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What is your economic status relative to how you grew up? - Page 4

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 #61 of 90
Growing up we were very very poor. Food and heat were constant struggles. I remember my mom only able to eat a tomato for a meal so my sisters and I could eat the only box of mac and cheese.
Today, I am still in lower class but have a roof over our head with heat and food in the fridge.
I still voted higher because while we are struggling some days, its not near what it was like when I was a child. My vote also reflects a economic/social status choice (spiritual vow) DH and I have made.
post #62 of 90
Very poor growing up. Struggling to pay for groceries, always being threatened with losing the house.

But my folks were very, very bad with money. We lived like kings when the paycheck was fresh and then ate potatoes and government cheese when the cash ran out. 'Budget' was and still is a bad word to my folks.

My family thinks dh and I have loads of money. No, not really. We just stick to a tight budget and carefully plan for expenses. But we do live well now. Enough food, safe cars, insurance, decent home. It takes a lot of planning though to make it all happen.
post #63 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
But my folks were very, very bad with money. We lived like kings when the paycheck was fresh and then ate potatoes and government cheese when the cash ran out. 'Budget' was and still is a bad word to my folks.

My family thinks dh and I have loads of money. No, not really. We just stick to a tight budget and carefully plan for expenses. But we do live well now. Enough food, safe cars, insurance, decent home. It takes a lot of planning though to make it all happen.
This sounds a lot like me and my family. My folks were lousy with money, in turn me & my brother learned nothing about money management, hell I doubt my folks ever had a budget...

Yet despite the fact that at the moment I am tighter than I have in well over a decade my Dad thinks me & dh are well off. : No, its just that before our job situation went south, we knew how to pay our bills in a timely fashion and not spend down to our last buck.

Shay
post #64 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
This sounds a lot like me and my family. My folks were lousy with money, in turn me & my brother learned nothing about money management, hell I doubt my folks ever had a budget...

Yet despite the fact that at the moment I am tighter than I have in well over a decade my Dad thinks me & dh are well off. : No, its just that before our job situation went south, we knew how to pay our bills in a timely fashion and not spend down to our last buck.

Shay
Yep, I think growing up without enough helps reinforce the idea of saving and and planning. Having the frugal mindset has helped us get through some tough times without feeling too deprived. We may not have had a lot, but we always have had enough and my kids have never dodged bill collectors the way I did growing up.

I can still remember packing a brown paper bag with my clothes while the eviction notice was being stapled to our front door. : My parents made plenty of money and it didn't have to be like that.
post #65 of 90
Well, now, I'm a bit of an oxymoron.

Growing up, not sure on specifics, but, by the time I was about 10, my parents combined income was 100K plus. By the time I was graduating high school, it was over 150K. I was born in '77, so, we're talking late 80s-mid 90s, so, decent money. I have a younger sister.

That said, they didn't really live any better than DH and I...they just weren't very good with their money. They actually had to go on a consolidation plan about 10 years ago, and almost lost their house. I know the saving grace, so to speak, was my dad's mom died, and willed her house (in pricy Rockland County, NY) to him and his brother...he sold out his half to his brother.

DH and I make around 55K a year (I'm currently SAHM), and save/invest roughly 20% while still enjoying life - an occassional meal out, a yearly vacation, organic foods at home, new books when we get the itch, etc. I get very nervous about money (probably b/c of my family), so, there's always an emergency fund, investments, IRAs, etc., that I'm working on. So, while we make less, I think we actually live "better", if you know what I mean. I think a lot of it is expectations - we have enough to do what we want to, and some left over.

We definitely live better at this "stage" of our lives (first couple years marriage, one child) than my parents did, but, DH has 10 years w/the military at this point. My dad had a few years as a lineman at that point, and my mom was mostly a SAHM. We don't own a house, what with moving every 2-3 years, but my parents lived in my grandmother's house until I was 8, so, we're not really behind there.
post #66 of 90

Lower now

When I was a baby/toddler, it was probably about the same as now, though.
And my children are babies/toddlers, so maybe that is normal.


However, by the time I was a child my mom had remarried and was working out of the home because we were in school and she didn't have to pay a babysitter.

