What Causes Poor People to Make So Many Bad Decisions

Rich Habits
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“But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

Have you ever been pressured into making a decision?

How did that work out?

Acting in haste is a Poor Habit. It is born out of naiveté, greed, the desire for immediate gratification and laziness. 

Unethical salespeople, con artists and fraudsters are tuned into these human defects and exploit them to their advantage. You need to be aware that there are people out there who butter their bread by finding naive individuals they can exploit for their own benefit.

Haste is a Poor Habit that afflicts the poor more than any other socioeconomic group. One of the causes of this is being naïve. Naïve people act impulsively. The don’t devote adequate time in evaluating important decisions. The reason poor people don’t do their homework before making important decisions is because they don’t have Neurological Bandwidth.

Because the poor lack financial resources, they are under great stress to meet their needs on a daily basis. Food scarcity is a daily stress of the poor. Scraping together enough money to make rent is a constant stress of the poor. Finding enough money to pay utility bills is another constant stress among the poor.

All of this stress consumes the brain’s resources, leaving little neurological bandwidth left to do any long-term planning or the necessary homework needed before making important decisions.

Because of this lack of Bandwidth, poor people act in haste, in an effort to solve immediate needs, even when a hasty decision hurts them in the long-term.

Rich people have the luxury of taking their time before acting on an important decision. Because the rich have about 58% fewer daily problems than the poor, they have an abundance of Neurological Bandwidth with which to make thoughtful decisions. They also have more time in which to do the necessary homework that goes into every important decision.

The rich can patiently perform due diligence before any important decision. They have the financial resources to seek out experts. They have the time to gather feedback from before being required to take action on important decisions.

If you’re poor and want to stop being poor you need to stop making hasty decisions that are detrimental to your long-term.

One strategy, or daily habit, every poor person can forge is making important decisions after a good nights sleep. Sleep clears away the stress chemicals that are created during the day and also resets your emotional baseline. The best time to make an important decision, therefore, is the first hour of waking up from a good night’s sleep.

This puts the pre-frontal cortex, the logical command and control center of the brain, in charge of making important decisions and not the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Emotional decisions are always the wrong decisions.

Make a habit of seeking feedback from experts before making any important decision. Do our homework. Study every aspect of every important decision. After you have gathered all of the information you can gather, sleep on it. The next morning, make your decision.

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, “Effort-Less Wealth”, “Change Your Habits Change Your Life”, “Rich Habits Poor Habits” and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”



  1. Grant on February 28, 2023 at 8:06 AM

    Amazing article Tom. Stress reducing neurological bandwidth, sums it up so clearly

  2. Ifeoma on March 2, 2023 at 6:31 AM

    Thanks so much. I truly admit l have made quite a number of hasty decisions that hurt later. Your newsletter is inspiring, l appreciate reading them.