To be absolutely fucking amazed how much money people have?

(391 Posts)
HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 17:54:08

I thought we were in a recession.

I thought people were genuinely struggling.

DP and I certainly do as we are on low incomes, but we try to be grateful for what we have.

How is it then, that so many people can afford ipads, clothes from the likes of Joules and Boden, Mercedes and Audis, Hunter wellies for their kids ffs, expensive overseas holidays and huge 10/20/30K weddings?

Honestly I'm quite baffled. Everybody seems to have an ipad - they're £500!!

What's going on?

MrsMelons Mon 29-Apr-13 18:37:12

For example - Some people earn loads so will always be able to afford nice things, some people have scrimped and saved to pay their mortgage off so now have lots more spare cash and some people may have become qualified in their jobs so earn more than before.

Unfortunately thats how life is - those people may have been fairly well off before and may have cut back a bit but will still be able to afford the luxuries in life.

I am not sure I would be particularly suprised about it though.

Snowme Mon 29-Apr-13 18:31:50

Nothing's how it looks.

I have an iPad and an iphone.
iPad was a generous Christmas gift from a friend, and the iPhone was sold to me by my sister as part payment towards the money I lent her once.

I actually have £6 in my bank, I'm a single mother on benefits. I literally have no money until Friday.

lemonmuffin Mon 29-Apr-13 17:57:23

I know what you mean, it's baffling.

Friend confided in DP a couple of months ago that they were struggling to pay the bills at the end of each month with the income they have.

Then they announced this week that they are off to Disneyland for 2 weeks, with 3 children!

Maybe it's just all on credit, I don't know.

ivanapoo Mon 29-Apr-13 16:26:00

If you saw me in my charity shop clothes and 8 year old buggy shopping in the 99p store, you would probably assume I wasn't well off. But I live in a naice house and while not loaded, I have money in the bank (but no iPad). Friends who are worse off than me have designer bags, much more expensive holidays and gadgets coming out of their arse.

Appearances can be deceptive.

nenevomito Mon 29-Apr-13 13:13:42

It depends totally on outgoings. I have friends who earn the same as me, but because they don't have children or bought their houses before the boom, have much lower outgoings than I do.

By the time I've paid childcare and mortgage, my disposable income is quite small. BUT we have been decorating and plan to do the bathroom this year by cutting back and saving. So while someone will come to my house and think 'can't be that poor if they can spend that much money on the house', the reality is that we cut back and save for those things.

TwoForTuesday Mon 29-Apr-13 13:05:55

I know a family who are a bit like that, and I have often wondered before where they get their money from. The dad is a postman, and the mum works very part time in the local shop. However, I've recently found out a few things that make sense about how they can afford all the things that they have:

They were given their house (lovely barn conversion cottage) by one set of parents. Therefore they have no rent, or mortgage costs each month.

Their two children have only high end clothes (Boden, Joules, Fat Face, Monsoon), however they don't have many clothes as such, and the mum sells their clothes on Ebay once they have outgrown them.

The mum enters, and wins, loads of competitions; in the past year she's won cash, vouchers, a UK minibreak, and various other bits and pieces.

They are vegetarian, and don't eat any junk food, or crisps, or anything like that. I'd imagine that that keeps their food bill right down.

alienbanana Mon 29-Apr-13 10:51:18

i suppose we're the sort of people the op is talking about. DC wear Boden and joules a lot, and it is expensive but it lasts so much better than cheap clothes that its often still in good condition once DC have grown out of it that I can sell it on, usually getting about half what I paid for it.

This can be more cost effective than buying second hand on eBay tbh, esp if you use money off codes.

But the fact is that 5 years ago we were struggling with a high mortgage and childcare payments. Our salary hasn't increased by anything noticeable, but our mortgage is £400 less a month due to interest rate drops and we have no childcare costs.

Quenelle Mon 29-Apr-13 10:33:44

Some people are well off with have well-paid jobs, plenty of savings, final salary pensions and very small, or no, mortgages. They are not going to be affected by the current economic problems.

It's a good job, really, otherwise there would be nobody left at all to buy goods and services and the rest of us would be suffering even more.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Mon 29-Apr-13 10:19:43

That's a really good point, thermals. I guess I was referring to people on a higher than average but not super-high income.

