100 Materialism Quotes To Simplify Your Life

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

The average American spends at least $18,000 a year on non-essential items.

But here’s the kicker:

According to research, there is a link between materialism and lower levels of well-being.

Or in other words, the more people buy stuff, the more miserable they feel.

The same research also found that people will have more ecologically destructive behaviors and less pro-social interpersonal behaviors.

It could be time to let go of materialism once and for all.

Now, here are 100 of the best materialism quotes I could find.

The goal?

To remind you that if you are not happy with the stuff you have today, you will probably never be.

By the way, it’s one of the most important articles I’ve ever written.

It’s the core message of this website.

You’ll discover quotes by Seneca, Montaigne, John Lennon, and more.

materialism quotes miseries conquered swami vivekananda wisdom

Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism. Swami Vivekananda

materialism quotes identity crisis bryant mcgill wisdom

Materialism is an identity crisis. Bryant H. McGill

materialism quotes happy coffee yacht naval ravikant wisdom

If you can’t be happy with a coffee, you won’t be happy with a yacht. Naval Ravikant

materialism quotes americanism money things impress people robert guillen wisdom

Americanism: Using money you haven’t earned to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like. Robert Quillen

materialism quotes everyone peace television john lennon wisdom

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace. John Lennon


materialism quotes kfc soul johann hari wisdom

Materialism is KFC for the soul. Johann Hari (Lost Connections)

materialism quotes greed world little seneca wisdom

For greed, the entire world is too little. Seneca (Moral Letters to Lucilius, Amazon book)

materialism quotes reject civilization possessions chuck palahniuk wisdom

Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions. Chuck Palahniuk

materialism quotes realize things nothing people life godlight wisdom

One day you will realize that material things mean nothing. All that matters is the well-being of the people in your life. @TheGodLight

materialism quotes possess wealth benjamin franklin wisdom

He does not possess wealth, it possesses him. Benjamin Franklin


materialism quotes ego wants material soul spiritual maxime lagace wisdom

Your ego wants material but your soul needs spiritual. Maxime Lagacé

materialism quotes believing stuff happy maxime lagace wisdom

Materialism: believing stuff will make you happy. Maxime Lagacé

materialism quotes prosperity mortals enough aeschylus wisdom

Of prosperity, mortals can never have enough. Aeschylus


But wait, before we go any further, what’s the definition of materialism?

One of the best definitions I’ve found is this one from lexico.com:

Materialism: A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.



materialism quotes buying things control power maxime lagace wisdom

Buying things gives us a false sense of control. True power is realizing you don’t need much. Maxime Lagacé

It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. Bertrand Russell

What matters much more is internal happiness and peace than any external material attachments. Naval Ravikant

Happiness does not come from consumption of things. Thich Nhat Hanh

Almost nothing material is needed for a happy life, for he who has understood existence. Marcus Aurelius

Materialism coarsens and petrifies everything, making everything vulgar, and every truth false. Henri Frederic Amiel

Wisdom is knowing eternal satisfaction is impossible. Maxime Lagacé

materialism quotes lose themselves desire possession zhuangzi wisdom

Those who lose themselves in their desire for possession lose their innate nature. Zhuangzi

Increase of material comforts, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth. Mahatma Gandhi

Consumption is an unquenchable thirst. Joshua Fields Millburn

The material possessions aren’t the problem; our attachment is the problem. Joshua Fields Millburn

Possessions are usually diminished by possession. Friedrich Nietzsche

In a civilisation frankly materialistic and based upon property, not soul, it is inevitable that property shall be exalted over soul, that crimes against property shall be considered far more serious than crimes against the person. Jack London

Prosperity is ever providing itself with anxieties. Publius Syrus

We clutter our attention with glowing screens. We clutter our creativity with distractions. We clutter our free time with trivialities. We clutter our desires with attachments. Joshua Fields Millburn

materialism quotes increased possession weariness john ruskin wisdom

Every increased possession loads us with new weariness. John Ruskin

To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Materialistic values cannot give us peace of mind. So we really need to focus on our inner values, our true humanity. Only this way can we have peace of mind—and more peace in our world. 14th Dalai Lama (Source)

Our clutter isn’t relegated only to material things. We clutter our lives with destructive relationships, careers, obligations, rituals, busyness, minutiae. Joshua Fields Millburn

Twenty-two different studies have, in the years since, found that the more materialistic and extrinsically motivated you become, the more depressed you will be. Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression, Amazon book)

Houses are full of things that gather dust. Jack Kerouac

materialism quotes organize stuff rid most joshua fields millburn wisdom

The best way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it. Joshua Fields Millburn

The world says: “You have needs – satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy this weekend to change that. Joshua Becker (becomingminimalist.com)

We’re all to driven by materialism. Obsessed with success. With money. With trying to impress people who’ll never be impressed. Sophie Kinsella

The stuff you buy clutter your house and your mind. Maxime Lagacé


We have too much. Too much stuff. Too much stress. Too many obligations. Yet we don’t have enough. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough energy. Joshua Fields Millburn

A person can understand his real destination in life only after he manages to liberate from the sensual, material world. Leo Tolstoy

Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money. Morgan Housel

A great property is a great bondage for the owner. Publius Syrus (The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus, Amazon book)

Fools chase. The wise relax. Maxime Lagacé

materialism quotes impressed possessions morgan housel wisdom

No one is impressed with your possessions as much as you are. Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money, Amazon book)

Material progress doesn’t make us happier. If it did, the ancients must have been a miserable bunch. Instead we compete for status, an older, zero-sum game. We don’t want things, we want to be things. A rational person recounts their blessings and rejects society’s games. Naval Ravikant

People fill their homes with excess things and travel to be free of them. @TheStoicEmperor (Source)

Much of the stuff you think you need is simple social conditioning. Wake up. Thibaut

The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything. Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)

The real luxuries of life is time and freedom, not cars, clothes or homes. Unknown

Man should not consider his material possession his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Thomas Aquinas

materialism quotes modern consumerist money time anthony ongaro wisdom

The modern consumerist system is designed to take your money and time away from you. Anthony Ongaro (breakthetwitch.com)

Human nature knows no upper bound.

