The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Money

Posted by under Mindsetting . Updated: April 26, 2017

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 really NOT their monthly income. To think that the only difference between the haves and have-nots is the size of their bank account is very short-sighted.

Because in reality, the amount of money one has is actually just a consequence of one’s mindset and actions. And this is where the real gap lies.

But aside from the rich and the poor, there is also the middle class. How different are they from the two? Moreover, why do some people manage to get out of being poor but get stuck in being middle class? Why can’t they progress and become rich?

Below is a list of comparison that will answer these questions.

Goals and Lifestyle

  • Poor: Survival; thinks from day to day – a hand-to-mouth existence
  • Middle Class: Comfort; thinks from paycheck to paycheck
  • Rich: Freedom; thinks from year to year and far beyond

Spending and Debt

  • Poor: Pays in cash or debts
  • Middle Class: Pays through credit cards and revolves debt
  • Rich: Pays through credit cards but pays in full monthly, knows how to leverage debt

Thoughts and Conversations

  • Poor: Talks about people
  • Middle Class: Talks about material things
  • Rich: Talks about ideas

Work Attitude and Mindset

  • Poor and Middle Class: Plays it safe, works just enough, satisfied with mediocre results
  • Rich: Takes calculated risks, challenges oneself to excel and be the best

Money and Opportunities

  • Poor and Middle Class: Scarcity; opportunities are few and money is hard to come by
  • Rich: Abundance; there are a lot of opportunities out there for me to make money

Attitudes and Motivation

  • Poor and Middle Class: Impatient; I want to live in comfort today
  • Rich: Delays gratification; I sacrifice today, so I can live in comfort for many days in the future

Luxuries and Obstacles

  • Poor and Middle Class: I cannot afford it. I cannot do it.
  • Rich: How can I afford it? How can I learn to do it?

Success and Wealth

  • Poor: Lottery, marry someone rich
  • Middle Class: Inheritance, advancement of career
  • Rich: Frugality, business and investments

Recreation and Fulfillment

  • Poor and Middle Class: Distractions and escapes (television, gossip, etc.), surrounds oneself with material things
  • Rich: Life enrichment, self-growth, helps and provides value to others

Ask yourself, where does your mindset stand today? It’s never too late to change.

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43 Responses to “The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Money”

  1. teeyah says:

    Love this post, Fitz! ๐Ÿ™‚ Very inspiring!

  2. Pinoy Ideas says:

    Yeah! it keeps the ball rollin’! nice post fitz! mabuhay ka!

  3. Omar says:

    That’s deep, but true. I have a short attention span with complainers and limited thinkers. Why be poor or even rich why not be wealthy? Great post.

  4. Liza says:

    As an avid follower of your blog, I just want to say this is a great article. I actually re-posted it on my facebook wall so that my friends can read it. Thanks Fitz! Keep ’em coming. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Another excellent post Fitz, thanks! I totally agree especially with what you wrote about having distractions/escapes like television, etc. It really is crazy for someone to wonder why his/her life is going nowhere if all he/she does is watch TV all day… tsk tsk.

  6. diwata says:

    This is, so far, my favorite article amongst all your articles. Thank you for sharing this! You don’t how much I always look forward to reading your next article ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Guy G. says:

    I like the bit about thoughts and conversations.
    I think there’s a quote by Eleanor Rosevelt about that saying the same thing, but referring to small minds and great minds. The great minds, as you might guess, are the ones that talk about ideas.

    Thanks for the illustrations,

  8. John says:

    very psych ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I definitely agree with this Fitz! Mindset is the key. Looks like I’m on the right track. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This is an outstanding post. I’m going to link to it in a post I’m preparing to add to my site tonight.

  11. […] Fitz at Ready to be Rich gave an excellent analysis of the differences between the thinking of the rich and the middle class in The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Money. […]

  12. So true…money mindset separates the rich from the poor and middle class. Thanks for this article Sir Fitz. This blog is among the resources that helped me changed my “employee mindset” to “entrepreneur and investor mindset.” Keep it up!

  13. Shaun says:

    it’s nice to know I have the characteristics of the rich, except for the money. but hey I can wait… nice post.

  14. rose says:

    wow, i just realized i have most of the characteristics of the rich. its just a matter of time. thanks for sharing Fitz!

  15. “Poor and Middle Class: I cannot afford it. I cannot do it. Rich: How can I afford it? How can I learn to do it?” -very true. We should learn from this one. nice post! ๐Ÿ™‚ very same principle from “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”

  16. jezz says:

    I love this post.. Thank you.

  17. […] I’m Rich! Just stumbled across this: The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Money. […]

  18. Great post, reading it, it appears I have more in common with the Rich class than the middle class.

    Perhaps I’m approaching the upper middle class faster than I thought after all…

  19. irene says:

    everything is true…great article Fitch!!!

