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40 Things Poor People Do That Rich People Don’t

TristaNovember 22, 2019

Have you ever looked at a rich person and wondered, “What are they doing that I’m not?” Or, rather, what are you doing that’s keeping you poor? This article isn’t meant to bash people or make them feel bad about themselves.

It’s merely a compilation of advice taken from wealthy people on the “poor habits” they never incorporate into their lives. Check out these 40 differences between rich people and poor people in terms of daily lifestyles.

Although you might not see a newspaper as much these days, reading is still as important as ever. Shutterstock

40. Not Reading Enough

Many people see reading as something that they had to do to get through school, not as a lifelong habit that can help them succeed in life. An overwhelming majority of people never read a book after they graduate, and their finances suffer from it. No, reading articles on the internet (even this one) does not count. Reading books regularly is one of the best things you can do to stimulate your mind and put you on the path toward success. Some poor people may argue that one month of a subscription to Netflix is cheaper than buying a book, and yes, that is correct. However, a library card is completely free.

You don’t always have to read business-related news to become rich. Browsing fiction will expand your vocab and knowledge of the world, too. Shutterstock

Warren Buffett, the billionaire behind Berkshire Hathaway, thinks that everyone should read 500 pages a day. While that amount is probably excessive for even the most devoted graduate student, he is making a point about the importance of reading for any success. While fiction books can be a more meaningful form of entertainment than binging on Netflix, nonfiction books are what will set you up for success. Start by looking for self-help books to help you get out of vicious cycles that keep you trapped in poverty. Your library has quite a few that you can check out for free.

Do you find yourself dozing off during the day? You need a better sleep schedule. Shutterstock

39. Not Get Enough Sleep

Poor people often do not get enough sleep, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for not-so-good reasons. A good reason to not get enough sleep is that you were caring for a sick child all night and have to get up early to go to work. A not-so-good reason is that you were out partying when you needed to get to work the next day. However, whether the reason is good or not good, the fact is that not getting enough sleep is likely a factor contributing to poverty. Lack of sleep causes poor focus and, over time, can cause you to make decisions that keep you trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Wealthy people have a well-rounded schedule that includes sufficient sleep each night. Shutterstock

Rich people prioritize getting the rest that they need to perform at their best consistently. Furthermore, wealthy people often have a set bedtime (even on the weekends), and wake up at the same time every day. They don’t get enough sleep because they can sleep until noon instead of going in to work where rich people get enough sleep because they insist on it. Rich people know that they need to perform at a high level every day, in every interaction they make, and one thing they need to perform well is adequate rest daily.

Stop being lazy and start a healthy workout routine. Shutterstock

38. Not Getting Enough Exercise

Many poor people work in jobs that are physically demanding. For example, serving tables at a restaurant requires you to be on your feet for six to eight hours at a time, going back and forth carrying food for your customers. Nurse assistants often do not get a break as long as they are on the clock. They do very physically demanding tasks, such as lifting patients out of bed (really, that is hard) and running from one patient to another. Nevertheless, what they are not doing is intentionally engaging in an aerobic exercise designed to stimulate their hearts. As a result, they are always exhausted and spending all of their free time on mindless entertainment instead of meaningful ways of building up their lives.

When you motivate yourself to exercise, you can drive ambition for other areas of your life as well. Shutterstock

Rich people prioritize exercise and make a point of getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. That does not necessarily mean they buy an expensive gym membership; they often get exercise by jumping rope and utilizing exercise videos on YouTube. Aerobic exercise is not only good for the heart; it is also good for the brain and increases focus and mental acuity. Just as important, it also helps to burn off the stress hormones that accumulate and derail ambitious plans to succeed. In other words, exercise helps make you smarter and puts you on the path to success.

Do you have a job just to earn a paycheck and make ends meet? Shutterstock

37. Work for Money

Poor people go to work because they need the money. Before you say, well of course, consider that money is the worst incentive that you can give anyone for doing a job well. A paycheck is a good incentive to show up at work and clock in every day, especially when the alternative is eviction and getting your car repossessed, but it does not incentivize creativity, courage, and other critical traits to success. The best motivation for doing a job well is personal fulfillment and enrichment, knowing that you did your best and that other people are better off because you were there.

Discover what you really want to do with your life — and then find a way to make money from it. Shutterstock

Working at a meaningful job that makes you feel like you made your contribution to society may seem like a luxury, but something like volunteering is not. Wealthy people often volunteer, and doing so enables them to develop new skills, meet new people, and use their own creative faculties to solve problems in such a way that benefits society. Poor people may be too tired after working long shifts to volunteer. However, setting aside one day a month to perform volunteer work in the community can go a long way towards getting away from a job that only pays the bills to feel like you have contributed to the community in a meaningful way.

Don’t waste your time zoning out when your boss is talking to you. Instead, consider your dream job if making money wasn’t an option. Shutterstock

36. Not Enough Daydreaming

Did your teacher ever chastise you for daydreaming when you should have been doing your homework assignments? If so, he or she gave you a massive disadvantage because daydreaming is one of the habits that rich people have that poor people don’t. Believe it or not, poor people don’t spend enough time dreaming about a better future for themselves. They may wish that they could get a new car or a new house, but they don’t imagine themselves inside it. There is nothing but disappointment on the other side of that dream because they don’t think they could ever achieve something as remarkable as homeownership.

