20 Shocking Differnces In Daily Habits Of The Rich vs Poor

Habits of the rich

Habits of the rich

What is the biggest difference between the rich and the unsuccessful?  For starters, the unsuccessful blame circumstances like the economy while the wealthy do not.

The wealthy make money, not excuses.

Financial planner and author of Rich Habits Tom Corely spent more than 5 years observing the daily differences between 350 rich and poor people.

He studied how they:

  • Live
  • Work
  • Sleep 
  • Eat
  • Exercise
  • Etc.

The criteria Tom used for “rich” in this study included:

  • $160K + yearly income
  • At least 3.2 million in assets

The criteria Tom used for “poor” in this study included:

  • $30K yearly income
  • At least $5K in assets

The main differences he found in this study had more to do with the daily habits of the “rich” compared with those of the “poor”

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Check Out These 20 Shocking Differences In Daily Habits

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1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make happy birthday calls vs. 11% of poor

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV. every day vs. 23% for poor

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs.3% for poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor.

Source* Richhabits.net via DaveRamsey.com

53 Comments

  • Jack

    Reply Reply

    I’m sorry — “hbd calls”?

    • Sorry “Happy Birthday Calls” I’ve changed the abbreviation. Thanks for reading

    • Wendy

      Reply Reply

      Happy Birthday calls are not only more personal than the current day MO of texting or even worse, posting a birthday greeting. It’s more than just a call, it signifies the person took time to do wish another health, wealth, and all blessings a simple “happy birthday” implies. Thank you for that stat.

  • These are great findings. It seems that the majority of it comes down to mindset. Poor people think differently than wealthy people. And if that is the case, it seems the best solution for poverty is to help poor people think differently.

    • Hi Deacon,

      Thanks for commenting. Yes it seams that the main differences are in the mind. As the famous quote by Charlie Tremendous Jones says, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” I believe this is because these two factors have a way of “changing our thinking.”

      • Yalonda

        Reply Reply

        Joseph,

        I loved this article. I don’t consider myself to be rich or poor, but I agree that it is our actions that dictate much of how we live and how much money we can potentially EARN. I am a single parent with two children, and while it is difficult; I do wake up very early in the morning, I read a lot; and encourage my children to read as well. I know from experience that the ability to read and interpret what you have read is key to being successful in anything you do. Not to mention, you can learn new things.

        I did not always have some of these habits. They have developed over many years after taking the time to look at my situation and determine where I wanted to be. And where I want to be is not rich, nor poor, but somewhere in between. Comfortable.

        Thank you for the book. There are a lot of truths in it – and I was thrilled to recognize that someone actually did a study on these things.

    • Mary

      Reply Reply

      I think cause and effect needs to be looked at.

      • name

        Reply Reply

        Mary is absolutely right. Which is more likely; people are rich because they eat less junk food, or people who have less money are forced to eat more junk food?

        People who exercise earn more money, or people who earn more money have more time to exercise (and can pay the gym fees)?

        Do wealthy families make their kids volunteer while poor families do not? Or is it more that poor families don’t make their children volunteer 10 hours a week because they’re already making them work a job for 10 hours a week (which cuts into homework and reading time).

        If you want to look at whether being wealthy is a result of habits or is inherited, look at the social mobility of the country, there’s your answer. (hint, in north America social mobility is very low).

        • name

          Reply Reply

          P.S. To compound the problem is the fact that wealth itself isn’t inherited anymore, it’s more jobs that are inherited. The whole “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” is the cause of that one. An owner of a construction company is very likely to hire and promote the son or daughter of one of his engineering friends than someone he doesn’t know. I’ve seen families that have 5 generations of doctors or lawyers.

    • Olda Batt

      Reply Reply

      Asshole! Self righteous moron.

  • Very interesting though I’m not surprised. I’m glad I’m doing a lot of the things the wealthy people are.

  • This article should be titled:
    “Achieving vs. Receiving…Differences Between The Wealthy And The Poor”

  • Jean Jenschke

    Reply Reply

    While my assets don’t meet your requirements for “wealthy” my salary does and personally I find this article to be extremely shallow and short sighted. I can afford not to eat junk food, I can afford healthy home cooked meals, not resorting to picking up pizza on my way home from a 12 hour low paying job. I also find many of these behaviors and “shortcomings” of the poor to be results of depression. If my day was filled with worries of feeding my children, figuring out a way to get them to the dentist this year, etc. I suppose I wouldn’t have a lot of time to sit around and read the classics. I am fortunate enough to have a high paying job with excellent health benefits and I can afford a house keeper to free me up to get that cardio workout those “poor” people just don’t seem to find important. My situation comes from the advantages I have from growing up in a two parent stable home and honestly just being blessed. I’m not smarter, more deserving, and did not even make all the right decisions all the time. I am grateful and have humility, something the author of this article has lost touch with. You talk about mindset, I see the mindset that says “I think I have earned and deserved these blessings because I am mentally and behaviorally superior to those who do not have them.” Did it ever occur to you that your life, just like mine, set you up for success and had you been born into a different situation you too could be on the other side of that fence.

