Proverbs and sayings are popular nuggets of wisdom, often in circulation for centuries and even millenniums. They’re different from quotes, which are relatively recent and can often be attributed to a well-known person.
This post contains proverbs and sayings on health, happiness, and money. Each saying is followed by its meaning and an example sentence using it. If you’re interested in meaning alone, just skip the examples.
You may find more proverbs here:
- Proverbs on life (with meanings)
- Proverbs on family, friends, and love (meanings and examples)
- Proverbs on books (with meanings)
Note: Origin of the saying, wherever available, is mentioned next to it in square brackets.
1. Proverbs and sayings on health
1. You are what you eat.
If you eat healthy, you stay healthy. If you eat junk, you may develop health problems in the medium to long term.
Example: My grandfather has stayed away from anything junk or processed for as long as I can remember. Not surprisingly, he is fit and healthy even at 82. You are what you eat.
2. Gluttony kills more than the sword.
More people die of health issues arising out of overeating than in violence.
Example: You should be concerned about your persistent obesity because gluttony kills more than the sword.
3. More die of food than famine.
More people die because of indulgence in food and eating unhealthy than because of famine.
Example: You shouldn’t eat unhealthy snacks every evening. Remember, more die of food than famine.
4. The best doctors are Dr Diet, Dr Quiet, and Dr Merryman.
To lead a healthy life, we need good diet (to beat poor eating habits), rest (to beat hectic work), and some enjoyment (to beat stress).
Example: Your hectic life as a software engineer has taken a toll on you. You need to improve your lifestyle, and I need not tell you that the best doctors are Dr Diet, Dr Quiet, and Dr Merryman.
5. After lunch, rest; after dinner, walk a mile. [Arabic]
After lunch, take rest to aid digestion since lunch is usually a heavy meal. After dinner, take a walk since it’s usually a lighter meal.
Example: My grandfather enjoys good health even at the age of 82, and he partly credits it to the dictum: After lunch, rest; after dinner, walk a mile.
1.3 Sleep and relaxation
6. Laughter is the best medicine.
Laughter functions no less than a medicine: Laughter strengthens immune system, lifts mood, and protects from stress.
Example: Laughter clubs exist for a reason: People realize that laughter is the best medicine.
7. A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
Laughter and adequate sleep are the best cures as well as preventions as they boost immunity and wellbeing.
Example: Tom: I’ve sore throat and have been feeling tired since yesterday evening. Jerry: I guess you should stay away from your hectic work life for few days, take rest, and enjoy. A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
8. Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. [Chinese]
We build tension and stress when we try to conform ourselves to how others want us to be. But if we don’t try to fit into moulds and simply go by who we are, we’ll be relaxed. Unfortunately, most of us choose the former.
Example: You don’t need to attend such parties every week just to be noticed, especially when you don’t like them. Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
9. Health is not valued till sickness comes.
We go through our lives robotically, not eating healthy and not exercising regularly, which inevitably leads to one or the other health problem. That’s when we realize the importance of good health.
Example: My father improved his diet and started morning walks after he suffered a mild heart attack. Health is not valued till sickness comes.
10. He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. [Arabic]
Someone who has good health can hope to pursue his goals and make a difference in future. And it’s hope that keeps us going. (How do people survive the most wretched times? Hope for better times.) But without good health, there is little hope for future, which takes away the thing that keeps us going.
Example: As long as I stay healthy, I don’t bother about even major setbacks like losing money. After all, he who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.
2. Proverbs and sayings on happiness
2.1 Self-love and body positivity
Loving yourself despite what others think about you is a must for happiness. What’s important is who you are as a person and not what you look like or what your background is.
11. Comparisons are odious.
Don’t compare yourself with others. It can harm one or both the parties by lowering self-esteem. Remember, everyone’s situation is different. You may have things that others don’t, and vice versa. Moreover, when you compare, you may seek happiness in misfortunes of the person whom you compare yourself with. This breeds disliking and mistrust among people.
Example: Tom: My classmates are far better placed in their lives than I am. Jerry: Comparisons are odious. Everyone’s situation is different.
12. Outside noisy, inside empty.
People may have busy and sought-after life, but many of them are empty and unhappy from inside.
