There are certain things wealthy people don’t do ― certain habits they rule out and certain mindsets they avoid wholeheartedly. Here’s a list of 14 things wealthy people don’t do.
1. Wealthy People Don’t Watch Much Television
According to an entertainment audience report put out by Nielsen Media Research in 2015, higher-income earners watch much less television than their lower-paid counterparts. The Nielson report found that folks who made less than $25,000 per year watched slightly more than 211 hours of television each month. Wealthier folks, who earned $75,000 per year or more, spent around only 113 hours in front of the tube every month.
2. Wealthy People Don’t View the World From a Negative Perspective
Thomas Corley studied the habits of the rich and poor for five years. During his study, he interviewed 361 people. Of the research participants, 233 made at least $160,000 per year with net assets of $3.2 million or more. The other 128 participants made less than $35,000 annually and had less than $5,000 net assets.
Corley found that by and large, wealthy people don’t have negative outlooks on their lives. Corley wrote, “In my five-year study of rich and poor people, 67 percent of the self-made millionaires said that their optimism was critical to their success in life. Conversely, 78 percent of the poor in my study admitted to being pessimists.”
3. Wealthy People Don’t Fly By the Seats of Their Pants
It seems that individuals with consistently higher incomes don’t ascribe to the “leap and the universe will catch you” mentality. On the contrary, it’s been shown that those who amass and maintain wealth set measurable goals and work to achieve those goals every single day.
In his research, Corley found, “Every year, 70 percent of the wealthy pursue at least one major goal. Only 3 percent of those struggling to make ends meet do this.” Setting goals and going after them is an integral factor in a person’s level of financial success.
4. Wealthy People Don’t Spend All of Their Paychecks
Statistically, when most low wage earners get their paychecks, they pay their bills and incidental expenses first, then save what’s left. Wealthy folks realize that there is no way to get ahead financially when saving is not the priority. They save a set percentage of their earnings first and foremost ― even before paying the bills.
American billionaire Warren Buffett advises, “Do not save what is left after spending. Instead, spend what is left after saving.”
Millionaire and money guru Dave Ramsey uses an automated savings method. Ramsey says, “Save money without thinking about it. Set up your bank account to transfer funds automatically from your checking account into a savings account every month. Alternatively, set up your direct deposit to transfer 10 percent of each paycheck automatically into your savings account.”
5. Wealthy People Don’t Eat Much Junk Food
Wealthy folks are generally healthy eaters. For example, rags-to-riches motivational speaker Tony Robbins enjoys an extremely healthy vegan diet free from refined sugar and loaded with fruits and vegetables.
When Corley interviewed other wealthy folks about their eating habits, he found that, overall, they were more likely to eat healthier than others. He discovered that 72 percent of wealthy folks ate candy less than two times per week. As far as eating junk food, 70 percent of high wage earners consumed less than 300 junk food calories per day. Similarly, 57 percent of wealthy folks count calories each day, and 75 percent of them avoid eating fast food.
6. Wealthy People Don’t Play the Lottery
It’s safe to assume that you won’t find many rich people lined up to buy lottery tickets. Corley found that while only 6 percent of rich people play the lottery, 77 percent of the poor play it regularly.
According to Alvin Chang, a senior reporter at Vox Media, “Nationwide, people who make less than $10,000 [annually] spend on average $597 on lottery tickets ― about 6 percent of their income.”
7. Wealthy People Don’t Neglect Their Teeth
Interestingly, Corley’s research shows that most rich folks do not forget to floss. A full 62 percent of them floss every day. Only 16 percent of those living in poverty do the same.
8. Wealthy People Don’t Forget About Helping Others
Rich people are often portrayed as stingy, backstabbing jerks who pile up money for themselves and never give a second thought to the poor. The truth, however, is that most rich people give away large portions of their money and time to extremely worthwhile charities and causes.
