Want Spending Will Put You in the Poor House

There are two groups of poor people.

The first group are individuals who simply do not make enough money to meet their needs.  money flowing out of a retro tap

The second group are individuals whose income exceeds their needs but who, nonetheless, spend more than they make.

According to Census Bureau data, there are approximately 46 million poor people who cannot meet their needs.

They are forced to rely on assistance in one form or another from federal and state governments.

According to this same data, there are approximately 30 million other people who make more than they need but who are, nonetheless, one paycheck away from poverty.

These individuals engage in something called Want Spending.

Want Spenders spend more money than they make on their wants.

They surrender to instant gratification, eschewing saving in order to buy things they want now: 60 inch TVs, nice vacations, expensive cars, bigger homes and jewelry.

Want Spenders routinely gamble away part of their income.

They also spend too much money at bars and restaurants.

Worse, they incur debt in order to finance their standard of living.

Want Spenders create their own poverty.

They are undisciplined with their money.

They have been brainwashed by advertisers and a consumerist society into buying things they do not need. 


When Want Spenders are no longer able to work due to old age, they live out the remainder of their lives in abject poverty.

They become dependent on family, friends, the government or the charity of others.

Their poverty is the byproduct of a Poor Habit known as Instant Gratification.

Want Spenders rationalize their Want Spending in a number of ways:

  • I’ll make more money in the future
  • I’ll get a better paying job
  • I’ll get a second job
  • I’ll get a raise
  • I’ll get a bonus
  • The economy will improve and I’ll make more money
  • I’ll get more clients or customers
  • My children will take care of me in retirement
  • I’ll move to Florida, or some inexpensive place, and live off Social Security

Most people in society do not make a lot of money.

A fortunate few have the Rich Habit known as Delayed Gratification.

These individuals live within their means and do not engage in Want Spending.

These individuals are disciplined savers.

They diligently save at least 10% of their income, paycheck by paycheck, month by month, year by year.

Their savings grow either by the power of compounding or by prudent investing. money savings

When they retire, they live out the remainder of their lives financially independent, not reliant on financial support from others.

If you’re like most people, you don’t make a lot of money, but the money you do make exceeds your needs.

You have a choice on what you do with this Excess Money.

You can engage in Want Spending, live for today, and rationalize away why you do what you do with your Excess Money.

Or, you can take control of your financial life, by saying yes to saving your Excess Money and saying no to Want Spending.



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Tom is a CPA, CFP and heads one of the top financial firms in New Jersey. For 5 years, Tom observed and documented the daily activities of wealthy people and people living in poverty and his research he identified over 200 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots” which culminated in his #1 bestselling book, Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. Visit the website:

'Want Spending Will Put You in the Poor House' have 4 comments

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    July 4, 2017 @ 9:42 am Bob Horgan

    OH Yes, been there and done that. It all comes down to self discipline and common sense. Spend your money on what you NEED, not want you WANT. Money spent on pleasure should be be from surplus funds, Its hard to make sacrifices, which I did for ten years, but when you look back, you know it was worth it. Moral of the story, Look after your money and IT will look after you.


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      July 4, 2017 @ 8:18 pm Michael Yardney

      Thanks for the insightful comment Bob


    • Avatar for Property Update

      July 7, 2017 @ 8:43 pm deb

      Due to my marriage breakdown, I became a sole parent. At first, I couldn’t even supply our needs and required family support. I gained full time employment and vowed to never be poor again. I sacrificed and invested. 25 years later, I own my own home outright and have 10 rental properties. I have money in my offset account and want to keep it there. I drive a 14 year old car but resist the temptation to upgrade to a newer model because my car is still sound and I prefer my money to be working for me. I buy appreciating assets and try to avoid buying depreciating assets. I understand the difference between wants and needs.


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