Will Your Child be Rich or Poor? 14 Habits Every Child Needs to Succeed in Life

Tom Corley boats - cropWhen I travel the country speaking to high school and college students about exactly what they need to do to become financially successful in life, I always begin my presentation by asking the same three questions:

“How many want to be financially successful in life?”

“How many think they will be financially successful in life?”

Almost every time I ask the first two questions, every hand rises in the air. Then I ask the magic third question:

“How many have taken a course in school on how to be financially successful in life?”

Not one hand rises in the air, ever.

Clearly every student wants to be successful and thinks they will be successful, but none have been taught how. Not by their parents and not by their teachers.

Not only are there no courses on basic financial success principles, but there are no structured courses teaching basic financial literacy.

Is it any wonder that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck? That most Americans accumulate more debt than assets?  That many Americans lose their homes when they lose their job? Is it any wonder that most Americans cannot afford college for their children and that student loan debt is now the largest type of consumer debt? 

We are raising our children to be financially illiterate and to fail in life.

Parents who are success mentors to their children, teach them specific good daily habits. And these habits put them on autopilot for financial success later in life.

In my five-year study of the daily habits of self-made millionaires vs. those struggling with poverty, I uncovered specific habits that separate the rich from the poor. I’d like to share some of what I found:

  1. Read to Learn – 63% of self-made millionaires in my study were required by their parents to read to learn. Their parents made them read two or more books every month on topics such as: history, biographies of successful people, science, self-improvement, etc. Only 3% of the poor said their parents made them do this.
  2. Don’t Gamble – 6% of the wealthy in my study played the lottery vs. 77% of the poor. Worse, the poor admitted to playing the lottery every week. 
  3. Follow Your Dreams – 82% of the self-made millionaires in my study pursued a dream vs. 3% of the poor. By far, the wealthiest in my study were individuals who pursued a dream. On average, they accumulated $7.4 million in net assets during their lives.
  4. Eat Healthy – 21% of the wealthy in my study were overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor. 78% of self-made millionaires ate less than 300 junk food calories a day. 97% of the poor ate more than 300 junk food calories a day.
  5. Avoid Time Wasters – 63% of the wealthy in my study spent less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use. 74% of the poor spent more than an hour a day in the Internet. 67% of the wealthy watched less than 1 hour of TV per day vs 23% of the poor. 9% of the wealthy watched reality TV shows vs. 78% of the poor.
  6. Invest Your Time in Your Kids Education – 83% of the wealthy in my study attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor. 29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor.
  7. Engage in Daily Self-Improvement – 63% of wealthy in my study listened to audio books during their commute vs. 5% of the poor. Kids have smart phones and this makes it easy for them to download audio books to listen to.
  8. Spend Less Than You Make – 73% of the wealthy in my study forged the habit of spending less than they earned, long before they were rich. 95% of the poor were never taught this habit by their parents, by their teachers or by any other mentor in life.
  9. Forge Relationships With Other Success-Minded People – 79% of the wealthy in my study networked with other success-minded people, 5 hours or more per month vs. 16% of the poor said they did this.
  10. Hard Work Creates Good Luck – 92% of the wealthy in my study said they created their own good luck through hard work, persistence, daily practice, determination and goal achievement. 79% of the poor believed the rich were rich due to dumb luck.
  11. Take Personal Responsibility For Your Circumstances – 79% of the wealthy in my study indicated that they believed they were individually responsible for their financial circumstances. 82% of the poor believed they were poor because they were born and raised in a poor household.  FYI, 41% of the self-made millionaires in my study were born and raised in a poor household.
  12. Exercise Aerobically – 95% of self-made millionaires in my study exercised aerobically 30 minutes or more per day, four days a week. Only 23% of poor did the same. Studies have shown that daily aerobic exercise improves brain health, brain efficiency and IQ.
  13. Seek Out Success Mentors – 100% of self-made millionaires in my study had a success mentor in life. Success mentors put you on the fast track for success. They teach you what to do and what not to do. They also teach you the habits you’ll need in order to succeed in life. Typically, these mentors were one of their parents or a mentor that took an interest in them at work. None of the poor in my study said they had any success mentors in their lives.
  14. Negativity Leads to Poverty – 63% of the wealthy in my study had a positive, optimistic mindset. 94% of the poor had a negative, pessimistic mindset. Studies have shown that a negative mental outlook inhibits and depresses brain function.

The fact is, the poor are poor because they have far too many bad habits and not enough good habits.

And parents are to blame.

We don’t have a wealth gap in this country, we have a parent gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality.

According to a Brown University Study, in which the habits of 50,000 families were analyzed, the author of the study, Dr. Pressman, found that most of our adult habits were forged by the age of nine.

In another study by Nicholas Christakis, he found that habits spread throughout our social network.

Since children spend most of their early lives with their parents, these two studies show the critical role parents play in the habits all of us forge in life.

And my Rich Habits study corroborates this.

Sixty-eight percent of the self-made millionaires in my study said that they picked up most of their good habits from their parents.

Ninety-four percent of those in my study who struggled with poverty said they also picked up most of their habits from their parents.

But if parents fail to teach their children good daily success habits, what are we to do?

Teachers need to step in and teach children these Rich Habits. Habit education must become a structured part of our education system.  

From my research, I learned that all it takes is one or two Rich Habits to completely transform a life.

  • The reading habit, on its own, can set your children up for career success.
  • The savings habit, on its own, can set your children up to be financially independent.
  • The exercise habit, on its own, can set your children up for a long, healthy life.
  • The happy birthday or life event calls, on their own, can set your children up to forge strong relationships.

Lastly, high schools should be teaching specific financial education courses to their students beginning in freshman year. It needs to be a multi-prong curriculum that includes the following courses:

  • How to Pay Bills and Balance a Checkbook (freshman year)
  • How to Save and Invest Your Savings (sophomore year)
  • How Insurance Works – Auto Insurance, Home Owners Insurance, Health Insurance (junior year)
  • Understanding Student Loans (junior year)
  • Personal Income Tax Fundamentals (senior year)

Schools teach what they are required to teach. It’s unfortunate, but none of these financial education courses are a requirement in most schools.


If you want to find out if you are teaching your kids the right habits take this short test: RICH HABITS TEST PARENTS

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
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  1. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to exploring your web page yet again.|

    • While some of this advice is helpful..I don’t believe he knows much about poverty. And this is NOT the reason there is the very rich and the very poor. I think he needs to live in poverty for awhile before he makes this judgement. WOW!

      • Actually, if you read his bio at the end of the article, you would know that he does know about living in poverty. Maybe it’s just an unfortunate circumstance for some, but for most of the people I know who are poor (including myself), it has a lot to do with not being careful with how much we spend. In short, though this article doesn’t account for everything, I found it very enlightening.

        • Actually, there is a HUGE difference between being born into poverty–being “poor”–and being temporarily “broke.” The difference in opportunities and background knowledge is HUGE.

        • Well it’s the system too. Can’t ignore there are privileges for a select few that are not available to everyone.

        • Shoregal says:

          I disagree with a lot of this. He did not come from “living in poverty” he was rich and then thrown into a life he was not accustomed too. BIG difference. He started out with many of the comforts the rich have that most underprivledged do not. How many poor people have access to a computer especially when funding for public libraries have been cut by …oh…my…who? the GOP. Poor do not have a credit score because they don’t have credit? Many people in poverty do not own property, cannot get a credit card so how can they even know what their credit score is?
          As for diet? It’s not too hard to figure out that cheap processed food is way cheaper than healthy fruits and veggies. Also…do you think people living on a limited income buy an access to a gym when they are trying to pay rent.
          Come on people….this is a bull shit article.

          • Daphne U. L. says:

            I know a lot of poor people spending their money playing computer games in internet shop instead of educating themselves. You don’t have to have a credit card to know your credit score, you can just write them down in a notebook. Vegetables and some very healthy fish and rice or bread are way cheaper than most junkfood. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. Walking is actually considered one of the best exercises. A lot of rich people don’t even go to the gym because its too expensive and they want to spend their money on investments. Some people who are not rich even spend their money on gyms instead of saving them. Maybe that’s what he meant. Give him a chance. He has great points.

          • Loraine Mojica McCall says:

            I came from poverty and I know that changing my habits has helped me become who I now am. I am not a millionaire but we are not in debt and have worked to keep things that way. Our thoughts precede our actions, and the more we learn to accept to improve our confidence around others we can make a difference in our lives. Sometimes things seem “too simple to work” but really, if we are honest with ourselves and with those we deal with, I am certain we will be able to notice that change. The change will be gradual, but if we at some point look back at who we once were, we can see the leap that we came from and remember the different mindset we once had. I would include to this list however to stay away from every kind of addiction because then that would hinder us from lasting joy. Because we must be honest here, money won’t bring us happiness, if we really want happiness, we will want to find a balance in all we do. That is why the list can seem insignificantly random from a poor person’s point of view: because many of these habits seem unrelated from actually earning money. Something that got me to stop and think was Henry Ford’s quote: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

          • There is a big difference in that we ARE NOT all born equal. Odds are much higher you will have more in life if your parents had more.. which he kind of says here in that wealthy parents teach inherently wealthy habits and poor teach their inherently poor habits because it’s what we know.
            HOWEVER, the libraries i’ve been to all have computers (maybe not many but they are there). You don’t need a credit card to have a credit score, that accumulates from things as simple as utilities and any other accounts or bills you pay on. There are a couple of websites that allow you to check your credit score free once a year. No internet? Go to the library and wait your turn to use the computer. Diet? Yeah some processed foods are cheaper than some healthy foods but some healthy foods are cheaper than some processed foods and once you take healthy portions into account as well it makes a difference. Bananas, a head of lettuce, eggs, are all pretty darn cheap and a pack of eggs, a head of lettuce and bunch of bananas can each last an individual a week and you can incorporate them into your not so healthy diet and make a positive difference in your diet even if you can’t afford an abundance of the “good” stuff.
            I don’t agree with everything in the article but it seems like it mostly points to self discipline as being key, most of what he lists is reliant on self discipline. So forcing your children to be disciplined in their habits gives them the skill set to be more disciplined in anything they wish to achieve.. and from the article it appears they aren’t just disciplined in the bigger things (like waking up on time, not missing school, etc..) but even the little things (reading a book in a certain time period, flossing daily, etc..)
            So maybe he does have a point.. most anyone could benefit from a little more self discipline and it certainly wouldn’t hurt anything to try and see if it domino effects into other parts of our lives.

          • I came from a life of poverty as a child and I can see what he means. My parents were great, but they grew up poor and didn’t have a lot of these influences to pass on to me. My wife came from an upper class family and I see the major differences in how my parents are with money compared to hers. they made her work to perfect everything she did and they would not accept less. I didn’t have that big of a push and I took advantage of it. Gladly my views have changed since I met her and received a great sense of self worth and motivation from her.
            Everyone has credit. You don’t need a credit card or own a home for credit. Pay your bills an you will have good credit. When you overspend and don’t pay on time it will lower your credit. Also, you don’t need to spend money on a gym. Going outside and playing is free and just as effective.

          • Just because he didn’t enter this life poor doesn’t change the fact that he did experience it. And even though one might be poor you still have a credit score – and there are other ways to build your credit than credit cards. Paying your bills on time consistently, for example, especially utilities. I grew up in a family where sometimes we weren’t sure where our next meal was coming from – but my parents almost always made sure our diet was as balanced as possible! And you don’t need a gym membership to exercise. Walk around the block, jog, do yoga in your living room. There are ways of enlightening yourself, educating yourself, and skiing right by yourself that don’t cost any more than your time and efforts. Perhaps that is more the point being made. I don’t agree 100% with everything he’s put out there, but put forth some efforts instead of expecting someone that’s done the work already to just hand it over to you.

          • You don’t need a gym to work out. People have been exercising long before gyms became popular. You don’t need to eat processed foods when you can cheaply grow some of your own food even in an apartment. What he did have was a mindset to improve himself, set and accomplish goals, practice success, and educate himself. That does come from the wealthier segments of society. One of the worst things you can do to a person is deny them any hope that their lives can be better. I don’t think his message is a cure-all (what is?) but I do think it’s empowering.

          • that’s a bit strong.

          • Attitude has much to do with the rich and the poor. You should visit with the poor and with those who have been poor, which what I have done for the last 30 years. Not a study but in the volunteer work I do. He is right on and if you had the right attitude you would look at the facts and work it out for yourself. That is indeed how we got from having very little money to enough to be comfortable. The majority of people I know who have money today have worked very hard to get where they are. Few, very few, less that 4 or 5 out of the hundreds of people I know had any money to begin with. They all had to figure it out. One young man was mowing grass at 13 and decided that was not what he wanted to do the rest of his life. He saved his money learned to sell and at 40 he is what many would consider rich.

          • While our personal habits may determine the outcome of our financial health to a certain extent, to put all the onus on the individual is also extremely egocentric and untrue. Extremes of wealth and poverty are not completely the result of our own efforts and free will. That would mean the system is totally just. What human institution is totally just? The origin of this inaccurate notion is based in the Christian doctrine that emphasizes personal salvation, instead of collective salvation along with the notion of Manifest Destiny. If, and when, these paradigms shift, and people actually come to realize that they are suffering as long as other humans are suffering in one way or another, then real change is guaranteed.

          • 1. Everyone can get there credit score for free
            2. It’s not necessarily more expensive to eat health, if you’re resourceful
            3. You do not need a gym membership to stay active… It’s called running.

          • Stringman says:

            Well, Sunshine, if the poor listen to you, perhaps they will be convinced that there is no way out of poverty, that it is impossible to turn their lives around. The first step toward any improvement is believing that things can improve, not giving up and refusing to make any effort. Negatively is highly contagious. So, I suggest you shut your mouth to keep from spreading your disease.

          • LOL! Yep! Some of us HAVE to learn the hard way, while others had to start working at a young age and help support their siblings their parents pumped out, even though they couldn’t afford it. Some of us work to live, barely making ends meet & not by choice. Everyone can always “do better”, but folks can’t do better, unless & until they know/are taught better! Sometimes it’s a Catch 22. Besides- I know ppl w a lot of money, yet they aren’t rich. Money is nice, but it cannnot make all your c troubles vanish. You’ll simply have bigger, more difficult ones!

          • Shoregal,
            Is it really that different? My father came from a wealthy family and like the writter of this article, his family lost everything in one day (a dumb agriculture revolution in my country). His family then had to strugle to keep up. My father, as a teen, had to create many little businesses to pay his university education.

            My father had to look out for his 7 younger siblings because my grandparents were working all day long. Did it help they used to have many properties, a small plane, etc? Not really because they were taken away. My grandfather had dropped university before getting married to take care of the lands his father gave him. So suddenly, after the agriculture revolution, he was a man with no degree, a family of 10, with a lot of knowledge in administrating big farms and fruit productions in a country were no one was hiring for that because they took everyone’s land.

            So yeah, you are right it’s not the same, but it doesn’t make it any less hard.

          • Michelle says:

            I agree withyou 100%. I felt that he lets the system off the hook.

          • Bill McCarthy says:

            Do you really think after performing a 5 year study that he doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about. I can tell you that he is spot on. We were poor growing up. My dad and mom wanted to change that for us. We were required to fulfill about half of this list growing up. I have 3 siblings. 3 of us bought into the lifestyle. We are all in the 6 figure income range. One of my sisters did not buy into the lifestyle. She is living on her social security check and the house we provide for her. She’s 46 years old and fried her brain on drugs. Went from one dirt bag husband to the next and they left her more messed up each time. We tried to help and she always went back.

            I don’t care how bad of a neighborhood someone comes from or how poor they grew up. Drink the koolaid! Don’t fight the system, don’t hate people because they went after what they wanted and succeeded. Go to college on student loans and grants like I did. 4 part time jobs at the same time while going to school like I did. Read books from the free library. Network with people at school that can help you succeed. Exercise by running in the neighborhood like I did, do push-ups and sit-ups in the living room with my feet under the couch, bench press a broom handle with Grocery bags full of sand, curl gallon water jugs. Research what you want to do and go get it. Fight for it. I’m living proof that it’s possible. My brother and sister are living proof that it’s possible for more than just me.

            A few important pieces of information I will share with you. I can tell you as someone who more less has seen both sides in pretty vivid detail. Like getting into a fight in 7th grade when another kid on the first day back to school after the Christmas break, pointed out “in the hallway in front of everyone” that I was wearing his old coat that his mom donated to the church. He was born middle class and didn’t respect what his parents had worked for. His parents worked for what they had and therefore wanted to help others. 95% of rich people I have encountered do very much love helping those in need. They just don’t want their money to go to those who really need it and not to those that are just scamming the system. Perfectly able to work, but have learned the system and found that if they have 3 or 4 kids that welfare will pay for everything. We all work for our money. We want other able bodied to do the same. Most rich people would not have a problem with their money going to free day care so the parents can work and use that money to support themselves and not spend it all on daycare. Now we’re helping those in need and not supporting or enabling them to do nothing. Next thing you know, they’re climbing the ladder and paying their own day care costs and making enough that they are paying taxes and helping pay the day care expenses for the next family.

            Lastly, I’ll share the answer to the million dollar question. Rich people do favor family in the work environment. Most won’t admit it, but it’s true. These family members will likely be promoted before you. Often the family member is treated worse unless a direct son or daughter, to try to demonstrate that they are not favored. Over dinner the boss apologizes and feeds the family member tips to climb the ladder, like specific classes they can take to give them an edge, or who to network with, etc…

            They truly love to help people who came from nothing. It makes them feel better about themselves. Most are not greedy, they’re vain and want immortality; even if they don’t realize it or admit it to themselves. They want to be remembered. So they donate a lot of money to charities and churches. They do know it’s also good for business and helps with the networking. Eventually they die and leave a sizable donation to something and they name it after them. No better way to be remembered in their eyes. Look at the 100% mentor stat. Rich people love to mentor. They don’t mind if you join the rich club as long as you work for it. Most rich hate the inheritance rich people. They don’t respect the wealth because they didn’t earn it. These people are generally less inclined to desire to be around those of a lesser status. They don’t worry about earning immortality, because they were born with it. They have the name and status. This and some viscous corporate board ran companies are the generally the people that the lay person pictures when they think of the rich. They are a small population. The majority of the rich love to help and generally will sacrifice quite a bit of their own good fortune 100% willingly if they believe it will truly benefit someone in need.

          • Absolutely bullshit! Rich people are not wealthier BECAUSE they eat a little healthier, they eat healthier because they can AFFORD to buy the fancy, organic, natural fresh stuff. Rich are not rich because they are thin, they are thinner because gym memberships are affordable to them. The poor have to choose between rent or health a lot of times. They also see better doctors. The poor see crappy HMO doctor who sticks you on ten medications first option, no treatment or help, just meds on and on to get you out of their hair for a paying client. Those meds cause weight gain, metabolism issues, thyroid malfunctioning etc. Also, even thin african American people are more apt to get diabetes due to ethnic differences that for some stupid reason no one wants to admit to! Blacks are often poorer due to racism, bad parenting with one parent only, poverty all their life so no college option, Etc. It is not just blacks either! Impoverished whites also have more illness, take more meds, have Dr who couldn’t care less, unlike the rich. In the USA if you are born poor, you are forced to stay there forever these days, the American dream is DEAD. Unless you can somehow save on a nothing wage, or get lucky, or inherit, or maybe get free college or a decent job somehow in spite of things. Otherwise, if not already rich you are screwed. The wealth in this country NEEDS to be distributed evenly! Millionares never need that much. They ought to HAVE to give out half their money to the poor directly. The poor should be given every chance to get rich. Not held down and treated like worthless lazy folks. Also, white privilege is a complete lie. It may have once mattered. But these days ALL poor people are treated like shit. Homeless people are kept that way on purpose, get zero help. Mentally ill are not treated correctly, anyone who is at all different than the mass clone like society, are treatd like they deserve nothing just because they do not copy the masses. Unless someone different socially, becomes famous(, rock star, actor, artist, writer, Etc) they are sure to end up on the low end of society just because others fear them. By the time kids in grade school now grow into adults we will have NO hope left anyhow. Finding a job will not be possible, the rich will have everything, no one else can and the middle class barely scrape by nowdays. Owning a house will become a thing of the past even on a 100 k income. Rent now is thousands per month. This world is set UP to slowly kill the poor as it is. Until the rich aretaken out and their excess given away to others, there is no hope. NO one should have a billion dollars to themselves even if they earned it( which 90% of rich persons have NOT), most just inherit or are handed shit. If someone gave me even 10000 dollars right now, and people out there CAN afford to easy, I could change my entire life, I know how to turn 10 k into money forever. I have skills just not the money to get it going. If rch gave each poor but smart person 10-20 k, we would mostly be ok thereafter. Thats the solution. Redistribution of the money. I have tried for years to make it, I was a A student and did what I thought worked. I have never had a thing, and spent ten years homeless even. I am not some uneducated, brain dead moron, I should be rich and helping others by now! But life gets in the way. Society and its idiotic credit scores, or standards no one can meet. Illness happens. Poverty happens. So, if anyone out there has it all, and can afford 10 k like its nothing, to give to me to completely fix my whole life within a few short months, please contact me and do so! Thats all it takes to fix the problem. Its lack of start up money or a chance that we have, not ” bad habits”. I am great with money if I ever had any. Also, anyne who says money doesn’t bring happiness is clearly just a moron or messed up mentally unable to be happy in first place, because money absolutely, positively with no doubt whatsoever brings me absolute happiness. Every issue I have is because I do not have the money to fix it. 30 k would solve every single problem I havein life today! 10 k could start me on the path to making more and then fixing it all.

        • I thought these were interesting ideas and certainly useful to keep in mind. Obviously there are counter examples to nearly every suggestion but that doesn’t make them any less useful as a suggestion on something to consider our evaluate. My father worked incredibly hard all his life in construction but never achieved the success he wanted. He taught me to have an unbreakable work ethic and to look only to myself when I fail. He never blamed others for his lack of the level of success he desired. After reading some of the vitriolic comments below, I am wishing you would add another statistic.

          Percentage of the wealthy that teach their children to blame themselves for their own failures.

          It was surprising to see so many comments of negativity. Even if limiting your children to an hour of television or computer gaming per day doesn’t instantly transform them into billionaires, wouldn’t reading even a book of fiction be better for their development? Or even better, read non-fiction on any subject you find interesting. Some kids I know watch almost three HOURS of television per day. That is about 1000 hours a year. If they spent that same time learning any skill at all they would be at master level by the time the were 20. About ten thousand hours applied to any skill gets you to mastery. Learn a second or third language while you are young and pliable. Learn any musical instrument. Learn chess or teach yourself math or science.

          I’m going to write out these suggestions and put them on post cards around my room so I never forget them.

          I wish I could have a child to teach these concepts to. And even if they grow up in poverty I will have given them at least the basic tools to do better than me. And then they could do the same with their kids. Maybe it takes a few generations to effect change. I seriously doubt that it will be me driving a Mercedes to my yacht but matter breaking the pattern will help my great grandchild.

          • I almost do all of these habits expect the internet use due to the fact I’m a kid and I don’t come from a rich family lol my parents only making over 200-300k a year area and that’s no where near rich barly upper class at all lol and I do most of these habbits expect like three of them but I do agree about theses habits of the rich and the school system fails to teach kids about money at a young age I’m only 14 and I know a shit ton of stuff about money buying low and selling high and a bunch of stuff about the stock market and I got the honor roll in highschool and im a freshmen hopefully I change my life for the better and become rich what I consider rich income is around 400k and up a yearr

        • Allen Brown says:

          I am now wealthy.
          Spent first 12 years living in home with no bath, no running water.
          Soap made out of pig fat and lye.
          Did not know we were poor.

          • “If my life has sense” (beauty is everywhere if your eyes are open to it) and if I am happy with what I am doing (working hard / living simply and sustainably), I am actually pretty happy. The frustration starts when we live in a system where competition and money play the key role. When I was young, I spent 1 year in an area lost in the mountains of Switzerland. My life then was filled with dawn-to-dusk days of backbreaking tasks: hauling manure, splitting firewood, etc… It meant eating only what was in season …. pretty dull and repetitive to my supermarket stomach. It meant staying put, without escaping to the beach for two weeks in the winter. I had no time to think. No time to have depression. No time to have headache and no social pressure: why can my neighbor afford a villa? Why can he send his kids to Eton? Why can his wife have the last Louis Vuitton suitcase? There is no ideal world.

        • Mark miser says:

          He came FROM wealth, and there was a disaster that set them back, but they had the connections and advantages to recover that poor people NEVER had. He is using this as a way to shame/blame the poor! I do NOT give this author a’pass’ on this -work the streets of detroit, newark, brooklyn, etc. Go into the homes of the poor, really see their day to day struggles, try to work 2 or 3 part time minimum wage jobs with no car, or one that is unreliable – then i will listen to you!

          • MrsCoyn says:

            Totally agree with Mark Miser. This writer is speaking from privilege but is in denial about its impact on his success. Wealth and opportunity comes from hard work but also luck and privilege. The number of successful individuals who can’t see the good luck in their situation and put it all down to hard work is ridiculous. Many people work incredibly hard but without connections or opportunities they subsist without reaching their potential. Also the wealthy get wealth by the labour of others. When the balance is utterly unfair their wealth increases and the poor get poorer. They need to see that their behaviour is causal to perpetuating the situation.

        • You have a povery mentality

      • Hi agree with what Cathy A. says. Poverty is a whole different world and I don’t think he fully understands where some of the divergent behaviors actually come from. I took him to mean that those living in poverty simply need to do the things on his list and they will magically be out of poverty. I think a lot of what he says is probably well-meaning but misguided.

        • I think some of these behaviors are causative, and if you are diligent in those behaviors, you will eventually rise out of poverty. Others, the causation may lie in the other direction.
          If you aren’t sure which are which, your first research project could be figuring that out so that you can decide which things to do. Or you could just try them all and see what sticks.

        • marcie says:

          Jenn. He didn’t say do this and you will magically be rich but change a few things take responsibility for you own life. Many many people grew up in poverty but stay that way it’s up to good parenting and self discipline and no one can do it for you

      • Trevor Lewis says:

        Yeah, I think this guy might be an idiot. He certainly does not have a good understanding of correlation vs. causation. While I don’t doubt that those in wealthy families are more likely to floss, I’m pretty sure that this is a symptom rather than the cause of their respective socio-economic statuses. And that bit about the poor being poor because they have “poor habits” is a gross oversimplification which ignores a very complex financial and economic system which I doubt that Tom has ever bothered to study(might have been a good idea to open an economics textbook instead of hanging out in rich people’s living rooms for five years). Also I’m pretty sure that this egotistical prick wrote his own bio in the third person. Just my two cents though.

        • worth every penny

        • I have yet to hear a candidate propose reforming the system so that the masses can be taught and understand “Financial IQ”. To have the hope and be unafraid to become the entrepreneurs this country needs to turn income and families around. To think like a Warren Buffett, Robert, (Kim) Kiyosaki, Dennis Kimbro or Robert Johnson, (Former BET). With “Financial IQ” the gap between the poor, middle class and rich may begin to close. This is no longer the industrial age of the 20th century.

        • I am a child of the 60’s and I can tell you from experience I have seen the (American Dream) slowly dry up and wither away. There is no American Dream our government took that away from us. T.V was free when I was a child and alot better shows. They (the government) didn’t give you a vote a voice on the matter overnight you had to pay for t.v and no one said a thing about it. There is no middle class it’s just rich and poor how can a sports player of any sport make more money than he will or she will need and they give nothing back at all. Penny candy was a child’s delight now you pay 5 times the amount. I bought my first car at 16 a new 1973 dodge charger 383motor with a 4 speed I spent 6,873 dollars for it. You can’t even buy a used car for that now. You have young Americans burning the flag in the day light and with a grin on their faces its shameful and the worst thing about it is that the youth that are burning the flag had a relative that fought for the rights of us and others. American dream died with our forefathers our parents saw the American Dream at one time but not anymore. Now you have sons fighting fathers daughters fighting with their mothers children having children and black as well as white men making all these fatherless children American Dream they will never see it they will be doomed for poverty for the rest of their lives now adays if you are borne into poverty you are probably going to be poor for the rest of your life. Just remember the rich can’t get richer if you the American people doesn’t buy their products and not to work for them either for gods sake stand up yell scream protest anything that will take money out of their pockets.

      • Wow!
        To all the criticizers and complainers, I think you’re proving his point. The FIRST step in making ANY positive changes in your life is to take responsibility for yourself. If nothing is ever your fault, you will be stuck as a victim forever. You can ONLY change the things you take responsibility for. I agree with him. Your success is up to you.

      • He did live in poverty for several years. Did you not read the whole article? At age 9 his family lost it all. It took him several years to become a self made millionaire. And when someone is making millions and billions of dollars, and you live in poverty, I don’t think you have any room to be judgmental. That’s the problem with society today, they seem someone else succeeding and immediately tear them down. And you wonder why you live paycheck to paycheck

      • He knows exactly what he’s talking about. I think the biggest problem is getting the very poor to change their habits and what they know. Anyone who plays video games, watches TV etc. for hours on end, eats crappy, doesn’t give back to their community, doesn’t read and improve their knowledge and life, will not grow and prosper. By changing most of those daily habits he listed, be interested in your kid’s education and vigorously trying to improve yourself, you will improve your financial wealth. When I see kids from the intercity and poor families, who end up leaving high school with full ride scholarships to college, those kids and their parents worked hard on many of those things on his list. There was no luck, no family money, just plain hard work and good habits that made them successful. Sorry…totally disagree.

      • Agreed!!

      • Alica Badger says:

        If you read the bottom of the article. He did live in poverty.

      • Did you read the “About Thomas C. Corley” right below the article? He did lived in poverty for a long time. Someone with a positive outlook would have educated themselves before writing a comment. Someone with a negative outlook would just write a comment without educating themself on the topic (in this case Thomas) first. From your comment, you appear to be exactly what he’s talking about in his article.

    • Nancy Chaffin says:

      I was raised in a family where my father was a farmer and rancher and worked a job in town for approximately 35 years. My husband was from a family in which his father supplemented his 35 year job in the town with a farm. Many young people do not realize that it takes consistent work and planning for their financial future even to live moderately well. Some have the fortunate privilege to have family money. The family money had to originate from some source. Usually farming, industry,etc. Having children that are taught responsibility about money and doing chores will help ingrain a work ethic. My husband and I had college loans that we paid back for years. If parents are able to help their children with college expenses that is great. Although I believe each student should work at least part time to help out. Cell phones are an example where kids can pay for monthly bills. Car insurance premiums paid by students help them appreciate their cars. A car doesn’t have to be brand new to drive people to work and school. My husband and I have now worked for 35 plus years. Sometimes 2 jobs at one time. We will continue to work for savings. Our children have worked and graduated college. We are very blessed to have come from families that tried to make sound decisions for their future. We try to instill these principles in our family’s futures. Everyone does not get to or chooses to attend college. Learning a marketable skill/trade enables and helps them to provide for themselves and their families. Financial maintenance is a necessity for financial responsibility and success.

    • Rena Massey says:

      Not everyone who is poor had bad habits. I am on Disability and have a small part time job because of health issues. An unexpected illness, physical or mental, can literally upset ANYONE’S applecart.

      • Agreed. And, if the illness is chronic and persists or you have multiple health problems and/or no financial cushion left, then you’re at an even greater disadvantage. A lot of those who are sick also can’t even get disability or the extensive hearing process puts them through so much stress that it makes their health worse and that in turn makes it harder for them to rebuild their finances afterward — especially if they’re turned down for some reason and have to keep fighting. Those who have money can also manage symptoms and getting appropriate care faster and better then those who are poor or who became so after one or more major life events ruined their finances and then their illness(es) made it almost impossible to recoup no matter how hard they’ve tried thinking outside of the box. Stating in a blanket way that people who live in poverty had bad parents ignores those who had money and then lost it and struggle to rebuild. A family member of mine recently insisted that I should be able to get better immediately from my multiple chronic conditions because her friend, who has a stable financial cushion and passive income streams that earn for him when he’s down, had ONE of the health problems that I have and he came through it okay and without any difficulties acquiring treatments, etc. First off, the one condition is a skull-base tumor. Secondly, I had my identity stolen and then continued to lose income and experience worse health because of events that were beyond my control. Even after I managed to really position myself to start over, my symptoms increased and continue to do so and what little family support I had wasn’t enough. Yet, a lot of people to this comparison stuff. If X was able to persevere, then I should be able to do exactly the same. The guy who I’m often compared to is also older and more established. He has connections and support. If you don’t have a close family support system, money is the only thing left that can make the difference. If you don’t have that support system and you’ve had difficulty rebuilding your finances, then you’re stuck in a vicious cycle: You try to manage paying for day to day expenses while dealing with the disruptions from symptoms and extensive doctor appointments and treatments. You deal with doctors who look at your income, if you provide it, or your health insurance and, if you have Medicaid (for example), then treat you like you don’t deserve their care or refuse care because they don’t get paid enough (in their minds). You also face public discrimination — especially if you’re young or you look good externally. Then there’s the people who think that it must all be YOUR fault that your sick and stuck with poor insurance and finances because you should have been “more responsible” — even if you lost everything and then got hit too many times over and over again and the conditions were pre-existing but weren’t diagnosed or emerged symptom-wise until adulthood. It’s insane. They also think that tax money shouldn’t be used to help you even when you paid into the same da*n system. A lot of people need to get their heads out of the sand.