    • Hi Jean,

      Thanks for reading. I’m sorry for such a long response but I felt that it was deserving. First off let me just say that I understand where you’re coming from but I have to disagree with you in the interpretation of this study. I don’t believe the study itself to reflect an attitude of superiority at all. (Although some that would be classified as “rich” may come across that way). I think the key word here being “some”. Remember this was just the reporting of a study done between the daily habits of the “rich” vs. the “poor” and like all results of a study there are exceptions. For instance 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list – but that means 19% do not.

      Yes, I do believe that some people’s lives “set them up for success” but I don’t believe that to be the norm. I would say that is the exception. And even if they are setup for success that still doesn’t guarantee them the success. It still has to be earned one way or another. It sounds like you have had a good deal of success in your life and I’m sure it is safe to say that you earned it.

      That’s what I think is so inspiring about this study. The fact that even those who were not setup for success can still achieve the same levels of success as those who were. The American Dream so to speak. What does someone do who wants to get in shape? They model their daily habits after someone who is already in great shape. This should give them the best chance for success right? Will they have the exact same results? Of course not, there will always be unique factors involved. It should however, give them the best chances for success.

      In the end I think it’s important to view this study as exactly that…a study. One that simply reported the statistical facts. What is learned, gained or perceived from this study will be entirely up to each individual.

      • Jean Jenschke

        Reply Reply

        Thank you Joseph for your reply, and yes I understand this study is simply a compilation of facts which I do not disagree with. Its just I am so tired of my conservative fellows lack of compassion for those who have not. To simply state the differences of habits of the wealthy and the poor is like a study that says people with chronic headaches tend to take more aspirin. or heavy people tend to drink more diet soda (no joke, they are heavy, why would a skinny person need to drink diet soda) any way, It goes back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The habits that are different tend to do with basic fundamental needs that have not been met yet vs. things on the hierarchy scale that people never get to until the baser needs are met. You don’t worry about your aerobic exercise when your baser needs of food and shelter are not secure. You don’t read to enhance your employment status when you’re worried about paying the rent. These good habits tend to come after the basic needs are met. I don’t disagree with any thing you said, I just sense a huge lack of compassion for just pointing out the obvious differences in habits reflected by those with ample means and those struggling day to day. forgive me but I feel I am butting my head up against a wall, I am not sure why I chose this venue to vent , I guess I am part of that mere 6% that says what is on their mind ;-)

        • Haha no worries Jean. I guess the real question with this study then becomes which came first the chicken or the egg? Do these “rich” have these habits because they are rich and now have the means / time or … did they become rich because of their daily habits. From the information published about this study I am not able to tell. My interpretation of the study was the latter, but it sounds like yours was the former. I would be curious to see if the study dove deeper into the habits to answer some of these questions. I guess we’ll have to read the book to find out ;-)

        • John

          Reply Reply

          Jean I am glad that I share many of the same ideas as you. Poor people may be poor because they gamble and do bad stuff, but many are immigrant, those who can’t speak English and relying on low paying jobs that takes all day. Both my parents start at 6 and end at 12 leaving no time to read to children, do cardio, make phone calls, waking up late because they are just tired and could hardly move from their all year job, in fact don’t even have time to do anything. I as a child with three other siblings understood our parents and lived in a house with three meals a day, but we couldn’t receive the extra care that is listed above. Yes Joseph I agree how some wealthy strived hard to achieve their goals, but I would like to send my opinions as well.
          No hard Feelings
          John

    • Yalonda

      Reply Reply

      Jean,

      You are definitely one of the lucky ones; but I disagree with some of your comments. I grew up in a single parent home and am a single parent now. It is definitely more difficult to get things done when you are worrying about paying a bill, but it does not mean it is an excuse for not improving myself.

      We are all dealt a different hand in life. What we do with what we do have is what is important. I can’t help but admit, I would love to consider myself wealthy; and able to have a housekeeper and excellent health benefits – but I do well with what I have.

      I think that is what the article was saying more than being shallow. I think it was saying, these were observations and that if someone wanted to start making changes (if wealth is their ultimate goal) these are some ideas to get started with.

