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What is your economic status relative to how you grew up? - Page 2

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

 
  • 28% (81)
    Lower
  • 26% (75)
    The Same
  • 41% (116)
    Higher
  • 3% (10)
    Other
282 Total Votes  
post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReikiMommy07 View Post
Not funny... Just sounds so.
It's okay actually. I'd rather be po' than have to sell out, and really for me that was the choice. I did get the choice though... that's the privilege of an upper class background.
post #22 of 90
I grew up very poor. We rented in a bad neighborhood and had very little. When I married Dh he made $7.00 an hour and was a college student (older one). Now 11.5 years later we have a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood. We are upper middle class I guess. The most important thing to me is that I feel safe - I hated living in the ghetto and always lived with fear!
post #23 of 90
I voted the same even though it is not quite true. We live as comfortably as my (and dh's for that matter) parents did but we make much less. We have different priorities (small house, one car, no fancy vacations, cook from scratch) so our income stretches much further. We also choose to live in an area with much lower cost of living but are "paying" for it with much reduced income. Dh and I both have multiple engineering degrees and could make a BUTTLOAD of money and be "upper middle class" if we both worked full time in our field. But, that would require us to live in a location with a higher standard of living and IMO, a lower quality of living. As it is, dh works two jobs, one full and one part time, neither in his field. And both jobs are very flexible, low pressure, and make dh happy. I work very part time in my field (just to keep the probably useless resume current) but am mainly a sahm.

We are very happy with where we are. We occasionally hit hard times and recently a VERY hard time when dh was unemployed and I was working as a bartender. But that is a choice we are making. We could move and be much more "successful". But that measure of success is not meaningful to us so we chose not to. Our parents shake their heads at our tiny old house and dd's second hand clothing, but we feel fulfilled so poo on them I am sure we would feel much differently about our situation if it was not a choice we could step away from at any point.

As a side note, I would like to add that it is my theory that we (as in the currently 25-40 yos) are the first generation to do "worse" than our parents financially. Although I consider ourselves to be doing "as well" as our parents even though we are choosing to earn and live below our means, the equation does not add up. Dh's parents have one associates degree between the two of them. And my mom has a bachelor's. Dh and I have 2 higher level degrees between the two of us in fields that traditionally make much more money than our parent's fields yet our total earning potential matches. Something is not right.
post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post


As a side note, I would like to add that it is my theory that we (as in the currently 25-40 yos) are the first generation to do "worse" than our parents financially. Although I consider ourselves to be doing "as well" as our parents even though we are choosing to earn and live below our means, the equation does not add up. Dh's parents have one associates degree between the two of them. And my mom has a bachelor's. Dh and I have 2 higher level degrees between the two of us in fields that traditionally make much more money than our parent's fields yet our total earning potential matches. Something is not right.

I totally agree with you. We are in the same boat, despite the higher education dh & I have, we are not better off than my in-laws who have been financially saving our butts for a while now. In fact we joke that dh would have been better off following his dad's footsteps and becoming a electrician rather than a journalist. We are living in some crazy financial times. I honestly though education would mean financial stability and that has so not been the case, in fact the more educatiom I have gotten the worse off I am financially.

Shay
post #25 of 90
i think both dh and i are about the same as we were growing up.
post #26 of 90
I grew up middle. If I were alone, my status would be lower. But, due to my partner, it's higher.
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
As a side note, I would like to add that it is my theory that we (as in the currently 25-40 yos) are the first generation to do "worse" than our parents financially. Although I consider ourselves to be doing "as well" as our parents even though we are choosing to earn and live below our means, the equation does not add up. Dh's parents have one associates degree between the two of them. And my mom has a bachelor's. Dh and I have 2 higher level degrees between the two of us in fields that traditionally make much more money than our parent's fields yet our total earning potential matches. Something is not right.

You aren't alone with this theory. Economists have been saying this for years, that our wages haven't kept pace and that the purchasing power of the dollar has been eroded making it much more difficult to live a class equitable lifestyle like our parents on the same or even greater income.
post #28 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by normajean View Post
DH only works part time hours & I stay home with the kids.
Just curious, and you don't need to answer me, but what field does your DH work in and does he have a full time job that only requires part time hours to fulfill? DH used to have a job like that (maintenance was only part time but you were "on call" for questions/help most of the day but they kept adding on more work to his job until it was ull time hours with only COL increases). Sorry, just curious!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I totally agree with you. We are in the same boat, despite the higher education dh & I have, we are not better off than my in-laws who have been financially saving our butts for a while now. In fact we joke that dh would have been better off following his dad's footsteps and becoming a electrician rather than a journalist. We are living in some crazy financial times. I honestly though education would mean financial stability and that has so not been the case, in fact the more education I have gotten the worse off I am financially.

