Rich vs Poor: 10 Practical Mindset differences

Apr 19, 2022


It is no secret that wealthy people have distinct views from people in poverty. While beliefs are not the only factor in determining a person’s financial status, they do play a significant impact.

But do you know what defines someone as wealthy or poor? Do they have a certain income or bank balance?

My opinion is that there is not really. While it is true that you need to have some money to be considered to be rich, however, the amount you spend is not that important. The most important thing is whether your money allows you to act and think in practical ways.

You will understand what I am talking about when we look at this list of the differences between the wealthy and people who have a lower income.

Rich vs. poor: 10 practical mindset differences

It has two crucial caveats that are worth noting first.

To begin, when I speak of rich people, I am mainly referring to people who gained the status they have through hard work and diligence instead of, for instance, nepotism, inheritance, or nepotism. Anyone gifted their wealth is less likely to be a positive financial person.

There are also some generalizations with this list. Many wealthy people do not have positive attitudes. In contrast, not all poor people have destructive attitudes.

Nevertheless, focusing on positive thoughts can never harm the chances of becoming rich, and retaining negative thoughts will not assist you. The following distinctions between the wealthy and the poor may not be the complete story; they make up an important part.


In this article, you will see

Rich vs. poor: 10 key differences

I came to these conclusions through research and my observations after being with various wealthy and poor people. This list is not in any specific order.

1. How they make money

Wealthy people utilize money as a way to build wealth. Poor people spend the majority of their income on necessities.

Check out this infographic created by Visual Capitalist. It illustrates how people of diverse levels utilize the money they have.

In the present, the $10,000 net worth distribution of a person could be more a result of circumstances than a mental attitude. If you are the only one with the money, a good and safe vehicle will take up a large portion.


However, take note of the changes in the high net worth section on the table. From $100,000 to $1 million, the amount parked in vehicles decreases because people can dedicate more of their money to retirement accounts and real estate, investments, and business ventures.

It is highly beneficial from a wealth creation perspective since these assets could make more money, while cars are assets.

Be aware that someone with $100,000 in wealth could effortlessly find a vehicle that consumes a more significant amount of their money. Even someone with $1 million could purchase something similar to a Mercedes G-Wagon valued at 20 percent of their wealth.


Most of the time, they do not, and do you know why? They probably would not have such a considerable net worth if they had used their money this way.

In addition, they might not want to spend too much. The real estate market, the stock market, and even their own companies are much more enjoyable.

2. How they view debt

The wealthy borrow money to capitalize on wealth-generating opportunities with lower interest. The poor use high-interest credit to purchase consumer products.

In the late part of September 2020, Donald Trump’s tax return came out, revealing that the U.S. President has $400 million in debt. Many users on Twitter immediately ridiculed Trump for having this amount of debt even though he presented himself as an intelligent businessman for years.

In my opinion, indicates an inadequate knowledge of how debt functions in the case of wealthy people. The poor.

For those who are wealthy, credit makes huge investments feasible. For instance, someone like Trump can take advantage of millions of dollars of loans and then use the funds to buy properties that generate income (i.e., properties) they would not otherwise be able to.

Non-partisan financial experts speaking to The Associated Press have dismissed the notion that Trump’s financial position is evidence of imminent bankruptcy.

In contrast, it is more likely to be from the consumer category if you are financially poor. Instead of borrowing money to purchase huge assets, poor people accumulate depreciating assets and then pay high-interest rates on the debts.

This kind of borrowing takes out riches’ seeds before they can germinate. Trump’s borrowing style is, however, like fertilizer for the seeds.

2b. How do they pay back the debt

A subtler distinction related to debt between the wealthy and those who are poor differs in how they pay payments.

Rich people analyze the interest rate on their debt to determine if they can earn greater returns.

If it is trustworthy wealthy people, typically pay the minimum amount to the debt and put aside any extra funds they might have otherwise paid back.

This is why I plan to pay off the loan I took out on the Toyota Corolla. While I could make a payment in the present, the interest rate of 1.09 percent gives me an incentive to keep the cash in savings instead.