    • Ivana031

      Reply Reply

      bravo

    • Sara

      Reply Reply

      Thank you Jean for your honesty!
      This is very true coming from someone who acutely grew up poor. You put everything in perfect perspective, yet the sad truth if I was to say that same thing. I would just be the statistic of making excuses because my “mindset”. There’s a bowl with free candies a hidden camera is on it those with higher income take more then the blue collar that’s a mindset.

    • Blindbabe

      Reply Reply

      I was born on the other side of the fence. Poverty, deprivation, coupled with parents and both sides of the family being absolutely and medically looney.

      I left home at 14, got a job, got myself educated, bought my first house at 25, blah blah blah.

      Was I lucky or was it pure hard work and determination of a little girl crying herself to sleep every night but believeing that I deserve better.

      A lot of people said, you think you’re something special or you did something special ? You’re just lucky.

      So here’s a bullet into the lucky argument. At 36, I am now half blind and rapidly going down from an undiagnosed, systematic illness. Am I lucky ? Well I got to travel the world while hunting for a doctor who could treat me. Because despite what happened, I still have the mindset that I deserve the best in life and I will go for it.

      I still do pray, for luck :-D

  • Traci

    Reply Reply

    This study and conversation sparked a particular interest for me. I want to first say that it would be a personal upgrade for me to meet the criteria for “poor” in this study since I both make less than 30k and have less than 5k in assets! I was evaluating my personal habits against the findings in this study and I have more of the habits of the “rich” than the “poor” according to the list in this article. Jean made a valid point that many of us don’t have the time and means for some of these habits because we are too busy focusing on basic family needs that are more immediately necessary-for instance, processed junk calories are much cheaper and easier than healthy foods, and many of us can’t wake up 3 hours before work starts because we were up late the night before taking care of the household after working all day. Many “poor” kids also spend more time helping out at home than the “rich” kids do, which doesn’t leave as much time for volunteering and reading. This makes me think about the old nature versus nurture debate. I think both apply. On one hand, I think many of the “poor” could stand to learn from some of the healthy attitudes and habits of the “rich”. On the other hand, maybe those attitudes and habits of the “poor” would be more like those of the “rich” if they didn’t have to work so hard just to meet the very basic needs of themselves and their family. In my personal life, I think that both sides also apply-my upbringing definitely didn’t set me up for success, but I also recognize that I would be in a better position now if I had made different choices and set up more positive habits years ago-true change doesn’t happen quickly or easily! I believe that simply posting these figures without discussing the reasons behind them leave many questions unanswered.

  • Sassy Social Worker

    Reply Reply

    Stats are great, and can really give a picture of what is happening. I think these stats are very interesting.

    What I see is that one can go round and round trying to determine why things are the way they are, but you can’t really know until you are face to face with a person who is struggling.

    Moral of the story? Quit talking about it and befriend a homeless person. It’s amazing what you can learn.

  • Danielle

    Reply Reply

    I think that I am part of the poor people in term of money because my husband and I are making less than $ 30k but I decided to change some of our habits .For example , I m reading more successful book when I can because sometimes I don’t have time to do it because I have to look for jobs or food or money to pay my rent . I changed my friends and I spend more time with successful people . I will say that those ” rich habits” only will be possible completely when my actual situation will completely change but I am on track.

    • Anonymous

      Reply Reply

      Good for you! Keep trying to improve yourself and your situation and in time you will be richer and happier! As the Norwegians say, “The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”

      • Olda Batt

        Reply Reply

        To quote Sarah Palin, “you betcha”. I’ll wager you’ve read all the studies by the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.

  • I just happen to listen the late night radio station and they were discussing this study the Daily habits of The Rich vs Poor. It got my attention and I find it very educational and I agreed 100% of the study. I give credit to The Life Leadership Business. This organization did change my thinking tremendously by choosing what to feed my brain in daily basis and create a new and a great habits. Making that first decision to change my poor habit is such a big steps and it wasn’t easy considering I created this poor habit over the years. Life Leadership thought me to take one step at the time. In order to get rid of my bad habit, I must read great books for 15 minutes a day and listen 3 motivational CDs a day and associate once a week with the same minded people and follow those who has fruit on the tree. I believe our education system should offer this information to High School students. I will also suggest to read these top 5 books: How to win friends and influence people, The magic of Thinking Big, Personality Plus, How I raised myself from Failure to Success, and Confidence of a champion. Charlie Tremendous is such a great book. My 10 year old girl is ready this book. The study is an eye opener for me. I will duplicate the habits of the rich and think like them is important as well. Life Leadership Company is all over North American and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us. Visit our website http://www.life-leadership-home.com. Let’s help 1 poor person at the time and change their thinking to have Rich habits.

