Habits of Poor People That Keep Them Trapped In Poverty

Habits of poor people are passed down through generations. In order to break the chain, you must make better daily decisions.

Habits of Poor People

Have you ever wondered why the rich get richer and the poor become poorer? You may be shocked to find out the habits of poor people are extremely different than those of the wealthy. They view life in opposite manners and use their time differently.

After creating habits of wealthy people, I decided that it wasn’t enough. It’s not enough to tell people what to do if they want to be successful, but also what actions to let go. The habits below will keep you locked in poverty.

(This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much! Read our full disclaimer here.)

What Is Considered Poor?

Poor isn’t always a financial term. Poor is a state of mind that traps you in poverty no matter how much money you have. The word poor can be used to describe someone who doesn’t take care of their health, neglects their family, treats others horribly, and so much more. This is why every year many ‘wealthy’ people commit suicide. Also, that’s why you hear stories of people who win the lottery and end up broke a few years later.

On the other hand, a person who lives in poverty can feel like the wealthiest individual on earth. If you’ve ever been in love, you know it doesn’t matter how many material items you possess. You receive a feeling of completion while your lover is beside you. By being loved, you’ve reached a level of wealth many people only dream of. Keep that in mind as we go through this list.

The Blame Game

Did you know there’s one way to check a person’s maturity level? Monitor someone after they make mistakes. A person who assumes full responsibility for their actions has reached a high level of maturity. However, there are many people in this world who refuse to do that. They’ll blame someone else or anything as a reason to why they aren’t successful.

“If my mom would’ve raised me better, I would be rich.”

“If my husband didn’t cheat on me, I would be happy right now.”

“The reason why I’m like this is because life isn’t fair.”

“You had everything handed to you.”

The list goes on and on. The truth is life is unmerciful for each and every one of us. What a poor person sees as an obstacle, a wealthy person sees an opportunity. This is what the Bible means by, “Count it all joy when you face trials of various kinds.” Why on earth would you find pain joyful? Pain is necessary and you cannot grow without it. While a successful person thrives off of growth, a poor minded person runs away from the pain.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Pain is necessary.’ -CT Fletcher” quote=”‘Pain is necessary.’ -CT Fletcher”]

A strong, disciplined person is willing to do what hurts now in order to have the kind of life they want later. It’s not luck. It’s hard work and determination that allows someone to reach their dreams and enjoy the fruit of it. Don’t blame anyone else for your level of success. If you want to enjoy the view from the mountaintop, put on your boots and start hiking.


Neglecting Their Savings

Saving money is a great way to avoid debt and become financially free

57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. [1] 75% of Americans are living in the paycheck to paycheck cycle. [2] I wish this wasn’t true. We don’t live in a third world country. We live in America. While 53% of the world lives under a dollar a day, the average American makes $50,000 a year. 10% of people who make $100,000 a year say they can’t make ends meet. [3] What’s the deal?

The problem is we don’t have a formula for success. School systems don’t teach children to be successful at money and most parents don’t have that figured out either. Children adopt money beliefs and behaviors from their parents and repeat the vicious cycle of poor spending habits. When we earn money, we pay T-Mobile, the landlord (or the bank), Capital One, and so many others. But guess who should be on the top of that list? Yourself. I don’t care if it’s $50 or $0.50. Pay yourself first.

Without accessible savings, the poor person goes into debt when a crisis hits. This adds another bill to their stack. Pretty soon, they’re struggling to stay afloat in the never-ending stream of bills. Certainly, it’s not fun at all.

Although you’ve may not have been raised to succeed, you still have the chance to learn about money and win at it. Don’t believe me? 80% of millionaires are first generation rich. [4] You read that correctly. They earned it themselves. You can too!

Lots of Debt

Myth: Debt is a tool to become wealthy.

Fact: Debt is a product that has been so well marketed that people line up to beg the company to allow them to purchase it.


Don’t believe me? Have you ever heard of compounded growth? When you invest in something, you do it because you believe the return on it will be worth it. Usually you’ll ask, “What’s the interest rate?” After finding something you trust, you put your money into it and let it build itself up. That’s exactly what the debt loaners are doing to you.

They say, “Here! $2,000 accessible money!” The longer you take to pay it, the more interest is added to the account. The company is getting paid big time. In 2017, master card made $589,000,000,000 in credit cards alone! [4] That’s more than half of a trillion dollars!

When you spend credit, you’re not spending your own money (which is probably why it’s easier to spend). You’re spending borrowed money that you now owe. Make a wise decision and pay cash for items.

[click_to_tweet tweet=” “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.’ Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)” quote=” “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.’ Proverbs 22:7 (NIV)”]

Borrowing Money From Friends & Family

No matter how much money you have, this is a big no-no. If you truly want to help, give a gift and don’t ask for it back. By borrowing from your family you create a tense environment. Suddenly, you feel the need to explain why you haven’t paid them back every time you see them. Or you avoid them completely. 50% of relationships where a party has borrowed money ends because of it. [5]

Lending money to friends and relatives is a sure way to strain the relationship.

