30 Things Poor People Do That Rich People Don’t

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

29. Eating 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.

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. 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. 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. 

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. This is especially true when used on items that they are already buying on a weekly basis. 

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. On the contrary. 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.

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.

College kids who sleep in til 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. 

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

25. Playing 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.

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.    

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

24. 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. They are then thrown away or donated. It’s 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. 

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

23.  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. 

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.

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. 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.

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.

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

21. Focusing 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. 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 opportunities.

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.” 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. 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. 

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.

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. They also usually have multiple children. Because of poor education, they don’t seem to mind that these kids 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. 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. Blaming Others For Their Problems

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.  

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

17. Not Saving Enough

Poor people have a hard time saving money. Even if you try to save something in your bank account, it may be quickly wiped out 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. They are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Losing your job could mean losing your apartment or declaring bankruptcy. 

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

Rich 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. 

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

16. Taking 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. 

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. Spending 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? 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. 

Rich people visit the doctor regulalry. 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.

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. Never Following 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. 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.

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.

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

12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Poor people continue to buy luxury items thinking that it somehow holds value, when it really becomes 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. Then, and only then, do they begin splurging on luxuries.

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

10. They Are More Religious

It is just a statistical fact that poor people tend to be more religious than rich people. Many people who believe in the power of prayer choose to surrender their problems to God. Rich people, on the other hand, might be an Atheist or Agnostic. They believe that their problems are up to them to solve, and not God. By knowing that God is not going to rescue them from their misery, they are more proactive about finding solutions and moving forward to success.

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

Faith and success are not mutually exclusive, though. You can be a spiritual person and still come out on top. In fact, if you read the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill talks a lot about the power of attraction and trusting the powers of the universe to deliver what you need after you have put the work in. Rich people may not subscribe to a particular religion, but they often believe in their intuition and other spiritual terms. Most importantly, rich people have faith in themselves.

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

9. Spending 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. 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. Poor people also immediately begin taking out loans as soon as they get a new job or promotion. 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.

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

8. 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.

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. 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. Not Reading 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. This is just like watching television or movies. It rarely brings any real value to your life as an adult. 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 are 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.

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

6. They Cut Back

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. 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. 

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

5. They 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. 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, “Do I hold value?” As in, are you the type of employee that is so good at their job, that they are 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 be spending time to learn new skills. 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. 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. 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 known 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. Think Rich People Are “Evil”

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.

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.

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. 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? 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. 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. Once you are on this trajectory, you just might find success. 

Advertisement