The Main Difference Between The Rich and The Poor

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Mindsetting on April 25, 2009

What’s the main difference between the rich and the poor?

You might say that the rich have lots of money while poor people don’t. Although that’s usually the case, I believe it’s not the main reason why some people are rich while some people are poor.

Do you want to know what I think?

Well, I believe that the main difference between the rich and the poor is how much they spend. Or simply, the fact that the rich spends less than what they earn, while the poor spends more.


So if you want to be rich, then first – live within your means.


As famous Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, once said:

Earn a little, spend a little less.

Follow this advice and you’ll always have enough.

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Photo courtesy of Eliane


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28 Responses to “The Main Difference Between The Rich and The Poor”

  1. Rico says:

    One mantra that I try to follow is to live below one’s means.

  2. this simply means that I’m so poor because I’m spending more than I earn ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Micamyx says:

    Bigla akong napaisip ng bonggang-bongga dun ah (woot)

  4. Paul says:

    i know this by heart… was on the “poor” side of the equation before. now, i am trying to maintain my balance sheet, well, balanced.

  5. Dinah says:

    then i am dirt poor. or maybe even poorer than dirt ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. you might be rich | M. Schwab Hottest Trends says:

    […] The Main Difference Between The Rich and The Poor […]

  7. Hi Fitz, I have my own version of the quote you mentioned above. ๐Ÿ˜€

    “Earn More and Desire Less”

  8. icezorg says:

    basta may self-control, kaya yan. parang marshmallow test and delayed gratification. hehe

  9. Jonathan says:

    Basta ako, I won’t rest until I become RICH, else I will keep trying forever.. At tama yan, Earn a little, spend a little less….

  10. Nbb says:

    You do know that quote is made in Europe, where “Earn Little” means still a decent amount. Here in the Philippines a lot of people get 10-15k salary-range. How do you spend less when you’re salary is only 10k. How can you afford housing, electricity, food. Sure you can live with that salary, but what kind of life would you live. And what are you supposed to save off of that kind of salary for a rainy day? I just don’t see it.

    Here in the Philippines the quote should be:
    “earn little, spend less, live & die poor”
    Sad but undeniably true

  11. Fitz says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I never expected that such a short and simple post would create such reactions.

    If I may add, living within your means is the first step. The second and more important step is to find ways to increase your means.

    It does take a lot of patience and hard work, but with the proper mindset. Saving money and finding ways to earn more income WILL eventually pay off.

  12. jonatsgonats says:

    Hi Fitz, any tips on finding ways to increase your means ๐Ÿ™‚
    Especially for people that are finding it hard to have a direction to go on to. I think many people are in this limbo of hoping and planning but taking no action done. I also think this is why lots of young people get stuck being just employees.

    A salary of 30k is good for a single that has nothing to spend on but himself/herself. That’s a good target. But once you get to support family or having to spend on loved ones, then 30k is not enough.

    I have heard of someone raking in 500k a month but of course that is a different story.

  13. “earn little, spend less, live & die poor” – So True ๐Ÿ™

  14. Fitz says:

    You can start by taking a look at the Income Opportunities which I’ve written here in my blog to find ways to increase your means. ๐Ÿ˜€

    The phrase “earn little” can be subjective. What’s little for some may be big for others. The point here is that you should spend less than what you earn. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. jonatsgonats says:

    What if we need to spend more than what we earn. ๐Ÿ™ read your topic on that Fitz, very interesting, right now I’m inclined with the equity market.

    Just for everyone… we should have a goal to increase the little money we have so that we can spend more but still less than we earn.

    My take here is a challenge to set a fund and grow it 8% monthly compounded. So far in 1 1/2 months I have let it grown by 17%. We should take initiative as well and just be satisfied with spending less than we earn.

  16. mela says:

    the quote is so true pero sometimes it is really hard to save. and people have no choice but to spend.

  17. reksel says:

    Hi People, i’m new here. this is a good site. on the comments above, well bless you for being enlightened. i managed to be a good saver since i was young. today, although i have enough, i still have the feeling that im not financially secured. i just rely on my current job which i would like to quit on right now and start something else. but i don’t know how to start. i kept on reading articles and books about financial freedom and i find it very inspiring. in fact i’ve been engaged in buying and selling variety of items that i find rewarding. but let’s not forget the purpose, why do we have to save? one book on the bible deals with negativity in life. one popular phrase uttered, ‘eat and be merry for tomorrow we die’. what about you, why would you want to save if tomorrow you’ll die. you cannot bring anything when you die but your soul that has to be lived for the glory of god. examine your purpose. maybe one good purpose would be to save that you may help your brothers in time of need. well well well, this may be a bit off topic, but i want to share this. to increase savings, we could as well save not just the money that we get from our employers. these are as follows:
    1. quit vices
    2. save utilities (water, electricity, other bills)
    3. keep used materials that can be utilize for future use
    4. minimize gimiks
    5. minimize out of town trips
    6. refrain from buying ‘hulugan’ items (this is my business)
    7. refrain buying low quality items
    8. stop buying collectibles
    9. stay healthy
    10. avoid riding public transport if the destination can be reached by walking

  18. edelweiza says:

    true. people who earn less tend to spend more. it’s really all about wise spending.

  19. Tin says:

    Thanks for dropping by my site. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree with this. Most rich people I know are ‘kuripot’. XD

  20. SIkap Pinoy says:

    The poor spends more because their necessities even the basics are not catered in front of them unlike the rich who owns stores, clothing lines, shops, etc.

  21. omni says:

    the main difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich know how to invest their money in the right places. so its important to know where u stand. visit this site for a free financial planner and various other financial services including research reports.

  22. maijn says:

    I will have to agree with what omni said. The difference between the rich, the poor and the middle class is the mindset. The poor invests in family while the middle class invest in liabities and that they believe are assets in addition to education and the rich invest in family, education and assets. The only thing that the rich person has they the middle class and poor doesn’t is knowledge which can make great difference. Even the smallest piece of knowledge can make a great return or a capital loss. The rich also doesn’t just goes out and buy something that they want. First they will buy an asset that will pay for that porsche or rolls royce or whatever.

  23. […] Spending less than what you earn is the first step towards preventing and eliminating debt. It creates a cash surplus that you can use to invest and earn more (so you can spend more). Don’t let the scales of income of others distract you from what is more important, which to ensure that no matter how much you earn, there is always a portion that goes to your savings and investments. […]

  24. menggay says:

    haloo.. nice nice nmn yng article haha
    im soo thrifty so meaman pla aq waH hhAHHA! ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. CT says:

    @Tin – There is a big difference in being kuripot (cheap) and frugal
    Try this test…go to this link:
    I scored 22 hehe im a little above frugal =)

  26. janice arizobal says:

    hi! this article did a good help on the research paper i am presently concentrating……just a thought,,,,,it’s not your sin being born as poor but if you die as poor then that’s the time it is a sin….

  27. DeJ says:

    It’s true that we have to live below our means but don’t just simply live below your means ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Expand your means :)”

  28. juliAN says:

    sipag at tiyaga ang puhunan para umasenso sa buhay,aT MAG isip pa ng ibang paraan kung paano mapapaunlad ito. Kung di ka kuntento sa 10K na suweldo, mag part time business ka, kagaya ko ๐Ÿ™‚

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