Careful budgeting

sam woelk 2
  • Name: Sam Woelk, 41
  • Hometown: Springfield, Missouri
  • Profession: English teacher at Ozark Technical Community College
  • Status: Married with two daughters

Middle class means you own your home, but with a mortgage. It means you can pay for your kids to do some stuff, but not everything, and that only with careful budgeting. Middle class means when you buy a car, you buy it used, and you pay it off in a few years. You don't do this out of principle. You do it because that's what you can afford.

We don't feel rich, but we don't feel poor. I do my job, I love my job. I own my house, it's a nice house. I have two good kids and a stable marriage. It feels middle class.

First published June 1, 2015: 5:09 PM ET

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