Wedding Woes

income and perception (part 2)

*Barbie**Barbie* member
Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
edited July 13 in Wedding Woes
I'm doing this in 2 parts - and I realize that there's a lot of variables that can play into this, but curious what people think. 

The post about income disparity between friends made me think about this. 

Where do you fit into the spectrum, based on total household income?
You can use this tool if you're curious on actual percentages: 
http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/income-rank/index.html
(sorry for international folks, it's based on US/USD)

optional for comments: do you feel that you fit into the same bracket where the tool would classify you? the same bracket where your friends would classify you? 

income and perception (part 2) 42 votes

top 1% ("super rich")
7% 3 votes
top 5% ("rich")
19% 8 votes
"upper middle class"
50% 21 votes
"middle class"
16% 7 votes
"lower middle class" /"working class"
7% 3 votes
"working poor"
0% 0 votes
special snowflake and such
0% 0 votes

Re: income and perception (part 2)

  • Ro041Ro041 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Well holy sh*t.  The tool puts us in the top 5% - which we definitely don't feel like, spend like, or act like, IMO.  We live in a working class neighborhood in a small house that isn't trendy.  Man, student loans are terrible.  

    levioosacharlotte989875
  • You did mention variables and I think that's super important in terms of "status". A couple having a $400,000K combined income in NYC is very different from making $400K in a small town. It puts you in the top 5% nationally, but in one place, you'd probably be considered "super rich" and in the other, barely anyone would notice. 

    We fall in the upper end of the top 5%. We don't live in a fabulous mcmansion or anything - we decided to buy our first house on one income, and the smaller of the two (mine at the time), in case one of us lost our jobs or some financial issue struck.

    Our friends fill the socioeconomic spectrum - some are incredibly wealthy and some are using Medicaid for health insurance right now. How they perceive us is probably very different simply based on their own status.
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    image
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Interesting. It puts us as middle class, and I put that as the perception of us too, because while DH's parents (and most of our friends' parents) are definitely upper middle class, we didn't choose as lucrative of fields as DH's parents and siblings or many of our friends. We could have, we just didn't.

    I guess I'd say we're actually middle class, but I'd lean towards upper middle class, since I still think we have a ton of privilege, if not a ton of money. But I'm pretty sure DH's family worries about how "poor" we are and keeps trying to find excuses to buy us major things (like the fridge we'll need in our new house). We can actually pay for that, but... cool, I guess we won't pay for that, thanks.

    Anniversary

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I don't really think about my friends economic status so I wonder if they really think about mine. I mean, I drive a nice, newer model car, but H drives an older hail damaged pickup. We live in a nice, older neighborhood and we are buying our home, whereas many of our friends are renting or living with family. 

    H's mom is like @flantastic's family. I think she worries that we don't have any money so she does stuff like that. The way I see it, she has no one but herself and if that's what she wants to spend her money on, go for it. I can understand her worry, though, because H was in a lot of debt when we met, but he got out of it and is saving money now.
  • Solidly middle class until H gets out of school (on the Post 9-11 GI Bill thanks to his service). Then we'll see. I used to make more which would've put me/us in upper middle class, but I enjoy my current state gov't job, low pay and all. The friends I referenced in part one are in the top 7%, but they have only $3,000 in savings. Got to watch out for lifestyle creep!
  • You did mention variables and I think that's super important in terms of "status". A couple having a $400,000K combined income in NYC is very different from making $400K in a small town. It puts you in the top 5% nationally, but in one place, you'd probably be considered "super rich" and in the other, barely anyone would notice. 

    We fall in the upper end of the top 5%. We don't live in a fabulous mcmansion or anything - we decided to buy our first house on one income, and the smaller of the two (mine at the time), in case one of us lost our jobs or some financial issue struck.

    Our friends fill the socioeconomic spectrum - some are incredibly wealthy and some are using Medicaid for health insurance right now. How they perceive us is probably very different simply based on their own status.

    This is absolutely true. We live in NYC and while we make alright money we don't make nearly enough to buy a house/apartment or take more than one vacation every other year and we are p worried about being able to afford a child soon. But if we lived in more rural places that some friends live in while making the same money we'd be able to afford all that and probably more.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I was surprised to see not just upper middle class (which I knew) but top 7%. But like I said on the Part 1, and what SouthernBelle said, it's about where you live.  We're paying a lot in student loans and socking away a lot for retirement. With Babynickname coming soon, we'll tighten our purse strings even more.

    I'm definitely a product of the recession- we're very careful to live below our means and save/invest. If either of us lost our job, the other could pay the mortgage and the basic living expenses for the soon-to-be three of us. 

