Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

...to feel slightly annoyed when people claim to be "living in poverty"

(420 Posts)
ihateconflict Wed 27-Feb-13 16:22:14

...and have huge TVs/smoke/drink/have a holiday abroad each year/wear designer clothes and shoes and handbags, and have all the latest electronic gadgets. In contrast, as a "middle class" (hate this label) professional living in an expensive area, i cant afford any of the above (dont smoke or drink, so dont include those). We havent had any holiday for 5 years, let alone one abroad. AND, when DCs were at school, their friends with EMA allowance were the ones who had driving lessons for their 17th birthday, and cars for their 18th birthday. My DCs had to pay for own driving lessons, and didnt get cars until they finished uni and were earning. I am full of sympathy for those in "genuine" poverty, but somewhere priorities and definitions seem a bit wrong

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 16:46:43

Is it time to mention goats yet?

on at least wait till page 3 for that wink

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 27-Feb-13 16:47:16

Poor spelling is due to ipad, not me

WhoPaintedTheLion Wed 27-Feb-13 16:47:54

A close family member of mine claims to be living in poverty. This person made my (foolish) parents remortgage their house so they could give them some money. This person goes on holiday, has iPhone/iPad/laptop/big tv, smokes, drinks - none of which my parents can now afford now, btw - all the charming stereotypes which I would not actually believe if I didn't know this person.

This person claims that they cannot afford to buy their DS socks etc, or fill up their car, so that lands on my parents too.

Piss takers extrodinaire.

That's just one person, though. I know no-one else like this. I seriously think this person has a mental health problem when it comes to honesty and responsibility, but that's another story. Mostly, such people are fabrications of that delightful comic book, the Daily Mail.

sydlexic Wed 27-Feb-13 16:49:47

I think there are a lot of people living in poverty due to bad spending choices and credit card bills, if they were debt free they would have enough money.

Some people are just bad with money.

There was a tv documentary about families living in poverty, a politician lived with them for a while, there were rats running across the kitchen, they had no bedding. When they listed their income of PT work and benefits it totalled more than mine at the time, I had to be careful with money but was living a nice life.

WilsonFrickett Wed 27-Feb-13 16:50:37

'genuine poverty' is such a relative statement though, isn't it? My DM for example wouldn't think twice about giving up her broadband if she had to, I couldn't work MN or find work without it.

Also the hideous tick shops (Brighter home I am looking at you) don't offer their 500% APR on small discrete portable TVs.

ihateconflict Wed 27-Feb-13 16:52:22

mrsjay, yes understand that, but is it neccessary to have TVs that are so huge that they almost fill a wall, and a TV in every room . But if you are living on a budget, surely the budget should go on essentials, like food, and heat, and not designer clothes, electronic gadgets etc. I also understand that people have massive debt to pay for things, but i cant afford these items, therefore, i dont buy them, i choose not to go into debt. The people i really feel sorry for are those who go into debt for the basic things in life. As for changing my job, why should i, i enjoy it, i am a GP, and have met some lovely people in the areas i work in, regardless of what they choose to spend their money on.

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 16:52:31

Also the hideous tick shops (Brighter home I am looking at you) don't offer their 500% APR on small discrete portable TVs.

those adverts make my stomach churn

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 16:58:09

big TVs and designer clothes is what make people happy (or think they are happy)It isnt for me and as a GP i guess you have a very good wage just you choose to spend your money elsewhere on a bigger house better area maybe music lessons for children etc etc other people spend their money on huge tellys and handbags peoples priorities when poor can be different from those who are not, the dont seem to have the opportunities or outlook others have so spend their money of Stuff and things, fwiw I dont think stuff and things make anybody happy, as somebody else said genuine poverty is relative, and are you not glad your children paid their own way in life, how you couldnt afford driving lessons on a GPS salary is beyond me,

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 27-Feb-13 17:01:33

Op

Who has told you they live in poverty?

MrsDeVere Wed 27-Feb-13 17:02:35

The people I know who claim to live in virtual poverty are the ones who are actually doing ok.

Trouble is they are so busy imagining what all these benefits scroungers are getting that they forget to notice that they are doing very nicely.

They moan that they have no money at the end of the month.
Because they SPEND IT.

Ok it may go on their mortgage and utilities and their car and school fees and trips out and clothes and blah blah blah.

But spending all your money is not the same as being poor.

