12 Insightful Movie Quotes About Money You Should Learn From

Don't ignore this golden money advice from the silver screen.
Updated June 6, 2024
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Movies aren’t just lighthearted entertainment or pretty moving pictures. They are companions through the human experience and a reflection of our cultural consciousness. Movies mirror the collective values and wisdom of our times — especially when it comes to love, war, and money.

The silver screen has a direct line to our heartstrings and our wallets. Many popular sayings about building wealth come straight from the cinema.

And some of these zingers are, well, on the money. Here are 16 pieces of money advice from several movies that you should actually follow — or at least contemplate deeply.

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Vanilla Sky (2001)

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“My father wrote about this in his book. Chapter 1... Page 1... Paragraph 1: What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?... Money.”

The takeaway: Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Within the context of the movie, worshiping money means you miss out on truly living.

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Maridav/Adobe luxury shanghai lifestyle

“So your family is, like, rich?”

“We're comfortable.”

“That is exactly what a super-rich person would say.”

The takeaway: Be tactful. There’s no polite way to tell someone, “Yes, I’m rich.” Be sure not to flaunt it in a way that makes others feel less-than or over-inflate your own ego. 

The Princess Bride (1987)

Vasil/Adobe studio photo of a girl

“There's not a lot of money in revenge."

The takeaway: Pursuing revenge can be costly, both financially and emotionally. Instead, spend your time and energy on other tasks that will enrich you.

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The Godfather (1972)

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“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

The takeaway: Everyone has their price if you know how to make the offer—and it might not be a matter of money alone.

“The richest man is the one with the most powerful friends.”

The takeaway: Having well-connected friends grants you access to resources and protection that money alone can't buy. The right friends can help you achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and navigate complex situations — like getting you impossible dinner reservations.

Wall Street (1987)

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“Greed is good.”

The takeaway: It sounds harsh, but a healthy amount of greed fuels ambition and activity, which are good outcomes. That’s one positive interpretation. The quote can also be seen as cautionary, warning others about prioritizing excess profit and materialism over ethics.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Dmitry Lobanov/Adobe rich kid

“Show me the money!”

The takeaway: When it comes to making money off of initiative or investments, the best way to do it is through a plan. Show the path to financial freedom, don't just talk about it.

 It also addresses value and recognizes somebody’s full worth. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you know you’re worth.

Three Amigos! (1986)

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“No dough, no show.”

The takeaway: Though this film was undoubtedly a comedy, it has nuggets of serious truth. There’s a price for everything — advice, labor, and friendship. Even if it’s “free,” there’s still an investment of time, effort, resources, or skill. 

Value your worth and set boundaries.

Other People’s Money (1991)

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“I love money more than the things it can buy… but what I love more than money is other people’s money.”

The takeaway: Beware of who you trust. People are never as cautious with your money as they are with their own money.

Annie (1982)

deagreez/Adobe crazy funny funky old man

“But brother, you’re never fully dressed without a smile.”

The takeaway: This is all about personal perspective. It doesn’t matter how well-dressed and wealthy you are unless you’re happy. It’s better to be smiling and in rags than in fur trim and miserable.

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Fight Club (1999)

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“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [redacted] we don’t need.”

The takeaway: The job of advertisers (and influencers) is to create discontent with what we have — thus needing money to chase an ever-moving goalpost of new desires and #trends. Instead, focus on what actually matters to you and smart ways to invest your money.

“The things you own end up owning you.”

The takeaway: The more you own, the more you have to maintain. And greed has a funny way of never being satiated. Don’t get in over your head physically and mentally by buying too many things.

Boiler Room (2000)

Atstock Productions/Adobe businessman giving or paying money

“There is no such thing as a no-sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way, a sale is made. The only question is who is gonna close? You or him?”

The takeaway: A sale isn’t just a formal transaction of goods; we are always selling something — our personality, viewpoints, or convictions. Hone your craft to win friends and business.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

chajamp/Adobe businessman adjusting his cufflinks

“Money's only something you need in case you don't die tomorrow."

The takeaway: Money and long-term financial planning are so important, but once you're gone, it certainly won't matter to you. It's important to balance both long-term planning and living in the moment. 

Bottom line

mrmohock/Adobe businessman holding coins

Money makes the world go round in many different ways. These iconic movies shed light on abstract ways to think about our relationship with materialism, wealth, and power.

We hope these quotes inspired you to improve your relationship with money and build long-term wealth for your future.

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Author Details

Stacy Garrels Stacy enjoys writing about fintech, consumer deals, the side hustle economy, and random tomfoolery. She's personally tried more than 100 different gigs, including being an Uber driver for one afternoon.