Feeling middle class

by Austin Mom

This article touches on a topic we have visited before – what is middle class. For me, this one is more accurate in describing what I see in the world around me.

I found it odd that this was based on a family of three vs. a family of four. With a family of four (I count the college student in our family still), I am pretty confident we still fall just slightly over the line into upper middle class. But, the amount of money we live off of is definitely in the middle class range. This is because we generally reinvest all investment earnings, and save (for general and retirement purposes) out of current income.

I also agree with the comments about lifestyle creep. So totebaggers, do you think this article more accurately describes you see?

This is why everyone thinks they are middle class (even if they aren’t)
It might not feel that way, but you might actually be upper middle class.

The long and short of commuting

by AustinMom

WCE’s comment on 2/8/18 regarding the preschool choice made me think about commutes for work, school or extra-curricular activities. For my first 10 years in my city, I lived less than 4 miles of my workplace and all my routine activities were within a 10 mile radius. When I met SO, he lived 12 miles from my workplace, but his house was paid for and I rented. It took me a long time to adjust to tripling my commute. From a 4 to 12 mile one way trip. A 4 mile commute doesn’t change much with more/less traffic, but when your 6 miles at 60 mph becomes 6 miles at 20 miles an hour, it makes a huge difference. Normal days, it was a 45 minute round trip.

We were willing to commute for DD#1’s school – 12 miles one way, but a different direction from work! Until she could drive, we had her use the school-provided transportation as much as possible, though we still had to take/pick up from a central location about 3 miles from home. Although DD#2 commutes to a school in another district, we live close to the border, so the distance isn’t much different, but there is no school-provided transportation.

My part-time job’s commute most days is to walk up the stairs. About once a month, I make the 12 mile commute downtown. Recently, I started a second part-time job teaching a fitness class. My current drive is 40 minutes each way to teach an hour class. However, no later than September, my drive will remain the same and I will be teaching for 4 hours. Most of it is highway driving and it is outside of “rush hour” and even then going the opposite direction. My overall commute is typically 80 minutes a week, and one week a month is becomes 2 to 2.5 hours.

How far (distance) and/or how long (minutes/hours) are you willing to commute for work, school or extra-curricular activities? Here is a link to states with the longest and shortest commutes. Does your experience match up?

These are the states with the longest and shortest commutes — how does yours stack up?