Text "Top Ways to Remain Poor" with a picture of a man's right leg in shredded jeans and shoes that are falling about and his left leg is in black dress pants and shiny black shoes.

Top 5 Ways to Remain Poor

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What are the top ways to remain poor?

I grew up with not a lot of food in the house.

My uncle and grandparents would recount that they can always remember coming over and seeing either me or my sister on the countertops looking for food.

You see we were poor. My dad worked some government jobs, but then the space shuttle Challenger blew up as we watched it in elementary school, because the first teacher was going into space. So everyone in my generation watched 6 people die live in their school and no one really talked about it. Welcome to the tail end of Generation X.

Anyway, because of that, he lost his job and my mom was working in fast food at the time, that at least got us dinner.

I don’t know if school lunches had subsidies for poor kids because I normally ate whatever I could find in the house in late elementary, which wasn’t much.

I grew up with a poor mindset. A mindset of scarcity. Of hunger.

Being hungry changes you in profound ways. Now that isn’t to say we were always hungry but I will state that I have known going without breakfast and lunch many days in a row.

Eventually, everyone in that world has a choice to make and so here are the top ways to remain poor.

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These ideas are based on my personal experience and opinion and should not be considered professional financial investment advice. Furthermore, the ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

Text "Top Ways to Remain Poor" with a picture of a man's right leg in shredded jeans and shoes that are falling about and his left leg is in black dress pants and shiny black shoes.

Here Are The Top 5 Ways To Remain Poor

Picture of Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet’s right-hand man) has a concept called “Inversion Thinking.” Inversion thinking is, “thinking of what you want to achieve in reverse. Another way to put it is instead of thinking about the future results, and what you want to achieve, you think to flip it in reverse and think about what you don’t want to happen.” – From eInvestingForBeginners.

In this vein, I want to tell you the top ways to remain poor and then in the conclusion, we will invert these so you know how to escape poverty. As these are the steps (there isn’t a real order) to get out of poverty and a poverty mindset.

Man standing on a step overlooking a city lit up at night - What is a rich mindset and how do you get one?

Fix Your Mindset

The reason that most people have built wealth in life is that they have fixed their mindset.

Less than 20% of millionaires were born rich. That means that you could create that level of wealth in your life, but you need to start with the best asset you have: Your Mind.

Click here to read What is a rich mindset and how to get it.

Number 5: Blame Everyone Else But Yourself

To remain poor remember that you have done nothing wrong. You are just a victim of circumstances beyond your control.

Because you are a victim you can never do anything without permission and a TON of help from others.

Since no one will give this to you then they are the reason you are still poor.

This mentality will serve you well to help you remain in poverty. It is also good to pass these thoughts of victimhood down to your children and grandchildren to create generational poverty.

Number 4: Only Listen To Poor People About How The World Works

Poor people know how the world really works. Therefore, listen to them about how money, careers, and most importantly opportunity works.

To stay poor you cannot be swayed into believing successful people about how money works.

The rich had unfair advantages. They were lucky. They had help.

Never mind that 80% of them didn’t start out rich.

Number 3: The Government Will Take Care Of You

To stay poor you will need to rely on others to take care of you.

This could be anything from food stamps to disability to social security.

Remember, you must not do anything to better yourself. The government will and should take care of all of your needs and wants.

You can trust that the government won’t take advantage of you in any way and if they do it is 100% their fault for doing so.

Number 2: Don’t Learn Any New Skills

The second best way to remain poor is to not learn any new skills. The world is changing fast and most of the jobs that wealthy people have couldn’t even existed 20 years ago without the internet.

It is important if you want to stay poor to not learn new skills.

Don’t look for opportunities online. Please keep binge-watching Netflix and the other 8+ subscription services out there.

How to achive financial freedom - a man is lying on the beach holding a laptop and looking very relaxed

How Can You Succeed Financially?

There is a clear path toward financial success and security.

It isn’t just being a worker for 45 years. Although for some it may involve that.

If you want to know what practical steps are needed to achieve financial freedom read my article on how to achieve financial freedom.

Number 1: Spend More Than You Make

This is the best way to remain poor. ALWAYS spend every dime that you make and then go into debt to spend even more.

This one tip will help you remain poor if you somehow win the lottery. Most lottery winners lose all their winnings in 5 years because they know this lesson well.

More money doesn’t mean you can’t be poor. You just have to work harder at it.

You will never get ahead if you keep digging a hole in debt.

Conclusion: Reversing The Top Ways To Remain Poor

I hope this was as painful to read as this was to write. Inversion thinking can be pretty powerful so let’s invert these thoughts to show you how you can break the cycle of poverty for you and your family for generations to come.

Number 5: Take Responsibility

Picture of Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) in his office

Gary Vaynerchuk goes the other way. He says that he believes everything is his fault.

The advantage of saying everything is your fault is that you immediately have taken back your power.

So if you are at fault then you did something wrong. Things that are done wrong can be fixed.

And once you start to take responsibility for your life you can not control it. Controlling your life allows you to make different choices. Different choices mean that eventually, you will succeed.

