By | Nick Gilmour | www.entrepreneur.com
Over the last couple of years, we’ve been faced with the cold hard truth that middle-class status no longer necessarily equals financial independence. Our parents in that stratum could buy a home, a car, save for our school tuition and have money left over to invest, but exploding tuition, home prices, healthcare expenses, and other costs have put the squeeze on middle-income families. And while their median income may have increased somewhat over the last forty years, their ranks are shrinking: According to a 2020 report by the Pew Research Center, the number of U.S. adults in middle-income households dropped from 61% in 1971 to 51% in 2019. Additionally, most major cities where the majority of middle-class earners reside have been priced out for those earners, so more and more families are forced to buy above their means.
In short, being middle class is no longer a sufficient goal; it’s time to push past any invisible boundaries that keep us from becoming wealthy.
Alter your approach to the day job
The 9-to-5 position that paid our grandparents and parents enough money to live in a sizeable home in the suburbs is increasingly unlikely to do that now, even if it includes benefits and a pension. So, think about ways of letting it go. Begin by writing down what you are passionate about, and investigate ways of earning an income doing it. If you love writing, for example, start doing it on the side and focus free time on how to push those earnings further. Soon enough, you may notice that this “side gig” is starting to pay more than your office job, and will then be left with the happy decision of whether to leave it.