9 ways to know if you're middle class

There's no hard-and-fast definition, but surveys show what kind of income and lifestyle you're likely to have if you -- and others -- think you're middle class.

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215Comments
Dec 13, 2013 9:04AM
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Interesting article; lots of interesting comments too.  During my lifetime I think I have lived either in the lower class or barely middle class lifestyle.  Personally, I think a lot of what makes different classes is all mixed together; pretty much as the article points out.  Savings, spending, health, education, the way people work all needs to be considered.  Everyone's situation will be different because the mix will be different.  I believe that there are more people moving downward than upward on the scale.  The middle class is definitely finding it harder to maintain the status quo.
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Heh, let's see...income, household is just shy of 100k,  check.  Target??  Don't go near the place.  Saving for college?? Both kids are well past that, one has her master's.  They paid their own way with the GI bill.  Vacation?  Check, a couple of weeks every spring (road trip!).  House?  Yeah, will be paid off 3-4 years, that will feel good.  Secure jobs, with health insurance, check and check--as secure as they get, anyway.   Democrat?  Not really.  One very conservative and one sort-of-libertarian.  Save for retirement?  Check. Probably not enough.

5/9.  Middle-class, I guess.  So why do I feel like I'm slowly backing downhill?


Oct 14, 2013 12:02AM
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I think I am middle class, even our family income is over $250,000. and we have good jobs.

We have a nice big house and 5 cars. I don't feel rich.  I am still trying to save money and

do not eat out a lot.  I shop at discount stores and not at expensive stores.  I think if you

are not worth millions.  You are a middle class.

 

 

 

Oct 13, 2013 5:19AM
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I used to be middle class, but not since Obama...
Now, I am in debt, no savings, and doing my best to stay off the government dole...
I'd love to be middle class again...
Oct 12, 2013 2:21PM
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I don't believe that the middle class exist.  I believe that there are the Rich, the Poor, and the people that are below poverty.  You are supposed to double your hourly rate every 10 years.  I worked for a grocery store chain in Chicago, for 12 years, I was a cashier making $12.25 per hour, quit in February 1994.  Now almost 20 years later, most people are making less than $12.25 per hour, most are around $10.00 per hour. I do go along with raising the Minimal wage to $15.00 per hour.  I do think that it makes since.  Food prices have gone way up, property values are way down.  In today's world, I do not have to travel far to find property in major need of repairs. 

Is Obama Care really guaranteed issue?  What is the deal with Open Enrollment between October 1st thru December 31.  The first year it starts the open enrollment is a bit longer.  What happens to the person, who decides that they can't afford the health care, pay the penalty, then in May or June, they discover that they have cancer, they will have to wait until the next enrollment period, then apply, then wait until January 1st.  By then the cancer will be well advanced.  Looks like another day, and another trick.

Unemployment benefits are really something else as well.  Why would someone want to be on unemployment for 2 years.  That sounds silly.  Most will say, I will just collect for 2 years, and watch TV.  At the end of their vacation, they will no longer be a Plummer, an Electrician, etc.  If they were unemployed for 9-12 months, I would still consider them as being an Electrician, Plummer, etc. 

Sep 15, 2013 5:52PM
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i make $300 a week I think I m poor!
Sep 10, 2013 1:21PM
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I always thought I was middle class until I read this article.  I have a stable job, make between 40K-70K annually, own my home and have health insurance and I shop at Target.   But I do not have a dime to save for  retirment or to invest in a 401K, my children will either not go to college or will have to find a way to pay for it themselves.  A vacation for us is a day at the beach if we can swing it.  If I had $4000.00 to spend it would be on a new roof or repairs to the "American Dream" I own. Now I think I must be in the poverty class, which is how I have felt for the last 8 years anyway, so no big surprise there.
Aug 6, 2013 12:30PM
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My husband is retired from the federal government and I have a less than part time job. With the government 3 year cost of living freeze, the rise in health care, food, etc. We are really low on the middle class scale. Local and state services are rising too. With the President and Congress screwing around with the budget and Obamacare, I think they should stop getting paid until they come to a resolution that helps not hinders the citizens of America. They need to have no pay sequester days like the military and civilian workers have. Cut their money and perks out, no travel expenses reimbursed, etc. Maybe, just maybe they will take care of business. Have a nice vacation Congress. The rest of us have our feet in a plastic pool out in the back yard, if we are lucky. We are watching you and getting ready to vote you all out next election!

  

Jul 13, 2013 3:39AM
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      The term "middle class" has been reduced to a meaningless  "feel good" label  that politicians use to garner votes.  It is used to make us feel like an integral component of society, when in reality it seems most of us are just   struggling to keep from slipping into poverty from an illness , job loss or just being financially eaten alive.  

 

 

  

Jul 13, 2013 1:04AM
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ROTFLMAOFFF!!!  This article is yet another piece of crap attempting to compact an entire population.    The TRUTH:

 

Middle class is just a term to make folks think they are other than poor.

 

There's no such thing as a "secure" job. . . you work for someone else, then you're oner budget item away from unemployment. 

 

A vehicle is JUST transportation, A house is JUST shelter.

 

College savings are basically a free loan to a bankster who loans it back to you at 20%

 

Retirement is a myth to make folks think they'll be living la vida loca on ALLL the money they made during their working years, when most of the population will work till they drop.

