The term 'middle class' means exactly what? I've always figured it means a household that brings in a fair salary, one that pays the bills with money left over for whatever you prefer to do with it, and you can pay for any emergency that may a point.

But you can also be middle class and live from paycheck to paycheck, so it's really just the amount of money you bring home, regardless of what bills you may or may not have. I consider my household as middle class, but I like to spend money on things that I might not really need, rather some purchases are things I want, and that's not always a good thing.

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I took a look at the website Go Banking Rates to find out what the income level is for the middle class, and of course, each state has its own level. The state with the highest middle-class income level is Maryland with a 2-person family income range between $60,487 and $180,558. The lowest is Mississippi with a 2 person family income range between $34,818 to $103,934.

Out of the 50 states, New York State comes in at 17 for the highest middle-class income rate, and Pennsylvania lands at 23. The Go Banking Rates website lists the following middle-class income range for households with 2, 3, and 4 members for New York State and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

New York State Middle Class Averages:
2-person family - $48,674 to $145,296
3-person family - $57,889 to $172,802
4-person family - $70,331 to $209,944

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Middle Class Averages:
2-person family - $45,202 to $134,932
3-person family - $56,004 to $167,176
4-person family - $67,667 to $201,990

The wide difference in income is because rates vary depending on where you live within each state. If your household income has you in one of these middle-class ranges, but you are still living paycheck to paycheck, Ramsey Solutions suggests a few things to help, including getting on a budget, looking for things in your budget you may be able to cut, selling some stuff you no longer need and save up for big purchases instead of going on an expensive payment plan with high interest.

via Go Banking Rates, Ramsey Solutions
H/T to Kelly Cordes WWJO-FM

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