  • Jennifer

    Reply Reply

    As a woman who is almost 50, I believe there are 3 things that can most powerfully make or break a woman’s life: the timing and amount of children she has and what man (or men) she allows into her life and home.

    The women I have known since my teens and 20s who are still struggling 25 years later all had multiple children early and did not have them as a part of stable relationships. Without access to lots of loans to go to school, free or cheap daycare or someone around to watch the kids while you go to school, and the willingness to work waaaaay harder that they would have to without kids, most of these ladies are literally no further along financially than they were in the late 1980s and work in dead-end retail jobs.

    The women I know who are successful (not necessarily rich, but as they might say, “comfortable”) had children later and were married before they had kids and waited to have them. They did not necessarily go to college, but they had entry-level white collar office jobs or clerical jobs in the beginning and worked their way to higher positions. Some of these women are not married anymore, but when the marriage did end there was child support and alimony.

    I have known my friends for a long time and it’s pretty easy to see at this point where certain decisions have led — Kids at 18 and unmarried or at 28 and married? Hooking up with guys who have mental illness/alcoholism/drug abuse/prison records or…well, not getting with guys have those things.

    And intelligence didn’t seem to have much to do with it. I have seen some very smart ladies make very very very very very stupid decisions about men and then years later they have no job, they’re living with their 3 kids in a 1-bedroom apartment, and the man is either in jail or out drinking.

    I know these aren’t “habits” but they are behaviors that make a big difference in the short and long term.

    • Thanks for reading and thanks for your insights Jennifer.

    • Danielle

      Reply Reply

      I am totally agree with you. Our choices and behaviors can have a tremendous impact in our present life.. I do believe if we can start changing a little thing every day ,week or month , will be amaze of the compound effect . Sometimes we use time as an excuse time but we know if something has a great value for us we can make time ….. How many years we are going to blame others or circomtances for our own failure ….. Everybody can change their life our their circomtances …it is a decision.

  • I for all time emaildd this blog post page to all my contacts,
    for thhe reason that if likle to read it after that
    my links will too.

  • Uduakabasi

    Reply Reply

    I have found this article and the comments that came after it very interesting. I grew up in a poor environment. I am a single mother and I had known what it is to stuggle to get by. However reading has helped me to grow into a rich person. I have really seen that no matter how bad things are if u manage ur thinking and builld the right habits, things will change for the better. life is cause and effect.

  • David Sisco

    Reply Reply

    99% of both rich and poor spell “DIFFERENCE” correctly

  • Kidding me

    Reply Reply

    So you cannot even spell difference right and you are making some study which is completely wrong?
    Why should rich parents push their kids into reading books when its old habit? Poor should be doing that.
    Probably USA huh?

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    tis is not gooooooood poooooooooooor

  • M. Green

    Reply Reply

    I think you meant to say that the criteria for “poor” was assets totaling LESS than $5K. And how hard would it be to correct the misspelling in the title?

  • jesus

    Reply Reply

    Suck my poor fat uncut cock you cunt.

  • Peter zackery

    Reply Reply

    This rich vs Poor argument has been going on for thousands of years. I enjoyed this article because it highlighted some interesting things. however the study leaves much open. I believe that sometimes we are born in a good environment and that gives us a heads start, but not always. like a previous commentor said. it’s about how you use what you have. one thing I would like to mention though is, we as people need to learn to take responsibility for our actions and many people would rather blame the situation. I worked an 11 Hour a day for 5 days a week then about 8+ Hours on the sunday a week because I wanted to be able to enjoy life. So I created a plan of what I would be willing to give up. Personally I don’t believe we should compare ourselves as rich or poor, we seek wealth because we want to be happy, we want a satisfying life, so my answer to people is to try to make a sustainable lifestyle that is taylored to us not what this or that person is doing, we do not need money to be happy. I am neather rich nor poor, but I am happy and to me, being happy makes me feel rich. I gave up my time and worked hard in a job I hated so I could finally relax and enjoy life. Notice the habits of the rich? they are habits that enrich us as individuals, taking time to say happy birthday, making the kids read, etc… not all people will be able to do these things, however, any human enriching activity will help. I am open to correction though. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply

    DICKKKK

  • Gian Marco

    Reply Reply

    I really don’t understand point 11) why don’t rich people say what’s on their mind???

