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”


Check Out These 20 Shocking Differences In Daily Habits


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


  • 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


        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

    • Yalonda

      Reply Reply


      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


    • 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.

  • 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


  • 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

  • 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

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