      • Janeice Hodges-Thomas says:

        I agree with you. He’s making assumptions that behavior is the cause instead of the effect of poverty vs. wealth with no evidence to back up those claims. It’s very egocentric and dismissive.

    • Tom, you’re a fucktard… on so many levels… first of all, when both parents are scraping by working to keep the kids out of the ghetto and away from bad influences… ah fuck it, its too much to explain to your dumb ass.

    • John barlow says:

      To be honest the poor have to exist so some can be rich but majority will always be poor for the rich minority to be rich. Not everyone can be poor together and not everyone can be rich together thats reality.

    • bongstar420 says:

      I you redefine success as “getting what you want that happens to be magnitudes less than your peers”

      then yes, you can be successful….but nothing this guy said will make a genius a billionaire. In fact, all it really does is expose you to the control and influence of the already rich which is exactly what rich people want..the ability to control and influence you to be what they determine deserves success.

  2. Thank you for writing this article! So comprehensive and informative!:) and written so simply that makes it actually do-able.

  3. Thanks for this great article. It’s an eye opener.

  4. Hello There.

    I think you need to update item 13 on the list:

    “79% of the wealthy network 5 hours or more per month vs. 16% of the wealthy”

    That’s all.

    Nice article, by the way. 🙂

    • Tks, I made the fix

      • I believe the premise of this article, while very arguably biased, is a good one.

        Teach your children responsibility.
        Teach them that goals are attainable.
        Teach them to contribute to society.
        Encourage their dreams.

        Living a peaceful, meaningful, honest life is the American Dream. Worrying about where your next meal will come from is not.

        Not everyone who works hard is rich, and not everyone who is lazy is poor. But instilling good work ethic and habits in our children set them up for success.
        Im hoping this was the actual point of this study.

        • Kacie Noonan says:

          Kristi, you bring up excellent points. My spouse makes about 150K a year and bonus but is miserable working 15 hr days six days a week. I see many wealthy people die in 50s or 60s. I think people need to learn balance in life and realize they don’t need as much to live and learn to save more.

          • Jennifer says:

            I agree! While lack of money can cause stress, personally and relationally, being rich doesn’t guarantee happiness.

        • I like the premise of this article and find some of the points valid. I disagree with the idea that anyone can become rich if they follow these rules. Gender, race, age and the socioeconomic status one is born into matter in ways we as individuals cannot control.

          Poverty is not caused by doing the wrong things, it is caused by systemic disenfranchisement, lack of access to job opportunities and education. This article would be more forthright if didn’t purport to ensure my children become rich, but rather how to gain habits correlated with financial stability. However, that’s not click bait…

          • Kristy, as a member of the “disenfranchised” community I have to respectfully disagree with you. This country offers ANYONE who wants it the opportunity to become wealthy. I tolerated racist comments and across throughout my life because I knew that if I persisted I would succeed, and I have.

          • I disagree with your statement. Anyone, regardless of race, age, gender, etc. can be successful. It just takes the right attitude and the willing to work for what you want. If you are serious about being successful, you can have it, as long as you don’t give up. Les Brown comes to mind. Grew up in a very low income area, was black, single mother who worked multiple jobs to put food on the table. He persisted until he got what he wanted. Now he is a sought after speaker and author. Look him up.

            Your second paragraph your poverty viewpoint. Making excuses, placing the blame for not succeeding on outside influences, etc. Look at things from an “I can” attitude, not “I can’t” point of view.

          • So Mark, how did that work out for his single mother who worked multiple jobs? Did she have to wait around for her son to grow up? I thought if she worked hard enough, she could be rich?

          • MD-
            Let’s start with what you just said to try and dis credit Mark’s statement. “How did it work out for the single mother?” This article is about instilling good habits in your children to make them successful/ rich. Not once did it say or did anyone say you work hard you get rich period. So understand working hard is one aspect to becoming successful another huge part of it is developing good habits outlined in the article at a YOUNG AGE. That’s why successful people are successful. So that mother didn’t want her child to develop the bad habits she had and make the mistakes she had so she broke the cycle and instilled good habits in her child THAT IS WHAT MARK WAS SAYING.

          • charles ferreira says:

            Mam you are nuts and lost, first I work for a business owner who has 15 hud properties. I will be damned if I don’t find these out of luck folks in front of the 60inch tv or scratching nuts awaking from a slumber at 11:am. Secondly .my neighbors make about 150 k combined as a family. We make almost a hundred in east Texas. They have nice cars and tag watches. Big screen tv etc. We have none of that. But I am about to buy my third property. So this article is spot on . Yeah anybody can get sick and you’d be sol . But good decisions definitely determine 90% of wealth

          • I believe success is attainable regardless of race or gender. The question is how hard are you willing to work to reach your goal. Others have proven time and time again that your dreams can be reached. Saying that race and gender has something to do with not succeeding is an excuse. If the company you’re working at is not promoting due to race and gender it’s time to move on. I was in the same company for 9 years a fortune 500 company I went to school got my degrees and worked hard and still that wasn’t enough for promotion. I noticed that I wasn’t going to succeed there so I resigned. I thank you for this article I am constantly researching on how to manage my finances so I can be a great example to my kids. I also listen to audio books on finance. My mom didn’t have the best example so all she taught us about finance was to save some of what you earn. I want to be the best I can be with no excuses

          • My remarks are to Ellie, you say that poverty is caused by ” systemic disenfranchisement and lack of access to job opportunities, and education” That’s hog wash, that’s a cop out for being to lazy to change. It’s not easy to change, that’s why people don’t do it, but try it you’ll like it. If you spend your life listening, and believing all the dribble and excuses that other people tell you, then you will go no where.

          • The article is on point. Success is about attitude and learning how to approach life. It has very little to do with race. With race you might be at a low point until you suddenly wake up and decide it’s time to grow up. If you are born in America, with abundant opportunities and you complain. Try to exchange your position with some of us born into a humble or poor homes in Africa.

          • bongstar420 says:

            It is true we use a bunch of arbitrary traits to disqualify people…that is because we don’t live in a merit based world…

            And the problem is not any of those groups per se, its that superior individuals are subjugated by others because they have money, not because they are better and actually add something that those below are incapable of doing.

            Besides. This guy is selling a bill of goods. Being rich is not having a million dollars unless you are a moron. If you are even moderately above average, in order to be rich you need a hundred million because there are average people with that much…and success is retaliative …and we are not all above average

            Success for average people is defined by donald trump
            Success for genius is defined by Bill Gates

        • I strongly agree with everything Kristi said on June 9th except for her first sentence. I have never read such a mixed bag of bs that is offensive on so many levels. I would pay good money to never see or hear of Thomas Corley again.

          • Alexander says:


            Paying good money to never see or hear of Thomas Corley would be a very bad financial decision considering you only need to not open your computer in order to to do so. Plus, a detailed and well thought analysis of the habits of over 360 people over 5 years is not bullshit, its fact. Your’e own personal ignorance of the truth does not make it bullshit. Also, I dare you to find anyone who would look at the daily success habits he suggests we should be teaching our children that would disagree with any of them. How is it that simply suggesting (or proving actually, thanks to a comprehensive five year study, thanks Thomas!) that these are common habits of the rich make the article bullshit and offensive to the poor? The stubbornness of the poor folk in this country to take advice from those who have made it in life is overwhelming. Maybe if they took an objective approach to advice from the rich and applied it carefully and uniquely to their own lives in order to get the most out of it we would have a far less number of Americans in poverty living paycheck to paycheck.

        • Also – study after study after study show that the very best and secure way to be able to provide for yourself and a family, if you have one is to finish high school at a minimum, don’t have any kids prior to getting married, and to stay married. Every statistic, finicial, to criminal favor the folks that follow those 3 basic tenets.

      • L. Campbell says:

        Mr. Corley what is the best way to contact you? I appeciate your time as I just had a few questions. Thank you

    • Everything was sounding good. I even read all the comments from an objective perspective until I read the statement “learn the secrets of the wealthy and turn your LUCK around. Point #14 says that 8% of the wealthy believe wealth comes from random LUCK. It was at this point that this guys objective to “educate” is dubious. Now I read the premise as nothing more than a glossed up sales pitch.

      • Great points, but there are often two sides to a story.
        Parents that never learned most of these skills or concepts can’t be expected to know how to teach them to their children. I’m not saying the points are wrong, just spoken from the mouth of someone who isn’t poor. And I’m not poor, and i’m not rich. Just lucky to come from educated parents, was given the gift of an education, and did learn the importance of working hard.

      • I second that… and you can’t know what it is like to be poor , by going from rich to poor over night. Experiencing it for 5 years. All the pshycological effects. Learned behavior from real young to a teen….Some good points on how to raise our children. Very debatable book.

      • I think you’re missing the point? It’s tongue in cheek, you can’t actually turn “luck” around. You have to work at it. So, it’s a bit of a play on a common phrase. If habits can change “luck” then obviously it’s not “luck”. It’s a joke.

  5. This has got to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. You are a f – u – c – k -ing idiot for putting the blame on the poor. You fail to acknowledge that the reason they live that way is because of the injustices the system has plagued them with. How am I supposed to manage all the crap on your magical list when I’m working 2 jobs and 70 hours a week?! It’s got nothing to do with bad habits… I work my @$$ off and try to provide the best I can for my kids. If you rich @$$holes would help, by providing some financial literacy programs in the community- that’d be a lot more useful than your stupid article.

    • Why not read a book on finances? What good would it do you for some rich person to teach you financial literacy when the system, as you say, is rigged against you. 47% of the self-made millionaires in my study were poor. They figured it out, why can’t you?

      • Travis Harris says:

        Just like you, they figured out the easiest way to gain wealth; take advantage of the poor. What does snake oil run for these days?

        • blaming others means you will always be poor. Taking responsibility is the first step in becoming wealthy.

          • Lanette says:

            Ben Carson… Uh… no! The article had some real practical gems that parents of all economic classes should follow in just being good parents. Not all wealthy parents employ these teachings nor do all poor parents ignore them. My parents were not rich. We were working class but we were not allowed to watch much tv, encouraged to exercise, to join academic clubs, not to snack, and play instruments. And on and on. Some of the “habits” of the wealthy and the success their kids achieve are largely aided by additional financial resources, flexibility in work schedules to be home when children are, the ability to provide entrance in top schools, provide safe neighborhoods, pay for tutors, summer camps, healthier/consistent meals, spaceous homes/privacy to focus, stability with basics utilities, etc. My father worked a lot of overtime to support us so he couldn’t attend meet and greets at school, but academic success was highly stressed. Let’s face it. Having abundant financial resources makes it a hell of a lot easier to ensure your kids continue to have the same resources for themselves. It is much more difficult to gain what your parents and their parents never had. Not impossible but much more difficult.

            I think this is the reason I take exception with the tone of this article. At it’s heart it is written by someone of means passing judgment on those who lack. My first reaction was “its easy for YOU to say”. It goes along with this general idea that wealthy people are “better” people… better moral character, hard working, smarter, better parents… while those in poverty lack because their of major flaws with their morals and work ethic. In reality I personally know quite a few lazy, neglectful parenting, entitled wealthy people, and many, many hardworking, proud, honest, 2 job working, salt of the earth poor people. It’s condensing and uncalled for. Attentive, good parenting is universal and does not guarantee an elevation in a child’s future class and wealth standing. We live in a capitalist system where in order for our system to remain balanced there needs to be stratification of wealth. If it was as easy as the author makes it sound everyone would be rich.

            I took a sociology class back in college and learned that actually only 5% of American citizens in recent decades were able to climb or fall from the class they were born into. Whether upper class, middle class, working class, or poor. Typically if you are born rich you die rich. Born poor, die poor. The “American dream” is more of an idealistic notion than an obtainable truism for most Americans. Being wealthy has very little to do with adopting “rich habits”. Without educational programs and active, intentional intervention most well meaning Americans stay right where they are. Facts.

            “Poor parents teach their children the Poverty Habits and wealthy parents teach their children the Rich Habits. We don’t have a wealth gap in this country we have a parent gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality”. Baloney!

          • The man says:

            I would have to say that what he doesn’t talk about is outsourcing, bringing in people that are foreigners to do the same jobs that we can do, the health care plan has ruined most full time jobs for small business owners which if you look at the statistics on that dude takes up the margin of jobs around the country. The list goes on. Most people that are billionaires or even millionaires were born into money. I think it’s about 1% without looking it up that were poor that made it into the class of billionaires. I do most of the things and have been taught about most of the things that you mentioned I’m not rich by any means. It’s funny because people are outsourcing jobs to China, but China isn’t allowing the currency those companies make in China to turning it into US currency. Which takes you back to ethics. those that are getting their money back are obviously bribing officials all that good stuff. I could go on for hours about how bad the hippie generation has ruined this country.

        • Without the poor the rich wouldn’t be rich. How would their corporations and businesses survive if we all became equally wealthy? That isn’t possible, nor will they allow it. The wealthy need the poor to survive.

          • Corporations survive by people buying their goods and services. They do better when the poor do better. How do you think corporations stop people from being wealthy? My husband and I started out poor and by working for corporations we are doing well. If you do better working for yourself than for a corporation do that. More people get money from doing jobs than from any government program to distribute wealth. You sound like you’re spouting political soundbites, not reality.

          • Corporate greed causes the wealthy to take advantage of the working poor. They don’t get billions of dollars of profit from playing fair; they do it by using the excess money to pay lobbyists to foster laws promoting a system supporting an environment that enables them to profit of the masses –corporate greed views working class people as a commodity, something to profit and capitalized from. In this environment the working class would have no choice but accepting jobs, which offers no benefit whatsoever, because where else can they go. It’s a vicious cycle.

          • Gregory Eaton says:

            As a black man working a corporate job and living check to check I just have this to say. Corporations don’t keep people poor, the reliance of them does. People get advanced degrees, and work their butts off not to create their own or for themselves. They become useful tools for the best corporations to use and try to rise up in the company. These publicly traded corporations then basically become their own nations with everyone trying to rise and take a piece of that pie for themselves. The true goal for people as it is for my self should be to create your own. I tried my hardest to recruit other blacks to form our own business and it wasn’t lack of funds that prevented us from forming a company. It was lack of will, and distrust. So in most points he’s correct it is about habits, yet it’s also about ingenuity and valuing self.

      • Poverty is very hard to get out of without random luck or outside assistance. People who have not experienced poverty or don’t care to listen to or believe the experiences being shared by people in poverty don’t understand the unique struggles and situations that come with it.

        Example, a story a woman told about needing to buy new shoes for work because hers had worn out after a few months. A friend suggested she spend the extra money buying a really good pair of shoes because she would save money in the long run. What her friend doesnt realize is that she can barely afford the cheap shoes that will wear out in 3 months. Any additional money spent buying shoes that will last longer means less money to pay for rent and food, which are higher priority and time-sensitive financial needs.

        Unless she is gifted a pair of high-quality shoes, is given or gifted or otherwise lucks into the additional money to buy the better shoes, or happens to find the better shoes for a significantly reduced price… she’s stuck in the rut of constantly replacing inexpensive cheap quality shoes.

        Also, why bother mentioning the flossing thing? Do you seem to think there is some sort of correlation there?

        • Caitlin says:

          Does the woman know she can shop at a thrift store? Depending on how small a town she lives in how far she’d have to drive for a good one that has nice shoes at fraction prices, we consistently find $100+ shoes for $3-$10 at the thrift store in amazing, usually like new, condition. You might mention the idea to her, it might be of help?

          I would say yes, there is a def correlation in the flossing. Teeth repair is one of the most expensive things to take care of, if not using the “ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” it will in the long run cost much more money to fix. Many who are financially struggling don’t go to the dentist and get bad teeth fixed, even when they have insurance, because they aren’t sure how they can pay for the copay or out of pocket costs not covered by the insurance.

          • I’m pretty sure the woman knows she can shop at a thrift store.
            She probably ALSO knows that wearing a used pair of shoes from someone who has pronation or another walking disorder, can encourage that same condition in their own feet, knees and gait. Medical care is even more expensive than that pair of shoes that will last more than 3 months. How’s that value looking now? Not so great.

            I shop at thrift stores even though I’m not poor. I won’t buy used shoes for medical reasons. My posture, knees and feet are much too valuable!

          • While the thrift store idea is great the reality is far from what you have stated. Unless you are lucky and live close to one of these great thrift stores you are pretty much out of luck – especially with shoes. I have been in quite a few thrift stores looking for shoes at various times. I’m a sucker for a bargain. None of the thrift stores in my area ever have any decent shoes. You’re lucky if there is a pair that fits you let alone something in the style you are searching for. and they are usually past the point of being very useful. It is a good place to look for old jeans for yard work and such but finding a 100 dollar pair of shoes – not going to happen.

        • Crystal says:

          Try reading “Gifted Hands” by Ben Carson. He tells about how his mother made it through poverty and taught him and his brother how to overcome the poverty mindset to become a successful doctor and engineer. An inspiring story about the possibilities in all of us!

          • Lanette says:

            Ben Carson… Uh… no! The article had some real practical gems that parents of all economic classes should follow in just being good parents. Not all wealthy parents employ these teachings nor do all poor parents ignore them. My parents were not rich. We were working class but we were not allowed to watch much tv, encouraged to exercise, to join academic clubs, not to snack, and play instruments. And on and on. Some of the “habits” of the wealthy and the success their kids achieve are largely aided by additional financial resources, flexibility in work schedules to be home when children are, the ability to provide entrance in top schools, provide safe neighborhoods, pay for tutors, summer camps, healthier/consistent meals, spaceous homes/privacy to focus, stability with basics utilities, etc. My father worked a lot of overtime to support us so he couldn’t attend meet and greets at school, but academic success was highly stressed. Let’s face it. Having abundant financial resources makes it a hell of a lot easier to ensure your kids continue to have the same resources for themselves. It is much more difficult to gain what your parents and their parents never had. Not impossible but much more difficult.

            I think this is the reason I take exception with the tone of this article. At it’s heart it is written by someone of means passing judgment on those who lack. My first reaction was “its easy for YOU to say”. It goes along with this general idea that wealthy people are “better” people… better moral character, hard working, smarter, better parents… while those in poverty lack because their of major flaws with their morals and work ethic. In reality I personally know quite a few lazy, neglectful parenting, entitled wealthy people, and many, many hardworking, proud, honest, 2 job working, salt of the earth poor people. It’s condensing and uncalled for. Attentive, good parenting is universal and does not guarantee an elevation in a child’s future class and wealth standing. We live in a capitalist system where in order for our system to remain balanced there needs to be stratification of wealth. If it was as easy as the author makes it sound everyone would be rich.

            I took a sociology class back in college and learned that actually only 5% of American citizens in recent decades were able to climb or fall from the class they were born into. Whether upper class, middle class, working class, or poor. Typically if you are born rich you die rich. Born poor, die poor. The “American dream” is more of an idealistic notion than an obtainable truism for most Americans. Being wealthy has very little to do with adopting “rich habits”. Without educational programs and active, intentional intervention most well meaning Americans stay right where they are. Facts.

            “Poor parents teach their children the Poverty Habits and wealthy parents teach their children the Rich Habits. We don’t have a wealth gap in this country we have a parent gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality”. Baloney!

      • kristine says:

        u can kiss my ass the economy sucks. my dad has to live in a different state after he went on streak there are no good paying jobs in ohio. my dad was forced to move 12 hrs away they went on streak and they said ok see ya we well go some where were there is no union. how ever i do agree a lot on what we need to teach our kids but im low end of the middle class here and we both work our ass’s off

      • Because it’s not as easy as you make it seem. If you don’t think luck and having the right connections plays a part then your head is in the sand. Hard work does pay off in many ways but there are many that work very hard and still don’t achieve success. Upward mobility is a lot harder these days. That’s been proven. I think you are generalizing and worse just throwing out conservative talking points.

      • Interesting information. My son is 10yrs old and has a checking and savings account we help him manage. After reading your list, I’m excited to say my husband and I have already put 80% of the list in place. Great read

      • Your choice of words betrays your dishonorable intention. You could have chosen to write “47% ~ were poor. They figured it out. Why don’t you?” But that would.have read as an invitation. All you really want is vindication. That is why you instead write “why can’t you?” The idea that the poor can’t figure it out is part of the existentialist garbage the wealthy feed themselves about their lot and the basis of their justification for continually deriding the poor and voting in discriminatory policy makers that keep them there. You just showed you believe they can’t. Perhaps you also believe they are morally inferior because of that “can’t”. If you truly want change, donate a few thousand copies of your book to the hardest hit schools around your state.

        • Jonney cash says:

          You are so bitter bro. All the guys saying is rich people develop good patterns of behavior. Do you think the average pot head makes more or less than the average non pot head. Common sense bro. You’ll figure it out. Don’t beat your head against the wall in anger. Instead of working 2 dead end jobs cut of the cable or satellite limit the data on your phone. Cut costs by shopping at costco. Make a list. I’d bet you can trim the fat. Then get educated even if it’s a one or two year program. It’s hard but doable. I did it. So don’t tell me it’s rigged. I lost everything I had, home included in 08 I went back to school worked a sales job to control my hours worked hard and saved. After getting my quote license to work in the new industry I slowly migrated from one to the other until I could quit my sales job. I’m back in business. Out of debt 6 years later. Good luck to ya.

          • Ayo Davies says:

            My thoughts and situation exactly. The rich get rich by what they know and what they do about it. So really wealth is about knowledge and your actions. I am right now in the same position you were in six years ago. I am rock bottom, have had to move back in with my parents. And yea have a ton of debt. Starting over, and your post inspires me. Doing a lot of reading, have identified opportunities, working on kick off. Thanks for the post.

        • I felt the same way. It seemed like good advise without a compassionate attitude. I hope he takes your advise and changes the wording; even revisits the whole article’s attitude.
          Those of us who were taught to be financially sound can certainly share what we know and give encouragement. We have many opportunities in our communities. Literacy programs are a great place to volunteer, encourage and advise.

      • Karyn Harper says:

        Excellent article. Insightful and informative. Saddened, but not surprised by the negative comments. Your mindset has so much to do with your success, and people who focus on goals achieve them, while those who have none, rarely go anywhere. Keep it up. 🙂

        • @Karyne. Could’nt agree with you more. Wealth or poverty is all in one’s attitude and perception That Is controled by the subconcious part of the mind.

      • Whitney says:

        Jon, I agree with you. We have much to recover from…perpetual systemic racism. Thomas my question to you…. why don’ t more people read when the literature is out there? What is your understanding. This will certainly shed some additional light on your thinking.

        • I’m convinced that developing the habit of reading at home is the key. I’ve written about Dr. Ben Carson several times on my blog. His mother intuitively saw reading as the way out of the ghetto. It has to come from home. It’s all about parenting.

          • … And more than a little about the fact that your parents were multi-millionaires when you were a kid.

            My dad came from nothing and worked his own business. My brothers own their own respective companies and I lead a large export division. While we do better each year, none of us are wealthy.

            You list some great tips here to get people from poverty to middle class but ignore the reality that the majority of wealth in North America is held by and passed down within the same families. The wealth gap is a real thing that is only getting worse and this article seems to want to diminish that fact.

            Parents have been raising there kids the same way as they had when there was a fully realized middle class with the rich paying their proportional share… Parents can always improve but it’s the protection of the wealthy by others that are wealthy that have allowed this gap to grow… And you can’t put that on the backs of the poor.

          • Dr. Ben Carson’s mother, an admirable woman, also worked with rich families according to the movie. She probably picked up on a thing or two from these families and imposed better habits on her children. I found your article extremely interesting!

          • You are 100% correct Mimi. His mother noticed that the affluent people seemed to read a lot and did not watch much T.V. That is why she forced both her boys to read every day and limited them to one hour of T.V. a day. She also specified which T.V. shows they could watch.

          • Melaine Oppici says:

            I’m totally agree. Good habits to get goals in life start at home and not at school. Parents that spend more time with their children, teach them discipline and create that invisible but strong link with them, raise emotionally strong children that will become in the future successful people, capable to contribute with society instead of whiny crybabies.

          • Melissa Barnes says:

            It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their own children to manage their finances and to set their child’s belief system regarding spending and saving. It is the parents responsibility to turn off the TV and set expectations about education. It does not matter what a teacher offers at school if parents don’t value education and then pass the belief that education is not important down to their own children.Teachers cannot be held responsible for what these kids do not get at home. We love the students and we want for them to do well, but we have to have support from home and the parents and students have to share responsibility for educational and financial success. Ben Carson is a success because his mother was an advocate for him. This article, in part, came across as one more attack against teachers and schools. Put the lion’s share of the responsibility where it belongs…… at home.

          • StrugglesReal says:

            I agree with your article points, but that staement isnt exactly true. Yes kids should read more, but blaming the parents? Or the commenters blaming the wealthy? Here’s my view: blame yourself. That mom saw a way to better herself and her children and did. I grew up in foster care. I was adopted after 16 but it didnt stick. I didnt rely on ‘parents’. I constantly saw kids blame their parents for not wanting them, the state for placing them in shitty homes. It is never your own fault. And while foster care was not my fault, my future is. I live in a shelter and i work overnight 32 hours a week while going to school 15-18 hours a semester. I got my AFA in a year. And im heading to Tx State in the fall. Life can be a horrible mess- and abuse, prostition, & drugs are things i see my peers fall into daily, but complaining isnt going to help you or your kids. I get up at 6 am to ride the bus to my 9am class (a 20 min car ride), and i read whenever im on the bus. Life is hard, i get that. But the sooner you stop pointing fingers, the sooner you can fix it.

      • I found this article to be informative but not in the way I was expecting. I thought you would touch on not buying things on credit, saving to purchase big items, downsizing, etc… habits are important yes but like you said people have to be taught first. In my neighborhood which is quite poverished and there is a lack of parenting in the home mostly grandparenting, the children fall threw the cracks and desire to have their identities fulfilled by things. Since becoming a christian I’ve seen the unhealthy financial stewardship I was raised on and it has bee. Very difficult climbing out of those habits with goals like masters degree, PhD, broken down cars, cut hours at work etc. How do you make it with nothing and little to no support, even with the new habits? Do they generate more money or time?

      • It truly is sad how much self-loathing and victimization I was subjected to by the very first comment after reading such a well-written article. It goes to show the blame game is so much bigger than knowledge because even when offered up freely, someone can find a reason to say “I can’t and it’s not my fault.” Great response!

        • Thank God you said that! I just kept seeing the excuses go downhill thinking these people just don’t want to try. The wall is up. They want someone else to do it or give to them. Take away your perception of his words – wealthy and poor. Either of those are based on the person.

        • Amen Jay. Blaming others is just like trying to dig out of a hole. You don’t make any progress out of the hole. You only make it deeper. Time to put the shovel down and climb out!

      • Jendayi says:

        In interested in your statement that 47% of self-made millionaires in your study used to be poor. Do you know what percentage of millionaires in America are self-made, vs those who inherited their fortunes? Just curious.

      • I do think there are some good life habits being communicated here, but your framing comes from classic neoliberal economics, which isn’t really helpful because it places value/virtue on money. The poor have something wrong with them or they wouldn’t be poor. Not a helpful framing. Poverty is actually created as a byproduct of the current form of exploitative capitalism that has infected our economy. More can be found here: http://therules.org/poverty-is-created/ but really, the solution IS redistribution.

        George Cooper’s book Blood, Money and Revolution goes into some detail as to how we can build economics as a science and truly understand the flow and circulation of wealth through the system. It’s not that “wealth is bad and needs to be redistributed” but that the rules of our economy have been rigged to concentrate ALL of the wealth with a very few so it doesn’t get used by those who need it.

        Democracy is the solution. People voting for laws that use a progressive taxation system to put wealth back into circulation and invest it in the working people through education, housing and living wages will go far to reduce poverty by giving more people a chance to participate in the economy and keep more money in flow.

        While I disagree with you philosophically I still find your tips/habits to be useful, though perhaps not for the same reasons you use to share them. I hope you read the link I shared above and learn more about the framing of poverty and wealth that can serve to unite humanity to create a future that works for everyone. Peace.

      • I agree with Mr. Corley. I think however that it is not just a parent gap but also a financial education gap. I work with many many households and the ones that make stocks, bonds, retirement, investments and life insurance a part of their regular family conversation do much better financially.

        Knowing is half the battle! For those of you that are rude enough to hide behind a comment and excuse being vulgar sets you apart from the rest that are here to contribute. Your opinions fall on deaf ears and you come across as blameful and helpless.

        Be kind to one another.

      • Ms. Williams says:

        I believe you could have made that statement a lot less harmful don’t you think. Everyone is different. Didn’t you just complain yourself how educators don’t teach this course in school?? Maybe you should put up some funds to do so instead of contradicting your statements….

      • Nicole Shultz says:

        You aren’t a “self-made” millionaire, you were made by the unfortunate individuals who actually believe you are doing them a service when they give you a chunk of what little money they have. I have always found schmucks like you and Dave Ramsey who require payment for teaching people “how not to be poor” quite smug. For men who simply have mastered the art of taking advantage of the most vulnerable, you sure act like saints. There is nothing wrong with wealth. bWealth acquired by taking money from good, hardworking people by telling them they are lazy and make stupid choices is quite wrong. Word it how you want, it is the message you send.

      • So, if people would just buy Tom Corley’s book, then they would realize how simple it is to be rich! After all, he “studied” almost 500 people to prove his point! LMAO!

      • Hi Thomas, are there any books or other reading material you suggest a good read for teenagers please? Or perhaps extra exercises parents can do with their kids, please? Thanks in advance.

      • Josephine says:

        Which books do you recommend, besides your own (which I WILL read)? I always appreciate book recommendations from people such as yourself. If you learns at least one thing from a book, mentor, experience- it was worth it. Doesn’t mean you need to apply EVERYTHING you read, hear or experience. Thanks.

        • Hi Josephine. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
          How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie)
          The Compound Effect (Hardy)
          Success Principles (Canfield)
          The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Murphy)
          The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley)
          The Greatest Salesman in the World (Mandino)
          The Richest Man in Babylon (Clason)
          The Art of Work (Goins)
          Psycho Cibernetics (Malts)
          Anything by John Maxwell
          Anything by Brian Tracy
          Awaken the Gian Within (Robbins)
          Why We Want Your to be Rich (Trump and Kyiosaki)
          Anything by Earl Nightingale
          The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Sharma)
          Anything by Napoleon Hill
          Anything by Norman Vincent Peale

    • mstexasthing says:

      Amen! I think this is one of those situations of the author needing to walk in someone else’s shoes. I’m wealthy, but I sure as hell had every advantage handed to me and I own it. I had the luxury to do these good habits. If I was struggling, I’m pretty damn sure survival would be top of my list over everything else. Humility comes to us all eventually, as life has a habit of doling out suffering. I pray this author finds his. I volunteered as a Big Sister in BBBS, plus I fostered kids. If you really want to be part of the solution, go out there and help and stop acting entitled!

      • dance123 says:

        How is acting entitled if he worked (70hours) two jobs, are you too oblivious to plot of working poor, to acknowledge his point? I hear working class arguing the plot of the wealthy all the time assuming they too might be rich one day. The way the system is right now, it would be difficult for working class people to get rich, simply because the minimum rage is not considering inflation, living expeensives are too high, and the cost of college is too high. These are fundamentals of achieving a level of success in the world. It does’t matter what else one does, one cannot acquire wealth legally without fair wage, proper and affordable education.

      • Heather says:

        Best comment I’ve read yet!

    • Jon, perhaps you should reread numbers 14 and 15 from the list above and consider how you may be proving that point.

    • You can be poor and help yourself. I don’t think the author is talking about the 1%. He’s talking about the guy with the big house down the street. Believe it or not, that guys with the big house is not rich enough to be within the 1% but he has figured “it” out. This article gives all, namely the poor, ways to improve themselves that are very helpful. I did not find blame in this article. I found motivation. But you don’t have to listen to anything in this piece. You can just wait for the rich to give you a helpful book. Your choice.

    • Unfortunately, I believe you’ve missed the point here. Seems as though working your ass off is grounds for villainizing someone for shedding light on the matter. Age old wisdom of work smarter not harder is prevalent here. However, I will say, I understand your plight. I am a single mother that worked and still works numerous jobs. But in the event that I can obtain healthy knowledge and tips to overcome the stresses of not always knowing how to do it all, I happily receive the extra wealth of info. Working hard to provide for your children is nothing to scoff at. But being closed minded to the general idea of listening to someone who has achieved financial success is where the line gets drawn between continuing on the same path or enlightening yourself to a different outcome in the future. I applaud your efforts as a parent and provider. I also applaud the efforts of those that build an empire from thinking outside the box and then offering the world a broader perspective

    • Good friend Jon, I would like to point out the following details from the article:
      “8% of the wealthy believe wealth comes from random good luck vs. 79% of the poor”
      “79% of the wealthy believe they are responsible for their financial condition vs. 18% of the poor”
      “Punish children when they lose their tempers so they understand the importance of controlling this very costly emotion.”
      Your choice of language suggests anger has made it’s way into your communication, I also couldn’t help but notice the comment made saying that you are a victim in the realm of finances. This may be the case to some extent but you are probably a part of that equation also.
      As suggested, get some finance literacy books from the library. Listen to audio books on your commute instead of music. Set 1 goal, an achievable one, and work on it. Stay away from payday loans like the plague!
      It is so hard to get ahead when your just trying to get by. I know that. Look up the lesson of the empty pickle jar for ideas on how to be able to include these ideas.
      I hope you find great success!

