Updated: April 12, 2020
Society is basically made up of the rich, the middle class, and the poor. And between these groups, the most obvious difference is the amount of money they have.
Personally, I believe that the real gap between the rich and the poor is NOT simply their monthly income. To think that the only difference between the haves and the have-nots is their cashflow is short-sighted.
Because in reality, the amount of money one has is a consequence of various factors – dumb luck, access to opportunities, government policies, academic education, mindset, financial habits, and many more.
However, among these numerous factors, I believe one’s mindset and financial habits carry significant influence in determining whether a person will eventually end up rich, middle class, or poor in the future.
For instance, despite being born into poverty and lacking access to opportunities, there are a few who have managed to grow their wealth and become a rags-to-riches success story. I believe this wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t have a growth mindset.
Meanwhile, there are those who have been lucky to be born into wealth, but would later on squander everything and descend to poverty, all because of bad financial habits.
And lastly, there’s the middle class, who more often than not, would end up stuck in their place and never really progress into wealth. And if you look at the reason why so — the culprit would often be a fixed mindset and bad financial habits.
Below are more examples of mindsets and habits that could determine how you’d end up in the future.
Goals and Lifestyle
- Poor mindset: Survival; thinks from day to day
- Middle Class mindset: Comfort; thinks from paycheck to paycheck
- Rich mindset: Freedom; thinks from year to year and far beyond
Spending and Debt
- Poor financial habit: Pays in cash or debts
- Middle Class financial habit: Pays through credit cards and revolves debt
- Rich financial habit: Pays through credit cards but pays in full monthly, knows how to leverage debt
Thoughts and Conversations
- Poor habit: Talks about people
- Middle Class habit: Talks about material things
- Rich habit: Talks about ideas
Work Attitude and Mindset
- Poor and Middle Class financial habit: Plays it safe, works just enough, satisfied with mediocre results
- Rich financial habit: Takes calculated risks, challenges oneself to excel and be the best
Money and Opportunities
- Poor and Middle Class mindset: Scarcity; opportunities are few and money is hard to come by
- Rich mindset: Abundance; there are a lot of opportunities out there for me to make money
Attitudes and Motivation
- Poor and Middle Class mindset: Impatient; I want to live in comfort today
- Rich mindset: Delays gratification; I sacrifice today, so I can live in comfort for many days in the future
Luxuries and Obstacles
- Poor and Middle Class mindset: I cannot afford it. I cannot do it.
- Rich mindset: How can I afford it? How can I learn to do it?
Success and Wealth
- Poor mindset: Lottery, marry someone rich
- Middle Class mindset: Inheritance, advancement of career
- Rich mindset: Frugality, business and investments
Recreation and Fulfillment
- Poor and Middle Class habit: Distractions and escapes (television, gossip, etc.), surrounds oneself with material things
- Rich habit: Life enrichment, self-growth, helps and provides value to others
Ask yourself, what kind of mindset and financial habits do you have today? The answer may point to the direction where you’re eventually end up in the future.