    • Anonymous

      Reply Reply

      Rich people are a doer = they plan stuff and do it, no arguments, no delayin
      tactics

  • This is fascinating stuff! I am doing most of these. I’m on my way. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Johnson

    Reply Reply

    poor trying to change bad habits any help

  • John Williams

    Reply Reply

    I appreciate the importance of a positive attitude in life for success but several of the categories are vicious circles. This is the cycle of poverty that many experience.

    Having said this by no means am I suggesting that people with great talent, skills or intelligence should not be rich only that even if the person is less intelligent or even below average in intelligence but possess a strong work ethic, they should still be able to provide for their family.

    Lets break it down.

    1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. (This is because junk food is cheap)

    23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble. (Ok)

    2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this. (true, they may be working 2 jobs for example and not fully focused on either job because neither is full time)

    3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this. (Gym memberships cost money and when you work 2 jobs at low pay for 60hours a week you are too tired to exercise more)

    4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.(You can afford to by books? And you can afford to buy audio books?)

    5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor. (Fair point – a lack of life goals and daily goals is very often the hall mark of the poor – fair point)

    6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor. (Yes – the poor or there children are not as smart as you and your point is? Is it screw them? They are born dumb and so are there children, screw them as well as people who are physically disabled – what are you saying here?

    7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor. (Did I mention the two jobs and 60 hour work weeks?)

    8. 80% of wealthy make happy birthday calls vs. 11% of poor (The poor don’t make happy birthday calls because they are not happy they were born)

    9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor (Does writing down goals like paying the bills, having enough food to eat and paying rent need to be written down, they think of it daily)

    10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor. (Yes once again good for you, you are smart and the poor are retarded – what is your point? Are they sub-human? Should we put them all in a zoo in the primate division and charge the rich to look at them?)

    11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor. (Again intelligence… )

    12. 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor. (The poor often withdraw the older they get because they are ashamed of their social stature or lack of it)

    13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV. every day vs. 23% for poor (Yep TV is pretty cheap entertainment)

    14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor. (Reality T.V. has a mass appeal to the poor because some of the shows often illustrate (artificially of course) people’s whose lives are worse then theirs.)

    15. 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs.3% for poor. (Did I mention the two jobs?)

    16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor. (Yep the rich are smarter and so are their kids)

    17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor. (Ok and one of the best habits you can have is being born into a rich family)

    18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor. (OK and one of the worst habits you can have is to be born into a poor family)

    19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor. (After 30 years of trying to work hard and do what you are told learning the ins and out of fast food, Wal-Mart and so forth at a certain point you just give up on the learning part of it because your realize that yes you are stupid and therefore don’t deserve anything in life…

    20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for p (Yep once again if you are below average in intelligence and work really hard picking up rich people’s garbage, cutting their grass, washing their clothes, making their food in a restaurant, cleaning their dishes, washing their car etc you don’t even deserve a living minimum wage.

    Nope you are a stupid wage slave…

    Not saying rich people do not deserve to be rich. All I am saying is that even stupid people who are below average in intelligence deserve a minimum wage that allows them to live in a small trailer in Alabama and earn enough to pay for their food, rent and bills.

    Even a stupid Coal Miner’s Daughter deserves a min wage that allows them to pay for health care, gas, food, shelter and utilities…

    • Anya

      Reply Reply

      Dear John,

      Your post is full of anger, depression and low self-esteem. It’s true – these feelings undermine a lot of behavior of poor people. But they don’t have to. Plus, you do have holes in your logic, which I will point out:

      1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.
      Yes- junk food is cheaper and easier to obtain. Eating healthy on a budget is tough – it requires planning, knowing how to cook, where to purchase cheap but healthy vegetables and fruits, and possibly trips to a local food shelter which is demeaning. Plus, healthy food doesn’t give one a sugar high, which makes one feel good for a few seconds. Junk food is addictive because of its sugar content and reinforces negative behavior. It takes strength and self-discipline to realize that and change one’s food habits. However, soda and sugary juices are still more expensive than water. Healthy grains and legumes are cheaper than Mickey D’s. Eating healthy is a choice – that takes some really strong personal discipline and effort. But not an impossible one.

      2) 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.
      Gambling is addictive and escapist behavior. This is more indicative of poor people’s depression and need for escape. However, once again, it takes a strong and self-disciplined person to stop oneself from destructive behavior.

      2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

      Even in a poor paying job, setting goals increases productivity and efficiency. Once you excel at your poor paying job by doing better than others, you are likely to be promoted, recognized and moved into positions of higher responsibility and better pay. Setting goals and making lists does not take much time, but the benefits and self-awareness gained are enormous. We should teach this in school.

      3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.

