‘The 13 Status Symbols of Frugal Upper Middle-Class People With Comfortable Day Jobs & Reads Personal Finance’
I didn’t keyboard smash. That was the original title but WordPress thought my working title was too long for SEO.
But I didn’t have a better name. Plus, doesn’t Frugal Upper Middle-Class People With Comfortable Day Jobs & Reads Personal Finance (FUMCPWCDJ&RPF) just roll off the tongue?!
These frugal fighters are educated and employed in stable white-collar desk jobs either as engineers, doctors or financial analysts etc. What separates them from the other white-collar desk jobs drones is the fact that they are frugal. Their savings rate is leaps and bounds higher than the average American hovering a savings rate of around 5% at best. Not only did FUMCPWCDJ&RPF have the privilege of coming in at the right income scale, they developed the right mindset towards personal finance.
The definition of frugality:
“Choosing to live on less of the total allotted resourced.”
Me. Me. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Everything here.
The definition of status symbol:
“A possession to indicate a person’s wealth and/or class.”
For status symbols of the Mega-Rich, we’re talking about the Nicolas Cages of the world. They have an 8+ figure net worth and their annualized portfolio returns can feed a medium-sized Latin American city until the sun burns out.
The Mega Rich Got…
Emphasis on super. I’ve never even seen one and will never be on one so that’s all I got. I have pictures though:
Not to be confused with oversized, overproduced McMansions, these mansions were designed by real architects with thought and form abound. The price tag on them is pretty outrageous too.
The fanciest credit card in man’s creation. You can only be invited to apply into this exclusive Amex card club and no one knows Amex’s exact criteria.
There’s no official requirement for Centurion eligibility, but we’re talking big bucks. For the personal card, the spent bar minimum is set around $350,000 across all your Amex accounts in a calendar year. –TPG
Hubby and I were at a restaurant once and the guy sitting next to us pulled out what looked to be the Centurion card and I rubbernecked myself to see if it was.
What the no, then by definition those are the two things that don’t mix!
Psyche! Think again.
Frugality is as good as any status to hold and everything frugal people do is backed up by a symbol of their belief.
Contrary to common misconceptions, frugal people will naturally have their own forms of bravado too.
C’mon friends, admit it!
After about 8 months of embedding myself within the Rockstar’s personal finance community, hovering like a spy, pretending to be cool, I have come to realize that we’re almost all FUMCPWCDJ&RPF. If not exactly that, we have more in common with each other than not. Like many other forums much like MMM and Bogleheads there is a hivemind effect of sorts.
Status Symbols of Upper Middle Class “FUMCPWCDJ&RPF” People
The FUMCPWCDJ&RPF status symbols are separated off from the modest 2 car-owning household of the solidly middle-class who has HBO cable and the private islands of the mega-rich. Here are some of the status symbols that FUMCPWCDJ&RPF carry. If you have LESS than 3 of these things as part of your lifestyle then you are not a FUMCPWCDJ&RPF yet and you can’t sit with us.
1. FI/RE Plans
You have drawn up outlines and/or blueprints that entails the amount, time remaining and at least one kind of side hustle that generates income (passive or otherwise) for life post-FIRE.
Naturally, Financial Independence / Retiring Early is one of the hallmarks of FUMCPWCDJ&RPF. The large majority of those who are part of FI community fits the description and lifestyle to a tee. There’s almost a chicken or egg thing happening.
2. Solar Panels Dreamin’
Just like me and my husband. We’ve been talking about self-installing solar panels like MMM but never got around to it. Just one of the several things that lazy people like us dream of doing. Just think of that electricity meter that can just go down to nothing now.
3. Travel Rewards Hacking
The FUMCPWCDJ&RPF will never carry over credit card balances. That would be akin to being set on fire. FUMCPWCDJ&RPF take things one step further and not only do they spend responsibly, pay-things-on-time, but they also take advantage of the credit card reward system of which doughs out cash back and travel credit that makes savings even bigger down the road. Another advantageous addition to FUMCPWCDJ&RPF is simply having a nice day job and being able to afford extended time off from work and splurge!
4. Paid Off Residence
Some FUMCPWCDJ&RPF are big Dave Ramsey fans. Following Dave’s advice, some FUMCPWCDJ&RPF have little to no mortgages. This or FUMCPWCDJ&RPF has a very low mortgage interest rate thanks to their stellar credit score.
Many FUMCPWCDJ&RPF can choose to pay off their mortgage at any time if they wanted because they have the funds in low-expense index funds.
5. Rental Duplex Dreamin’
Or perhaps a mother-in-law addition to an Airbnb? 😉 How many times have fellow FUMCPWCDJ&RPF heard that? Because I hear it a lot. It’s the perfect mix of frugality and money-making. You can live in half of the home and rent out the other half. That is a true FUMCPWCDJ&RPF dream!
6. Highly Educated
FUMCPWCDJ&RPF are college-educated and some FUMCPWCDJ&RPF have post-graduate degrees too. Fun fact: I forgot where I saw my website stat but 93% of The Frugal Gene readers are 4-year college-educated. I was blown away! I wish I took the screenshot. Proud of y’all!!!
