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View Poll Results: What was your family background?
Upper 4 4.60%
Middle 45 51.72%
The Rest (I don't want to label anyone lower) 38 43.68%
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-17-2005, 12:55 PM   #21
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Re: Family Background poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
We lived in a shoebox in the middle of the road were definitely "the rest".

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You had a shoebox? You were lucky!

....continuing the Monty Python skit.......
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-17-2005, 01:42 PM   #22
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Re: Family Background poll

I knew the value of a dollar very early on. We ate Mac and cheese alot, but to a kid that was heaven. One time (at band camp...) my Mom worked a second job just to get me a bike for my birthday. Eventually she remarried and life got a lot better. Funny thing is she recently asked me what was the fondest time I had growing up and I said when it was just me and her buying dented cans at a discount store. She thought it was funny but I was serious. Learned a lot about finances and the freedom that it brings. So much so that I started working summer jobs at 13 and she never had to buy my school clothes again or my first car.
Know if I could just replicate that feeling with my son without all the Mac and cheese and dented cans :P
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-17-2005, 08:31 PM   #23
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Re: Family Background poll

I grow up on the poow side of town (Paris) in a walkup tenement apartment with no bathroom. Our building had one public toilet and we went to the public bathhouse for our weekly bath or shower. It didn't feel like we were poor but what would an 8 year old know.
By the time I was 18, we finally graduated to lower middle class status by moving into a small house.
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-17-2005, 08:55 PM   #24
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Re: Family Background poll

As I recall - by age 8 - the outhouse and handpump in the kitchen were gone(1951) - we had indoor plumbing.

And sometimes once a week -* my Dad would spend the money to drive to West Kelso and we went to the public Sauna. The fourth step up the bleachers was for the tough guys. Only heard of - the 200 degree club decades later.

Scarred by the Great Depression - my parents went through post WWII prosperity waiting for the other shoe to drop. Dad retired as a log train mechanic.

I was a poster child for Happy Days - the movie. Except I used the family 1955 Pontiac Chieftain for the Drive-ins.

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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-17-2005, 10:44 PM   #25
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Re: Family Background poll

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Originally Posted by unclemick2
And sometimes once a week - my Dad would spend the money to drive to West Kelso and we went to the public Sauna. The fourth step up the bleachers was for the tough guys. Only heard of - the 200 degree club decades later.
I'm on the third step 195 club at the Y. I'm only part swede so don't have fully developed sauna heebie jeebies.
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-17-2005, 11:13 PM   #26
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Re: Family Background poll

We were very much middle of the middle of the middle class. (For this country, of course). But I grew up thinking I was rich. We had everything we wanted, and rarely did my parents say no to anything I wanted - I guess we just had reasonable wants. The biggest things I remember begging for and getting were a fancy swing set, a giant stuffed dog, and later a purple "maxi" coat with multicolored embroidered trim.

We ate out once in a while, had nice vacations, all the fashionable teenage fads that my friends had... summer camp, bikes, a split level in the suburbs. When I turned 16 my parents suprised me with a brand new lime green Vega, so I was pretty sure then that we were rich.

Only later when I left home, and the suburb I grew up in, and went away to a University full of spoiled rich kids from NYC, did I find out we really weren't rich at all. By then I didn't much care.
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-18-2005, 01:53 PM   #27
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Re: Family Background poll

Borderline middle when we were wee in the 70's. 3 kids on dad's teacher salary. Dad built our first house himself from a kit. Garage sale/thrift store clothes and bikes. We didn't complain about that, but did whine for the latest toys for Xmas like our friends got. On the other hand, we knew there was a family on our school bus route that was dirt poor, living in a tar paper shack with 6 kids, and they never got a bath and were shunned...

With all the economising, my folks put money away for the future. Then mom started working, probably making 1/2 what dad made. That put us full on into middle class--they bought a rural wooded acreage and built a bigger house on a hillside (we kids got to help build it!) Well, er, there are rooms still that are not finished 28 years later...

We believed them when they said they didn't have the money for stuff we wanted, but they did have it in the bank, earning interest, and it paid for our state college completely. Thanks, mom and dad!
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-18-2005, 04:29 PM   #28
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Re: Family Background poll

Heh, we were many things depending on the criteria. By monetary measures, my parents were pretty well off when we were growing up. Dad has always been a successful entrepreneur (at least in my memory). He was easily a multi-millionaire in the 80s, and we took fabulous vacations (Hawaii for 2 weeeks with all 6 of us staying in first class joints, etc.), had an enormous house, vacation house, private schools, and so on. He lost it all in the early 90's recession, but has since built up another business and is well off relative to most of the population. So I suppose you would say "upper class" based on income/wealth.

