Wealthy Habits vs Poor Habits – Statistical Data

Dave Ramsey published a list of habits of the wealthy versus the poor.  I used it in part to compile my own list of positive life habits I wanted to adopt for myself.  I use the list from my previous post as a guide to success and kind of a mission statement to keep me in check.  Building wealth or success takes dedication beyond anything I have experienced in my life.

But as I am realizing, once you understand the formula it becomes easier to duplicate success in other areas of your life.  Millionaires will tell the story of losing millions several times over, yet start again from scratch and ascend like the pheonix.   Ever wondered how?  The answer is found in the formula I discussed in my first few posts: 1. determine what it is that you desire and state it, 2. determine what you are willing to sacrifice to get what you desire, 3. develop a persistent, unrelenting attitude, 4. have faith, 5. develop organized planning and 6. execute.

My contemplation time recently has me wondering about the life habits of those that do not succeed?  In this instance I am referring to success as it relates to money, wealth.  And it all comes down to life habits; some encourage success and some do not encourage success.

Ramsey’s organization interviewed 365 wealthy and 365 poor.  Although 365 people is possibly too small a sample for a scientific survey, it still provides insight into habits that we should avoid and some we should develop.  And the list made sense to me, meaning nothing on the list seemed outlandish or inconceivable.  Therefore I used the information although I would never consider 365 enough for a scientific survey.

So here is Ramsey’s quick comparison of wealthy habits versus poor habits (remember, wealthy is defined as household income exceeding $150,000 and poor as under $30,000):

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor

21. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.


Hopefully you are motivated to inventory your habits and make changes to help you become more productive.  Wealthy/successful people do not stumble upon a pot of gold.  They design their lives in a very paticular manner to give themselves the best possible chance for success!

Big Dreamer


32 thoughts on “Wealthy Habits vs Poor Habits – Statistical Data

    1. He’s a smart guy! I wrote about this article way back in January and am starting a series tomorrow on my list of habits that point people in the direction of success, so I thought this would be a great refresher. Thank you for reading! You are the first librarian I know, btw! Look forward to reading more posts!

  1. This is very interesting and also shocking. I would love to find out if the life situation of poor people with positive life habits indeed improves..which I do expect. Thanks for stopping by at my blog and bringing your blog to my attention. I look forward to more…Cheers Johanna

    1. My pleasure! I am not sure about those classified as poor, but I can tell you that I have networked with many wealthy people in order to study their habits. Not one of them watches too much TV, they all work out, none of them eats junk food, they all donate lots of time and money to charities, they all read a lot of history, none of them accrues credit card debt (!) and they all spend time with family. The similarities are striking!

  2. Definitely interesting to see these, but I have to wonder how many of these habits actually contribute to wealth, and how many are simply by-products of wealth, education, and the resulting elevated social class.

    1. I cannot say with certainty. What I can say is I have instituted almost all of these in my life and my life has trended toward much more success. I know that good life habits will point you more in the direction of success than bad habits.

    2. And that would be the chicken and egg syndrome. I am asked this often and my advice is to err on the side of caution. Emulate those habits that are positive and productive.

  3. I found this so interesting. Another person he interviewed did a study and very few of the wealthy gossip.
    It was just amazing the things the other author also found.
    I borrowed “The Millionaire Mind” in audiobook a few years ago from the library. Totally fascinating. It made my commute so enjoyable.

    1. Implementing the habits of successful people has changed my life. Made me more productive, more positive, more educated and more in touch with life!

  4. I can’t even keep a to-do list. It spawns 100’s of to-do lists. No organization and my mental illnesses are a great way to cause me mental confusion. Working on diet and exercise, but I have a long way to even get to the poor limit of $30,000 a year. I am not going to do it using government help. Between the bipolar and personality disorders just as an example my brain can’t focus long to do work consistently and without a meltdown. This blog I can do as I feel like it or I can go and lie down and stare at the ceiling. I am not sure things will ever change even if I didn’t have physical handicaps to top it off. I can imagine what you are thinking and I think it is great what you are managing to do with what you have going on in your life. My determination is broken. If I ever had any. Living with mental illness all your life changes the way you think or do not think. Right now I am fairly stable mental wise due to meds that cause me side effects, but I am not manic or severely depressed and for that I am thankful. I still can’t control my cognitive abilities though.

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