Example: Many rich and famous lead a glitzy and busy life, but they also face tremendous pressure to perform and maintain their lifestyle, and they’ve few real friends. Outside noisy, inside empty.
13. A tree is known by its fruit.
Like a tree is known by the fruit it bears, a person is known by his character and actions (and not by his appearance).
Example: I see that you avoid him just because he isn’t good looking. Remember, a tree is known by its fruit.
14. Please your eye and plague your heart.
Those who decide their partners mainly on looks suffer later. Character, qualities, and values matter a lot.
Example: It was love at first sight and a quick marriage, but it didn’t last. They should have considered things beyond just physical attractiveness. Please your eye and plague your heart.
15. Beauty is but skin deep.
We can’t judge people only by their looks. A beautiful face my conceal a bad character.
Example: Don’t get taken in by his beautiful face because beauty is but skin deep.
16. Men are not to be measured in inches.
Greatness or value of a person can’t be measured by his stature.
Example: Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist and a philanthropist, was just 5’2”. Men are not to be measured in inches.
17. The crow that mimics a cormorant is drowned. [Japanese]
Don’t copy others to fit into what others want to see. People will see through the facade you’re putting up and not respect you. Authenticity (projecting who you actually are) is valued a lot, and it’s an extremely rare quality.
Example: He tried to look cool by dressing in a different way and smoking, but to his dismay, people were amused. The crow that mimics a cormorant is drowned.
18. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
What is beautiful to one person may not be beautiful to another. So, even an average-looking person will be considered beautiful by someone.
Example: You shouldn’t be disappointed at all. You’ll surely find a better person because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
2.2 Live in the present
Unless we’re deeply engaged in something, we spend our time reminiscing past or planning for future. But life is in the present. Happiness is in savouring what’s around.
19. One today is worth two tomorrows.
Many live in the future, making plans, seeing them fulfilled, and fantasizing about creature comforts. But this is all in dreams, and we don’t experience dreams and hence time dreaming is lost every day from our lives. We experience reality. So, live in the present. That’s where experience is, life is.
Example: When I’m not focusing on something, I get lost in thoughts, past or future. I rarely utilize such free moments to absorb what’s happening around. I need to change this as one today is worth two tomorrows.
20. Take things as they come.
Don’t stress too much thinking over things that haven’t yet happened. Live in the present and take them as they come.
Example: Don’t stress yourself out thinking over how your children’s career path will shape up. They’re still 0-2 years from college. Take things as they come.
21. The golden age was never the present age.
The golden age of a country, culture, or kingdom always refers to a period in the past, not in the present. Howsoever well we may live or achievements we may make now, we’ll not think the current period to be golden, and, instead, long for the past. Live in the present.
Example: Few centuries into future, people will look back at our age and may probably call it golden age. But we won’t call it such because the golden age was never the present age.
22. Take time to smell the roses.
Past is gone. Future is not yet here. The only thing you’ve is present. So, learn to live and enjoy the present. Slow down, observe things around, and experience them.
Example: That day when I looked at things around in the park unrushed, I felt so calm and found the bounties of nature such a precious gift. I think I had become a robot, and I need to change. I need to take time to smell the roses to feel happy again.
23. Haste makes waste.
Work done in haste stresses you, and the effort may even be wasted because of subpar quality.
Example: In hurry to finish the exam, I failed to grasp the instructions in multiple-choice question section and marked only one answer as correct. The questions, however, could have more than one answer. Haste makes waste.
24. Success is a journey, not a destination.
While traveling, you enjoy not just your destination but also other places and experiences, little or big, on the way. Similarly, in life’s journey don’t be obsessed with the final reward, which may come after many months or years or may not come at all, but enjoy little achievements and experiences every day. Many set the precondition of arriving at the destination before they enjoy life, and for them, life just slips away without happiness.
Example: Tom: I’ll go on an international vacation every six months if I get this promotion. Jerry: You can afford it even now, at least once a year. Why set such pre-condition and stop living life? You won’t regain lost years. Success is a journey, not a destination.
