If you are in the middle class and attempting to make the leap into the upper class, what steps can you take to realistically reach your financial goals?
Making the following choices can help you reach your goal of being a member of the upper class.
Change Your Money Mindset
Progressing through each level of financial freedom, starting at self-sufficiency and ending with abundant wealth, requires making a shift in your money mindset.
In an interview with Grow (CNBC + Acorns), self-made millionaire Grant Sabatier said money should not be viewed as something you use to buy things. Reaching financial goals, including joining the upper class, requires making good choices with your money. Practicing good saving and investing habits allows your money to work for you.
Moreover, changes in your money mindset should be positive. Danielle Miura, founder of Spark Financials, said if you don’t develop the right mindset, you may drive in the right direction, but never get anywhere.
“If you want to move up the ladder, you have to know what you want and know how to get there,” said Miura. “When we are solution-oriented, we see the benefits of a problem rather than see it as a negative thing. This positive mindset will less likely derail you from your mission when events happen without your control.”
Change Your Financial Habits
As you begin to shift your money mindset and determine better choices to make with your money, you may need to change any financial habits which no longer suit your needs.
Scott Eichler, investment advisor and founder of Standing Oak Advisors, said a common financial habit keeping individuals in the middle class is consistently spending beyond their means. Those seeking to progress to the upper class need to save, invest and keep a low financial overhead.
“The first step to escape the middle class isn’t to invest smartly, it is to invest at all,” said Eichler. “The difference between the wealthy and the middle class is that the wealthy have learned to live below their means. This allows their means to grow and allows them to amass wealth.”
Take On Good Debt
There are two forms of debt: good debt and bad debt. Bad debt includes credit cards, medical loans and payday loans. This debt can be a drag on your finances and make you financially vulnerable.
Good debt includes mortgages and car loans. Even student loans may qualify as good debt if their monthly payments are reasonable.
While debt is often collectively viewed as bad, individuals who use good debt responsibly find it has powerful advantages. Andrew Rosen, CFP and president of Diversified LLC, said the rich shy away from negative debt like credit card debt. However, they’re not afraid to take on good debt in order to build a business or invest in themselves.
Invest in Yourself
Generally speaking, if you work in a position where you have not had a significant raise or merit increase in a few years it will be all the more difficult to move from middle to upper class.
What you can do is invest in yourself. Rosen recommends learning a new skill, leveling up in your career to switch jobs in a growing company instead of staying stagnant with your current employer and seeking out ways to continually improve your professional self.
Work With a Financial Advisor
Progressing from middle to upper class is a journey in which you may need additional guidance. This is especially true if you are uncertain of where your finances currently stand or what kinds of financial goals you should be setting for the short and long term. Working with a financial advisor gives you an ally in your corner. They can help you better allocate your money and invest it efficiently.
“You won’t move up to the upper class by just buying an investment, you need to make the right investment moves. Making the right investment move means understanding your timeframe, your risk tolerance and analyzing the investment,” said Miura.
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