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Don’t Identify as Poor

In today’s interesting world, you hear people talk about how they “identify”, which is a modern term for what tribe they think they belong with. I certainly won’t delve into that broader subject other than to say, how you identify is very important for how you act, what you value, and what you believe about the world. Most people identify with groups or things and never actually think about it consciously, its just something they assume is true and don’t really think much beyond that.

So what does that have to do with personal finance? I think many people personally identify as “poor”, or “middle class”. They will say things like, “that’s for rich people.” or “I don’t know about any of that stuff, that has to do with money.” or “I wish I was rich.” Now it’s true, all of us reading this most likely are poor or middle class statistically and bank account wise. But many people make it more than that, it’s their tribe, their group of belonging. They can’t see themselves as rich, they don’t want to understand it, because its the other group, sometimes even the enemy group to many. Just like in politics, or race or religion. I’m in this group and they are in that group.

Don’t do that.

Being poor or middle class is not some noble thing that you should be proud of. I’m not saying you should be ashamed either, I’m just saying its not an identity or at least it shouldn’t be. 

Next time you put limits on yourself because of your perceived class, stop and think about that, is it a real restriction or one you are imposing on yourself? If there is a financial concept you don’t understand and you figure “ohh well that’s not something for me to understand”, don’t do that, take the time to figure it out. Next time there is a financial goal you see but think its beyond you, stop and think, maybe there is a path to that goal if you spent the time and energy on it. Restricting yourself based on where you think you belong will not help you. There are no guarantees, but not expanding yourself beyond your current situation is a recipe for the same old thing.

Examine how you view yourself. Is it accurate? Is it productive? Are you putting restrictions on yourself? Could you adjust your mindset or identity?

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