Wedding Woes

income and perception (part 1) - see question in description

*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. 

Without knowing specifics of your financial situation, where do you think most of your friends/acquaintances would classify you?

optional for comments: do you feel that these people would fit into the same category as you?

income and perception (part 1) - see question in description 55 votes

top 1% ("super rich")
1% 1 vote
top 5% ("rich")
5% 3 votes
"upper middle class"
36% 20 votes
"middle class"
43% 24 votes
"lower middle class" /"working class"
12% 7 votes
"working poor"
0% 0 votes
I'm a special snowflake, and let me tell you why...
0% 0 votes
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Re: income and perception (part 1) - see question in description

  • OOOOH, I'm first. 

    I think, based on the fact that we don't have a college degree between us and that we're pretty cheap/thrifty, people would assume we're working-class. I think we're pretty solidly middle, given our actual income. 
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  • Ro041Ro041 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Between myself and FI, we have two law degrees, one masters, two bachelors, and a mountain of debt.  While we make good money (as do many of our friends - most of whom we met in grad school or law school), the debt puts all all squarely in middle class status - i.e. we could afford a mortgage 2-3 times more if we didn't have the debt.

    charlotte989875
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think because my H owns his own business, and because we travel often (and are both involved in many hobbies), our friends probably assume we have more money than we really do. In reality, we're just very lucky to have no debt, and are lucky to be able to put our money towards things we enjoy. 

  • edited July 13
    Edit:
    Found link for Canadians.
    M and I are 'upper middle class' - which actually surprised me.

    Our friends income I would consider spread out but I believe majority of them are probably middle class or at least close to it with a few in the upper middle class.
  • I think our friends would classify us as middle class because they have no idea how much we've saved. We don't have fancy cars or a nice house, but we also don't have any debt beyond our mortgage payment. However some of our friends spend like they are upper middle class (brand new 4Runner) and have zero savings to show for it.
  • We are in the upper end of 5%, but live well below our means. We both put 20% of our paychecks into retirement accounts, we have a college savings account for babybelle that's about 20% "there", we bought our house on one income, we bought american made cars (not foreign luxury brands) we paid for with cash, we don't have any student loans, we use our credit cards for the perks - not because we need credit, I love buying babybelle stuff at Salvation Army, etc. I like to spend money on throwing parties, experiences, and Amazon Prime. 

    Our friends run the gamut from working poor to super rich. How they perceive our wealth probably depends heavily on their own situation. If we are making plans with our working poor friends, we ask them out to Dairy Queen or to come to our house for dinner and beers. If we are making plans with our super rich friends, we're planning a trip or something. We never ask people to do things we think are beyond their means. 
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  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    I think because my H owns his own business, and because we travel often (and are both involved in many hobbies), our friends probably assume we have more money than we really do. In reality, we're just very lucky to have no debt, and are lucky to be able to put our money towards things we enjoy. 
    ditto to that.  I know my friends daughter thinks I have money because I "travel all the time" in her words.  I don't travel THAT much - and yeah, I find deals and save up.  She's also 20 never held a job longer than 3 months, pays NO bills and really doesn't have a grasp of what living along would be like. 

    I put myself as "lower middle/working class" but I think most would put us at "middle".

  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    H and I are solidly middle class, but could afford more if we (well, just I), didn't have a mountain of student loan debt. We bought a house that we could maintain on one income, have no credit card debt, reasonable car payments and we both contribute to retirement. I'd say that the perception among friends/family/peers would be that they see us as middle class as well. 

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  • thisismynicknamethisismynickname City By The Lake member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I said middle class but my friends might think upper middle class. Not sure. Cost of living of areas comes into play. We have a condo in Chicago, but we spent exactly what our friends spent for big suburban houses. We travel a ton, but our friends know we get free airfare due to DH being an airline employee. 
    We work office jobs and have masters' degrees, but we're not lawyers or doctors. 

    That being said, due to the cost of living here requiring certain salaries, if you were to look at "class" by national definition, we're solidly upper middle class. 
    ________________________________


  • Ro041 said:
    Between myself and FI, we have two law degrees, one masters, two bachelors, and a mountain of debt.  While we make good money (as do many of our friends - most of whom we met in grad school or law school), the debt puts all all squarely in middle class status - i.e. we could afford a mortgage 2-3 times more if we didn't have the debt.
    This is us. We have two PhDs, one Masters, two BAs and a ton of debt. I think most people seeing that and our positions would put us upper middle, but with student debt and mortgage we're middle class. Although w/o student debt it'd be a different story. 
  • We are technically the top end of "working poor" but that's because we are on one income for a three person family. If FI and I were making the same amount of money, we'd be firmly in the middle class. 
  • *Barbie**Barbie* member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    We are in the upper end of 5%, but live well below our means. 