7. Lot of Spreadsheets
You know those spreadsheets that so often encapsulate a FUMCPWCDJALRAPF’s bottom line. Their budget spreadsheets are often accompanied by a Personal Capital account and another spreadsheet a list of all the low expense retirement funds in order of acquisition.
8. Savings Rate Tattoo
OH, wait is that not a thing yet? I think that would be extremely bad-ass if someone out there did get a tattoo of their lifetime savings rate.
Until that happens, a majority of FUMCPWCDJ&RPF have their rough savings rate number memorized – both pre-taxed and post-taxed – and no one is afraid of pulling up those aforementioned spreadsheets to prove it either.
9. Modest Cars
Some rappers boast about Lamborghinis, Jaguars and modded lowriders but that’s nothing compared to the pride FUMCPWCD&RPF show whenever someone mentions cars. No one boasts about their tax-deductible Nissan Leafs or gently used, ultra-frugal, 100,000 mile Honda Civics like a FUMCPWCDJ&RPF!
I’m hearing another trend is to bypass cars completely and relying on buses and bikes to get around. Always happy to not feel so alone in this! This FUMCPWCDJ&RPF is always happy to boast about going car-free and saving those extra benjamins. 😉
10. Modest Residences
Outrageous, jumbo-sized, misconstructed McMansions are a rarity for FUMCPWCDJ&RP. It’s less about the square footage but more has to do with #5 above which involves a large duplex. The difference is you get to live in one part of it and rent out the other part so someone else pays your mortgage – smart money move!
11. Bragging About Your Frugal Spouse
Oh, I think Mr. Groovy is one of the biggest culprits here 🙂 It’s easy to see how gracious Mr. G is to Mrs. G for exposing him to the gospels of downsized living and Dave Ramsey.
The best husbands are money savvy personal finance husbands and the best wives are money savvy personal finance wives. Do you want a strong marriage and healthy net worth? Make sure to get yourself a frugal spouse. Then make a blog about it and remember to tell everybody from time to time how much you love them.
Happiness will follow.
12. Being Good Tippers
Generally, FUMCPWCDJ&RPF are good tippers and they make sure other people know about it. I think most FUMCPWCDJ&RPFs knows the difference between being cheap vs frugal.
The most common ideology I hear (and it’s true) is “if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to dine out.”
13. Buffett, Boglehead & Pick-a-$$$ Cult
Bogle? MMM? Pick one, read them, love them, move in with them and make ’em breakfast.
Bonus: the surefire one…we’re a small blog so if you are reading this, you’re very likely a true, blue FUMCPWCDJ&RP.
Financial Freedom Starts With Saving:
Personal Capital: Sign up and use their net worth calculator for FREE. They are a free financial service platform that helps you analyze your portfolio, retirement, and financial health all on one simple & secure account
Imperfect Foods: We all need groceries. Try out Imperfect Foods to get $80 off ($20 off your first 4 orders.) Read my review of this revolutionary and money-saving grocery delivery service.
ThredUp: The only online recycle clothing store I currently shop and sell with. Great mission statement, company model, customer service, prices, and selection. Sign up with our invite link and you can get $10 free in ThredUP credit.
Survey Junkie: SJ is one of the few survey companies that are 100% legit, user-friendly, and great for making extra money. Earn up to $1,000 a month doing surveys online. You can make anywhere from $5-$20/day in your free time.
Haha, great list! I would add two more things: software engineer, and loves Personal Capital and/or Bluehost 🙂 (maybe more applicable to PF bloggers)
Ha, you just described us. I mentioned both in the post sorta bawahahaha.
Ms. Frugal Asian Finance says
That’s a great list! I like the spouse one haha.
Having a frugal husband like Mr. FAF does provide me with lots of food fortnight and topics to write about lol. He knows I write about him a lot on my blog, and he’s proud of it (or not I’m not entirely sure). Sometimes I wonder if blog would be super boring without him!
Without Mr. FAF you wouldn’t have Baby FAF! Then Grandma FAF wouldn’t be in either. You just be all alone! D: (yeah that would get a little boring xD)
Mrs. Adventure Rich says
I love it!!! Haha, we check the box on a few of these and are working towards some of the others! Let’s see if we end up as FUMCPWCDJ&RPF’s in the future 😉
You’re already certifiable FUMCPWCDJ&RPF with your blog, really!!
Hilarious and spot on. If I may brag FUMCPWCDJ&RPF-style, I will note that my husband have not one old Prius but two. (I’ve never been sure of the plural of Prius–Priuses, Prii?) Also, I recently wrote about wanting to build a guest house to rent out. And did you read my mind about the solar panels?
A suggestion for #14: a well-used library card. I probably talk about the library way too much.
“…the plural of Prius–Priuses, Prii?”
OMG haha made my day! I didn’t think of that. Prii, drag out the Priiiiiii like a proud FUMCPWCDJ&RPF hahaha.