Consider your purpose in the world, and follow your passion. Shutterstock

Rich people spend a lot of time daydreaming, but not in meaningless fantasies. Imagine how much time Elon Musk spent daydreaming before inventing PayPal or creating Tesla cars that would revolutionize the industry. The point is that rich people spend time daydreaming and then roll up their sleeves and turn their dreams into reality. They don’t expect that their plans are full of disappointments; instead, they ask what they need to do to make their dreams happen. By imagining a better life, they start thinking about how they can achieve it.

If you serve tables, you are helping the restaurant owner make ends meet. Is that what you really want out of life, though? Shutterstock

35. Help Other People Fulfill Their Goals

Poor people tend to be very, very good helpers. Have you ever had a rich person wait at your table at a restaurant? A better question is, would you ever want a rich person to serve your table? Probably not. You would end up with pretty lousy service. Not that rich people can’t be helpful, but they are mainly busy pursuing their own goals. Poor people are helping other people fulfill their dreams. Waitresses help restaurant owners they work for achieve the purpose of running the business well. Poor people do not promote their own goals, at least not anything greater than paying the rent and bills for the month.

You can be the owner instead of the server. Shutterstock

Rich people define their own goals, and those goals go far beyond being able to pay the bills for the next month. They remain so focused on achieving their own goals that they are not sucked into helping other people fulfill their dreams. Yes, they sometimes spend time volunteering, but as far as work is concerned, they are very ambitious in fulfilling the goals they have set for themselves. Because they are focused on their goals and dreams, they have an ingredient to their work ethic that poor people often lack: passion. They are passionate about what they do, so passionate that at times they hardly call their jobs work.

You don’t want two or three different jobs. You want two or three different forms of streaming income. Shutterstock

34. Having Only One Income Stream

Poor people go to work every day because they’ll lose their homes, cars, everything if they don’t. Their entire lives depend on that one income stream that is their monthly paycheck. They’re so dependent that they often live paycheck-to-paycheck, meaning that if one unexpected expense should come up like just a sickness or needing new tires, their entire lives can be derailed. If they need another income stream, the only option is to get another job. Moreover, no matter what you may have heard, working two jobs is hardly a way to escape poverty. It just makes you exhausted and unable to do any one thing well.

Think of ways you can have your money work for you. For example, an author writes a book one time but can earn money from it for years to come. Shutterstock

Rich people have multiple income streams, and if one income stream fails, their entire lives are not going to collapse. They may have properties that they rent out, in addition to a stock-market portfolio that is generating sizeable interest, plus publications that are earning royalties, all on top of a business that they are running. Most self-made millionaires have at least three income streams, which is far preferable to working two or three jobs. If you need to generate another income stream, start small by renting out a spare bedroom on Airbnb or buying small stocks that may begin to accrue interest.

Instead of working endlessly by yourself to prove a point, look to others for advice. Shutterstock

33. Thinking They Can Do Well On Their Own

Poor people have to make it on a day-to-day basis because there is no other alternative. Furthermore, they know that there is no one else that they can rely on for help; they have to do things independently. They have to learn things the hard way by experience, and experience is not a forgiving teacher, especially when you do not have a savings account or an alternative income stream. They often do not have people in their lives to help them learn what they should and should not do, probably because other poor people surround them.

Having a mentor in the workplace can make a huge difference. Maybe you could be the mentor, or seek one’s help. Shutterstock

Rich people, on the other hand, have mentors they check in with regularly. Mentors are people who have already been there, who have made mistakes that they can help you avoid, and who can offer timely advice that will help you succeed. Mentors are not people who will do the job for you, as poor people may expect, but who will coach and encourage you along the way, as you do the job yourself. They provide a positive influence and help you make the best possible decisions without allowing you to become co-dependent and expect them to create success for you.

Poor people are often focused on their own success. Shutterstock

32. They Aren’t Interested In Other People’s Success

Poor people are so focused on meeting day-to-day needs that they hardly have any time or energy for anything else. They often operate with a poverty mentality that sees success as limited. If one person achieves success, then that person is taking away the opportunity for someone else. As such, they may sabotage other people’s efforts, convincing themselves that there is only room for one person ever to be successful. They may discourage others from taking college classes or applying for a better job. In the meantime, while taking success away from other people, they don’t make the decisions they need for their own success.

Wealthy people understand that one person succeeds, others can, too. Shutterstock

Rich people, on the other hand, know that the rising tide moves all ships. Another person’s success in no way detracts from their own ability to be successful because there is room for everyone to do their best and become all they can be. Rich people are not “helpers” the way that poor people are, but they are great mentors to the few people they see as having the potential for success. They do not try to help everyone around them, but they are willing to invest in the few they see as capable of achieving great things.

Do you find yourself dwelling on the negative aspects of life? Shutterstock

31. A Negative Outlook On Life

Poor people are poor because that’s just the way society is, many poor people convince themselves. Yes, there are serious societal barriers to financial success. The gap between the rich and struggling people is wider than it has been since before the Great Depression, and a college education that will improve your chances of finding a good job will usually entail tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Nevertheless, poor people tend to be fatalistic about their place globally and do not even try to do better for themselves. They are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their prospects in life, they do not even try more often than not.

