What Type of Household Were You Raised In?

Rich Habits
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Growing up, my Dad was the breadwinner and my Mom was in charge of the daunting task of raising eight kids – five boys and three girls.

When my Dad’s very successful tool distribution business burned to the ground in 1973, he was forced to take a quasi-government job heading up the Richmond Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit that worked with Staten Island Borough Hall and the NYC Economic Development Agency to help grow Staten Island’s business community.

From my Rich Habits research it’s now clear to me that my Dad was, for the most part, an entrepreneur.

I know that because I learned from that research that there were four paths to wealth: Saver/Investor Path, Big Company Climber Path, Virtuoso Path (Experts/Pros/Industry Experts) and Entrepreneur Path.

We weren’t Saver/Investors, so none of my siblings were mentored to save and invest. We didn’t learn the importance of saving your income so you could invest it.

We weren’t Big Company Climbers, so non of my siblings were mentored to climb the company ladder. We didn’t learn about the opportunities of stock compensation, profit sharing, bonuses, raises, etc., that is associated with this unique path.

We weren’t Virtuosos, so none of us, except for myself and my older brother, Dan, pursued the Virtuoso Path. We weren’t mentored to go to medical school, get Master’s degrees or PH.D.’s.

We were pretty much raised in an Entrepreneurial household – No Saver/Investor Rich Habits. No Company Climber Rich Habits. No Virtuoso Rich Habits. Just Entrepreneurial Rich Habits. That’s what we learned growing up.

So, naturally, many of us, the boys at least, followed the Entrepreneur Path.

What type of household were you raised in – what path to wealth dominated your upbringing?

Did you follow that path?

More importantly, perhaps, what type of household were your children raised in?

What path did your children take?

Share you thoughts and feedback.

The type of household you grow up in has an enormous influence on the path to wealth you will likely pursue as adults.



  1. Dave Corey on January 11, 2021 at 7:27 AM

    I was raised in a military, climber home. Education education education, was my advice. Now an entrepreneur x4 due to who I started hanging out with. Teaching my kids to learn to live in multiple quadrants, but end all be all is an entrepreneur. DC

    • pwsadmin on January 11, 2021 at 9:09 AM

      Your friends can have a powerful influence on the course of your life. When I graduated High School, my best friend Sal forced me apply to a local University. I told him I couldn’t afford college. He said don’t worry about the $ right now. So, I applied. Then, over the summer, I was able to get a part-time job working as a janitor for the NYC public school system. They gave me the 20 hours a week I needed in order to pay for college.

  2. Amy Hurley on January 11, 2021 at 9:11 AM

    I wanted to tell you I really enjoy reading your emails. Both my husband and I grew up in saver/investor households. Gradually through saving and investing we have watched our assets grow. I would not have married someone who was not a saver investor and I don’t think my husband would have either. I agree that the way I was raised greatly influenced the path I took.

  3. N on January 11, 2021 at 3:24 PM

    I was raised below the poverty line. My Mom raked in no more than 13K a year as a special education teachers aide.
    She worked nights as a waitress. My Father suffered from mental illness and spent most of his days at the Veterans Hospital.
    1979-1997 the path to wealth was clouded and I had the challenge of breaking out of the bubble I was raised in to pursue a higher education no one has ever pursed in my immediate family. I noticed at the age of 9 this cycle of poverty my family, generation, after generate, on my Mother’s side kept circling in. I hated it. I hated the debt, the uncertainty of whether our hot water would stay. Hearing my mom gives excuses and pleas to keep our utilities on or ask our landlord for another two weeks to come up with rent. I can’t count how many times we moved. We managed though and we had a loving mom but I have to be honest, I remember to this day how frustrated I felt when I was looked at as being defiant when I didn’t show up with my $5 for woodshop. $5? I didn’t even have the $1.25 for the bus ride home! As I buy my children clothes each year, I think back to my childhood when our winter pants were also our summer shorts! They were cut into shorts for the summer, shirt sleeves cut off to keep us cool in the hotter months.

    Did I follow that path? Hmmm, I did not want to but it took many years to change my habits and I still struggle some. I obtained my bachelors eventually, it took me 16 years because I did not know how to navigate the college system. A boyfriend of mine showed me what classes to take and what direction to go and that is how I managed to finish. I was also working to not only support myself but my Mother and at times siblings and their children. I don’t think anyone understands this cycle of poverty that leeches onto you into adult hood unless they too came from that lifestyle. I finally learned to say no to my family but by then that left me in debt, I had the solid 5K of debt that followed me every year, paid it off, then back up again. Now, it’s just my own debt and I’m working on shaking myself out of that 5K debt, it loves me too much to go away easily. Now at 41, I have credit and fico scores well above 800, a huge difference when I was around 380 at around 27 years old. I have a mortgage, three kids and steady income. I am working to build a savings for 6 months of household expenses and pay off that damn 5K of debt that strings along with me like a favorite accessory. I think I am on a different path. I know my mistakes, I see my habits, I learned to accept my family need to deal with their own selves and make changes, me covering a bill for them will do nothing but….well, pay a bill! This is a constant argument with my Husband and I. Some might think 5K in debt is not much, it’s debt regardless. Debt and no savings is not a great place to be in.

    My children are still very small 1yr, 4.5yr and 7yrs. My Husband and I are raising them to be financially aware and educated early on. We utilize Greenlight for kids which comes with a debit card and helps them see how easily money can be saved and how quickly it can also be used up!

    I hope by setting this path, sharing what path my parents set for me will show them both sides of two different worlds. Our kids see how different their lifestyle and access to resources is from their cousins (my sibling’s children).

    Yes, the type of household one grows up in has a huge influence on the path to wealth, it can even be crippling. I was lucky I tell people. Even with my belief of there being more beyond the poverty life I grew up in, that college was something even for me, if it weren’t for the people I met outside of my bubble, I don’t think I would have broken out of that cycle.

    Mrs. Corley, I wish I had discovered your book 20 years back. I would have been in a better place today! I am getting there, I will be financially sound and I will continue to pave a path for my children to allow them a chance to succeed financially.

    • pwsadmin on January 11, 2021 at 4:01 PM

      Wow! What a story. I felt, emotionally, what you were going through. It brought back all sorts of horrible memories. Particularly the part about always having to bail out your poor family members. People who were not raised in a poor household won’t understand that one of your biggest adult challenges is trying to save when there are so many demands placed upon you by poor family members. I remember, back in 1995, I had managed to save about $3,000. Then, one day, poof, all gone. I got a call from my Dad that he needed $6,000 in order to pay his property taxes. The township was going to put his home up for auction if he didn’t come up with the $6,000. Not only did I have to use my $3,000 in savings, I had to go into debt and use a credit card to pay off the remaining $3,000. I hated it and began to really resent my Father. I still do, to some extent.

      I wish I had a book like Rich Habits when I was young. It would have helped me better understand how to out a stop to family members constantly hitting you up for $ plus I would know what to do and what not to do.

      My feeling is that it’s only too late to grow and improve your way out of poverty, when you’re dead.