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Three Money Management Styles of the Middle Class – Willita Cherie – Medium

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Three Money Management Styles of the Middle Class

I hate the phrase “living within your means”. I don’t believe any wealthy person uses this mantra in their day to day life. Why do we, the poor and middle class say it?

Is this a systematic mindset to keep us living beneath our means?

Let’s use for an example a $4 cup of coffee from Starbucks. I do believe there is a less expensive approach to drinking coffee, however some people lack the time or skills to make it the way that they prefer it.

I believe that if you like drinking a $4 cup of coffee, you should figure out a way to pay for it. Avoid the future agony of laying on your death bed regretting not having your name called out incorrectly by the barista.

I am not promoting spending foolishly! In fact, I love to budget. For no other reason, it helps me to stay disciplined in utilizing money in the people, places, and things that I find important.

What I am saying, is that there are thousands of ways that you can make extra money without depriving yourself of life’s “sweet” delicacies.

There are three types of money management styles that I would like to address:

#1) Living beneath your means

This type of person may have grown up “cash poor” so they spend a great deal of their time and money preparing for emergencies and future purchases. If something goes wrong with their car, they are prepared to pay cash for it to get it fixed. If they decide to go on a vacation, they will spend years and months putting money aside to pay for it. When they go to the grocery store, they eat a snack before they shop, and have a written list to avoid overspending. This type of person is very disciplined in delayed gratification.

#2) Living at your means

This type of person doesn’t live much in the future. Their biggest concern is living in the “right now”. They have a very accurate budget. They pay off all of their bills on time and in full. They don’t have much cash left over to do much after all bills have been paid for, but they also aren’t carrying negative balances each month. This person is best described as living paycheck to paycheck.

#3) Living beyond your means

This type of person likes to keep up with the “Joneses”. These are the economies biggest consumers. They typically buy things on impulse without giving much thought of how it will affect them later.

An example would be the upcoming Super Bowl. They may decide to throw a Super Bowl party, however, they may believe that their 60” television is too small to have a bunch of guest coming over to watch the game. They decide to purchase a 70” television and charge it to their credit card, along with the pizza to satisfy their guest. They also buy the latest gadgets, eat out frequently, and drive the nicest cars. Every month their bank account goes negative, and they carry a large balance on their credit cards. They believe that “you only get to live once, so live life to the fullest.”

I don’t personally believe that any of these money management styles are either correct or incorrect. I believe that each of them limits you to fully enjoying life because of the lack of financial resources. My challenge to you is to identify where you are regarding your money management style. Ask yourself are you satisfied in staying that way for the next 10- 20 years?

If your answer is you are not comfortable with your current financial situation; make a list of 100 things you can do right now to make money (that’s legal), and act one of them RIGHT NOW!

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