    This is us as well. We both have bachelors, but work in management professional jobs that pay well. We also live in a very affordable city with a low mortgage and minimal debt (all financed at 0%, with full amount more than covered by cash in hand). 

    We do travel quite a bit, DK generally gets me jewelry as gifts, and I will occasionally splurge on a designer bag so perception may be that we're wealthier than we are - but we also have a pretty modest house, non-luxury cars, and I make an effort to shop sales, negotiate on prices, and use coupon and rebate apps. (Not to mention DK is a somewhat reformed "cheap ass.")
  • I'm solidly middle class, but inching my way toward upper middle class.  I'm guessing my friends are a mix who see me as either middle class or upper middle class.  My friends are lower middle class or middle class.

    I also agree that it can be very relative.  My one friend who is lower middle class definitely sees me as upper middle class.  She has always lived in Orange County, CA.  She is utterly astounded at the number of real estate investment properties I own.  I mean, logically, I can tell her all day long that real estate is 5-8x less expensive here.  Really, really.  But when you're used to modest, cookie cutter ranch houses being $500K, I'm sure it is hard to picture.  Or, on the flip side, that the rents I can collect are nowhere NEAR what they would be in OC.

    Mmmm...real estate at NOLA prices but So. CA rental rates.

    Sorry, I just devolved into fantasy.  But I'm sadly back to reality now, lol. 

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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    It depends on who you ask.  Technically we are upper middle class; we live in an upper middle class neighborhood, are DINKs, enjoy travelling and eating out.  However, even as someone who grew up fairly poor, I don't feel particularly upper-middle.  We have nice things and have freedom thanks to our situation, but I always perceived that upper middle would feel more, well, I don't know exactly what but different.  

    My friends who are lower-middle, or middle definitely think I'm riding high on the hog, and I get that because that's what I used to think too.
    image
    charlotte989875
  • apollymiapollymi Toronto member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    We're between upper middle class and top 5. FI likes to call us "DINKS" - double income, no kids haha.
    *Barbie*
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    To the gerenal world we're middle/upper middle class. We have no debt except a mortgage that's about dh's annual income. We save for retirement and college.  We take modest vacations, and pay a metric shitton for sports.  We have what most would consider a nice home.

    in this bubble we live in we are one step above Appalachia. Our home is smaller and not in the right neighborhood. I don't carry a Louis and my workout clothes aren't lulu lemon. 

    I try try so very,very hard not to compare. 
  • kvrunskvruns member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I'd say middle to upper because we take some decent vacations and my H has expensive toys (currently fun car, used to have 2 motorcycles, boat, etc). 
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I'm not sure exactly where we fall. I do think most of our friends are better off than we are (not considerably, but higher up in the middle class), and that most people probably think we're a lot better off than we are. 

  • ernursejernursej member
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    H and I are in top 5% but I'm sure some of our friends think we are 1%. Being DINKs and living well under our means equals lots of money to travel on.
    *Barbie*
  • justsiejustsie member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    H and I are in better positions than many of our friends. He has more close friends than I do, and they all are recently out of college and facing their first jobs with student debt. My friends either work in nonprofits and/or have high student debt. H has a degree and student debt, but I have a masters and no debt at all and come from an upper middle class family. I think that, coupled with us being DINKs, and our friends being in newer income situations lead them to probably think we are more middle class than we actual are. 
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  • We're between upper middle class and top 5. FI likes to call us "DINKS" - double income, no kids haha.
    God, I miss these days!!

    Between babybelle's college savings accounts, daycare, extra travel costs and all other associated costs, I feel like I'm constantly doing this:Image result for burning money gif
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    image
    charlotte989875apollymishort+sassysparklepants41
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    speaking of neighborhoods, where i live is REALLY odd. \ A few houses down from me there can be a run down smaller house with no care whatsoever probably worth $110,000 - 120,000.00 if that. Then head another direction, a few houses down still, and there's $500,000+ massive houses almost mansions.  It is SO funny to me how my street looks.  