You will notice that it is true that the market for stocks generates an annual average of 10 percent, which is much more than my loan’s rate of interest.

In another way, I would be depriving myself of financial progress by paying the loan off earlier.

This could be why Trump does not just sell some of his properties to repay the $400 million debt he has to pay. These ventures could earn much more than saving on interest costs by removing the debt.

The poor do not think of debt in this way. They strive to eliminate all debt as soon as possible, which is a considerable risk of loss in the case of loans with low interest.


The reasoning behind prioritizing greater returns remains even. Trump’s assets are indeed assets, while the one I own in my Corolla is a depreciating asset. I do not have any incentive to pay back my car loan sooner than what is required by the agreement I agreed to.

This principle does not apply to all loans for cars, however. I made my selections cautiously based on factors beyond the boundaries that this post discusses. Talk to a financial adviser prior to making any decisions.

3. Their patience concerning the creation of wealth

The wealthy are generally aware that wealth will increase with time. Get-rich-quick schemes lure many people.

A further significant difference between the wealthy and. The poor is how both parties perceive the process of creating wealth.

Poor people are usually obsessed with becoming wealthy as fast as they can. They resort to anything from pyramid schemes to high-risk trading in the hopes of achieving this. The majority of the time, they can lose many funds.

I have seen people get caught up in this time and again. They are never taught because the notion of getting wealthy with no effort is too appealing.

Financially savvy people, however, prefer playing the long-term game. This could mean investing in index funds or other boring assets for those seeking quick riches.

However, what do you know? What you are doing is “boring” strategies that allow you to increase your wealth slowly each year will bring you wealth in the end. You would benefit more from investing very little over a few years than trying to make $100,000 $1 million in hours.

Fun fact

A study of self-made millionaires revealed that they took 32 years before they reached the million-dollar threshold. Most of them did not become rich before they hit 50. We will look more closely at this research in the seventh point. 

4. Their Standard

The wealthy are driven to excel even in the most basic tasks. People who are poor settle for inferiority in everything.

Successful people put in an enormous amount of effort in achieving their goals.

It is not at work that the wealthiest person I know puts in an incredible amount of time assembling plates of fruit that are cut into slices every time there are guests at his house for lunch. His work lasts only a few minutes until the fruit is eaten. However, he still does it as putting the fruits onto a platter is against his beliefs.

Most employers and clients will never think of hiring them to be candidates for higher-paying positions that require self-regulation. In contrast, many of the most vulnerable people I have met recklessly handle crucial tasks. They assume that it is someone responsible for their task. This means that they do not advance.

The core of the difference between wealthy and. The less fortunate is an evident appreciation of how the minor aspects affect one’s reputation, which determines the opportunities they are offered and the amount of money they will be able to accumulate.

5. Accountability

The wealthy are subject to more outstanding accountability standards and act according to their standards.

People with wealth are held to such high standards because they are typically held to much responsibility in their different tasks.

Imagine how things operate in a typical business. Executives and managers at the top create processes that guide how lower-level employees perform their duties. Naturally, when issues with systems arise, they are the ones who take on the brunt of the criticism.

The higher an individual’s rank, the more severe this reaction is usually. For instance, CEOs typically get their names dragged around in response to severe failures in their firms.

Employees at lower levels do not need to suffer through this. Particularly in larger companies, they can concentrate on their particular tasks according to the policies of higher-ups.

As they advance on their path, they face more accountability and better pay. However, those who work their entire lives in low-paying jobs that have no accountability remain in poverty.

6. What do they see in their situation?

Wealthy people believe in having control over their lives. The poor view themselves as victims.

A further significant distinction between the wealthy and. The poor is how people of both classes perceive their situation.

The rich tend to think of their wealth as proof of their success. This is understandable. Even when the odds were to their advantage right from the beginning, they had to have some knowledge and financial acumen to make the most of their golden opportunity, thanks to their inheritance. For instance, 70% of the wealthiest families will waste everything after the next generation.

People who are wealthy and began from scratch are more justifiable in claiming credit for their good fortunes.

However, financially poor people tend to think external factors cause their circumstances. This is normal.

