Over the past few years, the middle class in the United States has had a hard time getting ahead. Although the economy has improved since the recession, there are still a lot of people not working. The participation rate is the lowest it has been in decades. In addition, rising costs on things like housing and healthcare pressure people’s savings. There is a major disconnect between the investment class and the working class. While the stock market has tripled in the past seven years, many working class people have been laid off. Building an investment portfolio is difficult without an income.
Financial Strategies for the Middle Class
The good news is that there are several financial strategies for people who are in the middle class. Avoiding consumer debt is key to getting ahead financially. Future money trends show that student loan debt is climbing every year. Avoiding student loans and credit card debt is a great first step with your finances. Attending a less expensive school is the way to go. There are some schools, in cities like New York, that are over $50,000 a year. No college degree is worth that kind of investment. Building a large investment portfolio is almost impossible with big student loan payments every month.
A lot of working class people waste money on material possessions. Buying a brand new car every few years is not a good value. There are some people who have to have the latest technology with their phone. All of these things are nice to have, but they are not smart financial strategies to build an investment portfolio. Although economic conditions do not favor the middle class, wasting money on frivolous purchases is not the way to go either.
If you want to take the next step with your finances, there are several actions to take. First of all, always make sure that you have no consumer debt. Pay off any credit cards or student loans hanging around your neck. Then, start to invest for your financial future. Small contributions accumulate over a long period of time. There are plenty of side work opportunities available in the new economy. Some people have a normal day job and then drive people around at night several days a week. Whatever it takes to achieve your financial dreams is worth the effort.