25 Rich People Habits That Don’t Work for the Poor

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While it’s tempting to copy the wealthy and their routines, people with fewer resources would be wise to resist adopting these “rich-only” habits.

Being Lazy (Because They Can)

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Wealth can provide the comfort to choose laziness over work—after all, who wouldn’t want to relax if the opportunity was there without financial worry? However, this isn’t a sustainable approach for those who don’t have vast reserves of wealth. 

For individuals not cushioned by significant financial assets, being a potato couch is often not an option, which can lead to missed opportunities and financial instability (something they often cannot afford). 

Buying Art as an Investment


High-end art collecting? A great strategy—if you’re a millionaire. 

For everyone else, this can be a risky financial move with unclear returns. Instead, engaging with the art community through local galleries and supporting emerging artists can be just as fulfilling. This approach allows you to enjoy the beauty and emotional resonance of art without the financial commitment typically associated with high-end collecting.

Wearing Fancy Watches

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Luxury watches are a popular accessory among the wealthy to signal their status. However, for those watching their budget, splurging on such pricey timepieces is a financial faux pas. 

Choosing a reliable and affordable watch can keep you on time and on budget, proving that practicality can have its own timeless style.

Going on Extravagant Vacations


Going to places like the Caribbean is a hallmark of wealth, but when your wallet isn’t stuffed with cash, such extravagance can lead to financial troubles. 

It’s far wiser to skip those vacation dreams and explore local treasures instead—because discovering hidden gems close to home can be just as thrilling (and a lot kinder to your bank account).

Hosting Extravagant Parties


The wealthy often host lavish gatherings that showcase their social status and wealth. However, attempting to replicate such events can be financially crippling for those with less disposable income. 

Hosting simpler, more intimate gatherings can still provide an enjoyable social experience without the extravagant expense.

Making Risky Investments


Wealthy folks often make investments with higher risks, seeing them as just another path to greater wealth. However, for those with less financial leeway, this strategy can lead to regrets rather than success. 

Buying High-End Luxury Clothes


The allure of designer labels like Gucci is undeniable in circles of wealth, where fashion serves as both a hobby and a status symbol. Yet, for individuals managing tighter budgets, this habit is both unsustainable and unnecessary. 

Opting for classic, versatile pieces that don’t carry a designer tag might not be as stylish but it’s definitely more affordable.

Overspending on Groceries


It’s easy to get carried away at the grocery store, especially when not bound by a tight budget. The wealthy may indulge in high-end, gourmet products without a second thought, but for those looking to save, sticking to a grocery list and prioritizing necessities over luxuries is not an option.

Poor Budgeting Skills


While wealthy individuals might have the luxury to spend more than anyone else, it’s wise for everyone else to maintain a clear and strict budget. 

Sticking to a well-planned budget ensures you can handle your financial obligations and save for the future.

Frequent Luxury Spa Visits


Regular visits to luxury spas can be a common indulgence among the affluent, offering relaxation and pampering at a high cost. 

Those managing their finances more tightly should consider more budget-friendly ways to relax and treat themselves. Home spa days or occasional visits to affordable local spas can provide similar benefits without the financial strain.

Owning a Luxury House (or Houses)


Luxury real estate might represent a status symbol for the wealthy, capable of affording sprawling estates without a second thought. However, for those working within a budget, such extravagant property investments are a far-fetched dream. 

Opting for more modest, affordable housing ensures you live comfortably within your means until you’re able to afford luxury properties.

Overspending on Education


Education is undoubtedly a valuable investment, but there’s a line between investing wisely and overspending. Wealthy individuals might not blink at high tuition fees, yet for those with tighter budgets, it’s important to weigh the potential return on such investments. 

Exploring scholarships, grants, and public institutions can provide quality education without the burden of excessive debt.

Buying Luxury Cars

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Driving a luxury car is a common splurge among the affluent, often seen as a reflection of success, but for those prioritizing financial health over appearances, such an expense is impractical. 

