12 Bad Habits that Can Keep You poor for a Lifetime

What It Means to be Poor

Poverty is one of the worst things in life and being poor, one of the worst experience. A poor person is someone who lacks money or resources to afford some of the basic necessities in life,. In other words, someone who cannot meet a common standard of living is a poor person. When you cannot afford good food, comfortable home, clean water, nice clothing and basic means of transportation, there is no argument that you are poor.

Types of Poverty: Global report

Poverty comes in different levels. A poor person can have home, food, clothing and other basic things, only that such possessions might be insufficient or not be quality enough to meet a normal lifestyle. When one is so poor that he lacks food, shelter, clothing, clean water and other basic needs, then the person is said to be in abject poverty.

Habits that Can Keep You poor for a Lifetime

The United Nations define abject or extreme poverty as a situation where a household total income is less than the international poverty line of $1.25, while normal poverty occurs when an individual income is less than $2.57. These values were lower in previous years, for instance, $1 was the international poverty line. The value for the poverty line was raised in 2023 because of global inflation that has increased the cost of living. This means that not having income close to a double of what you earned before 2023 this year means your purchasing power is lower than your previous years. By interpretation, poor people are getting poorer year by year due to hyper-inflation across the globe. Unfortunately, the United Nations report that half the world's population is living in poverty while over 800 million people are in abject poverty (so poor that they cannot even afford what to eat, clothing or shelter).

Why People Become Poor

While some people can become poor, many poor individuals are those who actually born into poverty. Meanwhile, there many reasons people become poor. Some of the reasons include environment, unemployment, government policies, lack of education, conflicts and an individual's lifestyle or habit.

Many believe that poverty is a thing of the mind, maybe it is, but there is yet a research to confirm the correlation between poverty and mindset, intelligence or smartness. Even the most brilliant people can be poor. It is all about how one is exposed to information, resources, connections and all the things one needs to get rich. If you find yourself in a place with bad government policies, the chance of getting rich is slimmer than another person in a country full of opportunities; but there is a way out. Keep read!

Being poor can be out of one's control but for one to be born poor does not mean that he cannot become rich in future. Poverty becomes a big deal when it passes from generation to generation or when it persists for a lifetime. One of the things that make one to remain in poverty throughout an entire life is bad habit. Poor financial and economic lifestyle can greatly ruin one's life and leave many in abject poverty that nothing can heal.

The Following are known habits that make you remain poor for a very long time:

1. Extravagant lifestyle

Excessive spending prevents one from savings and investing. Being extravagant can make you spend above your income. Most extravagant individuals only realize that they have exceeded their purchasing power when it is already too late. This often become a bad habit such that each time you try to stop it, it feels impossible. Constantly spending lavishly can leave you in a lifetime poverty. If you find yourself being too extravagant, then try to adjust. You can begin to place your money in fixed deposit or invest immediately money enters your hand. One way to beat extravagant habit is to create financial budget and spend base on your set budget.

2. Perpetual debt

Constantly wallowing in debt is a bad habit that can keep you in a lifetime poverty. It is normal for rich individuals, big businesses and institutions to get loan to invest in their businesses for profit. However, the debt status of an average income individual often come with so many challenges thereby increasing the risk of default. You will have to face the risk alone and monitor your debt profile which might even affect your mental health or get your collateral forfeited.

"I don't think there is any bondage in the financial or business world as tormenting as being in heavy debt. People see you as a free person, but right within, you know you are a working prisoner in an open air." - Abas Obot

You can get loan to invest if it is necessary, but not all the time. If you discover that you have a habit of borrowing money either from individuals, your place of work or FinTech organizations, try to withdraw as such habit can make you sink into an irrecoverable bankruptcy.

3. Overgenerosity

"Givers never lack" is a very popular quote, but it is not always true in every circumstance. Building the habit of giving to others is good, no doubt. It is a way to show love and help people around us, especially, the less privileged. Nonetheless, being too generous can keep you in a long-term poverty. 

People who take too much burdens from family, friends and others around them can hardly get rich. This is because such habit prevents one from making significant savings and investment. It sounds horrible, but those who are rich are those who don't take too much burden that is not theirs. In other words, if you want to be rich, you don't have to be too generous.

"Not everyone asks for help because they are in desperate need, some ask because they think you have more than enough. In that case, giving becomes unnecessary."

