houses with increasingly more stuff while being stuck in your daily commute in increasingly nicer cars?

Or are you prepared to give up the stuff so that you can do whatever you want, whenever, and wherever, within reason? What will your legacy be–what you owned or who you were?” 

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

“What you focus on expands.”

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

“The truth is, what you do matters. What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.”

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne

“To be self-reliant is to recognize that no one else is as concerned about your future as you are and that no one knows as much about you as you do.”

Mindset by Carol Dweck

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”

What are some of your favorite quotes that stick with you and positively impact your thinking?


I keep my financial life as simple as possible by only using two tools:

I track my net worth for free using Personal Capital and I track my monthly spending using the Monthly Spending Summary app.

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4 Replies to “15 Quotes from Personal Finance Books That Have Had a Profound Impact on My Life”

  1. Zach, Surprisingly, I have only read one of these books, The Millionaire Next Door. I attained a lot of my PF knowledge from magazines like Money and investment newsletters I follow.

    I really like the quote from Eker….”What you focus on expands”. It speaks to me at a higher level than only personal finance.

    My Dad told me when I was a kid that “most people work for money, while smart people have money work for them”. Tom

  2. Hey Zach,

    Thanks so much for these great recommendations! I love the emphasis on frugality, freedom and happiness. Money in itself isn’t what we should strive for; instead, we should utilise money to maintain our health, find our happiness and leave behind a legacy we can be proud of. At the same time, we maximise the value we get from the money that we have.

    I’ll definitely get the Kindle + Audible versions of Think and Grow Rich, the quote you highlighted is just so empowering and up-lifting! Will definitely also work my way through this list through your affiliate links.

    Great post, as always, Zach!

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