Living with credit, Protecting yourself

What Dr. Seuss can teach you about handling your money

Matt Schulz

Updated: March 2, 2016

Dr. Seuss as financial planner? That idea may seem funny to you, but remember, as the greatest children’s book writer of all time once famously said, “From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”


The idea struck me when I stumbled across a great graphic from a few years ago. (Scroll down the page to the full sized image.) The image includes 30 key quotes from the good doctor — who would have turned 112 years old on March 2, 2016 — and is dubbed as “30 Dr. Seuss quotes to live by.” As the father of a little boy who loves little more than to be read to, I immediately recognized most, if not all, of the sayings. Even outside the context of the stories from which they were pulled, their universality and wisdom are unmistakable.

But do they relate to money? The Lorax famously trumpets environmental causes. The Butter Battle Book is an extended metaphor about the buildup of nuclear arms in the Cold War. And Hop On Pop is a chilling tale about a tragic accident that happens when a young boy is roughhousing with his dad. (OK, just kidding about that.) But, from my recollection, money isn’t a common thematic issue for Dr. Seuss.

Still, there are plenty of his quotes that can easily apply to your finances, and even your dealings with credit cards, such as:

  • “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” (“I Can Read With My Eyes Shut”)
  • “Step with care and great tact. And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” (“Oh, The Places You’ll Go”)
  • “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” (“The Lorax”)

However, my favorite one as it relates to your money is this one, which comes from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” — an empowering book about the glories (and inevitable disappointments) of growing up.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

In other words, you’re smart and awesome, so believe in yourself and take action. It’s the advice that’s made the book a traditional gift for college and high school graduates, but it applies to everyone — and to their money. Go make that budget. Go tell that credit card company that you’re going to walk if they don’t lower that interest rate or waive that fee you got for paying late for the first time in 12 years. Go get your credit report and start to fix it up. Go, go, go!

“Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”

“Except when you don’t,
Because sometimes you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
But, sadly it’s true
That bang-ups and hang-ups
Can happen to you.”

And those quotes from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” ring true in personal finance, as in life. You’ll fall down, you’ll get back up — maybe many, many times. Just don’t ever give up, and when times are their toughest, remember these words from “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?”:

“Don’t grumble! Don’t stew!
Some critters are much-much,
oh, ever so much-much,
so muchly much-much more unlucky than you!”

Dr. Seuss Quotes
[Via: 30 Dr. Seuss Quotes to Live By]

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • Love this! Number 11 has become sort of a mantra in my family. Whenever my kids are feeling stuck, I find that this rhyme just comes out of my mouth. Thanks for sharing the rest.

  • jess

    words to live by!