      – it is a fallacy that you need a gym membership to exercise. However, I agree that many poor people already work at occupations that require hard physical labor (standing all day, carrying heavy loads, construction, walking to work, etc.), so yes this statistic is not a true reflection of how much exercise poor people actually get.

      4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.

      All books published before 1923 are in the public domain. There are a ton of recorded FREE audio books (many of which can be downloaded on free smartphone apps). And access to smartphones and Media to play these books has been reaching parity in both poor and rich populations. Again, it takes self-discipline to seek out these books, to play them during one’s bus or subway commute, but definitely not impossible and not the domain of the rich.

      5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.

      See #2 above.

      6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.

      Hmm, I won’t go into questioning why you chose to have to children if you’re poor, but if you did make that choice, those children are your responsibility, regardless of whether you have time for them or not. If you don’t have time to raise your kids, educate them, feed them, give them up for adoption. (See Jennifer’s comment on this above). And if you choose to keep them, following good habits yourself (like healthy eating, setting goals, and reading) will only set them up for success and make them see you as a role model. And that you actually care for them and love them. If you have children, following these habits is doubly important because they affect not only your life but the life of your children.

      7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor.

      Agree with argument that poor children can help out around their house instead of volunteering. But in either case, one should teach one’s children work ethics and compassion.

      8. 80% of wealthy make happy birthday calls vs. 11% of poor

      The point is – making a birthday call (vs text) strengthens relationships and connections. People who receive more social support and are more active in community are more resilient to stress, are depressed less, and are generally happier. Building relationships with others can greatly enhance your well-being, and help you find resources in the community to make life easier. Isolating oneself only decreases well-being and leads to negative behaviors like addiction, violence, gambling, and eating fast food. Reaching out to others is a powerful protector against stress and depression. You don’t need a Ph.D to recognize that.

      9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor

      Same as #2 and #5. By the way, changing one’s habits can also be a goal.

      10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor.

      The key word here is education – poor people fail to learn about ways they can improve their circumstances. It’s time to stop blaming society for not educating you properly and take self-education into your own hands. Read cooking books, exercise techniques, how to encourage self-esteem in children, how to make better financial decisions, how to form a budget and stick to it, where to get financial help, how to manage your time better. Reading is not a pre-requisite – one can learn much from talking to others too, but reading is the fastest method of knowledge transfer known to man.

      11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor.

      Some have asked why – that’s because wealthy people are more concerned with their own internal world, goals, and families. And they value their time and emotions. Stating one’s opinion openly had many problems: 1) it can hurt other people, 2) it takes a lot of time to state an opinion without hurting others, 3) it can expose oneself and one’s weaknesses. 4) it can draw a lot of criticism and anger from others, which can cause emotional pain, or take time to defend oneself – it’s energy and time poorly spent. Another reason is that wealthy people, despite all the knowledge they possess and cultivate, still don’t believe they know best. They are humble and prefer to listen and learn, rather than express their own thoughts. It’s about being humble, and seeking to avoid argument and negativity.

      12. 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor.

      I really need to understand what “networking” meant in this study, but agree that networking is much harder in poorer conditions. Still, joining a church or local community is a great way to network and increase well-being – see #8. Calling to say happy birthday (or happy holidays) is a form of networking.

      13. 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV. every day vs. 23% for poor

      Ok, TV is NOT cheaper than books. Library memberships are free. Cable subscription is not. The cost of a television is higher than that of a smartphone. And the amount of knowledge gained per 30 minutes reading is approximately 5 times that of an educational TV program. It takes about 15 minutes to read the script of a history channel or discovery channel show that takes an hour to watch. It takes about a minute to read a news article that is covered in a 5 minute video. Reading is a more efficient method of communication. As for entertainment value – spending time networking, meeting friends, exercising, or playing with one’s children is much better entertainment than watching reality shows or cartoons. Wealthy people know these facts and therefore spend their time on more productive entertainment. Plus, there is so much negativity in news and TV – constant news of murder and crime contributes to feelings of unsafety and the perception that crime happens a lot more frequently than it actually does. Agreed, in poor neighborhoods it occurs more frequently, but reminding yourself about it daily will not improve your well-being or happiness. The emotional and time cost of television makes it essentially more counterproductive than restful.

      14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.

      See #13 and #2 above. Escapist behavior will not help one beat one’s circumstance or be happier in life. Envy only breeds more envy. Negativity and wishing bad upon others will not make your own life better. Plus, reality TV is fake – real people don’t even act that way. It’s just as fake as any other TV show out there.

      15. 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs.3% for poor.

