Thinking Poor and the Desire to Spend Money

Money, money money! How many times have you been told or read that your mindset determines your level of success? Life coaches and spiritual gurus alike will tell you, if you change the way you think, you change the world. Today, I’m discussing if you’re going through life thinking as a rich person, or like a poor person, and can a change in thinking change your life?

Consider this statistic: 40% of all of our daily activities are habits. This means, we are simply running on autopilot a large portion of the day. Our conscious self is not causing this activity. Did you realize the significance of habits? They make up a significant percentage of who we are.

Let’s add to the discussion this little tidbit: Forbes Magazine reports, “Relying on worldwide data from Gallup and other sources, researchers Stevenson and Wolfers determined that the wealthier people are, the more satisfied they are with their lives, at least when you look at nationwide figures. They also found, contrary to what many economists believe, that there is not a point of wealth satiation beyond which happiness levels off.”

HappinessIndividual happiness is a complex thing, However, happiness is not an emotional state; it is more the idea of doing well and being well. Most people seek money and wealth not for its own sake, but to be happy. Therefore, happiness can be said to be more an activity. A happy life is a good life, a life in which a person achieves. Our happiness is therefore directly affected by what is achieved (or not) by 40% of our life in which we are running on autopilot.

Have you ever known someone who will spend their money on something they want, before paying bills? Their rent/mortgage is due next week, but they found something they really want, and they “have the money” to buy it now. They perceive themselves as either poor, or living paycheck to paycheck, and if they don’t buy this great thing they “need” now, they will never have it, because their money will be gone.  This habitual thought, becomes a habitual action, and this action is repeated week after week, even if they can intellectualize they should pay their bills first. Their habits create the world they believe exists… that they they live paycheck to paycheck, have no money, and the only way to have something nice is to spend all their money before bills take it from them.

It is a scientific fact any mental thought, repeated often, becomes a habit, and those habitual thoughts make you who you are. Poor people are poor, and rich people are rich, because of the way they habitually think. Your habitual thinking becomes a corresponding habitual activity. If you habitually think in a certain way, you will habitually act a certain way. In order to become successful, you have to learn how to think like a successful person, and to avoid poverty, you have to also understand how not to think.

Here are more examples of the typical habitual thinking of poor people, people without money, and those living paycheck to paycheck:

  • They believe they must be intellectually gifted, or have an innate talent, in order to become successful.
  • They believe fate determines if they are financially secure or living in  poverty.
  • They believe “good genetics” is essential for success.
  • They believe lying is a prerequisite for accumulating wealth.
  • They believe rich people are rich because they inherited money, and didn’t earn it.
  • They believe wealth and financial security is accidental, and just random luck.
  • “Poor people” believe that life happens to them.

Compare those ideas with the habitual thoughts of successful people, those who can comfortably afford the things they have, and those content with their financial situation:

  • Successful people believe they control and create their life.
  • They believe they will/would be successful in life.
  • The typical successful person thinks creativity is critical to success.
  • The financially secure person believes they are the cause of their financial condition.
  • They believe optimism is important to success.
  • Successful people believe they are bigger than their problems.
  • They believe that “rich people” are good, hardworking and honest.

Now that we understand the idea how you think about the world, creates the world you live in, we must focus on replacing negative habitual thoughts that keep us from success and financial security, with positive habitual thoughts that will increase happiness. The cliche, “You must fake it till you make it,” has some truth. Consciously choosing positive actions, can help reprogram your habitual thinking.

Here are some positive actions that can get you moving in the right direction:

  1. Change who you spend your time. Surround yourself with people who think the way you want to think. Poor people have poor people friends. Rich people hang out with people who are like them, or are more successful, and who are intellectually stimulating.
  2. Become a saver and investor, not a spender. Successful people manage their money well. Create a budget, and stick to it, that includes a fixed amount for savings and investing from every paycheck.  Do not just “save whatever’s left over.” Think of saving money a “need,” not a want.
  3. Control your physical and mental fitness. Successful people don’t leave anything to fate. They put as much effort into the physical and mental fitness, as they do their financial fitness.
  4. Focus on achievement. Successful people do not just set goals; they achieve goals. You must believe what you conceive and believe, you can achieve. Failure should never be an option.
  5. Let go of your ego. Know being successful, and obtaining happiness, is not achievable by hoarding money. Helping others, at the highest level you can, will increase your contentment and being a successful person.
  6. Be optimistic. Poor people are negative most of the time, at least when we are talking about their ability to self-improve.
  7. Do not complain. And avoid people who do. Complaining comes from the belief you can’t control your circumstances. If you see wrong in the world, whatever that may be, take action to change it.
  8. Stop making excuses. Successful people do not blame others for their situation: not their company, not politics, not the economy. Obstacles to your success are challenges to be overcome or worked around.  Nothing is not stopping you.
  9. Realize money is a tool. Those who have problems financially don’t understand the function of money.  One does not get rich spending money. Learn ways to have money work for you, not the other way around.
  10. Act in spite of fear. Don’t let let fear of change, fear of failure, fear of a challenge, just fear in general stop you.

Success isn’t always about being more talented or luckier than everybody else. Calvin Coolidge stated, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Persistence is the firm continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. It requires positive thought and action, despite any and all challenges.

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Great Read, thanks


I can really vouch for #7, not complaining and staying away from other people that do. If you hang around negative people that complain all of the time, it interferes with your happiness. Many people in my family are negative people. I try to stay in touch with them but it is hard when they are never happy. Their sadness/anger really brings me down.

Thank you for all of the tips.


Thanks to this article. It proves that having positive thoughts and being optimistic helps you achieve your goal to be successful. You always have to do some action and the ten positive actions as mention above really helps.

Number 1 is a great tip. But there are a lot of people surround themselves with rich people, sadly, not to absorb all the positive energy, vibe, thinking and outlook of rich people but just to wear a mask and show people that they are also rich because they get to hang out with rich people. It could be their friends or just someone they know. They love to show that mask just for show and would do anything just to “keep up” with the things that rich people do, go, eat, and buy just to stay behind that mask.… Read more »

I actually have a hard time stopping myself from spending too much money on clothes. What I do is to just go to thrift shops so I can spend less. The clothes there are [pretty good, you just have to use some effort to find them. I also try to focus on spending money on more important things and I don’t bring large amount of money when I go out so that I can’t spend.