    • Chantelle says:

      Agreed. Completely ignorant of the real issue, and appeases the twinge of guilt greedy people may experience.

    • Jon,
      I believe this article was written based on Thomas’ research. This list is not to be conquered in one month, one day , or one year. If all of us could consistently add one of those tasks to our TO-DO lists daily, I am sure we would be better for it. If at the same time we had our children try something on the list, they would also be one step ahead of the game. Baby steps……small changes can have MAJOR RESULTS. Your family sees the struggles and how hard you work, if you could educate them on adding any of those tasks to their daily routine, they may find ways to work smarter , not harder.

    • This article is so full of opinionated crap!
      If you want to be rich, first you must be born from a family that passed down inheritance from generation to generation.
      Rich people usually got everything handed to them by inheritance in the first place.
      My father owns a business and he has a hard time getting his money that is owed to him by rich folks because they don’t pay their bills. However, poor people paid him without any issues.

      • Right on says:

        Sam i agree with you and i’m pretty sure most of the well to do responding to this article have been spoon feed with the silver spoon. My credit score is well above average and i do very well for myself on just a high school degree and make more than most college educated people. I earn more than the average income in my town. I have seen the spoon fed people and have to ask if they know what fried bologna is or how to make it. I guess if my sister who grew up in special ed and is now supporting herself and her grandson living on her own would hve read a couple more books she could have been rich also.

      • Absolutely not true, not all of the wealthy had it handed to them or passed down to them.

    • Are you for real? Articles like this are written to help people like you.

    • I have to reply to your comment about working 70 hours a week. For most “professionals”- this is a normal work week. We generally live in a society where the 40 hour work week will not make ends meet (for a family with children). My husband works AN AVERAGE of 80 hours per week- as do most of his friends who are professionals (lawyers, medical, sales, etc). I’m so tired of hearing people complain about working 60-70 hours. That is our world today. My husband had no help growing up, came from a lower socioeconomic background and knew he wanted better as an adult. I have to say his success came from 90% hard work and long hours, 5% being in the right place at the right time and 5% blind faith. We can’t change the world we live in- prices of goods and services have skyrocketed while salaries have not, however, we can change our attitudes.

      • Liz, you don’t talk down to others based on someone else’s accomplishments i.e. your husband! I would not be wrong in saying your husband includes his golf, extended lunches, and whatever (or whoever) “else” he does in that week in your estimate of his 80 hour work week. If he left you tomorrow I guarantee within a couple months your snide and holier-than-thou attitude would change. The very lower middle class to upper poor who complain about a 70 hour work week actually WORK, with their hands, back, legs and mind while people like your husband may put those hours in, which again I doubt, it doesn’t come close to a construction workers 70 or a factory line workers 60 not by a long shot. I wonder if your husband would take his “professional” salary to do an 80 hour a week roofing job? I bet you say he would, but I say 1 he wouldn’t and 2 even if he did he wouldn’t last a week and 3 if you say that’s your job you had better apologize now and rethink your life. How involved in every aspect of your kids life is he? For example is he at every sporting event, recital, parent-teacher meeting etc.? If you say he is then you lie about his hard work, if you say he isn’t then you and he have missed the core message of the article worse than anyone on here. Your HUSBAND’S great group of Doctors, Lawyers, blah, blah also have the highest rate of divorce, untreated addiction, mental abuse of partners, and adulterous tendencies than those you talk down to, again while you hint you yourself do not work outside of the home. And before you try to bring up how hard a job being a mother is, remember that your generalized comments shot at couples that BOTH mother and father put those types of hours in AND both manage to be as involved in their kids lives as you are. You try to talk down to people and explain “that’s just the world we live in today” when you have no idea what it takes to survive and prosper in today’s or any other time period. You BASE your success on your husband’s and his friends accomplishments, come back to this thread when you have some of your own to brag about, other than marrying a “professional”!

        • Mike, take a Xanax and calm down. Liz wasn’t putting anyone else’s situation down, she simply discussed her own personal situation which I find to be admirable. Education and hard work pays off. And her husband doesn’t need to lay roofs for 80 hours a week in the hot sun because he spent tens of thousands of dollars putting himself through law school for 6-7 years to become a lawyer so that he can work 80 hours a week in an air conditioned office.
          Re-read #6 and spend less time bullying people you don’t know on the Internet and more time networking with people in a positive way and you may actually see some fruitful results. To suggest her husband has it easy working an 80 hr a week job and isn’t a hands on Father is completely off base. Who are you to judge? Especially someone you don’t even know. An educational book or two a month may help open your mind.
          I found this article to be insightful and while I don’t yet have children, I will implement the 15 steps on the list when I do have them. Reading a book, setting goals, working and saving…this isn’t rocket science and it’s a productive way for children to learn how to be independent and contributing members of society. What’s so wrong with that? I’m not understanding all the blatant anger towards the author on factual information he presented in this study. The statistics speak for them self. If this is a guideline will help set my children up for success- sign me up.

          • Research shows that 30% of teens who are reside in wealthy homes, where their parents work long hours end up in long-term mental healthy facilities. Where I live, if you ask a police officer, to show maps of teen drug busts the wealthiest suburbs look like a warzone.

        • Mike, I really like your repose on that. You speak on roofing jobs and construction jobs, you are correct. Before I had my education I worked like a slave in construction jobs laying asphalt in the hot son for $10/hour over 60 hours a week, compared to my IT job.

    • I agree with Jon. I am still wondering why friend posted this on FB. I respect other people’s opinion as long as they respect others, but this article is a mere unfounded insult to the poor. These statements are not only judgemental but also quite arrogant and condescending. The author needs to do some reading in psychology and sociology and socialize with people less priviledged than him. His comment on the Occupy movement, for instance, shows how restrictive his world view is. He generalizes and separates people into very black-and-white categories. No shades of grey whatsoever; evidence of very poor (oh, the irony!) social skills.

    • Other people do not dictate your circumstances. You do. You can be a poor person in a violent neighborhood and end up a successful and productive member of society in a good job with a 401k or more. Likewise, you can grow up in an affluent family and wind up being a jerk that ultimately find him/herself in financial ruin. America is the land of opportunities. Yes, it is harder to reach your life goals when you have less financial resources than others, but harder does not necessarily mean less likely. There is no lack of opportunity, only a lack of ambition. Those with ambition look around themselves and decide “I”m going to educate myself and figure out how to rise above my circumstances.” Character is strongly derived from one’s upbringing which is why many of society’s problem may be attributed, at least in part, to the families, the parents of our great nation.

    • Aaron Shantz says:

      This website is nuts! You can’t believe this stuff 🙂 There is way more to poverty and wealth than rich and poor habits – You tell people to educate themselves – You need an education in real life, you are rich in money but poor in understanding and by the sounds of it you have a complete lack of compassion and are obviously destitute in when it comes to loving the less fortunate. To me this website is for people who are poor in spirit but think more money will help…Good luck, cause that is what you’ll need

    • I like when the less fortunate cry whimper about working so much and not saving and then they have an abundance of kids toys brand new cell phones and eat out everyday. YOU are in control of your life, no one else.

    • Question Jon: when you get your paycheck/after it is deposited, who’s the first person you pay?
      The trick to becoming wealthy (because EVERYONE can be RICH, even someone who doesn’t have 2 nickles to rub together) it to PAY YOURSELF FIRST! You worked for it, you should take your piece of the pie first. the piece doesn’t have to be big at first, but eventually you will see a difference. It a new habit to try. and it’s a good one. Yes, you’ll still be scrimping, but I think you’ll be surprised who many wealthy scrimp too. You’re bills will still be there, but that’s the case for everyone. I think you’ll be surprised to learn that while the wealthy don’t have 2 jobs, they may have 3 or 5 or more… and they too work 70-80+hours a week. They just have found their niche and have made it profitable. many in this day and age have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and figured out the system.

      Now they are trying to teach YOU how it works. they are providing financial literary… they are telling anyone who will listen what worked for them! Maybe you/others might glean a few tricks for themselves. What worked for them won’t necessarily work for you/others but maybe it will help you/others to figure out your own method… and then you can pass along what worked for you.

    • I think the flossing part has to do with consistency and staying healthy

    • Refer to #15

    • Exactly.

    • Since when is quoting statistics blaming the poor?

    • This article is fantastic and full of gold. I assume that all that do not agree have time tested the recommendations in order to be speaking from experience and not from ignorance. Please note that ignorance is simply “you do not know what you do not know”. I was raised very middle class and learned that in order to make more money, you just work harder. I became incredibly good at working hard. Through me deciding I want a better life, I have become a student of how our minds and hearts engage in being, doing and having more. I now know better and my entire life, career, joy and freedom has changed due to understanding the real truth around wealth building and experiencing life from a perspective of growth as opposed to lack, judgement and blame. Thank you for the work you’re doing. It makes a difference and based on some of the comments here…we need MORE!

    • Only three rules for having a 98% statistical chance of avoiding poverty. Graduate high school, get a full-time job, and be at least 21 and married before having children (facts don’t change just because one doesn’t like them). Too many folks want to break the rules and then complain about how hard they are now working. Virtually all of the increases in childhood poverty over the past several decades have been the result of increases in single mother births. Childhood poverty could be virtually eliminated with ONE rule…if you can’t even support and feed your own self, don’t be bringing children into the world for someone else to support! The highest income group in the country has the highest college completion rate (by far) and the lowest single mother birth rate (by far). Opposite is true for the lowest income group.

      Not everyone’s culture of origin is conducive for being a productive and contributing member of a civilized society. Number one reason for generational poverty…a VICTIM mentality. Blame someone else…nothing for you to change. If you don’t change you don’t improve. Don’t improve…generational poverty.

      Comparing low income/least educated vs. higher income/most educated showed there were 30 million more words spoken in the higher group compared to the lowest, with the middle group speaking 12 million more…and this was during the first 4 years do child’s life (before they even started kindergarten)! More disturbing stats showed 560,000 more encouraging words than discouraging spoken in higher group and 125,000 more discouraging than encouraging (2:1 ratio), with the middle group having 2:1 more encouraging. Children grow up having to compensate for parents who were not willing to…so sad!

    • Comparing low income/least educated vs. higher income/most educated showed there were 30 million more words spoken in the higher group compared to the lowest, with the middle group speaking 12 million more…and this was during the first 4 years do child’s life (before they even started kindergarten)! More disturbing stats showed 560,000 more encouraging words than discouraging spoken in higher group and 125,000 more discouraging than encouraging (2:1 ratio), with the middle group having 2:1 more encouraging. Children grow up having to compensate for parents who were not willing to…so sad!

    • HELP YOU OUT??? WHY DO YOU THINK THE TAXES ARE SO HIGH NOW.? DID YOU FINISH SCHOOL, DID YOU TAKE A SCHOLARSHIP TO INCREASE YOUR EDUCATION. Blame is on you!!!! TAKE THE BLAME and get your life together! Society is not the cause of your life problems… YOU ARE!!! You are not a grown up or teaching your children anything until you take responsibility for your life and mistakes! Money does not grow on trees, hard working people should not have to give lazy people their earnings.

    • Your right Jon, it might not have anything to do with bad habits, but your nasty attitude isn’t going to get you anywhere either.

    • Phyllis says:

      Thank you! And this article IS arguably very biased! This is another example of “let them Eat Cake” mentality! I’m amazed at the audacity of this author to purport that he even had a clue as to what the systemic societal problem is! Completely out of touch with the real struggles of the working class. Smh!

    • so here’s what i think:
      everyone stops abusing each other about their individual views and not use so much emotive language because then people just go off the planet and everyone is happy. i am completely Ok with people sharing their views but once they start abusing the author i wish there was a ‘report comment’ button. differing views are fine. bad language and abuse isn’t.

  6. Jenny V. Barrameda says:

    Thank you for sending us this very useful and informative article. May God bless you more with knowledge and wisdom.

    Thanks and God bless


  7. Paul C. Mata says:

    Excellent article! Thank you.

  8. I am very interested in reading your 5-year study to see how you arrived at these conclusions. Where can I find it?

    • Rich Habits Study – Background on Methodology http://richhabits.net/rich-habits-study-background-on-methodology/. If you want a copy of my Research Summary shoot me an email at: tom@richhabits.net

      • An interesting read. Also interesting is how you defined poor,. for the purpose of your study. I did think a lot of your comments/suggestions were right on point – but I think there were other factors involved. Did you assess the emotional and intellectual intelligence of these poor and rich people? I’d be very curious to know if there was a correlation between IQ’s. Is it a lack of information or a lack of aptitude?
        Floss or not, watch tv or not, exercise or not – if you don’t save money, you’re not going to have any.

        • POOR = Passing Over Opportunities Regularly

          this can be applied to those who have been raised in a “rich” upbringing as well as those in a low income family.

          Really the question is are you willing to make a change to better yourself (working smarter not harder), or make excuses and blame others?

  9. fyi – #13 needs fixed. both percentages listed as wealthy.

  10. Manuel Alvarro says:

    Easy to say when you have the MONEY.

    • kristine says:

      u can kiss my ass the economy sucks. my dad has to live in a different state after he went on streak there are no good paying jobs in ohio. my dad was forced to move 12 hrs away they went on streak and they said ok see ya we well go some where were there is no union. how ever i do agree a lot on what we need to teach our kids but im low end of the middle class here and we both work our ass’s off

      • I assume you meant strike instead of streak. Not one good paying job in the entire state of Ohio….amazing

        • Cassandra Paul says:

          I found this article to be amazingly offensive. I would consider myself to be at the lower end of the middle class. My husband and I work very hard. We have one child. He had some health conditions that left us in debt. We have health insurance but it didn’t cover everything. Somtimes people find themselves in situations that they have little control over. We are both well educated and hard working. We drive used cars. Shop at discount stores, live in a humble and affordable home, we even floss! Yet we still have trouble getting ahead. I do not have control over my child’s medical history nor do I have control over the outrageous cost of health care in this country. We spend more on health insurance and medical bills than we do on our mortgage. I would never want my son to feel he was a failure or had done anything wrong if he ended up in a similar situation.
          I worked as an addiction counselor and had clients who had been addicted to hard drugs since early childhood. You tell me that a 7 year old hooked on crack and pulled out of school so that he can sell drugs for his famfamily has the same opportunities as anyone else. Maybe you think this is extreme but I saw it every day. What about the emotional and physiologic impact that growing up in poverty has on a child.
          I grew up in poverty and found it difficult to concentrate in school well I was starving. I did work but my money went to help pay our rent. I was at a disadvantage from birth. I disagree that I had the opportunity tobbecome rich. I pulled myself out of poverty. I crawled into the middle class I actively try to better are circumstances and I hope I can give my son the head start he needs to become successful.
          This article is very one sided. The statistics are outrageous. I know many poor who cannot afford internet or cable they are certainly not wasting time on it. The poor do not have access to healthy food which accounts for the obesity epidemic.
          I could go on all day. Ultimately I feel you do not understand the poor and therefore should not publish such articles. By doing so you are contributing to the problem not the solution.

  11. Cynthia Hurst says:

    Some excellent points here. My husband and I often talk about designing just such a course. Other aspects of parenting as well. I do think it oversimplifies the sociological problems and societal advantages of the wealthy vs. the poor. Number 13 has wealthy twice, but I got the error. Teachers could actually be less burdened with less testing and more classes like this.

  12. Love this!

    (#13 needs a edit though…)

    • Made the fix Amy. tks

      • To God be the glory. I really enjoyed your article. I am an American African divorced mother of 4 sons and one daughter. I believe most of your statements to be pretty accurate. While I do believe racism exist I do not believe it is the cause of widespread poverty in many communities here in America. My sons are 21, 19, 14, 13 and my daughter, 11. I refuse to let them have a victims mentality. It’s also important to understand wealth is not limited to finances but also physically, spiritually and mental health.

        • Carrot_Top says:

          Karen, I applaud your attitude! One of the most important things a parent can teach is personal responsibility. We all make mistakes in life, but if we accept the consequences and determine that we will do better, we can overcome a great deal. Wallowing in self-pity has never improved anyone’s life or circumstances. Believing that we have the power to choose much of our path in life will get us further down the road to financial, relationship, & spiritual health than belief in our victimhood. Your children are blessed to have a mother like you. A strong family is the best antidote to poverty, in my opinion.

  13. Roi Bonifacio says:


    Your article is good and very insightful. Thanks I learned something new.

    Though I have a concern. While I don’t disagree with any of your point, I actually agree with most of them, but I find the “action items” seem to be hard and a little cruel that could result to awful experiences for the kid. They’re mostly to limit, to require, to force them, etc. and I don’t really agree to that way of doing things.

    Well I could be wrong, as I’ve been before and I’m not actually a parent yet. I just believe that kids learn will learn more and will enjoy learning when you show them how, when they see and observe their parents do it and other people doing it (going to an environment where people do the things above as their habits). Showing them the habits, talking to them, reading with them, guiding them would be more appropriate actions than just forcing them to learn.

    I just don’t think a person who doesn’t read can teach people how to nor a person who doesn’t exercise and eat healthy can teach people how to get fit.

    It’s just my 2 cents about it. Thanks again.

    • It’s all in setting the example. My son barely ever would do anything we’d TELL him to do. Mostly every good habit he got, he just got it “by osmosis”. As well as mostly every bad habit…

    • Roi, with honest respect, I would like to comment that most of us are wasting our precious children. The “Golden Age of Memory” begins at 5 or 6 and continues to the “Tweens.” With less emphasis on sports at those ages and more emphasis on life habits such as reading and self-discipline with purposeful activities as well as play, our young people will become outstanding in reality, not just in their own eyes (which is a huge problem these days). They need to learn respect for those who are able to teach them, and that includes parents. As a former teacher, I can tell you that children at those ages will LEARN ANYTHING YOU REQUIRE THEM TO LEARN! And if the parent or teacher has a good attitude, there’s no reason for the child to have a bad one. Let’s not forget that children are just that: formative young humans with parents to direct them as they prepare for life on their own. Such precious young lives!

  14. Betty L Turley says:

    Your #13 states both % to the wealthy Good article

  15. Starfish says:

    Correlation is not causation.

    • True, but millions of years of evolution has taught people to judge situation, by their life experiences, so I would say YES..more likely then not. Correlation usually equals cause, hence why generalizations are dead on 90% of the time.

  16. I would love if you could send me some of your data. I come from what is “labeled” as poor and I disagree with nearly all of your habits. I have each of these habits and I am what we call upper middle class. I honestly believe rich and poor has nearly nothing to do with habits and the habits you describe are simply cultural behaviors.

  17. Not that you did not give mostly good advice, but your “study” was incredibly bias. First, the research included nearly a 2:1 of wealthy families compared in those living in poverty. Being a parent myself, I’ve never heard of a “Back to School Night”, so I’m assuming that is something more common in wealthy school districts. Secondly, if poorer families are living paycheck to paycheck, how do they teach the 80/20 rule? It sounds if you are saying that don’t listen to audiobooks (considering that you either have access to it in a car if you drive, or own an audiobook playback device, which can be costly), you don’t have economically ethical practices. People do have options when it comes to what they listen to during their commute that also are go choices: during my commute, I can listen to the music, NPR, sports radio, religious news and faith-based broadcast, and political radio.

    Not once on this page did it mention that you were a parent yourself. You also did not mention the difference between wealth and income, which both lead to the economic disparity in this country. The American Dream is not defined by how much money you have at your disposal, which so many people are accustom to thinking; it is about “achieving success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative”. It is also about having EQUAL access to those opportunities, which far fewer Americans know about. In my life, I’ve learn that some opportunities are given, and some are earn, and that why so many hardworking Americans dislike the wealthy, because the rug was ripped from right under their feet.

    Lastly, I must point out that the poorest thing you can teach kids is a poor heart and mindset (I’m not talking about a poor person’s mentality), which has no income disparity at all. In America, we need to start by redistributing our values and establishing a moral and ethical foundation for our children. Then, we can add to that by committing time and effort to creating opportunities that have allowed others to gain the success that they have today. I learned that from Paul Tutor Jones–a wealthy hedge fund manager.

    So it’s not just about teaching kids “rich habits” or “poor habits”, it’s about building healthy and prosperous communities.

  18. Not only requiring children to do these things, but doing them as a parent and being an example of those habits is also important. Role modeling is a big part of it, which is a most critical part of the relationship building: the one you have with your parents.
    As long as kids focus on living a well-rounded life, seeking to be enriched by knowledge and having an active mind, body, and spirit, wealth is sure to follow. Wealth in and of itself is not a means to an end, but the result of living a good life (and having common sense). Success is not once you have the money in your hands, but the lifestyle of self-improvement. Ben Franklin was right that health is wealth.

  19. I found your comments to be very informative. I was puzzled by number 13. I’ll assume the end of the statement was a typo. Meaning poor not the wealthy?

  20. parmleyvk says:

    Wondering if there is any correlation between rich vs poor children and whether these children still live together with their biological parents who are still happily married to each other or not?

  21. Thanks for the insights from Mr. Corley’s article…My suggsestion would also go on teaching, coaching children more on listening. Listening their parents when they are being taught of values or good attitudes.Most of the time, it is observed that children right away get mad and walked out if they’re being taught.It would also be better if parents will also be given tips or strategies on how to deal with these kind of chilren.

  22. Please read Ruby Payne ‘ s research on poverty and kearning. You need a little enlightenment and you also need to check your privledge.

  23. My wife and I have discussed your article and have decided to re-write your suggestions to remove “require” and the imposition of these activities on our children as this better fits our parenting style. Instead, we are putting the weight on our shoulders to learn how to engage our children in these habits, inspire them to want to maintain these habits themselves, and define these habits for them so they understand what is going on. So instead of of requiring our kids to have 20-30 minute of daily aerobic activity we looked for ways to engage them in such activities, talked with them about why it is important, explained the goal, then let them contribute on a plan of action.

    I hope this suggestion helps others discover ways to break the cycle for their own family too.

    Thank you for the article.

  24. Good stuff… we need to teach and have young people practice this in Atlanta. Let’s do it.

  25. Thanks! I will definitely apply this learning to my daily life and teach rich habits to my children in the future.

  26. wow – wish I’d known all this 50 years ago — hopefully now at 69 its not too late to teach at least some of the grandchildren

  27. Ugh, this list is horrible. What does the very valid point of taxation and wealth redistribution have anything to do with teaching children about managing their own finances? So many bogus stats and fluff that mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. Flossing your teeth isnt going to make you wealthy. And taxing the rich to unburden the middle class isn’t going to ruin american kids. What you SHOULD be focusing on instead of garbage lists: how about teaching people to manage their debt vs income ratio?

    • I don’t think he’s saying that flossing will make you rich. I think the point is that many who have more money have healthier habits. Flossing your teeth will keep you from spending tons of money on costly dental procedures bc of poor dental hygene.

      My parents were not wealthy. Neither finished college, however they taught me many of these habits and I worked very hard from the age of 15 to save my money and make smart choices. I made good grades and went to college. The first to graduate on either side of my immediate family. I married later and had children later and have been able to stay home with them bc of the decisions my husband and I made along the way.

      Not over extending oneself to keep up with the
      Jones ‘ s would benefit many who take on too much debt. There really should be more on dealing with finances taught but if people won’t listen…
      I try to teach my Girl Scouts some of these but like he says, it comes down to poor parenting. If parents refuse to educate themselves and learn from others, the cycle will not end.

      • Erika. Many congratulations on getting all those good habits to enable you to make the choices you have been able to make in life. I agree that one shouldn’t over extend themselves to ‘keep up with the Jones”. However, I feel it should be noticed that many (not all) are in a situation where they have to borrow just to cover their everyday living expenses….these people are not fortunate enough to entertain the idea of ‘keeping up with the Jones’…..they are just trying to keep out of the gutter!….& ‘parenting’ should not always be blamed as most people do want what’s best for their children & do try to encourage good habits wherever they can ( & providing, where necessary, the finances allow this to happen).

        • “Covering their expenses” is very subjective. Live on less than you make. Be intentional. I am married with 4 kids and my husband makes decent money, but we didn’t start there. A Dave Ramsey course took us from being responsibly “normal” to being intentional with everything. But where we have chosen to live, if he loses his job, both of us working minimum wage would pay our bills. On purpose. We would keep looking for other opportunities, but, barring any medical situations that would take those choices out of our hands, we would be ok for as long as we needed to be. You make choices. You teach your children to make choices. You don’t sit and beg for someone else’s money. You realize it wasn’t yours when you were born and it won’t be yours when you die. In our house, it’s all God’s anyway, and we will work to be seen as fit to take care of as much as He wants us to. For His glory.

    • Your premise that redistribution is the answer is completely bogus. Wealth is not a finite thing that has to be redistributed. Wealth is expandable and is created in our economic system. There are things the stifle the creation of wealth: burdensome regulations, over-taxation, corruption, etc.
      There have been studies where a group has been given an equal share with a goal and then the studies go on to show that a small percentage of the people end up with most of everyone else’s share. Why? Because of the type of habits mentioned here in some part.
      Wealth is created just as poverty is created. The unfortunate truth about poverty is that it is a result of the consequences of free agency in many cases. One generation’s mistakes can take many generations to recover from. These are the types of pressures that make putting the habits into practice more difficult, no doubt about that but there are countless stories generation after generation in this country where those that are in difficult socio-economic situations do rise from their circumstances to achieve a better life and grow to their potential. These habits are definitely some of the contributors to their change in situation and no amount of redistribution is ever going to be anything but a feel-good, temporary fix.

  28. Evelyn S says:

    Awesome! We need to educate more on this subj.

  29. Tiffany Okirika says:

    This is seems to be pretty straight forward and fair. However, what is the correlation between the wealth and the working or middle class? The poor has to exist in capitalism in order for the rich to exist in all honesty. I would like to know if research has been conducted for the latter?

    • Unfortunately, my study focused on the rich and poor. I don’t have any data on the middle-class. Sorry.

      • Andrew Pandah says:

        Not addressing the middle class — the majority of people — is problematic. More problematic, however, is the fact that you have not responded to valid criticisms of your article. I’m not going to pick nits over the broad generalizations, and I do employ many of the lessons you mention with my own children. Having said that, I’d find it more useful if you acknowledged at least some of the weaknesses in the article. Just as it is disingenuous for many commenters to act as though these general bromides cannot be applied by most of us, if only in part, it is disingenuous to act as though wealth (or just not being poor) is not often due to factors such as the happenstance of birth.

        • I have responded to those who were respectful for the most part. This isn’t my first rodeo. Much of what I write disrupts long-help ideologies, limiting beliefs or agendas of some of my readers. I’m not going to change that, no matter my response. The arguments are always the same. “Correlation does not mean causation”. I’ve already responded to that on this blog. “You hate the poor” is another weary comment. I don’t. I hate poverty. You can find out why in my bio. My purpose is to help lift the poor by empowering them. They are the only ones who can change their circumstances. Government hand outs won’t, Government programs won’t, other rich people won’t, redistributing wealth won’t. “Habits do not cause poverty or wealth”. Another tiring comment. They do. Habits are responsible for your financial circumstances in life. Habits constitute behavior, thinking and choices. “Your study is flawed and lacks standard protocols”. I’ve said many times, in defending my research, that I am an outsider, so, in that respect I accept the criticism. Outsiders do not follow the rules contrived by the insiders. I don’t have a PhD in economics. I am just a CPA who got his college and graduate degrees from the cheapest, best schools I could afford. I was in search of the truth and I did the best I could using all of my analytical skills, logic and experience. Outsiders are often catalysts for change. Many of the most significan breakthroughs in science and economics were by outsiders: Einstein (Swiss Patent Clerk for 7 years), Leonardo deVinci (Painter), Benjamin Franklin (Printer), Michael Faraday (Bookbinder’s apprentice), Charles Darwin (Clergyman). History is replete with them. Sometimes it takes an outsider to stir things up. Because they are not aware of rigid protocols, they are not confined by them. “You know nothing about economics or statistics.” I minored in economics in college and this included 4 courses in statistics. I have also devoted my adult life to expanding my knowledge of economics in reading Friedrick Hayek (Road to Serfdom), Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations), Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom), John Maynard Keynes (General Theory), David Stockman (The Great Deformation – reading that now), Paul Krugman (End the Depression Now), Ayn Rand (Capitalism), Karl Marx and Friedrick Engles (The Communist Manefesto), Hume, Locke, Burke and many other authors and their works. I welcome the criticism because feedback is essential to growth. But when that criticism is wrapped around ideology, agenda’s and limited beliefs, it loses its value.

          • Well said

          • Very nice. Thomas, the criticisms are the norm when someone attempts to help others and others do not want the help. You have obviously experienced a lot of criticisms, but each of your p;pints is spot on. I have read about, listened to, and absorbed many of these same points from many other folks…but still failed to take action in all respects. My children are doing pretty good because I have focused on making them smarter than I was with finances. However, because of my current inability to break some of these bad habits with regards to finances, I am still in debt. That said, I at least know what I need to do and your article gives me more incentive to do it. Now I just need to act, with my better half, so that together, we can reach a point where we are financially secure and happy. Thanks. I look forward to reading your books. Steve

    • Grammy Weis says:

      That is completely true!

  30. Great article!

  31. MAUREEN says:

    Great article!! I have 5 children and my Twins are my youngest at the age of 19. I have been doing everything I can to teach them what you have written in this article. I wish they would teach this all four years if high school, so they would come out more prepared.

  32. Great article to discuss with our children on the daily basic to build strong relationship with them.

  33. khosro harouni says:

    totally educational

  34. Eleanor Hill says:

    If only they had taught these things in school back in the 50s I hopefully would have paid attention and completely change my perspective on creating my future. As it is, I never even though about what would happen in one year never mind over the next 50 or 60 yrs. Hopefully those who read your book will be better prepared to handle their financial success, it being something they would strive for.

  35. 100 % of the wealthy think they work harder or better than others, think they are better in all ways than the others, choke on your so-called sucess.

    • Brian, That is your opinion. He is stating what he observed in his study and is not making any judgements. It is good to see the differences in behaviors of people. No one is looking down on people. You are the one with an attitude. Stop trolling and get a life.

    • Susan B says:

      Brian, I agree. This guy is truly an idiot, but will defend his lopsided way of thinking forever. This cartoon puts it all into perspective. I am not going to check back for comments because it may cause me to lose my temper. And by the way, Tom, in regard to tempers- every millionaire I’ve ever come across loses their temper as soon as something doesn’t go their way. Shouting is their M.O.


    • They key to success is to set goals and reach them while helping others reach their goals As well. People who envision themselves as the best at everything eventually become the best at everything or as good at what they do as they can be. When we value ourselves, we take care of our homes and ourselves and those around us which includes saving and paying ourselves/savings for future first. The rich do not think they are better than everyone else, they just think they are the best.. When poor people start thinking this way, they will start associating with those with wealth..like minds flock together. And soon become successful themselves

  36. I would love to have a bit of an intellectual spar. Your statistics seem plausible. The interpretation of your statistics is a challenge for me. Your work is blaming the individual and fails to recognize structual issues. Could we write competing arguments? I am a sociologist; specializing in class inequality.

    • Dr. Ben Carson. I’ve written about him on my blog. His mother taught he and his brother one of the Rich Habits – reading for education.

    • LOL! a sociologist! specializing in class inequality! LOL! your field of study is literally marxism! of course you don’t believe in people becoming successful by the sweat of their own brow! it destroys your profession and philosophy of life. and, you want his data so you can manipulate it through “critical theory” which is to say you want to criticize his work for the sake of criticizing it. interpretation of any statistic will always be a challenge or you! time to learn something useful.

  37. So true we decided how we want to live our lives but something we need and extra help to make our dream and goals to be accomplished. Throu our lives things happen and with a bad decision everything falls apart .
    I try to teach my kids to study hard be part of our society today but right now is very hard then many years ago. We need to keep trying and working hard for what we want and expect in the future.
    Don’t ever give up and get up doesn’t matter how many times we need it .

  38. What a crock of shi$.

    72% of the wealthy know their credit score vs. 5% of the poor- Why when you know your credit score is so low it really doesnt matter.
    6% of the wealthy play the lottery vs. 77% of the poor-Why would a rich person play lottery?
    80% of the wealthy are focused on at least one goal vs. 12% of the poor-? Every poor person has a goal-survival in a greed infused world ran by selfish bastards, there’s your f’n goal.
    62% of the wealthy floss their teeth every day vs. 16% of the poor-Floss or food/medicine/elecricity, hmm let me decide?
    21% of the wealthy are overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor-Try to stay thin on Ramen instead of filet mignon.
    63% of the wealthy spend less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use vs. 26% of the poor-Well when you have a home pool, gym and $ to go anywhere everynight why would you stay home on internet.
    83% of the wealthy attend/attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor Many poor schools don have BTSN
    29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor-Starts with Leafrogs, IPADS then onto private schools and tutors, oh how do the rich do it?
    63% of wealthy listen to audio books during their commute vs. 5% of the poor-So easy to ask busdriver to pop in tape,lmao.
    67% of the wealthy watch 1 hour or less of T.V. per day vs 23% of the poor- Again why would they?

    there is a logical answer for every point. what fools by this book? news flash, people who don’t wipe get more butt rashes. Tom Obvious.

