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Personal Finances

  • Sarah, I want to ask thee a solemn question. Did thee ever one single time have thy Bank book balance and thy own check book balance agree exactly? Do not tell, but I never did. Hannah Whitall Smith, Sarah, I want to ask thee a solemn question. Did thee ever one single time have thy Bank book balance and thy own check book balance agree exactly? Do not tell, but I never did.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • letter to her sister, 1885, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • Supplementing an income may mean being more economical with the one you have.

  • People keep telling us about their love affairs, when what we really want to know is how much money they make and how they manage on it.

  • Indeed, I thought, slipping the silver into my purse, it is remarkable, remembering the bitterness of those days, what a change of temper a fixed income will bring about.

  • I believe that one's basic financial attitudes are — like a tendency toward fat knees — probably formed in utero, or, at the very latest, in cribbo.

  • Savings will not make you rich. Only canny investments do that. The role of savings is to keep you from becoming poor.

  • You don't date an annuity, you marry it. An annuity isn't a mutual fund that you buy today and sell tomorrow. Nor is it a certificate of deposit, ready for any new use at maturity. When you buy an annuity, you are making (or ought to be making) a 15- or 20-year commitment, at least.

  • When it comes to finances, it matters less how much money you make and more how you spend it.

    • Emme,
    • in Emme and Natasha Stoynoff, Life's Little Emergencies ()
  • Regiments are joining in the Master Charge / That's blowing up the G.N.P. / Hardly anybody now remains at large / Who lacks creditability.

  • For the size of it, a check book is about the greatest convenience I know of.

  • ... to balance my own checkbook each month, I simply record whatever is necessary in the following manner: '37 cents to cover embezzlement by somebody at the bank.'

  • Avoid greed and fear. These are the investor's Achilles heels. Keeping all your money in the bank earning 3% interest is just as foolish as dumping your entire savings into the market thinking you'll make a quick buck.

  • Nothing in the known universe travels faster than a bad check.

  • Just about the time you think you can make both ends meet, somebody moves the ends.

  • Financial planning is like navigation. If you know where you are and where you want to go, navigation isn't such a great problem. It's when you don't know the two points that it's difficult.

  • The world is a puzzling place today. All these banks sending us credit cards ... Imagine a bank sending credit cards to two ladies over a hundred years old! What are those folks thinking?

    • Sadie Delany,
    • in Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, Having Our Say ()