Chinese Proverbs About Money and Personal Finance
A commenter on Wise Bread wrote a Chinese proverb about marketing that reminded me that there are many Chinese proverbs about money and personal finance. Here are a few of the ones I hear quite often.
An inch of time is worth an inch of gold, but it is hard to buy one inch of time with one inch of gold - I was taught this proverb at a young age. It can be interpreted as "time is more precious than money" and in many ways I find that to be true. I trade my time for money at work, but I cannot buy the time I spend at work back. It is sometimes used as a lament by older people who are well off financially when they mean that they can never buy back their youth.
Money could make demons turn grind stones - This proverb has two sides in its meaning. In one sense it means that if you have money you have the power to hire anyone you want to do your bidding. In the more negative usage, it is said when people commit crimes for money. For example, whenever there is some corrupt official being executed in China for embezzling, people would say this phrase to mean that money can lead people to do bad things.
Giving your child a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold - This is is akin to the proverb "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." However, the difference is that the Chinese version is more concerned about inheritances. I agree that teaching a child a marketable skill that he or she can use to generate income is much better than giving a child a set amount of money to spend.
If you save the green mountain, you will not worry about having no firewood to burn - On its surface this could be a statement about conservation and environmentalism, but it also means that as long as you are alive and producing something in the world, you do not have to worry about not being able to survive. I often hear this proverb in TV shows where heroes failed spectacularly in life and lost everything, but they still have their life and skills left so they can rebuild.
There are many more Chinese proverbs about money and life, but I will stop here for today. What are some of the proverbs you grew up with? How do they apply to your life today?
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