These 5 Simple Mindset Changes Will Help You Get Out of Poverty

Moon Walker

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Have you heard the phrase, 'the rich keep getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer?'

Well, it’s not just a phrase. Unfortunately, it’s the truth. Despite the fact that millions of people are leaving poverty behind and are even becoming millionaires, most people will never make it. 

In 2020, America’s 614 billionaires net worth exceeded 3 trillion dollars. The stimulus bill that supposes to help your average folk will end up helping the billionaires the most. 

At the end of the day, most people spent that money either on their basic needs or purchased some gadgets on Amazon. I guess Bezos is the ultimate beneficiary of the stimulus bill. Even though he has stepped down as the CEO of Amazon, he is still the biggest individual shareholder. 

But the question that I want to focus on here is — how do you get out of poverty? What if you are born into a poor family, it’s not your fault, what do you do? How exactly do you build wealth and become financially free? 

Below are some key points to help you escape the trap of poverty.

Only you can save yourself

Understand that no one is going to help you except yourself. It’s great when there is someone who can help you, whether it’s the government or your parents, but the reality is no one really cares about you except yourself. 

Of course, your parents want you to have a better life. However, they don’t always have the ability to provide you with that opportunity, and if they have grown up in a poor family, it’s very unlikely that they can give you good financial advice. Otherwise, they would have gotten out of that position long ago. 

If you talk to people who are struggling financially, they will always blame someone, especially the government who suppose to take care of them. I’m not saying that the government shouldn’t take care of you, but if you rely on outside factors, you will have to wait for a long time. 

You have to make it absolutely clear to yourself that no one can help you as much as you can help yourself. That’s the first step to make any meaningful change. 

Don’t settle for a low-paying job

I am not against getting a job. In fact, getting a low-paying job when you are a teenager is a perfect opportunity to teach yourself the basics of business and money and learn how to be responsible with money. 

However, a low-paying job is a trap that most people get into and never leave. When you grow up poor, every penny matters, every dollar makes a difference, you grow up with very little needs and wants. Everything you want can be fulfilled with a few thousand dollars. All you want is a proper roof over your head, some good food, and gadgets that everyone else around has. 

So when you get that first job as a teenager, it provides you with enough income to fulfill those needs, but in return, you have to give up most of your time. So you get to a position where you just work the entire day on a job that doesn’t provide you with skills to increase your income year after year but at the same time fills your basic needs at least, so you get trapped in that job. 

A low-paying job gives you instant gratification but a very little reward in the long run. You can quickly earn enough to be able to take a car on credit, get the latest iPhone and start going out with friends. 

But, at the same time, it won’t give you the luxury of free time to work on yourself and make your time worth far more valuable in the long run. Hence, you have to learn skills that pay better, so that you can earn a higher income. Then you can use this income to start up a business or invest in stocks and real estate to earn passive income.

Have a clear plan

If you don’t have a plan of how you are going to become financially independent, you will forever be trapped in poverty. It doesn’t matter how long that goal is going to take. If you don’t have the plan, you won’t have the discipline to save and invest. 

Let me just give you a hypothetical example. Let’s say you spend 50K a year. If you don’t know how you are going to create a passive income of 50K, then you are wasting your time. 

But how do you create such a plan? 

You have to buy assets that generate income over time, it could be anything from real estate to stocks to bonds or a business that can function with minimal management. 

A 200K dollar house can be rented for 2K dollars a month, for example, or 24K a year. So, for you to become financially free, you need at least to purchase two properties that will provide you with a rental income of 48K dollars. That’s just one way to do it. There are a million other ways. 

You can take a mortgage, for example, and let your tenants pay the mortgage and have a small cash flow with every property. Or you can consider the stock market, where you can expect a 10 percent rate of return in the long run. 

It doesn’t matter what the plan is as long as it’s there, and it seems like it has a good chance to work. Whether you are going to save 10% of your income to get there or 90 percent, depends on you. But here is what most people are going to say, 'my income barely covers the bills, how am I possibly going to save that much and invest?'

That takes us to the next point.

Focus on educating yourself 

If you are making 50K a year, it’s impossible to imagine yourself making 200K, for example, or half a million dollars or a million dollars. Because you are comparing that million dollars to your current job. 

If you are making 20 dollars an hour, then you have to make at least 250 dollars an hour assuming you will work for 12 hours every single day to be able to make seven figures, and as far as it seems, no one is going to pay you that much for a such a job. 

However, that doesn’t mean, there aren’t ways to earn that much. There are people who make far more than that, the only problem is, you have to find out how. That’s why you have to educate yourself. 

But if you spend all your time on a low-paying job, you won’t be able to do that. 

So what should you do? 

Either find extra time after you are done with your job or what I did back then was just minimizing my expenses, deny myself some of the things so that I could work less to pay the bills, and suddenly I had some extra time to work on myself. 

If you are just starting out, pick up some books, find out what your strengths are, learn how the latest technologies work, and start something in that field. It’s not going to happen overnight, but remember that you are in it for the long run. 

Set up a boring but effective routine 

Once you come up with a reasonable plan, it’s time to set up a routine. Forget about having adventures every single day. You can't be productive if you don’t have a routine. That life you see on Instagram is nonsense. Trust me, everyone who makes real money almost never lives like that. The life of a person who makes a lot of money is super boring! Yes, it’s boring but yet effective. 

You wake up every day at the same time, do the same thing, over and over and over a long period of time, which could be years, you achieve meaningful progress. 

You can think of it like going to the gym. Building a great body is a result of going to the gym every day and repeating the same exercises. Yeah, sometimes you try new equipment, but overall you do pretty much the same thing. You train your chest, back, biceps, shoulders at least once a week. After 2 or 3 years of hitting the gym 3–4 times at least a week, you start to see the fruits of your hard work. 

That’s how everything works in life, including wealth. So don’t feel miserable when you scroll through your Instagram feed. Just focus on what you are good. We don’t choose how are we born. Some of us are lucky to be born rich, while others aren’t fortunate. But As a wise man once said: 

“It’s not how you start that’s important, but how you finish!” 

If you are born poor, it’s not your fault, but if you stay poor for the rest of your life, then it’s your choice. Of course, circumstances change from country to country. 

Being born poor in a first-world country like the United States is different than being born in the middle of Sahara, where you do not have the infrastructure to start building wealth. 

However, with the rise of the internet, that has changed, you could be anywhere and yet still educate yourself and even build an entire business online. 

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Jack is a freelance writer and editor who loves to inspire others with his words and also share interesting stories to the world.

New York City, NY

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