The Best Money Advice From Well-Known People [And Key Takeaways]

By Todd Kunsman

Financial Independence

Published on

Updated on

At some point in your life, you’ve probably received some money advice. This could be from parents, friends, colleagues, or even indirectly from acquaintances. 

Much of the advice you might receive you’ll want to do your own research, as blindly following recommendations can lead you to financial troubles.

That being said, some of the best money advice that has been given has come from well-known people in the world. This could be actors, authors, athletes, historical figures, business people, etc. 

Below, I want to share some top advice about finances as well as some key takeaways from their knowledge. Some of these are more straight to the point quotes, but there is certainly a lesson in each.

P.T. Barnum – The Satisfaction of Saving Money

“A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending.”

You may recognize his name, purely as the founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, but he was also a  politician and businessman. Yet, when I came across this quote, I immediately connected to P.T. Barnum’s subtle money advice. 

I also think there are a few points from this one direct quote, which I’ll breakdown. 

In the first part of this advice, “A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained…” really speaks to the value of saving, investing, and compound interest

If you value saving money consistently, whether starting small, you can go on to accumulating what you’d like. Example being, retirement. Your efforts to save and invest, overtime with compound interest, will help you retain money you’ll need to live off. 

In part two of his money advice, I found this to speak to my own personal finances too. Saving and investing does require your own training and time to get used to doing.

But once you start seeing the results and are making better financial decisions for yourself, you feel more satisfied than the temporary gratification you might get from spending frivolously. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Saving money, no matter the amount, builds as time passes
  • Overtime, seeing the results of your saving is motivating
  • Spending provides temporary happiness, saving for one’s future can create a lifetime of satisfaction compared to “stuff.”

Mark Cuban – Master Your Personal Spending

“If you can, you will quickly find that the greatest rate of return you will earn is on your own personal spending. Being a smart shopper is the first step to getting rich.”

You may be familiar with Mark Cuban as the billionaire investor on Shark Tank, the passionate owner of the Dallas Mavericks, or from his business and speaking engagements.

But anytime a self-made billionaire offers some money advice, it’s usually fairly wise to listen up. 

While I don’t always fall into the “cut back your small expenses” gimmick with personal finance, the idea of being a smart shopper is still valid. And Mark Cuban’s advice here is spot on.

We have a debt issue in America and outside of student loans, many times it’s lack of self-control when it comes to spending money. 

There is nothing wrong with buying something you want, if you have the means and are taking care of your finances first. 

Being a frivolous shopper because you’re picking wants over needs, have a desire to impress, or simply from lifestyle creep gets many into trouble.

If you want to build wealth, maintain it, or even just be financially comfortable with less debt, mastering your spending will generate results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn and value needs vs. wants
  • Mastering your spending helps you on the path to wealth
  • Once you have wealth, you want to maintain it by self-control

Warren Buffett – More to Life Than Money

“Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends.”

I had to include at least one piece of advice from Warren Buffett, one of the top investors of all-time.

That said, he has offered a lot of great money advice and quotes over the years, so it wasn’t easy to pick one. But, I found the above insight particularly interesting and so fitting to our society. 

Money offers a lot of options for us when we have it. Allows us to buy houses, cars, boats, electronics, clothes, jewelry, etc. Yet, many times having money gets us too caught up in what we have and that we have more than the next person.

Instead of controlling our spending and material things, we let “stuff” define who we are. But there are more important assets in life that we should be valuing. 

You know the cliche statements about money, but many are really true. I think it’s totally okay to buy things you like when you have money, but do it for you and don’t let it consume your short life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Material things are temporary happiness where good health, friends, and family matter more
  • The instant gratification and obsession with owning the best or biggest ends up controlling who you are
  • Nothing wrong with having money and buying things from time to time, remember that life isn’t just about “stuff” you can buy

Margaret Wander Bonanno – Wealth Equals More Time

Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.”

When I was reading some other personal finance articles, I came across this simple quote, which also has some sage advice.

Margaret Wander Bonanno is an American science fiction writer, ghost writer and small press publisher. I wasn’t too familiar with her work, but I think this is also one of my favorites on this list.

Time is the one asset no one can buy, sell, or increase but you can create more of it by building wealth. Thus, giving yourself more freedoms to experience more out of life.

I actually see this apply to people interested in the types of FIRE and why the movement has grown in popularity. Many who work and become rich, do not have the time to enjoy it because they are stuck in the corporate grind. They do this well into their 60s.

People who look to build wealth have the freedom to spend their time as they like and can just live off the dividends or passive income of their assets.

Having enough money to spend your time how you wish is the ultimate goal.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating wealth can give you more time
  • Being rich doesn’t mean you are living a timely life
  • Time is the most valuable asset you can create

Robert Kiyosaki – How Much You Make Doesn’t Matter

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”

One of the first money books I ever read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad. One of the easiest reads, but also incredibly impactful to help shape your mindset. So of course, author Robert Kiyosaki would have some great money advice.

There are plenty to choose from, but I found the above one can apply to every level of personal finance experience. 

I generally think our society does get caught up in how much money we make, but in the long run that isn’t the most important. It’s what you do with it that counts the most. And there are plenty of examples of athletes, musicians, etc. who make millions to then end up bankrupt a few years later.

Someone who makes $50,000 a year can be better off than someone who makes $250,000 year, by saving money, being smart about purchases, and investing in assets not liabilities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Making more money is great, but it’s what you do with it that really matters
  • Big salaries do not always guarantee financial success
  • Making your money work for you will be key to long-lasting wealth

Paul Samuelson – Investing Should Be Boring 

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

When I first stumbled upon this advice and quote, I instantly loved it and felt connected to it. A big part of what I write about is investing, but not to get rich quick. 

For those who aren’t familiar with Paul Samuelson, he was an American economist and the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. 

This advice is something anyone new to investing should read over or have plastered nearby as a great reminder. 

When people sometimes hear the term “investing” or “investor” there is a stigma of fortunes being made overnight and getting rich. Sure, it can happen, but not something that typically happens to investing beginners and beyond. 

Investing is meant to be boring, especially if you are investing for your future and long-term growth. That’s how you truly exceed, limit your losses, and build a great financial future. 

Trying to time the market, get that “investor high,” and playing with money in the stock market is like gambling. If that’s what you want, hit the casinos because your odds are the same. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Investing should be boring
  • Looking for excitement with your investments is like gambling
  • The less interesting your investments are, the better off you are

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, some of the simple money advice and takeaways from these well-known people help you think more about your own approach to finances. 

These are only a tiny fraction of the great advice out there, but I thought these were pretty interesting. 

My best money advice is when you let money control you, you will lose the game. Instead, you need to be in control of your money by having a plan, dedicate time to learning, and turn the “I’ll worry about it later,” mentality into the, “I’m not worried at all because I’m already in control.” 

Bonus: If you want a good laugh about finances, take a gander at these money memes.

How about you? What’s the best money advice you ever got? Any other good ones from well-known people that resonated with you? Let me know in the comments below.