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A Simple Truth: Why the Rich Are Different

Scott Fitzgerald: “The rich are different than you and me.”

Ernest Hemingway: “Yes. They have more money.”

I often see this exchange between the two authors quoted. I always want to take it one step further:  “But why do the rich have more money than most.”

And my answer would be: “Because the rich think differently.”

And here’s the difference: The Masses think like a Consumer. The Rich think like a Wealth Builder.

There is a major difference between the two.

A Consumer thinks: I want more money so I can buy more clothes, take more trips, eat out more often, and have more fun.

The Wealth Builder thinks: I want more money to save and invest for the long term so that I can have more freedom, more choices, more fun, and more opportunities to give back.

Do you know what separates these two mind-sets? Instant gratification.

It’s the difference between snapping up those Prada shoes—which you simply must have because they go perfectly with that Juicy Couture dress you just bought—or depositing that same sum straight into a savings account, or better yet, a mutual fund.

The decision is yours to make.

I’m not suggesting self-deprivation. There’s a world of difference between denial and discipline.

True, the discipline of saving may require delayed gratification. But think of it this way—you’re giving the money to YOU (not Visa or Starbucks) so that ultimately you can purchase what you please without pressure or worry.

What about you? Do you think like a Consumer or Wealth Builder?

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Comments & Feedback

  • CFuller

    I am still thinking like a consumer, working toward wealth builder thinking sometimes it’s hard when you feel like you never have enough money to enjoy life because it’s all going to bills and living expenses.

    I know that’s a mindset it’s just getting over the hurdle that’s the largest challenge for me.

    Although it’s more calculated and I now track it, I still blow through large sums of money .

    • barbara huson

      Here’s the question for you…if you track your spending (Very Good) and you see you’re blowing through large sums, why don’t you stop ‘blowing through’ and start saving some of that large sum????

  • Laura McCann

    Seriously, Barbara, this is absolutely speaking to me today! Just got my bonus and I am on the hunt to buy, buy, buy.! I would definitely say I’m more in the consumer role. I want to be a Wealth Builder but I am having a hard time with the denial versus discipline. I feel like I’m denying myself from the stuff I want. I’m working to get to the place where my ultimate goal, freedom, is more important than new clothes or a new bag.

    • Ann Strong

      Laura McCann ~ so powerful what you said, “I’m working to get to the place where my ultimate goal, freedom, is more important than new clothes or a new bag.” You go, girl!

    • barbara huson

      I hear your frustration, Ann. You’re not alone. My advice…just start putting tiny amounts in savings…and do it automatically, so you don’t have to think about it. Fill out a form online at your bank, instructing them to transfer, say $25 a month from checking into savings. You’d be amazed how small amounts add up!!!

  • Debbie Sassen

    omg, this is so true.
    I am a wealth builder! No question about it.

    But all too often I see and work with folks who are more interested in the external trappings of rich, rather than that luxurious, comforting feeling you get when you build wealth that will support you for the long term.
    Thank you for this today!

    • barbara huson

      I don’t know what happened, Debbie…but my response to you ended up under Sarah’s comment. Oooops.

  • Sarah Spencer

    There’s a step between “consumer” and “producer” thinking that’s missing and I cannot for the life of me put my finger on it. But it’s definitely a book that comes between “Overcoming Underearning” and “Sacred Success.” When we begin to rise from simply surviving to simply thriving, what is that elusive “aha” moment? What’s that magical step in between? That’s the book I want to read. Maybe I’ll write it someday… 🙂

    • Cassandra Coghill

      So much this!!!!! Me too!!

      • barbara huson

        Thank you for sharing it on FB Debbie. Isn’t it great to be a Wealth Builder? Proud of you!

        • barbara huson

          Such a provocative question, Sarah. My feeling is the magical step is doing the inner work, rewiring the old neuropathways, transforming the way you see yourself (from a survivor to thrivor)….it means going deep. I talk about all of this in my books…except the rewiring part…which is what my next book is about: mind training for wealth building. Big hugs to you!!!

  • Shilpi

    I am coming from a consumer mind-set. I feel like i don’t earn much and that is one of the reasons i find it hard to even put it aside.

    • barbara huson

      I’m sorry to hear that. Because, I promise you, you do NOT need a lot of money to create wealth. But you do need the willingness to do what it takes…and I don’t feel that in you. Maybe someday!!!b

  • Carrie Rattle

    Barbara, I have been receiving your emails for years now, and find every single one inspirational and thought provoking. I have always been a wealth builder. My husband says I must have put money from the tooth fairy into an IRA. AND, you are absolutely right about the mindset. I don’t remember any of the shoes or dresses or makeup I was tempted to buy over the years, but didn’t. I buy classic clothing that will last for years – and I still get compliments. Do I like a bit of bling? Of course – but I choose selectively. Saving to build wealth has enabled me to build my own business to help women as well.
    Keep up the GREAT WORK Barbara.

  • barbara huson

    Oh Carrie, I love your comment for so many reasons. I appreciate your kind words…a lot! I love your enthusiasm. And you are such a wonderful role model to other women. Thank you so much for this wonderful post!!!!

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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