By status and education, my parents were anything but. Dad had a GED, and spent a few years in the Army (enlisted man, made Sargeant in 3 years). He started out as a blue collar guy in a fish store (and to this day can clean the most unbelievable variety of fish faster than anyone I know). I can remember him buying one new car. Other than that, he runs around in older (typically 7+ years at time of purchase) detroit metal (think olds, buick, etc.) and drives em until they croak. His latest find was a retired police cruiser with 91k miles on it that he bought for $7k (most he has spent in many a year). Aside from the jewerly he wears, you'd take him for a Joe punchclock if you saw him. Mom came from a poor family that finally left the small farms the generation before to go into the factories. She has a HS degree, and that's it. She worked for an airline for a few years, but basically was a housewife after the first kid arrived. She's alittle less thrifty than Dad, but you wouldn't think she was anything but middle class if you ran into her.

So I suppose that by social status, my folks were probably "lower". Is is a surprise that extremely wealthy people who look it and act it confuse the hell out of me?

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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-18-2005, 04:51 PM   #29
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Re: Family Background poll

>>He lost it all in the early 90's recession, but has since built up another business and is well off relative to most of the population

Interesting...without giving away too much personal info...care to be more specific about how he "lost it all" in the 90's? In the stockmarket? leveraged too badly on RE investments? business go bad and drained all the savings? lawsuit?...just curious what went wrong.

Good for him though getting back on the horse...some people never do.
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-18-2005, 05:33 PM   #30
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Re: Family Background poll

Hmmm

Sounds like one of the 'The Millionaire Next Door' profiles.
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-18-2005, 11:28 PM   #31
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Re: Family Background poll

Middle class poor, i.e. no money left after house/bills/3 kids

I'm am shooting for the upper class poor, i.e never look or act rich







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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-19-2005, 09:30 AM   #32
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Re: Family Background poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerEd
>>He lost it all in the early 90's recession, but has since built up another business and is well off relative to most of the population

Interesting...without giving away too much personal info...care to be more specific about how he "lost it all" in the 90's? In the stockmarket? leveraged too badly on RE investments? business go bad and drained all the savings? lawsuit?...just curious what went wrong.

Good for him though getting back on the horse...some people never do.
Hah, stock market! Dad's idea of investing is cash in a safe or maybe a savings account. You have no idea how much browbeating it took to get them to invest in anything other than guaranteed stuff.

The business went under because they borrowed money to expand (bought a building, capital equipment, etc.) right before the recession hit. The business was probably over-levered and a lot of the accounts receivable went bad. Kablooey!

What he lost was his business (65% owner). He got to keep the houses, personal assets, etc. Dad was always a saver, so he had capital to suffer through the bankruptcy and start up a new business. His partner lived a lot closer to the edge and ended up doing things like cashing in a life insurance policy, etc. to make it.

Dad always said that if he had a better education he might have managed to avoid the BK, but I kind of doubt it. If you are an entrepreneur you take your risks. No amount of schooling changes the basic proposition.

He now sells jewelry, all word of mouth and no store = low overhead. I personally think he extends too much credit, but its not my business, so WDIK. He is happy with a business that keeps him entertained, makes money and has inventory that you can carry around in a breifcase (used to have freezers you could drive a truck into).
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-19-2005, 10:18 AM   #33
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Re: Family Background poll

You didn't have "poor white trash" as a category, but frankly that's what my family was. My husband's family is "rich white trash," so it's an attitude, not just economics.

Sorry Cal, but I fell into the trap of "my kids will have it all because I didn't." I have since repented and am getting rid of stuff as fast as I can.

My mother supported 3 kids and a drunken, unemployed husband on a secretary's salary in the 50's. May she rest in peace! Growing up poor made me too focused on money, but I'm trying really hard to find balance for a lot of things. This board has helped a lot. Thanks to all of you for your good ideas.
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-19-2005, 07:12 PM   #34
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Re: Family Background poll

You need to define the range of the various classes.* Almost no one will admit to being upper class.* *I've met millionaires who say they are middle class.* It's like "independent voters" - ask them when was the last time they voted for a democrat (or the reverse).* It usually stumps them.* *
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Re: Family Background poll
Old 08-19-2005, 07:47 PM   #35
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Re: Family Background poll

Class definition - always makes me hark back to my youth - we were 'militant' union card go to the meetings working class with a capital W courtesy dear old Dad. Whereas - school teachers were considered 'middle class' irrespective of pay scales.

$, lifestyle, whether you work with your hands(ditchdiggers, pilots, surgeons, plumbers) or supervise or what - in my warped youth - a suit and tie job made you 'middle class'.

I guess - you is what you thought you was - er ah - sort of.
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