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?

fedupofnamechanging Mon 07-Jan-13 09:35:30

we do have 4 children in private school(!) and live in London.

Therein lies your answer

IDrankAllTheGravy Mon 07-Jan-13 09:35:57

What's the point of your post? confused

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 09:36:26


MarshaBrady Mon 07-Jan-13 09:36:26

That private school is expensive for four children.

belindarose Mon 07-Jan-13 09:36:35

Ha ha ha

rubyslippers Mon 07-Jan-13 09:36:59

there's your answer - your school fees are probably £100K

anyway, don your flame proof suit as you'll need it

fedupofnamechanging Mon 07-Jan-13 09:37:36

Just to add that this thread is going to piss off people who really don't have any money, and rightly so.

If you feel skint, then perhaps you ought to look at your life choices and perhaps make some changes. Or just accept that you are spending your money on something that you consider to be worthwhile and just live with it. At least you can afford the choice.

happyhorse Mon 07-Jan-13 09:38:08

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Cortana Mon 07-Jan-13 09:38:21

YANBU, but I think the best thing for anyone is to be grateful for what you have. Not feeling rich isn't a bad thing, you are all fed and clothed, have access to education and hopefully all feel happy and loved. Just because the number at the bottom of a payslip is higher than average doesn't mean you have to feel a certain way. That way sadness lies.

Be grateful you and your DH can ensure your children never know the poverty you did as a child. Be happy and if you're in a position not to worry about money too much make the most of it.

Nancy66 Mon 07-Jan-13 09:38:29

You are well off - even if you subtract school fees that's still a hell of a lot of money. Unless you have saddled yourself with some ludicrous £6k a month mortgage

trixymalixy Mon 07-Jan-13 09:39:34

This is not going to go well, particularly on the day that people are losing child benefit.

mercibucket Mon 07-Jan-13 09:39:39

assuming you're not trolling, i have 2 theories and it is an interesting question

1 iwould say it is psychological, in the way people who have been starved in childhood can hoard food in later life.

2 there's also the fact that you will only be mixing with people of a similar income and so are divorced from the reality of 99 percent of the population

hence 'letthem eat bread'

(which i know wasnot actually said but is too great a phrase to miss)

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 09:39:58

You will get at least a 10% discount per additional child. Or can plead poverty to,the school for a larged discount if you can't afford to privately educate the four kids you chose to have.

On £11.5k a month after tax, you ought to be able to just about scrape by. Especially if you live under a bridge.

drjohnsonscat Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:11

You are very wealthy but you choose to spend all your income on sending four children to private school. I'm guessing that would account for around £150k of your pre tax income?

georgie22 Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:13

The answer is is your post OP. 4 children in private school living in London.
Think lots of people will be thinking YABU. I'd don your hard hat if I were you!

wigglesrock Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:17


Take your children out of school if you can't afford it - maybe 4 children was a bit of a stretch. This is what posters who can't afford to live on a lot less are told on Mumsnet sometimes.

pepperrabbit Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:32

People mostly spend either what they earn, or slightly more IME.
It's the minority who save properly.
So you earn a lot and you spend a lot.
However - you have a lot more choices than the vast majority to curb your spending.

I kind of understand your point. People do live to their means, or very often beyond them. And private school is expensive. And coming from a relatively poor background and now living quite comfortably but nowhere near as comfortably as you I do understand what you mean about not feeling rich despite having much more than in the past.

What, though, is the fucking point of your thread love?

TheWalkingDead Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:50

As karma says, it's the four children in private education that's the big expenditure for you. And living in London must be expensive.

I suppose we all cut our coats according to our cloth. We live on around £25000 a year, with two children under 5 so we wouldn't ever be able to consider private education for example.

ledkr Mon 07-Jan-13 09:40:56

Are you taking the piss op?

Odd, myself, DP and DS live on under £20 000 a year, but I don't actually feel poor. It would be interesting to compare. Any way, YABU.

MadamFolly Mon 07-Jan-13 09:41:17

You send 4 private and live in London.

What are your school fees like and what is your mortgage like? Both those things could very quickly eat up your income but private schooling and a big house in London are luxuries as well as an investment for the future.When your children have grown and you have paid for your house you will be very well off indeed. Do you work? Do you want to?

HollySheet Mon 07-Jan-13 09:41:23

Pull your kids out of private. Sell your house and move into a nice little 4 bed and then you'll be rich, RICH beyond your wildest dreams...


Haroldbishop Mon 07-Jan-13 09:42:34

Clearly because you have 4 kids in private school. Take the kids out of private school then you will feel rich. You are very well off but have chosen to privately educate your kids so it's unreasonable to complain about not feeling rich. You have made the choice.

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 09:42:46

take your children out of private school and send them state school then you will have more money you are taking the piss right 250k seriously people can only dream of that kind of money, sorry little sympathy when it is your own making

lolaflores Mon 07-Jan-13 09:43:22

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thebody Mon 07-Jan-13 09:43:23

Get a job then love and contribute.

Oh and yawn yawn yawn.

Sugarice Mon 07-Jan-13 09:43:31

£250,000 and you say ' I scarcely feel comfortable on this level of income'.

Yes you are very very unreasonable to think that!

You have a big income. And big outgoings.

If you want, you could work too.

Theicingontop Mon 07-Jan-13 09:44:24

People will always find a way to live within their means, even if that's 250k per year.

If you want a bit of room in your budget spend less on school fees. Or, you could look at it from a different perspective.

What do you mean when you say you scarcely feel 'comfortable'? No spare change? Having to budget? Elaborate.

Sargesaweyes Mon 07-Jan-13 09:44:47

Dear God! It's not often I let myself get annoyed by mumsnet but your post has pissed me off. You are choosing to send all of your children to be privately educated and live in London. Open your eyes and look around you. I have just sat and worked out how I am going to make £160 last until payday and for what it's worth I consider myself bloody lucky!

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 09:44:49

I can't bear whiners. I also can't stand people with money who complain about how expensive luxuries are. We have one child (because we can't afford more) in a private school (because we chose to), we bought our own place and both work. Boo hoo.

Yawn. And YABU.

BumpingFuglies Mon 07-Jan-13 09:46:17

What an interesting first post, OP.

Perhaps you need to count your beans more often? To give you that feeling of richness. I use pennies, but you could always use £50 notes.

TheSecondComing Mon 07-Jan-13 09:46:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 09:46:25

Maybe it's because she is losing child benefit, the poor love.

GaryBarlowsPants Mon 07-Jan-13 09:47:00

What Holly said ^

From your OP it would appear that despite earning £250k, you and DH are living beyond your means.

And PS if this is genuine, I feel really sorry for your DH, who I am assuming works pretty hard to provide that kind of income - so you can sit on your backside whining about not feeling 'comfortable'.

chickydoo Mon 07-Jan-13 09:47:16

We live in London 4 kids, 2 at private school, 1 in primary & the other at College.
Between us we earn less than half of what you earn. We have paid off the mortgage & have a small (very small)
Amount of savings. I actually feel guilty we earn this much even though we both work bloody hard, when others on MN really struggle.
Look at your outgoings, what car do you drive, mine is 11 years old, very unfashionable & on its last legs.
What clothes do you wear? Second hand? Primark? (I doubt it) what handbag do you have?
Sell what you don't need, move to a cheaper house. If your kids are young, a good state primary is fine. If they are over 16, a sixth form college is a good option. 250k is a massive amount to earn, you will get a flaming here I am sure.
In all honesty your budgeting must be crap!

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 09:47:30

this thread has put me in a bloody mood now seriously what did you expect people cant even empathise with your terrible situation <rolls eyes> far less sympathise

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 07-Jan-13 09:47:33

What else did you findin your naval OP?

What an utterly crass post.

Ven assuming you've lost sight of the economic plight of many, many people you could pull your kids out, move and buy a cheaper house as just a few suggestions.

Hope you've given up your CB.

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 09:47:42

Not a troll - just someone who is struggling with why I don't feel more comfortable when we clearly have a huge income.

I work part time (school hours) and as soon as the little one is big enough I will work full time.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:09

Wow. Inverse snobbery is still alive and kicking on Mumsnet I see.

