In 1926, a book was written entitled The Richest Man in Babylon. It is set in 2000 BC and dispenses sage financial and life advice that is relevant to this day. Much of this is parallel to the book of Proverbs in the Bible which is fitting as Babylon is a city set in biblical times. 

As with the Book of Proverbs, The Richest Man in Babylon Quotes and parables are timeless and give the reader instruction for managing his budget to “fatten his purse” and “make a profit” as well as other sage advice. Many of the quotes in The Richest Man in Babylon have a striking resemblance to the Book of Proverbs. 

The below 49 Famous Quotes from The Richest Man in Babylon are broken into categories of Income, Wisdom, Budgeting, Investing, Debt, Real Estate, Retirement, Charity and Self-Discipline.

  • Income
  • Wisdom
  • Budgeting
  • Investing
  • Debt
  • Real Estate
  • Retirement
  • Charity
  • Self-Discipline

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes about Income

  1. “In tilling the soil, in honest trading, in all of man’s occupations, there is opportunity to make a profit upon his efforts and his transactions. Perhaps not all the time will he be rewarded because sometimes his judgment may be faulty and other times the winds and the weather may defeat his efforts. Yet, if he persists, he may usually expect to realize his profit.”
  2.  “The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. If he is an artisan, he may seek to learn the methods and the tools of those most skillful in the same line. If he laboreth at the law or at healing, he may consult and exchange knowledge with others of his calling. (And) If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.”
  3. “Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity.”
  4. “Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes about Wisdom

  1. “Our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts.”
  2. “Proper preparation is the key to our success.
  3.  “Cultivate thy own powers to study and become wiser, to become more skillful to so act as to respect thyself.”
  4. “It costs nothing to ask wise advice from a good friend.”
  5. “Study thoughtfully thy accustomed habits of living. Herein may be most often found certain accepted expenses that may wisely be reduced or eliminated.”
  6. “Success means accomplishments as the result of our own efforts and abilities. 
  7. “Our thinking can be no wiser than our understanding.” 
  8. “The man who became of his understanding of the laws of wealth, acquireth a growing surplus, should give thought to those future days. He should plan certain investments or provisions that may endure safely for many years, yet will be available when the time arrives which he has so wisely anticipated.”
  9. “Consult with wise men. Secure their advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.”
  10. “Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you take only what is worth having.”
  11. “Remember, work well done does good to the man who does it. It makes him a better man.”
  12. “And when youth comes to age for advice he receives the wisdom of years”
  13. “The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath it’s shade”
  14. “Our prosperity as a nation depends upon the personal financial prosperity of each of us as individuals.”
  15. “Yet he did possess one of the vital requirements to increase his earnings. Within him was a strong desire to earn more,”
  16. “Better a little caution than a great regret.
  17. “Perhaps there is some secret we might learn if we but sought from whose who knew.”
  18. “When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure.”
  19. “Truth is always simple. “
  20. “Remember, work well done does good to the man who does it. It makes him a better man.”
  21. “And when  youth comes to age for advice he receives the wisdom of years.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes on Being Wise with your money (budgeting)

  1. “I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep. It should be not less than a tenth, no matter how little you earn. It can be as much more as you can afford. Pay yourself first.”
  2. Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments, and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.”
  3. “Study thoughtfully thy accustomed habits of living. Herein may be most often found certain accepted expenses that may wisely be reduced or eliminated.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes on Fattening your purse (Investing)

  1. “Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.’
  2. “The first sound principle of investment is security for thy principal. Is it wise to be intrigued by larger earnings when thy principal may be lost? I say not. The penalty of risk is probable loss. Study carefully, before parting with thy treasure, each assurance that it may be safely reclaimed. Be not misled by thine own romantic desires to make wealth rapidly.”
  3. “Consult with wise men. Secure their advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.”
  4. “A man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually floweth into his purse and keepeth it always bulging. That is what every man desireth. That is what thou, each one of thee desireth; an income that continueth to come whether thou work or travel.”
  5. “Gold, indeed, is a willing worker. It is ever eager to multiply when opportunity presents itself. To every man who hath a store of gold set by, opportunity comes for its most profitable use. As the years pass, it multiplies itself in surprising fashion.”
  6. “One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how.”
  7. “The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath it’s shade.”
  8. “Wealth is a power. With wealth many things are possible.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes on Debt

  1. “Youth, never having had experience, cannot realize that hopeless debt is like a deep pit into which one may descend quickly and where one may struggle vainly for many days. It is a pit of sorrow and regrets where the brightness of the sun is overcast and night is made unhappy by restless sleeping.”
  2. “Yet, I do not discourage borrowing gold. I encourage it. I recommend it if it be for a wise purpose.”
  3. A man must pay his debts with all the promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay.”
  4. “Youth is ambitious. Youth would take shortcuts to wealth and the desirable things for which it stands. To secure wealth quickly youth often borrows unwisely.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes about Real Estate

  1. “Thus come many blessings to the man who owneth his own house. And greatly will it reduce his cost of living, making available more of his earnings for pleasures and the gratification of his desires.”
  2. “There are diverse ways by which a man may provide with safety for his future. A man may buy houses or lands for this purpose. If wisely chosen as to their usefulness and value in the future, they are permanent in their value and their earnings or their sale will provide well for his purpose.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes about Planning Retirement

  1. “Ensure an income for thy future. Look thou at the aged and forget not that in the days to come thou also will be numbered among them. Therefore invest thy treasure with greatest caution that it be not lost.”
  2. “It behooves a man to make preparation for a suitable income in the days to come when he is no longer young.”
  3. “Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes on Charity

  1. “[A man] must have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him.”
  2. “If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend’s burdens upon thyself.”

Richest Man in Babylon Quotes on self-discipline

  1. “Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite.”
  2. “Will power is but the unflinching purpose to carry the task you set for yourself to fullfillment.”