      Not really show how the study got to this statistic. Being poor takes a toll on one’s health, and sleep is important for maintaining one’s immune system. Also, depression causes fatigue and problems waking up. I would say this needs way more explication before actually having any meaning.

      16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor.

      See #6 about children. Just because you don’t have time for your children doesn’t relinquish you of the responsibility not to raise them.

      17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor.

      You are what you believe. If you believe you’re powerless to change your circumstances, then you will never beat them. If you are depressed, you should seek professional medical help. Ignoring the truth doesn’t make it any less true.

      18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor.

      How we attribute success and failure (to internal or external factors) can change our mental state. And there’s inherent attribution bias – people tend to attribute success to one’s own efforts and failure to external circumstances. The truth is in the middle, but for healthy self-esteem and well-being, It’s much better to believe that change is possible with hard work, rather than resign that life is unfair and that I don’t deserve a better life. It’s important to distinguish attributions of one’s intelligence vs attributions to one’s work ethic. Believing that you’re too stupid to succeed (and that your stupidity is genetic) is detrimental. Believing that you just need to learn more, study more, and work harder (and you are not limited by your mental abilities) is productive. It all starts there. And yes, depression is a serious health issue – it’s a physical illness that makes one demotivated and self-hating. Reach out to others to fight depression. Call a depression hotline today. And read a book/article/magazine on psychology to understand these concepts better.

      19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor.

      That’s because they understand that knowledge is power, and that is precisely how they obtain control in their lives, success at work, and eventually, power over others. Think of yourself not as genetically stupid, but too lazy to learn. Laziness is something that can be totally changed – with willpower and self-discipline. If you find time to learn, eventually, you Will become smarter.

      20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor.

      See #13 and #10 above. Once you realize the benefits of reading, and realize that you time in life is limited (especially when you work two jobs and take care of kids), you will realize that reading is a much more efficient and effective way of resting, and learning. Set a goal – Replace 30 min of TV with 30 minutes of reading. You’ll be surprised.
      (One caveat – poor people are generally slower readers and a lot more of them don’t even know how to read. The good news is – the more you read the better you get at it. And audio books are quite easy to follow. You just have to be patient and persistent. )

      So John, in conclusion, these statistics indicate that poor people lack some key personal characteristics – self-discipline, persistence, patience, delaying gratification, foresight, education, self-understanding, and compassion. Last time I checked – these character traits are free. I’m not saying it’s easy being poor. I’m just saying it’s not impossible to change oneself and one’s life. Plus, even if these habits don’t bring one wealth, they will certainly help one live a happier life, raise healthier and smarter children, decrease depression and improve self-esteem. And that’s a goal in itself that is much more important than money.

    • Anya

      Reply Reply

      I apologize for typos in my response above, and also for using a generic “you” – I didn’t mean to state these as an attack on you personally.

      I agree with your assertion that many of bad habits of poor people are vicious cycles that only contribute to those people staying poor and uneducated and depressed. However, i believe that’s what makes this study so powerful. Habits can be cultivated and changed. We aren’t born with bad habits. We develop them throughout life and they are not genetically predermined.

      Yes, vicious cycles are hard to break out of, but it’s not just about intelligence and poor education. Poor people fail to succeed due to lack of willpower, and self-control. And especially due to lack of ability to delay gratification. If only our schools and communities cultivated these values (and set them as examples to children in poor communities), more people could rise above their circumstances and poor start in life.

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  • Reizor

    Reply Reply

    yep totally agree! Even HBD calls. Think outside the box and it makes sense.

  • Reece

    Reply Reply

    So you listed the differences between rich and poor. Great work. Now let me ask you this. Whose fault is it? Poor people don’t control anything about this society. Poor people show up and work their jobs. Rich people scheme to make as much money for themselves as they possibly can. Bernie Madoff made it to be one of the richest men in the world. Do you think I should look up to him?

    Regards to 1. McDonalds is owned by rich people. It is a gross piece of mans work. Where you can get heavily infused meat all day long. Hunting elk by bow is how we poor people do it. It is the most pure way to obtain meat known to man.

    Regards to 2. You wealthy guys have a goal. I agree. I already stated what it was. Making as much money for your very own self as humanly possible.

    Regards to 3. Rich people exercise more. I don’t even know what to say about this one. Doesn’t apply to me I guess. I am poor but all I do every day is get outside and snowboard or fly fish or hunt.

    Regards to 4. Rich people read more books. I agree. You guys are lucky the poor people don’t read as many books as you do or they would have risen up a long time ago. That’s why I have to represent for them right now cause I am poor by choice even though I read books as well as anyone.