4. Lack of financial planning

There is no amount of money that cannot finish without a plan. Many people win lotteries but still end-up losing all the fortune due to lack of financial planning. It is good to have plans even before money comes, without such plans, no amount of financial breakthrough can easily change your status. Yes, people get more confused when the have money at hand, that is why planning ahead is very crucial for one to overcome poverty. Financial planning includes setting financial goals and creating good budget to monitor your daily expenditure. It is not just about finance, building the habit of planning ahead on anything you do is one of good habits of successful people.

5. Gambling

Gambling come with so much promises and click baits, however, the risk of financial loss in gambling is very high. Engaging in gambling is a very bad habit that can keep you in poverty forever. The worst thing about gambling is that it is so addictive that quitting it can be hard. Real men don't gamble to get rich because getting rich cannot come by magic. They search for opportunities, project the risk and then get ahead of the bill.

"If mindset can ever lead to poverty, it is the mindset that you can become rich by magic." - Abas Obot

The hope of getting rich through betting and gambling is not promising, hence, have pushed many into poverty. Finding yourself addicted to gambling means you can be poor for a very long time, therefore, you have to find ways to quit such addictive behavior.

6. Constant procrastination

Time management plays a very crucial role in everything we do. When you don't properly manage your time, It becomes hard to set financial goals. One way to remain in abject poverty for a lifetime is to continuously procrastinate. You should set financial targets, make plans and save today without reckless postponement. Procrastination can stop you from finding job, learning a skill, investing and building other habits that can make you successful and free from poverty.

7. Ignoring financial education

Knowledge is power, and when it comes to getting rich, financial education is the breath. Financial education can help you access financial opportunities and financial management. A  little investment opportunity can transform your life forever and lack of certain knowledge can as well keep you poor for a lifetime. Some financial education that can help include how to how to make money from home, how to invest and many other information out there.

8. Working without savings

It is very hard to save when there is no constant flow of income on daily or weekly basis. This is one of the main challenge salary earners face, having to be patient enough to keep an untouched savings until the end of a month. In this case, for a worker to be able to save, the amount of income has to be enough for bills with leftover for savings.

If you are working without savings, then there is a high chance that you will be poor for a very long time. The way out of this kind of poverty is to try your best to invest, diversify your source of money or change your job. Building the habit of saving money no matter how small is a great way to find oneself out of poverty.

9. Not developing oneself

Considering how inflation soared globally for the pasts decades, one can easily see that the value of money keeps reducing year-by-year. Therefore, doing a certain kind of work and sticking to a particular lifestyle without improving oneself is a great way to stay poor. Self-development helps one to upgrade and meet new opportunities. Take for instance, someone who earned big money as a typist; without improving himself to meet-up what the computer age demands, it is a great mess-up. Without doing things to upgrade yourself every day, you might be left behind in a lifetime poverty.

10. Living in mediocrity

Some persons have the habit of naturally choosing to live an average life, they don't like changes neither want to move forward. Those who chose to mediocre life lack growth mindset, for them, they are good in their current situation. If you are living in mediocrity and lack the urge to live above average in anything you do, then you might remain poor for so long if you don't take action. People who have mediocre habit are always pessimistic, lazy, reluctant and comfortable with lowly lifestyles.

11. Having a dependence mindset

There is a certain age that everyone is supposed to become independent. Once you are above a dependence age, you are supposed to find a way to stand on your own. A grown-up person who have a dependent mindset is prone to being poor. Although moving out of parental care and people's provision is challenging, it opens way into making one think about how to have financial freedom as well.

Habits that make people to be poor

You can't have bills to pay and other personal responsibilities and remain idle. That reminding that a lot of bills are waiting for you as an independent person will make you search for better job and financial freedom. On the other hand, someone with a dependent mindset feels reluctant, after all, he/she can always call parents, friends or others for help to pay bills and feed.

12. Coming from a poor background and still sticking to the poor environment

Our background and environment that we are brought-up play very vital role in how we succeed or fail. That is why one's environment is considered one of the most important things that matter in life. If you are from a poor background, the chance that is will succeed is narrower over someone from a wealthy background. Imagine coming from a family history that cannot even afford basic education, it already ruin your journey from childhood.

The environment too gives you or denies you access to opportunities. Here is the point, the background or environment is not the main culprit to your failure in life. Failure comes when you know your story but you refuse to relocate from the poor environment in search of opportunities. People who know they are poor but still stick to that locality often times develop bad habits that retain them in adject poverty.

In conclusion, so many factors contribute to one being poor, but one of the main causes of lifetime poverty is bad habits. Building a progressive lifestyle can lift you from abject poverty into the ocean of riches. It is hard to overcome certain habits that were built over time, no doubt, however, you might need to make some changes to better your life.

By: Abasiama Akpan

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