Is it any wonder the OP didn't come back after those responses? hmm

Imaginethat Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:11

You need to tell the DM pronto!

gazzalw Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:37

Try living on £50,000 a year with two DCs and you will know what not feeling rich on decent salary is like....

It is your choice to spend money on sending four children to private schools and that will make a huge dent in your income...

I am pretty sure that the more you have the more you want which is why I would never have a career that was all about money....greed breeds greed generally!

Sorry not the answer you are looking for....

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:51

I don't think YABU as you seem to be musing rather than moaning.

Your lifestyle choices mean that you don't have as much disposable income as people would expect. Do you own cars?

YABU not to have savings though, even if it's just a little to fall back on in an emergency.

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:52

My family income is a fraction of yours (we'll be keeping our child benefit) and yet I feel well off. I can buy pretty much whatever I like, however, whatever I like is exceptionally modest as I'm not very materialistic, don't like designer stuff or expensive cars and we have a great time holidaying at Haven.

Maybe if your tastes are more expensive, or your spare cash is so reduced by your outgoings (private school, big mortgage, expensive cars) that you don't have much left over, then you feel poor because you can't buy whatever you like.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:57

I like Mercibucket's post. You probably have some kind of emotional/psychological issue about money due to having been hungry in childhood. Counselling? You can scrape together the money if you try hard smile


We manage a perfectly good lifestyle on just over 5% of your income.

annoyedandonstrike Mon 07-Jan-13 09:48:59

"We are not extravagent spenders" -

um yes you are - 4 children all in private school, a holiday every year ?
sounds pretty extravagent to me!

JustAHolyFool Mon 07-Jan-13 09:49:21


I'm on £1 million a year and I've just had to let our gardener AND the girl who shines my shoes go.

If it gets any worse, I'll be cooking my own breakfasts.

Some of you poor people who don't have to pay for private school, 6-bedroom houses, 3 cars and a full staff don't know you're BORN.

thebody Mon 07-Jan-13 09:49:29

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Haroldbishop Mon 07-Jan-13 09:49:46

Also why is "feeling rich" so important to you? Is it a status thing? As long as you have enough that's what matters.

As well as taking your kids out private school you could downgrade your house. Or you could get a job if you are desparate to "feel rich"

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 09:50:40

Oh, X posted!

To be fair OP, private school for four children is going to cost a fortune, so it's no wonder that you feel you don't have much left over!

People match their outgoings to their income. Do you have a fairly high mortgage as well?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Mon 07-Jan-13 09:50:42

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TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 09:50:50

Oh, and do sort your finances out so you save more. I must say I find it a bit odd that you don't - people I know who are rich and were seriously poor as kids are often saving a lot, putting a slightly irrational amount into life insurance policies, etc, to try to deal with the insecurity.

Theicingontop Mon 07-Jan-13 09:50:53

Perhaps it's the fact that you came from poverty, that in fact you are very comfortable but the lingering anxiety that you learned from your childhood is still lingering.

I was brought up with barely a stitch of clothing and hardly a meal on the table, and now we have money, I don't feel like I can spend it. I find it hard to buy myself anything and have a squirrel mentality.

You can certainly afford therapy. Try that?

manicbmc Mon 07-Jan-13 09:51:37

Are you George Osbourne's missus? confused

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 09:52:40

Why is it insensitive?

Don't people with high incomes have as much right to post about how they feel as people on low incomes do?

I must have missed that bit of the Talk Guidelines.

TandB Mon 07-Jan-13 09:53:08

Why do people calculate how well off they are based on how much disposable income they have after paying for the things they choose to spend their money on?

You have a large income. The fact that you have chosen to commit a large chunk of it to buying a house in an expensive place and privately schooling your children doesn't mean that you are suddenly less wealthy - it just means that you have less money actually sitting in the bank than someone who has the same income but a small mortgage and no school fees.

We don't have much spare cash at the end of the month. But that is because the vast majority of DP's decent (not £250k level though!) income goes on a fairly big mortgage and most of my much smaller income goes on childcare. But that is what we have decided to do - dedicate the bulk of our income to buying a nice house in a nice place. If we'd bought a much smaller place in a cheaper village we'd have a fair bit of spare cash to spend on holidays, cars, private school fees, whatever we fancied.

It is thoroughly distasteful to openly whinge about not being well-off when you are spending your very large income on luxuries that you chose to pay for. You are well-off - you just aren't as fabulously wealthy as I'm sure most of us would like to be.

Get over yourself.

firawla Mon 07-Jan-13 09:53:10

OP its a massive amount of money. After having nothing growing up surely you would realise that? you are doing yourself a disservice really if you feel poor on money like that, as you are very very well off - most people would feel happy about it. Maybe as someone mentioned you have issues about anxiety regarding money? cos otherwise just dont get how you can be scarcely comfortable on that income

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 09:54:00

Wow. Inverse snobbery is still alive and kicking on Mumsnet I see.

Is it any wonder the OP didn't come back after those responses?

they have 250k a YEAR A YEAR i am not a snob or inverse as you put it, but how can we empathise with somebody who is whinging at her income, perhaps her expectations are far to high for their lifestyle , maybe she is her life isn't fulfilling and she needs to look beyond feeling rich' as she seems to have a very comfortable lifestyle and just moaning about fucking nothing angry

AllYoursBabooshka Mon 07-Jan-13 09:54:09

Oh dear, I think lack of sleep has made me overly understanding.

Arf at Manic. grin

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 09:54:47

Manicbmc - no she can't be, she was born even richer than George.

AudrinaAdare Mon 07-Jan-13 09:55:31

No savings?

DH earns very little and I am a carer and even we have food money for a couple of months under the mattress.

Lucy411 Mon 07-Jan-13 09:55:50

Honestly I think this post is insulting if anything I have less that 10% of your earnings a year and you are really moaning about it?


Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 09:56:17

What is it about the huge income you dislike?

Yes, living in London can make you feel poor. We have a block opposite that has a flat going for £16 million and all the cars parked belong to Arabs, Russians and Chinese. Do I feel poor? In comparison, you betcha! When I go to other parts of the country and see house prices, salaries and school fees, do I feel priveledged? Oh yes.

Luckyluckyme Mon 07-Jan-13 09:56:25

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manicbmc Mon 07-Jan-13 09:57:03

Damn - now that would have been worth a good flaming. grin

OP - come back when you have less than 10% of that income and are struggling to decide between clothing your kids, putting the heating on or having food in the house.

Learn to budget what you have or get a damn job.

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 09:57:24

Don't people with high incomes have as much right to post about how they feel as people on low incomes do?

we are not on a low income well we are compared to the op of course people are entitled to feelings but come on she doesn't feel rich in comparison to who the parents at her childrens school her neighbours the friend who can afford 3 holidays a year ,

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 09:57:38

OP YANBU to feel insecure, especially if you have come from a poor background.

DH and I run our own business, and when business is good we have a very good income (although nowhere even remotely close to yours). However it can be fickle and so we never feel fully comfortable.

Your main problem is obviously the school fees - that it a huge commitment for 4 children, especially if you are starting from primary. I remember reading once that if you are relying on income rather than savings to pay school fees, then you can't actually afford it because in theory you might need to stop paying them at any time.

You will receive a bashing on here, maybe not entirely undeservedly seeing as there are many people on a tiny fraction of your income who really are struggling to put food on the table.

Perhaps you should consider getting some more savings in the bank so that you feel more comfortable.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 09:58:10

You don't have to empathise, but there's no need for some of the nasty posts either.

It's certainly not worth getting angry about.

OP has every right to feel what she wants and to post what she wants. This website doesn't exist purely for low earners and those on benefits.

AThingInYourLife Mon 07-Jan-13 09:58:17

I think this could have been an interesting topic of conversation.

What's with all the grumping?

Lollybrolly Mon 07-Jan-13 09:58:33

well £210k of your husbands salary will be taxed at 40% before you see the rest and thats not even thinking about the standard tax on the first £40k and the NI on it all.

However - I suspect the school fees eat the bulk of the remainder.

You will get flamed for starting this thread you know - most well off people on here do get heavily slagged and I say that as a skint poor unemployed person with a DH on a below average national salary and non home owner not as another "rich" person. Alot of vitirol on here to well off people.

