People with less means know a thing or two about stretching a dollar — something the rich may not fully understand. “Poor people are experts at finding ways to make the most out of their limited income,” said Ricardo Pina, personal finance expert and founder of The Modest Wallet. “They have learned to live frugally and make smart financial decisions in order to survive.”
“For instance, they know how and where to shop for the best deals, how to negotiate prices and how to find substitutes for expensive products,” he added. “All of these skills help them to stretch their budget and make ends meet without getting into debt.”
Although affluent individuals may possess greater financial security, those with fewer resources demonstrate valuable lessons in frugality and financial discipline through their resilience and practical money management skills. Below are some other genius things they know that others can learn a thing or two from.
Saving for a Rainy Day
According to Pina, poor people are aware of the importance of having savings for unexpected expenses.
“They know that life can be unpredictable, and having some money set aside for emergencies can prevent them from falling further into poverty.” He noted that this is something that rich people may overlook, as they have the financial means to handle unforeseen circumstances. “Poor people understand the value of even a small amount of savings and make it a priority to save whatever they can.”
Living Within Your Means
“Another thing that poor people know about money is how to live within their means,” Pina explained, noting they are often accustomed to living with limited resources and have learned how to make the most out of what they have. “This includes cutting unnecessary expenses, prioritizing needs over wants and finding creative solutions to everyday problems.”
On the other hand, he noted that rich people may not have developed these skills, as they’re used to having an abundance of resources at their disposal.
The Power of Community and Support
“Poor people also understand the importance of community and how it can help them financially,” Pina continued. “They know how to rely on each other for support, whether it’s through sharing resources or providing a helping hand in times of need.”
He said this sense of community and support can greatly benefit their financial situation and provide them with opportunities that they may not have had otherwise.
Getting By With Little or No Money
There’s an upside to not having much, said Thomas Franklin, finance expert and CEO of BitInvestor, as it teaches you to cope and manage. “Those who’ve always had plenty may never grasp these survival techniques.”
He noted that losing wealth is a possibility for anyone, yet those who’ve been through hard times and learned to get by with the bare minimum are often more prepared for financial downturns.
Stretching the Food Budget
People with limited budgets are pros at making their food last. Franklin highlighted that they inventively repurpose leftovers to extend their meals. “A previous evening’s meal might become today’s tasty lunch, or surplus cooked rice could turn into a new, savory dish.”
He said this kind of ingenuity not only conserves food but can also educate everyone on how to reduce waste and make the most out of the food they purchase.
DIY Home Maintenance and Repairs
“When something in the house breaks, rich people might call a professional without a doubt, but those with less money often rely on their own abilities to do repairs,” said Franklin. “They’re adept at dealing with drippy taps, sealing cracks in the walls or troubleshooting appliances.”
This do-it-yourself attitude doesn’t just cut costs, he explained, it also fosters independence and confidence in home maintenance.
Finding Deals and Pre-Loved Items
Poor people are also very good at finding bargains and pre-owned treasures in second-hand shops and yard sales. “They understand that high quality doesn’t always mean expensive,” Franklin added. “Those with more means might not venture into such shopping, overlooking unique and affordable items that bring distinctiveness and savings.”
Maximizing Community and Government Services
People who are economically disadvantaged are often knowledgeable about various community aid and government programs available to them, from healthcare to food subsidies. They know how to navigate these services to lighten their financial load, said Franklin.
Meanwhile, those with higher incomes might be less informed about these options, potentially missing out on assistance that could benefit them.
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