13 Sensible Upper Middle Class Characteristics & Status Symbols

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‘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:

superyacht-min inside-yacht-look 3938-superyacht-mary-jean-ii-the-idylic-charter-interior

Real Mansions

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.

AmEx Centurion

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.

Related: The Fight That Made Me A Better Wife

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!

Related: Ranking Our Past Credit Card Rewards

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!!!

Related: Remember the time I smacked down $20,000 in student loan debt in 8 months?

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.

Related: Get our Google Sheet budget and net worth tracker with e-mail sign up.

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

Investor Z: Buffett in manga form!!! Hahahahaha

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.

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