The following is the first staff post by SB; please join me in welcoming him to the site!

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

Poverty is not only a state of being; it is a state of the mind. You are poor because you want to be poor, not because your parents were poor, or because you were born into a poor family.

Otherwise, if you are willing you can go up, only you are preventing yourself from going up.

Not Convinced?

Ok, here are some of the reasons I think you are still not rich:

  1. You are unable to manage your state of being; what this means is that while you may have a lot of talents, dreams and abilities, you cannot manage them for one reason or the other. It is mostly because you have refused to deal with issues directly. This will lead to feelings of overwhelmed and tiredness. You decisions will be based on fear and your future will always seem uncertain. You will be setting yourself up for failure if you do not deal with what you fear the most and challenge them. You must empower yourself and get the mental edge and attitude that will help you to get away from your poverty. Some of the things you need to acquire include courage, passion, ambition and mostly confidence. You need to know that despite what happens on the way, there is no room for feeling bad or getting discouraged.
  2. You do not have goals: you can be confident and have all the conviction in the world, but if you do not have a plan of where you want to go and where you want to be in the next few years, you will remain poor. Likewise, if you have goals that are set too high and those that are set too low, you will get discouraged or bored in the process. Do not be average, but do not set your goals too high as you will soon abandon them.
  3. You do not take action: you have a working plan and you have all the confidence and conviction, but they remain just that. For one reason or the other you never get to move and work on them. You are either too afraid to start or you never get the time to do it. you have to wake up and deal with issues one way or the other and if you do not, you will always remain poor.
  4. Attitudes about money; Do you care about your money? Your attitude about money is limiting and this is the reason you are poor. You believe that you are a creature of your own circumstances and you do not want to do much about changing your circumstance. If you change your thinking and know that you can change a lot of things about your circumstances you will change many things in your life.
  5. You never take responsibility; for anything — playing the blame game has never helped anyone. You do not think you can change anything about yourself, you think everyone else is responsible for what you lack. You will be powerless if you think your future is in the hands of other people. Avoid the blame game. If you want to make money and success in your life.
  6. Wrong company; You associate with people who have bad attitude — birds of a feather flock together, if the people who influence you are those who have bad attitude towards money and are always going the blame game route, you will have a problem managing your own life.
  7. You are always complaining. Instead of moving your life forward, you are always looking for what’s wrong and talking about it. What your focus on you will eventually attract. When you talk about all the crap in your life, you will always notice all the crap and you will never be able to make much out of it. You will not see a reason to work hard to change anything about yourself because everything will seem crappy to you.
  8. You do not have a mentor, or the one you have is not good. People who do not have money cannot be mentors to people who want to get money into their lives. We have a world of people, all who want to be looked upon by those who want to have money, but they haven’t acquired money themselves — they cannot give advice about money themselves. This is not a good mentor. Do not choose someone without ethics, even if he has all the money in the world.
  9. You are impatient with learning the ropes. You will not have the skills from the beginning, but you will learn with time. This is something you have to be patient about. Take your time to learn the skills of business and making money, this will take some time, so do not be ashamed of learning.
  10. You slave away for a paycheck — you live from paycheck to paycheck and never save and you never manage your money well.

If you are still not convinced, let discuss this further in comments. Let’s hear your story.

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About

SB is a personal finance blogger at One Cent at a Time, who writes personal finance topics like ways to save money, how to be rich and ways to earn extra money. If you have an interest in personal finance, you can subscribe to his posts via email or RSS.

31 Comments SB on Oct 1st 2012

31 Responses to “10 Reasons You Are Still Poor”

  1. Kevin says:

    Hi SB,

    I think that a mentor is really important. I came from a really poor background, and I didn’t have the greatest examples growing up. Thankfully I was able to learn from a couple of invaluable mentors in my life, and while I had a bit of trouble early on in my career, I also benefited greatly from mentors there as well. Mentors can definitely leave a lasting impression on one’s life!

  2. Mo says:

    My husband and I used to be fairly wealthy. A few years ago we lost everything we owned and have struggled to make ends meet since even though we are both fairly talented and in a field where we are able to be self employed. 6 out of 10 of the reasons above apply to us. Thinking back to times when we were financially successful, I see things on this list we were doing differently.

    When we were wealthier, we had a healthier attitude in general about money. We had goals. We surrounded ourselves with like-minded people. We were pretty upbeat about our futures. Even when things went badly, we didn’t spend a lot of time complaining about it. We had a completely different mindset about money – we expected to be successful and we were.

    Thanks for the post. It helped me see a few things we can change RIGHT AWAY.

  3. B says:

    I think birds flock together in a office is particularly important.

    I have friends in my previous company which have the same motivation and drives as I am. We aim to live a financially freedom lifestyle. That is probably the most benefit I’ve got working for that company. Friends do wonder.

    B

  4. Squirrelers says:

    I like this list, it’s very ‘holistic’, and goes beyond strictly money moves. I do think that the company one keeps makes a difference, and by that I mean being around people that bring you down. There’s a saying, purported to be via Confucius, saying to effect “it’s hard to smell like a rose when you’re rolling in a dunghill”.

  5. You are right, if we are not rich, thats because we still didn’t choose to be rich.
    To become rich, not only goals but also commitment is essential.
    Having clear goals and taking action can make us rich otherwise….. poor is the choice that we make.

  6. Ryan R says:

    I love 1, 4, 5, 6, lord knows 7, 8, 9, 10… Who am I kidding? The whole list is great. The fact that it centers on mentality and perspective as opposed to mechanics makes it a real winner…

  7. I think this is a bit tough, but fair. There are of course a multitude of reasons why some people are poor that are not on your list. But I think you capture a large chunk.

