Spending & Investing Quotations


After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined, and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance. I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard, and course. A hard, insensible man whom we liken to a rock is indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have no sympathy, I go to commune with the rock, whose hearts are comparatively soft.—Journal, 15 November 1853
Ask me for a certain number of dollars if you will, but do not ask me for my afternoons.—Journal, 16 September 1859
Economy is a subject which admits of being treated with levity, but it cannot so be disposed of.—Walden
Enjoy the land, but own it not. Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs.—Walden
Even the poor student studies and is taught only political economy, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our colleges. The consequence is, that while he is reading Adam Smith, Ricardo, and Say, he runs his father in debt irretrievably.—Walden
Farms are for sale all around here—and so I suppose men are for purchase.—Thoreau to John and Cynthia Thoreau, 8 June 1843
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.—Walden
I talked of buying Conantum once but for want of money we did not come to terms—but I have farmed it in my own fashion every year since.—Journal, 31 August 1851
I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of life getting his living.—"Life Without Principle"
It is a labor to task the faculties of a man—such problems of profit and loss, of interest, of tare and tret, and gauging of all kinds in it, as demand a universal knowledge.—Walden
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