By the time I was 11, my parents bought a house, so they were definitely better off then than I am now. They currently live in their third owned home, each one was better than the last one, and they are quite comfortable financially, take trips annually, have no cc debt or auto loans, have health insurance and retirement plans, and have two decent (non-poverty level) incomes.
post #67 of 90
I voted better. My parents and my family live very similarly right now (they are both retired and DH and I both work one full/one part-time). Our income and money choices are both about the same. We live simplily and well under our means with no debt. I'm sure their net worth is higher, but they've had a much longer time to accumulate it. As a child my father was a teacher and my mom was a sahm. They rented (never owned a home until I was in college). Every fall my mom would look at the forms for free and reduced lunch and we were always just over.

DH's family was much poor than we were growning up and are not as good with money. His parents would have very little saved for retirement except that DH's frugalist uncle to ever live died weeks after retiring.
He got free lunch most of the way through school.

I'm suprised at who many say lower the only person IRL that I know well that is lower is has very rich parents that help her and her DH a ton.
post #68 of 90
Higher.

My mom was a single parent, her parents were field workers and she was a secretary. My dad rarely paid child support even though he's a college graduate and has no other children. It wasn't for lack of budget, my mom lived off nothing when she had to and always saved when she had the chance. When she remarried, my step dad had four other children so it was not better. They paid for half of my education since my sisters didn't really bother with college.

When I graduated nursing school and showed my mom my first real RN paycheck, she was silent. She couldn't imagine making that much money in two weeks. The man brings home twice as much as I do so we do quite well. His paycheck pays for the house, utilities, his car/insurance and his phone (with plenty left over). Mine pays my truck/insurance, my cell, food, Direct TV and extras (with plenty left over). I won't stay at home when after I have this kid because I love my job and part-time is three days a pay period.
post #69 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJJ View Post
How do you get to this point? I wish my husband could get there...
Luck. Being brought up "middle class" with all of the privileges that come with it. And being super frugal. We both put ourselves through college so we graduated and married with a ton on debt. We knew what we wanted right from the beginning. We wanted to work jobs we liked, with schedules we liked, retire early, and live comfortably. We did not know for sure if we wanted kids but we wanted one of us home at all times if we did. We wanted to be at a place (soon) where we could go and pursue whatever we wanted without much worry.

So we graduated and moved from the place we loved to get the "big time" jobs. We knew we would come back as soon as we could. That day came 18 months later. We both worked full time but lived in a tiny cheap apartment, kept driving the beaters we had while in school, skipped the fancy vacations, clothing, and restaurant meals. And put every single extra penny we had into our student loans. We paid off $50K+ in loans in 18 months. It was satisfying but not fun. It sucked to be the only ones we knew to still live like students after all of that hard work. But we knew it was temporary. We did really insane things like calculate who was going to have to drive further each day to decide who took which car (based on fuel economy). We packed lunch every single day. We shared showers It seemed over the top, but we had a goal in mind.....get those loans paid off and save a modest down payment on a house. Which we did. As soon as we got to the goal, we quit our jobs and started looking for our dream life. That 18 months, we made $100K a year and lived off of $25K.

We moved back to a place with a very low cost of living. We bought a house and both worked full time at the beginning. Still squirreling away by sinking extra into our house payments and still driving those beaters We maxed out our retirement input and remained mostly unfamiliar with the nice clothes, vacations, and restaurants. We kept our eyes open for opportunities. Finally, dh landed the first step of our goal. A small business. The "vehicle" to early retirement and income flexibility. He got interested in photography, got a camera, and jumped in. Now, 6 years later, it is half of our income. He has his own studio and is booked one year in advance for weddings. 12 weekends a year plus some side work keeps it going. Not to mention he LOVES it. It is not a chore.

Having that business has freed us up to do what we want. Dh quit his high-pressure engineering job and instead took a full (flex) time, full benefits, low pressure job with much (MUCH) lower pay, basically for the benefits. And I went to work very part time at a high-paying but no benefits college teaching job. Dh has worked his full time job to allow him to be home while I teach.

