To not feel rich even though husband earns £250k a year

(760 Posts)
whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 09:34:03

I don't feel rich - I scarcely feel comfortable on this level of income.

Why is that - I grew up in a very poor family (not enough food at times type of poor) so I know what poverty feels like.

We are not extravagent spenders - we have one 1 week european holiday a year, no savings however we do have 4 children in private school(!) and live in London.

I feel unreasonable when I consider how little income others survive on but what do you think?

ssd Fri 11-Jan-13 19:31:57

jesus I get NMW and I give to barnardos every month

sort yourself out op

Sluggy6962 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:10:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Peachy Thu 10-Jan-13 09:24:22

I don;t know that OP doesn't give even if not to charity- that £85k a year on education might just be the few quid in LEA spending that allows ds4 to get his statement funded. It may not be couched in those terms in her ehad, but in reality.... (I know there are plenty of other arguments against private education, just addressing the bottom line here).

I also see point about longing: DH's main income comes in every 3 months, so we have learned to wait and plan for needs and wants; the £20 Ebay coat I ordered last week after saving for felt like a massive treat, because I couldn't afford it for ages, but when the TV blew up this week, the week the money came in, running out and replacing it (albeit with a half price cheap brand one in the sales- result!) felt less so. The brain is a complex thing.

If I had this money I'd absolutely look at private; it's a short term expense in the big scheme of things and if it was followed by putting that amount into savings / pension for a while would be balanced.

ouryve Wed 09-Jan-13 12:40:27

than Uggs.

Syntax fail.

ouryve Wed 09-Jan-13 12:38:24

I think you have a point there with the longing, LaQueen. I've worked out that after the non-negotiable living costs (and for the OP, it's clear that living in London and private schooling are non-negotiable), we have pretty much the same left over at the end of the year as she does. If I decide I want new boots, I will spend a few weeks shopping around and trying on (sometimes I don't actually find anything I like that fits, which adds to the longing!) If in the end, a £200 pair and a £70 pair were equally good, I could comfortably buy either, but I'd probably buy the £70 pair from somewhere where I'd seen them for £50. I also tend to go for practicality rather than a label, even though I could go for the label. (My £70 waterproof, wool lined Reiker boots are far better in every way from Uggs, which would cost at least twice as much)

That element of wanting something and choosing the one that's best on price and practicality makes it much more of a treat, which gives me a bit of a lift from the mundanity of life. If I could just walk in and buy a pair of everything, I doubt I'd find it much of a treat.

justmyview Wed 09-Jan-13 12:09:20

I once read that the majority of people think that they would be satisfied with 10% higher earnings. This is apparently quite healthy - since 10% higher is within reach, it can help us to remain motivated, but in the meantime, we don't feel like a failure

picketywick Wed 09-Jan-13 11:19:24

Is it a wind up?

Imaginethat Wed 09-Jan-13 10:52:43

My happiest friends are not necessarily my richest friends, they are the ones who maintain good relationships, who understand that to give is to receive, and who take time for and appreciate simple pleasures such as stories with their children and coffee with a good friend.

Having said that, I do have family and friends who are very well off and also very happy. I guess they have worked out what's important to them as well as how to obtain material possessions.

SirCliffRichardSucksEggsInHell Wed 09-Jan-13 10:45:59

Dammit abit

I'll just have to settle for 751 and 752

SirCliffRichardSucksEggsInHell Wed 09-Jan-13 10:44:52

750! Woo hoo.

I think I'm poorer than my parents, despite both of us working and she had 6 kids to feed, I only have 2. Wages just aren't high enough to pay the bills these days. Everything has gone up but our salaries haven't. Dh took a major pay cut 3 years ago (either that or be made redundant) and we're still paying the price for that. He's applied for countless other jobs but hasn't even had a reply to his applications.
I work for myself after around 6 months of filling in applications for jobs I was qualified to do and not hearing a dickie bird. So I started to work for myself but progress is slow and I'm constantly being asked to work harder for less money, which I do because that's better than the client going elsewhere and me losing work.

I wonder if my kids will look back at their childhoods with as much resentment as people here that they didn't have enough? I'd like to think they were happy and we provided for them but judging by some of these posts, they may well end up completely dissatisfied when they are older.

You can't win can you?