  20. […] to Be Rich:ย  The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Moneyย – This blogger identifies some of the characteristics of the poor, middle class, and rich.ย  I […]

  21. Mandy Mira says:

    Nice post, Very inspiring, additional ideas for us.

  22. Thanks for the always inspiring post Fritz. Can I post this in my blog, so I can also share? Please let me know before I post. Thanks again.

  23. Fitz says:

    @Randy, sure you can share it in your blog. Please just put a link back to the original article. Thanks!

  24. @Fitz, done. Please let me know if I need to change anything. This is my first time to just copy and paste an article. Yours is just inspiring, hehe!

  25. Richard says:

    Thanks, Reminds me of T. Harv Eker

  26. Veter says:

    The monetary system has to simply go, it has created these social stratifications, elite, rich, middle class, poor.

  27. Pierre Gordon says:

    Very, Very inspiring! Love reading your post!

  28. miles says:

    very influential reading material! i love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Paul says:

    Very nice insight. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I haven’t read about these yet. But I always remember my mentor saying that lucky are those kids raised by either poor or rich families, in terms of life experiences – which is an advantage.

    Life is a school. Experience teaches us. Without experience one will find it hard to get the desired results in life. Middle class people are raised in comfort. And there’s not much life-experience within the comfort zone, thus, the saying “Get out of the comfort zone”.

  30. […] never really took notice but after I read your article on The Real Gap Between the Rich and the Poor, I discovered that indeed, there is a huge difference between the attitudes and mindset of the poor […]

  31. The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Money « SORSOGON UNITED says:

    […] The Real Gap Between The Rich and The Poor Is Not The Money […]

  32. CT says:

    Hey Fitz Great and Inspiring Post here…I definitely agree with you..I guess Im also on the right track same with Tyrone =) Cheers Bro!!!

  33. zaldy says:

    nice one sir fritz..

  34. cherryMon says:


  35. […] rich isn’t just about the amount of money that you have; it’s all about mind-setting. First, […]

  36. caloy says:

    very inspiring po.
    your article, retiring rich in working mom magazine has led me here.
    thanks again for sharing your thoughts and ideas to persons like me who’s somewhat ‘lost’ in finance, in life..
    keep it up sir fritz!

  37. Nomer Alcazar says:

    Couldn’t agree more!

  38. Ralph says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Very inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Fitz says:

    Just an additional input about the article…

    I believe that each person is born with different privileges. And it will be wrong to say that the poor are poor simply because they’re lazy or impatient. Sometimes, life was just unfair to them and they had no or very little opportunities.

    The article, however, is not really trying to compare the poor, the middle class, and the rich intrinsically — but is talking about the mindset.

    To illustrate, a better way to read the list is to put “mindset” after each class:

    Poor Mindset: Survival; thinks from day to day โ€“ a hand-to-mouth existence
    Middle Class Mindset: Comfort; thinks from paycheck to paycheck
    Rich Mindset: Freedom; thinks from year to year and far beyond

    Poor Mindset: Talks about people
    Middle Class Mindset: Talks about material things
    Rich Mindset: Talks about ideas

    Thus, what I’m saying is that someone who only thinks about getting through each day (and never plans for the future) and likes talking about other people (and doesn’t like discussing ideas) is a person with a poor mindset.

    And if they don’t change this kind of thinking, then they will most probably end up financially poor in the future.

    Why not just edit the article and put “mindset” after each term? Because most readers have understood the article the way it was meant to be understood, the editorial decision was to retain how it is.

  40. Fran says:


    I’d like to comment on some points of discussion from the article if it’s okay. My apologies if i don’t have any background on economics or on entrepreneurship but given my brief background on some subjects of social science I’d like to ask some clarification on some points as well.

    Given that the premise of the article holds merit, that poverty is not merely a difference in wage or property but of overall attitude and mindset, I do think that to end the discussion on this note would be lacking. Although I do agree that lifestyle and mindset play a role in how a person succeeds in life, some points discussed in the article comes off as somehow offensive and will only create a wider gap between the rich and the poor (e.g points discussed under work attitudes and success and wealth).

    I’m not saying the the article was written with ill thoughts but I would like to stress the importance of words when discussing issues on poverty and social stratification. Although it may seem trivial, how we word and discuss these issues play a big role in how we resolve them.

    To say that the poor are poor because they think in a certain manner is a very, for the lack of a better term, irresponsible way of discussing poverty. The generalization itself can easily be taken out of context. The problem of poverty is deeper than just the mindset of those in the various social strata of our modern society. The problem of poverty as well as the mindset that it entails is deeply rooted in our institutions and social structures. To simply state that a poor mindset would lead to poor decisions thus leading to poverty is simply an oversimplification of the issues at hand. Also generalizing people based on their social strata and making conclusions out of these generalizations can somehow be in bad taste.