Shay
I double agree. The longer I was in school, the more debt racked up, I got older and was out of the job market (meaning I worked full time but at almost minimum wage) and with little upward movement over the years. When I got m MS and started my job, I started with a little more pay than my co-workers with bachelors degrees, but they were on higher steps then me (teacher) and had no or lower student loan bills, so they might be paid a bit less but they had fewer or lower bills. Then, they worked on their MS over years at night and ned up making the same amount and came out ahead. They may have made less over the years, but they weren't paying so much in interest for student loans. Grrrr...

I put "lower" but it is hard to say. Together DH and I have so much owed for student loans that it will be hanging over our head for 10-20 years. At my age, my parent were just starting their family(me), but had been in a house for 7 years and both had been working for that long (mom worked as we were growing up). They had no bills beyond the mortgage and food, ect. At that point they were comfortable. DH and I are trying to sell our condo and buy a house. We have an almost 5 yo and a 9 mo, and I have to work right now because our bills are more than DH makes. Money is tight, and although I would like to stay home we have to figure out a way for DH to make more or for me to pull in $1k per month staying home. Oh, and I have the "good" insurance, so we'd have to figure that in to the amount too, so I may have to pull in more than $1k. Anyway, I think my parents were much more comfortable then DH and I are, but Mom started teaching at 22 yrs old and I didn't start until I was 26 (NO one had a MS in Education back then - and I have 160 plus ug credits, so I spent a few extra years in school trying not to become a teacher).
post #29 of 90

Long! ;-)

I make more than my dad did at this age (he was white collar). My mom was a doctor's receptionist before I was born, then SAHM until I was in 7th grade, when she went back to work in the same doctor's office to help pay for my and my brother's Catholic school tuition (I was in the publics until the end of 7th grade).

The cost of housing is the true difference. My parents bought a small lot in a middle-class suburb of Detroit in 1965, the same year they were married. They rented a two-bedroom townhouse (rent was $95/month when they moved out) while they saved up enough money to build a small 3 BR 1 BA brick house on that lot. They moved into the house in the fall of 1968 - the house cost just under $16K to build. In the early 70s, they added a detached garage for $3K. Their house payment, in the last few years before it was paid off in 1998, was $300/month! $200 of that was taxes and insurance!

I got out of suburban Detroit in early 1996 because I wanted to get away from the auto industry and its influence (for worse) on Michigan's economy. I'm in Chicago and will make about $44K this year. There's no way I could afford a house or a condo here without living in the very far out burbs. On my end of town (NW side of Chicago), decent apartments are affordable. Like New York, there are many people here who are life-long renters, so unlike where I'm from, renting for years on end doesn't carry a stigma.

I just looked at the online classifieds for my hometown, and a similar apartment to mine looks to be about $100/month cheaper or a little less. Houses like I love (1920s bungalows/cottages) are $75K-$100K cheaper. But then the economy in suburban Detroit is in much worse shape than that in Chicagoland.

I'm in the first on my dad's family to get a college education, let alone attend. If I didn't have my degree and 14+ years experience in my industry, I would be making less. I'm also one generation from relatives being on welfare. My mom was born in 1942, the youngest of 17 (including two stillbirths). Her father took off in mid-1943 and was never seen again. Back then, welfare was primarily for women whose husbands had abandoned them or whose husbands were disabled. Her family was on welfare. They lived in the projects, back when the projects were for poor folks of all backgrounds, not for primarily black folks as they later became. There was a hole in the bathtub area. My mom's mom died a year after she graduated from high school, and she then went to live with an older married sister for three years until she got married.

My dad's family was working class and still is. I'm told my younger, less-educated cousins consider my lack of a mortgage a sign of immaturity (!) but I also don't have a huge debt load on a relatively unstable income due to auto industry influence. I'm told they're all up to their eyeballs in debt.

You used to be able to get good jobs without having a college degree, but that's mostly gone. My mom retired in the late 90s (due to some health issues and change of doctors where she worked) and she was only making $10.50/hour! They're lucky my dad has a good pension from his 30+ years at Ford. Since I'm still single, I'm socking away 10% in my 401K. I'm not counting on getting married, although I really hope it happens (I'm 38). As soon as my car is paid off next year (only owe $4400 left), I'm going to really bump up the retirement to 15% as well as put other money away.

ETA: My parents had their own house at 26-27. I'm 38. They did pay for my college (I kicked in a lot for living expenses). But I'm much more careful with money than they were. My mom always liked to eat out a lot or cooked convenience foods. I get the impression from her comments that cooking from scratch is for poor people.

ETA2: I voted "same," too.
post #30 of 90
DF probably comparatively makes more money than my parents were making at our age, but they didn't have the debt that we have and they also lived in an area with a much lower COL.

