Our society is in love with spending money! There seems to be a new and exciting spending opportunity no matter where you seem to look.

Sometimes it’s ads on buses, sometimes it’s sales and special offer signs but the anxiety of consumerism keeps at a low hum throughout most people’s daily lives.

It’s not all about shopping though – every other month somebody has accidentally invented a service that seemed to have previously existed.

A new app promises to revolutionize the way you read by giving you access to other people’s books for a monthly fee, basically inventing libraries, another one promises movie tickets for a suspiciously low price, and some are on their way to inventing public transit, seemingly by accident.

All of them promise to do some major disrupting, in the beginning, but in the end, are only serious ones affecting customer’s wallets.

The promise of a better life comes tied to the idea of choice.

The more options, the more versions of only slightly varying products – the better, more advanced and freer the society is considered.

Spending is integral to a thriving economy and rightfully so.

However, these are all concepts that refer to the macroeconomic level, not concerning themselves with an individual’s ability to live within their means and even experience social mobility.

To balance out all of this outside influence, individuals need to analyze their financial behavior and become mindful of mistakes, as well as ways to fix them.

Here are some of the ways in which this can be done:


The concept of going cashless is very alluring. The magic of just waving a piece of plastic, or your phone even in front of a machine and leaving is undeniable. Hopefully, you’re doing this with your debit card, though.

Charging small things like coffee, drinks with friends or a quick breakfast on the go on your credit card is a bad idea, especially if you’re not the kind of person that pays it all off at the end of the month.

Expenses like these add up and interest gets charged on them, regardless of if a person has forgotten about them or not.

Of course, it’s not all about using cash and debit cards, and neither is it about individual expenses.

No single daily spending habit can make or break your finances – but not keeping track of them can lead you into a state of not being sure where you spend your hard-earned money. Maybe you’d prefer having a handle on that?

Budgeting can help with that, thankfully. There are many apps to help with that, but a simple excel sheet on your computer or even just a sturdy and compact journal will do the trick.

First, make sure to list all your income, as well as the expenses you know,  are coming in monthly such as rent, mortgage or car payments, bills, or insurance.

After that, spend a few days tracking your expenses without trying to change anything. Make sure to identify things that are necessities to your way of life, for example, things you have to spend money on because of your job or the climate you live in.

Not everybody has the same needs so just because some people can live without paying for childcare or can make all of their food at home doesn’t mean you are the same.

This advice goes both ways, so it’s also important to identify things you spend money on because others around you do it, but don’t have a personal need for it.

After this period of analysis, add up your spending. If you’re spending more than you earn, then that is the first thing you need to address.

This can be remedied immediately, by cutting down your budget, but you can also use the supplemental income from freelancing, driving for a ridesharing service or maybe subletting your living space.

The solutions listed should go in tandem with a more long-term plan such as looking for a higher paid job or asking for a raise.


Marketing experts have identified 7 types of consumers and have developed targeting strategies for most of them.

The easiest consumer to cater to is the impulse shopper since they respond well to local advertising and in-store product placement.

Another type of consumer you could be that is very bad for your bottom line is the habitual consumer.

Habitual consumers are tied to products and brands they have been using for a long time, and businesses try to influence that by building brand identity and associating certain positive personality traits with their products.

Make sure the products you use are competitively priced and try to ignore brand loyalty and reputation unless you’re absolutely sure it’s worth the money you’re paying.

The best kind of consumer to be is arguable, a hybrid – a cross of discount-driven and need-based.

Some of the best ways to implement that are by becoming aware of the nature of seasonal discounts and planning for them.

Buying a swimsuit at the start of the summer season or a coat at the first sign of autumn is convenient, but comes with a hefty price premium.

Plan in advance and shop for items near the end of the season when expanding your wardrobe. This applies for more than just your wardrobe – big-ticket items like travel, appliances and even renting apartments have their high and low seasons.

Research destinations you want to visit before booking your trip – some places can have very nice temperatures in late May, June, September or even early October so you can take your beach vacation then.

Other large expenses that have seasonal discounts are air conditioners which are marked off in October, cars after holidays when dealers need to reach their quotas, and even homes that tend to dip in prices during cold seasons when people are busy working and children are in school.


A lot of people have varying kinds of debt, like combinations of mortgages, personal loans, school loans, and credit card debt.

If you’re already in a situation where you’re paying these rates monthly, consider the option of debt consolidation.

You are making multiple monthly payments, all of them having their processing fees and deadlines.

A debt consolidation plan should in theory aim to reduce these to a single plan with a lower interest rate and a clearer deadline for becoming debt-free.

Credit card interest rates are notoriously high and you could probably get a consolidated personal loan with a lower rate than that since interest rates are tied to risk assessment. Loans are more structured and therefore carry less risk.

Sometimes keeping to credit cards can end up the cheaper solution though, so pay attention.

If you need a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars that you can pay off within one year, a credit card is probably your better option.

Personal loans are better if you need to borrow larger sums of money or simply need more time to pay it back.

Another good reason to opt away from credit cards is that keeping a low balance on them helps boost your credit score.

Credit scores can also be improved by taking out new loans, as long as you pay the monthly payments on time.

This way your consolidated loan can help you dig yourself out of old debt while also giving you better conditions for taking out planned loans in the future.


Online subscription services are one of those famous auguries of the times we live in.

Cord cutters use services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or HBO Go because they seem to individually cost a lot less than cable while giving the illusion of choice and quality control when it comes to what kind of television and film media they consume.

After all, they’re winning awards, so they must be good, right?

