3 Old-Money Habits That Destroy The Middle Class

Dividends Forever
5 min readMay 21, 2022

In 1895, there were 60–65 aristocrats in Great Britain who owned more than 50,000 acres of land and earned an income over £50,000. At the same time, there were 18–20 million Britons earning less than £160 per year.

Yet, this small handful of landed gentry had a major impact on aspirational wealth culture and how many people define being rich.

Their presence is still felt in much of the world, today.

Middle class people often try to emulate old-money habits, without understanding why this practices exist in the first place.

Below are three old-money habits, their origins, and why they’re a trap for the majority of new-money imitators.

1. Complete Indifference Towards Money

There are a number of middle class people who earn $100,000 or more, and they live paycheck-to-paycheck or know virtually nothing about their finances.

Reddit is filled with posts from seemingly smart people who contributed to their 401k for years, without ever selecting a fund to buy. Their money sat in a 1% annual interest money market instead, all because they never bothered to learn basic investing.

This behavior is often the result of American middle class people and their weird, faux pretentious attitude that they don’t need to worry about money.

In all of Great Britain, out of a population of 44,500,000, there were 2,500 landowners who owned more than 3,000 acres apiece and had landed incomes of over £3,000.

Income taxes were not payable on incomes under £160 and in this category there were approximately eighteen to twenty million people. Of these, about three million were in white-collar or service trades — clerks, shopmen, tradesmen, innkeepers, farmers, teachers — who earned an average of £75 a year. Fifteen and a half million were manual workers, including soldiers…

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