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Growing up in the projects, I watched as my mother worked three jobs every week. She made it her mission to earn enough money to get us out of that place. She never spent the money on anything but the essentials. She also looked for any opportunity to make more money or save more cash for us. Within three years and several hours of non-stop labor, she finally bought a house and we moved away.
There are 24 hours in a single day. If you remove the time you spend asleep, then you’ll have about 16-18 hours to do whatever you want. That’s practically 75% of your day to do something useful or beneficial!
Unfortunately, many people don’t think of their hours like that. They like to focus on doing what they want or taking time in their tasks. What they could finish in an hour might take four instead. The worst thing is that many of them get confused and frustrated about the time they miss. Some might be unhappy and blame themselves for wasting time. Others might scratch their heads and wonder how the hours have slipped away.
In other words, these people suffer from poor time management. One of the worst habits that keep you poor is ignoring your time. There’s so much you can do in a day and if you don’t start to emphasize that, you’ll lose so many opportunities.
One reason why poor time management is one of the habits that keep you poor is how it hurts your mindset. Many people care only about how much time it takes to do this task or finish that job. They only see the number of minutes or hours in one thing, instead of making it a part of their day.
Think about it like this: how long will this task affect the rest of my day? If it takes one hour and it’s a tough problem, why not do it right away? You might laugh and say that one hour isn’t a problem. Again, ask yourself why you can’t just start now and finish it immediately.
The problem is that people assume something can be done quickly, or at least quicker than expected. If they have to fill a report by the end of the week, they’ll shrug and say it’ll only take a few minutes. Then, by the time the deadline comes, they’re panicking because they have to finish it. What’s worse is that they might not even have a good task to fill in the time they have. Taking a nap or gaming isn’t bad, but if you do when you could be working or learning a new skill, you’re only wasting your time.
If you want to change the habits that keep you poor, you need to reframe your view on things. Take a look at the time on your clock and see what you can do in the next hour. Do you see anything that you can do? Is there a task that can be done now to make the most of the hour?
One way that I use to change my view on time is what I call the “dollar-producing activity”. Think of it like this: if you do a specific task or errand, how much money can it make or save you in the long run? If you choose your time to earn more, then you can make it more financially helpful and useful.
For example, people buy dishwashers because they want to avoid hard labor. However, that kind of machine can eat up your electricity and cause a bigger bill in the future. Now, imagine how much time you could save by washing your dishes after meals or every night. If washing your dishes can save you $250 per hour, then you’d definitely wash them yourself instead of trusting a machine.
In short, you can start to respect your time more if you view it in terms of dollars per minute or hour. Think of every minute as a valuable chance to earn some cash. For example, spending an hour a day learning a new language can help you make future deals or start networks abroad. Learning a new skill, like graphic design or video editing, can lead to better job opportunities and higher pay.
One more thing to remember is that you don’t need to make every minute a working one. I’m not saying that you should stop relaxing with friends or eating dinner outside. What I am saying is that you should watch how often you do these things. If you play video games for an hour, that’s a fun way to relax. However, if you do it constantly throughout the day, you’re not making the most of your time. Once you learn that your time is precious, both in money and in your life, then you can make it work in your favor.
You might not like to hear this, but the fact is that every human is flawed. No one is perfect, no matter how hard they try. There might be certain weaknesses or faults that hold you back or cause problems. That’s okay, though. You’re human, so you can’t expect to get 100% in anything all the time.
That said, you might want to reconsider who you spend your time with and why. Look at your life now and see who you hang out with. What kind of friends or family surround you and how do they live? Sometimes, without you knowing it, they could be the root cause of the habits that keep you poor.
The sad truth is that there are people in your life who aren’t good influences. Sometimes, they can be acquaintances or figures you see on social media. Other times, they could be close friends or cherished family members. You might not want to admit that, but there are those who can hurt your financial security and mindset.
Specifically, I’m talking about people who carry a lot of negativity in their lives. These people might constantly insist that you spend on this or do this, instead of being productive. For example, you might know someone who always tries to go out partying. While a night out isn’t bad, does it have to happen every week? Even if you’re young, that sounds like a tiring and expensive hobby to have.
