Exaggerated: Bob started out his life as a very poor Street Urchin, but by virtue of being so diligent, he earned enough money to go back to school. He now owns a multimillion-dollar corporation, and lives in a Big Fancy House in a gated community. He is Happily Married to Alice (who not only doesn't have to work outside the home, but doesn't have to work at all because servants do everything from cooking to cleaning to child-rearing), and his 3 children are straight-A students bound for Harvard. Oh, and his dog is a purebred, and has won "best in show" several times.
Downplayed: Bob is better off than he was, but he's a car salesman living in a small condo with Alice, who still works in an office. Their son Charlie is trying to go to Troperville State University to save them money.
Justified: Hard work allows someone to develop a career, and that means a job that pays well enough to support a family.
Bob has a job that he likes, although he is by no means wealthy. Alice works outside the home to help with the high cost of day-to-day living, rather than relying on Bob to support her. They live in a house that's neither big nor fancy, but it does its job, and they live in a slightly more urban area. The kids are reasonably well-behaved, and bring home decent grades, but they will likely require hefty student loans to go to college. In other words, he lives an average life.
Alternatively, Bob lives in a Big Fancy House with a beautiful Trophy Wife and everything, but his wealth came from something like winning the lottery or being born into Old Money, not through effort on Bob's part.
Double Subverted: One day, Bob gets a promotion at work, and with that comes more money. He and his family move to a bigger and better house in a more affluent area.
Double Subverted: But then Bob gets a promotion, and he and Alice start spending less time together as he is required to work longer hours (and that takes a toll on their relationship, leading to a messy divorce).