    I think all my friends are either middle or upper-middle. 
    ________________________________


  • *Barbie**Barbie* member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    We both only have bachelors (BSE), but have professional/ management jobs. We're also fortunate to live in a pretty affordable city - our salaries in NYC or CA probably wouldn't register as much of anything. For the cost of a closet in NYC, you could get new waterfront property here. 

    We bought our current house ~7 years ago, based upon my salary at the time. I make nearly double what I did then, and DK's salary has tripled, so our mortgage is really affordable. We drive reasonable cars (Subarus). We're fortunate to have paid off student loans and avoid debt beyond buying an item on a 0% financing plan. We also save and invest a lot. 

    We're in the 5% based on the tool, but I would have said that I consider us "upper middle" based on general spending habits and overall lifestyle. We do have an occasional "splurge" but I also shop for deals, use coupon/rebate apps, etc. 

    I would guess (based on jobs and lifestyles) that most of our friends fall in the working, middle, and upper middle, brackets. 

  • This is interesting. We hit the lower 20% middle class because I'm the sole provider. If we were a dual income family in our city (which is one of the more expensive) we'd be firmly in the upper middle class. Soon, very soon. 
    *Barbie*MissKittyDanger
  • kvrunskvruns member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I think the variables are so important, not just location but things like having a lot of student debt or something. I always thought my H made way more than he does because he had a lot of disposable income, but it turned out his house was paid off thanks to an inheritance so what someone normally spent on mortgage/rent he could spend on fun stuff. Now that we're married I benefit from that as well so we seem richer than just income.

    That being said I've always chosen to live well below my means. I bought my first house when I was 24 and making like $26K or maybe $30K and even as my income has increased I've always tried to live that same way. 
  • Wow!  I was surprised to see I fall around the top 15%.  I definitely wouldn't have put myself there.  However, I've leveraged a lot of debt with mortgage loans to get there.  I'd classify NOLA as a MCOL city, on the lower end of Medium.

    I tend to live pretty frugally, but also don't deprive myself.  At least not anymore.  There was a lot of "depriving myself" to get to where I am now, lol.  And I'm not sorry for that.  It put me in good financial habits.  So I still keep my bills on the "lean" side, in order to grow my business more.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • jh715jh715 member
    Fourth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    On the Canadian scale that was posted, we're right at the top of the Upper/Middle 20%, so in line with what I answered to Part 1.   We certainly live a modest lifestyle, but do have a fantastic house in an amazing neighbourhood.  Comparatively, given the current economic downturn in our province, we might score in the top 20%, given that we have both experienced job stability, and even growth during a time when many families are struggling with job loss, hour cuts etc.
  • This is interesting. We hit the lower 20% middle class because I'm the sole provider. If we were a dual income family in our city (which is one of the more expensive) we'd be firmly in the upper middle class. Soon, very soon. 
    Did you use the Canadian link I posted? I'm not sure if it's the same as the CNN one because it's blocked on my work computer ...
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    It's hard for me to answer this because we're not living together yet and we both have 2 houses, 2 sets of bills, etc.  I only answered for my income level not "ours".   I can't wait till we do live together though, even if he gets a pay cut for moving his terminal and staying "local" (no travel).  

  • This is interesting. We hit the lower 20% middle class because I'm the sole provider. If we were a dual income family in our city (which is one of the more expensive) we'd be firmly in the upper middle class. Soon, very soon. 
    Did you use the Canadian link I posted? I'm not sure if it's the same as the CNN one because it's blocked on my work computer ...
    Yes. With one income we just get by with a mortgage, all our bills and food in a very expensive city. Part of that is that we don't drive so we don't have car expenses. Once FI is working full-time again, our family income will double and we will be back in the upper middle class. 
    MissKittyDanger
  • justsiejustsie member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    This put is in the top 25% which I am surprised at, but H has student loan debt that we are aggressively paying off so we live differently than we could if we weren't being so aggressive or didn't have that debt. 
    image
  • According to the link, we are top 5%, which I found surprising. But where the cost of living is so high here in Boston, I consider us more on the middle- to upper-middle class tier. 
  • ernursejernursej member
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Thanks for the Canadian version @MissKittyDanger. I was right on that we are in the 5% category. I think I will look at my charitable contributions and top them up a bit.
    MissKittyDanger
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Lower middle class to working class.  But, like I said, I live in an incredibly low COL city and just had my student loans paid off, which has changed my income distribution massively.  I guess you can say I have enough money for my needs and most of my wants.  I'd like to travel more, but there are other things kind of in the way of that for a little while longer.  I intend to make some changes that will help with that.
    *Barbie*
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 14
      Income isn't really the total determination.  We spent years in the upper middle class, but in the past five years inherited more than a million, which we haven't spent and don't intend to.  House and cars are all paid off.  Where does this put us now?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Both the US and Canadian ones put us in the top percentage, which surprises me, since I don't really think of us in that way. To me, we have to work, so while I seen us as well off now, I don't perceive us a rich. Even as a single, my teacher salary puts me in the top 20% on that list by a lot. We've been pretty fortunate in the opportunities we've had
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  • MircakesMircakes member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    That website says I'm middle class, but as a graduate student living in Seattle (which is quickly turning into the new San Francisco), I feel much poorer than that, haha. I know I am not actually poor, especially since both my FH and I come from upper middle class families who'd never let us go without, but I feel poor living in a city where a single avocado will cost you $4. 
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Interesting. It puts us as middle class, and I put that as the perception of us too, because while DH's parents (and most of our friends' parents) are definitely upper middle class, we didn't choose as lucrative of fields as DH's parents and siblings or many of our friends. We could have, we just didn't.

