My name is Jeff Marone and I decided to start this website to try and help other people with their finances, and hopefully, just make their lives a bit easier and less stressful. Granted, I’m no financial genius or self-made millionaire, I’m just a working stiff like the majority of the people out there just trying to get ahead of the game.
Growing up, I lived in a typical blue-collar, working-class family. My dad busted his butt to support his wife and four kids. He worked construction all his life and was an active union advocate. He always promoted the idea of working hard, getting a good job with good benefits and just being a good person and contributor to society in general. He spent nearly 40 years working in the trade and it took it’s toll on his body. He’s still going strong today, but he always wanted his kids to find a better way to make it in this world and swore he would only offer up a referral for a construction job to his sons if they absolutely needed it.
Oddly enough, my two brothers and I all ultimately landed State jobs and my sister works in the in the public school system, so she also pays into a pension plan for retirement. This is exactly what my mom and dad always wanted for us kids….a good job, decent pay, good benefits, and a pension to boot. I feel that growing up in that environment created the seed in all our heads to continue to seek this type of employment out.
Although we all ended up in a decent situation, none of us really had any clue about money or how to manage it. In my opinion, this is the real dilemma with all working class families. We get stuck in the blue-collar mindset of working to survive, barely making it paycheck-to-paycheck, then somehow we rack up debt to buy the kind of things that we think we should have or deserve. Unfortunately, this is a viscous cycle that we ultimately get buried in. We seem to live right up to our means somehow, with no margin or financial cushion to help us get through the unexpected expenses that always seem to come up. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t get ahead and once the debt starts to rack up we find ourselves in a no-win situation and turn to credit cards to cover the shortfall.
Breaking this lifestyle is really all about a mindset, or all-out desire to find a better way. For me personally, the realization came when my 17 year marriage quickly and abruptly came to an end. When I suddenly found myself in a situation trying to maintain the lifestyle I was somewhat accustomed to with two incomes, now down to one, It didn’t take long to understand that I simply had to make drastic financial changes. Starting a budget was priority number one. I needed to know exactly where my money was going and why. This is stressed over and over again in my blogs.
Yes, I have had some pretty nice material things in my life, but after going through a divorce I soon realized that none of that stuff really mattered. It was all about family and my kids at that point. I had to find a way to pick up the pieces and start over again. Years later, I still feel the same about material things. I continually evaluate wants versus needs and try to make good financial decisions.
Middle Class Success was started for all of us working class folk just looking for a better way to get ahead. As I mentioned earlier, this is a mindset that has to be in place to create an environment for long-term financial success. This transformation will not happen overnight. The key words here are long-term. It takes time to get things in order, but if you start today I guarantee you will be so glad you did 10, 20, 40 years from now. It’s amazing once you get your mind set on your financial goals, little by little, you start to see the real progress. Baby steps, one at a time, will get you moving in the right direction. Get the mindset of creating wealth and it will come.
Please feel free to contact me or even share your own personal journey to a better financial situation, I would love to hear all about it! Stay focused, stay disciplined and stay ahead of the game for good! Good luck to you.