    • Excuses is all I’m reading from you…and NONE of them are logical answers. Just you winning.

      72% of the wealthy know their credit score vs. 5% of the poor- maybe if YOU KNEW yours you could figure out how to improve it.
      6% of the wealthy play the lottery vs. 77% of the poor- really your poor and you WASTE MONEY playing the lotto? Smh
      80% of the wealthy are focused on at least one goal vs. 12% of the poor- my goal is to put my children through private school…I made that goal a reality, not because I’m rich because I’m not, but because that is important to me.
      62% of the wealthy floss their teeth every day vs. 16% of the poor-Floss or food/medicine/elecricity, hmm let me decide- don’t buy that dumb lotto ticket then you can buy that floss that only costs $1.00 lol
      21% of the wealthy are overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor-Try to stay thin on Ramen instead of filet mignon – it’s called exercise and that is FREE…and maybe if you spent less time watching g tv and being active you wouldn’t be such a fat ass.
      63% of the wealthy spend less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use vs. 26% of the poor-Well when you have a home pool, gym and $ to go anywhere everynight why would you stay home on internet- I have none of those in my home..i rather spend quality time with my family – like going to the park, beach, play games
      83% of the wealthy attend/attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor- find some other way to get involved then..i go to EVERY school function my children have…i even take the day off work for them.
      29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor-Starts with PARENTS being active and reading with their children- my child has never owned a leap pad/ipad or a tutor -I HELP them with their homework/study
      63% of wealthy listen to audio books during their commute vs. 5% of the poor-So easy to ask busdriver to pop in tape- you can download them to your phone lol
      67% of the wealthy watch 1 hour or less of T.V. per day vs 23% of the poor- Again why would they…again it’s called quality time…too bad you don’t have that with your children.
      Stop with the excuses!

    • thank you! this is exactly what i was thinking while reading this article, its bullshit and classist and clearly the author has never experienced poverty himself. its a cycle that is very difficult to escape from.

      • Yes, very difficult to escape from but not impossible. Why don’t people try their hardest to do all of the suggestions and then complain if it doesn’t work. Instead, people bash the article/writer for prividing useful things to try because it sounds like he is “blaming” the poor. Well, he is blaming the poor for not at least trying to do these things when many of them are doable.

    • This entire article made me incredibly angry. The stats are meaningless, correlation does not mean causation. Thats like saying the weather is warm when people wear shorts so that must mean that wearing shorts causes warm weather. It’s bull$h1t.

      This quote is what made me really mad:
      “What’s worse is what our children are being taught by their parents, the school system, politicians and the media. They are teaching our children that the wealthy are corrupt, greedy, have too much wealth and that this wealth needs to be redistributed. What kind of a message do you think that sends to America’s future generation? It is teaching them that seeking financial success by pursuing the American Dreams is a bad thing. The Occupy Wall Street movement was a manifestation of this “wealth is bad and needs to be redistributed “mindset.””

      Are you seriously saying that the distribution of wealth in america is all fair and good? That corruption isn’t rampant and the odds greatly favour the rich over the poor? It doesn’t need to be distributed??? Millions of people are living in near inescapable poverty and you have the gall to denounce the need for distribution of wealth? No one ever said that pursuing wealth is a bad thing. Nobody. But the wealth inequality in america is disgusting and inhumane. It’s cruelty fuelled by greed.

      This video does an excellent job of showing just how wealth in america is distributed:

      The middle class is and illusion and million of people are living in poverty. Tell me again that the wealth doesn’t need to be redistributed.

      • I’m shocked with only 29% of wealthy children are on the honor roll. That’s it?Why not higher? Maybe the housekeeper isn’t helping little rich kid who’s been waiting to see his daddy for a week. Comprende? (I know the little rich kid can read this after years with the his real teacher at home) lol

      • The comment that brought me up short is the poor want a redistribution of the wealth. No, what we want is for the wealthy to pay their fair share of TAXES! That’s the amount before they use the loopholes in the tax code made for them. I’m not poor but I’m a long way from rich, and somehow I have to pay my taxes. And to those “entrepreneurs” who say they made it by themselves, I ask “Are you the only employee? Do you not have a team of advisors and financial staff working to increase your wealth?” And if you have a company sending money and jobs out of the US, unless you move there, you’re taking advantage of the rest of us.

        • I am rich. My best friend is poor, very poor. No joke. I choose to live as though I am poor because of my beliefs, meaning I don’t acquire things that display wealth. My parents were poor but loving, supportive, and wise.

          She falls below the poverty line and pays zero dollars in taxes. She gets a refund of $4000. She relies on food stamps and collects child support. Last year I payed $47000 in taxes. No joke. I payed $4300 for a basic emergency room visit and broken bone. She got hers free. Now, I am happy to cover those costs for my friend through taxes. But be perfectly clear, the rich pay taxes. In my case, I pay more in taxes than my poor friend make in wages. She puts into practice all of the RICH KID habits that are listed here, hopefully her kids will have a better situation than she has.

          The flaw I see in this article (aside from the bias) is that wealth is measured as success. Wealth and poverty alike can destroy any person, any society. An intact loving family life is by far the core of a healthy community. Strive for this over money/gain and life will be better.

          Parents who are loving and involved limit screens, restrict unhealthy foods, and teach healthy habits out of love not out of wealth. The answer is NOT in legislation, regulation, and governmental policy. The responsibility is on every parent to choose the right thing for their children and the community and act on it. I am responsible, my friend is responsible. It is easier for me, I won’t deny that. It gives me more time and energy to be there for her.

          Let’s make our culture better, ourselves better, by thinking of others more and ourselves less. The world does not need more rich people it needs less self-centered people. Selfishness lives in both the wealthy and the poor.

          While this may sound too idealistic to value, consider the state of your mind. Is it selfish? I know I am and I hate it. I am happiest when I am not focused on me. Let’s have a list of parental to-do’s that eliminate selfishness. Me & my 4 kids need it.

          I am educated, by the way. Working on my doctorate in science so don’t write me off for idealism.

          • I’ve read almost all of the comments on this thread and this is the best one of the lot, by far. I have been extremely poor in my life and am still working to be where I want to be. I’m now a single father who has been trying to find a good job that allows me to actually use my degree and allows for me to support my son the way I want for almost two years now; not rich nor poor, but good enough. (I still work, just not in the field I’d like to yet.) Anyhow, you are the kind of person that makes me want to continue in life. Everytime I feel like giving up, I’m gifted with a word from some one that lives the life I aspire towards. Thank you. People like you are truly appreciated by people like me.

  39. Alex Peter says:

    Great observations……

    • Daniel Morgan says:

      Great study because I always wondered why these things are no taught in schools we only learn when we grow up and make some serous fiscal errors

  40. Maggie K. says:

    As anyone who has ever taken even a basic statistics class knows, correlation does not equal causation. It seems that the implication here is that the aforementioned habits “cause” poor people to stay poor. Just to clarify, if you observe that A and B happen together, it is possible that A causes B. It is also possible that B causes A, or that another factor, C, influences the relationship between A and B. There are many sociopolitical issues that affect and interact with the habits described. For example, maybe poor parents don’t attend back to school night because they are working two jobs to support their family. Maybe they can’t afford a babysitter. Maybe they don’t speak English well or don’t have nice clothes and feel intimidated and afraid of being judged. Maybe poor people are more likely to be overweight because cheap food is often unhealthy food and they lack resources to purchase whole grains, lean proteins, and fresh produce. Maybe they live in a food desert, rely on public transportation, and can’t even get to a grocery store. This type of “research” is extremely misleading and vastly oversimplifies an extremely complex issue. It seems like a thinly veiled way to blame poor people for their poverty when the reality is much more complex and nuanced.

    • I think the original article made some very good suggestions about helping children value reading, exercise, goal setting etc. You, Maggie K make some very good points as well. Back to school night is difficult to attend if you are working a night shift at your job. ( and many other points as well). But you can still show an interest in what’s going on at school, talk to your child, communicate with the teacher, etc. Life can be very difficult and problems complex, we were made for community. Wouldn’t it be great if we noticed how we could help each other? Offer to babysit, offer a ride to events, include the neighbor’s kids when you take your own for a day at the park or a bike ride. My family was not wealthy in money, but we had a rich life in our community. As an adult now, we have a comfortable middle class life. I do not care about becoming “wealthy” , I’m grateful to have enough to live generously.

  41. Wilbert Wheeler says:

    This should be required reading for every parent.

  42. Wow. I found this article very interesting! It seems to be written in 2013. Any new stats? Have you continued to follow these people?

  43. It’s easier said then done. Having lots of kids in a average income family it’s tough. We live payday to payday and always try to save and that never works . Tires cost money. Vehicle maintenance costs money. And when they money doesn’t come in as fast as the bills do the credit takes the hardest hit. I’ve always tried to do my best with money we don’t spend recklessly even if we wanted to we couldn’t. Having to get a reliable vehicle so we could continue to get to work to pay the bills has set us over the top. I’ve tried budgeting but when there is barley enough to cover the bills and not enough to cover the food needed budgeting doesn’t work. We both have jobs my husband works full time for the same company he started at 11 years ago. I work 4 or 5 jobs just to stay afloat. We try to install these major qualities of success in our children isn’t easy. With how much we have to work we see each other in passing and the kids don’t get undivided attention from us. It’s doesn’t mean we aren’t trying. But it’s impossible to get ahead when you can’t even get caught up. In the government’s eyes we are middle class because they see what we make but don’t take our bills or necessities into consideration. My children are having to be raised by babysitters as it is. We don’t play the lottery to strike it rich. We don’t ask for handouts and work for everything we have. We are blessed to have healthy children and unfortunately they don’t get to go to the dentist or ey doctors like they should because that’s not free and we can’t take them because we don’t want to its because we can’t spare money that isn’t there. I’m at the end. Money is the route to all evil. I try to only buy foods that are good for the body but once again junk is cheaper and goes further. I don’t know what else to do. I can complain and make excuses all day but it still doesn’t fix the stress and anxiety that even my 2 year Olds are developing. And when your 5 year old refuses a party 6 months in advance for her birthday because she knows that it means she is going to get that much less time with mommy and/or dad it’s extremely heartbreaking that she has to even worry about such a thing and as much as we try not to show it for our kids to see yet they still know and see it and they wanna do their part and sacrifice the things they shouldn’t ever even have to think about doing. They don’t ask for new clothes or shoes for school and insist that what they have is perfectly fine they don’t care if it’s not what the cool kids are wearing or if it was second hand they love it all the same. I don’t know what else to do or how to make it better I’ve been trying for 10 years and it’s just getting worse. And I didn’t purposely have 6 kids to add to the struggle although I wouldn’t have it any other way but I would and don’t want my kids to have this kind of life either. Yet no matter how much we both try it won’t get better. I’m allergic to birth control and my body kills off the hormone so as destiny would have it we suffer because we don’t know any other way. I can complain all day but just like my efforts to improve our situation it won’t help amything. We live in a 3 bedroom run down mobile home but it’s slowly being paid off. We have 4 daughter’s and twin sons. I’m having lots of medical difficulties that have to be put on the back burner because there is no other option. We can’t afford the co-pay to have the surgery to get rid of the cervical cancer. I had my thyroid removed in September bevause of cancer and almost a year later we still owe thousands of dollars. We have no room in our home for my kids to have their own retreat space which adds to the tension and stree

    • Ken Smith says:

      Your letter brings tears to my eyes. I have a high school education. I have spent 53 years doing it all wrong. I have spent the last 19 years doing it right. And I have known for the past 35 years what I should be doing and didn’t always do it. . The first thing a person needs to realize is that they can not do it by themselves…they need to reckonize they need help. It is nescessary to understand where you came from, why you are here and where you are going and why. Your letter brings tears to my eyes, because I know, that IF you knew ,what I know you would be able to see the light at the other end of the tunnel. I know that you have an formal education beyond mine. I know you are incredibly courageous . Visit LDS.org that is your answer. I am very successful financially, emotionally, Great Family, Great marriage, have two married daughters…one has 5 kids the other one has 6 kids. Their lives have always been based on what you will find on LDS.org I also have two teenage sons, both play the piano beautifully, both currently have grade point average in excess of 90%, they don’y drink they don’t smoke and they don’t chase girls. They are 15 and 17 years of age. They are very focused. Our entire families are very healthy. ….we seldom get sick. never anything serious. Both of my parents would never look at LDS.org. they refused. They all died of heart attacks They led miserable lives. My mother’s side were heavy smokers. My Dad never smoked or drank…He spent his latter years looking back over his life and wondering what happened. I think he finally realized that I had made a good decision…but he never admitted it. My two sisters refuse to look also. Their lives are miserable. Pat is 69 and my older sister is 70. I am an incredible healthy young 73 and my wife is 40. Couple weeks ago, I hiked with my family 6 miles in the Smoky mountains and the next day we went horse back riding in the mountains for an hour and a half. Now, I will admit that I will never willingly do that again, but I did do it.
      I didn’t realize all this success by my own strength. I live from day to day with the inspiration of my Heavenly Father. I look for it and I expect it. He helps me when I have done all that I can do. And I know that He is pleased that I took these few moments too write to you. I know there will be ugly comments that will be posted after I post this. I’ll never see them.

  44. Incredible article. Thank You!

  45. Morgan Maddox says:

    Interesting. Are the statistics documented or anecdotal?

  46. Dustin Alishouse says:

    Thank you as a father of three

  47. Lesieli Tutuu says:

    I need the help

  48. ezekiel agbekunyo says:

    Thank you for the information.

  49. Teresa Harris says:

    great stuff

  50. elizabeth says:

    i would love to learn more on this habits

  51. And apparently, 100% of financial advisers don’t understand the difference between correlation and causation.

  52. Craig R. says:

    Love it! Great financial wisdom for everyone!!!

  53. clearly written from the perspective of a white republican.

    • I’m a Libertarian. Grew up a Democrat. Voted for Bill Clinton.

      • This entire article is cherry picking while ignoring both the middle class, and the backgrounds of the “poor”. Of course wealthy people think they’re special…most of them are born with a silver spoon in hand, receive amazing education and become successful as a result. People born into poverty should just work harder, right? It’s just that easy!

        As with most white right-wingers, you have zero perspective. Keep selling those books though.

        • Untrue. According to the book, The Millionaire Next Door, most are first-generation wealthy. He is not just saying to work harder, but if something isn’t working, you need to change what you are doing.

    • i have been promoting teaching financial reaponsibility in school for years. My parents taught me and my siblings and I did my best to teach my kids. I am a former teacher and athletic coach, was engaged in farming with my husband (also a teacher), learned how to invest money for us and our kids. We usually had our “40 hours” in by Wednesday noon and our kids learned to work with us. We have no financial worries as retirees, our kids went to college and grad school and had money left over. No, they did not have every thing they ever asked for, but had everything they needed and plenty of extras. By the way, I am a political independent who voted for both Clinton, Obama, and probably will vote for Hillary as I see no one emerging from the
      Republican herd that I could seriously consider.

  54. This is excellent advice. Sounds like I found my project for the summer.

  55. My children will be middle class. There going to be hard workers like their parents. As they get older we can teach them how to understand the world a lot more easier.

  56. Catherine says:

    Wow! Love this article. I just got my first job and have been saving a large portion of every paycheck. While all my friends are off going to the mall, lake, and other expensive summer activities, I feel as if I am missing out (as they tell me every day). Even in school, everyone tells me how I take everything too seriously. This article has encouraged and motivated me even more than before. Love the statics and proud to say my parents did teach me most of the “wealthy” daily habits although we are far from wealthy. I find it all interesting but the habits and statics make so much sense. Thank you so much for reassuring me that my goals will be accomplished one day!!

  57. Theresa Nelson says:

    Hi! I’m a teacher with 3 young children. I majored in Family and Consumer Science, and I have five years of teaching experience with the Head Start program.
    One thing I would like to say is that we always had a great turn out for our meet the teacher nights. Many of my students are living in a single parent home. However, the parents are excited to see their child’s milestone and both sides of the family would come to the event. They have plenty of enthusiasm; they lack knowledge and skill in other parenting areas. One thing I would like to see added is that parents are the child’s first teacher. My son just turned two and he already counts to 13, identifies several numerals, knows all of his colors and all of the major shapes. He also knows specific names of certain vehicles (concrete truck, roller, loader, tanker truck, etc. Trucks are his favorite). He is light years above the ability level of many of the Head Start children that walk into my classroom. This is where the biggest discrepancy lies between children that will grow up to be successful and those that won’t, in my opinion. Those other children will have a daily struggle with even the most mundane learning tasks because their parents didn’t take advantage of the window of opportunity for learning when their children were toddlers.
    Here is one thing I would like to see changed about this article. Children should never be punished for expressing their emotions. It happens to us all at some point or another. Instead, I think it should say to teach/coach children how to manage such strong emotions. And I’m not 100% sure what never losing your temper has to do with being wealthy. I can imagine many hissy fits being thrown when a wealthy person’s investment goes down the drain, etc. just as a poor person might when they discover their car has a flat tire and they have no way to get to work.
    One last thing, the Family and Consumer Science subject area covers many great opportunities for kids to learn about money, budgeting, and healthy spending/saving habits. There is a course entitled Personal and Family Development, which touches on budgeting and a course called Consumer and Family Economics which is a semester long intensive course into family financial decisions. They are all elective courses that the child can choose to take. If you ask me, it should be required.

    • Actually, studies show that any discrepancies going in to school is evened out in a couple of years.

    • I 100% agree that the attitudes of the parents towards eduction are what shapes the child’s first years which can make a huge difference in their academic years. My grandparents (both sides) are from the Caribbean and and they were lower middle class among moving to the US. None of them has even a high school education and were tradespeople (2 grandmas were seamstresses and my still living grandpa was a cobbler). They worked their you know whats off to pay for houses where they lived. My grandma raised my mom and uncle on one income, lots of jobs and help from extended family and my mom got an AA and my uncle served our country in Vietnam. My father’s parents worked all the time and their 4 boys went to public high school in not the greatest area but they all learned English within one year of arriving here (no ESL in NJ in the 70s) and they were required to study study study. All four went to college. One is an engineer for IBM, my father was an engineer and now a lawyer, and the two little brothers are both lawyers. All four of them have worked and worked to move themselves to the Upper Middle Class. I am grateful to my grandparents to expecting so much from my parents and my parents for always pushing me to excel in school: now I’m the first woman on both sides to hold a college degree! And now my children are benefiting from their sacrifices because we highly value education in our home and we are our kids first teachers. I even found a $20 book that I use to teach the kids to read before they start K (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. It’s at most libraries too but worth the $20 investment to give your child the gift of reading).

      I do have some thoughts on the temper thing. Our oldest is 7 and she has major outbursts when things don’t go her way (I wonder where she got that from…). Looking forward, I would be mortified if she tried to talk to a teacher or her boss the way she explodes at home. Home is a safe place to test the boundaries, but it’s also a safe place to be corrected and punished at times by those that love you unconditionally. As we mature we have to learn to not let our tempers and other emotions over power our reason. No, a child isn’t capable of it, but each tantrum or whatever is an opportunity to learn, even if it means the occasional loss of a privilege or time out in their room or whatever.

  58. Any Serafin says:

    Completely and totally disagree with punishing children are losing their tempers. They are young children learning about their emotions and to punish them for having emotions, which is completely natural is purely wrong and will create problems down the road. What parents need to do is teach their children how to channel their emotions. Anger can be destructive or it can be a great motivator. It is all on how you choose to channel that emotion. Never, ever do you punish children for an emotion!!

    • So, don’t punish children when they lose their temper? That’s what you are saying. When they become adults and lose their temper in the workplace what do you think will happen?

      • Parents owe to their children to raise them properly. Teach them what is right and wrong . How to make a sound decision and be ready to accept any consequences from their decisions. Ultimately, ready to evaluate and formulate any good changes if possible.

      • Virginia says:

        Adults who don’t control their temper are specially those who were punished as children. A child who is taught to understand and channel his/her emotions will always turn up into a well tempered and responsible adult. It’s not an opjnion, there’s extended research on this topic.

      • I punish my 5 year old for losing his temper. I make him sit and think about why he got so mad, and what we can do to fix it. And I am poor as hell. Lol punishment fits the age. It’s way easier to teach young children then older ones.

    • You don’t punish them for being angry but for what they do while angry. Hitting, biting, saying things that are mean shouldn’t be allowed. If a child can’t control their behavior they need anger management classes after parent things like time out don’t work. My great nephew had anger issues and a toddler, he would say things like stupid mommy when he didn’t get his own way. Now he is 19 and a college student and doesn’t call his mother names and understands he doesn’t always get what he wants. Self control is important but even if you don’t harm others building anger in yourself can kill you so if you learn to manage it you are better off.

    • D Schulz says:

      I interpreted that to mean punish them for physical or verbal outbursts of anger. Throwing things, slamming doors, screaming at someone or something. Actions that are associated with being physically out of control from your emotion.

    • I think it’s important to differentiate emotion from behavior in this sense. To be angry is completely different from losing control of your behavior and acting in an inappropriate manner. Anger is going to happen. Immoderate and uncontrolled behavior should be discouraged by any reasonable means. This is what I believe and teach and what I thought I read in this article. If that wasn’t what Mr. Corley meant I’d appreciate a reply with correction. Thanks!

    • I punish my 5 year old for losing his temper. I make him sit and think about why he got so mad, and what we can do to fix it. And I am poor as hell. Lol punishment fits the age. It’s way easier to teach young children then older ones.

  59. correlation does not infer causation

    • Not When you look at each individual habit on its own but when you view your habits as a whole, it is clear that your habits (behavior, thinking and the choices that you made) dictate your financial circumstances.

  60. Tanya Hawthorne says:

    Thank you for this information. Although my son is now 18 and a recent high school graduate, it’s not to late to impart these practices into his life.

  61. linda wright says:

    good article, it’s never too late

  62. Ronald Coryell says:

    Tom, I agree that your premise is true about the wealthy and poor.. However, as a born-again Christian, I learned very early that the scriptures say that you cannot out give God. The Bible teaches that 2nd Corintheans 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, thought He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Also, in 9:6 the Scripture states, “He who sows (gives) sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance (funds) for every good work.”
    Tom, I challenge you to search the Scriptures for God’s way for giving and receiving and earning income. God takes care of the poor buy using the “wealthy” to give to the poor.

      • First, I wanted to say I like your article. It’s on us for whatever place we find ourselves in to take responsibility for our lives.

        I wanted to point out that with Matthew 25:14-30 the master in this parable is Jesus and the workers are us. He expects us to use the ability we have been given by Him to turn a profit. But I think we should also ask the question for what reason? The reason I find after reading this story is that it is for His glory. I think ONE way we bring glory to Him is by giving to those in need. For example, giving to the victims of the Nepal earthquake that happened last month.

        According to this story, this life is a test of what He has entrusted to us. Will we make excuses and be lazy or will we work hard and make Him proud?

        The reward for being “industrious” in this life is that in the next life we will be given more responsibility.

        So perhaps we need to ask “what is our motive for making money?” I do think that developing the habit of financial responsibility is important. But it my view it has to have a greater purpose than just the American dream.

        A good book that deals with money and the Bible is “Money, Possessions, and Eternity” by Randy Alcorn if anybody is interested.

        Again, I enjoyed your article and the challenge to develop these daily success habits!

  63. Oum Assia says:

    Anyhow you are right when you assume that rich can only get richer and the poor even poorer. A condition sine qua non is to have first enough money and second to have basic knowledge about how to maintain or increase your savings. If you have none, whatever knowledge can’t help you to have some. It is like knowing how to fish without having a fishing rod.
    83% of the wealthy attend/attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor. Sure but, poor have no money to pay their kids night School.
    80% of the wealthy are focused on at least one goal vs. 12% of the poor. True, but poor have too many issues to handle to focus on one single goal. How I will pay the house credit? How I will pay the doctor bill? Will my boss give me the work contract? Will my sick insurance accept to overtake the bill? Etc..
    79% of the wealthy network 5 hours or more per month vs. 16% of the poor. Again true, but poor have no money to go play golf or to meet the members of the masonic brotherhood ( I never heard that a poor soul was ever admitted).
    79% of the wealthy believe they are responsible for their financial condition vs. 18% of the poor. Sure! However if you have money, you have the responsibility to maintain your standard “noblesse oblige”. If you have no money, you just want to survive day after day.
    73% of the wealthy were taught the 80/20 rule vs. 5% of the poor (live off 80% save 20%). Oh My God! IF YOU EARN 10 000 $ A MONTH, YOU CAN LIVE WITH 2000 $ AND INVEST THE REST. IF YOU EARN 800 $ A MONTH, YOU HAVE TO SPEND 90% OF IT FOR A LIVING!
    Assia Oum (Germany/France)

  64. Um this is great and all, but you did not give a control. How did you define wealthy/poor?

    • Rich: #1 $160,000 or more Gross Income and $3,200,000 or more in Net Worth.
      Poor: #1 $35,000 or less Gross Income and less than $5,000 in New Worth.
      Here’s the link to the methodology: Rich Habits Study – Background on Methodology http://richhabits.net/rich-habits-study-background-on-methodology/

    • Alejandro Villagran says:

      I agree with you. He didn’t address at all concerns regarding correlation vs causation, lurking variables, etc. In other words, his study is just another arbitrary opinion.

      • Don Thompson says:

        I agree with Alejandro. Showing a correlation between behaviors associated with the rich and the poor does not mean that you can transform one into the other by manipulating the correlated factors. It would be interesting to see the results of some factor analysis where the treatment is one or more or the variables you listed – if that showed that a statistically significant number of people could change from poor to rich – then you would really have my attention. Thanks

  65. Deborah Klein says:

    What a great article! So many young adults going into debt with student loans. What ever happened to paying for school as you go. I also agree that we need mandatory financial classes in high school. More more important are the financial lessons being taught at home.

    • You can’t just pay as you go anymore. Look up average tuition to min wage now vs in the 60’s and 70’s.

    • PayAsYouGo says:

      Paying as you go would be prefferable to anyone rather than loans, ask any student and they would tell you the same. But it is unfortunately not always a possibility. With the average yearly tuition as high as it is plus the cost of living, loans are, for many, the only means to an education. Many students who don’t have wealthy families to float them through or house them during school can simply not afford to pay the bills and go to school at the same time. Without school you cannot get a good job, but without a good job it isn’t affordable to attend school. Loans are the only option for some to achieve an education.

    • “What ever happened to paying for school as you go.” Name a job that pays $2,000 a month with no collage education let alone time to be a full time collage student. That’s what happened to pay as you go. It’s imposable.

  66. Alejandro Villagran says:

    This is a textbook example about a misuse of statistics. You clearly do not understand what is the difference between causation and correlation.

  67. Sheridan Pogue says:

    I found this list quite intriguing. I am a junior social work major and love seeing how my habits compare to those who achieve success in business, financial, influential, political and familial affairs.
    I’ve recently learned that taking an hour a day to read books (including the Bible) has proved the greatest tool for me in succeeding.
    But, when I came across the flossing statistic, I was befuddled. Why should flossing play a role in my financial success? Then it hit me: those responsible enough to maintain diligence and consistency in petty, every day tasks and chores are the same ones that can be trusted to handle money, manage teams and run the country. In addition, flossing is just another way to live a long and healthy life.

    • To add a Bible verse to what you just said look at Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

      So even flossing is important. 🙂

  68. Eric Anderson says:

    While you give some great tips on general living habits, the use of your “study ” is flawed. Your stats mean nothing with such a small group size, and does not take into account hundreds of other variables. I agree with your premise but your use of percentages are groundless and meaningless and should not be presented as factual evidence, indicative of a whole group of people.

  69. Providing structure for children and helping them develop positive productive life habits is essential. Growing up with single mother with little education who worked a lot there are many things she wasn’t able to instill in us because no one ever did for her. Rich or poor these are habits and behaviors that build work ethic, discipline, and a sense of self. Thank you for giving it context and formulation

  70. I feel like this is a bit asinine because it doesn’t consider that social media is a form of networking. Awesome opportunities can arise from social media if you are using it correctly. No, browsing your facebook profile daily to check on old friends isn’t really networking, but seriously social media is the future and whoever is “rich” should understand that technology is one of the key features to success. If you are limiting your outlook on technology, especially to under an hour a day, I think you’re limiting yourself and your success.

    One thing I’d like to know is the age pool on these “rich” people vs “poor” people. Presumably they are parents who are older and grew up before the age of technology, which I think misinforms this statistical analysis.

  71. Kenny F. N. Powers says:

    They forgot to mention that 95% of the wealthy place being wealthy over having fun 7 out of 7 days of the week. While 95% of the poor actually prefer to enjoy their one life on this planet for at least 2 of the 7 days of the week.

  72. Alejandro Villagran says:

    A textbook example of misunderstanding between correlation and causation.

  73. Billy Brown says:

    After working with 5 kids going to collage I have a few statements that have become clear over the years – We have tried to show money management to all of our children as they entered Middle School and of course some values before that – They all had a checking and saving accounts and knew and understood the value of managing their credit for the future – Some took it some didn’t – All have spent some time in collage – By the 5th one we understood the value of community colleges – It is at least half the price – We only paid for core courses that transferred instead of basket weaving and it gave them 2 more years to mature before going away – As a parent step in and help them make some of these decisions so the student wont owe a car payment for the first 10 years out of collage – That is some real truth that will help them in the future – Thomas thank you for promoting thoughts and idea exchanges from your work – We can only hope it helps make things a little better – Billy

  74. This is flawed on many levels. First, I jusy graduated with a degree in sociology. I grew up in poverty and am the first person in my family to go to college. All my friends who graduated with me are from upper middle class families and I am the only one with a job offer.

    My parents got me a cell phone so no one would know how poor we were. It was to save face. Then the deal was I had to keep my grades up or pay for it myself. Half the time I paid for it myself, the other half time my parents did. I have used my phone and electronics as much as everyone else I know. I have received money as a present from friends or family less than five times and the most was $50 when I was already an adult. Should I have saved 25% of the $5 I got on my 5th birthday? For how long?
    All volunteer positions in my area require you to be working age to volunteer, so I got a job when I was old enough. It was to support myself, my family and my cell phone I mentioned earlier. I’ve changed my goals constantly. It wasn’t my parents direction, but my own. Goal setting was never taught to me by my parents or educators. I was lucky that it came natural.

    I know I’m an exception and not all of this makes sense because I’m brain storming. But this ignores other differences in wealthy and poor. My school cut funding for after school buses so the only people who could do extra clubs were people with parents who could pick them up, or had cars themselves when they got older. I think a better comparison would be middle class to poor. Some people in the working class are close to middle class so some ideas could be conceivable for people to do. I know this is an old article but I saw it on my FB today with people supporting it. If people can teach their kids these things, great. But it won’t magically cure them of being poor. Things like adjusting wages to be livable and a more comprehensive welfare program would be more helpful.

  75. Cool info- I would be even more interested in taking volunteers from the “poor” group and teaching them some of the habits, help them set goals to change X number of them for 1 year and measure any changes along with how well they kept their goals. To get really fancy you could have a control group that changes other things in their life that aren’t rich/poor habits and compare the two groups.

  76. There are some good points, but there is too much demonizing poor people here. There does need to be more education, but there also needs to be some reality and some work on the economic system itself.
    In some cases no doubt, ones habits can make one poor, but in some cases bad things happen to good people. This is a good article, but I think it could do without the demonizing of poor people. We do have an income gap problem as the laws are set now that favor the very rich. If you are poor it is very hard to get out of that, no matter how good your habits.
    Just doing the right thing and working hard is no guarantee of anything.
    just sayin.

  77. Ivan Parra says:

    I do worry that our kids are growing up in a culture that has gotten more envious, more resentful. I am so thankful that my parents used well-to-do people as an inspiration, to emulate, to aspire to. Setting an expectation of excellence and upward financial mobility starts with celebrating others’ success, instead of promoting envy, resentment and entitlement. As a new father, I’m looking forward to reading your book to gather additional gems of wisdom. Thank you for your research.

  78. You might be wealthy, but you seem to know nothing about causal relationships. This pathetic pseudo science is doing no one any good.

  79. While I think most of the things you encourage teaching children are valid (two non-sport extra curricular, plus sports? Have you read the data on over scheduled kids??) your attitudes on wealth and the disadvantaged paint a very black and white picture seen through the lens of male white privilege. Do you know why the poor spend %80 of their checks? Because they need to pay their bills, which are rent, food, heat and electric, phone internet and cable. Why do they watch more TV? Because they don’t go to the movies, the theater, concerts, etc. Why are there less poor parents at parents night? They are at work or caring for their other children. We know over processed, less healthy foods cost less than healthy ones, try buying all your food from the outer ring of the grocery store (where they healthiest freshest foods are) with 160 a week for a family of 4. Networking…. really? The double shift waiter at IHOP is networking with whom? Again, many of the lessons are every valid, and we all benefit from them, and perhaps there is a cycle to be wary of, but most people are struggling NOT because they have “poor” attitudes and habits.

