60k a year: Is it enough to be considered middle class?
In the United States, it’s tough to be anything but a number. There are so many different standards for what can constitute being a certain social class. The way in which you live, however, may not necessarily indicate where you stand in the grand scheme of things. It comes down to income, education level and other factors that define your lifestyle and standard of living.
To be considered middle class requires a level of income and a certain educational attainment. Depending on where you live, these numbers can fluctuate drastically from one zip code to another. Many factors play into whether or not you meet the criteria for being considered middle-class.
We’ll go over some of them here to help give you insight as to whether or not you meet the standards necessary to fall in that category.
What is the current standard of living?
When you’re defining what the standard of living is, you’re looking at the qualifications of whether or not one can comfortably survive off their income without having to resort to outside sources like credit or borrowing.
The average person spends about 50% of their income on housing, 25% on food, 15% on transportation, 10% on health care and 5% on other expenses. These numbers vary depending on where you live, your living situation and other factors, but the general rule of thumb is that you should be spending about one-third of your income on housing and another one-third on food.
How much does it cost to live comfortably?
Your standard of living relies heavily on how much you spend. It’s easy to become comfortable and never leave your house if you don’t keep track of your expenses. You should always aim to be spending less than you earn. You should also be saving a certain percentage of your income each month.
If you’re looking to be considered middle class, you have to have a bit of a cushion in case something goes wrong with your living situation or you lose your job. There are lots of factors that go into determining how much you need saved up, but it’s good to have a little bit extra in case something bad happens.
How much do you make?
Generally speaking, you should make about $60,000 a year to be considered middle-class. This is an average figure that applies to most people, of course. It should be noted that there are different standards for different areas of the country.
If you look at the numbers, the cost of living in California is much higher than in Alabama. It doesn’t make sense to compare the two and say one is more middle-class than the other. It really boils down to where you live and what your standard of living is like.
Is your degree from a reputable school?
Your standard of living also depends heavily on what education you have. It’s easy to be in a middle-class standard of living if you have a high school diploma. To be considered middle class, you’re going to need a bachelor’s degree from a reputable university.
Having a degree from a school that’s accredited ensures that you’re receiving a quality education. It gives you a leg up in the workplace and makes you more competitive for jobs. Having a degree doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be successful, but it does put you ahead of many other applicants.
Is your job in a field with high employment demand?
Your job plays a huge role in determining if you’re middle-class. You can have the standard of living that most people aim for, but if you work in a field with low employment demand, you might be considered poor.
A great way to determine if your job is in a field with high employment demand is to look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can search by employment demand and see which jobs are expected to grow the fastest. If your job is expected to grow in the coming years, it’s likely you’ll be considered middle class.
All in all, being middle class comes down to a few different factors. You need to make around $60,000 a year, live comfortably and in a standard way of being. You need a steady job in a growing industry, and you should have a bachelor’s degree from a reputable university like the University of Central Florida.
If you meet these requirements, there’s a good chance you’re considered middle class. While there are strict definitions of what it means to be middle class, there’s also a huge gray area where many people fit in. No matter if you have a lower or higher standard of living than those who meet the strict definition of middle class, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable and happy with your life.