Do You Have Poverty Mindset?

January 24, 2019


Poverty mindset is the “poor me” attitude towards money. It is commonly characterized by being always in the state of lack.


Have you ever met a person who constantly says “wala akong pera” or “hindi ko afford yan”. Someone who always answers negatively to what you suggest or say he or she should do. Those who only see the things that they don’t have instead of being thankful for what they have.


Worry is a natural feeling. However, there are those who overly worry about money that it greatly affects their ability to be rich.


The moment we learn to manage our money and expand our financial literacy, we begin to graduate from poor mentality to abundance mentality.


We are no longer focusing on what we don’t have. Instead, we will be able to utilize our strengths to accumulate wealth.



Why Poverty Mindset is awful?


Poverty Mindset is a belief system that life is full of scarcity. When you are in this mindset, you always see the hard way of life. How hard it is to live, how hard it is to earn, how hard it is to save, how hard it is to invest etc. You are filled with limiting beliefs and excuses why you can’t be in the best financial life that you can be.


Here are ways you might be manifesting a poverty mindset:


  • Feeling like whatever you do (and whatever you have) is not enough
  • Being jealous or envious of others.
  • Afraid of tomorrow.
  • Negative views on rich people. You think they don’t deserve the massive wealth they have.
  • Settling on something less (buying a substandard product because you can’t fathom investing in a quality one)
  • Living from paycheck to paycheck
  • Saying and believing you will never be rich, you will never be free from your debt and any other things you will never be able to do or reach.


Being in a Poverty Mindset is awful.


I’ve been there before.


A dear friend of mine visited South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.


He will always tease me to travel too, but I always decline.


  • I don’t have a passport
  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t have paid leave (still on my probationary period back then)
  • I don’t have the ideal “travel fund” yet
  • I don’t have any idea how to travel at all!


It turns out the only person blocking the possibility of my goal to travel is me. All the reasons I mentioned above were mere excuses. And there’s a way for me to actually travel too if only I turned those excuses to actions!


Read next: How To Achieve Your Travel Goals in 3 Steps


I also became a hoarder before. 90% of my closet was filled with ukay-ukay items. There’s no wrong in buying ukay and I still do buy thrifted whenever I see one that I really life. What’s wrong was that back then even if I have the money (and means) to do so I let myself believe that I cannot afford.


A poverty mindset affects your health.

Because you tend to worry so much, stress comes in. You are more likely to feel depressed and shut yourself out of people who are eager to give you sound advice. You are more likely to spend money on what you think will make you feel happy like vices – cigarette, alcohol and gambling. We all know the bad effects of these vices in the long run. Your health will slowly deteriorate until you can get more reasons to be financially depressed – health bills and debt.


A poverty mindset affects your spending habits.

Because you feel so poor, when the money comes in, you have a high tendency to spend it all the way. There is this feeling of deprivation and “I deserve this!” that shouldn’t be the case always.


A poverty mindset affects your relationship with others.

Because you think negatively all the time, people around you will start to have doubts as well. The poor money mindset is now not just in you but passed on to to your family and friends. This makes resolving the problem harder than what it used to be. You may also have the habit of asking money to friends and family members because you can’t seem to achieve the lifestyle you want.


Sadly, not even a Php 100,000 paycheck a month can guarantee you a way out of poverty mindset. Yes! You can be earning and making so much money and still feel poor in the inside, bitter, angry and just want more money.

The Opposite of Poverty Mindset


Then there’s the Abundance Mindset.


Abundance Mindset is the complete opposite of Poverty Mindset. In here you believe that there are always new chances and opportunities to come. Your self worth and security does not come from money or the things that you own/have.


Here are some traits:


  • You see failure as opportunities
  • You make things happen than responding to it after it has happened.
  • You remain positive that there’s a way out.
  • You focus on the solution rather than the problem.
  • You reflect good vibes to the people around you.
  • You find it easy to be generous.


I think the ultimate sign that you Abundance Mindset is that money does not control you and your life.


Money now becomes a tool and not where you depend your everything. You begin to see that there’s more to life than having a fat wallet.You are now able to live life, its ups and downs and enjoy whatever good things or hardships it gives.



Poverty Mindset vs. Abundance Mindset in Real Life


Here’s a good differentiation between Poverty Mindset and Abundance Mindset.


With a poverty mindset, you believe that everything is limited. This includes money and the ability to build wealth, time and resources or options you have in life. You are easily worried about the future. You are afraid to take risk, to try just to know what could happen instead. Your decisions are loosely based on fears, especially when it comes to investments.


With an abundance mindset, you believe that there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone. Wealth and the ability to build wealth is for everyone. You don’t think of the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as a limit but more than enough time to do what you have to do. You are positive about the future. Instead of making decisions out of fear, you make decisions based on the bigger picture.