Number 4: Listen To People Who Have Succeeded Before You

Who do you want to be like? Seriously, say a name.

It doesn’t need to be someone famous or rich.

I bet you want to be like that person because they have something you don’t have. It could be a character treat or a better life for literally anything.

If you know that person well then ask them how they got that thing you admire. If you don’t know them personally, then look at their life and see what they did to get that thing.

I read a lot of books by the people I admire so I can learn what they did.

Success leaves clues. Look for them.

Number 3: You Need To Stand On Your Own

I am not saying that if you need help and you qualify for it that you are bad for accepting government programs.

What I am saying is that you need to look for ways to stand on your own two feet. This also goes for those going into retirement.

What happens if you are 100% reliant on social security to survive and they cut it by 25%? If you think that couldn’t happen here is what the social security website says as of Sept 2022.

Text image that says "The concepts of solvency, sustainability, and budget impact are common in discussions of Social Security, but are not well understood. Currently, the Social Security Board of Trustees projects program cost to rise by 2035 so that taxes will be enough to pay for only 75 percent of scheduled benefits. This increase in cost results from population aging, not because we are living longer, but because birth rates dropped from three to two children per woman. Importantly, this shortfall is basically stable after 2035; adjustments to taxes or benefits that offset the effects of the lower birth rate may restore solvency for the Social Security program on a sustainable basis for the foreseeable future. Finally, as Treasury debt securities (trust fund assets) are redeemed in the future, they will just be replaced with public debt. If trust fund assets are exhausted without reform, benefits will necessarily be lowered with no effect on budget deficits."

There is a lot in there but basically, if nothing changes then in 2035 benefits will be necessarily lowered to 75% (or a cut of 25%) for everyone. The reason isn’t that people are living longer, but birth rates are dropping.

This is why it is important for you to do everything you possibly can to get out of the cycle of poverty. My goal is to use social security to fund extra vacations not to live on.

Debt Payoff and Budget

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Number 2: Never Stop Learning!

Please, please, please never stop learning. In our day and age, there is information literally everywhere and I am happy you are reading this because you are interested in learning about finances.

I work in information technology since I have been 16 years old. I will tell you that without constantly learning new things I would have had to find a new career by now.

Now, many other fields are on the same learning curve I have been on for over 20 years.

You literally can’t stop learning new skills anymore.

Also learning new skills can get you out of poverty. That was how I did it. I learned new things in IT that were coming so when they arrived I could make the jump into them. Do the same in the field you are interested in.

Number 1: Live Within Your Means

Rich people have learned to live on much less than they make. To be fair they have an unfair advantage because I could live on $100k if I made a million dollars after taxes as well.

But even if you are making $30k a year start to figure out how to live on 98% of what you make. Save 2%, which won’t be much but it is the discipline of that act that grows.

Then learn new skills and don’t be afraid to move jobs or start side jobs to get ahead.

Text on a green cover "5 Things to do to live comfortably and stop living paycheck to paycheck" free PDF

Are you living your best life or are you stressed about paying the bills?

In this quick 2-page PDF, I cover 5 ways you can get your financial life back on track.

I used to live paycheck to paycheck and after years of paying off debt and maximizing my investments I am now able to save and invest more than 45% of my wife and I’s gross pay.

This allows me to live comfortably (not a crazy rich person) and sleep better at night. If you want this let me know where I can send it to you below.

You Will Struggle – So Get Something Out Of It

In all of this, I am not saying you won’t have struggles – YOU WILL STRUGGLE!

But do you use that struggle to move ahead anyway or do you give up?

What is the cost of moving ahead vs giving up?

Choose your hard!

Choose your hard statement - “Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard. Choose your hard. Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard. Choose your hard. Being in debt is hard. Being financially disciplined is hard. Choose your hard. Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard. Choose your hard. Life will never be easy. It will always be hard. But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.”

Wow, you read a lot to get here. Can you do me a favor, please? Can you leave a comment if this was helpful to you or if I missed something? Alternatively, it would help me out a lot if you shared this content with those that might need to see it. Thanks, you are the best!

Picture of Dwight Scull sitting in his gaming chair in his office surrounded by board games and Role Playing Books.
“Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard.
Choose your hard.
Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard.
Choose your hard.
Being in debt is hard.
Being financially disciplined is hard.
Choose your hard.
Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard.
Choose your hard.
Life will never be easy. It will always be hard.
But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.”

About Dwight Scull

I have been married to my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who puts up with me since 1999. I am a proud father to my Gen Z, son, and daughter-in-law. Grandfather to my favorite granddaughter who was born in 2021.

I lost my mom, father-in-law, and 12 others in 2013 and was DEEPLY in debt. I started reading and watching all the financial info I could find.

I chipped away at my debt and went from a negative $105k net worth having one home paid off, no credit card debt, and saving/investing 45%+ of my gross salary.

I used these daily habits to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.

I believe that you can overcome any challenge you face if you just take small daily actions and be consistent with them. It is how you will be financially successful.

Join my free Facebook group to get a ton of free resources to help you get out of debt, learn how to invest your money and work toward having the option of retiring early.

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