    I guess I'd say we're actually middle class, but I'd lean towards upper middle class, since I still think we have a ton of privilege, if not a ton of money. But I'm pretty sure DH's family worries about how "poor" we are and keeps trying to find excuses to buy us major things (like the fridge we'll need in our new house). We can actually pay for that, but... cool, I guess we won't pay for that, thanks.
    They may have a different POV from that, actually, although the one YOU perceive they have isn't bad either. 

    When DS and DIL travel to us (Chicago) from LA, we always buy their air fare.  DS always reminds us that they can afford it and we do not need to do this.  However, my POV is that when they come here to visit, it is to our benefit that they do so, and I don't want them spending their hard earned money on something that benefits us.  He shakes his head, but is gracious to not argue. 

    With DS and SIL, we tend to make purchases for the kids.  It still helps them in the sense they can use their finances to care for their primary home and car responsibilities.  I probably purchase the majority of their clothes and shoes. If we go on any outings or vacations, we pick up the majority of the tab.  Just because DD has a sibling in LA doesn't mean they want or have to spend their vacation money on visiting him.  We enjoy having the family together, so it is a pleasure for us. 
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    MobKaz said:
    Interesting. It puts us as middle class, and I put that as the perception of us too, because while DH's parents (and most of our friends' parents) are definitely upper middle class, we didn't choose as lucrative of fields as DH's parents and siblings or many of our friends. We could have, we just didn't.

    I guess I'd say we're actually middle class, but I'd lean towards upper middle class, since I still think we have a ton of privilege, if not a ton of money. But I'm pretty sure DH's family worries about how "poor" we are and keeps trying to find excuses to buy us major things (like the fridge we'll need in our new house). We can actually pay for that, but... cool, I guess we won't pay for that, thanks.
    They may have a different POV from that, actually, although the one YOU perceive they have isn't bad either. 

    When DS and DIL travel to us (Chicago) from LA, we always buy their air fare.  DS always reminds us that they can afford it and we do not need to do this.  However, my POV is that when they come here to visit, it is to our benefit that they do so, and I don't want them spending their hard earned money on something that benefits us.  He shakes his head, but is gracious to not argue. 

    With DS and SIL, we tend to make purchases for the kids.  It still helps them in the sense they can use their finances to care for their primary home and car responsibilities.  I probably purchase the majority of their clothes and shoes. If we go on any outings or vacations, we pick up the majority of the tab.  Just because DD has a sibling in LA doesn't mean they want or have to spend their vacation money on visiting him.  We enjoy having the family together, so it is a pleasure for us. 
    My parents will do this, as will his. If we go on trips together (as we will in a week and a half), they will pay for the lodging, and probably a lot of the food, etc. I'll try to pay for a meal here or there, or anything we do on our own, but I'm content to let them cover a lot that we all do together.

    I also think it's possible that MIL in particular has gifts as a love language, so with random seasonal things or kids' clothes, I get that. There are just a few things out of left field, like the fridge. I suppose it could be argued that it benefits them when they come to stay to have a larger fridge, but it really does seem like a "let us take care of that for you, you should use that money for other things." It's generous, and I'm appreciative, but it's funny because they will specifically try to suss these things out: "So what sort of things are you going to have to get for this new house? Oh a fridge?" And a fridge will show up.

    Anniversary

    MobKazTrixieJess
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