You’re from the wrong side of the tracks, and you know it. You know your place, and it seems impossible to escape from your working class (or lower) background. Resistance if futile, so why even try?
Every where you look it’s the same old, same old!!! Tommy is unemployed and drinking a lot more than he use to, Tammy is an unhappy welfare mom with 4 kids, one of which is having problems with drugs, and another with the law… It’s just reality that you will never have money, prestige or happiness in your life.
Not to be too condescending, but you are wrong! The answer to the question “Is Your Social Class keeping you poor?” is an empathetic but absolute NO! Why can I save this so assuredly? Because I’m living proof that you can rise to a higher social class or two, and grow your wealth in the process. So I can actually draw on my own life experience with respect to this, since I’m pretty much an expert since I already walked the walk.
I’m not going to write a book here, so I’ll summarize my thought on this to get to the meat of what someone may do to improve both your social class and grow wealth.
The first thing you need to do is believe that you can grow up to be rich (or in my case, at least better off) someday. For me personally, that state of believing happened after reading the book called “The Millionaire Next Door” (by Thomas Stanley). I wrote about this in Wealth Tip 8 – Believe Your Way to Wealth. You’ll hear some people say that it doesn’t matter, but I’m here to say it did for me (although I’m not a millionaire yet…)! This was the starting point for me in my wealth building process, and I consider it one of my first and arguably most important wealth building tools..
To be honest, there are plenty of books with a similar message… Like the following:
- Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill
- The Richest Man in Babylon, by George Samuel Clason
- The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton
- and there are plenty of other such book…
I think I was fortunate in reading “The Millionaire Next Door” first and although some believe it dry in presentation, the content that was presented while a bit scientific and statistically verbose was the perfect content for my type of mind.
Okay, belief is only part of the equation, the next part is placating your culture while still needing to live in that same culture. I found myself ignoring the most negative elements in my culture and that help, but I can only imagine that this could be very hard for others. You might want to believe, but also keep it on the down low and keep it to yourself for the most part. No reason to make yourself a target in your social setting.
It’s even easier today, if you decide to go the “slow” route to wealth. Practically all of the books above that I listed preach similar things. The most important being saving at least 10% of your income and invest that money in investments. As I said it’s easier in that most financial advisers will tell you to invest in a basket of index mutual funds (or ETFs). Then just year in and year out put that money in your wealth strategy (called your investment portfolio). I won’t go into specifics, but that’s basically the typical path, and it has worked for me so far (did I mention that I’m not a millionaire yet? lol). Okay, your mindset is now set to achieve wealth… It’s still kind of odd, and to be honest at first I didn’t totally believe it wouldn’t be possible me, but I still put in the effort. I used an excel spreadsheet for my personal finances, and that made it easier to track and plan.
Coming from the social class setting that I did, I was more focused on the income/wage potential and getting hiring aspects of a major in college than I was in following my heart. So in college, I decided to get a BS in Computer Science and to work in technology with a minor in business. This path has provided me the money stream and knowledge that helped growing wealth. This is just one path though, and although it helped, it’s not a critical element.
As for behaving class appropriate, well, even today, I’m still learning proper class etiquette, but you could probably just google it and jump start that part after you started to form some wealth. I’ll leave that for you to develop…
Well, there you have it, trust me, you can beat your the social class you were born into, and rise to a higher social class if you want to.
What social class am I in? Well, I like to consider myself a social class chameleon, and when there are just a few people I can get along in any small social group, except the top 5%. I do work around folks that are in the top 5%, and while I respect them, I always feel a bit out of place around them. I once went to lunch with a friend that was in that top 5% group, and was a little surprised when he told a waitress that I as smarter than I looked. I laughed at his complimenting insult, After thinking about it passively for years, I think he actually meant it. I’m not upset about it though, and I still get a chuckle on it. I haven’t seen that guys since he travels overseas a lot and move to a pretty richy area…
When push comes to shove, I think when all the layers are pealed back though, we are all still in the class that we were born into. This is why multi-millionaires say they are middle class… It’s because they are a product of their birth class. And in thought and reality, we all are.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. One warning! I find that I have to continually learn to keep your social class progress developing in an upwards fashion. And by learning, I mean both knowledge and your environment… It’s not easy, but worth it… I hope.