I was recently reading an interesting article on Financial Samurai discussing the psychology of the somewhat upper class (financially) to publicly portray a simpler lifestyle. It’s an interesting read, check it out at: Most People Make A Lot More Money Than You Think.
Middle Class Mentality?
I’d like to expand on the topic by looking at the difference of mindset in that upper class and the middle class. There seems to be an interesting contrast and may explain a lot as to the path to wealth and the mental roadblocks most people develop.
Middle Class Scenario
Okay, let’s say Sam’s article is correct (I have a slightly different viewpoint) and most people have more money than we think. What about those people one step below the financially privileged? What about those in the mid to upper middle class. I’m referring to those earning around $70,000 to $100,000 a year. We see a completely different public image and mindset in this group, in my opinion. This is where we find a large percentage of people living in homes they find tough, financially, to maintain. Many are driving large and expensive vehicles they cannot afford. Trips to the malls and shopping sprees at the mercy of credit cards are almost the norm with many in this group. Unfortunately the public image is almost always far better than the real picture.
The Financial Roadblock
I don’t know what makes the person earning eighty grand a year feel the need to lease or finance a forty thousand dollar car when those that can easily afford the same vehicle in cash opt for better value rather than image but I believe it’s a huge roadblock for the middle class. Out of control spending and living beyond their means is what’s keeping those deep in debt from achieving more. It’s a case of mindset and self-control, plain and simple. So the next time you see that dressed to kill couple climbing into a Yukon Denali with bags from high-end specialty stores don’t be too quick to judge success. Rather than being impressed you might be closer to the truth feeling sorry for them. This is far too often the case. A true inside look at their finances might tell an entire different story. Which scenario do you want to be in?