Corley, who says that selflessness is a rich habit, said that he was quite surprised when he discovered that a whopping 79 percent of the millionaires he interviewed devoted at least five hours per month working with or for a charity.
Pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestselling book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” is a very wealthy man. He and his wife give away 90 percent of their income while they live on the remaining 10 percent. Similarly, actress Angelina Jolie reportedly gives away a third of her income each year to charities.
9. Wealthy People Don’t Stop Learning
Daily reading is a habit of the rich. They don’t shut off their brains and rely on what they’ve already learned to get by in life. Corley says, “Reading information that will increase your knowledge about your business or career will make you more valuable to colleagues, customers or clients. Among wealthy people, 88 percent read 30 minutes or more every day.”
Corley also found that only 11 percent of those habitual readers read for entertainment purposes. The vast majority of them are reading biographies about successful mentors, personal development books or literature to help them advance in their occupational fields.
10. Wealthy People Don’t Buy Overpriced Homes
You make a lot of money, then you buy a big fancy house, right? Not according to statistics. Corley says, “Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, most of the rich don’t live in McMansions. [Approximately] 64 percent of the rich in my study live in modest homes.”
Image Credit: The Nielsen Company
11. Wealthy People Don’t Spend Much Time Playing Video Games
It may not come as a great surprise to you that rich people aren’t glued to their video game controllers. Nielsen Media Research found that Americans with incomes higher than $75,000 annually used a video game console less than 18 hours a month, which comes out to around 35 minutes a day. In contrast, folks in the less than $25,000 a year income level played more than 42 hours of video games each month, or 81 minutes daily.
12. Wealthy People Don’t Rely on Credit Cards
People who seem wealthy rely on credit cards all the time. Many of them buy super expensive clothing, purses, shoes, and watches to keep up the impression of wealth. However, truly wealthy folks pay with cash or debit cards. They buy what they can afford and live well within their means. They stay wealthy because they make smart money decisions.
Ramsey has a syndicated radio show and podcast where people can call in and ask their questions about money. Ramsey, who recommends that people don’t use credit cards, is often asked questions about frequent flyer miles, benefits at the gas station and other rewards that credit card companies offer their loyal cardholders. His reply, “I have interviewed hundreds of millionaires. None of them have ever told me that the key to their financial success was cashing in points from their credit cards.”
Big creditors will often try and lure people into a credit relationship by offering all sorts of flashy rewards like free groceries, 25 cents per gallon off at the pump and “free” flights. Wealthy people don’t usually fall for the gimmick. This also means they don’t accidentally charge up too much debt to pay off at the end of the month.
13. Wealthy People Don’t Spend All Day on Instagram
While we see plenty of daily selfies posted from the Kardashian households, not all rich people are hanging out on the internet as much. Most of them are busy with other, more lucrative habits.
Corley reports that 63 percent of the rich folks that he interviewed spend less than an hour a day on the internet unless it is related to work. He says, “Instead, these successful people use their free time engaged in personal development, networking, volunteering, working side jobs or side businesses or pursuing some goal that will lead to rewards down the road.”
However, poorer people spend plenty of time online. About 74 percent of the poor people Corley interviewed spend an hour or more each day using the internet for recreation.
14. Wealthy People Don’t Speak Carelessly
Rich folks aren’t inclined to speak their minds without thinking it over first. Corley says, “Loose lips are a habit for 69 percent of those who struggle financially. Conversely, 94 percent of wealthy people filter their emotions. They understand that letting emotions control them can destroy relationships at work and home.”
Follow Their Lead
We can learn a lot from things that wealthy people don’t do. The chances are good that if we follow some of these examples of wealthy people and make similar habits, we may gain a bit more wealth ourselves.
Chang, A. (2016). 4 ways the lottery preys on the poor. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/1/13/10763268/lottery-poor-prey
Corley, T. (2016). In five years of studying millionaires, the vast majority said a simple change in outlook was critical to their success. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/studying- millionaires -showed-me-the-importance-of-optimism-2016-2