20 Saving Money Quotes To Inspire A Better Relationship with Money

Saving money in Dubai is hard but with the right information and commitment, you can do it.

Yes, saving money in Dubai is hard. But reflecting on famous saving money quotes from those who have succeeded at it is one way to make the task a bit easier. 

Last year, Khaleej Times ran an article where they discussed the problem of low savings with various financial experts. 

Non-essential spending, lack of budgeting, poor interest on savings accounts, poor money management skills, easy access to credit cards, BNPL schemes, contagious spending are some of the reasons identified for this trend. 

But this situation is not inevitable. There are many stories of people who have saved in Dubai and accomplished big financial goals. With the right information and the necessary commitment to put them into practice, you can increase your savings and be on the path to wealth building. 

In what follows, we’ll consider 20 saving money quotes that can help you improve your personal finance management in Dubai. With a firm commitment to put this advice about saving money into practice, you too can be on your way to becoming another success story. 

[Need help saving money in Dubai to achieve your financial goals? Download the Maly app to create a savings plan and automatically save money by rounding up small amounts from daily purchases.]

1. “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”. – Warren Buffett

saving money quotes

Since the publication of George Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon, the mantra, “pay yourself first” has become popular in the personal finance world. 

Today, many people save only what is left after their monthly expenses. Clason turned this on its head, preferring to define expenses as what is left after saving has been deducted from income. 

Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, agrees with this principle. The best way to save consistently is to prioritize it by first deducting the amount you want to save from your income before spending. 

This has the advantage of “forcing” you to restrict your spending habits within your means (more on this later). If, for example, you have saved AED 200 out of your AED 1,000 salary, then you are forced to live within the remaining AED 800. 

2. "He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself." – Swedish Proverb

saving money quotes

One of the financial experts in the Khaleej Times article referenced above mentioned how many people in Dubai find it hard to save because they want to live like everyone else. In the West, this is called “keeping up with the Joneses.”

But this attitude of buying things you do not need because everyone else has it is inimical to wealth building, according to this Swedish Proverb. You are only stealing from  yourself because all money spent has an opportunity cost. The money spent on a phone you don’t need is money you could have saved and invested. 

So, before buying that iPhone 15 because that is the latest fad, ask yourself if you really need it or if you are just keeping up with the Joneses.  

3. "Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like." – Will Rogers

No one has made this point as succinctly as Will Rogers, American humourist and actor. 

This quote captures both what we have said already and what we are going to say next. 

We have said that many people steal from themselves by spending money on things they don’t need just because it’s the latest fad. Here, Rogers affirms this reality – many of us spend money to impress people who we don’t even like (and we might add, who don’t care so much about us). 

But the quote also zooms in on the fact that many people actually do this with money they have not earned. It is bad enough that we spend our money to buy things we don’t need to impress people; it is worse that we buy them with borrowed money

4. “Never spend your money before you have it.” – Thomas Jefferson

saving money quotes

Last year, a judicial officer in the UAE warned residents about the psychological, social, and economic burdens of debt even as consumer credit in the country continues to surge

Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s founding fathers, warned against the kind of mindset that leads to the accumulation of debt. 

Spending your money before you have it means taking on debt to buy something because you can’t postpone the purchase. 

The problem with borrowing money to purchase consumer items is that you are paying interest on the loan but the things you have bought do not generate income that will pay that interest, resulting in a net financial loss. 

This type of debt is called “bad debt" in contrast to “good debt" (borrowing to start a business, get a degree with good prospects, or buy real estate). While good debt can generate income that will be greater than the interest paid on the loan, bad debt won’t. 

Jefferson is advising against bad debt, the type of debt that has crippled many UAE residents. 

5. “Save when you don’t need it, and it’ll be there for you when you do.” – Frank Sonnenberg

Interestingly, avoiding debt is one of the reasons why it is important to save. That is, while avoiding debt can help you save, saving can also help you avoid debt. They are mutually reinforcing. How so? 

