Are You a Member of the Middle Class? ...

Are you looking for signs you've achieved middle class status. After graduating college and getting a first job, your entry-level salary can make it hard to make ends meet or have a little fun. But as your income increases, you're able to set financial goals and eventually hit middle class without your parents' assistance. Here are seven signs you've achieved middle class status

1. You Own a Home or Rent the Ideal Place

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Home ownership by itself isn't one of the signs you've achieved middle class status -- there are plenty of middle class people who don't own. But if you're thinking about owning, or you already own, or you're saving up to own, this can be a sign of middle class. If you make the decision not to buy, but you're living in a place that you're comfortable with and one that offers the amenities you desire, this is also a sign of middle class.

2. You Actually Drive a Car You like

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Many lower income people have vehicles, but they don't always drive the car of their choice. If your eyes were set on buying a particular vehicle, and you were actually able to go into a dealership and purchase the car you wanted, this is one sign that you've achieved middle class status. And if you were able to purchase with a down payment, this is another indicating factor of middle class

3. You're Saving for Retirement

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Even though many people recognize the importance of saving for retirement, many low-wage earners aren't in a position to do so. If you were able to get a 401(k) through your employer and start saving for retirement, or if you're able to start an individual retirement account, this contributes to middle class status.

4. You Can Purchase Health Insurance

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There's no denying the high cost of health insurance. And if you're not fortunate enough to get paid coverage through your job, you'll have to pay this expense out of pocket. Even though health insurance might take a chunk of your income, the fact that you're able to meet this expense is a sign of middle class

5. You're Able to Afford a Vacation

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Do you take a vacation once or twice a year, or every other year? If so, this is a sign of middle class. Vacations are viewed as a luxury, so the fact that you can vacation on occasion – and actually afford it – shows that you have some type of disposable income.

6. You're Saving for Your Child's Education

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Saving for a child's education isn't a reality for a lot of families. Granted, some middle class families don't have the disposable income to save for a child's future expenses. Consider yourself fortunate if you're able to save.

7. Your Income Meets the Criteria for Middle Class

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Middle class is one of the hardest things to define. Income is a determining factor, but also relative to the cost of living in a location. Typically, if you're making at least $32,000/year as a single person with no children, you might fit the middle class description depending on where you live. According to the Pew Research Center, a typical middle class family has an annual income between $40,000 a year and $100,000 a year.

The cost of living constantly increases, and as a young adult, you might strive to reach middle class status. Continue to work, save your money, and eventually you'll achieve this. What are other signs of middle class?

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