  80. Awesome read. I’m a 27 yr. Old finance major and this is 100% true. In high school they never teach you life skills, not even how to balance a checkbook… sad thing is parents blame the school system, the governemt, “they”, but never take a look at what happens at home or what habits they are teaching their children. I love the 80/20 rule. That rule is true for everything.

  81. Chris Brown says:

    I find most of what you say as very astute but I also find some of it oversimplified and very generalised. The poor are not always feckless when it comes to finances. There are times when circumstances are not their fault. Agreed, some it is self inflicted. and some are hypocritical….buying widescreen TVs when they say they can’t afford to feed themselves for instance. Everyone’s situation is different. .

  82. Poverty mindsets are responsible for more people remaining and living in poverty than people know. Speaking as someone who got out of generaltional poverty, attitude, grit, positive thinking, taking personal responsibility, education, and hard work makes the difference. So many people ‘hate’ to read. However, children who do better in school and in life read more. Libraries are free. Habits actually do make a difference. It’s funny that the nay sayers don’t back up any of their responses with scientific research or evidence. If you can’t prove your opinion, it’s just that, your opinion. Opinions are like butts, everyone has one and they all stink. Get educated and learn to do your own research or stay ignorant to the truths of life.

  83. You are correct that all children would benefit by being taught the above habits, however COMPLETELY off base by saying these habits are the cause of the income gap. The current income gap is making the so called “american dream” impossible. What is the percentage of rich people who had rich families? That would likely be the most relevant factor explaining the current income gap.

  84. “8% of the wealthy believe wealth comes from random good luck vs. 79% of the poor.”

    I am surprised that even 8 percent of the wealthy believe in “random good luck” as the source of wealth. These must be the people who inherited their wealth. Recently some blogger tried to convince me that my success as an author was due to “luck.” I had to use these observations by people much smarter and much more successful than me to put “luck” in proper perspective:

    “We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?”
    — Jean Cocteau

    “All successful men have agreed in one thing, — they were causationists. They believed that things went not by luck, but by law; that there was not a weak or a cracked link in the chain that joins the first and last of things.”
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “The worst cynicism: a belief in luck.”
    — Joyce Carol Oates

    “The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.”
    — Douglas Macarthur

    “Luck is being in the right place at the right time, but location and timing are to some extent under our control.”
    — Natasha Josefowitz

    “Luck, bad if not good, will always be with us. But it has a way of favoring the intelligent and showing its back to the stupid.”
    — John Dewey

    “People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have.”
    — Anne Tyler

  85. Teresa Dunlap says:

    I grew up learning poverty habits and continued to pass them on to my kids. I have been studying and learning differently and now reteaching my kids. I will be keeping this article. Very true.

  86. Maggie K. says:

    I tried posting this comment yesterday and it didn’t go through so I will try again. As anyone who has ever taken even a basic statistics course is aware, correlation does not equal causation. It seems that the implication here is that certain habit “cause” some to be rich while “causing” others to be poor. When a study shows a correlation between variables (in this case, certain habits and income level), such as this study did, there are a number of possible explanations. Let’s say there is a correlation between A and B, meaning that they are observed to occur together. It’ is possible that A (habits) is causing B (wealth/poverty). It is also possible that B (wealth/poverty) is causing A (habits). It is also possible that a factor not looked at in the study at all, C, is causing the correlation between A and B. Not only is the leap to assume causality completely statistically inappropriate, it is also dangerous because it can be used to essentially blame poor people for being or staying poor.

    This study neglects to acknowledge the HUGE amount of social, political, and economic factors that might be at play here and is a vast oversimplification. Let me illuminate with a few examples, since the author completely failed to do so. Maybe poor people don’t attend back to school night because they are working two jobs to put food on the table and keep the electricity on in the home. Maybe they can’t afford a babysitter for their other children. Maybe poor people are more likely to be overweight because cheap food tends to be unhealthy food. Maybe lean proteins, grains, and fresh produce are way out of their budget. Maybe they can’t afford a gym membership and they live in an area where walking, biking, or playing outside are not safe. Maybe the wealthy don’t play the lottery because they have had a good education and understand the statistical odds of winning. Maybe the poor play because psychologically, they need one little hope that one day their life might be financially safe and secure.

    I am not extremely wealthy but I am comfortably well off. I am also White, able bodied, attended private schools, have parents who value education, have always had good health care, have always had dental care and have all my teeth (actually a major factor that is tied to poverty as it is very hard to get hired for a job when you have missing, broken, stained, cracked teeth due to lack of dental care), hold a doctoral degree, and work in a professional job. I have always had a financial safety net and there has literally been one moment in my life when I knew that if I were in dire financial straits (a bill I couldn’t pay, a medical emergency, etc.) that I couldn’t rely on a family member for help if I really needed it. This a concept called PRIVILEGE and it would be easy for me to sit here and pat myself on the back for my good habits and blame poor people’s poverty on their bad ones. Thank goodness in all that great education I also learned about doing good vs. bad research and I also regularly examine my position of privilege in society so I can avoid falling into the trap that this author so clearly has. Yes, financial education is very important. I don’t dispute that. What I dispute is the use of poorly done research that conflates correlation with causation and implies that if poor people just adopted this list of habits, they could lift their children, if not themselves, out of poverty.

  87. #4 is really interesting to me. As a dental professional, I’ve seen the effects of not flossing on a daily basis. It’s a simple act that one can do everyday to prevent dental costs for the future. People always say that dentistry is expensive. It’s not, neglect is.

  88. DSchulz says:

    You say to volunteer 10 hours a week is that supposed to satisfy the networking habit? That one doesn’t seem to be supported by the 15 statistics in the article. Can you elaborate on how that habit helps exactly?

    • Most of the individuals who run non-profits are leaders in the community. They have large networks of other successful individuals. Developing relationships with them, by volunteering, can open doors to job opportunities, funding, college entrance for your kids etc.

  89. Great article! #4 is especially interesting to me. As a dental professional, I see the effects of not flossing that can lead to costly dental bills. Floss is .99 for 100 yards at Walmart and only takes a minute out of your day. Patients always say that dentistry is expensive. It’s not. Neglect is.

  90. Tom: this is really simplistic thinking. Flossing makes one rich? I believe you are an advocate of education . That is admirable, and can have great impact. So thank you. I urge you to adress how minimum wage workers can be rich. There are systemic issues that also are at play. We are a society–your wealth comes from other people, natural resources that are exploited…are the wealthy willing to pay living wages? Add that to your list. .you list healthy habits! They are not going to automatically lead one to wealth. This line of thinking focussing on blaming the poor, and seeking wealth alone, is narrow.

  91. I have to agree with Any Serafin above. I speak as an educator and a parent (of two, one of whom has Aspergers and we deal with meltdowns and lost tempers every day).
    I think I understand the gist of what you’re saying about children’s tempers, but your wording leaves much to be desired. Perhaps discipline is a better word. We discipline our child for the actions he chooses when he looses his temper, but not for being upset. To do otherwise can cause psychological damage.

  92. Susan B says:

    Oh. My. God. You did not define poor (or wealthy). Require children to put away 20% of the “gifts” they receive? Poverty-stricken kids aren’t receiving any “gifts”; and if they did, you can bet they’d spend it on food. Don’t even get me started on the dental floss comment. $1 for dental floss or $1 for food? I live in an affluent town and I can assure you, all those wealthy kids on the honor roll? Sure they are taught hard work, but hard work with their tutors which they all receive as soon as they hit the “B” range. They succeed in sports because their parents have the resources to hire private coaching and private lessons, and their Nannies take them to and fro. How do you recommend a child gets to these “required” 2 extra curricular activities when both parents are working multiple jobs? If anyone believes it’s any other way, you are so very wrong.

  93. Great article, I was raised on public assistance. My entire childhood I was raised to resent success. I’m happy to say that I have broken the cycle & raised my children to admire successful people.

  94. I agree with the educational failure of the system regarding financial illiteracy.

    But, although you may infer there is an association of a given habit and the financial status, you may not infer causality. At least not with the data you presented. The lottery is probably the most striking example of reverse causality.
    Also, there are many things that seem to be way more important that you completely desregard, like grandparents financial status, for instance. It’s more obvious that money is passed through generations by inheritance of that money, not the taught habits.
    Impossible to prove that changing habits would work.

    Inequality is for sure more important, resources are limited, there is no way of people getting rich without other losing money. So, I’m with the 99% on that…

    • sniemeyer says:

      Financial literacy was taught in schools and in some places it still is. I was a home economics teacher and taught basic finance, writing checks, budgets, etc. as well as housing, management, nutrition, etc. Now called human sciences (or in elementary or high schools – life education), there may be some basic financial literacy information still taught. During the 70s up through recent times, many of the programs have been cut out of public schools or changed to reflect other issues such as human relations. Lack of support for human sciences from school boards, parents etc. led to some of the downward spiral. At the same time, math, science, reading became the focus and programs had to be cut to allow for more time for math, reading and science. However, people did not realize how much math, and science exists within human science – esp. in nutrition, financial education, housing, etc. Thank you for your input.

  95. There’s something interesting here..l If I was saving that 25% since I started my last job, I had enough money to start my own business…. But I haven’t.. great article, and congratulations Thomas 😉

  96. This is hate speech.

  97. I don’t think I can accept this premise. For one is slanted towards a conservative point of view. Second there isn’t much data to back up what you are saying. It’s proven that there is a lot more to the wealth gap than you care to find out. it’s NOT because the poor bring on themselves. Upward mobility is a lot hard now than it’s ever been. I wish it was a simple as well the poor don’t work hard enough…it’s a simple point of view.

  98. I agree to some extent but don’t think I can accept this whole premise. For one its slanted towards a conservative point of view. Second there isn’t much data to back up what you are saying. It’s proven that there is a lot more to the wealth gap than you care to find out. it’s NOT because the poor bring on themselves. Upward mobility is a lot hard now than it’s ever been. I wish it was a simple as well the poor don’t work hard enough…it’s a simple point of view.

  99. The truly poor do not have the luxury to open a savings account and save. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, feeding your family is what you are concerned with, not your credit score. This list ignores many of the realities facing the poor and frames the issue in a way that blames the poor for being poor without considering all of the outside factors contributing to their sustained poverty. “Wealthy people do certain things every single day” because they have the privilege of doing so. This author seems to be completely detached from the realities of the poor. Let’s focus on tax policy, minimum wage, funding of public schools and universities, unionization rights, banking and lending laws, labor laws, funding of public transportation, public health care, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, public assistance that doesn’t penalize people for having savings, child care, having economic policies that support labor, having a tax system that doesn’t steal from the poor to give to the rich, and then maybe can we begin to even consider the relevance of financial success courses for our nation’s poor.

  100. Miranda says:

    I found this article very interesting and in my life experiences very true. I am a nail tech (american) my husband a blue collar worker as a machinist. We live pay check to pay check and while we own our own home it is small and not in a top neighborhood. I sat back and made the choice my self to begin going to collage. My ultimate goal in the end I WILL be making 6 figures. It will take me much longer than a 18-19 year old fresh out of high school with much less responsibilities but I see the goal, want the goal and will not stop till I meet the goal. Since I have begun going back to school and I talk about the future and what a great job it will be I see a change in my own children. I now talk about saving and investing and money with the kids ( I didn’t start this till my oldest was 12 and my youngest was 9) I have even drove them through upper class neighborhoods and told them, “do you want this for your life and your future family or where we are now?” You and your choices will dictate how you live. With this my kids became much more motivated watching me study and stress over tests also holding down a job, caring for them, a husband and a house. Nothing in life is handed to you, you have to want it and make it happen. Your kids are always watching you…….kids are a product of their environment and HOME IS the first environment.

  101. Will you send your peer reviewed journal along with a list of who and what organization your research was reviewed by? Aside from yourself? Along with a list of your questions/any questionnaires you used, location of your research groups and how you selected them, the type of processing you used for your stats, etc.

    • Here’s a link to the methodology:Rich Habits Study – Background on Methodology http://richhabits.net/rich-habits-study-background-on-methodology/. I have a Research Summary I’d be happy to email you. No research groups, no organizations, no elite think tanks. Just me, a CPA armed with 184 questions, 233 wealthy people and 128 poor people and five years of study.

      • Jeffrey says:

        I do agree with some of your results, but I also find quite a few of your results to be spurious at best. Fact is, people are not poor because they don’t floss daily. many of your causal relationships appear to be completely backward.

  102. Barry Minster says:

    Amazing how many people feel that it is “wrong” to talk to their children about money. It also amazes me how many people are down on “Wall St.” but have a 401K. Where do they think that money is invested? I wish that I had known more as a young parent. I like the idea of putting some ideas together for parents – kind of a TED type thing.

  103. Your choice of words betrays your intention. You could have chosen to write “47% ~ were poor. They figured it out. Why don’t you?” But that would.have read as an invitation. All you really want is vindication. That is why you instead write “why can’t you?” The idea that the poor can’t figure it out is part of the existentialist garbage the wealthy feed themselves about their lot and the basis of their justification for continually deriding the poor and voting in discriminatory policy makers that keep them there. You just showed you believe they can’t. Perhaps you also believe they are morally inferior because of that “can’t”. If you truly want change, donate a few thousand copies of your book to the hardest hit schools around your state.

  104. Excellent article! Can you recommend any courses or books that would help me in this most important endeavor. Thank you for your time.

    • Anything written by Brian Tracy is a good start. Jack Canfield’s Success Principles is another good book. Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, Connect the Dots podcast, SOS Money podcast are all good starts

  105. InLost Angeles says:

    Everything was sounding good. I even read all the comments from an objective perspective until I read your statement “learn the secrets of the wealthy and turn your LUCK around. Point #14 says that 8% of the wealthy believe wealth comes from random LUCK. It was at this point that your objective to “educate” is dubious. Now I read your premise as nothing more than a glossed up sales pitch.

  106. Excellent article! Thank you for your time.

  107. Tue Giac says:

    i follow those habits and I’m not rich. What am I doing wrong?

  108. michelle says:

    Great article, we are raising(trying to anyway) our children to understand so many of what you have discussed. We are trying really hard to help them realize the importance of having control over their finances, understanding that credit and debt are not helpful and should not be used as a crutch to help further an image. Instead, being in control of finances, learning patience, only buying if you have money in hand and saving enough to know that if something inevitable happens there is a financial cushion in place to cover any falls or setbacks.

    That being said, we are that family that misses the mark and falls in the crack. We work really hard, we have a higher number of children (five) than the norm, we homeschool and work on one income. We struggle more than some, and are very blessed compared to others. It seems like we are always running to keep up, keep ahead and not fall behind. There are days that I could truly hope for relief and some help, but also know that there are so many out there that could use the help more than we need it. I would love to see how the lower middle income fair in comparison. I know in our case, I am hoping that what we teach our children will make a difference and set them on a path that will put them in a financial position that gives them more security and financial freedom that we are having to raise them in. We follow many of the points that you are making; it’s good to see that we seem to be heading in the right direction, because looking at your model, we fit in the poor end of the scale, but we are either doing, or trying to do to the best of our ability, most of your markers that you have for the wealthy in your study. Thanks for the article.

  109. Alejandro Villagran says:

    Your research is the textbook example of misuse of statistics. You don’t understand the difference between causation and correlation. Your so called study lacks experimental design, power sampler sample size, and so on and so forth. It is merely an arbitrary opinion. Why don’t you hire a professional (Statistician) to help you out before spreading half-baked truths? I do think that you have a responsibility to educate people, not to misleading them with conclusions based on a flawed study that cannot be used for any valid inference.

    • Are you so proud that you can use “big words like “causation and correlation? You have posted the same thing about 10 times. I am not impressed, and most likely no one else is either. Please re-read the article. Perhaps you will learn something.

  110. Great article! I’m a teacher and try to spend some time at the end of the year going over things that you mentioned. You are correct in that our public school systems fails to produce financially literate citizens. I suspect a financially literate populace would hold Washington more accountable, perhaps that’s the reason schools avoid this information?

  111. S Roberson says:

    I have hired many high school age young women . A large percentage of them have not been taught to control their emotions & anger. They are difficult to have as employees & I move them on to another employer.. I also think knowing & managing your finances is better than a college degree. Great article!

  112. Christian Anderson says:

    “The fact is the poor are poor because they have too many Poverty Habits and too few Rich Habits.” is a suspiciously simplistic, warmed over Ayn Rand statement. In the author’s bio it is stated that his family went from wealthy to poor overnight. Did his parents suddenly abandon “Rich Habits” and suddenly adopt “Poverty Habits”? The article has some good thoughts on teaching financial literacy and avoiding poor food, television and internet to excess. But that’s the only worthy takeaway. Culture and economics and races and class consciousness alll enter into the mix, and to imply that the poor are responsible for their own poverty is morally appalling and intellectually bankrupt. It’s much easier for affluent people to adopt the Rich Habits espoused here than for poor people who may mired in crappy schools, food deserts and poor neighborhoods. MY parents were wealthy and taught me nothing about handling money, but I still had the advantage of good schools, connections in the job market, and the ooprotunity to go to college, and I have been able to maintain something eqivalent to their affluence–because I started in a much more advantaged place.

  113. This article is a joke. It actually made me laugh. How ignorant you must me. It makes me pity someone like you. I’ll pray for you.

  114. Although these are good points, it comes off as you saying the poor are poor because they choose not to practice these habits and all will be well if they just follow these steps…which isn’t the case. Without the privilege of education, parents in poverty don’t even have access to articles such as this. Most working class parents also work well over 40 hour weeks to provide their families with food and shelter, which come first on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maybe your full research summary has a more comprehensive explanation for habits of those in poverty, but this article doesn’t consider many important factors.

  115. Michelle says:

    number 3 would be a huge impact for many. Simple goal setting and thinking outside the box. Everyone gets caught up in showing up rather than going up…they get use to their daily routines and loose Interest in growing. Many positions have ladders to climb , or a hidden potential for you that was never discovered. We have to get uncomfortable and use to change to create change. I personally many just are not interested or
    Want bothered.

  116. I firmly believe children will do what they see bring done in the home. My daughter has always been 3-4 years ahead in reading until the last two years when her father(my ex-husband) decided to give in to her requests for a phone and tablet. At the same time I had to work more hours so she no longer saw me reading as I always have just because of time constraints. After seeing her interest in reading as well as her love of it dropped dramatically as she was able to use her devices more I made a family decision. This summer I disconnected our cable TV. I asked her to make a list of books she is interested in reading this summer. I did the same. We both will be reading this summer. She must see me read so I have to schedule time for her to read her books while I read mine. We also are opening her savings account this summer and had already planned to teach the 80/20 rule. I firmly believe in the Save some, Give some, Spend some concept for kids and since I work as a Credit Education consultant I’m setting her up with a mock credit score system for her chores etc. So she knows how credit works for you or against you.
    I’m excited about this summer as is she. Btw my daughter will be 10 in August.
    This article is excellent. I only wish we taught this in school along with the truth about the credit industry so it didn’t catch young 18 yr olds off guard when they get their first chance at credit.

  117. iguessimpoor says:

    Maybe he got rich by peddling and selling this BS and his 2 books listed at the bottom of this page… kudos to you for taking advantage of ‘the poor’ by taking their hard earned money.. If you really wanted to help them be better or wealthy you shouldn’t try to promote/sell your books… and by the way, wealth doesn’t make you happy, it makes you greedy always wanting more and more and stomping on anyone that gets in your way..

  118. Humility comes as we get older and experience losses in life. This list is simplistic and arrogant. When we work with the poor, our eyes are opened.

  119. J E Shaffer says:

    The state of Oklahoma has a Personal Financial Literacy requirement for graduation. OK requires high school students to complete and demonstrate satisfactory knowledge in 14 areas of instruction related to financial literacy, including such topics as credit card debt, saving money, interest, balancing a checkbook, understanding loans, identity theft, and earning an income. School districts have the option of determining when the areas of instruction are taught and whether these are integrated into existing courses or taught as a separate course (which may count as an elective credit). The school district where I live require their HS students to complete an online course which they start in their freshman year in their math classes and then complete on their own. In the past, incentives were offered for completing the financial lit course by the end of their sophomore year. Now an online course may not be the best way but at least something is being done.

  120. Being one raised in poverty and raising a child in such , I agree to an extent. I can care less about the statistics. I was born and raised in the “inner city” the “hood” or “ghetto, whatever you choose to call it. None of the schools I went to taught or told us about financial stability or ways to budget. Living paycheck to paycheck and or on public assistance makes people want to budget. I’m a single mom, college student, IHSS caregiver for my father, and Respite Caregiver for my nephew and am still “Broke/poor” Yes public assistance offers WTW to get you out looking for work, however there isn’t much out there if you don’t have a BA or above. And I’m receiving two AA’s this fall. My highschool didn’t even tell us we could take college courses in high school. But the charter schools and private schools in neighboring areas knew and shared that info with the parents and students. It’s not the poor teaching poor habits, its all they know so it’s survival to them. I taught my daughter to save, don’t spend unless it’s NEEDED, the wants can wait. She is 5, and already talking about college, she wants to be a dentist. The flossing comment made me laugh because I don’t floss because my teeth are so tight together it gets stuck. The dentist says that’s a good thing my teeth are close together. How if it’s hard to floss!!?? Hahaha. Being raised in such I think it’s the lack of knowledge and resources available to the poor. The schools are not receiving the funds they need, if they don’t have the proper materials and in good or new condition how can you expect one to prosper? It starts at home, yes that’s true. When school is the only outlet for them and it’s crappy what do you think that tells them? I’m the “hood girl” that stayed in school and wants better for myself no matter how long it will take.
    I do my best to make sure my family is fed, clothed, has the necessities, and pay my portion of rent.
    Back to school night is when parents and students come to school see their work, speak to teachers, have snacks and try build a bond with teachers and principal. My schooling interfered with my daughter’s some times. If parents don’t show it tells them(children and staff) education isn’t important. Learn from your past and teach your kids to be better than you. Sorry I went on a tangent.

  121. This article is not about blame, it is about moving forward. Someone’s financial situation might not be all their fault, but it IS all their responsibility to try to fix. These are not “quick and easy” steps to wealth. If you do many of these habits without understanding the reasoning behind them, then you will get nothing from them (like flossing, the lottery, reading, etc.). It is OUR job to fix OUR lives. Blame accomplishes nothing. One thing he left out that the wealthy do is they give a higher percentage of their money away–not just when they “make it,” but even when they are working toward success.

  122. Interesting article but also very philosophical and theoretic……Life is not so robotic and black or white if not next to no one would be poor. You forget the reality of system and opportunity. I’m a privileged person who will never undermine the effect of opportunity. There are many grey areas in life.
    Above it all, the most successful people are those who are genuinely happy and are at peace with their lives no matter what they are worth.

  123. I agree with instilling discipline in the routine of the day (did you say this sorta)?
    I agree with teaching that structure in the day can bring about a positive result (did you say this sorta)?
    I agree that teaching a child to have a disciplined routine yields rewards of personal respect and pride (did you say this sorta)?
    I sorta think you understand part of what it means to instill success in all children, rich, or, poor.

  124. Great article! I grew up dirt poor but with a lot of very hard work and the desire to be and do more, I have been able to make it! I’m not “rich” but I own my own house, have never been on public assistance since I turned 18 and I have been married for eleven years with four amazing children which I hope to raise by these guidelines. My mom required reading, chores, personal responsibility, saving for our own things and learning how to budget. She was a single mom and busted her but with no one to help her. She would work 2-4 jobs at a time and raised three children doug it all.

    I met a young man who was working in our neighborhood movie theater in Bayside, Queens, NY. He would get up every day, ride he subway and take three buses from the projects in the Bronx to work in this neighborhood. I asked him why when there are plenty of jobs closer to where he lived. He said he did it because he wanted to move away from public housing and he felt the only way he could do that was by removing himself from the situation and making his life work in the neighborhood he dreamed of in a job he could save money to move closer.

    You don’t HAVE to be poor. No one is entitled to anything. When you work hard and do what you need to accomplish your dream you WILL get there.

  125. This is a question that I’ve always wondered about when I see this as a suggestion to help kids learn to manage money. Not all kids get money as presents for every birthday or every accomplishment they make. How can they attain enough money to manage? I’m speaking specifically about pre-teen to teens. And not all teens have time for an opportunity or time for a job.

  126. I truly find your article insightful and I agree about instilling good money habits but I felt that as someone who is on the poverty side I feel a bit offended. My father despite his hard work is yes poor, but he has taught me all the rich habits. I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck but I managed to live off of very little money and saved for a car and my student housing rent (I’m in college and 22). I have half of those rich habits but still poor. I do my best but I feel like your article made my father out to be inadequate in teaching me about savings and money, when he’s the one who started me on the path of building my credit and saving money. Just wanted to speak out about that. I still enjoyed reading the article for its message. Also, I have taken a financial class in college. Very educational. Learned a lot.

  127. Mary June Manzano says:

    It’s 3:40 here in UK. Thank you for your article. I agree in everything you have written. I have been in a dilemma too in the past 2 years about wanting to be rich (not just for self-gain but in order to help more people) but my church mentality is it’s wrong to become rich. I have read the parable of talents many times but only reading through your comment here made me fully understand it. It is so liberating. I am a single mother of 5 boys in the last 13 years and I have been living in benefits though I work part time too. In short we are poor. I always have this old school mentality: study hard, go to best university and get a job from big companies. With this, I pushed my children to study really hard. Out of my 5 boys, 4 excel in school and my second son is a full scholar for 7 years at Nottingham High School for Boys and planning to do law in University. He was the one who encouraged me to do something new if I want to change our current situation. He told me to read a book called “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki 2 years ago. Since then it changed my poor dad mentality to rich dad mentality. I still want them to finish University but at the same time do business while they are still in school.. I chose to lose benefits rather than make my eldest son sign up for job seekers allowance. My kids on benefits isn’t an option at all. Don’t get me wrong, the benefits helped me and my children a lot but if I have a choice I’d rather not. I have a choice now and soon I will be able to get out of it completely.
    With regards to reading, spending less time watching TV and doing extra curricular activities, I believe it’s really good. From my personal experience, I was very strict on boys until 3 years ago. They are only allowed TV and games on weekends. They have to read everyday. My youngest was reading human anatomy when he was just 5 and he is now 9. At 5 he learned to play piano through memorising the lights on keyboard. All my boys memorised their multiplication table before 7 and even 6. I taught them while I’m ironing or just few minutes everyday. At those times I was working part time, I was doing accounting in college and was very active in church on top of 5 boys to contend with on my own and household chores (you won’t think I have 5 kids when you go to my house).Being poor doesn’t mean we we live like poorly. Yes we have limitations financially but we can find alternatives. Unfortunately something happened in 2012 that knocked me down. I started a business that failed which led me to debts and severe depression which then lead to not being able to spend time with kids. Our routine stopped and I let them watch TV and play games anytime they wanted. Three years of no discipline and no direction caused a lot of turmoil in my home. My boys stopped reading and playing instruments. We stopped talking and stopped going to church. My children fighting. I was just watching my house falling down until I made the first step to put my life and my children’s life back to what it used to be. New year’s eve 2015, I decided I have to build my house up again. I picked up the pieces and gritted my teeth. To make it short me and my boys are back on track. They are doing well in school, games and TV on weekends except with teenagers, kids started reading and.playing instruments again and the business I started last January is doing well and hopefully God willing, me and my boys can get out of benefits in 6-12 months time. This comment is far stretched but I just wanted to show how important the role of parents are and that being poor doesn’t mean we will live in chaos and poverty and not be able to spend time with our kids and discipline them. Proof is, my second son managed to get 7A*s and 3As and a full marks on his Art subject while we were in the middle of chaos at home because he knows how much I value education. He never had any pocket money until last February. He saved his tram fare and walk to school. My third son is going to do business apprenticeship this September which before I would say a waste of time. I am so thankful to God my children chose to rise above our situation and not to remain victim of family breakdown and state of being poor. I am so thankful I read your article and the comments as now I am liberated from the mentality that Christians are always have to be poor. Again, thank you.

  128. I worked in a preschool in one of the poorest areas of Salt Lake City. All of the children I worked with were born into poverty. I think the number one habit of wealthy people is that they are not born into poverty. This author faced being broke but was not born into poverty. I doubt that as a small and vulnerable 3 year old, he experienced hunger, neglect, poor schools, lead poisoning from poor housing(which leads to attention disorders, behavior disorders and lower IQ,) discrimination, inability to afford medical care when sick, etc. The tiny, 3 and 4 yr olds I worked with had already faced an enormous amount of “toxic stress” in their very short lives. How do these kids develop “rich habits” when they are living out of a car? Their parents grew up in similar circumstances. Poverty is a cycle, not a set of habits. Tom Corley is not a social scientist. He has no idea how to conduct an accurate scientific experiment. He is an entertainer – on the talk circuit telling people how to get rich and how much more superior rich people are to poor. Poverty is a terrible cycle that began when we moved out of hunter-gatherer bands and into societies where social classes began to form. It has myriad complex reasons. It is a conundrum dedicated people have been trying to solve for hundreds, even thousands of years. Articles like this only set back progress that is made in the area by stigmatizing the poor and perpetuating the myth that poor people are lazy, fat, never-do-gooders with bad habits. How do you afford dental floss when you can’t afford vegetables. How do you avoid obesity when the cheapest food is highly processed crap laden with corn syrup while healthy vegetables, fruits and meats are way out of the budget. How does a parent working 3 Walmart shifts attend parent teacher conferences? How does a child with a perpetual sinus and ear infection learn to read at the same level as his peers? And finally, anyone with the most basic college education can tell you “correlation does not equal causation!!!!” Just because the author asked very leading questions of “rich and poor” does not mean the numbers correlate to the causes of wealth and poverty. Conversely, the habits he stresses will not make you rich. I have been doing them all my life and I am not rich. But that’s ok because I would much rather be educated and compassionate than rich.

  129. Is it possible that everybody gets rich ?! There is always a specific amount of wealth in one period of time and everyone get the share from that. someone gets more and some less. You need to get others’ shares to get wealthy so its impossible if all want to do that.

  130. woooow. interesting. I have learned my lessons. thank you so much this quality information

  131. Agree with making all those great life habits. Agree with taking your life in your own hands. I do think, however, that the cycle of poverty and the structures of privilege have to be taken into account if one is to address the question fully.
    Great article on the whole.

  132. It’s unfortunate that readers don’t see a correlation with flossing, but oh well….
    I’m not going to fact check. I saw this as a good read and plan to add some of these bullet points to my children’s daily routine. Poverty is real and many things on your list are more difficult to attain as a result, by not all. As another person said, it’s about working smarter, not harder. Well, what if that person doesn’t know where to start on those 1 or 2 things? That’s why this article has been shared over 150,000 times. Let people know SOME things they can attain. I appreciate the article. I even see how I can help spread the word to families in poverty I work with during the school year.
    I’ve never heard of a school that doesn’t have a Back to School Night, btw.

  133. Singlethoughtprocess says:

    When I was a kid in school my 4th grade class was part of an experiment to see if young children could be taught algebra. It was a huge success. Unfortunately my class was the only class and it only lasted that year. I didn’t see algebra again until high school. I said that to say this; if we could teach our very young children algebra and have them learn it well why can’t we put together a financial literacy class with a class activity (starting a business) for our young people? We also need to have an adult ed version for parents who are living paycheck to paycheck. At the end of the class we could have these parents applying for grants and business loans. Some people need to be taken by the hand and shown the way. If we have hope that we can achieve our dreams then we won’t want to drown out the dispare with sitcoms. I read your list and I see areas I need to improve (I hate reading self improvement and business books) so that will be a goal for me.

  134. I’ve read through the article an a lot of the post. My only response is so much of it is right so much of this is wrong post & article. I could say a book full but I’ll say as a single patent of 3 I do all in the category of the rich except 2 that’s 12 & 14 I was never taught 80/20 by anyone growing up an I know for a fact the majority of the time its not what you know but whom you know wealth is passed down an no matter the creative mind set or hard work you put in you’ll never be in the category of those that had it handed to them. I talk to my children we establish dreams an goals, we eat together, pray together, their punished when needed, they have bank accounts to learn the responsibilities of the financial work that schools don’t teach but teach unnecessary things never needed, etc but I’m in no way fall into a wealthy percentage I don’t even make the cut for middle class but I do everything in my power to make ends meet alone no assistance an still be a full time mother an father b/c at the end of the day that’s the most important job I’ll ever have. So I’m rich in peace, spirit an love but that never pays any of those paper bills.

  135. Whether it’s financial support, emotional support or a better opportunity, any individual that is in poverty must be given a leg up from someone. Your statistics were great, but your thoughts about being in poverty are incredibly skewed. You sir, are incorrect on many points.

  136. The habits you advocate are more or less fine. But even assuming your statistics are true — notwithstanding that you don’t cite anything whatsoever in support of them — your understanding of poverty never gets off the ground because you mistake correlation for causation.