    Again I’m not simply criticizing the article just because, I want to engage in the conversation because I believe that tackling concepts or issues on poverty should not simply end in “how to be rich” or ” how to change your way of living” or “how to be not poor” etc. In discussing issues like this the resolution should revolve around managing resources, resolving systemic poverty, and doing things that would later on lead to a better means of living not only for us but for other people as well.

    Thank you!

  41. Emma says:

    Thanks! I love this article. It’s easy to understand and at least it helps people to think more of the root problem of rich vs poor. But there’s something I would like to ask or say as well.

    It’ll be great to have an article focusing on rich in character vs poor in character and how it’ll bring a different outcome in the long span of a persons life. I believe that it is the character of a person that plays a big part in their journey of success but not by counting their net worth in the market but by understanding their value and contribution to the society.

    If there can be an article about what’s like going through the process of being a successful person and no one knows about it, it’s about time to reveal behind the scene so that people, won’t be daydreaming about making their dreams come true without any actions towards it.

  42. Liz says:

    Some poor people, are richer than the very rich and die a lot happier too, just saying!

  43. Let me respond, not just to the surface message of this post, but to a deeper level that I think is misleading, not by what it says, but by what it doesn’t say. Indeed, one half of the story is changing the mind-set of the people to take their fortunes into their own hands, but that only goes that far. The other half should really come from societal change, which nobody can do alone. Too often I hear people ignore the plight of the poor with the simple argument, well, it is their own fault. They should just work harder or smarter — and basically deny them even a chance to get out. Although I am Dutch and live a confortable live in a rich country, I’ve also lived in India and been in the Philippines many times, so third world society and conditions are not strange to me.

    The difference between middle class and rich is that the rich are net possessors of capital (in the economic sense of income generating assets, as opposed to consumption goods). Control of these assets is what makes a different mind-set possible. It is wishful thinking that you can turn that upside down, especially in a world where the rules are bent significantly to the benefit of asset-holders instead of providers of labor.

    This article is fairly ambivalent in its idea. It jumps from one interpretation of ‘rich’ to another, but having the mindset will NOT automatically get you the finances. That is a harmful neo-liberal idea that needs to be rejected. Much is established by heritage and luck. I would therefor like to suggest not to mingle the two concepts. Poverty means having not enough resources to achieve your potential in life. You cannot pay for (your children’s) schooling, you cannot pay for essential goods, such as healthcare or healthy food, and therefor suffer and actually undermine your earning capability. This is also harmful for society at large, and hence we need to collectively take action to prevent it. Curiously, having too much money also prevents you from achieving your potential. Never having to work for your luxurious escapades is NOT a blessing, and leads to wasteful, destructive behavior. As a society, we should also prevent excessive wealth, as that also undermines our democratic society. For that reason I am very much in favor of progressive income taxes to pay for services that benefit the general good (such as schooling, necessary infrastructure, etc.), and ultimately inheritance taxes that prevent that generations of ‘upper class’ people can live on the income of assets alone, without ever doing any meaningful work. I think a healthy society should have a ratio between the lowest and highest income earners of about 5, and should actively prevent that ratio to go above 20. Also, an inheritance should never be so large as to enable somebody to do nothing all his life, and still have money left at the end of that life. This would limit inheritances (in European context) to about 2 million euros. Taxing away the excesses of the rich will provide the means of providing for the poor, and also taking care of those who can never care for themselves (handicapped, sick, and old people).

    Now please don’t tell me that progressively taxing high incomes will take away the incentive to work hard. That is another neo-liberal thought that doesn’t withstand scrutiny. First, most very high incomes are not labor based, but asset based (incomes from rent). Second: social studies have shown that increases in incomes above about 60.000 euros (again, European standards) are not matched by an increase in well-being. You do not gain more happiness from having more. It is a waste. The incentive for people to work hard who already have a sufficient income will always come from other reasons (yes, one of it is status, expressed by ostensibly displaying wealth — we simply have to laugh that away as foolish and crude.) — reasons such as self-expression, building a better society, or just enjoying what you do.

    In my opinion, everybody needs to think and plan ahead financially. Set aside at least 10 percent of your monthly income to provide for buffers, educate your children and set aside assets to care for you in your old age. People need to realize that borrowing is costly (even at today’s low interest rates).

    Just to end with an example. Donald Trump is a very good example of being a rich man who displays poor behavior, and shows how bad our legal and economic systems are skewed to the benefit of living on assets instead of labor, and how permissive our legal system is of abuse. He lives by creating debts and then defaulting on them; his behavior is destructive, his esthetic tastes abysmal, wasteful and bombastic, his attitude towards other human beings horrendous, he just doesn’t care about natural beauty, and his performance as a ‘business man’ is far below par (if he had just invested his entire inheritance in a fund with a low risk profile, he would have been much richer than he is today).

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