25. Expectation is better than realization.
The expectation of achieving a desired goal is often more satisfying than the feeling we have when the goal is achieved. We all have taken exams, often spread over several days. The expectation of exams ending in few days and all the freedom and relaxation you’ll enjoy is often better than the feeling you’ve when the exams end.
Example: Thinking and planning about the safari trip to Kenya and Tanzania was more enjoyable than the feeling I had when I reached there. Expectation is better than realization.
2.3 Desire has no limit
Wants have no limits. You get a shiny toy. Now, you want a shinier toy. Wants under control will reduce your misery.
26. The more you have, the more you want.
When you’ve little wealth, you’re not happy. You think if you reach certain level, you’ll be happy. You work hard, make sacrifices, and reach the level you aspired. However, your level shifts upwards now, and, guess what, you’re still not happy. Your expectation keeps shifting upwards in a never-ending cycle, and happiness continues to elude you despite material wealth.
Example: I had regular furniture in my house, and then I decided to replace it with bespoke one. Let’s see how long I stick with the new furniture. The more you have, the more you want.
27. Enough is as good as a feast.
What’s enough (food, drink, or other material things) for you is already excess. You don’t need more.
Example: You own quite a comfortable car, which is adequate for you. Why do you want to replace it with twice as expensive a car? Enough is as good as a feast.
28. Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
If you keep your expectations in check, you would be disappointed much less. Quite a few scriptures tell us that path to happiness is working without expecting because unmet expectations lead to disappointment and misery.
Example: I prepared for the exam and wrote it to the best of my ability but didn’t hold any expectations of high or low marks. When the results were announced, I fared just average, but I wasn’t overly unhappy, unlike few friends who had high expectations. Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
29. Monkey see, monkey do.
People copy others mindlessly. It’s common to see people buy expensive items just because their neighbour or relative bought it. They too want to show off. Such envy and competitive acquisition without need has no end and often leads to unhappiness.
Example: I recently moved to a two-bedroom apartment, but after visiting my friend’s place, I’m considering moving to a more spacious apartment. Monkey see, monkey do.
30. Better a little fire to warm us than a great one to burn us.
Having moderate amount of something may be beneficial than having excess which may be harmful.
Example: We don’t get the range of latest food fads in our home, and I believe this drawing of line on consumption has done good to our health. Better a little fire to warm us, than a great one to burn us.
31. There is measure in all things.
Do things in moderation.
Example: Your overindulgence in food & drink and mobile entertainment will affect your health and happiness. There should be measure in all things.
32. A person with too much ambition cannot sleep in peace.
Over-ambition can lead to stress and work-life imbalance, common reasons for unhappiness.
Example: Since his promotion is due this year, he is slogging hard to bag few more deals for his division, which is clearly affecting his wellbeing. A person with too much ambition cannot sleep in peace.
2.4 Help others
33. If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a month – get married. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.
If you want lasting happiness, help others. Research has clearly established the role of helping others in enhancing own happiness.
Example: Philanthropists are often one of the happiest persons. If you want happiness for an hour… help someone else.
34. Help a lame dog over a stile.
Help those in difficulty.
Example: My organization donates to a charity that provides shelter to homeless during winter. Help a lame dog over a stile.
35. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
You don’t lose anything by helping others, making a small chat, cheering some up, giving a hug, listening to someone patiently, and other small acts of kindness. Such acts bring happiness, in whatever little way, to others.
Example: Today, I chatted with my colleague, who is going through tough time after loss of a family member, to divert his attention from the sad event and cheer him up. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
2.5 Show gratitude for what you have
Expressing gratitude for what we have teaches us contentment, an oft-practiced way to achieve happiness.
36. Think not on what you lack as much as on what you have.
Instead of cribbing about what you don’t have, think of what you have and be grateful for it. You should count your blessings and not what you lack.
Example: Although I’m disappointed with how my business has fared recently, it is at least bringing in steady income, which helps me put food on the table every day. Think not on what you lack as much as on what you have.
37. Better a small fish than an empty dish.
We should be thankful for whatever little you have. It’s better than not having anything. Be content.
Example: The government contract I’ve landed is small and is unlikely to extend beyond 18 months. But there have also been times when I had no work for months. Better a small fish than an empty dish.