Hope you have your hard hat.

ethelb Mon 07-Jan-13 09:58:40

Take home on £250k would be about 140k am I right? They could be paying up to £120k per year on school fees leaving just £20K which no, isn't very much to live on in London with 4 children.

SarahStratton Mon 07-Jan-13 09:58:56

Same here Horace, I manage on less than £20k and don't feel even a tiny bit deprived, neither do my DDs.

princesschick Mon 07-Jan-13 09:58:59

Err... are you looking for sympathy???????? In this economic climate with a household income of £250K (gross I presume?) - putting you in the top 1% of earners in the UK???? <baffled emoticon> If your husband earns £250k and you are struggling (really, though? Are you struggling?) to manage move out of London to a naice area, make hubby commute, put kids in a naice state school and get on with your life and be happy? We're not hard up and we bring home significantly less (and I mean SIGNIFICANTLY less but I'm not going to disclose my personal finances on a public forum) between us, things will get tougher when our baby comes later this year and we will lose my income. But we will cope and have a lovely little existence and in a very desirable area of Sussex. I know this, because I've sat down and worked the numbers and we didn't overstretch ourselves when choosing things like our house and car.

If it's advice you're looking for... perhaps the grip shop for a pair of mahoosive grips would be a good starting point? grin

As an aside I'm a bit shock that your husband doesn't have a pension, you don't put some away in ISAs each year etc etc etc?? Do you work? If not I hope you have good life cover, critical illness and PHI cover in place. Or that your husband has this through work. Seriously, go and check this out.

sheeplikessleep Mon 07-Jan-13 09:59:43

OP - just imagine how much more disposable income you'd have each month if your children were in state education.

You cut your cloth to suit your means.

manicbmc Mon 07-Jan-13 09:59:49

You could even send your kids to less expensive private schools. I'm sure they aren't all £20k a year per child.

elizaregina Mon 07-Jan-13 09:59:51

wow people can be soo bitter when they feel poorer than someone! I am sure we are way down near bottom of pile but I don't begrudge people who have more money than us. You should never ever begrudge people anything or be jealous you simply do not know what struggles or un happiness others have to bear also.

You have poverty consciouness - lots of more well off people have it - you would think they are dirt poor - runing round panicking turning off lights - never running dryer - panic about paying for car parking etc when they are literally millionaires....

Its probably a question of persepective and if you have been poor I think its really sad that now you are in a position of comfort and yet you cant deeply properly appreciate it - I am not sure how you gain persepective though? Counselling, Voluntary work at shelter or something....

BarredfromhavingStella Mon 07-Jan-13 09:59:58

Meh, people live to thier means I suppose, I would, however, like to feel as uncomfortable as you if it meant having that sort of income.....

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 10:00:14

Just vitriol to someone who is well off but complains that they aren't. She has eyes - how much does she pay the nanny? She knows that people are scraping by on minimum wage, dreaming of a foreign holiday, yet she complains.

cupcake78 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:00:29

The one thing you do have is choices and the ability to give your kids a good start in life.

Think of all those people with kids on minimum wage living in London.

cupcake78 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:01:22

The one thing you do have is choices and the ability to give your kids a good start in life.

Think of all those people with kids on minimum wage living in London.

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 10:01:50

I just think it is sad ( in the real sense of sad ) that the op feels 'not rich' when she has a high income coming in she sounds as if she is moaning about her choices , if you are unhappy about choices change them ,

acceptableinthe80s Mon 07-Jan-13 10:02:27

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ppeatfruit Mon 07-Jan-13 10:02:57

Tunip is right. Another way to help your discomfort is to go to hypnosis which can help overcome your general unhappiness.

Or say to yourself "I will not allow the shadow of my sad childhood to influence my whole life". There; sorted grin that's saved you some money!!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 10:03:19

Feeling rich or feeling poor can be very relative to what those around you have.

We have a good enough income, but I could feel poor or rich depending on the people you put me in a room with.

I'm not saying I have a huge amount of sympathy with the OP. I don't. Clearly she is well off and lucky to be so, but I don't think it's fair for posters to jump in with the biscuits and the sarcasm.

It would be very different if OP had six children and an average income and came on here saying that she doesn't feel comfortable with her income. Yet someone who has more children than they can afford would get sympathy, even though they have chosen their situation every bit as much as the OP in this case has.

AudrinaAdare Mon 07-Jan-13 10:03:26

We get some housing benefit and I need to speak to them today. I am on hold being forced to listen to Fleetwood Mac sad They do it deliberately. It's barbaric angry

HollySheet Mon 07-Jan-13 10:04:50

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LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Mon 07-Jan-13 10:07:19

What proportion goes on schooling? That is your answer, if you had that ever month you'd feel rich wouldn't you?

ppeatfruit Mon 07-Jan-13 10:08:49

I LOVE Fleetwood Mac audin be thankful it isn't bagpipes!

ladymariner Mon 07-Jan-13 10:09:13

You ask what we think. I think YABU. And I also think you're taking the piss.

Jins Mon 07-Jan-13 10:09:28

I don't jump on these threads very often as usually they are started by someone with a 60k gross income but in this case it's a bit different.

250K is a very significant income and if you don't feel rich then there's something wrong somewhere. Is it because your income is under threat and you are worried about coping with the outgoings that you have taken on?

MammaTJ Mon 07-Jan-13 10:09:43

OP, if one of your DC breaks their school shoes, do you have to get permission from the HT to send them in trainers until the next pay day?

No! Didn't think so. Now that is 'not comfortable'.

As for only one European holiday a year, well, I would be thrilled with a UK one.

AThingInYourLife Mon 07-Jan-13 10:09:59

It doesn't sound to me like she's looking for sympathy, just wanting to talk about how she feels.

But apparently only people who are struggling are allowed to have feelings.

Other than Xenia.

AudrinaAdare Mon 07-Jan-13 10:10:47

It's Enya now, ppeatfruit

Now that's hardship OP.

TeaBrick Mon 07-Jan-13 10:11:09

How would it feel to feel rich though, op? As your income grows, your outgoings tend to grow too, ime. I'm on about £14000 pa, and I feel I have enough money to do the things I want to, and enjoy life. I have a small mortgage, and obviously no school fees! I feel content with what I've got, and very lucky really. I'm working towards a better-paid career at the moment. Maybe you need to cut down on unnecessary spending? It sounds like you must have a LOT of money passing through your hands, but you don't seem to be feeling the benefit of it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 10:11:28

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impty Mon 07-Jan-13 10:12:24

I agree that feeling rich can depend on what those around you have.

I also agree that more money does not always mean more disposable income.

But more money does mean more choices. You live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, you privately educate your 4 children. These are your choices. You can afford them you just can't afford expensive holidays and to save lots as well.

You might want to think about what is really important in this life though. Health? Happiness? Helping others? Being grateful for what you have?

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 10:13:29

Perhaps living in London is soul destroying for her being unhappy rich or poor it is the same . people put far to much emphasise on lifestyle and are hard pushed to change in case they look like a failure,

landofsoapandglory Mon 07-Jan-13 10:14:48

Aww you poor thing! It must be terrible for you!

We are comfortable. DH earns around £37k and I don't work because I am disabled. Maybe you should have another look at your outgoings.

Tailtwister Mon 07-Jan-13 10:17:03

Private school fees and living in London can't come cheap...

I guess you just have to decide what's important to you. If you want to fund a private education then you're not going to feel rich are you? It's all relative anyway.

AThingInYourLife Mon 07-Jan-13 10:17:33

"Maybe you need to cut down on unnecessary spending?"

The economy really will be fucked if people in the OP's income bracket cut down on unnecessary spending.

I'm interested in whether the OP is unusual in feeling the way she does, or whether people on £250K are struggling to afford a very comfortable in London.

If they are, that matters.

Ali - good point! What was I thinking? grin

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 10:18:25

Thank you for the posts.

I realise that we have a very high income and I realise that we have choices that many others do not.

We do not have a nanny or cleaner.
We do not have lots of holidays/ go skiing
We do not have lots/a new car (we have a 5yr old galaxy)
no designer clothes, handbags etc

I don't need or want these things.