When someone you trust doesn’t pay you back immediately, your trust in them begins to dwindle. You begin to wonder if they’ll ever pay you back. Once you make the decision to end that relationship because they haven’t paid you back, you will feel as if they stole from you. Your opinion of them will be completely tainted. It’s a horrible place to be.

Big Screen Time

Poor people love TV. The average American household watches 8 hours of TV a day. [6] That’s a whole work shift! What could someone do with all that time? Although it’s a wonderful way to escape, rich people don’t attempt to escape. When a problem arises, they handle it. Time is your most valuable asset. Once you understand that, you’ll no longer be willing to spend it on an activity that doesn’t make you money.

Poor people spend so much time watching tv instead of doing something productive.

Consuming such a large amount of television has negative effects. It rewires your brain to think differently. Anything we pour our energy into affects our brain and our outcome. Those who watch TV every day may become addicted to it. Working at Wal-Mart, I’ve seen so many people come in and drop $400 on a TV because theirs stopped working the night before. Not to mention, there are people who finance on TVs which cost them SO much more.

People spend hundreds of dollars (sometimes thousands) on these picture boxes. Usually, it’s those same people who think buying a class for $300 is too much. Or tithing 10% is too high. I have two TVs in my house. One 19″ and a 32″. My book collection is worth way more than them together. Do you think I’m crazy?

Avoiding Doctor Visits

Unfortunately, poor people can’t always afford to go to the doctor’s. Or some of them are too scared to go because they’re fearful of the outcome. This behavior is so detrimental to their bank account because it will cost more money to cure a deadly disease. When disease and illness are detected in the early stages, it’s much easier and cheaper to fix.

The same goes for dentist appointments. If they don’t have insurance, they may think going to the dentist is too expensive and decide to skip out on it. This results in terrible tooth pain and decay. Your health is worth more than anything else.

Eating Fast Food… Again

Poor people tend to think fast food is cheaper than buying at the grocery store. However, studies prove it's cheaper to prepare your meals in advance.

People that possess a poor mindset don’t care about health and fitness. Their only concern is what feels good right now. Who cares about how it will affect their future. (#YOLO right?) But fast food is so bad for you and will send you to an early grave.

Also, people who aren’t good with money think fast food costs less. In reality, there are plenty of proven strategies that show meal planning and cooking fresh food at home is the way to go. It may seem like more because the upfront cost can be more, but in the long run, it saves money. Plus if it did come out to be a bit extra money, isn’t your body worth way more? Unfortunately, poor people live for the moment and not for the future.

Pressing The Snooze Button

Remember the saying, ‘You snooze, you lose’? I guess people have forgotten that reference because they’re so quick to hit that snooze button. They’ll look at the clock and think to themselves, “I can sleep another 30 minutes.” The bed feels amazing while they get comfy again and fall asleep.

What about, ‘The early bird gets the worm’? Why on earth would people wake up at 4 am on purpose? The reason is that there’s too much to be done and life is too short. By having a head start, they know they’re going to win at life. If you sleep your days away, you’re only sleeping on yourself.

Poor people sleep the day away then blame their lack of success on other people.

Saying Things They Don’t Mean

‘I don’t care’ is a dangerous mindset pattern of a poor person. When you flow through life without a care in the world, things begin to fall apart. Imagine a store manager who didn’t care about the company. He cut corners and didn’t even show up to work half of the time. How long do you think the company would be successful?

Acting out of carelessness, poor people say things they don’t truly mean. They cost other people their time and pretty soon people label them as ‘unreliable’ or a ‘liar’. I understand they don’t care, but the foolish lifestyle is why they’re financially, physically, and emotionally behind. Why would you work on the quality of your life if you simply don’t care?

A Selfish Lifestyle

Remember how I said a poor person is more than just someone who lacks finances? A poor person is a selfish, greedy person. Giving is an amazing part of life. It releases high amounts of joy and accomplishment that you can’t get anywhere else. We are meant to be contributors to the world, not hoarders.

Everything in life is meant to receive and release. We breathe in… and out. We drink and eat. Then, use the toilet. Blood goes into the heart and then flows out. Even the beach crashes on the shore and then retreats. What would happen if any of those things did not practice releasing? The first three would kill us while the last one would kill everyone.


It’s part of our nature. Selfish people don’t find that sense of fulfillment and will always feel like something is missing. The Bible says, ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’. But what if the lack of money causes people to love money?

Think about it. The only people committing robberies are those who don’t have any money. People commit horrible crimes out of desperation. In times of terrible desperation, the human only thinks about themselves. Because of this, they make really poor decisions.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.


Gossiping (and any other idle talk) is a horrible way to spend time. Humans are the only mammals that can make so many sounds with their vocal cords, yet they use it to babble nonsense. Instead of building each other up, poor people tear others down. By getting involved in other people’s business and making them look bad, it makes them look better by comparison. Some people thrive off of that and live to damage the images of other people. It’s something that I truly don’t understand.

Living In The Past Or Future

The only way to be successful is to take advantage of your moment right now. Tomorrow is not promised and the past is gone. Poor minded people love to talk about how great things used to be. They enjoy living in the days when things were good. You’ll come across these people who always talk about the good old days.

