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Old 04-17-2011, 04:40 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
12,507 posts, read 9,958,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeywrenching View Post
actually I am quite frugal and dont mind it, but I also do not mind spending money if I need to as well. 2 years ago in 2009 I spent almost 30,000 dollars on a 2 week vacation into Disney World. my daughter loved it and we had loads of fun and have lots of memories and pictures as well. it might have been alot of money to spend on a vacation, but I consider it money well spent.
What in God's name did you do, fly there on a lear jet and fricken buy the whole place for two weeks? That's like half (or more) of what many people make in a whole year! Paris Hilton might spend less.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:40 PM
 
1,679 posts, read 2,455,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
We all have our individual conceptions and definitions of things, and sometimes these can become pretty skewed. According to Wikipedia, the median household income in the U.S. in 2009 was $49,777. Of course this varies considerably from state to state, as does the cost of living. But for the country as a whole, the literal middle of the middle class is (rounding off) a household income of $50,000. I agree that this would be almost a poverty income in New York City or San Francisco (and various other places), but the figure does permit us some perspective on the matter.

How is it that we have come to expect so much more? First, I would say advertising, coupled with the natural tendency to look up towards those who have more rather than down towards those who have less. Let's take the example of other peoples' cars on the freeways; we tend to notice those nicer than the one we are driving, so the beaters become sort of invisible. In addition, we cannot know, when we look at the BMW ahead of us, if that owner took on excessive debt to get that car and is one paycheck away from not being able to make his car payment.

Another reality is that the common conception of middle class has changed rapidly with time. When I entered Kindergarten in 1950, our family of four lived in a two-bedroom, one bathroom house in the suburbs. My father was a chemist who worked for the federal government and my mother was a stay-at-home mom. We were not considered lower class.

As a nation we have become very spoiled, and the current adjustments are therefore even more painful.
I don't agree people want much more then the 50K dollar household income. I make 125K, but spend only about 30K, and 13K is on rent. So I really spend only about 17K per year, or 1500 per month.

I feel middle class and live in an expensive area of the country.

I don't know a lot of people who expect a lot more. Most of the people I know who are middle class spend about the same amount of money as me. That's people living in CT, one of the wealthiest states.

Do you really know anyone who spends 100K per year? I don't and know a lot of wealthy people.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,805,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hartford_renter View Post
Do you really know anyone who spends 100K per year? I don't and know a lot of wealthy people.
People that spend over $100k/year are a dime a dozen here, if you don't know any wealthy people that spend more than $100k a year I'd suggest you don't know any wealthy people.

You only spend $13k/year on rent and you think you live in a high cost area? Please....
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,805,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
It's completely disingenuous to expect austerity out of these "middle class" expectations when your father's generation was afforded the layup, the cherry!, of widespread single income household living.
Its completely disingenuous to imply that his "father's generation" lived anything like we do today....you can easily have "his fathers generation" lifestyle on a single income today. But that isn't what you want, you're spoiled, you want what amounts to a fairly extravagant lifestyle today on a single income.

And yes, the world would be so much better if those pesky women stayed in the kitchen.....
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:31 PM
 
5,373 posts, read 8,019,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
People that spend over $100k/year are a dime a dozen here, if you don't know any wealthy people that spend more than $100k a year I'd suggest you don't know any wealthy people.

You only spend $13k/year on rent and you think you live in a high cost area? Please....
Cali IS an artificial place...

I've lived there a little while On actice duty. LOTS of HOTTT women!
GREAT WEATHER, BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

...Not called the 'granola state' for nothing. Full of Fruits and nuts, which is WAYYY past bankruptcy due to the improper financial management which is ALL OVER in Cali (Which should tell us something)

Yes, even with artifically inflated wages... it's STILL NOT keeping up.

Buddy of mine I was in the Corps with... started out as a Fire Fighter... $80K per year.

But his TINY shack in San Fran cost over 1/2 a mil....

It's FAKE NUMBERS, and IMHO why "USer ID" Has a scued view of the world.

I've bene there, and I've been elsewhere, and I think those of us who have a broader view of the world know what I'm talking about.


As to not knowing rich people.

I know a guy with over $7 Million... He's a retired Firefighter in Mobile. I wouldn't of known that (Nor do most) if it weren't for a set of circumstances beginning with me going to Recon School with his Son. (I've seen documents)

I know another rich guy'... He drives a 1980's pickup... retired Merchant Marine. I don't know what all he owns, but I know he has over 20 rental properties (Buddy I went to High School with helps him)


"Wealthy people" As a rule, are NOT 'Blatant consumers' Which iS WHY those that are make headlines.

I AGAIN recommend the book "The Millionaire Next Door"
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,022 posts, read 16,640,329 times
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Default To Hindsight2020 re your post #230

To Hindsight2020 re your post #230: I don't think we're as far apart as you seem to think. I didn't talk about the two-earner versus one-earner business in my post, but I agree that it is one of the primary differences between the 1950's and now. As far as whom I was calling spoiled, well I meant the average American. I didn't mean you specifically.

My point was that in the 1950's people were content, in general, with a level of comfort and consumption that would be unacceptable to the majority today. I didn't mean no one today lives in a two-bedroom, one bathroom house; I meant that it is viewed differently - it is no longer viewed as the norm.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:05 PM
 
1,679 posts, read 2,455,327 times
Reputation: 1284
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
People that spend over $100k/year are a dime a dozen here, if you don't know any wealthy people that spend more than $100k a year I'd suggest you don't know any wealthy people.

You only spend $13k/year on rent and you think you live in a high cost area? Please....
There aren't many more high cost areas then CT, where did you have in mind, New York City? You can cite the most expensive place in the world but you can't use that to justify middle class america. Actually right now I am spending 1500 in rent that will get you by in most cities even NY.

Sorry most people spend about 20K and live quite happily. You might know one person with a BMW, that doesn't mean you need 100K to be middle class.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:08 PM
 
16,438 posts, read 18,284,530 times
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100k? 35% Fed tax leaves 65k, more than $1000 a month for private health insurance (if you're not 55 yet) leaves 53k. State income tax varies, so we'll leave it off and just add 3% prop tax on a 250k de-valued McMansion ($7500) leaves $44,500. Do you still want that 10k vacation? 34k now. A new car every 3 years? Goodness, we're running a little low on reserves to put the kids through college now, and it's a shame we had so much income because food stamps would sure come in handy! Wow! Look at the electric bill on this McMansion! How are we going to afford to fill up our new car? We're "upper middle class" and broke! The HOA fee is due! Help!

Last edited by Bideshi; 04-17-2011 at 10:17 PM..
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:09 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,405,063 times
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There's an interesting thread about standards of living in the frugal forums.

One of the things that struck me when calculating my daily expenses was that my cost to run ONE lightly-driven, 11-year-old, paid-off car was 2/3 the cost of all the basic utilities and services my home requires (i.e., water, electric, natural gas, trash, and phone).
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:10 PM
 
16,438 posts, read 18,284,530 times
Reputation: 9482
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
And yes, the world would be so much better if those pesky women stayed in the kitchen.....
You'd be hard pressed to find one that can cook these days. They were raised to be men and compete in the work place.
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