A lot of the posts expect me to have these things because of our income but we don't

I work

£250k income
£110k tax
£85k school fees
13k mortgage

leaves 42k for everything else.

I think part of the issue is that I felt private schools were not needed particularly at primary but my husband was very keen. Perhaps I have some lingering resentment over this decision.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 07-Jan-13 10:18:53

I don't begrudge the OP her money. And she probably doesn't have a huge amount of money left after the school fees are paid. However, it's bleeding obvious that the school fees are why she has no 'spare' money. The OP needs to see that she is lucky to have been able to make the choice wrt the education of her children.

I can't see the point of this thread. If she was someone on a good wage, who wasn't paying out for obviously expensive things and was still struggling, then this might have been an interesting discussion about budgeting/cost of living/perceptions regarding wealth. However the solution is just so bloody obvious it begs the question of how someone can possible be so thick as to even ask.

Bonsoir Mon 07-Jan-13 10:19:07

£250K income in London, with four children in private school and two adults at home is not enough to feel rich.

JustAHolyFool Mon 07-Jan-13 10:20:44

You realise OP, right, that a great many of us don't earn anything LIKE 42K to begin with? I wouldn't know what to do with 42K, I really wouldn't.

And that our children won't get the start in life that a private school education affords?

So to be honest, I don't really know what your problem is. If your problem is that you don't feel you and your husband are making the best choice as regards educating your children, post that. But coming on here and saying that, with a 250K income you don't feel rich is going to get people's backs up.

EmmelineGoulden Mon 07-Jan-13 10:21:12

The school fees will eat up a huge proportion of your takehime pay and though you presumably value the education you are buying for your kids, it isn't something you will really feel in terms of an extravagant lifestyle.

But this feeling of not really being rich enough isn't down that much to what you do spend your money on - it's all about what you don't spend your money on. Our culture sets us up to only really look at those who are doing better than us. Or those choices of others that give them something we don't currently have.

You know you have more money than virtually everyone else on the planet - but you are only looking at the people who have more than you, so it doesn't feel that way. (Similarly, virtually everyone reading or posting on this board is near the top of any sort of ranking of wealth on the planet, but we rarely look at the lives of the poor in other countries, we look instead at the rich here and abroad).

Stop looking at what you can't have and start thinking about what you can and do in a positive way. It is hard to do this in our culture, but it will make you a lot happier.

Apparentlychilled Mon 07-Jan-13 10:21:21

OP, I can see why some aren't that sympathetic
your situation but as money is such an emotive subject for us all, but I do have some sympathy for you.

My childhood was very financially chaotic and though my finances are now v steady (and I would say we're comfortable, though no where near your household income levels), money (and the idea of not having any) literally terifies me. I've started to have some counselling to help w this. Maybe something you'd think of? And I also think some of it depends in your social circle- I'm guessing that all your friends and peers are very well off if you have 4 kids at private school (assuming you are friends with patents from school). Maybe broaden your social circle to include a wider range of people (maybe by doing activities w your children that aren't to do with school eg brownies/cubs, rhyme time at library type things) and you may get another perspective on your finances.

Bonsoir Mon 07-Jan-13 10:21:40

You had two children too many. I realise the total unhelpfulness of that opinion, but I do see this problem around me a lot - people overdoing the number of DCs and then finding that their standard of living does not meet their expectations.

forevergreek Mon 07-Jan-13 10:22:16

You have to remember though that op will be paying 50% tax on that. So half the amount will be take home ( £125000), then a mortgage and school fees wouldn't leave much tbh.

£125000- say £60000 school fees (£15000 each) is £65000

£65000 in London doesn't get you much. £500 a week would get you a nice 2 bed , £800 for a 3 bed. A lot more in reality.
£800x52 = just under £420000

£65000-£42000= £23000

£23000 to pay all bills/ transport/ foods/ lifestyle etc doesn't seem like a Lot when the gross earnt is £250000

The £40k rent/ mortgage would only be for a small 3 bed if lucky so that's why op probably doesn't feel 'rich'

We don't earn anything like op but I understand where she is coming from and don't understand all this ' well I earn 2 1/2 pence and live in a box, be grateful attitude'

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 10:22:38

AThing - I think people even on that income are feeling that they don't have the spending power that they did. Everything is so much more expensive, taxes are higher and the climate is uncertain.

It is very easy to look at someone further up the income scale and think that they must be able to spend at will and not have to make compromises and choices.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 07-Jan-13 10:23:45

OP - would you mind disclosing your major outgoings - school fees and mortgage?

We live on less than 20% of your income, but budget well and will be going skiing in a couple of weeks. I feel very privileged - some say lucky, and we have been lucky in some respects but it's no accident that DH and I are both professionals, and that we have bought a house that we can comfortably afford.

It's all about how you choose to spend the money that you have available.

JenaiMorris Mon 07-Jan-13 10:24:23

AudrinaAdare sad

OP, as others have stated £250k gross is quite different to £250 net.

You live in London. I bet your house is absurdly expensive. You have four children in private education. I'm not surprised there's little left after that tbh - you ought to be throwing things into your Waitrose trolley with gay abandon but you probably can't. There will be others in you mileu <poncey face> who have far greater incomes, already own proerty outright or have massive help with fees from GPs.

What you do have however is choice - far more than most of us.

As an aside, a European holiday can be anything from a few hundred quid bucketshop deal to the Costas (holidays in GB really aren't always cheaper) to ££££s on the Cote d'Azure.

Fakebook Mon 07-Jan-13 10:24:32

You're that other woman who spouts shit every so often in the DM aren't you?! grin. The one who always claims poverty when she has all 4 children in private school and they've remortgaged their house a few times. If its not you, then my apologies.

CheungFun Mon 07-Jan-13 10:25:14

42k for everything else is a lot!

I'm sorry but I just don't understand. We have less than 42k a year to live on and we pay our mortgage, all the bills, holiday and treats out of that.

I think no matter how much money you have, you will always feel you don't have enough.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 10:25:29

OP - in fairness your mortgage is not huge. £42k a year to pay bills, car costs, food, clothes, holidays and so on is £3.5k a month. Which is a lot - although not riches I agree.

Where is all that money going?

Jins Mon 07-Jan-13 10:25:44

Well 42K after tax for everything else should realistically leave you with enough to cover most expenses that I can think of (and quite a few more that I can't imagine) so I'm back to my point that there's something wrong somewhere in how you look at your finances.

It may well be that you are resenting the money that goes out on fees if you weren't keen to start with. It could also be that in the back of your mind you are panicking about how you'd cope if the income wasn't there any more. Take control of some of the 42k. Set up a savings plan. Watching it grow will be therapeutic

The poor woman's just lost out on £60.50 a week in child benefit. Give her a break.grin

FarrahFawcettsFlick Mon 07-Jan-13 10:27:42

Have you thought about moving out of London?

What's your borrowings to equity ratio? Cheaper equivalent/better house in suburbs.

Schools - do your DCs go to top tier London indies (St Paul's/Westminster types) or could you look at out of London prep/indies? There are very good ones out there.

Commute doesn't have to be hell for DH - depending on where outside you look at.

landofsoapandglory Mon 07-Jan-13 10:27:43

£42k left after you've paid your mortgage and you're bleating! Bloody hell, that's more than DH earns. Stop moaning and think yourself very, very lucky!

ppeatfruit Mon 07-Jan-13 10:28:35

Audrina grin I like Enya too grin that office must employ an older mature person to choose the music !!!!

EuroShagmore Mon 07-Jan-13 10:29:08

I can see the OP's point, and the problem here clearly is the school fees.

When I was earning 14k a year straight out of university I couldn't imagine what it would be like to earn 250k a year. I now have friends on that kind of money and they are not exactly bathing in 50 pound notes, although they are comfortable. They live in a 3 bed terrace (albeit in a "naice" area of London). They buy their clothes in Next and Gap. They don't have a cleaner or nanny. They have an 8 yr old car. They don't exactly have to watch what they spend in the supermarket, but they live nowhere near the lifestyle I would have expected they could have afforded on that kind of money. And that's without the school fees in the equation (although a chunk does go on maintenance to an ex wife).

