Which income class are you?

Do you know that 52% of the Americans live in “middle-class” households? And, if you are a household of three, you need to make between $45,000 to $135,000 to be in the middle class. Of course, these valves differ from a state to state. So, we have segmented this data (released by Pew research in 2018) for different US states to make it easy for you to see which income class are you.

[table id=Whichincomeclassareyou /]

Median household income by income tier in U.S. states and the District of Columbia, 2016
Data reflects a family size of three persons
Sources: Pew Research, Investopedia

Facts to digest: The top 1% captures 21% of the US income

According to 2015 data, if you want to qualify as one of the top 1%, you will need to make a minimum of $421,926. However, the average income of the top 1% is $1,316,985.

Let’s answer the real question – Do you make enough money to live comfortably?

In fact, the real question is not the income class. Even the people who fall into the same income class may have a different experience. So, it’s totally relative and it depends a lot on the lifestyle choices. That’s why you need to find an answer to the real question – Do you make enough money to live comfortably?

Part 1 – I feel wealthy in my income class

Well, congratulations. You must have made some great lifestyle choices that make you achieve your financial freedom.

However, a lot of people deduce their experiences from the cues in their surroundings. For example, they compare themselves with neighbors, colleagues, and relatives. So, even though you feel wealthy, you might have to re-evaluate to see whether you have actually gained your financial freedom. For example, do you have an adequate emergency fund? Or, what about the retirement plans? Do you have enough money to live the rest of your life comfortably? So, make sure to re-check and confirm your standing.

Part 2 – I feel poor in my income class

There can be many different reasons for you to feel poor. The most common reason for people to feel that they don’t have enough money is poor money management skills. It involves your lifestyle choices and spending patterns. Also, you might have deduced your experience from the immediate surrounding. For example, you might be comparing yourself to a wealthy neighbor or a friend. Another reason can be that you are genuinely making less money and stand towards the lower end of your income class.

Learn how to manage your money

Money management skills start with common sense. It’s all about making sure that you have enough money for the things that you “actually need” in your life. Learning the essential money management skills can improve your financial status. Also, it can make you rich.

Think like a rich

If you are constantly comparing yourself to a rich friend of yours and always feel down, it high time that you changed your mindset. If you have a rich friend or a family member, you can learn a lot from them. So, instead of comparing yourself and feeling down, try to understand what made that difference. Btw, try reading the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. It shows how exactly you have to think to build a wealthy mindset.

Make more money

If you stand in the lower quantile of your income class, you might genuinely feel that you are poor. So, here the only solution is to start making more money. Well, this is easier said than done. But it is not impossible. Let’s have a look.

Step 1: Negotiate for a salary increase

The easiest way to increase your income is by negotiating to increase your salary. However, make sure to follow these three essential tips before negotiating your salary.

Step 2: Start a side hustle to make some extra money every month

Most of the time, having a regular 9 to 5 job won’t make a cut. So, it is better to start a side hustle to make some extra money every month. This can ease your financial stress, and help you to make more savings for future investments.

Step 3: Start an online business

Why online business? Because it is easier and cheaper to start an online business than starting a physical business. And, after some time, you can hire virtual assistants to run your business, so that you can build a passive income stream out of your online business too.

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