There are times where emergencies require you to spend on things you have not budgeted for. 

For example, a relative in another side of the country or in a different country might require your physical presence urgently. Your car can develop a fault or you might develop a health situation that requires out-of-pocket expenses. These are the days they call rainy days. 

Some of these emergencies have led many people to debt. An alternative, to which Frank Sonnenberg, the award-winning author of The Path to a Meaningful Life, is referring, is using your savings to meet your emergencies. 

An account that holds savings designed to meet emergencies is often referred to as an emergency fund. Many personal finance experts have advised that about 6 months worth of your living expenses should be saved in such an account. 

If you have this fund, then it will doubly save you when emergencies arise. First, it will help you meet the emergency; second, it will help you avoid “bad” debt.

6. "By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest." – Agesilaus

This point leads us to the next quote. 

While many people see frugality as something that takes away their freedom, Agesilaus, one of the ancient kings of Sparta, prefers to see it as something liberating. How so? 

Consider the example above. 

If it’s true that debt is a form of slavery of the free, then by living frugally to avoid debt and also save for future emergencies, you are guaranteeing your liberty in two ways. First, you don’t have to enter debt now; second, you don’t have to enter into it in the future when emergencies arise. 

Another way to understand this is to see what else frugality (and saving) can do. Money well invested can help you build wealth and achieve financial freedom. 

So, instead of approaching frugality with foreboding, think of the various liberties that it will give you. 

This change in mindset is key to developing the discipline needed to save. If saving is just about losing something, then we naturally recoil from it; but if it is something that brings all these liberties, then we are more inclined to embrace it. Agesilaus wants us to take the latter approach. 

7. “Never depend on a single income. Make an investment to create a second source.” – Warren Buffett

In addition to helping in emergencies, saving money is a way to build multiple streams of income. 

The need to build multiple streams of income (especially passive income streams) has been in the air in recent years as part of the drive for financial independence. Warren Buffett agrees that creating a source of income is a good pursuit. 

But how do you do it without saving money? If you want to earn passive investment income, you need to first save and invest. If you want to explore digital businesses like affiliate marketing, dropshipping, selling of digital products, influencing, among others, you still need some capital to get started. 

Consequently, saving money is an essential step towards financial independence.

8. "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." — Robert Kiyosaki

saving money quotes

This quote from Robert Kiyosaki, the famous entrepreneur and real estate investor, is relevant in many ways. 

First, it emphasizes the importance of saving money. It’s not just about how much you make but what portion of it you can keep. 

Second, it helps us understand that saving money is not enough. The money you save needs to work for you. This means, on the one hand, that you can’t afford to lose it; on the other hand, you must invest it where it will keep producing returns for generations to come. 

9. “I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living.”  – John D. Rockefeller

saving money quotes

So far, the financial wellness quotes we have considered have pointed to the importance of saving for avoiding debt, meeting emergencies, building wealth, and achieving financial independence. 

John Rockefeller, considered by many as the richest man in modern history, points us to another benefit – well-ordered living. 

Positively, his point is that learning to live within your means can help you build the kind of discipline that is needed in other areas of life. Anyone who has achieved anything in any area of life knows that discipline and self control are essentials. 

"The habit of saving is itself an education,” said T.T. Munger, a late American theologian. “It fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind."

Here, Rockefeller is saying that inability to gain control over your finances and live within your means will lead to a disordered life. 

10. "It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind." – Lucretius

You cannot save money without frugality, and you can’t be frugal if you don’t have a contented mind. 

As long as you are not content with what you have and you see something out there as must-have even if you can’t afford it, then you will always live in debt. 

For Lucretius, the Greek philosopher, any soul that can live frugally with a contented mind has great wealth. 

Frugality will always be harder if discontent plagues the mind. Therefore, part of the discipline needed to save money is to cultivate a content lifestyle. 

And this is why benefitting from these famous quotes goes beyond familiarity with them. There must also be a mental transformation. 