MolotovCocktail Mon 07-Jan-13 10:29:29

Last year I couldn't afford to buy my DD1 a new school coat. I trawled eBay and managed to purchase something for £4.88 + p&p, and still wondered if I could have saved. Then, the bottle steriliser for DD2 broke, and we panicked because we dent have £30 to buy a new one.

Wake up and realise how very fortunate you are.

forgetmenots Mon 07-Jan-13 10:30:22

It's the schooling, then OP.

I'm not a believer in private education but that's the choice you've made - if you had put your kids in a state school you'd have an extra 82k to play with every year. That in itself is a hell of a lot of money.

If you feel the school is worth it then you should feel rich in that you can afford that good choice. If not, move the kids and enjoy your money. I don't think it's as straightforward as £ and pence.

princesschick Mon 07-Jan-13 10:30:23

You sound very unhappy. Maybe go and sit down and write down 10 things you are grateful for and then schedule some time to talk to your husband about all of this. £85k is a lot for school, it would seem your issue isn't not being well off but not wanting to spend so much on education? And I can see your point. You can't go through life feeling miserable and scared about your circumstances.

But FWIW from where I'm sitting, it sounds like you have a very nice life - with £3,500 p.m. spare to pay for food, bills, holidays etc etc - that's still no small sum but then money is relative and you are used to spending double this on school fees alone per month.

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 07-Jan-13 10:30:41

Well, it's the school fees. Otherwise you'd have 127k after tax to do "everything else".

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 07-Jan-13 10:31:00

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

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 07-Jan-13 10:31:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

badtime Mon 07-Jan-13 10:31:47

I haven't read the thread but yes, YABVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVU.

MolotovCocktail Mon 07-Jan-13 10:32:07

And you sy you have 42k for everything else

Sweet Lord!!

That's is many people's entire household income that pays for everything full stop

threesocksmorgan Mon 07-Jan-13 10:32:17

ffs all this I am so poor.
try being really hard up and looking at losing thousands cos your kid isn't deemed disabeld enough

Viviennemary Mon 07-Jan-13 10:32:23

Four children in private education is the reason why you don't feel rich. If you want to feel rich then take the children out of private education and you will have a lot more cash. If you don't want to do that then carry on feeling deprived. hmm

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 07-Jan-13 10:32:57

110k in tax! Ouch!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 07-Jan-13 10:34:16

I'm not suprised you feel poor. I'd feel poor on that level of income as well. Poor love, it must be awful that your DH only earns that. Are you getting all the benefits you can? Can you find a job to help?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 10:35:13

The school fees aren't the problem, the ridiculous level of tax is the problem!

If I were paying that much of my money to a government that don't have a clue how to spend it wisely, I think I'd be pretty pissed off too!

manicbmc Mon 07-Jan-13 10:35:31

After all the expenses, you still have more than twice what we have. You aren't having to choose between heating and food. You aren't in your home wearing a million layers to keep warm and your kids are clothed and being well educated.

Count your blessings OP.

kirstytate Mon 07-Jan-13 10:36:10

Well, I guess I have some sympathy but you choose the private schools and to be fair you presumably choose to live in a nice part of London. I wonder why you started the thread...?

The only thing I would say is don't take it for granted. DH and I were on that kind of income five years ago then, thanks to a double redundancy, we were reduced to about a quarter of that. We are both considered "old" ie. in our mid-40s so unlikely to get back into the sort of jobs we had. Private school is now out of the question and we have had to move out of London - which makes it impossible for me to go back to working in the city because of the commute.

So... don't feel too sorry for yourself as circumstances can change and you could find yourself feeling a lot poorer.

Nuttyprofessor Mon 07-Jan-13 10:36:23

And that is why I love the Essex grammar schools.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 07-Jan-13 10:37:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 10:37:13

You've cut your cloth probably too much.
4 dc in private school and living in London is your problem. But even on £250k you really have no room to complain imo.

stubbornstains Mon 07-Jan-13 10:37:46

Perhaps you could volunteer at a local food bank for a while OP? That might give you a sense of perspective.

kim147 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:38:00

That's a lot of tax - and you're not even getting free education out of it.
I guess you've got private health insurance as well.
And don't claim benefits.

Thanks for subsidising us poor people smile

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 07-Jan-13 10:38:22

Your disposable income (the 42k) is more than double our entire income before tax. We are comfortable.

You need to budget.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 07-Jan-13 10:38:50

If your DH earns £250k a year, what is your income on top of that?

Your mortgage is nearly 3 times as much as ours and we don't pay school fees.

All choices that we have made.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Mon 07-Jan-13 10:38:52

I think you need to keep an eye on your outgoings more carefully. Perhaps keep a record of literally everything you spend money on for a few months, i find a spreadsheet helps!

You might find that its lots of small things like spending too much on food shopping or meals out, or buying the best of everything, so if your kettle breaks for eg buying one for several hundred (if they do them that expensive!) instead of 20 quid. Those things all really add up over time.

Where do you get your kids clothes and your own? I assume your husband has nice clothes for work?

Kids clubs? Buy lunches out instead of taking packed lunch to work?

You really need to look at it closely because you may well be spending thousands a year needlessly.

A lot of what you are spending you probably wouldn't even miss.

hardboiledpossum Mon 07-Jan-13 10:39:20

bloody hell, 42k to spend after your mortgage is a lot of money! We have less that that before we pay our London rent and still manage 2 holidays a year. Basically you must be crap at budgeting. 20k per child is also a lot on school fees. I personally think before age 7 is a waste of money on school fees, maybe pull the ones in prep out and save for secondary instead.

forevergreek Mon 07-Jan-13 10:39:54

Op those school fees sound high!

Where are they at school?

For example wetherby boys school is an excellent prestigious school in notting hill , fees are £5500 a term ( so £16500 a year). There is discount per sibling so approx £14000 each =£56000 a year. A saving of Nearly £30000. There must be other excellent private school nearby that are cheaper.

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 10:41:30

Fuck me, 85k in school fees. Are you getting your money's worth there?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 10:42:23

OP - you haven't said anything about pensions, health insurance, and anything else that comes off salary before you see it. Perhaps part of the problem, and the reason you have no savings is that you have never sat down and done a budget. Maybe what seems like disposable income actually isn't - I would expect that a chunk of your DH's salary goes on pension costs?

Peachy Mon 07-Jan-13 10:42:26

Your post hasn't pissed me off and I have No Money.

We did have money once (not as much as you but more than enough) and we didn't feel particularly rich because we had accumulated debts and the like that ate it up.

We now have far less but also zero debt, am hoping the next stage is zero debt and a decent income!

I think I am lucky to live somewhere that has decent schools and no need for private, I know my sister is using private now and I can't say I blame her- or envy her- you have to do what's best for your children that you can afford. You CAN afford private but you won't get by without a significant drop in disposable cash, obviously. £42k is more than enough though.

As for tax- don't begrudge a penny of what we spend, not keen on how this lot spend it in terms of policy but know that the UK would be a far worse place without it. Just rather see it go on disability than wars is all.

I can see where the OP is coming from though. I grew up in real poverty and even though we're ok now I still fear having no money. But at the same time I'm paralysed by having no concept of saving. My mum was always in debt and ran from one bill to the next so I don't have a background of planning or saving. It's one reason I agree with the suggestion of teaching budgeting in schools.

So maybe the OPs background means she will never feel safe with money? And as others have suggested some counselling may help.

MagicMN Mon 07-Jan-13 10:42:48

85 k for education??? Well, you are bloody rich.

What are you complaining about here? I did not tell you to have 4 kids. I did not tell you to send them private.... I really cannot understand the reason for your post.

Is one or more of your children at boarding school or are they all at senior school? Otherwise the school fees seem a bit high even for 4 children. Prep would be around £12K and Senior £20K. On the other hand your mortgage is quite low for a decent size London house.

It might help if you take a step back and recognise that the ability to pay a mortage and school fees means you are rich enough to make choices that are not available to many people.

