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What is your economic status relative to how you grew up?

Poll Results: What is your economic class relative to how you grew up?

  • 28% (81)
  • 26% (75)
    The Same
  • 41% (116)
  • 3% (10)
282 Total Votes  
post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
I just thought this would be interesting. Feel free to elaborate!
post #2 of 90
I grew up in I guess upper middle class. Now I'm not sure what we are. I guess we are middle class. Money is tight but my husband has a good job (engineer) and is on a good career track. But we just bought a house so things are tight. So I feel really broke on an every day basis but I think we'll grow into things as he progresses at work and I ultimately go back to work after our kid(s) are in school.
post #3 of 90
I grew up Upper Middle, and now DH and I make ends meet, but after baby is born I will be a SAHM (doesn't pay to go back to work with cost of babysitting). So, unless DH finds a better job (which hopefully he will), we'll definitely be struggling then on about $1,400/month income with a $1100/month rent.
post #4 of 90
I grew up poor and now am still struggling with poverty, but I'm in school and hoping to someday be better off.
post #5 of 90
As a young child, we were "upper lower," I guess. We had a roof over our head, food, and clothes, but few to no luxuries. As I got older, we rose in socioeconomic status, and were upper middle to lower upper by the time I turned 18. Of course, I reaped only a few benefits since I didn't make the money, my parents did. DH had pretty much the same situation. Now I would say we are upper middle. I feel very blessed.
post #6 of 90
My parents were able to buy a house by the time they were 28, although they don't have as much education as DH and I do. My father also kind of lucked into a career that turned out to be pretty lucrative, so we (as a family) had progressively more money as I was growing up - until I was 18 and he had a stroke and that career was over. But, he and my mom are financially OK, though they don't own a house any more.

DH and I are just on a really different financial path (it seems), in a really different economy. Middle-class people could afford a home in CA in the 70's, without having to take on a mortgage 8-10x their income. It's just a different world now. So, although DH has a PhD and a good job, and I make a very good hourly wage at my part-time job, due to where we live we must rent, not buy, and we choose to only have 1 car so that we can have more discretionary income.

DH is also not on a tremendously upwardly-mobile path in terms of his career. He will make more, but his income will go up at a slow and steady pace unlike my father's income which seemed to double every few years for most of my childhood. I actually prefer this. I have no desire to be wealthy or even upper middle class, to have a big house, etc. And in this economic climate, at least, I have no desire to own a home.

We are content with our financial situation. But, it's not as good in objective terms as my parents' situation was when they were our age. At our age, my parents owned a nice home in a very good neighborhood, had 2 cars, savings etc., and we took expensive vacations. Those things are not possible for us, but I wouldn't say that our quality of life suffers for it.
post #7 of 90
I grew up working class/working poor, now I am technically middle class though with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt (student loans, mortgage, credit anmd medical) I don't really feel like I have improved all that much. Probably the thing that stands out for me is that folks were HS grads and I am a college grad with an advanced degree, both dh & I actually. Yet that education costs so am I really all that better off? I still live hand to mouth in a certain sense.

post #8 of 90
We are the same or lower, but a lot smarter about our money.
post #9 of 90
I voted lower, but honestly don't know exactly. My parents never talked about money at all, but I do remember doing some stuff with them that we could never afford right now.

We can't usually afford trips and even trips to stay with relatives tax the budget greatly.

It's a struggle to come up with money for classes/lessons/etc. for the kids and I routinely remember my sister and I going to camp and doing other 4-H activities that required additional funds.

My parents had a great retirement plan/fund above and beyond my dad's pension and he retired very early - while still in his 50's. Our retirement fund is really quite a lot less than they had/planned.
post #10 of 90
post #11 of 90
My parents both had jobs, but with five kids struggled to make ends meet. I remember going without a lot of the things my friends had simply because we could not afford them.

I'm not saying we are wealthy or even very well off, but I get to stay home and there's never a question of "Will there be enough to pay the bills?" at the end of the month, and we can still afford the nice "extras" my parents could never afford.
post #12 of 90
DH & I were just talking about this the other day.

My dad has a bachelors degree, which he was going to school to earn when my parents were my age. When I was little we lived in a trailer park & all our clothes were thrift store clothes, etc.(Not that TS clothes are bad-my kids wear them too, but that was the only choice for clothing us, and I felt a stark difference between me & the kids at school) There was always plenty of food, the electricity was never turned off or anything, but I know my mom worried about money & getting all the bills paid. Now my parents do fairly well, dad is in a supervisory role at work. They weren't able to help any of their children with college. Their home is not paid for, they still have car loans & CC debt. When I was a kid, my mom did daycare & taught piano lessons for extra money.

DH's dad was a HS teacher and later principal & superintendent. When I married DH (their youngest of 6 kids) they had just paid off their house. They pay cash for their cars, and they helped DH pay for his bachelors, masters, & EdS degrees. They live a lower standard of living than my parents do (have less things, spend less $, house is older) but their financial position is much more secure and they have no debt. They have some investments, and are able to travel around & enjoy their grandkids in their retirement. DH's mom was also a SAHM, but she cleaned houses for people & did daycare for extra money.

DH & I do a lot better than our parents did at our age. He makes less than his dad did at retirement, and less than my dad currently makes. DH only works part time hours & I stay home with the kids. We are buying a nice house that is well within our means. It is our second house, we bought our first house when I was 23 & DH was 26. Our parents were well into their 30's when they bought their first homes. I gather that DH makes more money than the other households in our neighborhood, and we are 10-15 years younger than the average family here.

I don't have to worry about how the bills will be paid, although there are months I am frustrated that I am not saving as much as I would like to. We are also more secure in that if I needed to work I have a work experience & a bachelors degree that neither of our moms have.
post #13 of 90
I voted "Other" because we have more money than my parents but live much less comfortably because of the cost of living, debt from lay-offs, and the cost of 4 kids (2 more kids than my parents had and we spend more on their school and activities).
post #14 of 90
I grew up in upper middle class and now live in lower middle class.
post #15 of 90
Dirt poor then, slightly less poor now
post #16 of 90
Mo' po'. By far.
post #17 of 90
I chose the same, but I don't really know if that's true. I know we were pretty poor when I grew up, but don't know how poor officially. Now, though, we are, qualifying for assistance, etc.

However, I hope to change that when I finish my training.
post #18 of 90
Same. I grew up middle class, and I'm still middle class.
post #19 of 90
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Mo' po'. By far.
Not funny... Just sounds so.
post #20 of 90
I grew up upper middle, but my mum was receiving a life insurance pension (my dad died when I was young) and my stepdad had a very good wage, so even though mum was a SAHM mum our family had 2 incomes.

I'm now a SAHM with a DH on a reasonable wage, but our mortgage, health insurance and groceries use up about 90% of our income now. So I would say I'm now lower on the financial ladder than what I was growing up. I'm hopeful that if we continue to be frugal we will have paid off our mortage within 10 years, and then we'll be able to be a lot smarter about investing our money.
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