A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it. Lionel Shriver

Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. Regina Brett

Being rich is having time. The less stuff you own the more time you have for what truly matters. Maxime Lagacé

Lack of contentment sows the seed of envy and aggressive competitiveness and leads to a culture of excessive materialism. 14th Dalai Lama (Source)

The nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip. Wassily Kandinsky

materialism quotes people guard possessions time wind james pierce wisdom

People guard their material possessions with vigilance, and scatter their time in the wind. James Pierce (Source)

Advertisements. They disturb the peace. They make us feel inadequate. They encourage overconsumption. They indoctrinate kids. They promote outrage. They sway elections. They fuel fake news. They lack sincerity. They persuade people to go into debt to buy things they don’t need. Joshua Fields Millburn

There is no more expensive thing than a free gift. Michel de Montaigne

I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news. John Muir

There is no such thing as material covetousness. All covetousness is spiritual. Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. Mark Twain

Consume ideas, rather than physical possessions. Anthony Pompliano

There must be more to life than having everything. Maurice Sendak

Spend more time cultivating a mind that is not attached to material things than time spent accumulating them. Cory Muscara (Source)

materialism quotes wiser realize enrich impoverish soul maxime lagace wisdom

As you get wiser, you realize materialism only enrich the rich and impoverish your soul. Maxime Lagacé

If your material possessions don’t serve a purpose or bring you joy, then they are likely in the way of a more meaningful life. Joshua Fields Millburn

The roots of addiction can be seen in our search for happiness in something outside of our self, be it drugs, relationships, material possessions. Lee L Jampolsky

Before you consume anything, ask yourself, ‘Is this useful?’ Joshua Fields Millburn

Related: A psychologist explains why materialism is making you unhappy (vox.com)

Material blessings, when they pay beyond the category of need, are weirdly fruitful of headache. Philip Wylie

People spend more time taking care of their possessions than they do their body. James Pierce

I’m one of the least materialistic people that exist, because material possessions don’t mean much to me. They’re beautiful, I enjoy them, they can enhance your life to a certain degree, but they’re ultimately not important. Tom Ford (Famous fashion designer)

Once you need less, you’ll have more. Unknown

materialism quotes answer more want less mark manson wisdom

What if the answer isn’t to do more? What if the answer is to want less? Mark Manson (Source)

Let there be as little materialism as possible, with the maximum of spirituality. Swami Vivekananda

We cannot buy a meaningful life. We can only live it. Joshua Fields Millburn

I use to work to get shiny things. Now, I work to have an empty calendar. Aaron Aalto

Stop wasting your money on dumb shit that you don’t need. Anthony Pompliano

Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves. Epictetus

Discard everything that does not contribute to your best life. Joshua Becker

materialism quotes normalize status life competition maxime lagace wisdom

Normalize not caring about your status. Life is not a competition. Maxime Lagacé

Who has the greatest possessions? He who wants least. Publius Syrus (The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus)

Too many of us waste our lives maintaining possessions rather than pursuing mission and passion. Choose mission over maintenance. Joshua Becker

You will be happy with stuff only if you can be happy without stuff. Thibaut

To be happy, we needn’t add anything to our lives — we must only subtract. Joshua Fields Millburn (Source)

More freedom is more empowering than more stuff. Joshua Fields Millburn

The more things you have, the more weight you carry. Thibaut

materialism quotes life getting more becoming reham knan wisdom

Life is not about getting more. Life is about becoming more. Reham Khan

Own less, love more. Joshua Becker

Inner poverty makes us seek, accept and cling to formulations, hopes, dogmas, beliefs and possessions. Jiddu Krishnamurti

Instead of figuring out how to make ends meet, work on having fewer ends. Courtney Carver (bemorewithless.com)

The wonderful things in life are the things you do, not the things you have. Reinhold Messner

The less stuff you have, the less clutter you have, the less stressed you are. Maxime Lagacé

People who live below their expectations, enjoy a freedom people who are busy upgrading their lifestyles can’t afford. Naval Ravikant

Stop collecting things and start pursuing meaning. Carlos Del Valle


materialism quotes wealthiest health time peace maxime lagace wisdom

The wealthiest have health, time and inner peace. They know the rest is optional. Maxime Lagacé

Key Takeaways

  • Materialism leads to the ruin of:
    • Society
    • Your soul
    • Your happiness
  • It’s your search for happiness that leads to unhappiness.
  • Stop believing stuff will make you happy forever. It will not.
  • Remember: Nobody cares about your stuff as much as you do.
  • The benefits of NOT buying stuff?
    • More time
    • More energy
    • More money

Materialism Video

Further Readings

Hope you enjoyed these great materialism quotes and that you learned a thing or two about true happiness (or unhappiness).

Now, if you did like the quotes, please share them with a materialistic friend today!

Are you materialistic? What was your favorite materialism quote or video? And remember: words can transform your life, if you find the right ones.

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

October 28, 2022

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