2.6 Accept what can’t be changed
38. What can’t be cured must be endured.
If a situation can’t be remedied, be patient and endure it. For example, learn to accept events such as financial loss, breakup, illness, and death where things are beyond your control.
Example: I’ve been stuck at home for several months now because of the lockdown, but there is little I can do. What can’t be cured must be endured.
39. Even the best dancer on the stage must retire some time. [African]
Most things such as career and youth in our lives will eventually decline, a reality we should accept.
Example: I’ve come across many who look longingly at their younger self and refuse to accept that they’ve grown old. Even the best dancer on the stage must retire sometime.
2.7 You don’t need to know everything
Perfection is an enemy of happiness. It’s fine to aspire for and work towards perfection, but cogitating over yours and frowning over others’ imperfections can stress you needlessly.
40. What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over. [Jewish]
What we don’t see doesn’t perturb us. This proverb is an ideal fit for today’s digital world. These days, we consume excessive information over social media and other platforms on the internet, and often stumble on something unpleasant that disturbs us. If we hadn’t come across it, we would have been in a better state of mind.
Example: While going through my Facebook feed, I came across a disturbing photo, and it kept bothering me for at least few days. I wish I hadn’t seen it. What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over.
41. Where ignorance is bliss, it’s a folly to be wise.
Ignorance can be good sometimes.
Example: I didn’t try to find out how my interview might pan out, and I was glad I didn’t because that would have made me unduly anxious. With no anxiety and meeting the questions with an open mind, I did well in the interview.
42. Being happy is better than being king.
You may have all the riches and power of the world, but it’s not of much use if you’re still unhappy. Some don’t realize but it’s true that money, fame, and power do not necessarily bring happiness.
Example: The popular movie star recently committed suicide. He had a flourishing career, wealth, and millions of fans. Yet…. I would say being happy is better than being king.
43. Happiness is the best cosmetic.
If you’re happy, it’ll show on your face. You’ll glow.
Example: You look fresh and glowing because you’re mostly happy. I guess, happiness is the best cosmetic which everyone should aspire to use.
44. Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
We’ll look old with age, but we can remain young at heart and in spirit if we maintain our enthusiasm for work and life. By the same token, young people may look young outwardly but will be old at heart and in spirit if they lack enthusiasm.
Example: Tom: You look healthy and energetic despite your age. Jerry: That’s probably because of my interest in my yoga business and gardening. I look forward to them every morning. Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
3. Proverbs and sayings on money
3.1 Money is influential
45. A rich man’s joke is always funny.
People agree with and flatter rich people to be in good books with them.
Example: The rich kid in my college was always surrounded by classmates who were overzealous to flatter him and keep him in good humour. A rich man’s joke is always funny.
46. Everyone loves a lord.
Everyone wants to associate with a person of higher social or economic status. Don’t we?
Example: Tom: This guy seems to be ingratiating with every rich and popular guy here. Jerry: Yes, he is, but why single him out. Everyone loves a lord.
47. Money talks.
Money can influence, make things happen.
Example: When he got into legal trouble, he hired the best lawyers and escaped the penalty. Money does talk.
48. The dog wags his tail not for you, but for your bread. [Portuguese]
If you’re rich, remember that many around you are there because of your money and not for you.
Example: I thought I had plenty of friends in college because of my multi-faceted personality. But after our family’s fortunes swung for worse, most friends disappeared. Then I realized that the dog wags his tail not for you, but for your bread.
49. He who pays the piper calls the tune.
He who finances a venture has the right to make important decisions with respect to that venture.
Example: The investors made most of the critical decisions in my friend’s coffee business. After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune.
3.2 Savings and debt
There are two mantras to financial freedom: save and avoid debt.
50. A penny saved is a penny earned.
Saving money is as good as earning money: the net result is money in hand.
Example: Tom: How did you manage to own a house despite such a modest income? Jerry: I saved regularly. A penny saved is a penny earned.
51. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
If you save small amounts regularly, you’ll have large sum in due course.
Example: My father saved $500 every month for several years, which enabled him to buy a house. He looked after the pennies and pounds looked after themselves.
52. Money begets money.
You can invest the money you have to earn more money.