LaQueen Sun 28-Apr-13 17:20:28

Quite a few of our friends, got very lucky with the property boom, and bought small houses nearly 20 years ago, then sold, then bought something a bit naicer...then sold...and have now ended up in very naice 4/5 bed, detached houses with a measley £200 a month mortgage.

They've all got good, professional jobs - so just have plenty of disposable income every month, because their over-heads are so low. So, they change their cars every 3 years, have both a ski-ing and a long haul summer holiday every year, buy every latest gadget going...DCs all dress in Boden.

We didn't get lucky with the property boom, however...didn't get on the property ladder until it was too late, and so our mortgage is stupidly huge, although admittedly our house is probably naicer than any of our friends.

I'd rather have their disposable income though. So, that's why we want to downsize to a 4-bed new build - because overnight we reckon we'll be £1700 a month better off, all in shock

Toastoppers Sun 28-Apr-13 16:54:15

Looking through its a combination of

Income
Expenditure
Gifts and help you receive or give
If you have dc and then the number of dc you have
How financially savvy you are, from the small stuff like turning your thermostat down to the bigger stuff like taking risks with investments.

There are so many permutations, everyone's experience is different.
I'm not sure if personal analogies though very fascinating really help us understand each other.

raisah Sun 28-Apr-13 07:58:16

My colleague has opted out of the company pension scheme to fund her 4 holidays a year.So far This year she has gonr to S. Korea & Spain. She has got trips to Brazil & New York planned for later this year.

I paid NZD 500 for my Samsung Galaxy (that's about 260 pounds). It adequately performs everything I need a computer to do - in fact it is better than my five-year old PC (which itself cost very little).

A tablet / Ipad can actually be the most cost-effective option if one wants a new computer.

dashoflime Sun 28-Apr-13 07:40:16

I totally get the baby kit thing.

Its an expression of hope and aspiration isn't it? Exactly the sorts of sentiments prompted by a new baby. especially the precious first born

I didn't buy new kit but I have realistic hopes that my DC will have middle class lives in future.

I could afford it more easily but it wouldn't mean the same thing to me and I feel less need to do it.

still occasionally feel self conscious pushing my tatty old buggy around though

Alligatorpie Sun 28-Apr-13 07:30:27

I live overseas so have a standard of living I could not achieve in the UK ( regular meals out, cleaner twice a week, we live in a nice villa, 5-6 holidays - maybe 2 international trips per year)
But when we go to the UK for visits, I am always astounded at the amount of people pushing very expensive prams. I always wonder how everyone affords them.

thermalsinapril Sun 28-Apr-13 00:20:44

You have to have the money in the first place to be able to make "different choices" with it though MrsMangel.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Sat 27-Apr-13 23:23:53

My friend was saying to me the other week that she thought we had plenty of money, when really it's just that we are far more careful than she is, so can afford some things that she wants but thinks she can't afford, such as nice holidays and mini breaks. I think it depends on the different choices people make really.

We're quite careful with money; I'd rather try to save something each month where possible. I save money by doing things such as exercising at home with fitness DVDs, whilst she has an expensive gym membership and also pays for Bootcamp courses each month. She buys loads of clothes from pricier stores, whilst I mainly go to Primark, H&M, Dorothy Perkins, and get things from Ebay sometimes too. My youngest has a few Boden and Joules bits of clothing but these are either from Ebay, charity shops, or bought in sales. We also live near a Gap outlet store so I get the kids quite a few bits from there.

I also meal plan, and don't overspend on food, whilst my friend is at the supermarket every other day and spends an absolute fortune, and then ends up throwing things away each week.

Because we're careful, it means that we can save money most months, and then we can afford some of the things mentioned in this thread. We have an ipad, although it's an older model that we bought when the newer ones were released. It certainly cost less than £500! We also have iphones but they were free with our contracts. I'd never go and spend £500+ on a phone no matter how much money I had!

