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Eight Differences Between Poor People And Rich People

Updated: May 29, 2019

People always want to know how wealthy people became wealthy, but most neglect to question why poor people became poor. There are characteristics that differentiate successful people from those who never make it. These specific traits can make a person wealthy or keep them stuck being broke forever. The magic is that anyone can change their behavior. You can eliminate the traits that drag you into poverty and develop the traits that will thrust you into success. ANYONE can be rich. You just have to have the discipline to implement the correct tools to get you there.


I have created a list of eight trait differences that separate the poor from the rich so that you can see what traits you need to drop and what traits you need to develop.

1. Poor People Are Pessimistic, While Wealthy People Are Optimistic

Poor people usually have a negative view of their world. They view the glass half empty and they are very vocal about it. Poor people are always complaining about something… “I hate my job”, “my boss is a d*ck”, “my roommate's an a**hole”, “woe is me!” These people are never happy with their circumstances.

On the other side of the coin, wealthy people view the world through a positive lens. They are often humble and they enjoy their blessings. If something happens that affects them negatively they try to figure out a way to fix it and make the situation positive once again. Rich people make the best of their circumstances and have a positive outlook on life.

2. Poor People Let Fear Hold Them Back, While The Rich Aren’t Afraid To Fail

Poor people let fear hold them back because they are pessimistic. They always see the negative, so they assume they will fail. They think about the multiple ways something can go wrong and talk themselves out of taking risks. Essentially, poor people focus on the problems lying ahead. This is why even if poor people have a lot of ideas they never act on them. This anxiety is what keeps poor people from taking the steps that are necessary to become wealthy.

On the other hand, wealthy people’s positive outlook on life allows them to let that fear go. Whatever happens, they make the best of their situation. Instead of focusing on the possible problems that will arise, they focus on the solutions. Their optimism gives them the ability to be unafraid of failure. They dream big and act big. If they fail at something they try, then Oh well… at least they tried, and they move on to the next thing.

3. Poor People Lack Time Management Skills & The Rich Master Their Time

Poor people often have issues with time management. They are always late, they overbook themselves, they cancel plans last minute, and they are horrible with deadlines. They often spend the majority of their free time partaking in activities that do nothing to further their success. Poor people are easily distracted by unimportant things. They watch a lot of TV and they spend a lot of time online or on their phones but they “never have time to do this or do that” because their “too busy”. I am not going to lie… I probably watch too much TV, I admit it. But I always make sure that I handle my priorities before I hop on Netflix. If you can dedicate several hours a day to watching TV then you could s

pend some of that time handling your business. It’s all about where someone's priorities lie.

Wealthy people are masters of time management. They are punctual, their schedules are meticulously put together, and they make time for the things that are important to them. These people have The Money Mindset. They are laser-focused on reaching their goals, so their wheels never stop turning.

4. Poor People Hate Working, While Wealthy People Enjoy Their Jobs

Poor people hate working. They loathe waking up in the morning feeling the impending doom of their eight hour work day. They complain the whole time they are at work, they do as little as possible, and they count down the hours until they can clock out. Most poor people believe that when they work a nine to five job, they work for someone else, and they blame their boss for their low pay or the hours they are scheduled. This ignorance is amazing, and it’s typically the reason why poor people never actually quit. In actuality, none of us work for others, we work for ourselves. If you accept a job, then you are accepting that your worth for the hours you work there is what that job pays you. You choose where you want to work, and subsequently your own worth.

With that being said, rich people follow their passions. They do not settle for a mediocre job because it is “safe” or even for the initial pay. They take unpaid or low paying internships that they are excited about doing because they know it will fuel their passion and advance their career. They find a job that is fulfilling and that they thoroughly enjoy, so it does not even feel like work to them. This fact is probably the reason why rich people are more hardworking than poor people. Rich people often come into work early and they stay late. Not only do financially successful people often work more hours than what is required of them, but they also work at home too. They are so focused on their goals that clocking in and out does not stop their brain from thinking about how to further their success and grow their wealth.

Side Note: The fact that rich people enjoy working because they follow their passions also probably contributes to that fact that rich people have multiple streams of income. They are not content with only working a nine to five job. For example, “Maria” is passionate about cosmetology and graphic design. She works as a photographer full time. She also does hair and makeup on the side. Plus, she creates graphic designs for extra cash. She invests her extra income and uses her returns to fund the development of her own company that will be a one-stop shop for photo and beauty. With her own company, she can work as much as she wants and inevitably this business brings her wealth. Maria thoroughly enjoys doing all of this work, because to her it’s not work, it’s her passion.