Try to be more positive and you will see your lifestyle change for the better. Shutterstock

Rich people, on the other hand, have a positive outlook. Things may not be so great now, but they can get better with hard work, creativity, courage, and meaningful relationships. Rich people do not see the world through rose-colored glasses that tell them that things are better than they are, but they are optimistic about their ability to make meaningful decisions that will change their circumstances. Positivity is the hallmark of self-made millionaires. One can’t break out of poverty without it. It helps create a positive feedback loop in which they make better decisions, which leads to better outcomes, which leads to more good choices.

Poor people are more likely to binge-watch shows on Netflix. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Watch TV (Or Netflix) Every Night

One common trait among all poor people is that they watch a lot of TV. They might come home from work and immediately turn on the television. They may also be the same people who are binge-watching a series on Netflix on a regular basis. For a lot of people, watching television and movies is a way for them to escape their reality. The critical difference here between the rich and the poor is not just how much you are spending on television (and that bill can quickly add up). Instead of looking for an escape, rich people are trying to find solutions and keep moving forward.

Poor people spend several hours a day wasting time watching television. Credit: Shutterstock

Shows do not actually educate or add any value to your life. Wealthy people often work long hours and realize that watching TV is simply a waste of time unless the information is somehow relevant to their lives. To unwind, they will choose more energizing and enlightening forms of entertainment, such as reading a book, spending time with family, or going out with friends. Rich people may binge on Netflix once in a while, but doing so is the exception, not the rule. They would much rather engage in meaningful entertainment that adds value to their lives than numb out in front of the television.

McDonald’s is popular among poor people because of how cheap it is. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Poor People Eat Fast Food

When you’re low on cash, going to McDonald’s to buy something off of the dollar menu can be incredibly tempting. However, this type of mindset usually leads to obesity. There are plenty of overweight rich people out there, but those are usually people who inherited their riches. Most self-made millionaires are in excellent shape. In fact, the richer someone gets, the more likely they are to hire a personal trainer. In addition to obesity, constantly eating fast food puts a huge dent in your budget; buying groceries and cooking at home is often much cheaper than going out to eat. And rich people watch their budgets as well as their waistlines!

Fast food is full of calories with little to no nutrients. Credit: Shutterstock

This is not just about being slim and attractive, either. Rich people want to eat healthy because they know that it will help them perform as well as humanly possible. Once you are eating a clean diet, your mind becomes clear. You will feel mentally and physically better than you ever have before in your life. Being mentally focused and physically fit helps you think better and perform your best. And let’s be honest; people do make decisions based on appearances. Do you want to get that new client or find that new job? You need to look healthy. Most rich people want to live as long as humanly possible so that they can continue to reap the benefits of their wealth.

Hoards of people rush to shop on Black Friday. Credit: Shutterstock

28. They Rush to Buy During Huge Sales Like Black Friday

There are so many people who decide to follow the herd by shopping on Black Friday. While it’s true that there are some great sales, it is actually possible to buy those items at similar prices during other times of the year. And many poor people are actually getting sucked into buying items that they do not need and cannot even afford. So by going out in the middle of the night on Thanksgiving, you are really just giving in to what these huge corporations hope you will do. More often than not, you will end up wasting money on sales rather than saving. 

Poor people are tricked into buying things on sale. Credit: Shutterstock

This mindset also applies to regular sales, too. When someone waits for something to go on sale before they buy it, they are essentially settling for second-best. We all know what it’s like to go to a store once everything is on clearance and realize that all of the clothing items left on the rack are simply the worst style. While poor people often fill their homes with junk that they cannot afford, rich people are careful to buy what they need, whether they have to pay full price or not. They are not roped into the latest and greatest trends that are no sale but rather remain focused on what adds meaning and value to life.

It is easy to find coupon apps like Groupon to help save money. Credit: Shutterstock

27. They Are Embarrassed to Use Coupons

Yes, we know we just said that rich people don’t shop during a sale. There is one exception to the rule, and that is that they use coupons. In fact, according to research, the vast majority of people who use coupons earn over $100,000 per year and have a college degree. They realize that using coupons is like getting free money. And what’s even better about this free money is that you do not have to pay taxes on it! This is especially true when used on items that they are already buying on a weekly basis, rather than using coupons for things that they do not want just because they are on sale.

Poor people tend to be embarrassed to use coupons. Credit: Shutterstock

A lot of poor people feel embarrassed to use coupons. They seem to think that it will reveal to the world just how poor they are. People may think that they cannot afford the basic essentials to provide for their families and wonder what they are doing wrong to have such bad luck. Oh, contraire. Instead of feeling ashamed, rich people feel proud of themselves for using coupons, because they know that the money they saved can go towards something more useful. But again, only use coupons on things that you need. Otherwise, you are falling into a lalapalooza mindset that buys everything just because you think you are saving money. Spoiler: You save 100% off the price of things that you do not buy.

Poor people tend to sleep in as late as possible. Credit: Shutterstock

26. They Woke Up Later During Their Teens and 20’s

For those of you who went to college, you know that there were plenty of kids who decided to wake up at noon. Many of them were partying all night.. After all, they could arrange their classes to be at any time of day. So instead of waking up at 6 a.m., they chose to sleep away half of their day. While waking up at noon sounds like a dream for any college student, the fact is that the productive hours in the day are dramatically decreased, and people who sleep in on a regular basis are much less productive than their counterparts who wake up early.

