Today, we are going to learn about 10 things poor people do that the rich don’t.
Rich and poor people spend their free time in very different ways. Less fortunate individuals are more likely to spend hours watching TV, playing video games, and scrolling through social media — all of which sap your motivation and decrease your productivity.
For many poor people, their free time is a chance to turn off their brains. But wealthier people don’t view their free time in the same way. Instead of watching TV or playing video games, wealthier people are more likely to practice mentally restorative activities, like reading and journaling. They don’t want to turn off their brains but inspire and energize their brains using educational and motivational habits. So, why do rich and poor people spend their free time so differently?
Access to educational and motivational resources is often limited for lower income individuals. For example, many people below the poverty line cannot afford higher education, which decreases the odds of engaging with intellectual activities in their daily lives. This is only one of many factors that affect how people of different statuses use their free time. In other words, it’s not as simple as “poor people are lazy and rich people aren’t.” In fact, that’s rarely ever the case.
More often, wealthier people have access to educational and cultural resources that lead to healthier lifestyle choices. Less fortunate people, on the other hand, look for activities to fill their time and distract them from personal hardships, because, in many cases, they are never taught anything different.
Financial risk-taking is one major reason why many poor people stay poor, and many rich people get richer. Life is full of opportunities to find success, make money, and climb the social ladder, but each of those opportunities requires some degree of risk.
Rich people are more likely to take those risks and reap the rewards, while poor people are more likely to stay in their comfort zones. At some level, it’s a matter of grit and self-determination. Rich people are more willing to put their money on the line and take leaps into the unknown, but that’s only part of the picture. Rich people are more likely to take big risks, but they also have a safety net to fall back on. It’s much easier to take a financial risk when you know that one failure will not destroy your life.
For example, if a rich person loses thousands of dollars on a bad investment, they may regret their losses, but their lifestyle will not be affected in any major way. If a poor person takes the same risk, they may not be able to pay their rent or buy groceries, which impacts their ability to meet basic survival needs.
Rich and poor people commonly gather information from different places. Lower income individuals rely primarily on social media and television to learn about the world and understand new subjects.
Unfortunately, these media sources deliver narrow, often biased streams of information, which does not give people a full understanding of what is happening or why. Because they gather most of their information from controlled media, many poor people maintain underdeveloped or narrow-minded views of current events and popular subjects.
Wealthier people, on the other hand, are more likely to gather information outside of public media. They may access journals, books, and other lengthier sources of information, which effectively broaden their horizons and increase their understanding of the subject.
It takes more time to read a book than it does to scroll through a dozen headlines but gathering knowledge the old-fashioned way yields a fuller understanding of almost any subject.
In comparison to the wealthiest individuals, poor people are less likely to keep track of their money. They may have a loose idea of what they make and what they spend, but they may not actively control their finances. As a result, many poor people waste money on things that negatively impact their wellness. Rich people, on the other hand, understand where every dollar of their money is going and why.
They use apps and asset managers to control their investments. They move their money into the right places, and they keep track of trends in the market. Often, they are able to multiply their finances by carefully monitoring every penny. Paying bills is a common example.
Wealthy people always stay on top of their expenses, and they never miss a payment date. So, it’s very rare for them to rack up interest or fall into debt. Less fortunate people, on the other hand, are more likely to fall behind on their credit card bills or mismanage their spending.
It’s important to consider the context of these common financial mistakes. Many less fortunate people have very little access to financial information at home, at work, or at school. Early on, wealthier people are given strategies to manipulate financial systems, but poor people may not have learned how these systems work. To make matters worse, many financial systems are designed to take advantage of less knowledgeable people.
There’s a common misconception that poor people live empty lives with too much time on their hands. But that simply isn’t true. Most poor people are very busy, leaving few opportunities for hobbies, passions, and healthy habits.
Because of their busy schedules, many poor people feel like they have no time to spend on personal goals or self-improvement. Wealthy people may work just as many hours, but they use structured routines to find small windows of productivity throughout the day.
Even if you only find an hour of free time every day, this critical window, when used effectively, can yield real, long-term change. But unless you build a structure into your daily routine, you may never notice how much spare time you really have.
Rich and poor people quantify their productivity in different ways. A poor person may judge the productivity of their work by the number of hours they invested. Most low-income jobs are paid by the hour, so many poor people use the hours they worked to assess the quality of their workday.
Rich people know that time and productivity are not directly correlated. That’s why wealthy people, who often have salaried positions, view their productivity in terms of goals or tasks that they have accomplished.
Instead of saying, “I worked 8 hours today,” they might say, “I finished two projects,” or, “I met all my daily goals.” This small change in mindset allows wealthier people to keep better track of the progress they’re making. Not only does it give them a clearer image of what they’re doing, but it helps them figure out what they need to do next.
It’s common for people of lower economic statuses to reflect negatively on their time. They look back at their days or weeks and think, “why have I been so unproductive lately?” People of all socioeconomic classes know that their time is valuable, but wealthier people are more likely to use their time effectively.
Time management skills are often related to factors like job stability and financial independence. Many lower income people struggle to manage their time, because their time is rarely ever their own. This lack of control encourages less fortunate people to waste their personal time and later regret their unproductive choices.
Wealthier people, on the other hand, spend less time regretting the hours they wasted and more time planning for the future. Thanks to their stable lifestyles, they typically have more freedom to experiment with time management strategies and find tools that increase their productivity down the road.
Many less fortunate people conceptualize success as a product of two things: willpower and good intentions. With the right mindset and enough discipline, you can achieve whatever you want, right?
In theory, this is true, but in practice, willpower is not enough. Neither are your good intentions. After a stressful and tiring day at work, for example, no one can muster the energy or motivation to go the extra mile. For this reason, many poor people never improve their situations or meet their goals. Wealthier people don’t rely on willpower to find success.
Just like anyone else, their motivation fades, yet they make progress every day by falling back on strict habits and routines. They build systems into their life that help them consistently achieve small goals. Once productivity becomes a daily habit, you can make progress with or without the proper motivation.
Source of Income
At lower economic statuses, people are less concerned with finding a meaningful, passion-driven career.
Instead, most less fortunate people do whatever job provides a comfortable income, and that income becomes their primary concern. At higher economic statuses, passion factors into the equation.
Wealthier people pursue what motivates and inspires them, and they typically have more freedom to pursue those passions without experiencing significant economic distress. When they find out what they are passionate about, rich people are also more likely to see their jobs as a meaningful career instead of a source of income.
Many less fortunate individuals surround themselves with people who share their habits and attitudes. In general, we befriend people from a similar economic background, and naturally those friendships alter our lifestyles, opinions, and habits.
As a wealthy person, you may see eye to eye with other wealthy people, which gives you access to knowledge, connections, and opportunities that someone at the lower end of the spectrum would not have. A poor person, on the other hand, may spend most of their time with people who are not striving for success.
This takes a toll, even subconsciously, on your attitude toward success and achievement. While high status connections may yield unique opportunities, low status connections may be negative or discouraging.
However, there are cultural barriers in place that make it difficult for poor people to connect with higher-achieving individuals. No matter how much money you make, it’s important to be particular about the company you keep. Unfortunately, some people… don’t have many options.
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