I think the timing of this thread on the day people are losing their child benefit is a bit hmm

SparklingSnow Mon 07-Jan-13 10:43:45

How terrible things are for you. You must really be struggling financially hmm

YABVU. You should think yourself very lucky to have anywhere near that amount of money to live on. Not be sitting feeling sorry for yourself

pinkdelight Mon 07-Jan-13 10:43:45

I agree with the poster from a couple of pages back who questioned why 'feeling rich' had to be linked to the money you had left over each month. It's not that you should stop paying school feels so you can have more in the bank and 'feel rich'. If you (or rather your DH) thinks the fees are worth paying, then pay them and feel rich that you are able to do so. You don't sound like a shoes / handbags / ladies who lunch type so presumably school fees are as good a use of the income as anything. Unless there's something specific you wish to use it for, then just chalk your feelings up to childhood insecurity and accept the fact - this is what feeling rich (if not oligarch-style rich) feels like.

Also, you know what they say about how it doesn't matter where you squeeze the balloon, there is still the same air in it (or something)? Just because you are 'rich' doesn't mean all your worries and inner fears disappear, so of course you'll feel dissatisfied despite the apparent dream lifestyle. Human condition and all that.

Oh and I notice you didn't include your own earnings in that income sum, so maybe it's more than 42k left over after all. Phew!

So after your outgoings you still have 42k......and no savings!! For that alone YABU!

gingerchick Mon 07-Jan-13 10:44:44

My income is 10 thousand a year. I have two children, I haven't had a holiday since I was a child, my children have never been on holiday they are 6 and 3, you are rich, rich beyond my wildest dreams get a
grip OP

ICBINEG Mon 07-Jan-13 10:45:25

Feeling rich is a state of mind and nothing to with numbers.

I feel extremely lucky that I have always felt well off even though our family income is nowhere near that level (35K total atm).

It is sad when people can't enjoy what they have but I don't know why one person feels rich on 25K a year and another feels poor on 250K a year and I certainly don't know how you can change your mindset such that you see yourself as rich.

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 07-Jan-13 10:45:47

OP, I think you're getting flamed unnecessarily - although not unsurprisingly. To me, you don't come across as if you'e moaning, rather musing.

Certainly it seems as if you feel that you should be feeling better off. And that's ok to feel like that, as long as you're able to realise that actually you are in a very fortunate position - certainly you are much wealthier than the vast majority of people, and again, much much wealthier than you were when a child.

So maybe it's about re-framing? You've posted your income upthread. Yes, £250k income is a lot, hence tax is a lot. Your mortgage is very very low, relatively! Again, count yourself lucky here! And £42k 'spends' is high. It's very very much higher than average family income, as you well know.

You (plural) have chosen private schooling, which accounts for the bulk of your outgoings, and seems to be the source of some of your angst. How can you make peace with this decision? Or change it if you need to? How can you ensure that you're measuring success by what you have and the luxuries and opportunities that you're affording your family, (ie ++++), rather than feeling you're falling short because you're not racing around in Maseratis, dripping with jewels?

MarshaBrady Mon 07-Jan-13 10:47:02

Your mortgage is lowish for London. School fees the main culprit.

What do you spend the rest on?

catsmother Mon 07-Jan-13 10:47:09

Perhaps you could consider "Wife-Swap" ?? hmm

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 07-Jan-13 10:48:45

Why don't you put your kids in a good state school for now with a view to sending them to private when they reach secondary age? Then you can save some of that 85k you currently spend on fees so that you already have money put aside for when they get to private school.

I'm a lone parent on 12k a year and have to admit I'm struggling to sympathise with you that much, but there are always ways you can cut back. Private schooling is expensive. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. <shrugs>

ledkr Mon 07-Jan-13 10:48:55

Bit corny I guess but this has made me realise how lucky we are. We are lucky to clear 30k between us but I am rich in friends, good times and happiness <boak I know> but true.
We have happy kids,nice cosy home, good laughs daily and a few breaks away each year and a long hiday thanks to our old camper.
I couldn't be more content if I had more money. If have more possessions and nicer clothes and a bigger house but I wouldn't be any happier.

mybabyheadbuttsme Mon 07-Jan-13 10:50:32

I've namechanged but I am a regular poster. Firstly sorry for typing errors but I am breastfeeding and baby is more than a bit wriggly.

Our family have a similar level of income. DH has five children - 3 from a previous relationship and two with me. Four are privately educated with 2 of them at boarding school. The fifth is not in school but will also be private. It is a huge proportion of our income but is in our opinion worth it so we make sacrifices in other areas.

Most of our children's clothes come from charity shops, hand downs and ebay. We set a grocery budget and stick to it. We rarely holiday abroad. We only have one car. we ebay things we don't need. We have a modest life style in a normal 3 bed house. Lots of our friends have huge houses, expensive and eat out four or five times a week - thats not for us.

However we would not say for a moment we feel poor. We save a proportion of our income every month. We both work (though i'm on maternity at the moment)

We are comfortable, we are happy and we know we could cope on a much lower income if we had to because we've deliberately been careful. Reading posts like the OPs really sets me on edge.

we are RICH OP have you got that? There are people really struggling out there. I see it every day in my job. I know people who are choosing between food and heating, the bus fare to school and jumpers for the children, paying the electric bill or taking out a pay day loan. You yourself say you were raised in that sort of environment so you of all people should realise you are very well off now

Anyway moral lecture over. Off to my name change back to my normal person I hate talking about money as a general rule

nokidshere Mon 07-Jan-13 10:51:18

I think it's quite sad that the OP doesn't feel comfortable even with a good lifestyle and income. Feeling good isn't always about money is it?

And people wouldn't know what to do with 42k? Really? That's just as sad!

irishchic Mon 07-Jan-13 10:51:20

hmmm...250k a year, you probably get around 150k after tax. 100K of that is paying for your 4 kids in private school, leaving you with 50k to feed and clothe a family of 6 in London, i am not suprised you havent much left over, London is not a cheap place to live in. Also, with 4 kids in private school there is probably a lot to "live up to" in terms of the kind of income bracket they are mixing with, there are probably kids in those schools whose parents are on a couple of million a year!

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 10:52:11

Are you overdrawn/in debt? Or are you just saying that you don't have the disposable income you'd like, to spend on clothes and more extravagant holidays?

Mosman Mon 07-Jan-13 10:53:26

I have four children. We had three in private primary school. By the time number joined I figured out that for the same £21k I could employ a heck of a lot of specialist coaches to fill in the gaps I saw in state education and buy a lot of lovely clothes instead of the £2,000 a year in crappy uniform that wasn't even decent quality.
When you add number four into the equation it was nearly £30,000 a year post tax income. That was too much to be shelling out for me.

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 10:53:32

That's some expensive schooling. We are at an effing expensive school in London and that is still way below what you pay. Even if they all went to CLS/G that'd still only be £16 a year per child before sibling discount).

Only £13k mortgage - that is small for London (about £200k mortgage then, assuming its not interest only.)

£42k leftover to cover food, bills etc - and by your own admission you don't wear designer or splurge much - is more than enough after paying for the roof above your head and the school fees.

If you are comparing yourself to the oligarchs wives then yes, you are poor. Even if you were to quadruple your income, they'd still look down their reshaped noses at you.

You're not poor, not by most standards. Don't look at what others have, but if you must compare, look at how some people live in this day and age in this country.

ICBINEG Mon 07-Jan-13 10:53:43

grrr I just realised we wont be able to send our DD to a private school. I knew they were expensive but fuck me they are REALLY expensive. Oh well....

AmberLeaf Mon 07-Jan-13 10:53:44

£42k for bills/food/spends is perfectly adequate.

But, if you want to feel 'rich' you need to face up to the fact that you cant afford private schools!

What a waste of money they are really for your children.

My children are doing well in state school as are many other bright kids, I can't afford tutors and all that sort of thing, but you could and it would cost you way less that £85k per annum.

ErikNorseman Mon 07-Jan-13 10:54:47

Wtf is your point? You spend the equivalent of a yearly salary on each of your 4dcs to go to private school. That's why you don't have pots of cash. Presumably you chose to have 4 kids and privately educate them? So there you go. Mystery solved hmm

I do sort of understand where you are coming from. I see this with DH, he comes from rural North Africa so from genuinely poor background (the family only got running water a few years ago). He has really struggled to accept that we are not poor, I work in the City so have a good income. We send our children to private schools and he kept telling me we couldn't afford it, I had to sit him down with the figures quite a few times before he accepted that actually we can afford it and the mortgage we currently have etc.