I remember being poor. When I feel like I am getting a bit too bloody comfortable I do a little exercise. This might only work if you have experience poverty but I am sure you could give it a go

From the moment you get up, think about every step and what that would be like if you had no money.

i.e. Get up - is it warm, is your house heated? Do you have a dressing gown and slippers to put on? (you don't spend a fiver on slippers if you don't have to).
Go to the bathroom. What kind of loo roll do you have and do you have to worry about it lasting?
Do you have to use 25p toothpaste, the kind that gets onto everything or can you stretch to the stuff that cost 70P. Mouthwash and floss or is that just too much of a luxury?

What are you going to wear and have you got enough clean clothes or do you have to wait till you can get the machine fixed or is everything damp because you don't have a dryer.

What are you having for breakfast and did you choose it because you like it or because it is all you can afford?

Put a wash on? I like to use colour catchers and method liquid. Not an option before. £1 shop powder and no stain removers.

I won't go on an on.

That is just 10 minutes of a day. We do things all through the day that we take for granted. I am sitting looking a few quids worth of wool, listening to my DAB radio in a heated bedroom and I am on a laptop.

^^^^^^
none of the above would have been an option when I was skint.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Wed 27-Feb-13 17:03:23

I do know some people who seem to have a lot of luxuries from their benefits - nice new car, home often redecorated, gigs, tattoos, drink, big tv, big fishtank.

BUT, I'd rather have my full-time job than his disability, and I'd rather have my full-time job than need to spend my time caring for my husband in pain.
I know she's very good with money, she's helped me out a few times with advice. And it's none of my business.

cafebistro Wed 27-Feb-13 17:04:08

I agree with sydlexic - it's usually about bad spending choices resulting in debts so big that the majority of their benefits are paid out in repayments leaving them with little for food etc.
I've recently gone on to benefits as I've found myself as a single mother of 3 and I have enough to live on. But then I budget and meal plan. And I have no debt except an overdraft. It amazes me how people complain that they can't feed their children decent healthy meals because their on benefits. That's complete nonsense unless of course they're in massive debt.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 27-Feb-13 17:05:06

I agree that there are many people who cannot manage money, encouraged to go into debt by a consumerist society, priorities decided by celebrity, and banks that were willing to lend to people who clearly couldn't repay.

MrsDeVere Wed 27-Feb-13 17:05:11

Sorry but you are a GP.
You are not poor.
If you are struggling, you are doing something wrong

GPs deserve every penny they get IMO but please stop trying to make out you are somehow just scraping by.

Its embarrassing.

ArcticRoll Wed 27-Feb-13 17:05:17

YABU

zukiecat Wed 27-Feb-13 17:06:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 17:07:57

we have in the past lived in poverty we couldnt afford basics some weeks you have to get now we are comfortable not GP comfy mind wink

skratta Wed 27-Feb-13 17:09:12

hmm

Nat38 Wed 27-Feb-13 17:09:53

Due to experience, it`s not all about "paying money" for these items!
Grants are out there to enable "poor" people to afford these items!
Perhaps the places where you can apply for these grants/benefits need to change so that the money is going to the correct usage!

JakeBullet Wed 27-Feb-13 17:10:27

Is the OP bored perhaps hmm

usualsuspect Wed 27-Feb-13 17:12:49

What people are these then?

The bloke up the road? Your 2nd cousin? Your mums mate?

Who are these people?

JakeBullet Wed 27-Feb-13 17:13:03

I am deemed "in poverty" and have a flat screen TV, iPad, iPod, trendy phone, Internet access and a car.......all bought while I was in work. Hope that keeps the OP happy and able to acknowledge that perhaps I can keep the above items.

Btw the car was a £250 eBay bargain which is my lifeline ....

someoftheabove Wed 27-Feb-13 17:13:38

Really debated whether to reply or not. I just can't believe people are still saying there are families who are not really in poverty. Instead of whingeing about whether someone is poor or not, why not put your time to better use and volunteer for an organisation supporting families in poverty. You need to break out of the cycle of blame and accusation and do something to help those families that even you might consider need support. Not sure you could refuse to help someone in the grounds that they have a big telly, though!

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 17:13:52

all this talk about blaming people for getting into debt assumes that those people are well equipped to make the right life choices, are educated, have no MH issues etc. Poverty is about far more than being 'sensible' enough to make the correct choices. But then we do like to blame the poor for their own situations don't we?

usualsuspect Wed 27-Feb-13 17:16:58

Ah, just read you work in an area full of 'these people'

That's usually the case.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now