Middle Class Squeeze Edition – Personal Finance Review

April 7, 2008

With real wages stagnating or declining, rising health care costs, expensive college tuition, and record-high gas prices many people are feeling their bank account squeezed by rising costs without an associated increase in income. 

I’ve heard this referred to as the middle class squeeze and came across an example of it this weekend. One of our neighbors is pregnant with her second kid and her husband just started a second job to pay for the coming increased costs of parenthood.  I don’t know all the details of their financial lives but they both work, they live in a non extravagant duplex, and don’t seem to spend money irresponsibly.

As expenses go up the only way to get your family budget in the black is to earn more money.  While their approach is definitely more fiscally responsible than going into debt, it does mean the husband won’t be around his family on evenings and weekends. 

Now that we have our own son, I’ve come to realize those evenings and weekends are the most precious time of all.  I have a somewhat similar plan to avoid the middle class squeeze in that I’m working on earning more money.  The difference is that I’m trying to earn it by working at home so I can work on my own schedule and still have family time.  Anyhow, one key to this whole thing is managing our finances responsibly, here are some articles from this week that might help with that.

– Million Dollar Journey is giving away the book Every Family’s Business.

– Lazy Man & Money discusses his alternative income streams.

– My Dollar Plan has an IRS agent answering tax questions and Generation X Finance talks about filing your taxes.

– The Sun’s Financial Diary looks at Vanguard’s new Global Stock Index fund, Brip Blap lets us know about money for nothing, and The Digerati Life has some advice for entrepreneurs.

– Mighty Bargain Hunter asks if you’re just doing the easy stuff and No Credit Needed gets the whole family involved with their finances.

– Free Money Finance shows how much people could save by controlling wedding costs and Five Cent Nickel reports that late payments are on the rise.

– Blueprint for Financial Prosperity looks at outsourcing taxes, hiring a tax preparer is something we did this year.

– Get Rich Slowly gives an introduction to diversification and The Simple Dollar has a good article on developing new skills.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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