College kids who sleep in until noon don’t succeed as often as early risers. Credit: Shutterstock

Young people who choose to wake up at 6 a.m. even when it was not required are far more likely to succeed in life. These are the people who are go-getters, and willing to put in the work necessary to succeed. They want to make the most out of every single day. By waking up early, they can accomplish so much more compared to people who sleep their lives away. Nearly all of the world’s most successful people, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet, all wake up early. The point isn’t to wake up early for the sake of waking up early; the point is to get the most out of every single day.

Scratch-off cards tend to be a waste of money. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Poor People Like to Play the Lottery

Poor people love to play the lottery to “get rich quick.” In reality, the odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 13,983,816. So, by buying lottery tickets, you are really just contributing towards someone else’s winnings. Instead of spending that money on starting a business or investing in their future, they hope that they will be lucky. You know what is harder than winning the lottery? Working hard, developing strong and healthy habits, making good choices, and saving money. But those things will lead you to a much better chance of a stronger financial future, whereas winning the lottery? Not going to happen.

Some people spend hundreds of dollars playing the lottery. Credit: Shutterstock

According to a survey by Bankrate, people who make $30,000 or less per year tend to spend 13% of their income on “financial vices,” like lottery tickets, cigarettes, and coffee at Starbucks. And 28% of people who fall into the lowest income bracket in the US play the lottery multiple times a week. But people who make over $70,000 per year spend only 2.6% of their income on financial vices. Higher earning households play the lottery far less often. Even though they earn more money, they choose not to gamble because they know that this is an unhealthy way of spending their money. 

Poor people tend to shop for fast fashion. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Poor People Shop For Fast Fashion

Most poor people tend to shop at “fast fashion” stores. These are places like H&M, Forever 21, and Rainbow. The clothing items made in these stores are very cheap because they have been manufactured overseas in sweatshops. Many name-brand outlet stores will also pay for sub-par quality products and just slap a name brand logo on the products, just so they can attract people with a discount. After just a few washes, these clothes might shrink, rip, or become discolored. The fabric might quickly start to pill. They are then thrown away or donated. Fast fashion is wasteful because those clothes end up going in landfills. 

Clothing from places like H&M tend not to last very long. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people avoid fast fashion stores, because they would never waste their money on a low-quality product. They are looking for items that will last them for years. While it may cost more up-front, it will actually cost them less. Some millionaires will even go as far as to have a “life uniform,” like Steve Jobs and his black turtlenecks. But even if you cannot afford luxury clothes items, you can begin making some meaningful changes. Start looking at websites like eBay for higher-quality clothes at reduced prices. Don’t worry if they are used; if they are good quality and from a reputable used-clothes store, they will still have years of life in them.

Unfortunately, poor people tend to fall for pyramid schemes. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Poor People Try Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

Poor people are far more likely to fall for get-rich-quick schemes. In today’s world, we’re used to getting instant gratification. Everything we want to know is available online from our phones. People who are raised in today’s world seem to expect their rise to wealth to happen just as quickly. More often than not, they end up falling for a multi-level marketing company, or a pyramid scheme. A salesperson tries to pitch the idea that you can make a ton of money by selling a product to family and friends. Before you know it, you have invested everything you own and have nothing to show for it. And you never will. Get-rich-quick schemes don’t work.

Don’t fall for get-rich-quick schemes. Credit: Shutterstock

A rich person would never fall for this kind of scheme because they have educated themselves on finance and business. They would see a red flag from a mile away. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The rich understand that it takes a very long time to make money. There is no such thing as an overnight success, and “get rich quick” is a fantasy. No, real wealth comes from hard work and healthy habits developed over a lifetime. Sure, there are people who are wealthy because of an inheritance – daddy’s trust fund is the ultimate get-rich-quick scheme. But if you are not one of those blessed few, stay away from any attempt that a company tries to sell you for making money overnight.

Poor people tend to be avid sports fans. Credit: Shutterstock

22. They Watch Tons of Sports

Similar to watching a lot of television, poor people tend to be huge sports fans. They even go as far as to buy team gear, and team gear is not cheap. It often becomes a party with family and friends. Some people will even go as far as to fight with one another in a bar, simply because they like a different team. When you think about it, the whole thing is a bit silly. There is very little benefit people get from watching sports, aside from the fact that it is an escape from their day-to-day reality. In the end, though, an excessive sports habit ends up costing time, money (lots of money – football tickets are extremely pricey), and energy.

Caring so much about the outcome of a game doesn’t add value to your life. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people know that they have far better things to do than follow a sport. The only people who truly have a real reason to watch sports are people who also play the game themselves. For example, if you play tennis every weekend as a means of networking, then it may pay off. Or if you are on the basketball team because you earned an athletic scholarship that is paying for your tuition, it would make sense. Even then, they may just watch the highlights rather than wasting hours watching every game. Not that there’s anything wrong with enjoying football on a Sunday afternoon, but this habit cannot come to dominate their lives. And you know what’s better than watching someone else play football? Playing it yourself. So go get the exercise with friends and enjoy the sport in real life.

Poor people only think about the obstacles in front of them. Credit: Shutterstock

21. They Focus on Obstacles Rather than Opportunities

Poor people will look at a lofty goal and think, “Wow, that’s going to be so difficult.” They begin to think about all of the obstacles that are ahead of them and just how impossible those obstacles are to overcome. How many games of football will I have to give up? What if I fail? Sometimes, the anxiety can be overwhelming, and they give up before they even get started. This is why so many poor people never even try to go after their dreams. If they are afraid of failure, they will miss out on the opportunities that are in front of them.