 

Worrying about someone getting food stamps is idiotic, try living in a country without "handouts' and see how comfortable it is getting to your "secure" JUST OVER BROKE or ANYWHERE.

 

Newsflash:  According to this article, all the people I know, in my "inner city" area in NJ fit at least 7 of these variables!  And many VACATION 2x a year.  How could we still be here is this God forsaken state if we didn't - SURPRISE!.

 

Yes, as quitely as its kept, folks of color are doing real well, we're smart enough not to spend time whining that some president, whose circles we will NEVER be a part of, and who has no CLUE we even exist, is the reason for any of our ISSUES - we just do what we do.  Always knowing that any day, at any time things can change SAME AS THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.

 

Stop fronting wanting a label to define who you REALLY are and LIVE YOUR LIVES!!!

Jul 6, 2013 10:34AM
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I've always thought I was middle class but today I'm not so sure.  I shop all of the stores depending on the price and what I'm looking for. I don't think you can put middle class in one box we just won't fit. And I'm independent leaning more towards the tea party, the other two are destroying our country trying to get one up on each other instead of what's best for us.  What happened to serving your country for a few years doing what is right and then getting on with your life in our world.  They seem to have forgotten the purpose of government.
Jun 20, 2013 9:58AM
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This article is crap..can't believe I wasted the 5 minutes reading it.  We need to stop being so concerned that we "FIT" into some bracket or category.  The  1% rich get richer...yeah...so what.  They have the money, they control the world. If you didn't know that, rent the movie "The Men Who Built America" and you'll see how Rockefeller's money bailed out our government a couple times.  The poor get poorer..that's life.  Yet, I see poor people with cell phones...funny..they can afford that!! The truth is, we are a selfish people.  We have to have everything now.  Credit cards suck..they weren't designed for rich people. They were a way to make people irresponsible with their money if they weren't already!! You want something?? Save for it and this includes retirement.   I've resorted back to cashing my measley paychecks and putting the money into envelopes and saving for the things we WANT (vacation, educational supplies, dining out, etc...). We use my husband's money to pay the bills..NEEDS. Time to differentiate between the two...WANTS AND NEEDS. In this economy, you want something?? You probably have to sacrifice something else to get it...OH NO!! Not sacrifice??? Lol. Who's teaching the younger generations about that?? That's why people are suffering!!
Dec 10, 2012 11:48PM
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If you can change your $5 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power cartridge every couple days when the indicator strip changes color to tell you to----then you're doing great, and you should definitely invest in Gillette.

Dec 4, 2012 10:21PM
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Where is a family who has an income of 225,000.00?   No not in NYC but a small town in the West?  Anyone?  It feels like Middle Class but maybe it is not.
Dec 4, 2012 9:57PM
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middle class mean having your own  house, have a good car, and if you have kids have them in private school and have them doing an extra activity. go out and eat in good restaurants or take trips to diferent countries. Being middle class doesn't mean how much you make today's date. There are people who make a lot money, over 100,000 and they cannot fit in what it calls middle class and why why bacause they have student loans, and with interest bank charge, these people end passing all money they make to banks. I .  
Dec 3, 2012 3:41PM
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Year and years ago I thought we were in the Middle Class at $35,000 to $40,000 a year, but the "Middle Class" seems to have left us in the dust now.  I guess, truth be known, we're in the "Upper Poverty" Class!  And both on Social Security now to make matters worse!
Dec 3, 2012 2:05PM
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This "article" is a crock of sh*t if you're in my situation...

I have a secure job, about $30K a year, and health insurance. And I get three weeks' paid vacation a year, but there's no way I'd blow $4K on one. I wouldn't own a home...that would be nothing more than an anchor around my neck...I need to be able to pull up stakes & bug out in a few days' notice (but that's just me...being single has many benefits). Been to college, under the old GI Bill, and my only child has his own brood (he and his wife combined make about $8K a month). I *loathe* Target as much as I do WallyWorld. It's a big sissy store, if you ask me. I have some cash stashed, but that's it. And as far a political leanings...I feel anyone affiliated with any political party should be shot in the face for treason.

Dec 3, 2012 1:34PM
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Working Poor- low income, unstable job, need help (Wal-Mart employee)

Working Class- ok income, unstable job, gets by (Union carpenter, teacher)

Middle Class- higher income, somewhat stable job but able to find new job easily, must be careful not to over-indulge (attorney, physician, cpa, small business owner)

Rich- has a lot of money for a specific period but no real long-term stream of revenue (lottery winner, pro-athelete)

Wealthy- works to develop constant streams of revenue.  Has enough to be out of work for at least 10 years under same lifetstyle.  Cares more about net worth than income.  (No specific career, could be same occupation as middle class or working class).

Dec 3, 2012 1:16PM
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My wife has all of the items but I have a hard time believing we're middle class.  I feel like we're upper lower class.  It's a relative term that policians label people to give them some sense of accomplishment.  How do you label someone making under $100K but has a good net worth due to responsible living compared to the $250K lawyer in the fancy house and fancy cars but has no real savings and living from paycheck to paycheck?  Who cares what class you think you are, just be smart about your money.
Dec 3, 2012 1:06PM
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i FIT ALL BUT 9, NO WAY WILL I EVER LEAN DEMOCRATIC.
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