Do You Have a Poverty Mindset

This is something I am working on to change myself.  During our leadership meeting we had last Saturday and also again Tuesday night we had a discussion why people stop where they are in life without being successful.  Many people will use the excuse of this is the way I was born or this is my environment and I cannot change it.  Through these studies it shows that most of the time it is because of your own mindset the reason you are where you are today.  We have all heard, you are where you are today because of what you did yesterday.  If you didn’t change or plan ahead yesterday, then you can expect today to be different until you change.  A poverty mindset can manifest itself in a lack of vision for the future.  You end up stuck in a financial rut, perhaps working a job that barely meets the financial needs of your household. When you lack vision, it’s hard for you to believe that God would give you an idea to take your household to prosperity.  And if God does give you a big idea, you either will not follow-up on it, or you will find a way to sabotage it.  Your poverty mindset keeps you stuck where you are. If a person feels less than others then he will not feel deserving.  If he does not feel deserving, his life is based on desperation and wanting, rather than from joy and abundance.  If one feels abundant, he will have abundance.  If one feels desperate and wanting, he will expand the poverty in his life.

Here is an example:  Of the three pictures of food which would you choose?  Pick your first choice.

What made you choose the one you did?  Mindset.  At the bottom of the page in red you will find the answers.

Wealth or poverty is something that resides within. Poverty is a state of mind and about perspective not always about money. It is a fear of never having enough. To break that state of mind we have to make different choices and unblock the shackles that have been placed on our minds by our parents and the society around us. Our beliefs about how the world works is passed down from generation to generation. If your parents have a poverty mindset, it’s highly likely that you grew up with this same beliefs.  People may say that they want to be wealthy, however a mindset that is set for poverty cannot handle a sudden increase in wealth.  It is not the $1000 decisions that wreck your budget; it is usually the $5 and $10 decisions that keep you from getting ahead.  Most people think if something only costs $5 or $10, it’s not a big deal so they go ahead and buy it.  But when you add up those small decisions over the course of a week or a month,it ends up being hundreds and hundreds of dollars wasted.  Because of the poverty mindset, you never set up a written budget to plan the use of your finances.  You never set financial goals for what you want your money to accomplish.  You just let it flow through your fingers and out of your pocket and the end result is being broke.

Did you know you can break that poverty mindset just by believing that you deserve more and that you can achieve more! You have the choice on whether you can are rich or poor. It is not God’s will for people to be in poverty. It’s an absolute lie to believe that you have to live a financially poor existence to be a Christian.The spirit of poverty is a stronghold established for the purpose of keeping us from walking in the fullness of the victory gained for us at the cross, or the blessings of our inheritance in Christ.  This can relate to everything from the quality of our marriages to the anointing we have for ministry, as well as any other resources that we need for what we have been called to do.

That’s the type of mentality that keeps people in poverty. Often, thinking that we’re “poor” while others are “rich” is a result of comparing ourselves with other people. The first step is to stop comparing ourselves with others.You don’t need lots of money to be rich. Poor people put a high priority in having cash on hand.  They do pocket accounting.  What cash they have in their pocket is often how they manage their money.   They do not like checking accounts because it requires financial management.  Poverty mindset has nothing to do with money, it has everything to do with the willingness to communicate and face a problem.

  1. Growing up in that environment ABSOLUTELY shapes one’s mind about money and life.  People who heard from their parents that “we can’t afford this and can’t afford that”, as if there was no other way to get money other than welfare. There was no budgeting to help make the money last the full 2 weeks. They get their check and blow it on junk food, alcohol, drugs etc. Then act like victims for the rest of the days while waiting for the next check or the next binge. Change your environment, and you change your financial future.  Where did you learn your financial habits? Other adults: primarily your parents. We spend the way they spend. We value what they value. We carry their views on most things. So if your parents spent foolishly, their actions taught you to spend foolishly. If your parents spent wisely, you would gravitate towards wisdom in finances.  If your parents were really wise they would have explained why they spend the way they do and how to by-pass financial failures through proper money management. People who grew up hearing a language of poverty that sounds like this: “we can’t afford it”, “we don’t have the money”, “that’s for the rich people not for us”.  All of those statements are victimized, poverty statements. Change your language, and you change your financial future.
  2. Break the tradition! Make the decision to change and learn new skills of improvement and be willing to commit to them.Decisions made without establishing new skills will lead to failure of the decisions becoming a reality. Change your habits, and you change your financial future.  Don’t be lazy!
  3. Your children are always listening and watching, whether you realize it or not.  They see everything and they learn so much faster than we as adults do.  Groom them for Success instead of unintentionally grooming them for failure.  If your kids are going to succeed it is going to have to come from you. Do you want them to suffer financially in the future?  Do you want them to have the same struggles you have had? Or do you want them to have the best shot at success?
  4. Practice gratitude.  Take a moment and see what you have and want in your life right now. Don’t complain, criticize or blame.
  5. The best solution is a committed Christian relationship. If you really feel like doing something about poverty, it will come down to becoming friends, becoming family, building trust and love so that they see another way of living. You have to change the mindset, and you can only do that by being a Christian with renewing the mind.   All this takes faith.

