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What is Middle Class?

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Old 01-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #16
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Originally Posted by firstdown View Post
To go allong with this how long could you last without a pay check? I think I cloud go about 1 1/2 yrs maybe a little longer.
I'd last about one hour. After that, I'd have to visit old men in train station bathrooms.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:58 PM   #17
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Originally Posted by firstdown View Post
To go allong with this how long could you last without a pay check? I think I cloud go about 1 1/2 yrs maybe a little longer.
Honestly, not that long, but probably longer than most my age. 9 months, maybe. But I'd get a big tax refund the following year thanks to the downtime!
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:02 PM   #18
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
I'd last about one hour. After that, I'd have to visit old men in train station bathrooms.
Ewww, I just got a mental image from the movie The Basketball Diaries and now I want to puke.

I think middle class probably has more to do with how much you spend, either for wants or needs, than how much you make (although the two usually go hand in hand).
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:04 PM   #19
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Originally Posted by ArtMonkDrillz View Post
Ewww, I just got a mental image from the movie The Basketball Diaries and now I want to puke.

I think middle class probably has more to do with how much you spend, either for wants or needs, than how much you make (although the two usually go hand in hand).
Good call, that was the movie I was thinking of when I posted.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:05 PM   #20
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Re: What is Middle Class?

Some good definitions:
define:middle class - Google Search

I'd say the middle class is easy to define: not the lower income makers, and not the upper income makers. That said, the monetary definition of middle class is ever-changing.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:06 PM   #21
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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As cpayne noted, if I were single and making 85K here in SW Virginia, I would be living like a king easily. Now if I were stupid enough to buy a 50K+ car and a 500K home and eat out at high dollar restaurants everynight then I would probably have very little spending cash (savings) thus I may think that I'm not doing so well.

It's all boils down to how you decide to spend your money and where you live.
It is impossible to be making enough to afford a $50,000 car (if you can't make the car payments without sacrificing other things, then you can't afford it), and not be considered on the upper end of middle class.

I agree that putting a salary on middle class is impossible, because cost of living varies so much from state to state (and sometimes within states). But middle class people, when married, make enough money to:

- Own a modest but satisfactory home
- Own two safe and somewhat reliable cars
- Have medical insurance
- Eat as the FDA recommends on the food pyramid (can afford fruits, veggies, and lean meats)
- Keep up with the phone, electric, and water bills
- Maintain the home to modest but satisfactory levels
- Provide for two or three kids with modest but satisfactory clothes and shoes

If you cut all of your luxury spending, and you still can't afford the above as a married couple, I'd call you below middle class.

By this definition, there are quite a number of people in the US falling below this line. Too many, actually. If you're single, I think the same things apply, but replace own the home with pay rent for a modest but satisfactory 1 bedroom apartment, make it one car instead of two, and make it no kids.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:09 PM   #22
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Re: What is Middle Class?

Middle class baby! WOOT.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:11 PM   #23
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Originally Posted by firstdown View Post
To go allong with this how long could you last without a pay check? I think I cloud go about 1 1/2 yrs maybe a little longer.
It depends, if i am allowed to dive into my 401K, liquidate my properties and belongings, and move to the boondocks I can probably survive about 6 years. If I have to stay put in my current arrangement I won't last more than 10 months.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:14 PM   #24
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Re: What is Middle Class?

How you know if you're above middle class, you can do all the things I listed above, plus have the ability to:

- Send two or three kids to the college of their choice without them needing any student loans
- Afford an upscale house
- Afford upscale cars
- Be debt free
- Feel comfortable that your retirement is secure
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:19 PM   #25
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Re: What is Middle Class?

Another thought, what defines your class isn't what you do with your money. It's what you have the ability to do.

If you make $40,000 here in the Philly area as a single guy, and you buy a BMW and you eat out and rack up big bar bills all the time, and you find yourself in debt and unable to pay your electric bill, I'm sorry, I don't feel sorry for you. You're middle class. You make enough money to support yourself adequately and comfortably by any developed nation's standards. It's the choices you're making that are putting you in your situation.

If you have no choice but to sacrifice things like health insurance or heat, then you are living at below-middle class levels.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:11 PM   #26
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Well I'm done with work and I'm. Going to get in my middle class car, drive to my middle class home, smack my wife on her middle class a$$, kiss my middle class baby, call my daughter at he middle class college, drink some middle class beer, hit the sack in my middle class bed and wake up with a first class hangover.
Now That is the Life.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:49 PM   #27
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Re: What is Middle Class?

thats what i call living large. if i go by schneeds recipe, i think im middle class. but i never really thought about it
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Old 01-27-2007, 03:21 AM   #28
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
In my experience, the majority of Americans seem to live paycheck to paycheck, whether they are making $15,000 per year or $150,000 per year. People's "needs" tend to increase as fast as their incomes.
You're totally right.

Every american should read a book called "affluenza". The basis of the book is essentially "mo money, mo problems". It touches on some actual studies rating ones own happiness, wealth, etc.

Talks about how happy people say they are in "poor" countries. It was a pretty interesting read.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:51 PM   #29
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Re: What is Middle Class?

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So if you're single and make 85K, what are you? You most certainly are not wealthy.
Depends on the cost of living in your area. I guarantee 85k for a single person not living in a major metropolitan area or in a wealthy/trendy neighborhood is doing pretty damn well for themselves.

Around here, (Lancaster, PA Amish Country!) My fiancee and I bring in about $80 k per year, own our home and live pretty comfortably, but were we to live in NYC, we'd be living in a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment somewhere...

Scheisse- I posted this before reading down the thread...
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:07 PM   #30
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Re: What is Middle Class?

The thing is when a persons income rises they typically spend or buy more and they are not any more wealthy than before. But if your income rises and you continue living frugally thats when your "wealth" increases. For anyone that is looking for an interesting read, The Millionaire Next Door, goes into greater detail.
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