I lived very comfortably. I easily could have worked a summer job, but I didn't. No, I didn't travel when and where I liked, and I had to plan and put away money when I wanted to make a larger purchase, but I was never without. I lived in a nice small rent house, drove a newer model car (and made my payments), and spent a weekend here or there in the city that was about two hours away.
Believe me, the base salary for teachers in their first ten years is way above what it was then, even when accounting for inflation. Everyone wants to be paid more, but teachers today cannot say they are not paid a livable wage.