I think we check like all those boxes…. well, at least we know we found our tribe!! 🙂
Sean @ Frugal Money Man says
I am definitely a BIG Dave Ramsey fan. His “Total Money Makeover” shapes a lot of how I think about money. His philosophy on debt has given my fiancée and I the mentality of saving HARD for a couple years, and then eventually moving south to buy our starter home in cash! Living without a living expense frees up a large chunk of money that can then be re-invested into new investments, and the cycle goes on and on after that.
Love it Sean, Dave does great work cutting through BS.
Queen Money Bee | The Land of Milk and Money says
Sorry but could you please stop stalking me, seeing as you’ve clearly just written down everything I do in life when you were making this list? 😛
Just kidding, but you’re spot on. For example, in relation to #3, I spent this week smugly walking around the office telling anyone who would listen about how I used credit card points to buy return flights that would have cost $1,500 otherwise, meaning I only had to spend $180 on fees.
So if you need me, I’ll just be over here, flying the flag for my fellow lawyers who are FUMCPWCDJ&RPF!
NICE hacking Queen Bee!!!
Your list is spot on except the tattoo thing. Mrs. RB40 would kill me if I get any tattoo. It’s just not her thing.
Also, the $$$ cult thing. I’m just too busy to spend a lot of time on those forums. Maybe when I was younger, I’d be more willing to try. We already do pretty well financially so we’re more relaxed about it.
One more for your list – how about cooking? Many of us like cooking at home. It’s a great way to save and eat healthier too.
Cooking is a good one!I would add we tend to eat healthier and also at a higher price point and more exotic dishes than your meatloafs and spaghettis. I hope I got that right…
Ms ZiYou says
FUMCPWCDJ&RP is absolutely hilarious…..please can I sit at the cool kids table (since I never could at school).
You can’t be a FUMCPWCDJ&RP if you were anything but a weirdo nerd in school 🙂
Damn Millennial says
Boglehead for sure! My favorite forum on the internet.
I am guilty of many of these!
Everytime I log on, I feel a little dumber hahaha.
Choosing to live on less of the total allotted resources. Yep, that’s us.
Us first 😛
Financial Orchid says
Love the list! I check off most items on the list. Now I just need to find my other half who also fits the bill. You should do an article on how you met Mr. Frugal Gene.
And doesn’t meal planning make the list for this recurring expense?
Haha, that story is pretty riske. Think really boring 50 shades of gray. We were even near the place where they shot. Half a block away.
That sure is a mouthful! But I think you’ve nailed everything about the community Lily. ?
I’ve got to agree with many others about cooking! Easy, fun, and a great way to save money.
Honestly, I’m not sure how I fit in with you guys. I don’t really have any concrete plans since I just got lucky, but it’s always good to learn from everyone. I guess I’m in the “try not to blow all your money and ruin it for future generations” phase right now?
I was gonna add cooking!!! OK I’m adding cooking 🙂 right now.
We got lucky too!!!! You fit in with us Will!! Make a blog (even if it’s just regular wordpress xD)
Mr. Groovy says
Haha! Guilty as charged. If it weren’t for Mrs. G, there’s no way I’d be the FUMCPWCDJ&RPF stud I am today. Thanks for pointing out the only 13 status symbols that truly count. And thanks for coming up with an amazing acronym for our amazing cult. You’re the best, Lily. Cheers.
Glad to make you smile Mr. G 🙂 🙂 🙂
Femme Frugality says
Haha fun post! Random side note: have you looked into switching your energy generator? Here we keep the same delivery company, but the company that generates our energy does so from local wind/solar farms. We can’t do solar panels right now, but this way we’re still green. In some regions, it can save you money, too, and it’s not as time or up-front financially intensive as actually getting the panels. Plus, voting by paying for RECs could really force the hand of the industry.
That’s brilliant! Do you have a post about it? In our case, our city is the only provider of electricity and they’re cheap (one of the cheapest in the country for some reason) so Jared doesn’t think it makes a big difference. If we move, buying a new home, solar panels/solar farms would be one of the features we would look into (for that county).
The Physician Philosopher says
Great post! I meet pretty much every criteria (aside from the car…)
I was actually having a conversation at work about this yesterday when one of my residents called me “frugal, yet generous.” I have no problem giving money to others as I am dead set on money not becoming an idol of mine, but if my family or I am spending the money ourselves we pinch the pennies pretty hard sometimes.
It is a great community to be a part of, and I have really enjoyed joining it. Thanks for the good read!
Wait, what’s your car? Hiiiiii! Fist bump!!
The Physician Philosopher says
It’s a Chevy SS 🙂 Little know. Under the radar, but by no means absolutely not frugal. When I finished my ten years of post undergrad medical training I financed a car (2017 was last year of production).
Aside from that, I follow the rules 🙂
Really Nailed it Lily, I am guilty? of all of these. Maybe add practical/comfortable shoes.
OOh I should rewrite this post and include suggestions someday 🙂 🙂 Thanks OF