Some of you aspire to move into the middle class, some of you will realise you are actually in it and for a small portion of you, this is so far behind you, you never want to go back again. In order to have a clear understanding of what the middle class is, think of it like this: If you’re not in the 20% of your population, nor in the top 20% congratulations! You’re in the majority of what is know as the middle class.
This middle class is also segmented into 2 subsections: The lower middle class, middle class as well as upper middle class. In order to keep things clear, we will cover it as a whole.
If you’re not sure where you fit into all of this, lets run a quick check to see if you make the cut:
Here are a few signs you’re in the middle class.
1. You have a mortgage but own your car
You probably have a descent job and are renting a nice place or have made the decision to get a mortgage on your own place, slowly building equity.
2. Your house or garage is cluttered with nonsense
At one point in your life, money started coming in, not a lot but more than before. Your expenses were fairly low, so you began buying things that you thought were cool. They now pile up in your garage, or certain rooms in your house without being used. You are too attached to them to throw them away or donate them because they meant a lot to you when you purchased them.
You are also most likely to have several clothes from a few years ago, which no longer fit but you never get rid of them. This type of behaviour can be seen through out your life and your household.
This depends mainly on your age and country where you leave but the habits are fairly similar.
3. You’re likely more formally educated than the rest
This might come as a surprise but the middle class statistically is more formally educated than the rich.
A good portion of the middle class is made out of what would be considered intellectuals. These people have descent paying jobs because they specialise in a particular field. They have their degree, they know how to follow rules and get paid for their time. They take time in their studies and believe that traditional education is still your best option for success in life. They are the A students, the obedient, follow the rules, they work hard and make excellent employees usually for B and C students who are more open to taking risks.
4. You can afford subscriptions and don’t need to pirate software or entertainment
You probably love watching TV for entertainment either for sports or TV shows. You can afford your Netflix subscription and binge watch. The same for music, you pay for Apple music or Spotify. At some point you even lost track of how many subscriptions you have because they get billed automatically and as long as there’s still money in your account at the end of the month, you feel good about yourself and the convenience that these services bring. You still share your passwords with a couple of friends and family because why wouldn’t you ? But the age of ripping music from YouTube or downloading pirated software is behind you. You pay for the software, games and entertainment.
You’re a bit more sophisticated from a technical perspective, your life is filled with fairly modern gadgets. You own both a laptop and a desktop and your iPhone is not older than 3 years. Technology has evolved alongside you and you probably take privacy a lot more seriously now. You are more scared of people hacking your email than anyone.
The biggest threat in your life right now is identity hacking and you are constantly worried that people will get access to your private information.
5. You want your children to follow a safe career path
You are big on security and low risk when it come to your children’s career paths. Because you are educated yourself and you’ve been doing well, you want the same for your children. You prepared an education policy for your children earlier on and you let them know how important it is getting a college education.
It’s very rare for middle class families to be supportive of creative or entrepreneurial endeavours.
This is because they found the recipe to what they consider a fulfilling life. You’d rather see your child in a boring but safe job that pays less, than risk going for a fulfilling career.
6. You pretend to be rich
The middle class always have a fascination with the rich, mostly because they aspire to move up in rankings. 2 in every 3 people in the middle class believe if they work hard enough, they can make the leap. From this perspective, the middle class is a lot more optimistic that the other groups. The poor are more pessimist in nature, while the rich are more realist.
The middle class is not afraid to pamper themselves, despite not really being able to afford it. Luxury brands have understood this desire very well in recent years and we’ve seen a shift in strategy on their behalf. The rich are no longer the main target when it comes to luxury goods, it’s the middle class who wants to appear rich. This is why brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and more are offering more accessible products.
7. You buy infomercial products
You are the designated market for everyone. The middle class has the numbers and the income to afford to but those things they don’t really need. All they have to do is market to you correctly. This doesn’t mean infomercial products aren’t effective, but they are not a necessity.
Let be honest, do you really need HD vision wrap around glasses, or a brand new set of knives if you “call right now”. These products usually look and feel cheaper than the seem on TV, break more frequently that traditional alternatives. Truth be told, the underlying here is that as a part of the middle class, you’re the target of the majority of ads and selling strategies of brands
8. You travel but only to inexpensive destinations
Travelling is such an interesting thing to observe across different socio economic classes. As a member of the middle class, you do travel, but you do it a lot more strategically. It usually involves a lot of research, comparing flights, using discounts in order to get the most of every cent. You are always flying economy and you think first class is a rip off but you wouldn’t mind trying it for once, just to see what it’s like.
You never go to 5 star hotels or resorts for the same reason, and when you do finally check in to a 3 or 4 star hotel, some facilities are off limits.
The bigger the family, the more likely you are to travel by car and eating at expensive restaurants is reserved for special occasions.
Compared to the poor, you do travel and are a lot more open minded, even though you’re more likely to be a tourist than a traveller, you’re enjoying your days away from the office.
You still get super excited every time you travel to a new destination and you embrace the new culture, something the rich rarely do because they spend most of their time, locked in high end hotels, disconnected from what’s happening.
Also depending on the part of the world you live, you might find yourself clapping when the plane lands.
9. You thought you grew up in a poor family until you met someone who actually did
A large portion of the middle class actually considers themselves poor because they only look above themselves in income and lifestyle. The truth is, most of the population lives more or less the same way you do, grew up under very similar conditions and faced the same kind of difficulties you did, you just didn’t know about it. This misconception happened because when you were growing up, you always saw your parent stressing about money.
It’s never a pleasant experience and now you find yourself doing better than they were at your age. You consider yourself a massive success, although you stress about bills, they are being covered and there’s still some excess capital at the end of the month. You can probably afford health and life insurance. Growing up, there were things you saw other kids have that you wanted, but you knew your family couldn’t afford them. You were probably a good kid and your outlook changed when you met someone who had it way worse that you did, and since then you’ve been grateful for the sacrifice your family has made.
10. You fear the loss of your job
Although you’re fairly competent in your skills, losing your job is simply something you can’t afford right now. You like your lifestyle and starting over is something you think is a young persons game. You like everything the way it is right now, but you really don’t love it. If another company offers you 30% more in pay, you would definitely make the switch. The extra money is definitely welcome and justifies the move.
Your job is the largest portion of your income and your savings aren’t enough for more than 3 months to go by
You buy things but hardly use the expensive ones.
11. You identify as a member of a clear group: religion, politics, minorities and more
The middle class is statistically the segment of the population that has the highest attendance to religious events. This has been done doe to several reasons, the big one being the need to keep up appearances, followed by a sense of community and the potential rewards in the afterlife. This are also the people who are most divided when it comes to politics, holding strong ideologies. The majority in this group is pretty set when it comes to which direction the lean towards. They have a tendency to stick to the same ideologies for decades because at some point they feel they benefited from the policies.
The middle class is the most patriotic segment of the population, they care deeply about their country and are unlikely to take in criticism even if it’s valid.
They worship the military and the flag because growing up, they were taught an edited version of how great and impressive their country was. Everyone thinks we’re the good guys and their country is number 1 at something.
12. You’re stressed out because you had higher hopes for yourself
We know time is passing quickly and by this point in your journey you wish you had more of it figured out and in its place. You always considered yourself a high achiever but somewhere along the way you lost your enthusiasm and fell into a routine.
There are 2 things you can do right now that will have the biggest impact towards getting more out of your life in the future:
- Work on what’s happening inside your head.
You need to regain the ability to focus and self motivate.
- The way you plan your year ahead.
Everyone has New Years resolutions but only a few manage to keep up with them. This is done by planning and developing a schedule that allows you to hit your goals.