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 20:37:50

I think iPads represent fantastic value. (We have 2 both bought through dh's business so about £250 post tax. They replace mobile CD player/Ds/ laptop- well ours does (the other DH has for work). Dcs use it in the back of the car on long journeys, I use it to work from home and the dcs can play games and learn on it. FWIW we have an arrangement that I use it while dc are at school, they use it Saturdays and I use it on Sundays- works for us. But that's not realy the point of the thread is it ?

Pixel Sat 27-Apr-13 19:59:00

who actually NEEDS an ipad?

Ds does. He's non-verbal and is learning to use it to communicate. He can hardly carry a laptop round all day, and a small device (VOCA) that was once lent to him by his school and could only be programmed to say a few words was £6000! So ipad is actually cheap smile.

DinosaursLoveUnderpants Sat 27-Apr-13 19:43:33

Well, we're better off in the recession than we were before it, but only because of personal circumstance, nothing to do with the national economics.
We decide to skip gadgets and a bigger house and things to be able to afford travel and holidays. I know this is a lucky position to be in but I don't feel bad about it, though I am thankful daily that our hand-to-mouth skint days were before we had the DC.

Outwardly we probably look like we have lots of money because we have lots of holidays. I have had plenty of 'oh, you're off on holiday again are you hmm ' type comments. I've even had people assume we must be paying for holidays on credit.

But what people don't see is that we aren't interested in fashion so don't really buy any clothes unless they are needed, we don't drink at all, we don't smoke at all, we have no expensive hobbies to fund, we have one car that is cheap to run and is only used a few times a week at most meaning a tank of petrol lasts about 2 months, all food shopping is from Aldi, we only have the thermostat at 16 degrees even when it is brass monkeys, all clothes are darned and mended if they rip or tear, all summer shorts for the DC are their old jeans that have been hemmed them to make shorts, all curtains, cushions, blankets are homemade, I meal plan and all meals have to come in under a price-per-meal budget or its off the menu. I could go on and on.

Nobody sees any of that though, but they do see us taking trips and holidays and meals out and assume that we must be made of money.

DontmindifIdo Sat 27-Apr-13 18:54:12

Just a little aside about childcare costs and nannies, but if you have 2 preschoolers, a lot of childminders round here don't give sibling discounts and charge around £6 an hour per child, you can either pay £12 per hour for a childminder, or have the flexibility of a nanny (eg you set the hours, they will work when your DCs are sick, you only have to cover when they are sick) and pay them £10 per hour with nanny NI taking that up to closer to £12 per hour. The only reason a childminder rather than a nanny will be more affordable when I go back to work after having DC2 (currenlty on mat leave) is that DC1 will be in school and I won't have to pay for full day for him too - but there's little in it.

In fact, that's one thing that's got cheaper since the recession as well - nanny wages have fallen in large parts of the south east because rich families are less likely to have a full time nanny when there's a SAHM, so there's less demand for nannies at the top end and the wages have been pushed down - I know that some are earning more like £8 per hour (so costing the parents only £10 per hour), and are beginning for the first time to see they would earn more as childminders (for which there's a shortage in the part of Kent I live in, hense them getting away with no sibling discounts).

I hadn't realised this either until I got chatting to some nannies at a toddler group about their struggle to find full time jobs that paid a decent wage, and then started doing a bit of research, I still think of nanny as the "posh" childcare option, not something that would be cheaper for 2 preschool DC, and certainly if you had 3 then it would be considerably cheaper.

GogoGobo Sat 27-Apr-13 18:15:52

I think most people are cutting back but if they started from a high spending point and are now at a mid spending point then at surface level they can still look extravagant. Last year we had 3 holidays, flew business class etc. this year we are going to Europe and flying easyjet. We think we've made sacrifices but to the person who can't afford even a week end break we still look lucky. We are both self employed lady year we earned circa £12k net a month. This year it will be nearer £9k. We have made lots of changes to deal with that but to many people we are very wealthy.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 17:38:55

Now and then I considered paying the nanny an investment in the future. Yes we made that choice.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 17:35:33

HRT tax payers shouldn't have cb obviously

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 17:34:26

In 2007 nobody suggested HRT tax payers should have cb. TBH I was a bit miffed we didn't qualify for tax credits (threshold was 56 I believe) swings and roundabouts

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