We are happy. But it has come at a price. All three pieces of our income are subject to risk. We *have* to have a big accessible savings account to weather "blips" in the plan. I have had to take part time jobs bartending and waitressing to keep us on track when things get slim. I do not "have to" but that is how we weather bad times without dipping into our retirement. And these are jobs I can do mostly outside of dd's awake time, minimizing the family impact.

And, as I have said before, we have been LUCKY and privileged. In a perfect world, everyone should be able to do this if they want.
post #70 of 90
It's kind of hard to compare, though, don't you think, because of inflation?

I'm not entirely sure for precisely that reason, but I voted that we're about the same. Later, I think it will end up being that we're not quite as well off, but that's fine. My dad's career was just starting at the age I am now; it really took off when he was in his 40's and that's when they started doing quite well. DH and I have jobs with less financial potential, and I think we'll always be solidly middle class.
post #71 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
When I was a baby/toddler, it was probably about the same as now, though.
And my children are babies/toddlers, so maybe that is normal.

I think it is. My mom is very good with money, and she is a real estate agent, so she sees many people's financial situations when they're trying to buy a house. She has always said, and I tend to agree, that it's just VERY hard to "get ahead" when you have young children. Kids are constantly outgrowing clothes and toys, you're paying for daycare and preschool (common in this area because of the high cost of living), you're probably not doing as much as you could to make more money because you want to spend time with your kids, and you're probably at the beginnings of your careers, so you're not that high up on the pay scale yet. Many people are still paying off student loans or one spouse is pursuing a degree, and you're just old enough that your first car is probably going to need replacing soon, so that's another expense....

OK, enough about me... Seriously, though, my mom says that all that stuff is SOOOO common that it's no wonder parents of young kids always feel strapped!
post #72 of 90
My parents were middle class. Mom was a nurse and father was in the navy growing up. We never took vacations together b/c my dad spent a lot of time at sea so my mom would take me to see our grandparents in s. Cali. At this point in my life I value the time we could've spent rather than the money.
Now my dad is dead,my mom lives in s. Cali. and I don't have memories of going anywhere as a family as far as travel is concerned.

We did have horses and did a lot with our animals though. I pretty much had everything I needed growing up.

My dh and I bought our house at 23 in Seattle. Now we couldn't afford to live here. That was about 10 yrs ago.

I think now I just enjoy spending time with my friends and family.

I feel as if I have all of my needs met at this time in my life,too.
post #73 of 90
I answered, "Lower". I grew up in wealthy neighbourhood and my father earned a very high salary which (apparently) has grown even higher these recent days. My parents are very grounded and down-to-earth people and they never raised me with an idea that wealth was better or that one had to earn a certain amount of money to be "happy".

I left home when I was 18 and I've never had any sort of financial success - I've always struggled to make ends meet. I have several degrees and diplomas but alas, not yet, any sort of vocational success. I'm a SAHM right now - my best gig yet.

My husband is a blue collar mechanic and earns a decent salary but we struggle to make ends meet. Money is a worry always. We live frugally and are not "consumers".

Sometimes I do envy my parents - they have two homes, cottage, and being frugal, they manage to pay cash for all their purchases. I worked JUST as hard as my dad did in school and actually had higher marks and have done more volunteer work but he just seemed to find the right high earning career (and the professional school, at that time, had lower academic standards than it does now) and managed to stay focussed.

I do know that money does NOT buy happy. My husband drives through the neighbourhood I grew up in and our mouths both drop at the size of the houses and the luxury cars. But, I know that an empty house or one filled with sorrow and anger - that is not good. I knew just as many if not more people with sad stories in those homes.

We live in a upper lower class area now - a lot of tradespeople with a little college or high school education. Nice people. Small homes and everyone struggles but I like the "vibe".
post #74 of 90
Definitely higher for me. I grew up living in various trailers, with utilities being shut off at least once a year because we couldn't pay the bills. All of our clothes were from thrift shops, and our Christmas presents came from charities. If it weren't for government cheese and the school's free lunch program I don't know how I would have gotten regular meals. My stepmother still had her cigarettes and Diet Coke, though, no matter how desperate things got. Ooops, sorry, do I sound bitter?