Abitwobblynow Wed 09-Jan-13 10:35:08

Laqueen, funnily enough your friend is showing her humanity. We all need to know that we are making a difference to the world, and her dissatisfaction is telling her she is worth more than this.

I hope she finds a great project that really makes a difference, like mentoring inner city kids, or some activism that she is passionate about.

HenryCrun Tue 08-Jan-13 23:54:30

Hopefully this will be the 749th post, which is propitious, because 749 divided by 7 is 107. If it is not, then there is a likelihood that it will be the 750th post, which is even better, because 750 is three one-thousandths of £250,000.

Lueji Tue 08-Jan-13 23:52:50

Everyone has to budget.

Look what happened to Sarah Ferguson or Michael Jackson, for example.

You have to know where you spend your money on, and make sure there's something left, particularly that can be used for emergencies or costly events.
It could be something that's not covered by insurance.

There is no limit to the level of dissatisfaction.
Eventually because you can't afford to buy that Pacific Island, for example.

Being satisfied or not can be the difference between happy and unhappy people.
Not money.
Some people will be happy no matter what. Others will be miserable regardless (eg. my exMIL).

Daisy1977 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:08:45

Hmm husband and I earn £200k less than you and I feel we are well off, compared to others. You say your husband earns ... But what do you earn? I am not just talking financial, money isn't key to feelings of well being in my opinion. Maybe you could find something to occupy your day by giving something back to others, volunteering with some truly disadvantaged? Having seen people who are having to choose between heat and food I find your comments quite offensive and self absorbed.

Arisbottle Tue 08-Jan-13 21:34:38

I am also impressed the OP has returned and posted without feeling the need to snipe back at many of the comments on here. She is a better woman than me.

I have had to learn to budget, when I earned my first wage I spent most of it in an afternoon. I just went mad, in the early days of our marriage DH was constantly having to ask me to calm down. It was something I was never taught and I was also very unrealistic about the amount of money that I was actually earning and how far it would go.

whoovian, you do sound insightful and keen to address your discontent, so I'd v much second Aitch's suggestion of considering some kind of talking therapy. Seems to have been v useful to angel smile.

Re 'I did not expect to have to budget at this level of income': I bet Richard Branson budgets grin. At a very generous level, but I bet he does. He'll know were every penny is and what it's doing at any given time. And so do lots of Very Rich People. Or their Almost As Rich accountants grin.

I am glad you got something from this thread. I think you were brave to start it and to stick with it. I suspect you are a resilient and resourceful person - use these abilities to get some enjoyment out of all you have achieved in life.

angel1976 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:45:17

whoovian I have hesitated to share my story as I know most people will find it hard to feel 'sorry' for me and it's really not a 'woe is me' type of story. I was very lucky to have met the psychotherapist at that stage of my life when I badly needed perspective/guidance in and on my life. He has given me skills and a lot of self-awareness I would not have had at this age if I had not met him 18 years ago! But I still struggle with the relationship I have with money and what it represents to me on an every day basis (I check my online balance every day on my mobile, it's as if it gives me a sense of 'everything's okay' because I still have X amount in my back). I am a very generous person too, just not to myself. I will happily spend £££ on the husband and kids but debate over and over again in my head if I should buy a £12 dress at TK Maxx the other day! I try every day to try and live in the moment and be happy cos I know I have a lot to be grateful for. But it's not always that easy and straightforward as having XXX amount of money in the bank. I really wish you all the best. smile

whoovian Tue 08-Jan-13 20:25:42

Thanks for your story Angel1976 - my attitude to money is not something I have considered much before but this thread has given me lots to think about.

I am glad that your story has worked out well given your beginning.

LaQueen Tue 08-Jan-13 20:22:29

Well maybe not the futile longing Noddy but if I have to wait for it, and make a couple of other sacrifices in order to have it, then maybe I'll feel more satisfaction when I do finally buy it grin

whoovian Tue 08-Jan-13 20:21:07

Catchingmockingbirds - He wasn't earning that amount when I married him - I was the major earner for the early part of our marriage.

I gave up the my professional income because the kids needed someone at home - something I don't regret but I am very pleased to be back at work now.

noddyholder Tue 08-Jan-13 20:17:50

Yes laqueen that is why you do not need that coat because the longing will be much better for you than the purchase and owning it

angel1976 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:16:22

whoovian I think you have remained remarkably calm and dignified in the face of some of the comments you have received here. I have wanted to post on here earlier but probably doesn't feel quite eloquent enough to articulate how I feel.