How to Turn Your Poverty Mindset to Abundance Mindset


It is easy to be trapped in a poverty mentality especially if you’ve lived your life poor and lacking in the money department.


Our mindset is often passed down from generation to generation and it may seem like there is nothing you can do to overcome it.


But there is a way to get out. Here are some action steps you can do:


Realize that money is not all that matters

You may think that with more money you be will be happier. But once you have more, you will realize it cannot satisfy you. The constant wanting of what we don’t have produces an endless cycle of stress that leads us to sadness and regret.


A post in Business Insider shares that there are five biggest thing people regret on their deathbed:


1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.


What can we infer from the above? When someone is dying, the thought of money fades away. What remains are the relationship we made. The wishes we have that relates to the way lived our life during our lifetime.


Before I truly understood my position in Christ, I chase financial freedom.


I always thought (even blogged countless of times) that as long as I reach financial freedom I will be happy. I let money and the world consume me. In the process I forgot God.


When I learned to humble myself and surrender everything to God through Jesus Christ I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and it definitely changed the way I see success, progress and life in general.


At this very moment I know I already achieved financial freedom for I am no longer ruled by money and the world.


I don’t worry anymore about tomorrow and whether all my desires, my plans and my ambitions will be met.




My contentment belongs to God. Whatever richness I may have with being a good steward of the time, talent and money He gave me is already secondary.


We may have all the riches in the world, but without the peace and contentment that comes from the God, we will never be truly happy. Money is not all that matters.


Writing down what you have

Have you see the “23, Nakabili na ng TV” trend on Facebook?


The said trend sparked a lot of criticisms but I find it to be good way to look into the things that you have and not stress so much of what you don’t have. I guess instead of posting it on social media, it is best to write it down on your planner or a sheet of paper you can always go back to.


I remember watching a Room Tour of Alex Gonzaga, sister of Toni Gonzaga, before and she was showing a note she keeps on her bedside table. On the list are everything that she is thankful for. From the people around her to the material things that she owns. It serves as a good reminder of the things she need to be grateful for.


And I believe this is a good habit to adopt.


Spend 10-15 minutes just to write everything that you have to be thankful for. The talents that you have, the family that you are with and so on. That way you’ll realize that your life is a gift from God.


Don’t compare yourself to other people

It is easy to compare what we don’t have with what others have especially in the age of social media. Try to focus on how you can achieve your goals instead.


Stop wasting your time coveting another’s life and focus on your own self-improvement. Stop comparing your now to others. Do what you can do best with what you have instead.


We are all gifted talents and resources to use. Check whether you’ve been utilizing all gifts provided to you and exhausting all means for your abundance.


Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude is an important factor that will help you live in abundance financially. By definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.


Being thankful for all the good things in life creates positive feeling over situation. Here are ways you can implement the attitude of gratitude in every area of your life:


1. Keep a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a diary of things for which one is grateful. TIt doesn’t have to a detailed entry. A simple bullet points of what you are most thankful for the day already works.


2. Create a gratitude ritual. Every morning as part of my routine I talk to God and thank Him for a new day He has blessed me with. The said ritual easily become a game changer for my morning. Just to be able to have a conversation with God in the most quiet hours of the day led me to be more intentional on what I want my day to be.


Practice delayed gratification

Delayed gratification, also known as deferred gratification is the process of resisting temptation to get an immediate reward in lieu of a later reward. Delayed gratification is all about self- control and patience, giving yourself an ample amount of time to evaluate whether the purchase is really needed or not.


A good technique I learned to practice delayed gratification came from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. He says when you want to buy something, write it down first in a notebook. If after 30 days you still want to buy the item, buy it. In the middle of that waiting period you may change your mind, you may get extra money to buy it or you may find a discounted option!


Stay away from distractions


Social Media can make or break your self-esteem. If you keep looking on how others are living, where will you find time to live the life you want to live? How can you start living your own dreams and aspirations? Get rid of the distractions especially the negative ones. Spend more time doing things that will help you improve your life or financial literacy.


Final Notes from SavingsPinay


Poverty MINDset is all in the mind. What you feed your mind affects what you believe in life. If you let go of all your limiting beliefs, your fears and inhibitions you will soon discover that there’s much to life to be grateful for. Abundance is everywhere.


Living life in abundance can happen to everyone. It is not about the money in our bank account or the number of luxury items we have. An abundant life is actually the life we are leading. You have full control of your finances. Do your best and God will surely take care of the rest.


Have you ever experienced a poverty mindset? How did you overcome it?



Clariza Glino

Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages,, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at

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