We're middle class now, but it is so much higher a standard of living than what I grew up with that I feel like my 1350 sq. ft. home (which has no wheels! and which we own!) is a castle.
post #75 of 90
My dad is a doctor, and a well paid one at that... My husband and I live on < 50K and are living like kings compared to where we were a year ago. So I do not now, nor will I ever out earn my parents... My FIL is a lawyer and does quite well for himself as well, so between all of them, our family has much different standards of living.

Seeing my parents well off is not challenging. My sister's husband is a CEO and they get handed 250-500K bonuses, in additional to impressive salary packages. Thats hard. She is 3 years older than me, has a fancy house, fancy cars, lots of help, doesn't work, and she is happy and has a great marriage (not that I am not, but she really does seem to have it all). Not begrudging their success, it is just difficult not to notice some of the disparities.
post #76 of 90
I have a white-collar job as a medical transcriptionist, but I am unionized and have good benefits that include extended healthcare, pension and sick time, among others. My husband fixes computers for the same hospital. We make about $55,000 annually before taxes. We don't have health insurance issues, though, because we live in Canada and even the 'extras' like prescriptions and eyeglasses are pretty muh covered by our jobs, at a cost of only about $40 total per month. We also don't have a car so avoid those payments. We did, however, buy a house last year and were largely able to afford this because we lived in a housing co-op (also a Canadian thing) that gave us incredibly affordable, decent housing for 10 years. We saved all that time for a huge downpayment on a house in our dream neighbourhood. I do note that, according to a magazine article I read recently, we earn about half what the average family does, relative to our mortgage. So we are definitely on the frugal side, but doing great with this! I did complete an undergrad degree and never really did anything with it; which I hear is fairly common for people who grew up in poverty and I definitely did. I feel like we've really learned how to save, budget and not rely on things for happiness, but I also feel we have been very, very fortunate for the kinds of programs we've had access to that have allowed us to thrive on a relatively modest income.
post #77 of 90

higher ...

My dad bankrupted the family when I was a toddler, right before he had an affair and a meltdown and a sudden urge to take off and be a roadie.
My mom went back to school with my brother and I hanging off her newly feminist shirt tails, so it was ix-nay on the oney-may for many years.

Even when she was working as a nurse she was stuck with my father's debt.
Christmas was a stocking: comic book, orange, chocolate coins. Birthdays were homemade brownies and a carefully chosen prezzy. We moved around a lot, camped for vacations, ate a lot of beans, read library books instead of having cable, wrapped second-hand gifts for friends in the funnies, messed around outside instead of having expensive "lessons" in anything, and wore our eyeglasses until they were too small or so scratched that it was like seeing the world through a constant fog.

I thought I was a princess! Heck, who needs new glasses when you can put a little shiny heart sticker in the corner. Good as gold!

My best friend since grade four grew up in a working class two-income household and I thought she was loaded because she had a real cabbage patch doll and not a homemade one. We're still close and talk almost every day. She and her dp make almost three times what I and my dp make, yet we have the same lifestyle ... ?

My partner and I live very comfortably on what I consider to be a gargantuan income of about 50K. Neither of us went to uni, so no debt there. We have a mortgage, but that's it for owing. We're frugal to the nth degree, and I still feel like a princess! Matter of relativity, I guess.
post #78 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
My dad bankrupted the family when I was a toddler, right before he had an affair and a meltdown and a sudden urge to take off and be a roadie.
My mom went back to school with my brother and I hanging off her newly feminist shirt tails, so it was ix-nay on the oney-may for many years.

Even when she was working as a nurse she was stuck with my father's debt.
Christmas was a stocking: comic book, orange, chocolate coins. Birthdays were homemade brownies and a carefully chosen prezzy. We moved around a lot, camped for vacations, ate a lot of beans, read library books instead of having cable, wrapped second-hand gifts for friends in the funnies, messed around outside instead of having expensive "lessons" in anything, and wore our eyeglasses until they were too small or so scratched that it was like seeing the world through a constant fog.