OP - if you have disposable income of £42K pa then there really no excuse for not having any savings. You could easily put £500-£1000 pm away without having to cut back too much unless you are living an extravagant lifestyle. How do you feel about having money? I know some people who didn't have much growing up who have found having money and taking responsibility for money absolutely terrifying and quite a burden.

RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 10:54:58

OP, lets put this into context.

If you saved just your disposable income for two or three years you could buy the house of many people on this thread outright - no need for a mortgage.

A house that those people on this thread do not even own themselves as they can not afford to get a mortgage for it.

So you are perfectly right when you say you feel unreasonable when I consider how little income others survive and that you scarcely feel comfortable on that level of income.

TBH its got nothing to do with you actual income, before or after tax - £250,000 is a red herring; its essentially how much money you have left after you've paid the mortgage and the bills. Private schooling is not counted as part of that.

You deposable income is actually £127k a year, as you make a free choice for schooling. That is comfortable. Even £42k a year is comfortable.

You need a reality check of what 'comfortable' is really defined on in the UK.
I suggest if you are struggling with this emotionally, that you try and do some voluntary work to find that grip you are looking for.

mrsjay Mon 07-Jan-13 10:55:41

Also, with 4 kids in private school there is probably a lot to "live up to" in terms of the kind of income bracket they are mixing with, there are probably kids in those schools whose parents are on a couple of million a year!

that is what i was saying after i finished ranting they are trying to live a lifestyle that they can't AFFORD and the millionaire children in her kids school is probably rubbing off on them regardless off income trying to live a certain sort of lifestyle when you cant afford it will make people unhappy imo

Strangemagic Mon 07-Jan-13 10:56:32

Whoop de doo,no business of anyone but you,am unsure why you need to share it's your life/money ,do what you want with it.

MustafaCake Mon 07-Jan-13 10:56:46

Fantastic post mybaby

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 10:58:23

But nobody is forcing the OP to send four children to private school. She has decided this. If they were in state she would be rolling in it.

They won't be in school forever. If you are happy with their schools then think of it as a lot of money well spent.

nilbyname Mon 07-Jan-13 10:58:43

£42K after bills is actually quite a good disposable income, even in London.

Lets say you spend £5K on travel in and around London for all of you
Thats £37K
Then you have one holiday a year, say £4K
Thats £33K
Then you have new clothes and shoes, lets say £400/month for all of you, including school outfitting £5k
THats £28k
Then food shopping, lets call that £500/month, £6k
Thats £22k
Treats, perhaps some dinners out, theatre, stuff for the children? £400/month
Thats you down to £18K
Car running costs £300/month including petrol £3600
Thats you down to £14400

I am seriously racking my brains as to why with such a large disposable income, you feel like you have so little.

You need to write down EVERY expenditure, and find out where your ££ is going.

realcoalfire Mon 07-Jan-13 11:00:15

Why don't you use your husbands ample earning power to move to a house in the catchment of a good state school, possible a grammar school , and send your children there.You may feel more 'comfortable ' then

AnyFucker Mon 07-Jan-13 11:00:36

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

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 11:00:41

I feel as though the op is getting the same kind of vitriol as if this was a benefits bashing thread.

OP I have no real advice, I doubt I would ever be in your position but I do think that you need to start budgeting and taking a real look at what your families outgoings are.

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 07-Jan-13 11:02:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BalloonSlayer Mon 07-Jan-13 11:06:30

Interesting point about what makes you feel rich.

Before I had DCs, I worked full time and so did DH. My sister often made comments about our spending, sort of implying that we were a bit profligate. eg I remember she had a new electric cooker coming and was stressing about installing it, I said that they would do it for you for an extra £10 and she said "I can't afford an extra £10 to install it."

The thing was that her H had taken early retirement and my sister worked 20 hours a week. She had not at that point worked full time for about 15 years. They could afford to do this as they had no mortgage, an early pension, and money invested from previous house sales.

DH and I however, had a big mortgage, few savings so we had no option but to work full time. TBH honest I would not have expected us not to do so. This did however mean that we could find the odd tenner to have our cooker installed.

My sister saw it as "You are so rich you can afford to pay £10 for something you could probably do yourself if you tried."

But I saw it as "You are so rich you can afford to only work 20 hours a week between the pair of you whereas DH and I have to work 85 hours a week between us."

So some people see rich as "cash in your pocket," others see it as "security and no need to work too hard."

BunFagFreddie Mon 07-Jan-13 11:10:55

Private school and living in London are the reasons why you aren't feeling the benefit of the 250K per year. Then again, it's what you choose to spend your money on and if those are your priorities you need to plod away really. You'll have more money as the children finish school and then Uni.

It's not fair to flame you, because most of us have gone through stages in life where we feel bad, even if other people think our circumstances are good. As mercibucket pointed out, you probably have issues from your childhood. Even millionaires have issues with feeling finanicially insecure. However, you can't take the money with you once you're gone. I'm sure most of us here would love to send our DC's to a good private school, so you should be very proud of yourself because of what you are doing for them. smile

PeshwariNaan Mon 07-Jan-13 11:10:57

Damn! DH makes 40K and we are in the top group of earners! We live in London too but can't afford a house! Baby on the way, no nursery! Lady, you are lucky!

impty Mon 07-Jan-13 11:11:13

Our income is 70k less than yours. We have a higher morgage but have 60k disposable income. We chose not to send 2dcs to private school as felt we would be over stretching. I suspect that's the big problem.

We have a comfortable lifestyle/ savings etc....but that was our choice.

StuntGirl Mon 07-Jan-13 11:12:09

Interesting website turnip, thanks for sharing. I often think we have no money but it just goes to show we're doing much better than I thought!

Did you try the OP's figures in that website?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 07-Jan-13 11:14:33

Hmmm. Yanbu. You have an unusually high income but by the time you have paid tax and school fees it is greatly reduced to a level which is not so uncommon. Consequently you don't feel 'rich' as such.
Your mistake is the school fees. I seriously hope all your kids manage first class degrees. You need to see some serious bang for your buck achievement wise if you are paying £85k a year!

TheSecondComing Mon 07-Jan-13 11:14:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tralalalaha Mon 07-Jan-13 11:15:27

OP come back and tell us what private school(s) for heaven's sake! You'd feel richer if you moved the kids to more affordable schools for a start.

Make yourself a spreadsheet, put in all outgoings and work out where your money goes, then see if you still feel poor.

For what it's worth, I earn twice as much now compared to ten years ago, and I feel poorer. Our mortgage is more expensive, we have two kids and no lodger, so that's why I expect. But I still do far better than my brother for example, who is completely screwed because the company employing him went bust, didn't pay him for two months and he can't get housing benefit to cover that period because according to the housing benefit people he should 'sue the company for the money' and so he's being evicted from his flat this week. Got a spare £800 to lend him?

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

jen127 Mon 07-Jan-13 11:17:17

Is it a case of no matter how much you have it will never reassure or make you feel financially safe ? A fear of going back to the lifestyle you once had?
I have say 42K left over is an awful lot of money ! And to be honest shame on you for not having savings as at that disposable income level you should.
Perhaps this would provide reassurance ?
Do you have full access to the family money ?

HullyEastergully Mon 07-Jan-13 11:17:56

I feel terribly terribly sorry for you and your appalling circumstances, op

In fact I am weeping uncontrollably

AngelinaCongleton Mon 07-Jan-13 11:19:12

If you grow up poor, it can give you an uncomfortable feeling regarding money, whatever your adult circumstances - guilt etc. Explore that op? And really consider if you are happy with how you choose to spend your money and if you need to make any changes. We grow up v poor and my brother and I have different issues surrounding it, e.g I feel guilty about money and he will not buy himself clothes. It's weird. Interesting discussion.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 11:20:40

We're coining in just under 20k and don't feel poor. Life takes a bit more planning, exciting trips spread out a bit like today dh and ds are going swimming. There's an amazing theme pool about 40 miles away with waves and slides etc which is about £8 a head, then fuel and food as we'll be out the house longer. Great day out, something we do once or twice a year usually but compared with walking down the road and spending £3 in the local pool it's a spend we can't justify now. So we'll still go swimming, just not as extravagantly!

