Perception of Money – Rich vs. Poor

The poor mindset:

You do not have a stable income.  You do not have a stable job.  You have little control over your life so life is chaotic and inconsistent.  You do not have stable expenses: you can’t afford the risk associated with committing to memberships or healthcare due to inconsistent income, so you pay a-la-carte for everything.

Your income range has a consistent max, your expenses do not have a consistent max.  Consequently, every dollar in has a unique significance: you don’t know when the next dollar will come in, and you don’t know when this dollar will be forcefully taken.  The fear of being wiped out by an unexpected high expense keeps you deeply afraid to spend.  Money is life threatening to you.

Friends, Family? You either don’t have them, or they aren’t wealthy enough to help you anyway.

You are probably in debt, which means that you never feel like you have earned, or have ever possessed, money that is your own.  You never forget it is owed to a debtor.  This affects your sense of security, as you fear defaulting on your debt, and on friendships, because it’s hard to justify money spent on yourself, happiness, gifts, friendships, or anything at all really, when it needs to be paid to a debtor.

The rich mindset:

You have a stable income. You have a stable job. Your manager may dictate your work life, but you have the expendable income to manage some amount of your free time.  You probably can afford memberships or healthcare, meaning you benefit from both the lower price associated with membership (paying less and getting more value) and from the peace of mind of knowing that your expenses will have a known maximum stated within the contract.

Because you don’t spend a-la-carte, your mental and emotional health is not fatigued by repetitive decisions of spend or not spend: the automatic monthly bill makes that decision for you.  Furthermore, while you might stress about not having enough money to do what you want, you have less worry about not having enough money to live at all.  Money is not life threatening to you.

Friends, Family–you might have them, and they may be able to help you in times of trouble.


Read more about articles in the Rich vs. Poor Series here.

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