Rich people don’t see obstacles. They just see opportunities. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people, on the other hand, don’t worry too much about the obstacles. They may say, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” but even then they are making a plan for how they will achieve their goals. It’s not necessary to know exactly how every step of the process is going to play out. Think about some of the greatest innovators like Henry Ford and Elon Musk. The ideas of the machines they wanted to create did not exist yet. But they had a vision and a willingness to keep trying. Every obstacle is just an opportunity in disguise. 

Statistically speaking, poor people tend to have worse hygiene than the rich. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Poor People Tend to Have Bad Hygiene

Really? Poor people don’t shower as often? According to YouGov, nearly half of all millennials do not wash their hands every single time they go to the bathroom. That same study showed that in the United States, only two out of every three people shower every day. Among the people who said they shower every day or more than once a day, 77% of them earned more than $80,000 a year. Those who were polled and said they skip days in the shower made far less. And if you are a shower-skipper, you may not think that the habit matters, but listen, appearance does matter. People really do make decisions about you based on how you look (and smell).

Rich people shower at least once, sometimes twice a day. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people take hygiene very seriously. Some of them are even borderline germaphobes because they do not want to be sick. They understand that in order to be taken seriously in the world, they need to present themselves in the best possible way. This means always being clean. Showering every day and practicing good hygiene does not mean that you have to fill your bathroom with tons of expensive beauty products that you cannot afford. A bar of soap can do the trick, and really, baking soda is a great shampoo (no joke). And for the love of all things beautiful, make sure you wear deodorant!

Poor people tend to have more children than the rich. Credit: Shutterstock

19. They Have More Kids

Statistically speaking, poor people tend to have children at an earlier age compared to rich people. Poor people begin having children in their teens and 20’s, far before they are financially secure and able to provide a solid future for their kids. They also usually have many more children, sometimes six or more. Contrary to what some people may say, poor people do not have so many children because they are looking for tax breaks and more welfare. However, because of the parents’ poverty, these kids usually share a bedroom, wear hand-me-downs, and may not be able to afford to go to college when they get older.

Poor people tend to become parents at a younger age. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people are more concerned about waiting for the moment when they are ready to raise children in the right conditions. They want to make sure they are financially stable or are on the path to success. They want to be sure that their kids are living in an area with the best schools so that they can have the best opportunities in life. This is why you will see many successful people wait until their 30s to start having kids. Many wealthy people have only one or two kids because they want to make sure they can afford to send them to college.

Poor people tend to blame others for their problems. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Poor People Blame Others For Their Problems

When is the last time that something went wrong, and even though you had nobody to blame but yourself, you shifted the blame onto somebody else? Maybe you overdraw your bank account (really, stop overdrawing your bank account), and instead of recognizing that you are the one who spent money you didn’t have, you blamed your friend for asking you to go out for a movie. Poor people tend to blame other people for their failures. Suddenly, they are a victim in their own life. By putting blame on others, it takes away your responsibility for your own destiny. At the end of the day, you are the only person who has control over your life. 

Poor people have a hard time taking responsibility for their own mistakes. Credit: Shutterstock

An amazing example of someone who never used his circumstances as an excuse was Chris Gardner. He grew up in foster care and was abused as a child. When he grew older, he enlisted in the Navy so that he could enter the medical field. Even though he tried his best, he became a homeless single father after his wife left him. Chris made it through the dark times living on the street and became a stockbroker. He eventually became a multi-millionaire. His life story was turned into the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.  So please, stop blaming people for things that go wrong and instead start making good things happen.

Poor people do not have enough money saved for a rainy day. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Poor People Do Not Save Enough Money

Poor people have a hard time saving money, sometimes because they see money and want to spend it immediately. And sometimes, the reason is that they simply do not have any money to spare to put into savings. Their lives can quickly be derailed as soon as you need a car repair or some other unexpected bill. According to GoBankingRates, 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved, and they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Losing your job could mean losing your apartment or declaring bankruptcy. And yes, saving is a hard habit to get into, but it is also an extremely necessary one.

Rich people have plenty of money saved for emergencies. Credit: Shutterstock

Wealthy people, on the other hand, never settled for this lifestyle for very long. Even if they were poor at one point in their lives, they realized that it was not sustainable. They need to earn more money by getting a better job. Or they needed to dramatically change their lifestyle so that they had savings that could cover at least three months of bills while they look for a new job. But there are other reasons why rich people have been able to save, even before their wealth added up. They may not have paid hundreds of dollars a month for entertainment (seriously, look at your television and cell phone bill) and have avoided high-profile sales that are trying to pass off junk at a lower price. 

Poor people tend to get in more credit card debt. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Poor People Take Out Credit Cards

Poor people tend to care a lot more about owning a lot of stuff. It feels great in the short-term. Many people even get themselves into debt because they are determined to have the newest iPhone, purse, or video games. To finance these toys, they take out credit cards, often far more than they can afford to pay back. Interest rates quickly start to pile up, and before they realize what has happened, they are struggling to put food on the table. All of a sudden, that new and shiny iPhone that they couldn’t afford doesn’t look so glamorous… Until there is a new iPhone released, and they take out another credit card to buy it.