I thought I was a princess! Heck, who needs new glasses when you can put a little shiny heart sticker in the corner. Good as gold!

My best friend since grade four grew up in a working class two-income household and I thought she was loaded because she had a real cabbage patch doll and not a homemade one. We're still close and talk almost every day. She and her dp make almost three times what I and my dp make, yet we have the same lifestyle ... ?

My partner and I live very comfortably on what I consider to be a gargantuan income of about 50K. Neither of us went to uni, so no debt there. We have a mortgage, but that's it for owing. We're frugal to the nth degree, and I still feel like a princess! Matter of relativity, I guess.
Wow! Your mon is an amazing woman. To be handed such a lemon and still make a happy and fulfilling life for her children must have been a true act of love and determination.
post #79 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by msjd123 View Post
She has always said, and I tend to agree, that it's just VERY hard to "get ahead" when you have young children.
Kids are constantly outgrowing clothes and toys,
you're probably not doing as much as you could to make more money because you want to spend time with your kids,
and you're probably at the beginnings of your careers,
my mom says that all that stuff is SOOOO common that it's no wonder parents of young kids always feel strapped!
hehe
Well, I am the parent of young kids, but I'm not what I'd call a young parent.
I had my first at the age of 30.
I don't pay for daycare and I doubt I'll pay/enroll them in preschool.
I have co-owned a vehicle before (with my ex husband), but technically this is my first vehicle, bought in 2004.
I don't have any student loans because even with financial aid, I couldn't afford to go to WOSC, and only took the classes I had money for at PCC. That means I've never earned a degree, either.
I've already worked my way up two different careers.

I absolutely do want to spend time with my daughters and that is part of the reason we've given up my income when Abigail was born.
The other reason is that I'd only be making enough money to fund the daycare providers, essentially using my entire income to pay someone else to raise my kids while I work.

But I'm probably not the norm:
No college, left two careers, not young, with two toddlers, SAHM living in poverty by counting on my husband's pathetically small income.
post #80 of 90
I'm going to say the same now, though for a while it was more (before kids and a layoff), then lower, and now it seems I think we spend more than my parents did.

Looking back, I would have thought my parents didn't have all that much money, because my friends had many more "things" than we did. But what I didn't know at the time is that my mother had no mortgage, was able to pay cash for all her cars, furniture etc, and we lived comfortably in a middle class neighborhood. My father and then my step-father was definitely working class, though I know now my grandfather had helped out my mom (his one and only daughter) and he was well off but lived very frugally (due to living through the depression).

Dh and I are both college educated, and at one time we made a little over $100 k, but then dh got laid off as an engineer, just in time for me to have my first dd, that we conceived about the same time we just put bought a house. Then our income dropped drastically to $42,000 (my salary) + whatever unemployment paid (I think an extra $500 a month). He finally got a new job making decent money, and I was able to eventually quit my job to stay at home (with the help of family money too, for the "in case of emergencies").

The problem is that dh has kind of relatively expensive desires. I'm a saver and he's a spender. This is why we have two separate savings accounts (and 1 checking account). I have the emergency stash and he's got his playing around money. We live in a low-to-middle class neighborhood, but it's weird because there are multimillion dollar homes about 2 miles from us. There is another subdivision close to us that is definitely more lower middle class. It's a strange combination of homes around here.

And getting back to the spending habits. Dh grew up poorer than me, no doubt. All his family could afford when he was born was a trailer to live in. But they eventually could afford a nicer home in a nicer neighborhood, unfortunately which had certainly bottomed out when the local steel mill economy dried up. His mom still lived in the neighborhood that is now crime ridden until last year when she moved.

Dh has always liked technology, and he buys it. He at least consults with me first, and I usually make him wait until it drops considerably in price, but he eventually gets what he wants.

I bought new furniture last year, so it's not like I haven't had some relatively expensive purchases, but this is only after living 10 years with falling apart or particleboard furniture.

I never remember my mom making major purchases when I was growing up, but that could be she had all she needed prior to having us (including an inground pool). So I was thinking my family had less money then than I do
now, but it could be that I am just aware of the spending that's going on now with me and I didn't back then.
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