However, the only time a successful person analyzes the past is to learn from it. The future is now.  Not someday. Another poor minded habit is to talk about ‘one day’.

‘One day I’ll hit the lottery.’

‘One day I’ll drive that nice car.’

‘I’ll move out the state one day.’

No. successful people don’t hope or wish. They set goals and achieve them. If they wanted to move out of the state, they’d come up with a plan and work on it. They’ll be able to explain when they can expect to see those results. See the difference?

Renting To Own

Renting to own adds another bill to your expenses and ensures you stay broke!

Wealthy people don’t waste their money renting to own. These places charge more than double the original item price. It costs the consumer a lot of money and makes those companies rich. It’s just another form of debt. Plus, with so many great websites like craigslists and offerup, I don’t see the point.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘If you can’t afford to pay cash for the whole thing, then you can’t afford it. ‘ -Dave Ramsey” quote=”‘If you can’t afford to pay cash for the whole thing, then you can’t afford it. ‘ -Dave Ramsey”]

The Impossible

Two different people can see the same event and form totally different thoughts about it. If the two drive through a high-end neighborhood, the poor person will think, “I’ll never have a nice home like that.” The successful person will think, “How can I make enough money to afford that house?”

I’ve dealt with people who I’ve tried to help and they simply don’t believe it’s possible for them. They’ll say things like, “Yeah, that works for them but it won’t for me,” or “I don’t have those kinds of skills to make that happen.” They set their own limitations and trap themselves in jail. No one can help someone who is their own worst enemy.

The key to becoming successful is to believe it’s possible.

The easiest thing I’ve ever done was to earn a million dollars, the most difficult thing I’ve ever done was to believe it could happen to me.

-Les Brown

The Lottery

Poor people waste money on the lottery hoping to break the poverty cycle.

Sorry to tell you, but the only people who hand over their hard earned cash for lottery tickets is the poor. Like I mentioned early, before making an investment wealthy people weigh the possibilities. This includes the rate of return, risks, and so much more. Lotteries are random and a form of gambling. You never know what the outcome will be and usually, you have to spend more than $10 to receive that $10 back.

It should be treated as a form of entertainment. Therefore, if you enjoy scratching tickets: cool. Treat it like you would a trip to the beach. You don’t experience it every day and set money aside specifically for it. At least you won’t be spending rent money to play the lottery.

Eating Out

Poor people eat out more often than what they can afford.

The fancy life is not a cheap expense. Most people are eating away their retirement fund… and enjoying it! They get all fancied up to go and have someone else cook delicious food for them. I personally love eating out, but I also can’t remember the last time we actually did with our own money. The only times this year I can remember eating at a fancy restaurant was from gifts cards I had received.

People who care about their health want to know what they’re eating. While eating out is fun, it’s labeled entertainment and should be treated as such. It’s not something that should be done every week unless you can truly afford it.


Habits of poor people hold them back from achieving their maximum potential and keep them trapped in the rat race. These habits include:

  • Blaming others for their lack of success
  • Not saving money
  • Accumulating debt
  • Watching hours of TV every day
  • Skipping out on doctor appointments
  • Consuming fast food frequently
  • Sleeping in late
  • Having an ‘I don’t care’ attitude
  • Being selfish
  • Gossiping
  • Not living in the present
  • Renting to own
  • Believing it’s impossible for them to succeed
  • Playing the lottery
  • Eating at fancy restaurants often

By making these habits a part of your regular routine, you’ll miss out on the wonderful opportunity to grow into a greater person. I don’t want that for you. I want you to succeed at everything you lay your hands on. My desire is for you to have a healthy mind, body, and bank account and enjoy your life to the fullest; discipline and all!

What are some other habits that hold people back from achieving their greatest form? Do you suffer with any of the above habits? How can you begin to change your daily routines and fill them with productive tasks?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it on social media to support this blog. Also, check out these related posts:


  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/13/how-much-americans-at-have-in-their-savings-accounts.html
  2. https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/debt-is-normal-be-weird
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/most-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.html
  4. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/032615/how-mastercard-makes-its-money-ma.asp
  5. https://www.thestreet.com/story/14441276/1/lending-money-to-friends-is-a-big-mistake-but-there-are-solutions.html
  6. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/05/when-did-tv-watching-peak/561464/

Habits of poor people that keep them trapped in poverty and stuck in the rat race.

Habits of poor people that keep them trapped in poverty


Habits That Lead To Poverty

Habits That Lead To Poverty

Habits of poor people differ from those who wealthy.


Thanks for sharing!

7 thoughts on “Habits of Poor People That Keep Them Trapped In Poverty

  1. What a great read! You definitely hit all the major things that can keep people in poverty down on their luck. But you’ve also included things that many people don’t even think about, like mindset! Mindset is HUGE when it comes to changing your ways and getting out of an already vicious cycle.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes! The human mind is the extremely powerful and controls all of our actions. I was raised poor. When I try to help those from my family, usually I get all these reasons of why I’m crazy and that couldn’t work. Or it’s too hard. Or their too old. So many excuses. But the truth is, it’s never too late. And anything worth having is worth fighting for! Never give up on your dreams!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.