Poor people have far too much credit card debt. Credit: Shutterstock

We are not saying that rich people never take out credit. They do, but there is a huge difference in how they use it. Most of the time, they are going to earn more money from their investment than what they borrowed. A great example of this is Graham Stephan. On his YouTube channel, he goes over the steps to how he uses mortgages to fully take advantage of his real estate investments. Technically, he is in debt, but the income he earns from being a landlord makes it so that the mortgages are being paid by his tenants. Over time, he has accumulated millions of dollars in real estate. Borrowing money was necessary for him to get started, but he made it well worth it in the end.

Bad influences can bring you down in life. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Poor People Spend Time With the Wrong People

As the saying goes, you are the sum of the five people young hang out with the most. Who are those people in your life? Are they successful, healthy, happy people? If you are hanging out with other poor people, you are destined to continue being poor. In fact, you might feel social pressure to not rise above your friends, for fear of losing their company. After a while, poor friends will begin to feel jealous of your success, and it might ruin a relationship. True friends will be happy for you, and they will still be there in the end.

If your friends party hard, it’s difficult to get work done. Credit: Shutterstock

Making rich friends is easier said than done. If you don’t know anyone outside of your socio-economic status, the idea can seem impossible. But if you work hard and begin to really go after your dreams, you will suddenly begin to meet all sorts of successful people. Rich people like to surround themselves with friends who are interesting and equally as motivated as they are. So start making habits that will attract the right people in your life. Instead of thinking about going out to get drunk on a Friday night, consider who in your social circle – maybe someone at work or a well-off relative – you could spend more time with. 

Rich people visit the doctor regularly. Credit: Shutterstock

14. They Don’t Go to the Doctor Regularly

Rich people care about themselves in every aspect of their lives. They don’t just want to be wealthy. Their body is their temple. Health and wellness is incredibly important, because without a healthy body, you can’t work or enjoy life. So, therefore, they go to the doctor for a regular checkup. In the United States, this is a touchy subject, because health care can be incredibly expensive and many people may not have insurance at all. However, there are clinics that provide high-quality healthcare to people who have no insurance and cannot afford to pay full price. Visiting one of these clinics a couple of times a year can make a huge difference.

Rich people visit the doctors on a regular basis. Credit: Shutterstock

If you don’t think that you can afford to go to the doctor regularly, think about how it will save your money in the long run. Going once a year or once every few months, your doctor will be able to spot any signs of cancer early on. This way, the treatment can happen quickly and will be far less expensive. Your odds of survival are significantly higher. Compare that to only going to the doctor every five years. By the time you realize you have cancer, it might already be too late. The same goes with spotting high blood pressure early before you have a heart attack. 

Poor people tend to not finish what they start. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Poor People Don’t Follow Through 

Pretty much everyone knows a friend who has big ideas and no follow-through. They talk and talk about how much they want to do something, but never actually act on their ideas. They may have great ideas about how they are going to make good decisions to move their lives forward, like going back to college, becoming vegetarian, ending a bad relationship, applying for a better job, or starting to save money. This is something that only poor people do. They give up on their potential to succeed because they are not willing to put in the work necessary to make the changes they need to make.

Rich people make a plan and follow through with it. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people, on the other hand, will do the things they want to do instead of talking about it. In fact, you might not hear what they are doing behind the scenes for months at a time because they are too busy working. Then, suddenly, they emerge to announce that their project is done. They decided on what they wanted to do, and they made a realistic plan for how they would achieve their goals. Then came the important part: putting in the work in order to make their goals become a reality. You may think that the process was magic, but those who have succeeded know that they have to roll up their sleeves and put in the hard work.

Rich people make sure to teach their kids about money. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Poor People Never Talk About Money With Their Kids

Plenty of poor kids have heard their parents argue about money. From an early age, kids associate having a lot of money with happiness and a lack of money with misery. And in many cases, parents might get divorced if it becomes a big enough issue. Most kids have no idea how much money their parents make or how they are handling household finances, and they do not even know how to spend their allowances wisely. Poor parents simply may not want to talk about it. This makes kids ill-equipped to understand how the real world works, and they are more likely to continue the cycle of poverty. 

Teaching kids about money at an early age will help them grow up rich. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich parents, on the other hand, are willing to discuss money with their children. They understand that financial education is incredibly important for a person’s success and that they are the ones responsible for setting their child up for this success. From an early age, rich parents will explain to their children how people earn an income. They might also go to the grocery store and explain how they can save money on various products. As the children get older, they may explain the household budget and even let the children start making financial decisions that will benefit the family. Discussing that is also crucial to making sure that your children do not make major mistakes.

Do you know the differences between assets and liabilities? Credit: Shutterstock

11. Poor People Don’t Fully Understand Assets and Liabilities 

Poor people do not fully understand the real definition of an “asset.” They might think that their car is an asset because it is an item that holds value. However, it is actually a liability, because it continues to depreciate in value year after year. It also needs money to keep up with repairs. Same goes with owning a house; it may increase in value over time, but for now, it needs a lot of work to be maintained. Some even consider a manicure to be an asset because having perfect French tips will help them get a better job. Poor people continue to buy luxury items that they cannot afford, thinking that they somehow hold value, when they really become worthless over time.

