Do you suffer from poverty mentality?

in Editor's Corner

poverty mentality

Did you know that your family’s legacy and attitudes toward money could be affecting the relationship you have with money right now? What if you knew that the way you think about money could be impacting your income – causing you to make poor decisions around what you are charging for your services, or how much money you are or are not investing in your business?

What is poverty mentality?

If you’ve never heard of poverty mentality, it is mindset that some people develop over time about money – usually it’s the deep-seated belief that you will never have enough.  It’s completely rooted in fear – and fear is (in my opinion) the number one reason some people never get anywhere in life.

When you have a poverty mentality, you’re stuck, and you won’t see positive changes in your income or spending (or saving) habits, either. This is a horrible money habit – a mindset, really – that has to be broken in order to see progress both in business and in life.

I found a great post which outlines three warning signs of poverty mentality:

  1. Constant Money Fixation
  2. “I hate rich people” syndrome
  3. Fear-based decision making

This is such a good quote from the above-mentioned post:

Have you ever seen someone experience more anguish at losing $10 than earning $100? Ever seen someone drive around a parking lot for 10 minutes to avoid a one-minute walk to the store?

These scenarios are fear-based, not prosperity driven. The decisions are not made on what the possible benefits are, but made in order to avoid a possible negative outcome.

Webinar on Breaking Through Unhelpful Money Habits

Money Breakthroughs WebinarIn chatting over email with Australia-based business coach Annemarie Cross, she let me know about a free webinar she’s leading this upcoming Friday, January 28, 2011 from 6-7 PM Eastern Time (4-5 PM Mountain Time – which you ought to register for. The webinar is called “Money Breakthroughs Webinar: Breaking those unhelpful money habits to ensure 2011 is your best year yet!”

She’ll cover:

  • How your family’s money legacy can block you from generating the income you want and what you can do to reverse this;
  • Practical steps to get rid of money clutter that can seriously impact the flow of money coming into your life;
  • The importance of building a strong self-worth account, and what to do to stop making damaging withdrawals;
  • More

The webinar is free so I encourage you to attend it if these are areas you’re struggling with. I know I certainly have bad money habits I need to break in order to make 2011 as profitable as it can be.

One of the things I have learned (and now share with my clients) is that the reason I was struggling to generate the income I desired went much deeper than marketing and other business development strategies. The reason I wasn’t able to charge what I was worth had nothing to do with my abilities and the programs I was offering.

I was struggling because of my self-belief, self-worth AND beliefs I had around money. I call it my family’s money legacy. So up until a few years ago, the story that I had grown up with about money as a young child had been negatively impacting the income I was making (or in my case ‘not making’) in my business.

From, Are your money beliefs blocking your income growth?

Click here to register free.

Here’s to breaking the poverty mentality and bad money habits, and setting sights on bigger things in 2011!

Image credit: Shutterstock

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

DivineCreatressLimitless September 9, 2011 at 3:11 am

Tia, Great article. My main focus is on breaking the generational poverty cycle by inspiring parents to encourage their children to “mind their own business” meaning being entrepreneurial minded. When parents learn financial responsibility and develop a “positive” relationship with money they are able to teach financial responsibility to the youth. Talk about money matters with the youth at an early age to prepare them for the future.

Nicole March 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm


I agree Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book! I let a friend borrow it and never got it back (LOL)!.

As with all things our environment and family up bringing shapes are views on life. What it boils down to is education and understanding how money works. If you spend more than you make that will definitely create some adversity in your life.Keep track of your spending makes a world of difference. Also, Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses!!!! Close friends of mine just purchase a home and two new cars. Mutal friends comments were “they must be doing well” ” oh they have money” ” since they doing so well maybe they will let me borrow some money” Everyone’s perception is different. My comment was the opposite of my naive friends, my inital thought was how were they going to pay for all that ? Wow they have a lot of bills. I live in the wonderful world of REALITY!!

Great post Tia

Beverly Ho March 10, 2011 at 12:39 am

I don’t agree with #2 of the three warning signs of a poverty mentality. I have no problem with anyone with an income capped at around 200 million, but anyone who needs more than that and doesn’t do right by employees or other types of “dependents”, giving oneself multi-million dollar bonuses, for what? Maybe almost bankrupting the nation’s economy and then expecting a bailout has some type of syndrome that is very narcissistic, sociopathic and destructive.

I would say that poverty mentality is: 1) overemphasizing money in one’s value system (either fixation on NOT having enough or NEVER having enough power, a lot of $$$ =s power in the global community); 2) failing to recognize other forms of income: kindness, love, good friends, a supportive family that realistically sees one’s faults, but is also quicker to see one’s strengths, self-discipline, delaying gratification sanely, not being easily manipulated, etc.; 3) accumulating stuff instead of understanding that often less is more; 4) personal history of fear based or compulsive decisions that show poor judgement, often looking at only the immediate gratification in the present and not reflecting on the negative impact in the future. I think my neighbors, who I share a house with (house is divided into 5 apartments) very definitely have a poverty mentality. They have stuff cluttered all over their area. They now have 5 pets, and counting. And they are now about to have another baby although the dad was just saying to me that nothing is saved toward his daughter’s college fund.They have even tried to clutter the area that I live in, which has had us on brink of WWIII a few times.

Mitchell Allen January 31, 2011 at 10:51 am


I came here from @Ileane, to check out your newly-designed blog. Congratulations on this whole new look!

Now, about the poverty mind-set. I never had it, because I was a born hustler 😉
That, itself, is a limiting mindset, because I thought of ways to “get over” (legally, though!)
It was only after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that I learned the correct mindset and made that paradigm shift.

I’m going to hop from here to Annmarie’s site, just in case there’s a transcript or shared insights.

Best to you in 2011!



Tia Peterson January 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Hey Mitch,

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great book and talks a lot about mindset. I really like his emphasis on the differences between making money and earning money. A lot of times we confuse making money with earning it, and it keeps us in a rat race.

Thanks for the congrats on the new look!


Dino Dogan January 27, 2011 at 12:37 am

Low, middle and wealthy class definitely have a different psychological relationship with money. This kind of thing needs to reach low and middle class people so Ima do my part and tweet it. Awesome post 🙂

Tia Peterson January 27, 2011 at 4:21 am

Thanks, Dino! I think this subject is really important. And it’s definitely true that we think about money differently, and impoverish people who stay in a cycle of poverty are even more vulnerable to this sort of thinking.

Breaking the cycle of poverty starts with changing the way we use and think about money.

Thanks for passing on the word!


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