Saying that you are going to stop eating out so much is one thing. Getting some recipe cards and cooking meals at home for a week is a step in the right direction. But you have to keep with the program to see long-term results.
When things get hard, keep making payments towards your debts. Keep up with your regular savings plan. Keep shaving money off of your monthly expenses so that you can plan for the future. Stick with your goals so that one day, you can start seeing meaningful results and eventually escape the middle class.
Spending $5 a day on one gourmet coffee cup is an effortless thing to do when you are surrounded by people who also pay $5 a day on one gourmet coffee cup. But when you start spending time with people committed to financial freedom, so much so that they are willing to brew their own coffee at home, then making those changes and sticking with them becomes more manageable.
Look for people who have similar goals as you, and make those people part of your life. Maybe you have a sibling or relative who is also trying to reduce monthly expenditures and start planning for the future. Make those people part of your inner circle. They will provide accountability and help you get to where you want to go.
Again, making a budget and planning your financial future to escape the middle class, at its heart, is really about values and prioritizing the most critical things in your life. If being able to get out and spend time with friends is essential to you, make that part of your financial plan. Perhaps traveling and seeing the world is important, so plan a budget that allows you to continue doing so.
If you don’t care about being able to make regular visits to Disneyland, then don’t bother making those kinds of things part of your financial planning. Stick with what is important to you, and then you are more likely to stick with the program. When you have your own plan laid out, you can begin to build towards leaving the middle class.
In keeping with your values, give to charities and programs that bring you joy. Giving away part of your income is about more than being able to get a tax deduction at the end of the year; it is about using your money in a way that is particularly meaningful to you. That way, you can get more joy and fulfillment out of your financial plan.
Maybe there is a local charity that you believe in, like a nearby chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. If you cannot commit to making regular financial gifts, look for other ways to give, such as becoming a mentor to one of the children in its program. Or maybe volunteer at your local food bank or senior center. Because remember, your finances are really about your values, so make sure that you keep the most critical things central.