Most things that poor people buy are actually liabilities. Credit: Shutterstock

Assets, on the other hand, are investments that actually earn an income. This could be a healthy stock portfolio that is earning returns, a valuable antique, or a rental property that is making a profit. Rich people are focused on growing their collection of assets so that they can continue to make more money. More often than not, rich people live a modest lifestyle until they are earning a healthy income from their assets. Warren Buffett, one of the richest guys in the world, drives a $30,000 Camry instead of the luxury car that he could easily afford. Only after wealthy people have the income stream that they need do they begin splurging on liabilities.

Instead of praying for God to fix your problems, try to solve them yourself. Credit: Shutterstock

10. They Are More Religious

It is a statistical fact that poor people tend to be more religious than rich people. More significantly, many poor people put their faith in beliefs that suggest God wants to make them rich and successful. One version of this is called the prosperity gospel, and it is taught by many megachurch pastors around the United States, particularly Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, and Bill Johnson. People who follow the prosperity gospel may give all of their money to a particular church because they believe that doing so will cause God to bless them with financial success. Oftentimes, they end up getting bilked out of all of their money but still expect to see a divine return on their investment.

Many people lean on their faith during hard times. Credit: Shutterstock

Not that there’s anything wrong with being religious or that no rich people are religious. But rich people do not fall for the prosperity gospel, and they know that their financial success depends on their own hard work and ingenuity. In other words, while rich people may (or may not) believe in God, they believe in themselves and in their own ability to do what they need to do to make good things happen. Faith and religion do not necessarily hinder success; however, faith will not cause you to become successful. It can help you on the path to success, and sacred texts to have many important things to say about money. 

Do you feel as though your paycheck is gone as soon as it comes in? Credit: Shutterstock

9. Poor People Spend Money Before They Get It

We have already talked about credit cards on this list. Poor people tend to spend money before they get it, often by getting credit cards to buy the latest iPhone and other useless toys. Leading up to their paycheck, they are thinking about everything they want to buy. After all of the bills are paid and the weekend is over, the bank account balance has suddenly dropped and may even be overdrawn. Poor people also immediately begin taking out loans as soon as they get a new job or promotion. Payday loans are especially pernicious and can have interest rates well over 100%. By living this way, they can never escape poverty.

Poor people spend money before they earn it. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people, on the other hand, have mastered the art of saving. They will wait until they have actually earned enough cash to make a purchase. Borrowing money on a credit card would only cost more with interest, so they know that it would be a waste of money. And if they cannot afford what they want, they try to figure out how to earn more money so they can afford those luxuries. But they always earn the money first instead of taking out credit cards and going into debt in order to buy more toys. Toys will not add meaning and value to life, but they will ruin your finances very quickly.

Poor people often feel upset that no one is offering to help them succeed. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Poor People Believe Other People Should Help Them

Poor people think that someone owes them something. They often believe that they deserve a handout simply because they were born. Many poor people assume that the rich were handed a “big break” from someone else. This is one of the reasons why poor people fall for pyramid schemes. They assume that the person who is willing to give them the help they “deserve” has finally showed up in their life. In reality, no one offers you help or mentorship unless they see you are already putting in the work. Pro tip: You deserve nothing. No one owes you anything. If you want something, you have to work for it.

Poor people often expect a handout in order to succeed. Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people understand they are not entitled to anything. They know that when it comes to starting a business, they are the only person they can expect to do the work. Even if they grew up in a wealthy family, they realize that you need to earn what you have. If nothing else, you have to run the business well so that it does not go bankrupt. In fact, growing up with successful parents makes many people push themselves very hard. And if someone comes along promising to help them in some way, they are cautious to accept it. No one usually offers you help unless they want something out of it. 

Are you reading books that will help your personal development? Credit: Shutterstock

7. Poor People Do Not Read the Right Kinds of Books

Many poor people do not enjoy reading books or learning new things. Or if they do read books, they only focus on fiction. They would rather be entertained in a world of fantasy, and escape from reality by reading a novel. To be fair, reading is better than watching television because of how it stimulates your mind instead of causing you to numb out in an attempt to escape reality. But reading fiction can only go so far in helping you achieve financial success. You might learn a new bit of history or random trivia. But unless you plan to go on Jeopardy someday, these facts are not going to help you make money.

Some people stop reading non-fiction after graduation. Credit: Shutterstock

Most rich people, on the other hand, read a lot of nonfiction books. These can hold far more valuable in a lot of ways. A nonfiction book could have a lot of valuable insight into starting a new business or learning a new skill that could help your career. A self-help book could also give you a lot of substantial advice on how to succeed, improve your relationships, or raise your kids. Here on Self-Made, we already created a list of 20 books that will boost your productivity and improve your life. Click here to check it out. For best results, read a combination of fiction books that you enjoy and nonfiction books that will help you get and stay on the path to success.

Poor people may pinch pennies instead of making more money. Credit: Shutterstock

6. They Live in a State of Scarcity

There is so much advice out there telling you to cut back on your spending. Millennials are often shamed for spending on Starbucks and avocado toast and told that they need to stop forking over $5 for a cup of coffee. While some of this advice to spend less may be true for people who are spending far too much on financial vices, there are many who are already cutting back pretty much everywhere else in their lives. Pushing someone to save money can also have an adverse effect on their mental state. They are living in a scarcity mindset, rather than one of abundance.