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    How have I never heard the term DINKs before? H and I are DINKs as well. 

    apollymikimmiinthemitten
  • speaking of neighborhoods, where i live is REALLY odd. \ A few houses down from me there can be a run down smaller house with no care whatsoever probably worth $110,000 - 120,000.00 if that. Then head another direction, a few houses down still, and there's $500,000+ massive houses almost mansions.  It is SO funny to me how my street looks.  
    That's just like the neighborhood we were renting in before we moved into our home. $1+ million homes mixed in with $250k-$350k tear-downs. Super bizarre. 
  • For us I think it would really depend on how you compare us.   Are we being compared within the town?   Within the state?   Within the county?  Within the country?

    Based on a calculation tool, we're pretty solidly middle class.

    If we made the same amount in a different state, I think it would be an entirely different story.    If we lived closer to the greater NYC area, we'd be lower middle but if we lived in West Virginia, we'd be upper middle. 


    charlotte989875
  • speaking of neighborhoods, where i live is REALLY odd. \ A few houses down from me there can be a run down smaller house with no care whatsoever probably worth $110,000 - 120,000.00 if that. Then head another direction, a few houses down still, and there's $500,000+ massive houses almost mansions.  It is SO funny to me how my street looks.  
    That's just like the neighborhood we were renting in before we moved into our home. $1+ million homes mixed in with $250k-$350k tear-downs. Super bizarre. 


    Some of the older parts of NOLA are like that.  And by "older", I mean that as a good thing.  Heart of the city, where people have been living since the 1800's or early 20th century. 

    There are a lot of places where you will be walking down the street past gorgeous mansions with beautifully manicured lawns.  Cross into the next block and/or go a few blocks over and it's drug deals on the corner, abandoned or run down houses, etc.

    I'm a lot more used to it now, but it really struck me as odd when I first moved here.

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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm middle class, but I feel really poor between my debt and our cost of living. In order to rent an "average" two bedroom apartment in LA now you need to make $109,543 per year. We live outside of LA, but the cost of living is still high. Shitty houses in our area are still over $315K. Same houses closer to LA get up to 1 million plus. The way things are going I'll never be able to afford the OC either. Not that I really want to. I'd like to leave and move to Oregon or Washington. 


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    charlotte989875
  • levioosa said:
    I'm middle class, but I feel really poor between my debt and our cost of living. In order to rent an "average" two bedroom apartment in LA now you need to make $109,543 per year. We live outside of LA, but the cost of living is still high. Shitty houses in our area are still over $315K. Same houses closer to LA get up to 1 million plus. The way things are going I'll never be able to afford the OC either. Not that I really want to. I'd like to leave and move to Oregon or Washington. 


    Nowadays, I don't think Seattle is much better.  Portland would be, but that is only "relatively speaking".  Portland is also a HCOL area.

    From my H, who is originally from OR, "You Californians!  Moving up here and raising 'ar property taxes."

    My response:  "Do you actually mean raising your property values?  You're welcome."

    A joke between us, lol.  Not that either one of us have lived in our respective home states in over 15 years.

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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    levioosa said:
    I'm middle class, but I feel really poor between my debt and our cost of living. In order to rent an "average" two bedroom apartment in LA now you need to make $109,543 per year. We live outside of LA, but the cost of living is still high. Shitty houses in our area are still over $315K. Same houses closer to LA get up to 1 million plus. The way things are going I'll never be able to afford the OC either. Not that I really want to. I'd like to leave and move to Oregon or Washington. 


    Nowadays, I don't think Seattle is much better.  Portland would be, but that is only "relatively speaking".  Portland is also a HCOL area.

    From my H, who is originally from OR, "You Californians!  Moving up here and raising 'ar property taxes."

    My response:  "Do you actually mean raising your property values?  You're welcome."

    A joke between us, lol.  Not that either one of us have lived in our respective home states in over 15 years.

    I don't really want to live in either of the main cities. Lol. My goal is to get away from people but still have some society around. I would consider northern CA but the cost of living up there is just insane and I don't think it would be worth it. The goal is to rent out our house here so we can move somewhere else and escape the godawful heat and traffic. 


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    short+sassy
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 14
    ETA:

    I flipped these, oops:  I think most people think I'm more towards upper middle class, just b/c of the "new" car and the pretty damn awesome apartment.  But, the new car is b/c of someone paying off my student loans and I wouldn't have this apartment w/out a roomate.  And, really, this apartment is a bit higher than I should be spending by about $100 in my mind, but it's worth it for the space and amenities we get.
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