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Mental Mindsets: Broke vs. Poor

Updated on March 20, 2013
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I grew up in a small community in Northwest Arkansas. My life is a busy balance of family and friends, work and play, good times and bad.

A mindset is a way of thinking.

You are probably thinking to yourself – what is the difference?  Broke or poor . . . either way, you are still out of money.  Most people have had to tighten their budgets during the rough times that the economy has had in recent years.  Just about everyone is living paycheck to paycheck and most of us have found ourselves out of money between paydays.    The difference is how you view your situation and how you deal with the situation.  

All Gone . . .

The Broke Mindset

A person with a broke mentality is able to pay their bills on time but may not have much money left over after the bills are paid.  This person is actually quite smart when it comes to budgeting their money.  This person will figure out which bills need to be paid with certain paychecks so that each bill is paid on time and they may have a little extra money left over for fun stuff.  The person with a broke mentality realizes that they may not have the money to buy a certain item with the current paycheck, but they will get it with the next paycheck.  Times may be rough at the moment but they will get better.  This type of person may complain every once in a while about how tough they are having it, but overall they keep a fairly positive attitude and they are willing to work toward a better future.

Poor You . . .

The Poor Mindset

A person with the poor mentality is also living paycheck to paycheck.  This is the type of person who loudly complains about not having money for the fun stuff.   A person with a poor mentality will complain about not making enough money at their job but they are not willing to look for a better job or take on a second job in order to live the lifestyle that they want. 

This person may claim to be living on a budget, but they tend to be impulsive when they go shopping.  The person will a poor mentality has been known to spend a large amount of money on stuff like toys for the kids, movies, music, alcohol, drugs, or junk food.  A person with the poor mentality may or may not pay their bills on time.  If the person over spends on stuff that is not necessary, then a bill or two will have to wait until the next paycheck . . . which means a bill or two that should have been paid with that next paycheck will have to wait until the next paycheck. 

This is a vicious cycle to get into because you will be adding late charges onto the bills that you already are having a hard time paying.  If you are late paying a bill for a couple months in a row, the company is likely to start adding more deposit fees to each month’s bill to ensure that they will get some money out of you to cover your last bills if you decide to try to skip out on the bills.    It is common for the person with the poor mentality to find places to rent where the utilities are covered with the rent.  

Change Your Mindset!

The Conclusion

The true difference in the broke mindset and the poor mindset is having a positive or negative attitude. The negative attitude of the poor mindset is stuck in the rut of “I ain’t got enough money” and “never will have anything”, whereas the positive attitude of the broke mindset is “I may not have enough right now but I will have soon”.

While it is a good idea to stick with a budget or at least spend your money wisely, having a positive attitude is the key to getting ahead. It is possible to change your mindset, but it does take hard work and a willingness to change.


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