Poor people mostly try to skimp on spending when they are struggling. Credit: Shutterstock

If you are always focusing on being frugal and spending less money on a limited income, you are putting yourself in a mindset that says, “I am too poor to buy that.” If you continue to feel this way about yourself, you’re not going to focus on making more money. Many people who are successful became self-made millionaires because they wanted the finer things in life. So try to find clever ways to make additional income to pay for your vices. And trim down the list of things that you are trying to buy in the first place. After all, many of the things that poor people spend their money on are useless junk that may make them feel better in the moment but will never add meaning and value to their lives.

E-learning is a great way to invest in yourself. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Poor People Don’t Invest in Themselves

Nowadays, we hear a lot about self-care. People think that by getting a manicure or styling their hair, it means that they are investing in themselves. While your outward appearance is surely part of it, there is so much more to investing in yourself if you want to be rich. Manicures and hairstyles are really liabilities instead of assets, because they cost money and will never pay back dividends. Instead, you will have to pay more money to maintain those things. Really investing in yourself is more than skin-deep. The rich go deeper with learning new skills and increasing their value as a person. 

Love and take care of yourself. Credit: Shutterstock

Ask yourself, am I the type of employee that is so good at their job, that is seen as indispensable to a company? Or are you just one of the many people who could easily be replaced overnight? If you feel like you are just one of the crowd, start to invest in yourself by spending time to learn new skills. Take some classes at a nearby college to learn new skills and/or polish the skills that you already have. Read books that will help you grow and improve. Be the best you can be, and continue to grow as a person, no matter what age you are.

How valuable is your college degree? Credit: Shutterstock

4. Their College Major Was Frivolous

Anyone who majored in art, philosophy, or religious studies was not thinking about how they were going to become rich after college. Unfortunately, the American college system allows young people to take out loans for subjects that are not going to help them find a job in the real world. Many schools will even lie to their students about their career options when they are signing up for courses. At the end of the day, a college degree is an investment in your future. If it doesn’t make you a profit, it’s just weighing you down with debt.

Was your college degree worth the money you invested? Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people never major in subjects that are frivolous, or if they do, they get a double-major where the other major will help them get a job. It is still possible to study subjects that you are interested in. They also realize that some people just aren’t cut out for college, and there is nothing wrong with that. For example, if you want to be an actor, why get a college degree in theater arts when you can spend that money to move to Los Angeles and start going on auditions? The second option would help you achieve your goals a lot faster.

Are you afraid to leave a toxic work environment? Credit: Shutterstock

3. They Stay At The Wrong Job

If you are poor, it is more than likely that you have had at least one experience working at a terrible job. Unfortunately, far too many people stay at a bad job for years, even though they know it makes them miserable. People usually do this when they feel desperate or that they can’t get anything better. They are usually underpaid and overstressed, while convincing themselves that they have to stay where they are in order to advance within the company. People who eventually become rich never settle for being treated poorly by their boss or being underpaid. They decided to find a new place to work.

Successful people know when to leave a bad job and trade up for a better one. Credit: Shutterstock

Remember that whatever job you choose should be in line with your career goals. And during an interview, you should be asking questions just as much as they are asking you. Try to think about where you want to be in the next five years. We are not suggesting that you quit your job immediately. It is much better to send out your resume and go on interviews while you are still employed. Once you get a new job, then you can put in your two-week notice to the job that you hate. Remember that successful people never settle for less. They go after their dreams.

Some poor people think that the rich are evil. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Poor People Think Rich People Are “Evil”

The majority of poor people have this stereotype in their mind and that rich are snobby, evil people. This comes from the belief that they must have done something wrong or illegal in order to get the money that they have.  In reality, people who became self-made millionaires worked incredibly hard for their money. Many of them started from the bottom and are actually very humble people. But loathing an entire category of people just because they have experienced the success that you wish you could attain does nothing more than give you someone to blame for your own problems. If you want to make more money and escape poverty, you have to develop the right lifestyle.

Do rich people really have dollar signs in their eyes? Credit: Shutterstock

Rich people are also responsible for a lot of society’s biggest accomplishments. When you think about medical breakthroughs, space travel, or improved housing, it is all because a rich person put their money into a project. If everyone was poor, nothing would get done in society, because there wouldn’t be enough money to fund everything. Think of wealth as a by-product of having a great idea that someone invests in and that ultimately succeeds, benefiting many other people. While some wealthy people certainly are greedy, many engage in extensive philanthropic work with their money so that they can continue benefiting other people.

Are you aware of what is going on in the world? Credit: Shutterstock

1. They Think About Themselves

Last is that poor people only think about themselves instead of looking at the big picture. They are consumed with the worlds that they have constructed around themselves, with their own failures, their own shortcomings, their own appetites, me, me, me. If you want to be rich, you need to think about what you can do for the world. Think about some of the most wealthy and powerful people. How did they get that way? Bill Gates designed software that would help people, companies, and governments all over the world do their jobs better. By thinking about the big picture, they were able to create wealth. 

Are you thinking about the world at large, and what other people need? Credit: Shutterstock

Poor people will usually make their own desires their number one priority. They are so focused on their own problems that they cannot see past themselves in order to launch a successful venture that will help other people. This is one of the many reasons why many businesses fail. They are launching a product or service that would be great for them, and not necessarily for the customer or audience. If you want to be rich, ask yourself how you can use your skills to help the world beyond yourself. Once you are on this trajectory, you just might find success. 

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