I make 50k+ a year base salary in Spokane, WA and only really work hard maybe 1-2 weeks out of a month
It's the joys of being a Network Systems Engineer
However, when it gets busy, it gets busy. Sometimes 12-14 hour days. I don't have to deal with hardly any crap al all since I'm the Engineering boss. I've been living on my own pretty much since I was since I was 17 (except for a 6 month stint when I was back with my parents inbetween jobs). I've paid for everything since then and continue to.
My parents are not well-off, but middle class and smart with money. I got my loans for my cars through my parents, which is nice. Low interest rate but I NEVER take that for granted as I always pay more then the min. payment to them and sometimes twice a month. My first car, I sold all of my sports cards (which was well over 50k worth) and bought it with the help of that money and saved the rest.
I should mention that my wife makes 25k a year right now so together we make around 75k+. We're on a waiting list for a new house so we currently live in the nicest apt complex in Spokane. The average income for Spokane is roughly 19k a year. So compared to the average, I would say we're spoiled, but we work hard, she has her degree and I have all of my Certs. in computers (MCSE 2000/2003/CCNA/Net+/A+, etc...) and we maintain. The problem with Spokane, it can change at any moment. I know i could move to Seattle and make in the 6 figures if I wanted, but I don't want to deal with the big city stuff right now.
That's my life in a nutshell, spoiled, yet works hard to maintain being spoiled