Choosing reliable, affordable vehicles can provide similar utility without the hefty financial burden.

Relying on Credit


While the wealthy may use credit to manage cash flow or earn rewards, leaning too heavily on credit can spiral into debt for those not on solid financial footing. 

It’s crucial to use credit sparingly and always within means, ensuring it’s a tool for convenience (not a trap for debt).

Splurging on High-End Perfumes


Splurging on luxurious perfumes is another way the rich enjoy flaunting their wealth. However, such lavish spending makes little sense when budget-friendly fragrances can smell just as sweet. 

Choosing sensibly priced scents ensures you can still enjoy the essence of luxury without the extravagant price tag—a smart move for smelling great while saving.

Purchasing Seasonal Wardrobes

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It’s not unusual for wealthy individuals to update their wardrobes with each fashion season, always keeping up with the latest trends. This habit, however, is costly and often unnecessary for those on a budget. 

Building a timeless, versatile wardrobe with quality pieces that last beyond the season is a smarter choice for those looking to stretch their clothing budget further while still looking fashionable.

Opting for Premium Cable Packages


Wealthy individuals might not think twice about subscribing to the most extensive, premium cable packages available, enjoying a vast array of entertainment options.

For those on a tighter budget, however, mimicking this habit can lead to unnecessary monthly expenses. Opting for more basic packages or streaming services can provide ample entertainment without the high cost.

The Blame Game


It’s not uncommon for wealthy individuals to shift blame for financial downturns (such as poor investments) onto their advisors or peers. Yet, this habit can hinder personal accountability and growth. 

For those without the buffer of substantial wealth, recognizing and owning up to financial mistakes is beneficial as it encourages learning and growth, helping to avoid future missteps and strengthening financial acumen.

Frequenting Exclusive Clubs

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Membership in exclusive clubs and social circles is a common practice among the affluent, providing networking opportunities and social prestige. 

For those managing a stricter budget, these memberships—with their steep fees and ongoing costs—aren’t a practical expense. Focusing on more accessible community groups or online networks can offer valuable social connections and support without the high costs.

Spending a Lot on Health and Wellness


The wealthy often invest heavily in their health—from high-end supplements to personal trainers and expensive essential oils. 

While maintaining health is important, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to do so. Prioritizing regular exercise, a balanced diet, and affordable healthcare measures can maintain (or even enhance) your well-being without the hefty price tag of luxury wellness options. 

Updating with the Latest Technology

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The allure of the latest gadget is tough to ignore, especially when it’s flashed around by the rich and famous. But for the budget-conscious, constantly upgrading to the newest model will only cause later regrets. 

Sticking to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy ensures your tech life is practical (not flash) and saves you from a cycle of endless spending.

Dining at High-End Restaurants


Upscale dining is a staple for many affluent individuals, offering gourmet meals in sophisticated settings. Sadly, though, dining at upscale restaurants is unsustainable for those on a budget (at least on a regular basis). 

Trading those expensive reservations for culinary adventures at cozy, lesser-known spots or enjoying homemade masterpieces can help maintain financial stability while still allowing for the occasional treat within your means.



Keeping up with the elites is a game the wealthy might afford to play, but it’s a losing battle for most. Constantly comparing your lifestyle to others (especially those with more resources) can lead to unnecessary spending and financial strain.

Focus on your own financial goals and needs instead—this is your own unique journey, not a race against anyone else.

Investing in Multiple Vacation Properties


Owning multiple vacation properties can be a luxury that allows wealthy individuals to travel and stay in comfort. 

For those with more modest means, this practice is financially unfeasible and ties up funds that could be used for more practical investments. 

Lacking Self-Discipline


A common pitfall among the wealthy is the lack of discipline in financial habits, like making impulsive purchases. For those who aren’t financially cushioned, giving in to every temptation can lead to severe economic consequences. 

Building and maintaining self-discipline in your spending habits helps in avoiding financial pitfalls and securing a more stable and prosperous financial future.

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.