If you are in poverty, you may barely have funds to pay payments and even save or invest. You might not be able to afford quality, reliable items that do not need costly repairs every couple of months. The high-interest, compounding, and accumulating debt can effectively reduce your net worth, with no ending in sight.

People who view that they have no influence whatsoever over these or other financial aspects are more likely to remain in debt for the rest of their lives.

7. Who do they hang out with?

Wealthy people have friends who motivate them. Poor people have friends who bring them down.

Thomas Corley conducted a five-year study of more than 170 self-made millionaires. One of the most exciting findings was that people with wealth tend to be more selective with whom they spend time than ordinary people.

The writer in business Insider, Corley, mentions that even before his study subjects were wealthy and successful, they were conscious of socializing with wealthy and successful individuals.

This is evident when you look at the numerous studies that prove the effect friendships have on one’s professional life, relationships, and other aspects of one’s life.

By selecting their buddies carefully, those in the process of becoming rich will ensure that the influence is positive.

Poor people, however, tend to choose their friends with little thought. This means that their social circle comprises people within their vicinity who have similar views about life. If the attitudes they hold are unproductive and harmful, being rich could be nearly impossible.

8. What are they talking about

Rich people can have powerful, meaningful conversations that are relevant and empowering. Poor people talk and gossip about issues they have any control over.

A different exciting pattern Thomas Corley discovered while comparing the wealthy vs. the poor is both groups’ discussions.

Corley says that 79% of the poor respondents frequently engaged in gossip, and 94% of the wealthy avoided it.

Suppose you attribute negative characteristics to the person you talk to (as is typical in chat rooms). People who listen to you will typically think they compare the exact traits. The boomerang effect can be described as one of the scientific reasons for this connection.

It is not difficult to see how this could have dire effects at work. You may have a pattern of telling a colleague that they are incompetent and unworthy of their position. The people in your company begin to think about you. That could restrict your options.

Wealthy people recognize the destructive nature of gossip and concentrate on more productive subjects like investing in hobbies, business ideas, travel, industry news, health, family and life goals, and the cause.

Conversations that revolve around these issues allow people to interact and exchange ideas. This is much more valuable in comparison to gossip.

9. How often do they say no?

Wealthy people can say no to nearly all things. Poor people lack the confidence to do this and are prone to agree with things they should not.

In my opinion, it is one of the main distinctions between the wealthy and. People who have a low income.

Please do not believe me when I say it. However, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett have been quoted as saying that success is dependent on the frequency with which you do not say no. Studies have also revealed that those who have wealth tend to be less likable than those who are poor.

This is notable because of a variety of factors.

First, it shows that rich people are confident enough to make choices in their interests. They are not afraid to turn down requests that do not go with their objectives, even if it could mean causing a rift with others.

This is also why wealthy people tend to be more effective negotiators. Instead of accepting unacceptable conditions, they are more willing to push until a satisfactory agreement is reached. They then leave when that does not happen.

People who are poor give into the pressures of other people, usually at their own risk. Employers make them work harder while salesmen overcharge them, and “friends” frequently benefit from their low confidence. They dedicate their lives to giving value to others, but they do not keep the money for themselves.

10. Excuses

The poor are always looking for excuses not to do useful things. Wealthy people will have to endure many discomforts to get the desired result.

I would like you to see the last distinction highlighted between the wealthy and. The less fortunate are either group’s thinking process when it comes to using excuses.

People who are poor love excuses. They always have a reason why they cannot save money, invest or do any other financial activity beneficial to them.

Of course, they have no opposition to financially harmful things, such as accumulating hundreds of dollars of consumer debt. However, it is the positive things they are unable to resist.

On the other hand, wealthy people can endure a great deal of suffering to achieve what they desire. I have witnessed entrepreneurs lose thousands of dollars over months due to their belief in the dream, and that success was just right around the corner.

It is not because wealthy people do not have reasons to give up or quit. They, like poorer people, will overlook these arguments if they think the positive benefits are enough.


The wealthy and the poor have different opinions due to many reasons. I look at some of these motives in my article about how the average person finds it hard to make ends meet.