11. “Once you really accept that spending money doesn’t equal happiness, you have half the battle won.” – Ernest Callenbach

“Money contributes to happiness when it helps us meet basic needs but the research tells us that above a certain level more money doesn't actually yield more happiness,” according to The Happiness Index. This view has already been theorized in what is called the Kuznets curve. 

Discontent minds believe that spending more money will make them happier. But it won't, says Ernest Callenbach, an American author and film critic. As Kin Hubbard, a humorist, has said, when it comes to happiness, both poverty and wealth have failed. 

There are many factors that contribute to happiness and, beyond a certain level, there are diminishing returns to happiness from making or spending more money. 

Understanding the Kuznets curve can be an important step to nurturing the contented mind that Lucretius believes is wealth in itself. 

12. "Deprive yourself of nothing necessary for your comfort, but live in an honorable simplicity and frugality." – John McDonough

Some of the saving money quotes we have considered have mentioned frugality and thrift. But it is important to understand what these terms mean. 

No one can help us better than John McDonough. Look at how he carefully distinguishes necessities from non-essentials. When it comes to necessities, don’t deprive yourself, but beyond that, live in simplicity and frugality. 

This distinction helps us avoid extreme self-abnegation in the name of saving money. There are necessities that are crucial to basic comforts in life and there is no need to deny ourselves of these. 

It is when we come to the non essentials that we must be careful. The Khaleej Times article mentioned in the intro also adheres to this distinction, separating essentials like fuel, utilities, rent, and groceries from “aspirational indulgences” like clothing, jewelry, collectables, manicures, and sports cards, etc. 

13. “Focus on all four of your net worth factors: increasing your income, increasing your savings, increasing your investment returns, and decreasing your cost of living by simplifying your lifestyle.” – T. Harv Eker

Saving money is crucial but it must not be isolated from other components of financial success. T. Harv Eker, a businessman and motivational speaker, gives us this larger picture. 

Just as you are focusing on decreasing your cost of living and increasing your savings, you should also be increasing your income. This can mean getting a better job, starting a new business, earning promotions at work, or exploring multiple streams of income like Buffett counseled. Saving is important but combining it with higher income is even more important

Also, you should be increasing your investment returns. Evaluate your investment portfolio and see if there are opportunities to increase your risk-adjusted returns.  

14. “If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.” – Edmund Burke

Money is either our master or slave. According to Edmund Burke, a British politician in the 18th century, commanding and mastering money is the way to riches and freedom. “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you,” said Dave Ramsey

The aim of personal finance and money management is to give us this control. This is why you must continuously educate yourself about the wisdom of personal finance. 

Controlling your money means moving from being passive to active management. You can’t just receive your income and then go on spending it as you want. Everything must be intentional. That’s the way to achieve mastery.  

15. "A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went." – John C. Maxwell

The foundation of personal finance management is budgeting. 

A  budget is an estimation of your expected income and expenses. Preparing a budget is the way to achieve mastery over your money – telling it where it should go, as John Maxwell, the motivational speaker and award-winning author puts it. 

One popular budgeting system is the 50/30/20 rule. In this system, 50% of your monthly income is for your necessities (remember that word?) or needs. 30% goes to your wants or non-essential spending (vacation, entertainment, sports, unnecessary clothes and accessories, etc.). The remaining 20% is your monthly savings. 

With this simple system, you can take control of your money ensuring that every last dirham is going where you have sent it. 

Remember that disciplining yourself to live within your means is a way to achieve important liberties – freedom from debt, financial independence, and wealth. 

16. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

If your finances are currently in tatters, you might be overwhelmed with all the quotes about saving money for the future we have considered. 

But as Martin Luther King, Jr said, it is the first step that matters. And, as we have seen, the first step is preparing your budget. 

To make this first step less overwhelming, you can use the popular  50/30/20 rule. 

Once you take this first step, you will be on the way to the zenith of wealth. 