  137. So much negativity!!!!! It’s amazing to me that so many of you negative commenters sound so defensive. He’s not attacking you! So, why are you in such an uproar about what he is saying? Oh wait, because you don’t understand and that frightens you, thus you’re lashing out, cavemen I swear! My wife and I came from nothing. We were broke growing up. We were broke throughout high school & college. (Paid as we went, no help from anyone!) We worked hard and got nowhere. We listened to our parents, but they were broke too. So, we decided to stop listening to them and find other avenues. Guess what???? We became more financially successful than both our parents combined in just a short amount of time. All throughout our major financial decisions, our parents cautioned us, warned us, threatened us, and shared stories of past friends failures. Not because they didn’t want us to succeed, but because they wanted us to be safe and “Hold on to what you got.” So don’t tell me it’s because we came from money to begin with, or it’s because we’re white. We climbed out of the ghetto and the poor man’s mindset by using determination, many short term goals, and our child’s future (as well as our own) as incentive. If you can’t envision change, it will NEVER happen for you! Not wish, envision. What Mr. Corley wrote is true. Parents pass down such idiotic advice sometimes and they don’t even realize it. They’re just trying to protect you, even if it holds you back. This article just offered you free advice to help not only you, but your children as well. And you bash him for it? I just don’t understand. Oh wait, you don’t either and that’s why you’ll stay poor… or bottom middle class, or whatever you’re crying about. Mr. Corley is essentially telling you, yes you can, and you’re (reasoning) or (excuses) that I’ve read are the very same reasons you’ll remain right there at the bottom. Good luck with that.
    Awesome article by the way…….

  138. Having been poor AND having worked with a lot of poor kids, I can say a couple of things regarding the author’s stats:

    This information is terrific, but the fact of the matter is, most of these lessons are passed on by parents. This sort of education does not crack into the cycles of poverty that ravage poor communities. If you grow up thinking that a check cashing joint is a banking institution, then that’s where you’ll do you business (it doesn’t help if your community doesn’t have banks but a check cashing joint on every corner). You won’t be listening to books on tape if you’re riding the bus/subway (and do you really have a smartphone that can do that)? If you live in a community that is a food desert, you have access to cheap high-calorie food, but fresh fruit & veggies? Forget it.

    This isn’t to make excuses for the poor, There is a certain level of entitlement and a problem with instant gratification that are also culprits. you can’t fix it by raising the minimum wage or giving away freebies. You can help by providing financial literacy at an early age (starting in elementary school) and helping parents along with the students.

  139. Rebecca Gonshak says:

    What did your parents do to go from multi-millionaires to broke overnight? Did they stop flossing?

  140. Rebecca Gonshak says:

    What did your parents do to go from being multi-millionaires to broke overnight? Did they stop flossing?

  141. Orlanzo Powell says:

    I believe that poverty is essential to the maintaining order, stability and a working system in the world. Though out time there has been rich and poor people and things only get chaotic when too many people get rich (money loses its value) or when too many people get poor (revolutions usually start). Currently though, most countries are on the brink of the latter and while people living in poverty may blame the system for oppressing them and keeping them down (which is partly true) all the blame cannot be placed on the system. As the article rightfully states “79% of the wealthy believe they are responsible for their financial condition vs. 18% of the poor”. Poverty in a lot of cases come out of ignorance and bad financial decisions and those decisions may not be yours… It could have been your parents’ or their parents’ or their great-grand parents’ and today you suffer because of it. You suffer because those financial ideologies are all you know or you just refuse to learn from the mistakes of others. You suffer because the financial mistakes put you in deep shit that you will never live to dig yourself out of… The truth is… majority of the people alive today may never get rich or enjoy luxury but if you are smart (and you grew up in a poor family) think of your duty on earth as breaking the cycle of poverty in your family. There are laws about money that has governed the ways and wealth of the rich and these laws are as old as money itself. Find them— study them— implement them in your life.

  142. anony-nony says:

    My only problem with his numbers is, “correlation doesn’t always equal causation”. Of course rich people are going to have different habits from poor people, because they live in different worlds; but that doesn’t necessarily mean that taking on a rich person’s habits will magically make you rich.

    That said – I do like most of his daily habits, and think they could make anyone happier and healthier. The habits directly dealing with money may help set up a child to become wealthy… but if that child chooses a job in, say, the liberal arts, it will likely never be wealthy in the traditional sense. It can be very happy, though!

  143. Roberto Dardón says:

    Interesting facts has been shared in this article. It remains me an old nine-pages-paper written in 1889 by Andrew Carnegie called “The Gospel of Wealth”.

  144. This article would have made a lot of sense if there was only ONE color race. Social injustice is the plague.

  145. sstaples says:

    I have to disagree with the idea that poverty is hard to get out of, it requires hard work and effort. I’m 27 year old who grew up in poverty, the product of two drug abusing parents. I made the mistake of having my first child at 15 and knew that I was setting myself up for failure. I did not have any help, when I said no help I mean to the point I saved 500 dollars from my ice cream job, went to the court house and got empacipated from my parents. I needed to be able to start getting the help I needed to care for my child, I had to legally divorce my parents. Yes at 16 I used assistance but that was to ensure daycare for my child while I went to school and worked, and to help with obtaining my first place at 17, I graduated from high school with honors yet I knew I wanted more. I used all the scholarships offered to me and went to community college because it was paid for the whole 2 years due to my grades and income. I did not stop there I network my butt off to get a job at a library and start putting myself in better work situations, so that I could meet people who were higher in their own personal status. I befriended people outside my social comfort level. All this before 21. I graudated with my BSW at 24 and went on to become a case manager. I decided to go a different route with my degree because I knew I wanted to help, people and get paid in the process and went over to managed care work. I started off at 50000. I went back to school for my MSW and began working as a supervisor for a startup company remotely from home. I managed to double my income by 27 and I work from home and all this with out my MSW in hand. I have two kids now and married and I believe that if you want to be out of poverty you can, you will just be working twice as hard as anyone else. There are no excusses.
    Thank you for thia article I will be implementing these things with my children and myself, because I want them to know what it means to be financially successfully. I will be going to your site as well

  146. This fantastic article was forwarded to me by one of my friends. As a 30 year vet in the financial services industry (Albeit in Canada not the USA). The same facts and figures can be applied to both western world demographics. The sad fact is that the developed world has the resources and knowledge to change – especially in a society with abundance and opportunity. Why is it that many tend to take the easy way out? All successful businesses have a written business plan and specific goals and targets to attain. Yet the majority of western society spends more time planning their family vacation than their financial future.

  147. Alan Jacobs says:

    I find what you say interesting. I myself came from a poor family. I grew up and broke that cycle. I was overweight as a child, still have a few extra pounds on me now, but I own a restaurant and that’s kind of expected when you’re always tasting the food that you serve to make sure it’s perfected. I wouldn’t necessarily say that those “habits” would cause your children to be poor. Of course rich people don’t watch much t.v. cause they have the money to do other things than save and stay at home. Of course poor people tend to be bigger seeing as it is way cheaper to just go to McDonalds and buy items off the dollar menu when healthy food is so much more expensive. When you’re poor it’s all about saving money. I got the first job I could which was at a fast food restaurant. BIG MISTAKE!!! It took me years to break out of the food industry (only to end up owning my own restaurant).
    Fast food places don’t pay crap but once you’re in it’s is damn near impossible to get out without getting a degree first and even then it’s tough. When you go to apply for a different job all they see is the fast food experience and they don’t think you’re fit for anything else. I wasn’t able to get my business degree till after I was 30. After I was married for some years. Most of today’s wealth had their money handed down to them (most not all). There are quite a few making it up there. But CEO’s and CFO’s usually had a great start. It’s easy to network when you have the people. Try networking when you work at a factory that was soon laid off. Poor parents try their best to make sure that their kids don’t end up like them. That they better themselves.
    My brother is dirt poor. To me he is a lost cause. I’ve tried helping him so many times. Only you can change your financial status. I was raised the same as my brother and yet I have money and he doesn’t. Not cause we were taught bad or good habits, but the actual choices we made in life. Even with all my help, my parents help, and our siblings help he just wont get his life together. In the end Habits don’t decide if you’re rich or poor. You do.

  148. Easier said than done. Gotta fix all the social ills first. In a perfect world……………………..

  149. I feel like people are confusing “rich” and millionaire. But sociologically speaking it is very difficult to get out of poverty and if you are in a state of poverty and you have children chances are they will be poor as well..this is due to the fact that they learn from you. With that said it is very hard but it is not impossible. I agree with this article…work hard, be better. Don’t expect to be handed anything.

  150. This article fails to account for why these things exist, merely seeking to remedy a problem by addressing the symptoms through the aspirin of habit changing. You take a snap shot of what is happening and draw many false equivalents. To say that people are poor because they watch more reality tv, don’t floss as much, limit junk food, and believe in good luck more is a very weak correlation. Very weak. Now, setting goals is very important and it would be great if all parents would do this. I myself have risen from homelessness to educated with a career in politics, but this article is bad. While many parents of poor children do not invest their time when they could, many working poor also spend time out of the home working for real wages in which the bottom 40% of the income distribution have not seen an increase since the 70’s. The average male worker makes what he did in the late 60’s, adjusted for inflation. 95% off the economic gains since the recession have gone to the top 1%. There is a significantly noted higher rate of return on capital than labor. But the wealthy take home more as a percentage of the countries income, wealth, and also enjoy better mortality rates than middle and poor classes. There is a significant poverty/income gap. The haves do not have because they are just so good in many cases. They are more likely to be born into nicer homes with higher property values, which results in better schools. Higher life outcomes. People born into the one class are overwhelmingly likely to stay there. People higher on the socio-economic ladder are more likely to have parents with better networks, parents who can help them with financial short falls we all experience in college, more likely have them pay for school, lowering their debt and increasing their consumption, more likely to have parents who can support them while they take unpaid internships, and more likely to be white (which means they are more likely to receive preferential treatment in the job market, less likely to be arrested for drug use despite comparable usage rates, and more likely to not be harshly punished as minorities arrested for the same crime.) It is important to teach responsibility, I can’t agree enough. But this article is a self serving “this is what made me great, it can work for you too” diatribe that conflates symptoms for reasons. And these “haves” are more likely to send children to schools that can do much of this responsibility teaching for them while also providing a larger margin of error for those children who still fail. These children may eventually get themselves together as productive members of society, then you ask them their habits, and then present this highly suspect and narrow analysis.

  151. Too many “requires” and “forces” and not enough “encourages” and “models” for my taste. My dad got me to exercise, read informative books, save and budget through incentives and engagement, and I think it stuck much better than if he’d dictated those habits.

    I also question your implied assertion of causality in some cases. Poor folk may miss parents’ night because they are working off shift, but that is not what made them poor. And listening to audiobooks on your commute is a privilege of wealth, not a cause of it.

    Still, I agree that this laundry list consists mostly of worthwhile knowledge and habits, I just question both the methods of employment and whether they are causes or effects.

  152. carolyn thornley says:

    Thanks! I learned a lot!

  153. This is a good article and I agree with much of it. However, you seem to uncritically assume a causal link between the habits your listed and being wealthy or poor. There likely is some causal relationship between some of the habits and wealth but in other cases it seems more like a simple correlation (i.e., flossing), or possibly causality in the other direction (of course someone who is rich is going to believe that they are so, not because of luck, but because they earned it). Obviously how we view money and what habits we cultivate matter, but I would caution against pure causality in these cases. Regardless, it is certainly not demonstrated in this article.

    Additionally, I am a big believer in teaching your kids not only to save, but also to give, and 10% is a good place to start. Wealth matters, yes, but character matters more, and giving is a great way to build character.

  154. I agree with all your ‘habits’ but call BS on all your ‘no inequality’ claim, and disagree with your attack of the Occupy movement. There is wealth inequality, there is economic disparity, issues like the fact wealthy parents CAN attend back to school night because they arn’t working three jobs, and that children from wealthy families DO have an advantage that sets the stage for them to do better in life. Your ignoring many REAL AND PROVEN facts, and the value of your article is decreased by your need to spread your right wing propaganda.

  155. My husband came from nothing. Mom divorced, dad an alcoholic, no parents around and nothing to eat in his house. He had love but no guidance growing up and no money growing up. They didn’t understand why he wanted to go to college. He does very well financially now and it’s not from luck and it certainly was not handed to him. He is where he is from HARD WORK, setting goals, prayer and believing in himself when none else around him did. We have 3 things we must do as parents, educate, love, educate our kids. I work for a dental implant center and I can assure you that restoring rotted teeth is a $50k procedure. I can also assure you that 95% of the people who come in there say they were poor growing up and their parents never took them to the dentist. Good habits and values need to be taught thru implementation in our households daily. These financial classes need to be taught in every school too.

  156. This article sickens me. God, “motivational speakers” really rub me the wrong way. Makes it seem like rich people got rich just because of their good habits. It’s a lot easier to develop all these good habits when you live a comfortable life, as so many rich people did growing up (yes, some people are self-made, and good for me, but most of the wealthy are not.) I tend to think that good habits are a byproduct of wealth, maybe more than wealth is a byproduct of good habits – unprovable, but this author lays his claim pretty strongly. Completely vilifies the poor. Unabashedly classist, and just feeds into our dangerous narrative that the rich should be entitled to behave however they want because they’re superior human beings. This article reeks of social Darwinism and paternalism, and also seems to suggest that the only goal in life is to become rich – i.e. money = virtue. Also doesn’t mention that a lot of wealthy people have been shown to be less moral – how do you get ahead in this dog eat dog world? By being a ruthless asshole. Our hypercapitalist society rewards that. Were the Wall Street bankers rigging and then crashing our economy through lies and deceit one of those “wealthy habits” this douchebag is so proud of?

    Yes, everyone should try to be as diligent and hardworking as possible. But don’t be such an asshole, at a time when a tiny minority controls the vast majority of the planet’s wealth, to call good habits “rich habits” and bad habits “poverty habits.” Because guess what? If your parents can’t afford to send you to college, due to laws passed by these amazing rich people, then you can have all the good habits in the world, but it’s still gonna be pretty hard to get ahead.


  157. I agree with some of the points and the others I feel is more theoretical. There is a wealth gap and yes the inequality gap is still high and this has nothing to do with parents.

  158. Connie Abbott says:

    Interesting to note that many who had issues against this article showed belligerence and bitterness in their comments, saying how hard they work and can’t get ahead. I suspect that if they got hold of their tempers and learned to get their point across in a way that is more influential, their wages would rise because their general demeanor would be more useful and less harmful in the work place. I see areas in which I failed to live right, failed to teach aspects of stewardship and mindfulness to my kids; I take what is useful in this article and hope to apply it in the future. It encapsulates more a mindset that can continuously be improved than an absolute that can’t be crossed. Even the richest have areas in which they can improve; no one does it all perfectly. Good to have a wake-up call. Thank you for the article!

  159. Sandra Jernigan says:

    I agree with most of what you said; however, while the media and govt. are teaching our kids that rich people are BAD, Most parents are teaching their kids that to be rich is GOOD and to be poor is BAD. Our values are misplaced….successful kids are not always RICH ones. Good morals and love of God count for much more than money, white collar job and Neiman Marcus clothing.

  160. DomesticGoddess08 says:

    I agree with the overall point of the article. Everyone needs to learn good financial habits and by implementing those habits finances will be better than without good habits. However, good habits does not guarantee wealth.

    In my family, I have a bachelors degree and my husband is working on his second masters degree. Even with our education, cutting costs where we can, and living within our means, we still are considered under “Poverty” level. Now, before anyone jumps at me for “cutting where we can” let me explain what I mean by that. We own both our cars outright, we don’t pay for cable, or only have data for our cell phones because we need it for my business, pay for necessities and very few wants (if we have the cash for them). We are still poverty level. On our current income, we can’t afford a bigger place or a better neighborhood and will always be paycheck to paycheck. Something has to change or our situation won’t improve. Extra money we receive such as tax refunds or gifts goes into savings or to pay for big expenses that we can’t afford with our monthly paycheck.

    Now, we are NOT accepting our poverty. We want out of poverty. Despite applying for jobs for over a year, my husband has not be able to get a higher pay job in his field. Yes, we could get more money if he worked in a different field, had more than one job, or if I worked outside the home, but we have certain priorities. Family comes first. Time together as a family and me staying home with the kids is more important to us than more money. We will continue to actively look for better positions, continue to live within our means, cut where we can, and save. Even if we can’t get a better position, we are teaching our children how to live within their means, save, and prioritize needs and wants so they hopefully will not be in poverty. We believe education is important, as well as self-control.

    So yes, good financial habits help, but they won’t always bring someone out of poverty just be practicing those habits or it may takes many, many years.

    • Jessica says:

      I have a PhD, work full time, do not do anything considered “luxurious” at all and am still living paycheck to paycheck. Last year I finally thought I might have a little extra to same and now my kids are going to college….which I will have to pay for. The person who wrote this has the means to save…the means to do all of the things that , although very smart, are not things people in poverty are able to do….When you are making 12.00 per hour you do not have the luxury of saving even 1% of your paycheck and if your kids are making money, it is likely that they will be helping you out.

  161. Sorry to tell all the negative comments but I have done both. I have lived poor and was doing almost all the poor habits. Then found Dave Ramsey and eliminated all debt and began to build wealth. It is amazing to see that my wife and I now do almost all of the habits that wealthy people do. Not wealthy by any means but getting there! Very good and true article. t.

    • Dave Ramsey is a great mentor. I was fortunate to have been on his radio show in 2013. He doesn’t usually have guests or other authors on so I was truly honored that he let me share my Rich Habits with his listeners.

  162. Justin Conrad says:

    People often speak of the economy or their economic situation being less than desirable. The one notion or understanding most do not realize is, unlike the 50’s or 60’s the “economy” is now truly a global term. We are right in the middle of global economic equalization. Third world countries are becoming manufacturers of goods, a middle class is developing in those countries, our jobs are going to those countries, more and more of our goods come from those countries. This is our competition, if you want to compare, we have no poverty in this country. We don’t have a global government, we must compete. China, Mexico, India, Argentina…they will have no remorse putting food, electronics, steel, help line services on our shelves for purchase at half the price we do. Open your eyes, the money is leaving the country. The government, the rich guy, and your dad are not plans, it’s mine and only mine to make the most of. If a person has ideas that may help build my success and help me build my families success why should I not listen with an open mind. Great read!!!

  163. Although I have no love to listen to most motivational speakers, there are a few I got some positive info from. The same with this article. I found it short and compact and easy pick the things I could apply to my live. But it is my impression like with all subjects and issues, when discussed, it is mainly a generalisation. The average, most common occurrence. And no one person or one situation falls exactly at that point. I thought some of the facts Mr Corley pointed out and recommendations he offered were useful. They made me think. The big problem for me now is, how do I change the things I should? Is it to late to make a difference? And this is where motivational speakers fail me personaly. Every time. They make me feel I am not doing enough, not doing the right things. I am going to fail, me or my child is not going to be as successful as I want me/him/her or them to be. And then they leave me with the anxiety. I can see the goal, where I want to be, I can see where I am now and why, but there is no in between, no pathway, no guidelines. dotted line allowing me to fill the gaps and find the path. No, the path is indicated by little crumbs, pecked away by life before I can get to the next one. So again I am lost, I have info on the “what, why, where” and some of the “who” because it is not only “me” or “I” …………but where is the “HOW”?
    The “How” is the difficult part, for there are so many variable influences. At this point is where motivational speakers disappoint me.
    I think there is no how options because, as seen in all the negative comments above, that is where the money is to be made. Where the government fails people
    because if the “how” was included in this article, nobody would have to buy Mr Corley’s book. And if these are the statistics why doesn’t the government, schools etc. take note of these issues and do something about it. They don’t want us all to be Rich and successful.
    Just imagine if 30% people played the lotto less often, wasn’t overweight but rather healthy, watched less TV, reality shows and spend less time on fb and twitter.
    this would create a Big dent in the goverment purse.
    On the other hand, maybe if all of us (including every one that had comments above) did one small thing. We all agree life isn’t fair and we’re not getting what we deserve. but just image if 30% more people reached at least one goal, attended school events, had a chance to see their child’s name on a honour roll, or roll for achievers – could we get rid of the high percentage children suffering from ADHD, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse issues, and low esteem.
    If 30% more people watched less TV, spent less time on fb, watching less reality TV shows, listened to more audio books (available for free at libraries) – maybe we could repair our nations family values, family ties, respect for others and support. Again we may have less drug and alcohol abuse, less anxiety and depression and more opportunity for success.
    Imagine if 30% people flossed their teeth, wasn’t overweight, ate more healthy foods, – what a beautiful strong nation would we be, how happy our children would be,
    And lastly – what if 30% more people – actually did now their credit score and tried to apply some ratio of the 80/20 rule, – took owner ship and believed their wealth does not come from luck alone but that they alone can change their financial condition, played less lotto and gambling.

    Although I have no love to listen to motivational speakers or read their articles, I do sometimes, and just so often I find some useful info from them. The same with this article. I found it short, compact and easy pick the things I could apply to my live,but also lacking. I do realize there are financial and economical reasons why this shortfall occurs. It is my impression like with all subjects and issues, when discussed, there is mainly generalization. The average, most common occurrence. And no one person or one situation falls exactly with in the parameters offered. I thought the facts Mr Corley pointed out and recommendations he offered were very insightful and true. They made me think. The questions for me now is, how do I change the things I should? Is it to late to make a difference? And this is where motivational speakers fail me personally. Every time. They make me feel I am not doing enough, not doing the right things. I am going to fail; I have to change. And then they leave me with the anxiety. I can see where I am now and why ……and I can see the goal, where I want to be, what I want to achieve. But there is no in between, no pathway, no guidelines. No dotted line specific to me, my life, my circumstances. No dots that can guide me to fill the gaps and find the path. No, the path is indicated by little crumbs, pecked away by life before I can get to the next one. So again I am lost, I have info on the “what, why, where” and some of the “who” because it is not only “me” or “I” …………but where is the “HOW”? The “How” is the difficult part, for there are so many variable influences. At this point is where motivational speakers disappoint me.
    I think there is no how options because, as seen in all the negative comments above, that is where the money is to be made. If these are the statistics why doesn’t the government, schools etc. take note of these issues and do something about it. Why don’t they help parents. They don’t want us all to be Rich and successful. So we will have to want it for ourselves.
    Thank you for the article – it made me think. I guess the motivation lies in that.

  164. I can agree with most of your statements to a degree but I see flaws some have been pointed out and you have quickly dismissed them. Some were mentioned in a totally inappropriate way and did not deserve a response.

    To start with you followed or surveyed almost twice as many wealthy families vs the poverty families. Most studies the controls are equal to maintain the integrity of the results. That in its self poses a problem plus you leave out the entire middle class. What level is considered wealthy and what is poverty?

    Sure there are some self made millionaires but many times they are not self made from poverty level or they gad dome amount of help or luck that they just don’t see thrmselves. There are many factors including opportunities that wealthy or semi wealthy people have that poverty level does not have.

    As mentioned there are many hardworking people that have and teach their children good work ethics, responsibility and morals. They teach them to save money, go to church and value their family and friends but thrse people no matter how hard they work and save they will never be wealthy.

    The most important thing is you consider wealth as a monotary thing such as money. Many people consider themselves wealthy because of family, friends, and just the quality of their lives with or without money.

  165. Thomas J. Stanley wrote a great book called “The Millionare Next Door”. The material mentioned in this book is very similar to the data mentioned in this article. Basically in the long run it all comes down to habits. Short term situations are one thing, but over the course of a lifetime, these habits make all the difference. The “real” wealthy are wealthy for a reason and the “real” poor are poor for a reason. Flossing teeth daily is a small thing but over a course of a lifetime it leads to better health which in turn reduces medical costs. Impulse buying at the grocery store for one day is no big deal, but impule buys over a lifetime is money that is not going into the kids college fund. It’s all about habits people.

  166. Here’s better insight into the problem, getting off the poverty hamster wheel. The rich should be taxed at equal percentages as poor, then that money can be used to provide better opportunities to the poor. Unfortunately the rich are the ones that are making up the rules and they are controlled by the richER behind the curtain. We’ve been fed the “trickle down economy” lie long enough. We already know it doesn’t work, so let’s all just pay an equivalent percentage. Better yet, Let’s see if a “trickle up economy” works! It all begins with election reform. Then we can start making some real progress. Follow the link for an interesting illustration. http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/the-pencilsword-on-a-plate

  167. This is a lot of rubbish. I am neither rich nor poor, actually quite average and happy. However try being poor and see if you for example have money for the floss to use daily or the internet costs etc. I am sure the poor would love all the luxuries. I have 4 children of which 1 is still at school. My other 3 are successful degree students and have no ambition to be a rich snob but to have a home with love and values. My other child is at a private school as that’s where we teach and unfortunately is surrounded by rich kids who have no manners and are completely indulged and obnoxious. I pride myself on my childs values, manners and integrity that we have taught him and in my eyes that’s all that matters. You can stick you rich money.

  168. Janelle says:

    I am interested in statistics. How many commentators who “like” this article currently view themselves as “rich” verses aspiring to be “rich”? And, conversely, how many commentators who “dislike” this article (or disagree with the author’s viewpoint) currently view themselves as “rich” versus “poor”?

    And how many commentators who “like” and “dislike” this article identify themselves as being a republican, democrat, or independent? Is there a way to tease out these stats on this forum?

    I would bet that most truly wealthy people dislike this article nearly as much as the people who identify with being financially insecure. I would also bet that many people who “aspire to be wealthy” tend to agree with the author’s viewpoint. I would further bet that the breakdown of people who agree with this author’s viewpoint identify themselves as being republican and those who disagree identify as being democrats or independents.

    I am so fortunate to be financially secure but based on the criteria of the author, I should be living in abject poverty. This article confuses “causation” with “correlation”. It is shameful.

  169. Lanette says:

    The article had some real practical gems that parents of all economic classes should follow in just being good parents. Not all wealthy parents employ these teachings nor do all poor parents ignore them. My parents were not rich. We were working class but we were not allowed to watch much tv, encouraged to exercise, to join academic clubs, not to snack, and play instruments. And on and on. Some of the “habits” of the wealthy and the success their kids achieve are largely aided by additional financial resources, flexibility in work schedules to be home when children are, the ability to provide entrance in top schools, provide safe neighborhoods, pay for tutors, summer camps, healthier/consistent meals, spaceous homes/privacy to focus, stability with basics utilities, etc. My father worked a lot of overtime to support us so he couldn’t attend meet and greets at school, but academic success was highly stressed. Let’s face it. Having abundant financial resources makes it a hell of a lot easier to ensure your kids continue to have the same resources for themselves. It is much more difficult to gain what your parents and their parents never had. Not impossible but much more difficult.

    I think this is the reason I take exception with the tone of this article. At it’s heart it is written by someone of means passing judgment on those who lack. My first reaction was “its easy for YOU to say”. It goes along with this general idea that wealthy people are “better” people… better moral character, hard working, smarter, better parents… while those in poverty lack because their of major flaws with their morals and work ethic. In reality I personally know quite a few lazy, neglectful parenting, entitled wealthy people, and many, many hardworking, proud, honest, 2 job working, salt of the earth poor people. It’s condensing and uncalled for. Attentive, good parenting is universal and does not guarantee an elevation in a child’s future class and wealth standing. We live in a capitalist system where in order for our system to remain balanced there needs to be stratification of wealth. If it was as easy as the author makes it sound everyone would be rich.

    I took a sociology class back in college and learned that actually only 5% of American citizens in recent decades were able to climb or fall from the class they were born into. Whether upper class, middle class, working class, or poor. Typically if you are born rich you die rich. Born poor, die poor. The “American dream” is more of an idealistic notion than an obtainable truism for most Americans. Being wealthy has very little to do with adopting “rich habits”. Without educational programs and active, intentional intervention most well meaning Americans stay right where they are. Facts.

    “Poor parents teach their children the Poverty Habits and wealthy parents teach their children the Rich Habits. We don’t have a wealth gap in this country we have a parent gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality”. Baloney!

  170. I don’t believe he wrote this to say that if you do all these things you will instantly become rich and that if you are poor you are not doing any of these things. What he is saying is that you won’t get rich by making the life choices of someone who is poor just like I won’t lose weight by making the choices of an overweight person. Does yiur life situation have an impact- sure it does just like my genes have an impact on my body make up. But if I sit around thinking that I will always be overweight because it’s in my genes then I will never improve my health. It’s up to me to do everything I can to make the best choices and I may not become a size 2 but my life will improve. Just like doing these things does not mean you will get rich but your life will improve.

  171. J. Wilson says:

    My 12 year old daughter asked, “What is your defenition of poor?” This prompts the next question: “What is your defenition of wealthy?” Thank you!

  172. Good tips, but this article is still ridiculous.

    What do you mean by rich versus poor? Are you drawing the distinction based on some poverty line. Are the rich in the top 1%? The majority of the population is neither rich (if you consider top 1% to be rich) nor poor (if you consider income < 1/2 of median household income to be poor).

    Of course the wealthy will believe wealth comes from "hard work". This is called confirmation bias. However this view ignores inter-generational persistence in low income or poverty. Many people are poor simply because their parents are poor. Having rich parents is a matter of good luck. It follows that luck is a significant factor in determining who becomes rich and who does not.

    Many more problems with these rich vs small factoids. All of these factoids are correlations. It does not follow that doing/believing what the rich do/believe will cause you to become rich.

  173. This article is so out of touch with reality. The author clearly doesn’t understand the difference between causation and coloration.

  174. Sherry Davis says:

    Knowledge is POWER!!! As we all know the greater the educational background the greater the success!! People with a higher degree of learning “typically” achieve financial stability!!

    BUT… please don’t forgot that you cannot out give GOD!! Blessing the church or a God based organization with what God has provided for you is finance 101!!

  175. Why don’t we try JP Getty’s formula for success! Rise early, work hard and strike oil!

  176. First off Thomas C. Corley isn’t the first person to do such research. In the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley has studied millionaires for over 30 years and many of their habits are echoed by Corley’s research. My parents instilled in me practically every habit listed and while my father worked very very long hours for the government we were still considered middle class. I never saw him at sporting events but we were very fortunate to have my mother stay at home and did attend all sporting events and was always there. My parents never paid for my college, car, house or anything after I turned 18. I got away from those habits and financially my life suffered. I got married 18 months ago and my wife who is 8 years younger than myself started living by those principals my parents taught me growing up. I work 1 job while my wife stays home with our 2 kids and runs a daycare watching 5 other children. When I come home she goes to work as a server while I watch the kids. In 18 months we have paid off $10,000 worth of debt, student loans, we have $15,000 sitting in an untouched emergency fund, and are currently saving for a downpayment on a home which by December of 2016 will have over $60,000 in it. We sacrifice daily. We don’t live lavishly, we go on pre-planned dates every week, play with our children as often as possible, we go to church and contribute 10% in tithes and offerings every week. Neither one of us make over $12 an hour either. I say all that to say this: it IS possible to pull yourself up out of nothing. I have done it with the help of my wife. No wealth has been handed to me from anyone. And through prudent planning by retirement age we will both have a legacy of over 2+ million each to bless the lives of other people.

    • Dr. Thomas Stanley and William Danko studied only the affluent. They did not study the poor. And they did not study habits of the affluent. They studied the disparity between the assets, spending and savings patterns of the affluent.

  177. I did not have time to read all the comments so maybe this has been pointed out by another, but I wanted to add to the list of habits of the wealthy and this is family planning. I don’t have statistics on this but in my own experience, waiting until I finished my education, was financially stable with a job and home before having children was a decision that has benefitted me and my children.

  178. My parents did all of these things with me. I’m also well educated. I’ve been in severe poverty since I moved out at 18. That was 6 years ago. I’m finally climbing out of the hole. I can see the poverty line from here. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Keep at it.

  179. Millionaire family to poor overnight… I wonder if the author recognizes the fact that his entire career stems from that simple life occurrence. People rich and poor alike consistently fail to see that their status in life has EVERYTHING to do with connections and consequently, luck. Sure, everyone can make it if they apply the right principles in life… But the author here seems to fail to recognize that the situation he was BORN into had everything to do with who he was able to become. There are absolutely unseen forces that determine your course. Call it God, call it luck but you can’t deny it. If you do, it will rear it’s ugly head soon enough (as his family obviously learned the hard way). Money comes and goes for everyone. Be productive, helpful and appreciative everyday, no matter your current circumstance and you will always have enough.

    • My father had one source of income – his business. 65% of the self-made millionaires in my study had at least 3 sources of income. A mistake on the part of my father, I now see very clearly. After the warehouse burned down, my dad lost the rest of his money in legal fees over 18 months fighting the insurance companies. He ran out of money and had to settle for pennies on the dollar. Fortunatley for my dad and us (his family) he had many of the Rich Habits I talk about and was able to recover. He retired nearly a millionaire in 1984. Connections are not created by luck. They are created by effort. Luck, in part, is a by-product of creating valuable connections forged by effort. I do believe you create your own luck. You can call them unseen forces. I prefer to call them, what they are – byproducts of good habits, hard work and perseverance. Money comes, more than it goes when you have a foundation built upon good habits.