DF actually makes more money than my dad does right now, but again, our life situations are so vastly different that it feels like we make waaaaay less!

ETA: I voted "same"
post #31 of 90
This is interesting. I answered "the same", but that's not exactly the case.

My father was an attorney. He made a lot of money. We also spent a lot of money. I had lots of "stuff", new clothes, jewelry, a new car at 16 (what were they thinking?!).

Then, the bottom fell out. My mom left (found a note on my pillow saying she wasn't sure if I'd ever see her again) and weeks later my dad lost his job. And, an unemployed lawyer makes as much as an unemployed anyone else which is big fat nothing.

My dad became very depressed, the pool became a swamp, bills needed to be paid, so at the age of 16, I grew up very quickly.

I dug through my father's desk and discovered we had over $70,000 in credit card debt.

Fast forward to my life today. My husband and I have impeccable credit and my father ultimately paid off the cc debt (every penny). Dh and I are paying on 4900 debt on an interest free card after our a/c blew up last summer. We are blessed with a good income and live frugally to try to save for the future.

So, while I have less stuff, I have more common sense. I guess in that way, I actually have a better standard of living.
post #32 of 90
I grew up pretty darn poor, like soup kitchen poor. We had a brief period around the time I was 9 or 10 when we did better, because my mom had a really good job for three years, but then she lost that job and went back to crap jobs again. We went through times that were leaner than others, and I never went hungry or anything like that, but most of the time we didn't have two dimes to rub together and ends very often didn't meet.

DH and I do better than that, although we're still not comfortably well-off. We just about meet our expenses, and have a minimum of debt, and that is consciously assumed debt. But we have no extra money for luxuries like new clothing, vacations, eating out, etc, and we live in a place that DH's parents consider a "bad area" and not enough room for all five of us. We have enough for the essentials and we're not dependent on anyone else.

DH grew up very comfortably upper middle class, in a wealthy suburb with all the frills. So our life is very different from what he's used to, and his parents are always freaking out about how we live.
post #33 of 90
I am doing so much better than when I was growing up. We never owned a house, that's for sure, and only occasionally owned an old car. I went without proper clothing and food. I grew up with a single father who didn't finish grade 9. Now, we have everything we need and I don't worry about money.
post #34 of 90
I grew up solidly middle class. When I was born, my parents were pretty poor, but my dad started his own construction company that year and the income grew. We were upper middle class by the time I was 10, then he decided to give it all up to lead a more simple life. We moved cross country and he down graded to building 1-2 custom homes a year but that was it. Never one of my parents had a college education, in fact I was the first in my family in my immediate family to get a degree.

Dh grew up upper middle class, he had a nanny, and anything he wanted. His parents did not have any college education but were business owners as well.


I went to college, am an RN, although I don't work now. Dh didn't go, he fell into the IT world at a young age, and discovered he was very talented at it, never saw the need to go to college when he had so much work without it. He owns his own IT company now, we make more then my parents did. And should be set to retire early as well, our first house will be paid before I'm 45.
post #35 of 90
grew up as the only child of parents who had me in their early 40's, inherited a lot from the grandparents' passing when I was in my teens--we weren't terribly well-off, but then again, I had a new wardrobe every 3 months and was driven to school in a brand-new camaro.

got married young, had two dc, got divorced (which usually makes everybody poorer ), got remarried, and am now a SAHM of 3 kids. Yeah, I'm a good deal poorer than when I was growing up
post #36 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
Now, we have everything we need and I don't worry about money.
oh how i long to utter this sentence some sweet, far-off day
post #37 of 90
I grew up regular old middle class. Dh grew up lower middle class. WE are definitely much poorer than my parents and dh's family. It's been an uphill battle since we got married.
post #38 of 90
My current one is much higher. My family was very poor. We lived in a tiny crapy house in a bad neighborhood. The guy across the street was a huge drug dealer and was eventually sent to prison when I was in high school. We got food stamps and other aid as we needed it. We even got toys for Christmas from Toys for Tots and other organizations because my parents just didn't come close to having extra money for gifts. I have 2 brothers, one half-brother, 2 step-sisters so it was really hard with 6 children. Now I live in a nice house and basically don't have to worry about my needs being met. DH is a good provider. We both have college degrees and I'm almost done with my masters degree but I'm SAH for now. I'm very grateful for what I have now. I try to volunteer and give back as much as I'm able to.
post #39 of 90
Better. I grew up middle class, and I'm still middle class, but doing slightly better than my parents were at my age. I'm able to stay at home, my mom was not as my dad was laid off when I was 4. They didn't save anything for anything, retirement, college, etc. Whereas we have healthy savings going, on track to retire, college savings, etc.

However outwardly, we live in a smaller house than I grew up in which we chose to do to save money.
post #40 of 90
Raising Lower Middle class and we are Lower Middle class now.
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