One habit of wealthy people

Habits of wealthy people, as well as the habits that help us become wealthy, are much discussed on personal finance blogs. There have been a numerous posts on the ‘five habits of millionaires’, ‘the habits that will make you and keep you rich’ and even the psychology of wealth.

I am known for many things but repeating what has been already discussed incessantly is, I hope, not one of them. Challenging dogma is an entirely different matter – after all The Money Principle was started with the stated aim to make our readers think and this way offer support to work out what really works for you.

This week I am in Chile and it is so different from the other ‘developing’ countries I have visited. To begin with, I can go out and run – yes, every morning I am up at 6 o’clock, in my shorts, wearing the purple running Asics goodness on my feet and out of the hotel. All I experience is other runners like me (well, a bit younger, a bit fitter and a bit faster), the occasional person sleeping rough and homeless dogs chasing the runners.

I use my runs to look around; and one obvious thing is that the problem here is not so much poverty as inequality. Which reminded me that in many ways the curse of our time is inequality – between the educated and non-educated, between people who had opportunities and others who didn’t and of course between wealthy people and poor people. This made me think again about what is distinguishes wealth and poverty. And apart from the fact that poverty not only drives one mad but also madness keeps people poor I came up with the following:

One habit of wealthy people that trumps all other habits (and there are many of those) is that poor people don’t spend money because they can’t; wealthy people don’t spend money because they don’t want to.

This brings me back to a point I have made before, namely that the way to financial health and prosperity is not through controlling our needs but through mastering our wants.

Do you have this key habit of wealthy people?

And since I spend some of today speaking to Chilean mathematicians I am publishing a picture I took at the department of Mathematics of Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.

When the Head of Department saw that I took a picture I had to explain:

‘Who said mathematicians don’t have a sense of humour?’

To which he replied:

‘Oh, but this is very serious!’

12 thoughts on “One habit of wealthy people”

  1. Really nice post Maria! Great observation – the difference between poor and wealthy people is just as simple as that.

    I think this should be young people’s mantra: ‘The way to financial health and prosperity is not through controlling our needs but through mastering our wants’. Especially, considering my generation’s urge to consume:-) 

    Enjoy your time in Chile!  

    • @Chris: Thanks for the kind words, Chris. Yes, I believe that ‘it is not about controlling your needs but about mastering your wants’ should be the mantra of anyone aiming to control their money. There is another article on this blog that conyains an exercise to master our wants. Check it out under exercises :).

  2. Interesting Point!  Wealthy people spend where they receive value. I have no problem spending large sums of money on shoew because I will get more value from them.  I usually own them (except athletic shoes) forever too.

    • @Krant: Yes, this is true. And I see it as part of mastering our wants. Also I am discovering that designer handbags are do worth it – for the same reason you mentioned. They last forever and they don’t go out of fashion is you shop for classical styles

  3. Enjoy your time in Chile.  We’ll be wanting to see some photos and a journal, hopefully. 
    So mathematicians don’t have a sense of humor.  I suppose if they did, the male figure would be depicted with clenched knees…

    • @101Centavos: I have taken some pictures and will do something about this one on Sunday (hopefully the internet will be working). Otherwise I am having great time talking to Chilean mathematician – great people! You ask them a straight question and you get a straight answer – no messing about. Then again I do seem to like mathematicians; after all I did marry one albeit an unusual one.

  4. Accurate till it hurts. It really highlights, for me, the importance of giving. Perhaps I am not alone? Spending can be difficult for me because I am tight with my budget.

    Giving is something I add into my budget. I am giving a generous (cash) wedding gift next month. Everyone should consider giving when they become wealthy.


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