      • Making meaningful connections and having such rich habits do make a difference. When my family moved to Puerto Rico in the late 80’s my dad’s income was cut in half and my mom started to work to make ends meet. There seem to never really be enough money, there were times that I had to wear my mom’s shirts to school That was awkward because schools in Puerto Rico are all uniform schools, so when I showed up with a white button shirt which was several sizes too big for a middle school student, you can tell that there was not enough money to buy one extra shirt for when the other shirts were still wet due to rainfall the day before (no dryers at home) and our only family vehicle was parked at dad’s work and was not coming back until a few hours before we had to wake up for the school bus.
        After leaving the island to go to college and being exposed to life changing books (such as the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) I realized what we were not DOING things that encouraged us to progress in life and feel confident in what we can do. And though I am not quite a millionaire, I feel that we are rich in a sense that my family now are adopting less wasteful habits and actually have goals that help us feel accomplished at the end of the day. I wholeheartedly believe that to a degree, we become what we expose ourselves to. Habits that steer us into building relationships can help us to become more trusted in the eyes of those we come to contact with. Even perfect strangers come to trust me because of how they see what I have done for previous clients and how I strive to seek for solutions rather than complain about the problems set out before me. I strive to treat them well from the moment we meet.

        Watching too much TV is not going to help me build such relationships. Not encouraging our children to read will limit imagination and certain sections of the brain that will help them reason when situations come up and will help them move on. Exercising and limiting junk food can create added confidence. Not setting goals will create the obvious: aimlessness and uncertainty. Learning from our mistakes will help us pick ourselves up and try again, rather that complain and despair. It doesn’t hurt to teach children to manage money so they can strive to financially cannot possibly hurt their future unless it is negatively reinforced and pressured (which is not what I’m seeing here). Having kids participate in organized extracurricular activities will help them see life differently and will help them become problem solvers. Spending quality time with children is essential to their growth- even if it is hiking a nearby trail so you can talk about things that concern them and let you know their needs. Or toss a frisbee around the park or your backyard, will significantly boost their confidence because they see that they are thought of. And by that example you can teach them that managing your time wisely will help you feel and become accomplished.

        I must admit that there are days that I want to be lazy and just let the day run its course, but then when I come to my journal at night and look back on the aimless day, I try to refocus myself and strive to redirect myself to not just feel accomplished but to actually accomplish and help my family in that very thing. I feel that as I strive, I become.

  180. Rebecca Gonshak says:

    How did your parents go from multi-millionaires to broke overnight? Did they stop flossing?

  181. Eric Davies says:

    One of the notable differences between the rich and the poor: the rich understand the difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt is money spent on something that appreciates in value, bad debt is money spent on something that depreciates. Loans for houses versus loans for cars and vacations. Student loans for degrees that will get you a well paying job versus those that won’t.

    The poor also tend to buy the little luxuries because they can’t afford the big necessities, which is because they are always buying the little luxuries. The big screen TV, the cable subscription, the car, the European vacation instead of the house condo. One of the wisest young person I ever met said (when he was in university) that he was going to buy a home before he bought a car; and he did.

  182. This started off as a nice article but there is SO much missing here. I grew up in a poor, single parent home without learning many of the values you posted above. I am now a first generation college student at Boston College not due to parenting, but due to luck! I had a series of coincidental opportunities because of my geographical location that landed me on a full scholarship to private school at the age of 12, which no doubt changed my course. I think you are making too many assumptions about poor parents. They simply do not have the same time and resources (and often education) as their wealthy counterparts and therefore cannot provide the same parenting. They can love and be as involved as possible but the reality is the advantage that wealthy families have cannot simply be overcome with better parenting. This seemed like a big jab to poor parents, making umbrella statements that they simply don’t parent as well as wealthy parents. I personally believe the article to be a bit classist and ignorant. We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality? Really? Yikes. Wealthy and impoverished parents could do everything you suggested in your article and still their kids could easily be stuck in the same tax bracket. What of the kids who work their butts off learning these values only to have jobs unavailable to them because of nepotism or networking of wealthy parents? The playing field will only be level when parents are able to put in the same amount of time and effort and achieve comparable results with their children. Parents should not have to put in all this extra work, because many of them have to work extremely hard, long hours to make a life for their families, they don’t have the luxury of having one parent stay at home to micromanage their children’s lives.

  183. This is a great post. I don’t normally make it through long posts, but this is a quick and comprehensive read with very actionable steps. I’m going to do my best to implement these things in my children’s lives. I don’t feel as if I conveyed all of this to my oldest daughter who is now 23, but I hope to make an even bigger impression on my three younger children and, hopefully, my granddaughter as well.

    What I found to be very encouraging is the fact that I’m doing about 80 percent of what you say wealthy individuals do so I’m hoping this is a good sign that I’m on my way to a wealthier existence/lifestyle and that I am hopefully getting across to my children. I’m going to print out this page and ensure that I’m working on this everyday with the youngsters.

    Thanks for the encouragement and information.

  184. sandra sullivan says:

    Sandy Sullivan I teach My daughter to Honor God, To Tithe, To Volunteer in the Community ( which we both do ), I also Homeschool my daughter through online school ( she is an A and B student and going into Honors next year ) I teach her to apoligize when she is wrong admit mistakes, I show her our budget and show how to budget. I am a single mother and finacially I am poor but looking at Spiritually and everything else I am very very very rich indeed. To me its more important to Honor God, Show love, Help others, admit when wrong, ask God to help us when we need to change something that isn’t good and ask Him to reveal that to us, To always do the very best you can not just be good enough but the best that they can and I also teach eating healthy and excercise. Like I said I am a single mom I am in the povery level but I am so rich in everything but $ and I would rather be rich in those areas then to be rich in $ and be poor in the other areas. Just saying God is most important. I do believe you can be wealthy and put God above it but it is very hard to esp. when it comes to either going to work or going to church if you chose work then you are chosing work above God and you will eventually fall.

  185. The article is good, seeing that everyone is entitled to their opinions, on what makes people wealthy. The action plan is a bit regimental. I will let my kids watch adequate TV – who knows, they might get into media or film production one day. TV (the right TV channels, that is) spur creativity in kids. They learn more than you will ever teach them on National Geographic, have endless stories to share with friends grabbed from Nickelodeon etc. Does that mean they will not be wealthy? No. You see, Thomas, becoming rich is not just about your mindset. +Mindset is just one of the ingredients to success.
    As a believer, I place faith in God, smart thinking and hard work in that order as my recipe for being rich. It is disappointing when few (or nobody) ever attributes their being rich to Providence. My children will be wealthier than me. I will give them a good foundation in education and everything, but above all, I will have instilled in them the belief that God comes first and that faith plays a pivotal role in their life.
    External factors, like good governance (the ‘system’) also helps when it is pro-empowerment. But ultimately, in this marathon of life, its God and hard work that makes you rich. And when God is in the mix, the wealth is sustained for generations to come. You parents were rich then they got broke. You are rich today. Will your kids and grandkids benefit from your current wealth or will you die with it? Fundamental questions these are.

  186. Bethany says:

    Wealthy people can afford tutors. That’s where your 29% vs 4% honor roll comes from. 1 in 5 children have learning disabilities that are most generally genetic. The only kids who overcome them are those with parents who have the knowledge. time and/or background to help them or the money to pay others to help. This is a hugely flawed analysis of rich vs poor.

  187. Good read, poor by choice, rich by nature!!

  188. Very insightful article and I appreciate the stats. While I was “poor” as a child (I was never homeless or had utilities cut off and there was food on the table), I am in a better financial situation than my single mother that raised me.
    In a human development course I recently took, it was very insightful how there seems to be a vicious cycle of staying in poverty. One of the things we considered for this cycle was the adults children in poverty vs. “rich” or better-off children see growing up. “Rich” children’s parents’ social group consist of other professionals, be it busniess owners, surgeons, lawyers, etc. However, what does the social group of “poor” children’s parent consist of? Growing up, I did not know business owners or professionals with higher income. To me, people that were doctors, surgeons, a lawyers, etc were not real people! I joined the military and essentially “fled” from that mentality and culture. I may not be “rich”, but comforable middle class, yet if I am smarter with my money and career choices, I know I can get into an even better financial status. I am grateful that I know people in different professions, more people with graduate or doctorate degrees than if I’d never left home. I am “lucky” to be able to expose my daughter to differe types of professionals I work for and with and successful adults so that she is aware that anything is possible.

  189. I loved this post so much I shared it with my readers today on my blog. Thank you so much for doing this study and sharing the results with us. I find this information highly valuable for teaching my kids how to be financially successful. I look forward to following your blog on a regular basis now. Thanks again!

  190. Rebecca says:

    While you raise some good points here, how many of these are causal factors and how many of these items are products of having wealth vs not having it? How many of those 87% of poor parents who missed back to school night missed it because they had to work? Jobs of the wealthy tend to be day shift. Those who are not tend to work shift work. The 80/20 rule is all well and good when you CAN live on 80% of your household income, but for those people living under the average income, it’s hard to make ends meet on 100% of your household income, let alone manage to save anything. And if their parents were also poor, why would they teach a rule they themselves cannot live by? The overweight thing can be directly linked to the fact that processed junk food is far and away less expensive than it’s healthier counterparts, and more convenient too when you’re exhausted from putting in long hours trying to make a decent wage. So while, yes, many of the poor’s habits, like passing out in front of reality TV and playing the lottery may not be helping them get ahead, some of these stats are caused by poverty, not things that are making them poor. Also several of your suggestions like expecting to limit junk food when it’s so much less expensive than real food, having kids manage their money when you have none to give them to manage, or enrolling them in extra curriculars when you cannot pay for them simply doesn’t work. In theory, I like the article, but it has some flaws.

    • Changing your habits is a process. it takes time. Nothing happens overnight. Adding one Rich Habit a month and eliminating one Poverty Habit a month is the right approach. Baby steps work. Massive habit change only succeeds when you baby step the process. 31% of the wealthy in my study were raised in a poor household. I wrote Rich Habits and Rich Kids to help equip poor parents with the habits to teach their kids so they can break the generational cycle of poverty that plagues the poor. The point about managing money is not predicated on the amount of money you can save but, instead, the habit of saving. It’s a habit they can take with them into their adult lives. Self-education, through reading, is as effective as formal education.

  191. Great Article Tom
    Cleary it’s not what you leave your kids that matters – it’s what you leave “in your kids” that matters

  192. This article is so narrow-minded and implies that poor people do not work hard enough. Not only are the views present in this article out of touch with reality, it also simplifies a global and national problem. Let us not forget the wealth is America is largely accesible to the white majority while the minority have been politically and socially segregated by the country that is suppose to provide “equal opportunity.” Literally, the viewpoints held by people in similar mindset is part of the problem with how poverty is dealt with in America.

  193. While I like the article, I’d be more impressed if there was actual evidence that changing these behaviors worked. unfortunately a longitudinal intervention study is a lot more expensive than a survey about TV time and teeth flossing.

  194. Great article. I did read through all the comments but…Are you aware of the work done by Ruby Payne et al Bridges Out of Poverty? Financial success courses yes but also the psychology of poverty and wealth need to be addressed alongside. There is much to be learned and a huge difference between generational poverty (where 3 generations or more have lived in poverty) and situational poverty ( where a family has to deal with temporary poverty usually after a major event like natural disaster or immigration but still has the mindset to rebuild). People in generational poverty need mediation to be able to navigate the world of wealth- however, there are entire communities of people in generational poverty and this takes years of hard work by community social workers who are able to mediate the world of wealth to help those who have no idea how to navigate the hidden rules.

  195. Donna Allgaier-Lamberti says:

    I am not saying that good habits are bad. But not everyone values money and financial richness in the same way. Some families value having the time to spend together as being rich in time other see richness in their children and grandchildren. My personal goal was to never be rich but to rather have the basic’s covered, educate my two sons and then have the time to read, walk in the woods, take a photography course, cook a healthy and delicious meal, exercise and stay healthy. I was “financially comfortable” in my first marriage (my husband valued working hard so he could take a ski trip or a vacation to Cancun.) I instead valued being home to raise my two sons 21 month apart, to take them to the library, read to them, supervise their activities and help them to become responsible young adults and to keep our house nice and to have a healthy, home cooked hot meal on the table very night. My husband pressured me to work so that there was money to play. We never saw eye to eye….so which of us was the weathiest?

  196. I live in poverty. Life is hard and then you die.

  197. One thing for certain…..it takes everyone, rich or poor, to make the world run like an engine and keep going. We need the person that works at the fast food restaurant to service someone in a hurry, the postal man who is courteous enough to not leave the package out in the weather, the housekeeper who cares enough about the family’s household she is cleaning for in order to make their lives easier and the list goes on.

    I found this article to be somewhat biased. How can all the wealthy people be in the positive percentage and all the poor be in the negative percentage. Was there not anything that the poor excelled at compared to the wealthy people.

    On the other hand, I did find some good points here.

  198. You can blame parents for everything about the rich and poor and I agree, but don’t forget that some of these parents may became rich due to dishonest and lie which are bad habits for rich to teach their children

  199. 33% of rich people drives Porsche while 0% of poor people do. If you want to be rich, drive a Porsche.

    Seriously, while I agree on the tips regarding the raising of a child, the rest of the article is crap. The author doesn’t understand the simple concept of cause and effect and the sampling for analysis is poor and unprecise, and it’s laughable that its even considered to draw any conclusion based on a nation of over 300 millions specially when you don’t take in account the bad US education system in that said ”analysis”.

  200. Fantastic article! I would note though that “punishing” children for losing their temper is not fostering healthy emotional development. Bring awareness to WHY they are losing their temper and teach AND MODEL healthy ways in which to handle stressful situations. Punishment never has positive outcomes for developing children’s self worth, level of self worth equates one’s ability to thrive and rise above common poverty mindset and programming.

  201. A lot of this, while sound advice, is hogwash. Most of these habits listed here aren’t practiced by a large number of the wealthy in this country. I take this article as what it is, one man’s opinion based on one man’s observations.

  202. This reading is merely another example of a mechanism designed to instill the belief that capitalist “earned” and “deserve” what they have, while blaming the poor for their impoverished status. It assumes that “habits” of the wealthy actually caused their wealth, rather than colonialism, inheritance, laws that bolster their wealth, etc… He argues that the wealthy have habits that are in alignment with a system they created to promote their own interests. No surprise there! If individuals would only believe that the wealthy are superior and adopt their simple behaviors, then they will be wealthy as well! I have no idea why such vast inequality exist in our nation and world, when the answers are so simple.

  203. James Novak says:

    As I read these comments and opinions posted by others, I am reminded that successful people find room for improvement in everything they do. Unsuccessful people make excuses for themselves. As I read many comments here, in relation to the article above, I find so many excuses for the wealthy being wealthy and the poor being poor. Yes, many factors in our society have made it far too easy for the rich to continue growing their wealth and for the poor to be held down in poverty. However, in my experience, (and this is only an example of what I’ve learned and in no way to be taken as a fact that I am pushing into others…you have the right to agree or disagree with my experience as you choose) I grew up with divorced parents. My mother left my father because, in her mind, he was stingy and cheap. He never bought anything expensive, took her (or my two younger brothers and I) out to eat often, and when we did go out to eat, it was a simple and inexpensive. He had a used car, we lived in a small house. My mother was unhappy with what she didn’t have. She left my dad, moved in with another man who wined her and dined her to no end. He also ran up her credit, did not work, drank and smoked endlessly, and did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. My mother declared bankruptcy twice due to this man. She had to sell everything because she was now being evicted from the house that she and this other man (who did become my step-father) shared due to failure to pay rent. She could not qualify for a loan of any kind. Now on the other hand, my father was awarded full custody of my brothers and I. He took the night shift at his job for the differential pay per hour. HE SAVED his money! He bought a new house, bought a new car (paid in cash) and provided everything that my brothers and I NEEDED (Payless shoes, Walmart clothes, goodwill furniture) My father has never made a minimum payment of a credit card. He always paid every bill then saved everything else. He had the money for me and my brothers to be the school band, buying us our instruments, pay for football equipment, have some fun and travel for a few days each year. Plus, he over-paid on his child support every month by and extra $100. In my experience, I have the habits of the rich and the poor. My father was never wealthy, but he never had to worry about his finances. My mother learned this lesson the hard way and has regretted it many times over the past twenty-four years. She is just now, at age 60, beginning to have a solid grasp on her finances. She told me, “I was so impatient when I was younger that everything I enjoyed was over very fast. I never got to enjoy anything long-term. I left your father because he didn’t give me what I wanted, but he always have me what I needed and what you and your brothers needed. Though your father has forgiven me, I’ll never forgive myself for making that mistake.” That’s my lesson. You may learn from the mistakes of others or you may dismiss it. Bottom line is, your choices, both good and bad, will always have long-term consequences.

  204. Thomas W. Yale says:

    I champion the introduction of financial literacy in school curricula. Kids might not get that from their parents.

    But I caution that although habits of rich people are worth following, they don’t necessarily guarantee that people will always be rich as a result. “The fact is the poor are poor because they have too many Poverty Habits and too few Rich Habits” is a hasty generalization. There are more factors involved, more than the article mentions.

    For example, myself. I have no TV, don’t play the lottery, weigh 175 pounds, know my credit score, get plenty of exercise (some say excessive), spend about one hour per day on social media, do not use the Internet at all for recreation, read as many as five books a month.

    I have little opportunity to network with people except through the Internet, at work or with my Baha’i community at the Center, as I have no car and often have to rely on other people for rides.

    I learned the 80/20 rule, but have been unable to apply it, because all of the $6952 I earned from employment last year, plus what little extra I made from odd jobs, went to rent, electricity and phone, nothing else. There was nothing left to save, and it looks as if the same will happen this year.

    Good habits do help people to gain and maintain wealth. But they’re not a guarantee that they always will.

  205. I teach middle school and was told by a district official it was not our agenda to teach respect and responsibility …

  206. Only three rules for having a 98% statistical chance of avoiding poverty. Graduate high school, get a full-time job, and be at least 21 and married before having children. Too many folks want to break the rules and then complain about how hard they are now working. Virtually all of the increases in childhood poverty over the past several decades have been the result of increases in single mother births. Childhood poverty could be virtually eliminated with ONE rule…if you can’t even support and feed your own self, don’t be bringing children into the world for someone else to support! The highest income group in the country has the highest college completion rate (by far) and the lowest single mother birth rate (by far). Opposite is true for the lowest income group.

    Not everyone’s culture of origin is conducive for being a productive and contributing member of a civilized society. Number one reason for generational poverty…a VICTIM mentality. Blame someone else…nothing for you to change. If you don’t change you don’t improve. Don’t improve…generational poverty.

    Comparing low income/least educated vs. higher income/most educated showed there were 30 million more words spoken in the higher group compared to the lowest, with the middle group speaking 12 million more…and this was during the first 4 years do child’s life (before they even started kindergarten)! More disturbing stats showed 560,000 more encouraging words than discouraging spoken in higher group and 125,000 more discouraging than encouraging (2:1 ratio), with the middle group having 2:1 more encouraging. Children grow up having to compensate for parents who were not willing to…so sad!

  207. These are all good points, some thought of and some not. I often think of how certain ethnic groups seem to be more successful while others not too much. I think all people have the capacity to do all these things. However, number 5 may be true somewhat but remember that poor people cannot afford the healthier food but can afford the not so healthy food which will in essence make them obese. If things were the other way around that too may turn around. I like goals and taught my kids how to set short and long term ones and to NEVER take both eyes off of it until it is met and they can make another. Good read.

  208. Jill_the_Pill says:

    21% of the wealthy are overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor
    — The wealthy can afford healthier food.
    83% of the wealthy attend/attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor
    — The poor cannot get time off from their second job.
    29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor
    — It’s hard to make the honor roll if you’re poorly fed, easy if you can afford a tutor.
    63% of wealthy listen to audio books during their commute vs. 5% of the poor
    — The poor are often using transit.

  209. Tom, Great article..however,if I may add an important piece to the equation: Watch who YOU and YOUR children surround themselves with. Personal and interpersonal relationships account for over 78% of our “success” in life emotionally, socially, spiritually, and economically. Personally I surround myself with people who are both middle to high income…however..the common tie is that everyone that I surround myself with are positive and grateful, productive, pay-it-forward minded and pro active in their own individual economic goals. You’re known by the company you keep is what my parents taught…and this thought goes in many directions and boils down to making GOOD choices. Thanks again!

  210. Success is relative. Wealthy is a state of mind. I have way more than my friends who earn six figures plus. And by more I mean not just material things. If being rich means I post an article with my photo in front of some boats looking like a (DB) no thanks. I’ll take my freedom from the daily schedule over your materialism any day. Get in touch dude. Your not the only person who ever worked long or hard. Let’s talk. You need help.

  211. Jane Lane says:

    there’s more information on this page than in his book

    • I have more than 1 book. Will release more data in my upcoming book: Change Your Habits Change Your Life. S/B out in October. Also, coming out with a 2nd edition or Rich Habits this year. I will include all of my data from my Research Summary.

  212. All well and good…but kindness in the end rules…not how much money you have in the bank.

  213. Sorry to ask a dumb question. What does wealthy networking consist of? How is it done?

  214. I understand you probably have good, helpful intentions, but the your wording is a bit disgruntling. You Mae it sound as if it’s the poor’s fault for being poor. What I got from your statistics is that “they’re not trying hard enough”. Did you ever think that maybe poor people are heavier weight wise is because they eat fast food because they can’t AFFORD silver platters? You make it sound like becoming rich is just as easy as counting to ten. The rich people in your case are smarty, classy, and have everything going for them. But you didn’t take it into account that maybe the way they started off made it a lot easier for them too. Some poor parents care about their child’s education, they care so much they have to have two jobs, which leads to less time being spent with their child. In that case, though, spending less time with their kid does not mean they care any less than a more privileged parent does and vice versa. I understand the point of your article, but you make it seem like it’s poor people’s fault that they are in the position they’re in. Sometimes it’s true, but most of the time it’s far from the truth. Financial issues are on a gray scale, they’re aren’t so simply put. One thing that irked me is your “luck” comment. Sometimes, the case is that luck is all they have. Of course rich people don’t need luck, they’re already happy in the position they’re in. A good example to put privilege into perspective can be seen in this link:http://www.boredpanda.com/lesson-about-privilege-awareness/
    Basically, the kids toss trash in the trash can, if you make it, you can move up the social scale. But some kids seats were closer to the trash can then others. When it was time to throw the trash in, the kids closer to the trash can hard a higher chance of making it in than the kids in the back. Now in comparison between the rich and the poor, where do you think the poor people are sitting in comparison to the trash can?

  215. “Require that children to read one to two educational books a month.” My kiddos aren’t teens yet, what type of educational books are you talking about and do you have age appropriate suggestions?

    • I intentionally wrote RicH Habits at the 6th grade reading level so young kids could read it. I made each of my kids read How to Win Friends and Influence People when they were in the 7th grade. Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesmen in the World is 6th grade reading level.

  216. Komplikator says:

    ““How many have taken a course in school on how to be financially successful in life?””

    Care to tell us how many High Schools even offer such a class? That’s right! NO NE
    OF THEM!

  217. From someone who grew up poor and started my adult life making all the same decisions my parents and grandparents made I can tell you this article is spot on even without the stats. As an adult I followed my innate character and changed my path by making better choices and some of the very difficult such as going to college as a single mother of 5 when I was 30 (the catalyst being my dying husband’s last request being I follow my dreams and change my stars dispite his coming death). These challenges changed my life, my children’s life and out financial future. Are we rich, no but do we live 1-2 pay checks away from financial reunion no. Being rich and being poor is absolutely about personal choice and habits.

  218. WTF is this shit? Seriously?!?! Where the hell are your sources?!?! 90% of the people who agree with this shit are dumb as fuck vs the 10% who find this dumb are smart.

  219. Good practical tips that would help but please don’t pretend that everyone can get rich in the stuffed up immoral society – AND why should everyone want to – why is success measured in money. Let the great artists- create, let the great thinkers-think, let the great educators- edcuate and let the great healers- heal and let the great businessesman and women make the money to pay for this. Rich people are no better or no worse than anyone else. They should just be cogs in a functioning world that recognises that life becomes pretty shitty, pretty quickly when the dustbin guys go on strike. It is time for the rich to recognise their talent as just that – a talent no different to the talents of other people and they are not deserving of sitting on the worlds gold any more than a poet who just needs the space to ply his talents. The world would be a much richer place if people could follow their passions and talents without fear of not being able to put food on the table, educate their kids or visit a hospital. So lets also teach children economics 1.1 There is only so much wealth in the pot – if you want more someone else has to have less – that is how it works. Have you looked at the poorest of the poor starving in Africa, South America and India and really felt that you could justify all you take from the pot. And understand that America has growing illertracy and one of the hightest rates on malnutrition in the world, one of the poorest ecology laws and one of the highest rates of unhappiness – then lets talk the American Dream?? Let us teach our children that they need to expect less in life in order to uplift those that have nothing – and that this is a good thing, because it enriches all of us not just some of us.

  220. Wow! I love this article.

    Right now I am going to share this.

    Thank you for this..

  221. 100% of the people who do not understand statistics, also misunderstand correlation to be the same as causation. Cite your source?

    • If you look at the individual habits, you cannot make the case for causation. When you aggregate the habits of each group, causation becomes clear. The University of London study on habit formation applied the same logic in determining the timeframe for habit formation (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0908/09080401) as did Dr. Thomas Stanley in his analysis of the spending and savings habits of affluent households (Millionaire Next Door).

  222. I share the appreciation that others have for the message of being disciplined and having a good work ethic. I also agree that there are “poor” habits, and “rich” habits.

    Unfortunately, I don’t buy that “rich habits” automatically make you financially rich, and “poor habits” automatically make you financially poor.

    I do believe that luck is a factor. Natural capabilities are a factor. Social standing is a factor. Location is a factor. Fortune at the expense of the less fortunate happens. Circumstance matters.

    While there are those who might not be able to explain it concisely, Occupy Wall Street was a movement that would stand up to the corruption in financial institutions. That’s really all that was.

    I don’t think too many people in their right mind are really against wealth. I think people are more frustrated with businesses not being able to redistribute a livable wage to their employees. I don’t mind that my boss is richer than I am for creating a company. I would mind if I get paid a wage that can’t sustain me despite me working full time (or in some examples, 2 full-time jobs).

    People shit on workers like janitors, burger flippers, gas pumpers, cashiers, and dish washers. But why? They’re doing a job that helps maintain parts of the social ecosystem. Why aren’t these people allowed to be comfortable? Why aren’t these people allowed to be able to afford a place to live? We live in the US… One of the richest countries in the world…

    The US GDP is approximately $16 trillion. The US population is approximately 320 million. And, perhaps approximately 60% of the population is working age (so about 192 million). That’s about $83K per (working) person. What’s the average cost of living in the US? Approximately $40k – $60k annually?

    I see two main options to get rid of poverty. Allow the working class (or the workers in general) to have a comfortable living wage… Or decrease the cost of living. Working hard, being smart, and having good habits will not fix the macro-economic issue.

    Disclaimer: I am not an economist. So, obviously, I could be missing different perspectives when it comes to economics. I just wanted to express what I could based on life experience and other additional information I may have been able to acquire.

  223. Ecner James says:

    I pray the, please explain point 4. Also, I would personally like to know which wealthy person that is professing wealth by good luck. Must be the lottery winners. Oh, I forgot. Wealthy people don’t play lottery.

  224. moonriseeyes says:

    Lol! This whole article is based on privilege presumptions that the poor CAN do these things but just choose not to, or that the poverty is caused by these behaviors instead of the reality of these behaviors being a symptom of the poverty (network TV is free when you don’t have money for anything else, and happens to be chock-full of reality shows! If you don’t get vacation hours at your night job, back to school night is impossible – you can’t afford to miss the pay even if you wouldnt get fired for taking the night off. If 100% of your income still leaves you making the choice between paying the electric bill or buying groceries for your family, you sure as shizz aren’t going to save 20% even if you know the rule.)

    No amount of blustering by some well-off dude is going to help poor people be able to accomplish a lot of that list, They need higher paying jobs and a better social safety net first, so they can afford, either in dollars or time, to adopt the habits of non-impoverished. On the flip side, falling into a few of these “poverty habits” isn’t going to turn a kid from a well-off family into a loser wage slave, so the fear mongering only serves to reinforce class separation and a belief that the well-to-do are somehow morally superior to the poor.

    • djohnson says:

      This is so true. I could tell my own story, but I won’t. A-someone will simply say I’m laying blame or am lazy or any other blame they wish to lay on me to make themselves feel validated or better. B-because each person is different. Following a blanket of “tools” is foolish and unpredictable. For example, even though I know others have done this, I simply can’t help myself. Besides, who actually reads every comment anyway?

      1- 72% of the wealthy know their credit score vs. 5% of the poor-This is mainly because the poor does not have a credit score to begin with.

      2- 6% of the wealthy play the lottery vs. 77% of the poor-yes, that one dollar a week is wasteful as someone so eloquently pointed out, but we have to have some fun, right? And that gets us out of the house so that we don’t do too much of #’s 6,10, and 11

      3- 80% of the wealthy are focused on at least one goal vs. 12% of the poor-While it is good advice to have goals, and they can be beneficial and even allow you to succeed, there comes a times when you give up. I cannot count the number of goals I have seen disappear in an ocean of tears. Goals we tried for years to accomplish, only to have them snatched away from us due to illness or theft-yes someone stealing from us-or other reasons beyond our control. Of course, I’m not blaming others for the fact that we didn’t accomplish those goals; I’m simply stating the reasons. But when goal after goal after goal is touched but never gained, you will give up. This particular one does not take into account long term poverty.

      4- 62% of the wealthy floss their teeth every day vs. 16% of the poor-I have no explanation for this. Brush your teeth people. Floss doesn’t cost that much, and if I can afford it on $15,000 a year with three people in the house, so can you. Reuse it. I do. Because I can’t afford not to. If you can’t afford floss, use a thread.

      5- 21% of the wealthy are overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor-This is very easily explained with the cost of food and its availability. Someone tried to say that exercise is the answer. No problem, will you watch my kids while I do? Will you buy me a membership so I have somewhere to go when I can’t run outside? Will you buy me videos to watch so I don’t have to go outside or to the gym and therefore don’t need someone to watch my kids? Or maybe, poor people value their family time more than their selves and spend what little time they have between jobs with their children.

      6- 63% of the wealthy spend less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use vs. 26% of the poor. This is possibly confusing for the poor who don’t count networking as networking. They probably see fb, twitter, etc as recreational. It can also be b/c they have few other options. One person said to go to a park, etc. Many poor are not in a position to leave the safety of their dwelling, let alone have a safe place to go, or can afford the gas/bus to get there. The library isn’t open 24/7, and many poor work the night shift, giving them weekend night hours to fill.

      7- 83% of the wealthy attend/attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor-I’m not exactly sure what BTSN is. I know that poor usually attend functions with their kids in my experience, so I cannot really comment on this statistic. I’m sorry.

      8- 29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor-I have honestly experienced in MANY schools biased behavior of the teachers with poorer children. But, I have also experienced many poor children who were simply not disciplined. Also, it was mentioned that the wealthy have better resources for their children. And, please don’t get mad, let’s face it, you’re not going to have the lowest intelligence level in the highest income racket. Intelligence is inherited. There is some bias in this, but not at all entirely.

      9- 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during their commute vs. 5% of the poor-Well now this is just ridiculous. The poor can’t listen to this without being able to buy it, having a device to play it on, etc. And in all honesty, we’d rather read.

      10- 67% of the wealthy watch 1 hour or less of T.V. per day vs 23% of the poor-as already stated, nowhere to go, no money to spend, no cocktail parties to “network” at.

      11- 9% of the wealthy watch reality T.V. shows vs. 78% of the poor-There’s no excuse for this other than that’s what’s on. Stop watching them. Please.

      12- 73% of the wealthy were taught the 80/20 rule vs. 5% of the poor (live off 80% save 20%)-I’m sure this is a repeat of what is said before. What 20%? We’re lucky to make ends meet, let alone save anything!

      13- 79% of the wealthy network 5 hours or more per month vs. 16% of the poor-I will say this, I view networking as false, lying. It is only recently that I have learned to pledge my false allegiance to people, calling them “friends”. I do it b/c of necessity of late. It sickens me. Now, for those who don’t view networking as a greedy man’s form of acting, allow me to say-the poor don’t know what networking is. As you will see in #6. And who would they network with? Others in their same position? Where are they going to meet people? In the bar they can’t afford to go to? Or should they go to a church and say they’re praising God when they’re really just social networking like the rich man does. In all honesty, I prefer a poor man to a rich man. Always have, even when I was one of the latter. A poor man is honest. A rich man is waiting for you to turn around. A poor friend is a real friend. A rich man has none.

      14- 8% of the wealthy believe wealth comes from random good luck vs. 79% of the poor-This is probably due to a lot of sour grapes. But living the poverty mentality will do that to you.

      15- 79% of the wealthy believe they are responsible for their financial condition vs. 18% of the poor. There are a LOT of poor people who, like me, have tried over and over and over again. Was my illness my fault? No. Was my spouse’s? No. Was the theft? Technically if my spouse hadn’t done something years ago it wouldn’t have happened, so technically yes. Is it my fault I’m not working right now and staying home on doctor’s orders? No. I can’t speak for everyone else.

      To apply these silly statistics is to claim we are all the same. We are not. The comments on this post alone prove that.

