What Do Gambling, Junk Food, Reality TV, Anger and Gossiping All Have in Common?


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In my Rich Habits Study, I tracked over 300 activities/habits that separated the rich from the poor.

Individually, most Poor Habits do not have a significant impact on your financial circumstance. However, some Poor Habits do have a more profound impact on your life. Below are a few of the most destructive Poor Habits:

  • Poor people like to gamble: 77% of the poor admitted to playing the lottery regularly vs. 6% of the rich. 57% of the poor admitted to betting on sports weekly vs. 16% for the rich. Gambling is a tax on the poor. There’s a reason the poor gamble – random luck. Gambling levels the playing field, in the mind of the poor. The odds of winning are the same, whether you are rich or poor.
  • The rich do a better job keeping the pounds off: 21% of the wealthy admitted to being overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor. But there’s more to this story… 97% of the poor ate more than 300 junk food calories a day while 70% of the rich ate less than 300 junk food calories a day. You can’t make money sitting in a hospital bed. If you neglect your health, eventually your rain barrel will overflow. That overflow results in cancer, heart disease, Type II Diabetes and other diseases.
  • Poor people love watching T.V.: 77% admitted to watching more than 1 hour of TV a day vs. only 23% for the rich. And their favorite TV shows? Reality TV 78% of the poor who watch more than an hour of T.V. each day are watching reality TV. Watching TV is a time-wasting or Do-Nothing Poor Habit. If you were to just reduce your TV watching by 30 minutes a day and re-deploy that time by reading to learn, exercising, or pursuing some goal or a dream, the cumulative beneficial effect could be the thing that lifts you out of poverty or poor health.
  • It seems the poor cannot control their negative emotions: 43% of the poor admitted to losing their temper at least once in the past month vs. 19% of the wealthy. Those who do not make a habit of controlling negative emotions are unable to build strong, powerful, life-long relationships with others. One outburst can destroy a long-term relationship in a matter of minutes.
  • Poor people like to gossip: 79% of the poor admit to gossiping while only 6% of the rich have this Poverty Habit. Gossiping almost always involves negative criticism of others. Gossiping damages relationships because people will not trust you once they find out you are a gossiper. Those you gossip about eventually figure out who is doing the gossiping. Gossip destroys relationships.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Hello Thomas, thank you for writing the book, I have listened to it several times. See I ride motorcycles to and from work and listen to audiobooks along the way. I also make many long trips, (see IronButt on the internet) and I love to listen then as well. I keep going over yours and have also shared it with my son. But I wanted to share one thing that I have learned living here in Silicon Valley among rich people. The number one thing I see that separates me from them is education on basic life money instructions. I grew up sorta poor in the military. And we never really had a lot of money. I learned to work at 13 and get what I wanted. However, I never learned how to keep that money. We REALLY need to find a way to teach high school kids the basics of finances. Not just how to save money but why and were. I’m 56, I’ve been a millionaire and lost it all, Working on my second try. Anyway, rich habits have helped. But I wish I had had this info 40 years ago…

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