There are also people who might try to dissuade you from doing something potentially useful or rich. For example, when I started getting into real estate, I had a lot of friends and family who warned me to stop. They claimed that I wouldn’t be happy investing, that I’d lose all that money, and that I might become a slum lord instead of a landlord. Years later, those very same people approached me for advice on investing in real estate. I’m not saying that you have to cut them off, but you need to know when to take a stand and when to limit your interactions.
Hanging out with bad influences can be one of the most difficult habits that keep you poor. They might mean a lot to you, even if you know that there are certain negatives or problems they have. Now, you don’t need to cut these people off or ghost them forever. I suggest working on distancing yourself and cutting down on the amount of time you spend with them.
If your negative influences are affecting you so much, then you need to know when to stop hanging out with them altogether. No one wants to end a friendship or cut ties with a loved one. However, if they’re only hurting you or holding you back, then you need to know when to leave. If you hold on to a hot pan, you’ll only burn yourself. So, if you feel that you can’t be with them anymore, take a deep breath and walk away.
Instead, take time to be with people who can influence you for the better. Look for family members and friends who want to learn new skills or make investments. Seek mentors that want to help you discover new things and abilities. You’ll want to be with those who aim to do better, not to stay in place or listen to their vices.
If you ask people “What are the habits that keep you poor?” then most would cite a lack of goals. You can have all the time in the world and the best influences surrounding you. You can have all the raw talent and the natural intelligence to succeed. However, if you don’t have a focus for it, then what’s the point?
Here’s one way to look at it: if you enroll in a four-year program at a university, what would it be for? You could say that you’ll want to learn new things or get more job opportunities. While having these big goals or ideas are good, is that enough? Believe it or not, it takes more than an idea to change your life. An idea can set you on the right path, but you need more than that to live. You need actions, strategies, and consistent routines to build your life around.
The problem is that many people don’t want to go past their big plan. They want to write a book or star in a movie or become a millionaire. Again, all these are admirable ideas and aspirations to have. It’s good to be ambitious in what you want. However, once you ask them the “how”, many get stumped or fall silent. That’s why lacking proper goals is one of the habits that keep you poor; even if you have a good idea, a lack of planning or approaches can make it look like a dream instead of a goal.
The main reason that lacking proper goals keeps you poor is the vagueness. Anyone can want something, from good money to easy living, but that’s only a thought. The most successful people in the world didn’t stay content with a simple idea. For them, it was also about finding pathways and answers to make them reach their goals.
Going back to the example before, a degree program won’t simply hand you a diploma. You need to earn it first. That’s why they give you an outline of each subject and the different units or classes you have to pass first. For instance, learning about finance means understanding the basic concepts, real-life applications, theories on how it works, and other important points.
The university would go further and outline your whole degree program into days, weeks, months, and years of learning. It tells you when your final exams or projects are due. It tells you what kind of class you’ll have and what it means. In short, a degree program is a set plan of lessons and challenges to help you earn that diploma. Without that curriculum, you’d be left without a clue and without direction.
To change this and other habits that keep you poor, you need to start building a plan for yourself. You don’t need to abandon your goals or dreams. Instead, look at how you can make them into reality.
For instance, if you want to be a millionaire, you need to save up to a million dollars in your account. How do you get there? You can start by setting goals for saving $100, then $1000, then going higher and higher until you reach your million. How do you get to that point? You can explore different saving methods or investment plans to secure your money. You could also look at various job opportunities and career paths that fit your skills and help you earn more.
Beyond the goals, you also need to build habits that help you in the long run. A daily routine can do wonders if it helps you feel active, productive, and determined. For example, starting your day by taking a walk can help you awaken your body. It can help you get rid of any stress or tiredness. It can also help you move around and lose some calories.
There are three types of habits that keep you poor in your life. The first one is poor time management, which can make you ignore your tasks and waste the hours you have each day. The second is hanging out with people who have bad habits or discourage you from doing better. The third is not having proper goals in anything you do, whether that’s a financial plan or a personal habit.
To stop these habits that keep you poor, the most important thing is to have a plan and understand why. Making each hour and equating it to money can help you appreciate it more. Spending time with people who aim to become better can motivate you to improve yourself. Building a plan for your goals, from daily behaviors to monthly benchmarks, can give you stability. In all these answers, the key is to think forward and invest in yourself. That way, you can cut off all the bad habits that keep you poor and start earning a happier, more secure life.
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