17 Most Common English Proverbs About Money


There are many proverbs and sayings in English that involve money. Here are some of the most popular.

1. A fool and his money are soon parted

Means that people who spend their money on foolish things will lose their money and become poor. This is something that often happens to people who suddenly get a lot of money, especially if that money comes in one lump sum or over the period of a few years.

This happens a lot with lottery winners and athletes. They get a lot of money at one time, spend it on silly, useless things and before they know it, the money is gone.

  • He won $50 million dollars and somehow lost it all in just a few short years. He spent it on silly things and loaned money to friends and family. A fool and his money are soon parted.

2. A good name is better than riches

Means that a good reputation is worth more than any amount of money.

  • Always do what you say you are going to do. A good name is better than riches.

3. A good payer is a master of another’s purse

Means that someone who pays their bills on time can always borrow money. In other words if you have good credit, people will lend you money.

  • My parents taught me that it’s always important to pay your bills in full and on time. A good name is better than riches.

4. A good paymaster never wants workmen

Means that if an employer pays on time and pays fairly, they will always have people to work for them. In other words, pay well, pay on time, and you’ll have good workers.

  • People really enjoy working for this company because they pay fairly and on time. A good paymaster never wants workmen.

5. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys

Is the opposite of the proverb above. It means that if you don’t pay well, you won’t get good workers. If you do happen to get a good worker, they’ll probably leave quickly.

  • The company started paying later and later, and making it more difficult for their employees to get their money. Soon all the good employees left. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

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

Refers to waking up early in the morning and going to bed early allows for people to have a productive day. Going to bed early will assure that one has a good night’s sleep, and waking up early allows for one to have an entire day to get things accomplished.

  • Steve says that going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep is part of his success for being super productive during the day. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

7. Money doesn’t grow on trees

Is one of the most common sayings involving money that is said in America. It reminds people to remember the value of money. It takes hard work to get money, it doesn’t come easily. Therefore,  you should keep that in mind when you spend it.

  • Stop asking for things you don’t need and don’t really want. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
  • Unfortunately the car costs too much, money doesn’t grow on trees you know.

8. Money is the root of all evil 

Refers to money being the cause or motivation for everything bad. It simply means that all wickedness and evil comes from money.

The original quote is the love of money is the root of all evil. It has been shortened. Money isn’t the problem, it’s how much people love it, and what they will do to get it, that is the problem.

  • He betrayed his friends in their time of need, just so he could make a few dollars.

9. Money isn’t everything

Means that money is not the only thing of value, and it’s not the only thing that should be focused on.There are far more important things in the world, such as love and family.

This is usually said to encourage someone to either not be disappointed because they feel they are lacking money. Or it may be said to someone who is focusing too much on money, and they need to be reminded that there are more important things.

  • I know you’re very focused on your career, but don’t work so hard that you lose sight of what’s really important. Remember, money isn’t everything.
  • The millionaire John Smith died yesterday from a severe sickness that has no cure, going to show that money isn’t everything.

10. Money Talks!

This proverb means that money can be of great power and influence compared to promises or words alone.

  • If you want them to let you into the club, give them some money, money talks.

11. Money can’t buy happiness

While money can buy most things, it cannot purchase the constant feeling of joy.

  • I heard that millionaire lost everything in his divorce; it’s proof that money can’t buy happiness.

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12. Cash is king

In many places around the world, credit cards and other kinds of payments and investments are not believed to be as reliable as cash, the proverb, ‘Cash is King’ tells us that most people like cash.

  • I’m sorry we don’t accept credit cards, cash is king here.

13. Time is money

It takes time working to make money.

  • I’m sorry, but I have got to go now, I am late for a job and time is money!

14. Money makes the world go round

Money is an important part of everyone’s daily life around the world. Without money, many things we do or need would not be available to us.

The proverb, ‘money makes the world go round’ is used as a statement by itself mostly to show how important money is.

15. It takes money to make money

This proverb is used when speaking about investments and ways to make more money. Usually, to make money, you have to have some already.

  • You will need to invest one million dollars into the project before you see any profit. Why so much? Because it takes money to make money.

16. You can’t take it with you.

This proverb is talking about death and the fact that we can’t bring our money with us when we die.

  • Why do you want to make more money? You have made plenty of money during your life, and besides, you can’t take it with you.

17.  Money is a good servant/slave, but a bad master.

Money is beneficial to buy what we need and pay for things. But, using all of our time trying to earn more money and missing out on things that are more important, such as family, means that money is controlling us like a master controls his servant or slave.

  • Poor Jenny, her husband is never home, he is always working. They have a nice house and car, but he is never around to enjoy them. It’s true; money is a good servant but a bad master.

We hope these proverbs help you the next time you are speaking about money.

Do you know of any other proverbs about money? Let us know in the comments below. Why not check out some other great proverbs and idioms on our website too!

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Medhanie Ghebretinsae
Medhanie Ghebretinsae
6 years ago

“Money is Burning a Hole in My Pocket”

Reply to  Medhanie Ghebretinsae
5 years ago

Hello Altruist
Where can I learn the type of English which is used by the newspaper like Economist, Newyork Times?

Medhanie Ghebretinsae
Medhanie Ghebretinsae
6 years ago

Money is like sea water. The more you drink, the thirstier you become.

Tanisha Chatterjee
4 years ago

Real good stock of English Proverbs