If you chose the picture with the buffet:  Poverty mindset and wanting more than you can eat, hoarding and unwilling to change.  Picture of the gourmet food – Wealth mindset meaning you enjoy the presentation more than the food itself and you are willing to break traditions.  Picture of the plate of food is like going out to eat and you can choose what you want on the menu to suit just you, it is the quality of food and you pay for what you want.  It is the middle class mindset.

The poverty mindset keeps people in their own little circle or world.  It is all about them and what they can get for their family.  They make look for ways to only increase or make a difference in their family or circle of influence.  The middle class mindset is more than just family and circle of friends but reaching into their community and beyond.  The wealthy mindset is reaching, networking and always looking for opportunities to grow on an individual basis and making a difference internationally.

Prayer:  Lord, I know it has been difficult to understand our mindset and how hard it is to change my mindset at times throughout my life.  Continue to show and open up our eyes on how we can change to be more of a wealthy mindset.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Romans 12:2  New International Version (©1984)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.


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11 thoughts on “Do You Have a Poverty Mindset

  1. wealthy mindset for sure… remember my “STANDING SALAD”… had no idea how to eat the ting, but wasen’t it cool to look at. LOL:)

  2. I chose the middle class one. But I have totally suffered from a poverty mentality for years. I have struggled to feel good enough to shop in certain stores, wear certain brand of clothes or buy certain brands of makeup…and even if I did wear them i felt like a phoney and like everyone knew I didnt belong there or with that quality stuff. I am starting to break it, but it has been HARD!!!!!!

  3. I was intentionally seeking info on what a poverty mindset was. Your site was very informing. The example you give, help me see what I was consistantly chooseing. I don’t want that to continue. You have given me a guide to what will bring more rather than less. I expect to live differently and abundantly. Question: how does that apply to buying in quantity.

  4. To Sandy,
    I think you can view the answer for buying in quantity determines what or why, motive you are buying. If you need diapers, paper towels, or toilet paper and it saves you money to buy bulk, then it is positive. However, you wouldn’t want to purchase so much it causes a problem with storage, over spending or out of control buying. Also, if you buy unnecessary items just because they are on sale and you might use them in the future it can be different. There is a difference between mindset and a difference between having wisdom. The mindset of poverty is the mindset of hoarding, for example buying because you feel as though you may won’t have resources in the future to purchase. It basically boils down to faith and being able to trust God for your needs later on.

  5. True, the poverty mindset is very prevelant and most people do not even realize they have that mindset. Until the sub-conscious mind is re-programmed, it will be hard for people with this mindset to achieve their goals.

  6. I chose the first one but i dont have a poverty mind set the reason i chose the first one is because i like to have a nice selection of food so i can pick which ones i want.

    Although buffet style foods are catered towards people on a budget so i can see where you are coming from :)

  7. Was doing a websearch on poverty mindset because I got stuck in it after great loss and years of depression following. Trying to learn what it is to get out of it. It seems to me I need to move to the middle class mindset before I can move to the wealthy mindset. What do you think?
    PS- this sounds a lot like the info from a book called Culture of Honor by Danny Silk of Bethel Church Redding Califorina. I am in a satellite school of ministry where we read their books and watch videos from them. :)

  8. This article really made me think. It really hit a lot of things that we do to sabotage ourselves -and we ‘ re not even aware that we ‘ re doing them. Thank you for a much-needed jolt!

  9. As you know most of the communities (Bengali or Tamils) in this sub-continent are infected by ‘Culture of Poverty(hopelessness)’ syndrome, irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is seriously ashamed of or regret the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-Governance, bad work place, weak mother language, filth, continuous consumption of common social space (mental as well as physical, both). Do not ever look for any other positive alternative gesture/values to perform a real way of parenthood – deliberately stop giving birth to any child him/herself till the entire society improves up to the mark, co-parenting children those are born out of extreme poverty, instead. We are becoming parents only by self-procreation – mindlessly, blindfold (supported by some lame excuses), depriving the children’s fundamental rights(of a decent & caring society, fearless & dignified living). We are being driven by the very animal instinct, pushing persons for a nasty living, indulging the entire community to go perish. If the Bengali people ever opt for a freedom from vicious cycle of poverty, need to involve in Production of Space(Henri Lefebvre), form a positive sentiment to overcome the inherent ‘hopeless’ mindset, definite application of human dignity, decent & fair Politics would certainly come up. – SB, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah -711101, India.

  10. Thank you dor the wisdom in this article,I was doing a search on the poverty mindset and came across this article.I refuse to hold on to this poverty mindset,and the words,habits,and thoughts that come with it in Jesus Name!Amen.-I’m reminded of the widow if first King 17 who had a poverty mindset before the word came through the man of God.Like you say “A poverty mindset canl manifest itself to a lack of vision for the future” all she saw was death, but her obedience to the Word of God made room for God to manifest in her situation so that It could be turned around for her good

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