I would argue that if your paycheck is truly spent on taking care of the basics, then you are not "middle class."  You may or may not have been middle class at one time.  However, middle class is a truly subjective term in the mind of most Americans.  There are sociological stats that can be shown to tell us what is the median income or the mean income, or who has wealth and who doesn't.  There are many ways to measure ones economic means.  But in the end, we all tend believe we are part of the middle class, even if we may be poor (or rich).  Those of us with less money know we aren't rich, but don't want to be seen as the sloppy poor.  Those of us with more money, know we aren't poor, but don't want to be measured along-side the elite rich.  For these reasons, the terms we use to refer to one's class in America are "loaded" with connotations, more than they are an actual subject means by which to measure.

 Therefore, I ask you, are you really middle class?