Quote: Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich.


Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich.

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Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our money-saving and DIY expert and also the editor-in-chief as she's always on the lookout for the latest online deals.


  • The key here is moderation. Rich people who live like they are broke are not only not enjoying the benefits of their money, they are also preventing their money from helping someone else earn enough to provide for their basic needs, they are hording the money, unused, while others are struggling to make it.

    Those who overspend need to tone it down a little, but not go overboard and horde their money.

  • Oh this made me laugh! I was only talking with my friend this morning about how rich people also seem to be the most frugal. Of course, you can be TOO frugal! If you have enough money but are regularly depriving yourself of essential items then there could be a problem.

    • I have looked around and the richest of the world usually have the most modest of lives. A balance, I guess. Usual lessons on how to be rich is to live within the means. I think most people are following that. Baby steps until the goal is reached…the millions.

  • I know so many people who are constantly broke because they seem to think their kids need every toy out there. They need 3 big screen TVs, new cars and name brand everything, yeah when part of your income is welfare that will happen. I do try to live frugal but sometimes it can be difficult. I am pretty good at keeping it simple though.

    • I have a sister who does this. It drives me crazy. Her husband actually makes very good money, and she also manages bringing in extra cash. Yet, she often ends up asking my mom for money because they spend it immediately. All the kids have tablets (one already broke), they get new games systems, each one has a television in their room with cable, etc. They’re all under the age of ten as well. She and her husband have gotten tattoos several times in the past few months too.

  • Well, rich people are rich for a reason. They are doing something right with the way that they handle their money. Just because a person becomes rich, does not mean they will stay rich, they’ll only stay rich if they have serious money managing skills, and sometimes that can be in the form of “living like they’re broke.” However, as others here have said, some rich people overdo it, and won’t spend the money they need to spend, and that’s not being frugal, that’s being foolish.

    I know a lot of broke people who act like they are rich, only they don’t know what rich is. I think this comes from being “new” to money, and not knowing how to act when they get some of it.

  • I love this quote! I’ve never heard it before, but it is so true! I’ve know a few people who spend like they’re rich and it always baffled me. I would think, even people with money don’t spend the way these people do!

    It really is a lot about lifestyle. The way I see it is if you are perfectly happy living a frugal lifestyle and make reasonable money, you have a good chance of one day becoming rich. But if you want a lavish lifestyle and are constantly spending, no matter how much you make you’ll always be one the verge of being broke.

  • Some of the richest people I know go the mall in shorts and tank tops in the summer, I kid you not. They are some of the most unassuming people I have ever met. You can’t even catch them wearing watches or jewelries of any kind. That’s if they’re not going somewhere important though. If they are, you can bet that they’d dress sharply for the occasion.

  • That’s correct because the rich holds onto their money so much, without actually living on them. I know if I was rich and I had a lot of money, I wouldn’t leave it sitting in my bank without me using it and just looking at it. I would put it to a lot of uses and basically leave the job and live all my life on the money I’ve got, basically live free!

  • My parents are a perfect example of rich people living like they are poor and my boyfriends uncle and his family are the other, a (not poor) mid-income family living like they are rich.
    When I was growing up, my mother made my school clothes out of material my dad would bring home from the rail yards where he worked. I was the only kid in grade 4 in bright purple polyester pants. I swear we were a match for the Beverly Hillbilly’s. But now mom is 82 and my dad is gone, but there is still plenty of money and good thing too, cause with today’s housing prices, my kids would never be able to afford houses if they weren’t able to get help from grandma. Everyone of them has had their education paid for by my parents frugality, and now they have a helping hand to look forward to when they are ready to settle down and start their own families. My youngest is the only one who has picked up their habits though, my son (the eldest) makes good money but he spends it just as fast as he makes it. If my parents hadn’t been so thrifty, they wouldn’t have what they have today because I have not been able to work a great deal of my adult life due to a disability.
    As for my boyfriends uncle, both he and his wife work, but they are constantly broke. He is a plumber and she is a long term care aide. You’d think with two respected full time jobs they would have something to show for it, but although they have a lot of things, they also have a truckload of debt. What kind of inheritance is this going to be for their kids? Not only will they likely not leave anything, they will be lucky if they don’t pass along their debts because right now, their debt load exceeds what they are worth, People have to think about the next generation and stop being so selfish.

  • This is so true and reminds me of the book “The millionaire next door”. I think this is an attitude a lot of people had just a few generations ago – if you wanted something you would have to save for it. Now that there is so much access to easy credit, many people grow up with a money-grows-on-trees attitude and get themselves into trouble really quickly.

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