I don't think it's always about the money as such (and as proven here many times over how people can feel rich or poor however much they earn...) but our attitude about money is a manifestation of how we were brought up, childhood issues, self-esteem issues etc.

I was 'left' as a child by my parents who left me to be brought up by my grandmother and auntie's family (they both worked and culturally this was very the done thing in those days and in my culture) and we were 'poor'. I didn't have a barbie doll till I was 11 and I won her at a lucky draw at my dad's work party! I was also abused by a family member in that time. I moved back in with my parents at 11 and felt tormented as I should have been happy but I 'grieved' the loss of my other family (my auntie had 5 children and I remain close to all of them to this day, they are my 'sisters' in every sense of the word).

When I was 18/19, I got a sense of freedom and went on a self-destruct route. Finally ended up seeing a psychotherapist who helped me see a lot of my issues. One of the big issues I have is with money. I NEVER feel I have enough. And he linked it to my feelings of abandonment as a child and how I feel I need to have money so I will survive should I be 'abandoned' again. I am also fiercely independent for that same reason. I was meant to take redundancy and stay at home for a bit but I just couldn't do without my own money so I am now working PT and earning peanuts compared to my DH but I love having my own money. I also am one of the weird women who do not have a joint account with my DH as I cannot give up that control. And my psychotherapist is right, I can have £1,000 in my bank or £10,000 or £100,000, I will never have enough. Not because I want to spend it all, but because knowing I have X amount of money makes me feel safe.

When DH and I met, we were earning £18k each as interns (this is London BTW!). Our combined income is now a few times that and we are very comfortable. DS1 has started school and even though we started him at a private school (as there were no school places for him locally), we took him out of there straightaway when a local school place came up as it was what we wanted for him (local friends etc). We have a nice home and do nice things but I NEVER feel comfortable with the amount of money we have. I always worry about spending the money. It's crazy but I do recognise it's a psychological issue and I try hard to deal with it. I did the same amount of worrying when we were on intern wage, which just goes to show...

And trust me, I know how lucky we are. My boys are healthy and happy. Like I said, we don't worry about food. We are not extravagant but we also have the freedom to book a holiday if we wanted etc. We are for the most part, happy and contented. It doesn't make my worry about money (however unjustified) any less real though... And I try every day to live in the moment a bit more and not worry so much! I think you need to try and dig deep and find out where those feelings originate from so you can try to deal with them. Best of luck!

LaQueen Tue 08-Jan-13 20:01:54

Sir I think dissatisfaction among the wealthy is because the excitement of anticipation or longing has been removed from their lives?

One of my friends leads a very charmed existence. A million pound home, a house-keeper, children doing well at private school, an adoring husband - she has a choice between a new Porsche Boxster (shopping) or a new Mercedes 4X4 (school run).

When shopping with her, she leaves me standing...if she can't choose between the black or brown Miu Miu boots (at £700 a pop) then she'll just have both. Easy at that shock

She's lovely, and has been a good friend to me for a long time - but she's also one of the most dissatisfied women I know. She acknowledges this herself, and puts it down to there being no real anticipation in her life...nothing to really look forward to 'Oh, another 5* holiday in Mauritius, right okay, that'll be the second time this year...Oh, a brand new Porsche Boxster for my 40th, well okay thanks but my current one is only 18 months old'

She can just about buy anything, go anywhere, do anything...just with a flick of her credit card. And there's no excitement or anticipation in that.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 08-Jan-13 19:59:20

good luck, and well done on this thread. maybe some talking therapy might help, it seems a shame not to be able to enjoy how well you've done in life.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 08-Jan-13 19:57:59

As a child I knew that it was down to me to escape from the grinding poverty I grew up in. I dragged myself out by becoming a professional in a lucrative industry.

And by marrying a very high earner wink.

You need to change your expectations OP. As I said up thread, DP and I felt comfortable on 18k. We haven't ever been on holiday and we shop in Primark when we can afford it but our expectations at far different, comfortable to me means not worrying about where I'm going to get money for the weekly shop, being able to buy a new uniform and jacket for DS and paying the gas and electricity bills on time.

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