      Yes, there are some things some poor can do to improve their situation. Yes, there are some wealthy who got there without being horrible people. (The only ones I ever knew of inherited it, but that’s my experience only. I also knew several wealthy who got there b/c their employee went to jail for them, they married into it, or other illegal activities not including stepping on others or ignoring your family.) But to call these “Poverty Habits” with such the ignorant and condescending tone that you have is, well, rude and ignorant. It will not gain you respect. Especially since you’re selling a book “Rich Habits.”

      • You guys are not helping. One of the reasons the poor are poor, is that they keep being told that it isn’t their fault and that solving the problem should be left to someone else. You are doing the same thing. Rather than spending your time discrediting the article of someone who has done some actual research, perhaps providing realistic alternative actions would be more beneficial to the situation.

        As a professional who works closely with people from all walks of life, from extremely wealthy to living off social security disability benefits, I have real-life experience to draw from in coming to conclusions as to what may be contributing to each individual’s situation. I can tell you that the article has very valid points and is accurate in a lot of ways.

        One of the problems with the “systemic” advantage argument is that we are crying over the milk that is already spilled on the ground. Unfortunately, in any of our lifetimes, the system is not likely to change. So, rather than complain about the rules of the game, start making adjustments to behaviors and habits.

        Poverty and wealth are both generational, especially if behavior and habit go unchanged. Here is a question: if what you are doing today leaves you to remain in poverty, why would you be so resistant to changing behaviors and habits to those the wealthy demonstrate unless you did not want your situation to change? It doesn’t guarantee your situation will change, however, if your behaviors and habits don’t change your situation is guaranteed not to change.

        You have pointed out all the reasons why the poor can’t change their behavior. Obstacles and excuses are not the same thing. Obstacles can only disrupt progress until they are identified. Once they have been identified and continue to disrupt progress they become excuses.

  225. Thomas Bradford says:

    I think most of these are more symptoms of being poor than causes of being poor.

    Before I go into this any deeper I’d like to see the sources for the data.

  226. George Allen says:

    A bit too “preachy” for my tastes. Sound ideas, but sort of condescending too. “Thou shalt…” Would be a better read for me if it were presented with more of a “food for thought” approach. Just sayin’. Also a bit put off by the sales/ads at the end. Where I had to navigate to comment.

  227. Wealth shouldn’t be measured in dollars and cents. Wealth is a much larger concept than that. Wealth is a group of values and resources. Teaching our children to have values, to share, to work with others, to value the input of others is a much for valuable way of teaching wealth strategies.

    While your article seems to deal mainly with money, real wealth, the kind that needs to be taught and is truly the basis of the American way, is generosity and love, of and for themselves and for others. Bringing value to the market place is how people are compensated. We need to teach our children how to provide value more than how to make money (or even save money). When one provides value, actually cares about others, that is when prosperity happens. And that too comes in many forms, not necessarily money.

  228. Really? Seriously? You expect people who make $40K a year as a family income to do this?

    What amazes me in your statistics are the percentage of the “poor” (your definition) that are able to provide a few these 15 “magical solutions” for their children while working 2 or 3 jobs.

    Your family went bankrupt, just like Donald Trump. You were not poor. Don’t claim to have been and don’t claim to give advice to those that are.

    What will help the poor? How about universal health care? Free post secondary education? A social safety net that actually benefits the 99%, not the 1%.

    Unfortunately people of your ilk will always blame the poor and do everything in your power to keep them poor. Yet you will give free “advice” as to what the poor can do to “improve” their situation. As long as they buy your books.

    What a pant load.

  229. I had a polar opposite experience as a child, I was a dirt poor kid and I got transplanted into the local “rich Kid” school. Yes, the rich kids had different habits and observable traits, but there is an underlying emotional layer that is seldom addressed.

    Poor kids are not innately poor kids. Poverty is not natural, it is not a character flaw. It is a habit of mind and spirit that you develop as a survival skill to deal with a “scarcity environment.” I wrote a book about this, i.e., the purely emotional elements of the differences between poor kids and rich kids.

    If you have ever seen the Star Trek (OS) episode “Dagger of the Mind,” that illustrates how a deep-seated emotional pattern can overpower your most sincere conscious efforts to overcome it. If you grew up poor and you managed the chronic pain and shame of poverty by saying “well, I just don’t deserve to have more than this,” if you have come to be conditioned to think in terms of universal negativity, and limitation of all things, and you were never in a place where you could safely cultivate your trust, well, money, as an expression of the emotions of desire and trust and optimism, will always be a problem. Loyalty to family systems is a powerful force, and if your family is poor, getting rich makes you an outcast. Poor kids are actually conditioned to push wealth away.

    The big joke is, no one who has money wants to end poverty. Monetary wealth is relative, and the poorer poor people are, the more services you can get with less money. When rich people get richer, that’s a reward for hard work. When poor people get richer, that’s inflation. Sounds derisive I guess but it’s simple math, and history bears witness I think. Every society needs an omega wolf underclass to function. An individual with exceptional drive CAN transcend it now that we have sort of removed the more obvious race/gender/class barriers but it’s very hard to do. It is also very hard to learn how to manage money if you never have any money to manage and have no one in your social network who is willing to mentor you.

  230. Nice Article

  231. Kristen says:

    I find it amusing how many people seriously think that their own poverty has nothing to do with their own choices.

    My father in law grew up in a shack with 11 brothers and sisters and he made choices to better himself. Many of his siblings did not. They made poor choices. Poor choices lead to poor living. He joined the army, then went to college, then made wise financial decisions. His financial stability did not happen overnight, it took hard work, but he did it.

    My parents made poor decisions and I absolutely followed in their footsteps. My husband and I made stupid decisions. We are still paying for them. But we decided to make much wiser decisions to better our lives. We aren’t rich, but we don’t live paycheck to paycheck either.

    I have seen many poorer people buy ridiculously priced shoes that arent even sensible and make sure to have the top of the line cell phones and then can’t pay an electric bill. They don’t even think that the reason they can’t pay the bill is because they spent their money on those other things.

    People need to quit blaming everyone else for their crummy life and take some responsibility and initiative.

  232. Good article. Listening to audiobooks in car rides, truly do make a difference in my confidence and attitude. Current book in my car How to Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo. Even though I have no intentions in becoming a professional public speaker, knowing key points in becoming one, to me, is valuable. As a child and early teenager, I remember wishing for things to fix themselves and wished that circumstances were different. But after becoming LDS, serving mission, and later attending college, I learned skills that helped direct my focus on things that mattered most and goals that once seemed unattainable. Choices and habits do require effort and that is what I needed to learn when I was a child growing up. I’m SO grateful for the habits I have gained that have steered me away from the living paycheck-to-paycheck mentality and instead focus on things that really matter– which are my family and creating memories with them.

  233. Dominic says:

    I don’t think the author has established actual causation…only correlation. The rich could be more likely to know their credit score because they are more likely to buy a home or take out a business loan. The rich could be flossing more because they see a dentist regularly who can show them the consequences of not flossing. The rich might spend less than me surfing the web recreationally because they prefer to recreate on their yachts or in box seats at sports stadiums. Really the entire premise of this article is absurd.

  234. The next step in the conversation needs to be how can we make it easier families in poverty to establish some of these habits? Let’s face it, it’s much easier to have certain habits if you’re already NOT poor. For example, it’s a lot easier to attend back-to-school night if you know you won’t lose precious rent money (or your job) by missing work. It’s a lot easier to stay at a healthy weight if your dietary choices aren’t determined by shelf life. It’s a lot easier to turn off the TV if you have a yard, or a safe neighborhood, or money for clubs/memberships to fill the time (you can only visit the library so many days a week for so many hours before your kids attempt to stage a mutiny, even if they love to read). It’s a lot easier to save 20% of your income if 80% of your income is capable of covering the essentials of living. So if, for example, the habit we’d like to see established is “Attend Back-to-School Night”, then the question becomes “How are we going to ensure that poor parents won’t be financially penalized for attending back-to-school night?” That sort of thinking is the next step.

  235. While I understand how basing your reasoning on the data obtained to try and create a list of things parents should be doing, you are also disregarding a few things. Namely, when the % of rich people is not very heavily in favor of a particular behavior, you shouldn’t really suggest to follow it.

    For example, 66% of the rich spend less than an hour on internet for recreational use. However, that also means 34% are spending more and maybe much more time thant that on Internet. The same could be said about audio books, spending time in front of the TV and flossing your teeth.

    I think it’s an interesting approach and it does shed some light on why some people are successful and some others are not, however I think a good half of your list is not what I would call critical tasks/habits to become rich.

  236. 1. Correlation does not imply causality; are the rich/poor habits cause or consequence of being rich/poor? I believe most of them to be the latter (i.e. time availability and extra income seem to be necessary conditions for many of the rich habits, while cheap entertainment, foods, etc are what the poor ‘prefer’).
    2. The pursuance of the american dream works in an ironically similar way to the lottery (a “poor habit” according to the moronic author); the less winners the higher the prize. It is quite obvious that not everybody can be wealthy at the same time.
    3. Seeking financial wealth instead of potential realization has probably cost us many mozarts, dalis and dantes who gave up on their dreams to achieve mediocre financial stability. The goal of humanity should not be efficiency but greatness; capitalism is efficient, the guarantee of the mundane material wellbeing, on the other hand, would allow the individual to pursue their dreams and excel at whatever they decide to, not minding the labor markets, the supply or demand. This is the sort of message we need, not blind propaganda of a decadent cruel and obsolete system.

  237. This article doesn’t sound like living at all for anyone. I’d rather be poor and actually experience life than follow all these do’s and don’ts – what a horrible way to live. I’d rather my child be poor and learn the value of money.

  238. I really like this article, I think some people (based on the comments here) are getting upset because they may take it as “the rich are just inherently better than the poor in what they do” as opposed to the more disciplined one is the more that’s going to reflect on their success in all that they do. Or at least, that’s what i take from it.

  239. I grew up in poverty. My family lived in the slums of Phoenix, Az. My parents divorced when I was a kid and in school I didn’t get past the seventh grade; I worked to help take care of my family because all of the child support my dad paid went up in smoke to the lottery tickets my mom bought. I was never taught about money except that it was meant to be spent. As an adult I figured out pretty quick I was going nowhere fast, but that didn’t stop the slide. Years later (and still without a penny to my name) I have finally decided to make changes for a better future. I’m 45 now, a bit old to be doing this, but not to old to teach my kids that are still small better habits than I was taught. I have never resented the rich and I have never felt they were to blame for my situation. It is true that I should have been taught better by the people that brought me into existence, but I wasn’t so now what? As I see it I have two choices; to continue down this slippery slope or to do better, maybe not the best, but better and begin building a foundation for the next generation and the next. Just as things can spiral downward they can also spiral upward. So girlfriends, keep your legs crossed and your minds busy.

    • Personal examples are great but that is all they are and they don’t prove that these points are correct. I went to a boarding school filled with the offspring of the rich and the very gifted (most of whom came from poorer backgrounds). There were hard-working, conscientious rich people and there were idiots who did nothing but spend their parents money. Years on, many of those idiots have positions of power – is this because they suddenly changed and adopted the above list after school? Maybe, but I doubt it.

  240. thomas, the wide variety of responses is an excellent barometer on the people/sheeple of this country. some people choose to take responsibility for decisions. others find it more convenient to be victims to fit their narrative.
    this is the history of human nature.
    great article, couldn’t agree more. would like to add one more point that is hard to put a percentage on.
    don’t spend money you don’t have. a little debt is ok. but don’t get out of hand with it.

  241. A lot of great info and I agree there is a problem and you address a lot of great things. The only thing I would add is to teach them it’s not all about the “American Dream” and money and buying “things”. Financial responsibility includes NOT accumulating material things.

  242. As I read the article, then the comments, two things struck me. 1. Poor people wear their feelings on their sleeves, blaming others for everything bad that happens to them. 2. Poor people don’t understand statistics. The writer is not offering his opinions set in stone, he gave a % on each point.

  243. OK good stuff & valid comments. We need do something about wealth being passed on from generations to generations. I am unsure on how to do this?
    Are we all created equal?? Maybe some of us are blessed more with different talents than others?
    Something to think about: what is the source of your money?
    Where does your money come from?
    How is wealth created?
    Wealth can only be measured against poverty? Are we all rich in relation to maybe people in Haiti? We can only see black if measured against white?
    This researcher needs to become an educator and teach people how to do it? He can start schools on how to be wealthy, self improvement, millionaire mind?? Go for it??

  244. While I agree with many of the points made, I do not agree that the gap as a whole is due entirely to a parent gap. There is generational wealth that some families’ achieved through the corrupt dealings of their forefathers/predecessors. There is also a system of inequality in education, employment and, in many cases, access to healthy food and/or even water. Folk don’t like to address these issues as being part of the problem. YES, the poor/less fortunate (whichever term you are comfortable using) should spend more time reading, getting involved in the childrens’ schools/education, becoming more financially educated whether it’s a course at a local school or community college or even their bank (if they have an account). They could definitely spend less time watching reality TV and on social media, spend less money on trying to make sure the latest name brands are being worn by their chidren or, even, themselves, etc. (I agree with his list of changes that can be made). There IS a way to improve the financial status of the poor/less fortunate, but it’s unfair and untrue to say that it’s due to a parental gap. Some parents are so busy trying to keep their head above water that the thought or concept of adding any new thing to the list is unfathomable. Some don’t know where to go tho seek financial help/education. And, many who DO are refused assistance due to prejudice – whether it’s their appearance, grammar, race, educational background or lack thereof, etc. There are many factors to consider when discussing the reason(s) for the financial gap in America.

  245. Hmm. Sounds plausible. Any suggestions how the poor parents can find all this time required to implement and enforce this list after working three jobs to keep the family afloat?

  246. You are a douche.

  247. A lot of good points in this article, a lot of things I have to disagree with too. But what I like the most is the 80/20 rule which I haven’t heard of but I have been doing unknowingly ever since I was a kid! Especially nowadays when I am now earning my own money this rule could be of good use.

  248. Laurel Blackman says:

    How staggeringly unempirical. Many of these metrics could be said to be caused by the financial condition of the subjects. Correlation does not equal causation. Although apparently it does create revenue streams.

    • 100% of those with an agenda pull the correlation vs. causation card. Individually, you are correct re: habits but when you take all of the habits together, they paint a picture that is undeniable. Each habit is like a piece to a puzzle. Certainly, one puzzle piece does not allow you to extrapolate what the picture will look like. But when you have all of the puzzle pieces, it becomes clear that there is a direct correlation between habits and the circumstances of one’s life. Habits, despite your best efforts to obfuscate the matter with the correlation vs. causation argument, are correlated to your financial circumstances in life.

  249. It’s not “wealth is bad and needs to be redistributed”. It’s: business has monopsony power and pays labor less than is fair. This can be addressed in a variety of ways. Improved public benfits (health insurance, job insurance, pensions) that compensate for the lower wages. Or higher corporate taxes. Or business can pay a better wage. Or minimum wage. Or better non-wage compensation from business.

    Meanwhile, people like you have this irrational mindset that you achieved financial success by yourself with no help from the community, friends, relatives, or society in general. You didn’t get a public education. You weren’t able to take advantage of highly productive labor educated on the government’s dime. You didn’t benefit from cheap and well maintained transportation networks or communication networks. And you didn’t benefit from a culture of a rule of law.

  250. The author is conflating cause and effect. The bad habits certainly are harmful and the good ones beneficial, but these habits aren’t what created either poverty or wealth for the people studied. Poverty existed before TV, the Internet, fast food and dental floss.

    • The cause and effect criticism is just a means to discredit my research perpetrated by those who seem to have a hidden agenda. Each habit is like a puzzle piece. individually, they are just correlations. Together the pieces form a picture of cause and effect that is undeniable.

  251. Very good blog post. I definitely love this website. Thanks!

  252. Ken Boddy says:

    While an interesting article, I have to completely disagree with your introductory description of the Occupy Movement. There was no ‘anti-wealth’ or ‘redistributing wealth’ mentality about it. Occupy was a PUSH BACK from the BLATANT corruption following the Great Economic Crash of 2008, which was caused by the top bankers, and deregulators in the country. Not only were these people, such as Sandy Weill, of Citigroup, and Senator Phil Graham, responsible for the crash, with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which led to the crisis, they then proceeded to get AWARDED with more their intransigence with more than a TRILLION dollars of taxpayer money to bail them out while ruining millions of people’s lives across the globe. STUNNING (which your description seems to miss). What is more amazing is that there weren’t more people outraged. So instead we have to paint the Occupy people like they are some types of loons. Furthermore, studies now show that people growing in poverty in industrial societies have different brain development, which will play a factor in these ‘acting poor behaviors’.

  253. I think there are some great ideas here, but some of them may not be possible or at least extremely difficult for people already just scraping by. I’m thinking of the single mom working 2 jobs, but being expected to help her kids write a to do list and then monitoring it to make sure they got 70% of it done. Limiting internet and gaming time is also going to be difficult for parents who are away from home working so much just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. I use Norton Family Premiere to limit both screen time and what that screen time can be used for. I recently upgraded 3 computers and bought an iPad for the 4th so each of them now have a computer. Ironically, at the same time I have restricted screen time to lower levels than they were when they had to take turns which caused all kinds of conflict and chaos. Each child can game\surf\youtube\netflix\etc for 1 hour on weekdays during a set time frame, usually 6 am to 8 pm, a little later for the 14 year old. In addition we have a “homework” account that gets more screen time, but is limited in what it can do. No streaming video, no games, etc. But Norton Family is $1000 a year, so that mom who may need it most can afford it the least.

    I think these are probably more attainable goals for the middle class and none of them are bad ideas. I also think those who are struggling financially would do well to implement as many of these as is reasonable. Obiously not everone can afford to save 20% of their income, but they can try to stay out of debt as much as possible and make hard choices. A tablet for your kid may be a better choice than a used xbox on ebay and they’re getting dirt cheap. They don’t have to have an iPad. Other than my one art child none of mine do. They don’t necessarily even need cell phone plans. My son refuses to buy minutes for his and I won’t pay for them for him. He has a VOIP number, which is free from Google Voice, which allows him to make and receive phone calls wherever there is wifi, which these days is pretty much all over. Even his school has wifi.

    So while all of these are good, trying to implement all of them at once can be overwhelming even for those who are somewhere between “just getting by” and those who have enough to live on, but struggle with debt, because it can be really hard to make sacrifices to boost your bank account. We all want our kids to have what their friends have. We all want at least “decent’ “stuff,” which many of us who are somewhere in the lower middle to middle are addicted to.

    Additionally while many of these aren’t necessarily going to make you wealthy they will probably make you happier. When we make good choices for ourselves, our children, and our pocket books we feel more in control of our lives and that creates confidence in parents and children. I say just do what you can to improve. These are good suggestions, but don’t feel bad if you can’t go whole hog. I was already working on a couple of goals similar to these, but this does give me motivation. I’m still not going to try to do everything at once.

  254. I can say that there are a few generalizations in this article that I as a parent in poverty don’t agree with. Half of my children are on the honor roll. They read books (whole books) daily because we can’t afford internet or cable. They don’t watch a lot of TV for the same reason.
    Financial literacy is taught in schools and has been for 20 years. I had to take consumer education and my daughters are in resource management taking Dave Ramseys class for teens (They roll their eyes at it). They volunteer probably as much as some people work and they do not only school sports but the music program and scholastic bowl team.
    Do I think these things will pull them out of poverty, NO. I think that education is the key and tell them daily to look towards a career where manufacturing won’t determine their future. Right now I have a couple potential teachers and a radiology tech program prospect. I believe in goals and responsibility but I also believe that 80/20 only works if you have enough to pay your bills. Now before you attack me for this understand I come from a place where for awhile, we had $75/wk in income. With 5 children, and 2 were in diapers at the time. There was no where to cut, unless we wanted to live without water or power (which we did for one month). Now that we have a little more, we encourage the girls to save and prepare. In preparation, my senior in HS is looking at Junior College for generals to save on money. My Junior is already looking for scholarships. They have financial knowledge and planning, but that alone will do nothing toward getting them out of poverty. It will take a good education and a job to succeed.

    • Tks for your comment Nicole. I agree education is the key. Self-education was a hallmark of the vast majority of the self-made millionaires in my study, 30% of whom, did not go to college. They pursued something they were passionate about. As for financial literacy, I am glad they are teaching that to your kids in your school. I can tell you most of the emails I get from parents say their kids are not being taught about money, however. There are many states, New Jersey is one of them, where financial literacy is a mandate. Unfortunately, the way they go about meeting that mandate is to have outsiders come in to the schools, such as bankers or CPAs, to talk about money. That’s just doing the bare minimum to meet some requirement. High Schools need to include real courses in their curriculum. Balancing a checkbook, taxes, insurance, college costs, debt, etc. 20% of savings is ideal but the most important thing is to get kids into the habit of saving. Whether that’s 20% of 5%. The key is to help them forge the savings habit.

  255. Thanks for finally talking about >Will Your Child be Rich or Poor?

    15 Poverty Habits Parents Teach Their Children <Liked it!

  256. I am fortunate not to be in your situation at the moment. However, I’ve been there before, as a single person. Now that I have a 3-year-old, I can’t imagine the shameful ache you must have felt in knowing you couldn’t provide your little boys essential needs and worrying whether he would go to bed hungry. We parents will generally do anything for our babies and it’s heartbreaking to know that any child (white, black, brown…whatever) would go to bed hungry — but they do — millions, every night, while the rest of us eat cake.There’s something very wrong with a world that could easily afford to feed and clothe every person on the planet, and provide adequate health care to each of them, and yet, we don’t. Meanwhile, the Fat Cats in the country where I live continue their lavish lifestyles and expect the rest of us to gratefully jump to whenever they deign to toss us a crumb.What’s it going to take to make a better world for all of us, even the poor and uneducated who don’t have the opportunities we do?Thanks for stirring up the hornet’s nest, Jack, and best wishes to you and your precious son!

  257. Great article……this doesn’t mean every body who read this will get rich but as poor as we can teach out children to become better people than we are…………

  258. Correlation is not causality? Successful people attribute successes to self, and failure to external factors? Heard any of that before? This attempts to codify that. I think the advice for parents is good, but the implication is that people fail or succeed solely on their own merits. There is some truth to that: really there is. But it is not the whole truth. Life happens and if you are at the beach in a Tsunami you are set back for as long as it takes to recover. Meanwhile, the guys on the mountain are still living it up and moving forward. The truth is in the middle, and while these habits are healthy, it would be even more healthy to acknowledge the full reality.

    • Each habit on its own, I agree. They are mere pieces to the puzzle of success. But when you put all of the pieces together, when you look at all of the habits as a whole, as I have done, there is no question that these habits are directly correlated to success, or poverty.

  259. Veil Alice, BA in Political Science says:

    Very interesting article he has here. Although these habits are good to keep in mind when raising children, as they promote financial responsibility, it also is important to realize that parents enforcing these habits may make the children unhappy. Does the child want to pursue a life of ultimate wealth or do they want to pursue a life which is more meaningful? As for political theorists studying liberalism, they observe that specialization makes for a happy individual and a healthy economy. Do children want to follow their dreams of becoming firefighters, artists, inventors, or political leaders, or do they want to follow the idealism that the more money one makes, the happier they are. I’ll refer to a study, and mention that money does bring happiness but only up until about $75,000 annually. After that, social problems start to rise once again from when in poverty.

    It is also very critical to understand that there is a difference in habits or routines and circumstances, particularly upon birth. For example, there is inequality between the family that is well-rounded, has both parents married, and can sustain their children throughout school up until post-secondary graduation, and the family that is in a low income tax bracket and cannot afford or access education. Some factors of the inequality may include whether children and adolescents feel safe enough to go to school, if teens have to quit school to work to support their family, if they are too sick to attend school, if they can afford the food required for optimal brain function, etc. It is fine to have the motive or the desire to become financially comfortable, but there must be adequate access to the resources necessary to do so. (It does not help that the political sphere, with the help of the media, causes some people to vote against things that benefit those in poverty such as welfare, among other things. This is done by suggesting that taxpayers pay for those who are welfare recipients, which causes commotion.) As for political theorist John Stuart Mill, he observes that now that people are left to themselves without substantial inheritance (with exception of royalty), certain people are unfit to do certain things. This relates to the creation of the belief that people are naturally unequal, and therefore is a determinant of how wealthy people become. Do people have the skill to move up in life? So they have the desire to pursue monetary gain? Do they have the tools from their environment that they need to get ahead?

    Another thing that I would like to point out is that there is much generalization about the “rich” and the “poor”. How are the rich and the poor conceptualized? For example, would the poor be defined as those who make less than $30,000 annually, and would the rich be people who make at least $75,000? Additionally, the language used to make the author’s point negatively frames those as poor, and positively frames those as rich, supposing that the poor are not rich due to not doing certain habits. In other words, they’re poor because they didn’t put in the effort. Not a good message to portray, given that academics are still trying to offer ways to fix the huge wage gap between low income and high income brackets in the U.S. The source that suggests this is found here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw
    (His name is Richard Wilkinson, and he is doing a TED talk.)

    Overall, this article does offer some good things to keep in mind to teach children, but some things are worth questioning. It is perfectly alright if the habits help children become financially comfortable in the future, just as long as the main message isn’t saying that happiness comes from large amounts of money.

  260. Veil Alice, BA in Political Science says:

    (2nd attempt to post this reply. Not sure if it went through the first time.)

    Very interesting article he has here. Although these habits are good to keep in mind when raising children, as they promote financial responsibility, it also is important to realize that parents enforcing these habits may make the children unhappy. Does the child want to pursue a life of ultimate wealth or do they want to pursue a life which is more meaningful? As for political theorists studying liberalism, they observe that specialization makes for a happy individual and a healthy economy. Do children want to follow their dreams of becoming firefighters, artists, inventors, or political leaders, or do they want to follow the idealism that the more money one makes, the happier they are. I’ll refer to a study, and mention that money does bring happiness but only up until about $75,000 annually. After that, social problems start to rise once again from when in poverty.

    It is also very critical to understand that there is a difference in habits or routines and circumstances, particularly upon birth. For example, there is inequality between the family that is well-rounded, has both parents married, and can sustain their children throughout school up until post-secondary graduation, and the family that is in a low income tax bracket and cannot afford or access education. Some factors of the inequality may include whether children and adolescents feel safe enough to go to school, if teens have to quit school to work to support their family, if they are too sick to attend school, if they can afford the food required for optimal brain function, etc. It is fine to have the motive or the desire to become financially comfortable, but there must be adequate access to the resources necessary to do so. (It does not help that the political sphere, with the help of the media, causes some people to vote against things that benefit those in poverty such as welfare, among other things. This is done by suggesting that taxpayers pay for those who are welfare recipients, which causes commotion.) As for political theorist John Stuart Mill, he observes that now that people are left to themselves without substantial inheritance (with exception of royalty), certain people are unfit to do certain things. This relates to the creation of the belief that people are naturally unequal, and therefore is a determinant of how wealthy people become. Do people have the skill to move up in life? So they have the desire to pursue monetary gain? Do they have the tools from their environment that they need to get ahead?

    Another thing that I would like to point out is that there is much generalization about the “rich” and the “poor”. How are the rich and the poor conceptualized? For example, would the poor be defined as those who make less than $30,000 annually, and would the rich be people who make at least $75,000? Additionally, the language used to make the author’s point negatively frames those as poor, and positively frames those as rich, supposing that the poor are not rich due to not doing certain habits. In other words, they’re poor because they didn’t put in the effort. Not a good message to portray, given that academics are still trying to offer ways to fix the huge wage gap between low income and high income brackets in the U.S. The source that suggests this is found here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw
    (His name is Richard Wilkinson, and he is doing a TED talk.)

    Overall, this article does offer some good things to keep in mind to teach children, but some things are worth questioning. It is perfectly alright if the habits help children become financially comfortable in the future, just as long as the main message isn’t saying that happiness comes from large amounts of money.

  261. There is no real “study” or “data” or really anything given in this article except opinion.

    “The fact is the poor are poor because they have too many Poverty Habits and too few Rich Habits”
    That is not a “fact” what you have done is provide a conclusory declaration (all of these correlative data points = causation of poverty) of what you consider to be an issue (habits of poor people.)

    Some outrageous observations about rich vs. poor that might help convey my point to those that do not understand the difference in causative vs. correlative analysis:
    1) Rich people are more likely to have live-in domestic help–therefore having a maid must help one become rich!
    2) In the summer, more people wear shorts. There are also more boat accidents during the summer–therefore wearing shorts causes boat accidents.

    Of course the above are outlandish–but they are meant to be the way to analogize my point: CAUSATION DOES NOT EQUAL CORRELATION. None of the “evidence” or “facts” in this article are anything but conclusory analysis and therefore are worthless.

  262. Don Charle says:

    I’d like to see his research methods. His sampling methods are not mentioned nor is any analysis. He simply reports bunch of descriptive statistics with no discussion of even the most basic statistical analysis such as a persons product movement (rho) or t tests. There’s no control group. No inter-rater reliability or definition or these very subjective measures. His work is actually contradictory to most research and theory in sociology and group psychology. Mostly that the “culture of poverty” theory has been disproven and is considered bunk science.

  263. Appears to me between 6-25% of the wealthy practice the same way as the poor. There is something missing from the equation. What ‘trim tab’ do the wealthy use that is invisible to the poor? Publish those and watch what happens.

  264. For these types of successful individuals it took a good deal knowledge, skill and hard work.
    “The Donald” fully endorses besides multilevel marketing, but ACN as well.
    You may lose your focus (as happened with Trump when things went south) or drive.

  265. Parents decisions can determinate a child future.

  266. You don’t PUNISH a child for loosing his temper, you model the correct behavior, give him the tools required to manage strong emotions and handle anger in a healthy way. Punishing a child for having big emotions will probably backfire. Clearly the author is not a parenting expert.
    Financial education and teaching the value of networking, discipline, work ethic, etc. are all good ideas and was all taught to me by my parents.
    In regards to the rest of the article: I have never lived in poverty, I grew up with many advantages and my children have the same advantages I had, HOWEVER, I am fully aware that had I not gone to the schools I went to, or not had the connections I had because of my family, life would have not been as easy for me. It’s not impossible, but it’s much harder to become rich if you are born poor. It’s not just hard work, and even as a memeber of the top 5% of the population I believe wealth should be distributed in a more just way. Why do we as a society value an hour of a professional sports player’s work a thousand times more than an hour of a teacher’s or a farmer’s time (even though the work the latter two do is more necessary to our survival)? And just look at how many people lost their homes and savings because of the greed of a few during the 2008 recession? The author’s view is too simplistic.

    • If you don’t punish a child for bad behavior, you encourage bad behavior and runaway emotions. The real world will punish bad behavior and runaway emotions. Employers will not tolerate bad behavior and uncontrolled emotions. Better to deal with this when kids are kids. When they become adults, the consequences are usually financial and usually results in poverty. Parents need to be parents.

  267. LOL the rich children parenting test is total garbage. You expect me to trust you to have written a good book when you could barely have written two pages in bullet-point format? Hilarious.

  268. Good article. I’m facing a few of these issues as well..

  269. Malcolm Saville says:

    Very nice article, Tom. It’s a bit late in life for me to practice the Rich Habits on my children but I will certainly encourage my children to practice them on their kids.

    However, I do have a question. Are the ‘Rich Habits’ you have listed applicable to the children / parents in Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, and the like) or the children / parents living the slums of Mumbai & Calcutta in India, I wonder? Or, are these “Rich Habits” only applicable to people in the US and other developed countries?

    The other question I have is about the correlation between financial well-being / happiness and happiness in the soul. I noticed that you haven’t talked about helping the poor and downtrodden either financially or by deeds. In my experience (and I’m no spring chicken), that is the best way to achieve life-long happiness. I’m not even close to being a millionaire and my “Poor Habits” will definitely prevent me from becoming one before I die, but I don’t consider myself to be poor either. I can afford to pay for my children’s college and I hope to be able to travel a bit when I retire. I try to stay out of debt as much as possible but I also frequently spend a lot of money on unnecessary stuff and travel with family. But, I can’t help myself when I hear an unfortunate story of a kid struck down by a disabling disease like cancer that is preventing them from achieving their dreams or an old widow who is trying to make a living by starting her own business. I feel compelled to give them money so that they get a chance in life. And, to be honest, I don’t expect anything in return. I’m much happier when I can give money (or my time) to a cause and not get back anything in return. Instead, if I see an improvement in the lives of those I helped, it is the best return on investment that I can ever hope to get.

  270. so much great information on here, : D.

  271. THANK you so very much TOM for these great insights and for freely sharing them!!! The only one that I might differ with you on is the one in reference to children and parents encouraging them to buy things they want with monies that they get through chores etc. It has been my experience that most children who have wealthy parents have most everything bought for them and those who have upper middle-class wealth might have to do what you suggested but truly children born of the wealthiest rarely have to do anything for all that is given to them.

  272. Irena Levok says:

    I have hard time believing the statistics that 63 percent of the rich listen to audiobooks during the commute. With so many people placing phone calls during the commute, some having other people in the car, and a relatively low prevalence of audiobooks in people’s life – 63 percent? I have no evidence, but from my knowledge of life, this is sooooooo unrealistically high.

  273. I find it interesting after reading the replies, that so many people have such strong opinions about the work of another man’s passion to understand something he is curious about. If