  8. Sunil l Expedited Wealth Building says:

    nice post – I was looking for “mindset” the whole time, but perhaps that is covered in #1 , the state of your own being

  9. I love it. I think it’s amazing that most of the reasons for being poor don’t have to do with not having access to the right knowledge of trading stocks, or some technical skill, but instead start with the mind of the person.

    What would you do with someone who says they will save and invest when they get the money in the future – could that be tied in with # 3 or # 4? I think you can always start investing and saving, even if it’s 1% of your income. Everyone I know who is poor seems to use that as an excuse. I wish I could help more.

    By the way, who is SB (and sorry for being a noob if this is already very clear :))

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Interestingly enough and well written, I was talking about some of this to my wife. I told her I want to put aside an extra $500/month towards either retirement funds, or savings, or a combination of both.

    I thought about it and realized that since our living expenses are covered via my paycheck already, I simply have to figure out how/what to do to increase my income by that much. Now once I formulate that plan I will execute it post haste. :-)

  11. [...] Invest It Wisely shared 10 reasons we might be poor. [...]

  12. [...] Invest It Wisely discussed a touchy subject today with their article that shares the 10 Reasons You Are till Poor. [...]

  13. [...] 1. 10 Reasons You Are Still Poor @ Invest It Wisely. [...]

  14. Excellent first post SB! A sign of things to come I hope!

    I think having a goal to work towards is vital to becoming successful. Whether they be monthly yearly or lifetime goals, everyone must have something to work towards. Otherwise your just becomes a chore and you begin to live from pay check to pay check, as you mentioned.

    Ian

  15. I love number one. It is so true!

  16. “Poverty is only a state of mind.” I totally agree with you. We can all be rich if only we have the will power and discipline to earn more, spend wisely, save, and invest. Above all, we need to have a goal and work towards its realization.

  17. Poverty is indeed only a state of mind. Some people think they are poor based on a materialistic view not realizing that they are already rich enough. They just have ill priorities over more important ones.

  18. Jerry says:

    Negativity definitely leads to problems. I have seen that with myself and others. Staying positive is insurance you can have positivity around you.

  19. Number 5 is my favorite!

    All too often I see people who are not financially secure avoid responsibility for their current situation. Call me harsh, but they like to lean on excuses. I firmly believe that no matter who you are or where you’re from. You can make a difference once you realize it’s up to you to change. Nobody owes you anything and the only way you’re going to get something is by working hard for it.

    Great post, keep it up!

  20. Frae @ KiwiSaver First Home says:

    Wow, I can’t help but agree with all the points you’ve raised in here. Poverty is, indeed, just a state of mind. If a person believes he is poor and will always be, then that would be it.

    Frae of KiwiSaver First Home

  21. [...] 10 Reasons You Are Still Poor – Some interesting thoughts on the mental aspect of poverty shared on Invest It Wisely.  I would maintain that outside circumstances have more influence than SB is maintaining (i.e., being born poor has a big effect on whether you stay poor), but how likely you are to improve your state of mind does depend a lot on your mental state, and whether you let these factors hold you down. [...]

  22. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are the reasons why people can’t get ahead. I also want to throw in a general lack of discipline and delayed gratification.

  23. Welcome SB! I totally agree that having the wrong company can keep you poor! You need like-minded individuals to help and motivate you along the way!

  24. [...] presents 10 Reasons You Are Still Poor posted at Invest It Wisely. The blogger here discusses that poverty is not just a state of being; [...]

  25. I think education is key with from school, mentor, or friend. Sure you are not poor because of your mom and dad were poor but you learned poor habits like bad spending and not saving. When I look at where I am today its because I had an uncle who taught me the value of saving and paying myself first. This is not a lesson easily taught or learn. It is hard for people to change the only thing they know. Add to that the company you keep and you stay in the down hill spending cycle of the expensive houses, clothes, and cars you can’t pay for but “CAN” make monthly payment.

  26. This opened my mind, thanks for reminding that poverty is just a state of mind and that the true success can be achieved by optimism and determination.

  27. Beth Anne says:

    I am very tired of people who are not poor blaming the poor for their state of being. I will acknowledge that the right state of mind, the proper attitude, and a willingness to work are far more likely to move a person forward in life. I agree that lack of motivation, the wrong company, or a defeatist attitude, will hold you back. One must also remember, though, that the world is a hard place and there are times when a person’s circumstances cannot be changed no matter how positive their thoughts and actions may be. This is increasingly true in these troubled times. I cannot advocate a school of thought that encourages people to blame the poor for their situation instead of finding the compassion needed to offer them a hand up.

    • Matt says:

      I concur with you Beth.

      I have been both rich and poor, and now am working my way out of considerable debt. The list above could have easily applied to me, and probably did on occasion.
      HOWEVER, I am extremely fortunate enough in that I have the intelligence to recognise my problems and do something about them.

      There are many, many people out there who are poor simply because they just don’t have the brains or resources to do better for themselves. They are not lazy, in fact they probably clean the loo in your office every week for a ridiculously low wage. They just weren’t blessed with intellect.

  28. Meat says:

    I think this is so overly simplistic and is an insult to most people’s intelligence. Do you really think people choose to be poor? So circumstances, race, gender, etc. have nothing to do with the accumulation wealth? Intelligence and talent only get one so far. You can be completely average and be born into wealth and succeed, see George W. Bush. What if you have no money to invest?

    Plus, I have known far too many intelligent, motivated, positive, ethical people who are no “better” than middle class at best.

    Btw, Warren Buffett is the son of a US congressman, Bill Gates the son of a lawyer and IBM executive (also may have stolen microsoft windows idea from Steve Jobs), Mitt Romney the son of a governor, well, you get the picture…