Example: Financial institutions such as banks and pension funds invest the deposits they receive and earn money on them. Money begets money.
53. Get what you can and keep what you have; that’s the way to get rich. [Scottish]
Earn and save. That’s the way to get rich.
Example: He can lead such a lifestyle because he gets what he can and keeps what he has. That’s the way to get rich.
54. Stretch your arm no further than your sleeve will reach.
Don’t live a lifestyle that overextends your means and hence forces you to live on credit.
Example: My friend expends more than his income can afford. His lifestyle will soon come crashing down once his credit sources run dry, and they eventually will. One should stretch his arm no further than his sleeve will reach.
55. Interest on debt grows without rain.
Plants need sunshine and water (or rain) to grow, but interest doesn’t need any favourable conditions to grow. It only needs a debt.
Example: No way I can take another debt to finance the car. I already have significant outstanding debt, and I know very well that interest on debt grows without rain.
56. Money is a good servant but a bad master.
If you’ve money and if you can put it to good use, then it’s a good servant. But if you owe others money, it’ll control you and affect you adversely.
Example: I can’t quit my job despite my strong disliking for it because I’m still repaying two loans. It’s rightly said that money is a good servant but a bad master.
57. He is rich who owes nothing. [French]
Some people may look rich outwardly, but, in reality, are neck deep in debt and other obligations. If you’re free of obligations – financial and others – then you’re truly rich.
Example: I don’t have significant outstanding debt, and therefore I consider myself to be better off than some of my friends who earn far more but are deep in debt. He is rich who owes nothing.
58. Pay as you go and nothing you’ll owe.
If you pay as and when you buy, you’ll not get into debt.
Example: I resist buying unless I’ve cash surplus to pay. Pay as you go and nothing you’ll owe.
59. Out of debt, out of danger.
If you’re out of debt, you’re out of clutches of the creditor. In some parts of the world, money lenders in rural areas charge exorbitant interest rates (40+ percent per annum) and usurp landholding and other assets of the debtor in case of default.
Example: The Company sold some of its assets and raised some equity money to repay significant part of the outstanding debt. The promoters can breathe easy now as they saved the Company. Out of debt, out of danger.
3.3 Freebies and cheats
60. The only free cheese is in the mousetrap. [Russian]
There rarely are completely free offers; they come attached with hooks. So, beware of such offers.
Example: The film actor got a 4-day stay at heavy discount at a premium hotel in Maldives, but later they used her pictures to promote the hotel. The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.
61. If you’re not paying, you’re the product.
It’s an internet version of the previous proverb. You can surf social media and access variety of information on websites for free, but it comes at the expense of your privacy (ads shown, etc.).
Example: I get such attractive discounts on this website, but I’m sure they’re making money off me in some or the other way. After all, if you’re not paying, you’re the product.
62. Many go out for wool and come home shorn themselves.
Many try to make a fortune through investment and other means but end up losing even the money or resources they invested.
Example: Taken in by the promise of high returns, many invested in the multi-level-marketing scheme. Within a year the company shut down, and the investors lost their money. Many go out for wool and come home shorn themselves.
63. The bait hides the hook.
The hook catches the fish but, in the first place, it’s the bait that brings the fish to the hook. So, beware of an overly attractive offer. It may just be a bait to catch you.
Example: After I joined the weight-loss program that promised reduction of 10 kgs in a month, I was offered gym membership, supplements, and what not. Weight reduction was just the bait, and it hid the hook.
64. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If an offer seems too attractive to believe, then it’s most likely fraudulent.
Example: Ten percent return per month! Not possible. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
65. He who does not ask will never get a bargain. [French]
Many times, there aren’t any bargains on offer, but you can get one if you ask. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Example: My friend got a 10 percent discount on the leather jacket he bought, but I didn’t get any on the same jacket because I didn’t ask. He who does not ask will never get a bargain.
66. Good bargains empty the purse.
Good bargains can be tempting and entice people into buying more than required, most of which can even go unused.
Example: I bought three trousers and four shirts for 30 percent discount even though I don’t need them. Good bargains indeed empty the purse.
67. If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.
Something cheap will be of suspect quality and will trouble you later in the form of higher maintenance and/ or poor performance.