    Regards to 5. Is this not the exact same thing stated in 2? You guys have a goal and to do lists! I bet you also have calendars! I bet you guys have some day planners to! If there is another category stating that you guys are planning your next move I will get upset.

    Regards to 6. Wow another repeat. HAHAHA. So you guys read more books and your kids read more books!!! You could have just stated you read more books…

    Regards to 7. You guys volunteer for stuff. That is because you are guilty about how much money you have. If you really want to help people I suggest a concept called sharing. Instead of your usual money for me, money for me, money for me attitude. I’m not talking about your 100 dollar donation to the shelter you make each year. I’m talking about actually sharing with other people instead of trying to take them out financially.

    Regards to 8. I don’t know what to say about this one either. I am poor but I still contact my family members on birthdays and holidays.

    Regards to 9. This is actually a triple repeat from 2 and 5. You guys have a single goal, to do lists, and you write down your goals! This is the third time you have said you guys are planning. We get it already. Maybe the guy who did the study wasn’t quite as smart as he thought he was if he studied the exact same thing 3 times under different headlines.

    Regards to 10. Wow another triple repeat!!! This one is from 4 and 6. So you guys listen to more audio books, your kids read more books, and you guys read for 30 minutes a day! That all means the exact same thing! This is probably the worst study I have ever seen.

    Regards to 11. Poor people speak their minds. I think this is a point for my team actually. Reason for it is because Rich people are trying to get your money. Poor people are just trying to go fishing with you so they have nothing to hide.

    Regards to 12. I think this depends on the definition of networking. If networking means trying to talk with other rich people to figure out how to make more money then it is totally true. If networking means talking honestly with your friends then poor people are actually the networking masters.

    Regards to 13. Poor people watch more TV. This is probably true and TV is a pleasure activity. I personally never watch TV. I guess poor people just want to have a little fun sometimes instead of trying to shake each other down for money all day every day.

    Regards to 14. HAHAHAHA. Yet another total repeat. So poor people watch more TV and more reality TV! You can assume 14 from reading 13…

    Regards to 15. I’m not sure what this one means. Rich people are more concerned about their jobs? I agree. Maybe the poor people would be a little more concerned if you paid them more than 10 dollars an hour?

    Regards to 16. I’m not exactly sure what is meant by good daily success habits. Is this like brushing your teeth? Is it referring to reading books again? I have no clue what this one even means.

    Regards to 17. Same as my response to 16. Good habits create opportunity luck. What are these good habits? 16 and 17 are both way to vague of statements to try to put statistical numbers on.

    Regards to 18. HAHAHA. Another repeat. This is the exact opposite statement from 17. Bad habits create bad luck. It is the exact inverse of what he said in 17. The wealthy believe good habits create good luck and bad habits create bad luck! You can assume 18 from reading 17…..

    Regards to 19. Wealthy believe in education. This is true. Its probably true the wealthy are smarter in general. That’s not where my thinking stops though. It makes me upset that we have the smartest people in society taking advantage of people who are not as smart as them. This is not a good thing. The smartest people should be helping for all of us to live together in peace. Not trying to make as much money for their very own selves as possible.

    Regards to 20. Yes! Yes! He went back to the book thing again for the quadruple repeat. Wow. That is impressive. So its the same as 4, 6, and 10. You guys listen to audio books, have your kids read books, you read 30 minutes a day and you love to read! That is hilarious. Quadruple repeat. You made this so easy for me. Worst study I have ever seen. The guys studied the exact same thing so many times. I think it was a quadruple repeat (books), a triple repeat (planning) and two double repeats (tv watching and good vs bad luck) by my count.

    My advice to you.

    Realize that you are not a god.

    You are a man on planet earth and I am also one that is here with you regardless of if you play chess better than me or not.

    Have some respect for me (raise my salary). You think that the average CEO to low worker pay ratio of 500 to 1 is fair? That is approximately how it works with big corps in the USA. I haven’t done my research in awhile so that number may have changed a little. But it is a pretty fair estimate. The workers show up every day of the year just like the boss does, they just don’t get paid anymore because of people like you who have lost all respect for them. Every time a worker buys a house. The boss can buy 500 houses. The ratio has gotten way out of control recently.

    Life doesn’t have to be us or them. It is right now but we can change it.

    We, especially you and other rich folk have the power to create a more loving society through sharing and respecting each other.

    If I was a rich person reading this I would go to my employees right now and give them all a bonus. They deserve it for helping to make you rich. Working poor is a sad sad situation and that is what it is coming to in this country.

    Have fun fighting over money,
    Reece

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