The difference between poverty and affluence has more to do with money; it is a matter of mindset and lifestyle. In fact, there are several character traits that anyone can develop in order to create more opportunity for affluence in their life. First of all, people who have a lot of money tend to be detail-oriented. They are organized. Debt-free people track their bills meticulously and always have a good tab on how much they earn, how much they invest, and how much they spend. They also communicate with experts and advisers and use established systems and tools to help them do so.

Secondly, debt-free people know how to be stress-free. Everyone has to deal with money but studies show that those who worry about money have anxiety about paying bills and this leads to poor lifestyle habits which effects work performance, relationships, and self-esteem.

Third, debt-free people learn how to “live within their means.” This means establishing a budget and never deviating from it. Affluent people only spend money on things they can afford, refraining from using revolving credit in order to acquire things they do not need; something that the impoverished tend to do.

Speaking of avoiding staying in a budget, people who want to remain debt-free always pay with cash. Of course, there is something to be said about responsible credit management for the sake of building a solid credit history but the rule “cash is king” is as relevant today as it has ever been before.

In terms of credit, debt-free people either have none at all or know how to properly manage it. This means only using credit to purchase things you can already afford but opting to charge it instead of paying cash in order to reap other secondary benefits. While the most obvious benefit of periodic credit use is to build your credit history, exhibiting this type of behavior could also earn you cash rebates, frequent flyer miles, and other benefits that credit cards offer.

Sixth, debt-free people understand how to determine the inherent value of a purchase. This has a bit to do with understanding the difference between buying several things that will degrade quickly or a few things that will last for much longer. Debt-free people strongly consider the value and longevity of the things they buy.

Another common characteristic of people who are debt-free is patience. People who can successfully live for a long period of time without significant debt have the inherent ability to see the benefit of waiting until the time is right to make a purchase. People with a debt-free mentality always wait until they can afford something before making a purchase.

Part of being patient and understanding value is comparison shopping, which is the eighth characteristic of a debt-free mentality. People who understand the power that lies within frugal spending clip coupons and buy second hand, they always wait until they find the things they want at a retailer willing to sell it at a more competitive price. Debt-free people look for deals and take the time to shop around; they also look for the best and most practical ways to save money.

Debt-free people also understand that they are not defined by their possessions. Responsible consumers like this might appreciate beautiful, shiny, new toys but they also know the dangers in pursuing them without caution.

Finally, debt-free people understand the long-term repercussions of taking on new debt. They calculate the total amount of money they will pay over the lifetime of a new debt and weigh their options thoroughly before actually considering the application; whether this is for a credit card, auto loan, or a new mortgage.