17. "Being a smart shopper is the first step to getting rich." – Mark Cuban

At this point in our money saving inspirational quotes, we’ll focus on some practical steps that can help you reduce your spending so you can save more money in Dubai. 

According to Mark Cuban, smart shopping can help us. 

Some of the tips for smart shopping in Dubai include: 

  • Buying your groceries in bulk
  • Attending GITEX and other shopping festivals where you can get certain items at cheaper prices
  • Buying at online stores that offer incentives (cashbacks, money back guarantee, coupons)
  • Use sales promotion offers only if you truly need the item. Wasting AED 50 might be better than wasting AED 100 but you are stealing from yourself according to the Swedish proverb. 
  • Comparing prices before purchasing

18. "Save money on the big, boring stuff so that you have something left over for life’s little pleasures." – Elisabeth Leamy

The big boring stuff should be your focus when you are trying to reduce your expenses, according to Elisabeth Leamy, award-winning journalist. 

Some of the items we spend big on include cars, phones, home electronics, rent, mortgage, groceries

These are the expenses you should be trying to save on

For cars and phones, ensure you compare prices among different stores and buy the one you can afford. 

Many home electronics are often on sale at shopping festivals. Plan your purchase to coincide with these events (remember what we said about active management). 

For rent, choose an affordable neighourhood that is also close to the most important places you have to go to (work, school, religious centers, etc.). If you buy your own house with a mortgage, compare prices to find the best interest rate. 

Regarding groceries, bulk buying is your best bet. But you can also compare prices to find the more cost-effective alternative. 

19. "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." – Benjamin Franklin

Trying to save money on your expenses is good but there is another factor to be considered: quality. According to Benjamin Franklin, late statesman, inventor, and author, the bitterness of buying poor quality will persist even when the thrill of saving money on it has gone. 

Moreover, if you buy low quality items, you will end up spending more than you would have if you bought the high-quality item. 

In essence, your focus should be on buying quality items at cheaper prices rather than buying low-quality products at ridiculous prices. If you can’t afford a quality item, it is better to wait and plan for the purchase in the future than to choose a low-quality alternative that will end up stressing you.  

20. "Small amounts saved daily add up to huge investments in the end." ― Margo Vader

The last of our money saving quotes is emphasizing the importance of starting small. 

Martin Luther King, Jr talked about the need to take the first step. One way we can apply this is to understand that small amounts saved here and there can accumulate into something huge later on. Instead of waiting for that big saving, focus on taking the first step – which might be saving AED 5 here and another AED 10 there. 

What Margo Vader is advocating here is what Maly is trying to do with the Maly app. 

With this app, you can save little amounts on your daily purchases here and there and watch them accumulate. It does this by rounding up purchases from your cards to the nearest 1, 5, or 10 dirhams and saving the difference to your Maly savings card. 

For example, if you bought groceries worth AED 95 and you have chosen a round up limit of 5, AED 100 will be deducted from your account with the remaining AED 5 deposited to your Maly savings card.

The Maly app also allows you to automatically save money from your account at any interval you want. If you set a monthly interval, it will automatically deduct the amount you want from your account on a particular date every month. 

This is one excellent way to practice what Buffett thought – save before you spend. You can set up the app to save a particular amount on the day you receive your income. By doing so, you are “forced” to live within your means as you focus on building wealth for the future. 

By following these savings tips – rounding up your purchases and automatically deducting money from your account – you can start gathering little drops of water until it becomes an ocean. 

Remember that what matters is taking the first step and keeping at it. 

[Do you want to save money in Dubai so you can achieve your financial goals? Download the Maly app to create your own saving plans and start saving for your future.]


  • Saving money is important to meet emergencies and to also invest in your future. 
  • To save money, you need to have a budget and stick to it. Putting your finances in order is always the first step. 
  • Shopping smartly, differentiating between needs and wants, and avoiding debt are hacks that will help you save more. 
  • Paying yourself first is a saving principle that has stood the test of time.
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