Example: I bought the air conditioner at quite an attractive price, but it’s running a high electricity bill because it’s not very efficient, and it also requires more maintenance. If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.
68. If you buy quality, you only cry once.
Conversely, high quality product or service is likely to set you back (in terms of high price) only once.
Example: I bought a five-star efficient air conditioner at a hefty price, but it’s all worth it as it’s quite efficient and hasn’t broken down in a long time. If you buy quality, you only cry once.
3.5 But money is not everything
69. The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have. [Yiddish]
Chasing wealth is a never-ending game. It rarely stops at a particular level, and the chasers don’t have enough time and peace of mind to enjoy what they’ve accumulated. Better are those who enjoy what they have.
Example: Many executives have most things money can buy, but they’re a stressed lot due to constant pressure of keeping up with their targets. The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have.
70. A happy heart is better than a full purse.
What’s the use of money if you’re unhappy despite loads of it? Happiness is better than plenty. A 2010 study at Princeton University points that happiness increases with money but only till basic needs are met. After that, money matters much less.
Example: My cousin is a multi-millionaire, but he is super-busy and stressed, with little time to spend time with his family. I guess a happy heart is better than a full purse.
71. Money cannot buy happiness.
More money doesn’t translate into more happiness. Don’t we read instances of rich and famous being unhappy and depressed, and even committing suicide?
Example: Yesterday, media carried another report of celebrity depression. Money, clearly, cannot buy happiness.
72. Shrouds have no pockets.
We arrived in this world without anything, and we’ll leave without anything. We can’t carry anything to our next lives.
Example: What will you do with all the money you’re accumulating at the cost of a peaceful, happy life? As far as I know, shrouds have no pockets.
73. The best things in life are free.
You don’t need money to enjoy friendship, love, fresh air, water, night sky, and other bounties of nature.
Example: While jogging through the lush green city forest and relishing the clean air, I thought, “The best things in life are free.
74. Who depends on another man’s table often dines late. [Italian]
If you depend on others for money and other resources, the day is not far when you’ll get step-brotherly treatment.
Example: My friend, who was jobless and was staying with his brother’s family then, wasn’t sometimes invited to exclusive events in the city. Who depends on another man’s table often dines late.
75. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
It’s good to have money as cushion for bad times. You never know when an unexpected need might arise.
Example: My friend had to run from pillar to post to raise funds for his father’s medical emergency as he didn’t have enough savings. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
76. Better a steady dime than a rare dollar.
Habits and predictability make our lives easy. Have you worked in a job where your hours (leaving time, at least) varied randomly? If you’ve to leave at 3 PM one day, 5 PM another day, and 10 PM another day? Most will rather prefer leaving at 6 PM every day even if they’ve to work more hours overall. Same applies with money. A small but steady amount is preferable over a larger, though rare, payoff.
Example: I landed a contract last month with a good payoff, but it’ll last just a year, and then I’ll have to search for another. Better a steady dime than a rare dollar.
77. Time is money, and it is difficult for one to use money to get time.
You can use time to earn money, but you cannot use money to get back lost time.
Example: Don’t while away your time. You’ll repent it few years down the road. Time is money, and it is difficult for one to use money to get time.
78. Abundance, like want, ruins many. [Romanian]
Too much money can lead to vices and bad habits, which ruin people.
Example: The tycoon’s son was found unconscious in a luxury hotel. Reports suggest that he had an overdose of drugs. Abundance, like want, ruins many.
79. Make hay while the sun shines.
Take advantage of a favourable situation and prosper as much as you can. You never know when the tide turns again.
Example: Most firms increased their production of PPE kit during the pandemic to make hay while the sun shone.
80. Penny wise, pound foolish.
To save a small amount, some risk a far bigger amount.
Example: My friend bought an expensive car but didn’t insure it to save some money, risking his car. Surely a case of penny wise, pound foolish.
81. From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.
The first generation works hard to establish a business and create wealth, the second generation runs the business, and the third ruins it and brings it back to nought. (‘Shirtsleeves’ is used to describe people who work hard.)
Example: Several family businesses have bitten dust because of unwillingness of subsequent generations to adapt to changed market realities. From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.