Streaming services aren’t the only things offered for small, automated monthly payments.

People spend money on beauty and fashion boxes that promise that you can pay for just the things you want to keep, and meal preparation kits promise restaurant-quality food at below restaurant prices while not thinking about portions and shopping.

Some subscriptions promise to deliver cheap shaving goods and others just give you a monthly assortment of nerdy memorabilia.

The thing all of these subscriptions have in common is that they cost people more money than they initially estimate, namely more than 150$ more monthly.

According to a survey called “America’s Relationship With Subscription Services” that surveyed 2500 people and asked them to guess how much money they were spending on subscriptions monthly, people guessed on average 79$ when the actual average monthly costs were over 230$.

A lot of this is due to the inertia that comes with automated payments – you can miss one month and just resign yourself to canceling your subscription next time.

The problem is, if you’re not using a service, the odds of you remembering to cancel it are slim – after all, you’re not thinking about it all that often.

There is an easy solution to this, however, and it consists of conducting a subscription audit. Take your monthly bank statements and highlight all your subscription charges.

Consider each one and think of whether you are getting the value you are putting into it.

Some subscriptions may have sounded like fun or practical ideas at first bout you can find yourself surrounded by unopened boxes of unread magazines and not much other value derived from them.


Depending on where you live and whether you already own an automobile, the answer to this dilemma might be that you don’t have much choice.

However, some people don’t realize just how convenient public transport can be, especially for your bottom line.

study conducted in The Netherlands in 2001 on 1800 people found that even in a country with a well developed public transit network like The Netherlands people mostly prefer to drive cars.

The study also concluded that the reason for this is mostly in people’s perceptions of the comfort level, availability and speed of cars over public transport.

The studied respondents considered cars to be status symbols and connected car ownership to their own success in life.

Accounting for parking prices and availability, the cost of gas, monthly car payments, and insurance, cars are obviously more expensive than public transport.

Blogger and lawyer Jennifer Chan conducted a similar analysis of costs in her own life, and decided to start using public transit for her everyday commute, and is recommending you do the same.

Not only is using public transport a cheaper option, but it is also an environmentally friendly one – it reduces your carbon footprint significantly.

The more people use public transport the more incentive municipal governments have to invest in developing existing routes, adding stops and buying more vehicles.

Therefore, if you want to live in a city that has excellent public transport, you have to first start using it yourself.

Your commute can also be used more productively when you’re not behind the wheel.

You could use that time to read, plan your day, listen to music, podcasts as well as mentally prepare for and decompress from work and socializing.


The average salary of workers increases the higher the level of education they have achieved – so however far you have gotten up until now, don’t stop just yet.

People who have less than a high school diploma earn on average 25 000$ a year while those with just a high school diploma earn 35 256$, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Having a college degree increases your average salary to 41 500$ yearly, but even having a few college-level credits without a full diploma improves your earning potential compared to just a high school diploma.

People with just some college credits earn on average 38 400$ a year. The benefits don’t stop there, because all different types of degrees, such as an Associate’s degree or a Professional degree come with income bumps, with Masters and Doctorate diplomas coming in at 70 000$ and 90 000$ respectively.

Higher levels of education correlate strongly with higher income levels in the future in all parts of the world, as research finds.

There has been much talk about the declining value of traditional education.

Although non-traditional CVs are on the rise and college graduate unemployment had increased after the economic collapse of 2009, as well as all unemployment rates across the board, as a matter of fact, the rates have dropped back to their early 2000s levels.

Unemployment rates of those with only a high school education remained relatively higher throughout that period.

Being educated pays off, but it’s not only formal education that can provide a benefit.

Continuing your education through informal channels makes you a more perspective candidate for future positions and gives you a bit of a shield from the economic uncertainty of current job markets.

Employers can reap the benefits of further educating their workforce, especially in the field of technology.

There might even be programs already in place at your current job that you just haven’t seen.

If you’re looking for the most profitable field to further educate yourself in, software development, cloud computing, and data mining are your best bet.

An analysis of the top business skills by the platform LinkedIn, and the skills associated with the highest salaries were cloud computing with 135 000$ annual salary, data presentation in the context of data science with 113 000$ as well as storage systems management at 120 000$.

One of the fastest ways to earn marketable skills is to learn a programming language and Perl, Python and Ruby seem to bring in a lot of money because those who listed them on their LinkedIn profiles earn on average 95 000 to 113 000$ annually.


All of the things mentioned above should and can be of use, given the condition that you, in fact, belong to the middle class.

Those who are considered middle class belong to the 60% of households earning around 60 000$ annually, the median income in the United States, with similar numbers being applicable for European and other developed countries.

The lower part of the middle class earns about two-thirds of that amount, while the upper-middle class earns up to double the median income, adjusted for household size and location.

Lifting oneself out of poverty is a different subject, and includes much more than one single individual can do for themselves alone.

Factors like job stability, marital status, age, disability, race, and gender can all add to difficulties stopping people from upward social mobility.

However, mobility from the middle class is more in your control because belonging to the middle class assumes you already have an adequate economic foundation and some space to influence your financial destiny.

The myth of the middle class and the pressures to constantly climb economically can be overbearing, so stop thinking about the label.

Just make sure to take the advice listed above as best as you can and think of the actual change that can happen in your personal life as a result of it.

For more info on money spending habits, you should avoid if you aspire to get out of the middle-class bracket, check out the:

Just for your viewing pleasure, here’s another short video discussing habits you should definitely avoid if you aspire to ever make the big buck:

If You Want to Break Out of the Middle Class, Avoid These Money Habits

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