How the Wealthy Spend Money Differently from Everyone Else

In a world where financial habits vary widely, the spending behaviors of the wealthy stand out as particularly intriguing. While everyone must manage their finances, the affluent often exhibit distinct patterns in how they allocate their resources. Understanding these differences can offer valuable insights into wealth accumulation and financial success.

In his book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, Tom Corley reports on the habits of millionaires. Below are some of his insights into how the wealthy spend money differently from everyone else.

Are you wealthy? How does your spending compare?

Healthy Food and Exercise

One striking observation the author made is that millionaires prioritize their health and spend money on organic food.

He found that poor people eat a lot more junk food than the wealthy do and exercise a lot less.


Another notable difference in spending habits is the emphasis on quality over quantity. While it’s tempting to opt for cheaper alternatives or indulge in frequent shopping sprees, the wealthy prioritize value and durability in their purchases. Rather than chasing trends or accumulating possessions for the sake of status, they invest in high-quality goods and experiences that provide lasting satisfaction and utility.


The wealthy often spend more on education compared to the average person. Investing in education is seen as a long-term investment in oneself and one’s family, with the potential to increase earning potential and open up opportunities for advancement. Corley underscores the correlation between knowledge acquisition and wealth accumulation, highlighting the value of intellectual investments.

Wealthy individuals may allocate resources towards private schools, tutors, extracurricular activities, and higher education institutions with prestigious reputations. Additionally, they may prioritize ongoing learning opportunities such as workshops, seminars, and professional development courses to enhance their skills and knowledge in various fields.

By investing in education, the wealthy aim to gain a competitive edge, increase their intellectual capital, and position themselves for success in their personal and professional lives.

Conscious Consumption

Contrary to popular belief, the wealthy aren’t necessarily extravagant or wasteful in their spending habits. Many affluent individuals practice mindful spending and conscious consumption, carefully considering the impact of their purchases on both their personal finances and the broader world.

Whether it’s supporting sustainable brands, philanthropic initiatives, or ethical business practices, the wealthy often align their spending with their values and priorities.

Strategic Spending

One of the key distinctions between the wealthy and the average consumer lies in their approach to spending. While many individuals may prioritize immediate gratification and impulse purchases, the wealthy tend to focus on strategic investments that yield long-term returns.

Whether it’s investing in stocks, real estate, or businesses, the affluent allocate their resources with a keen eye towards wealth accumulation and preservation.


The wealthy often prioritize spending on experiences over material possessions, recognizing the lasting value and fulfillment that memorable experiences can bring. Unlike material goods, which may depreciate in value over time, experiences such as travel, fine dining, cultural events, and adventure activities can create cherished memories and enrich one’s life in meaningful ways.

Wealthy individuals may allocate resources towards high-quality travel experiences, including luxury accommodations, private tours, and exclusive excursions to exotic destinations around the world. They may also indulge in fine dining experiences at renowned restaurants, attend prestigious cultural events such as concerts, theater performances, or art exhibitions, and participate in adventure activities like safaris, yachting, or hot air ballooning. By investing in experiences, the wealthy prioritize personal growth, enrichment, and enjoyment, seeking to create lasting memories and cultivate a lifestyle of abundance and fulfillment.

NOTE: Experiential spending does not need to cost a lot. And, it is one of the key ways to buy happiness.

Retirement Savings

Data from the U.S. Government Accountability Office highlights the disparities in retirement account savings based on income level. The rich save more for retirement than anyone else.

On average, people aged 51-64:

  • In the highest income bracket had retirement savings of $605,000
  • The Middle income quintile only had $100,000
  • The lowest income quintile had $75,000

Learn more about average retirement income.

Leveraging Financial Tools and Expertise

Wealthy individuals often leverage a range of financial tools and expertise to optimize their spending and investment decisions. This may involve working closely with financial advisors, tax professionals, and estate planners to develop comprehensive wealth management strategies tailored to their specific goals and circumstances.

By harnessing the power of financial knowledge and professional guidance, the wealthy are better equipped to navigate complex financial landscapes and capitalize on opportunities for growth.

The NewRetirement Planner

Yep. The average net worth of a NewRetirement subscriber is very significantly higher than the nationwide average. It is actually orders of magnitude higher than even the average retirement savings of the highest income bracket cited above.

It turns out that the wealthy want to leverage financial tools and expertise and they want to economize while doing so. At $120, the NewRetirement Planner gives you full control over your financial projections with outputs that rival anything a more expensive advisor might offer.

NewRetirement Planner

Do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable

NewRetirement Planner

Take financial wellness into your own hands and do it yourself retirement planning: easy, comprehensive, reliable.

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