5. Poor People Are Usually Uneducated, While Rich People Love Learning

Poor people are usually uneducated. I mean this is the normal “school” type of way. A lot of poor people never graduate high school and they never go on to college, or they drop out without getting a degree. But I also mean this in a wisdom type of way too. If a poor person does not know something or does not know how to do something, they do not try to figure it out. “ I don’t know how to do that, so I won’t do it”.

On the other hand, rich people are eager to soak up information. A lot of wealthy people have graduated from high school and have some sort of college education. Some are self-taught. But all wealthy people self teach daily. If they do not know something or do not know how to do something, they figure it out. Rich people are constantly learning new things and truly enjoy learning.

6. Poor People Live Above Their Means & Wealthy People Live Within Their Means

Poor people spend more than they make. Their paycheck is gone as soon as it hits their bank accounts. And when their checking accounts run out, they run up their credit cards. They have a $300 purse and don’t have enough money in their bank account to buy a $5 coffee. Poor people see debt as a part of living; which is why most never get out of it. They focus on what they can buy, instead of what they can build.

Rich people live within their means, and they often practice frugality. This is how rich people keep their wealth. They realize that it is not about how much you earn but how much you save. If you earn $10,000 a month and spend $10,000 a month then you’ve actually made nothing. If you earn $4,000 a month and save $2,000 a month then you’ve made $2,000 that month. Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates are all are all extremely wealthy and are still frugal. It’s a mindset. Why spend money on irrelevant things when you could invest that money? Instead of focusing on what they can buy, wealthy people focus on how great they can be. They have a plan, and their extra money goes into financing that plan; not financing a lifestyle.

7. Poor People Hang With Poor People & Rich People Hang With Other Rich People

We have all heard the saying “you are who you surround yourself with”. This is a statement of fact. Poor people hang out with other poor people for two reasons. Reason one, it makes them feel better. When they feel like their friends are doing worse than them or that they are the most successful of their friends it boosts their ego. “Maybe I am not doing that bad”. Wrong! Just because you are the least poor of your friends, does not make you less poor. Reason two why poor people like to hang out with other poor people is because it’s easy; poor people have the same mindset as each other so they like to hang out with each other. They often talk about everything other than what it takes to build more wealth. Usually, they talk about other people. They do not push each other to work harder, to spend less, or to follow their dreams. They may even secretly hope their friends do not gain wealth and surpass their success. Poor people often also have a hard time forming relationships with others in general. It is hard work for them, and they are usually uninterested in creating new relationships at all.

Rich people surround themselves with other wealthy people. Their inner circles are filled with like-minded people with common values and work ethic. They bounce ideas off of each other, learn from each other, and help build each other up. They build strong relationships and they build strong teams. They talk less about people and more about business, investments, social trends, and other subjects that help make them better. They share what they’re doing in their own wealth building journey and learn from each other. They also are constantly networking. They love meeting new people and creating new bonds. Rich people also often seek mentorship. Mentors can provide knowledge, skills, networking opportunities, and personal support that can greatly enhance their success.

8. Poor People Follow The Crowd, While Rich People Think Independently

Poor people do what everyone else is doing. They are easily persuaded into mediocrity. Society tells them their dreams are too big to become a reality, and they believe that, so they settle for less in life. They allow the opinions of others to dictate their actions. They become another cog in the wheel. Wake up, work, get home, shower, eat, sleep, repeat. This tendency to be easily influenced by others is what makes them sink into obscurity.

Wealthy people, on the other hand, think for themselves. If someone tells them their goals are too large to achieve, then that’s their prerogative. While rich people welcome constructive criticism, others’ personal opinions are irrelevant. Rich people are often socially indifferent. They are not concerned with what anyone else is doing, they are only concerned with what they are doing to contribute to their success.


There are many traits that differentiate poor people from rich people, these are just eight of them that I thought were the most relevant. The key takeaway is that you are in control of your actions. You can train yourself to let go of the traits that will keep you from success and force yourself to develop the traits that will bring you closer to financial freedom.

Anyone can be rich. It’s up to you to put in the work to make your dreams become reality.

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