SushiPaws Mon 07-Jan-13 11:23:33

I hope this makes you "feel rich".

Our household income is less than half your disposable income. We are educated hard working people.

I don't "feel rich" but I'm a million times better off than some people and for that I am GRATEFUL. Maybe you should be a bit more Grateful for what you have instead of wanting to feel rich.

FredFredGeorge Mon 07-Jan-13 11:24:08

It's quite simple - pick either your thickest kid who's not going to do anything anyway, or your brightest kid who'll do well regardless (or maybe just both?) and take them out of the private school. And you'll feel rich again.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 11:25:24

Wow you're disposing double what we live on. Mental. You must be spending it on something, or are you seriously telling me your struggling to balance to books at the end of the month when you have over 3k to play with?

diabolo Mon 07-Jan-13 11:25:39

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

Tweasels Mon 07-Jan-13 11:25:41

It's because feeling rich has nothing to do with having money. It's about who you are as a person and how much you appreciate the smaller things in life.

Seeing as you feel it's appropriate to post this kind of bullshit I would say it is something that's lacking in you making you feel that way.

Now I'm off to get a bandage because my heart is literally bleeding for you.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Jan-13 11:27:30

I enjoyed typing my post though, diabolo

and so for that I am thankful smile

mindosa Mon 07-Jan-13 11:27:49

You are unreasonable to not feel comfortable. I cant stand parents who send their children to fee paying schools and then complain about how poor they are. Its ridiculous. You chose to pay those fees so you simply cant say you feel poor, its just that you chose to spend circa 80k a year on school fees.

I am not critical of private schooling, I support it, but its a choice that you have the luxury of making

diabolo Mon 07-Jan-13 11:28:36

Your post made me laugh AnyFucker grin

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 11:28:45

I don't hate privately educated folks. DH is one and so is DS. I just don't have sympathy for someone who is in a position of choice versus the many who have no choice.

I very rarely post in these threads but I am aghast that the op thinks having £42K left over isn't enough. We have about £50 left over at the end of the year!! It baffles me. I guess if i was that well off I may think it's not a lot, but ..well, just...but..

kim147 Mon 07-Jan-13 11:30:01

London does have good state schools - doesn't it?

Willowme Mon 07-Jan-13 11:31:33

That's crazy tax to be paying, but its the fact that your children are in private education, you would be considerably well off only for this so I feel it's a bit unreasonable to be crying poverty here.

42k is still pretty good money to have for bills etc and after mortgage is paid, even in London.

wordfactory Mon 07-Jan-13 11:32:00

I know a fair few folk who have a good/great income and yet feel..not unhappy, more not content with their finances.

I think there are several factors at play.

There are those who had a comfortable childhood and cannot provide similar for their own DC. Time have changed. One professional salary no longer pays for private school, a lovely home, a pony and a SAHM. They need to keep reminding themselves of this.

There are those who have unrealistic expectations full stop. They think everyone is driving a swanky car and carrying a Mulberry. When of course that's not the case. They need to look properly around them and see what choices people are making.

Mosman Mon 07-Jan-13 11:32:21

Too be fair, i'm not sure London does actually

ThalianotFailure Mon 07-Jan-13 11:33:32

have you looked at other areas of London? (I assume you need to be here for work). You don't say where you live but, for example, south-east London is relatively cheap but 3 very good private schools (Dulwich College, Alleyn's, JAGS) on your doorstep.

You need to start saving. You could easily put aside money on £42k and live comfortably, even in London. You should have money in the bank to cover the fees at the every least - what would happen if your DH became ill, for example?

It's very sad that you don't feel rich on a rich person's salary, especially as you know what it is to be poor, which says something about you but also about the world we live in. Perhaps you could look into doing some voluntary work?

ThalianotFailure Mon 07-Jan-13 11:35:05

London state schools are spectacularly hit and miss, and the good ones will be hugely oversubscribed. Good ones can also go downhill in a heartbeat.

ouryve Mon 07-Jan-13 11:35:20


DH earns about 1/8 of what your DH does and we're comfortable. We live well within our means, though.

You are well within your rights to send your kids to state school, but you choose not to, hence you have no room to complain.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 11:35:58

I'm not wound up, or hating people with money but I am amazed the someone has double my household income to dispose of yet doesn't feel rich.

I feel rich in lots of ways, especially when I find a fiver in an old purse. My bank account screeches poor at me but I ooze rich. I'm rich with a roof over my head which someday in the distant future, about a week before I drop down dead probably, will be all mine! I feel rich because my house is warm, I have everything I need. What I've got is enough. Ok I'd like a Ferrari and a couple of spare bedrooms and a manicure every week but, in the words of someone fear to me...^You can't always get what you want but if you try some times, you might just find, you get what you need^

Stop viewing savings as something you pay for after everything else. If your income after tax, mortagage and schools fees is £42K then stick £1K a month in a savings account. That still leaves you with £28K per year and like other people I'm struggling to think how you can not be extravagant and need more than that.

If the savings go out of your account at the start of the month, then you should find it easier to mentally change perspective on your spending because you'll have a smaller starting balance.

Once you a. get used to that, and b. have some savings, hopefully that will make you feel better. My emphasis on needing savings comes from also not having much as a kid.

opos, maths fail! Not sure where 12 turned into 14 in my head but obviously that leaves £30K

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 11:39:06

I have considerably more savings than you.

<£45.63 in my ISA hell yea>

MrsMuddyPuddles Mon 07-Jan-13 11:41:24

I've not read the whole thread, but will quote Martin Lewis quoting C. Dickens at you: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds six, result misery."

You probably instinctively KNOW that your spending is greater than your means (esp with that lack of savings!); I'd suggest doing a budget to see how bad it is:

myfirstkitchen Mon 07-Jan-13 11:42:11


perhaps try drug dealing or prostitution so you and your children won't starve.

FionaJT Mon 07-Jan-13 11:44:58

Feeling rich is irrelevant. You ARE rich, you've just made decisions which mean that most of your (large) income, is tied up. If you don't like that, make some life changes. I know that's not easily done, but you are in a very fortunate position so enjoy it!

^ snort grin

AmberLeaf Mon 07-Jan-13 11:45:15

Of course London has good state schools.

But Im also of the mind that bright, well supported kids do well in most schools anyway.

If you sent your kids to state schools, you would be rich enough to buffer any of the potential disadvantages for sure.

As the OP has only a £13k per year mortgage, the whole 'living in London is expensive' doesn't really apply here. No huge housing costs anyway.

Ive been broke in London and broke in a much more rural area, it was much much easier being broke in London, so I'm sure someone on the OPs income can scrape by.

Stop wasting a massive chunk of your income on private schools.

PoshCat Mon 07-Jan-13 11:45:28

You've got 42k disposable income! You should feel rich because you are.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 07-Jan-13 11:47:13

Hmm... any other regulars from the Relationships board wondering whether that much disposable income for the household doesn't necessarily equate to the OP having anything to spend for herself? Would she be "allowed" to tuck away a savings fund?

However, I think it's what someone said earlier about the budgeting thing. I know if I look back now at how much I spent casually when I was on twice the income (of mine now, not of the OP's!) I'm quite appalled. Designer coffees and London-price sandwiches don't half add up. But I was passing the shop and it had been a stressful commute and I felt I'd earned it, that sort of thing. Could have saved about £50 a week just by bringing in sandwiches. Like Parkinson's Law, expenditure expands to fill the income available.

I think, for me at least, feeling rich is when you don't have to worry that something will go kaput because you are able to buy another one. If, for example, the OP's not especially expensive car were to give up the ghost in a non-insurable way, would she be able to just potter round to the nearest showroom and say "ok, I'll have that one", rather than "oh fuck, how will I get to work until I can scrape together the first instalment for that 10-year-old Corsa?". That sort of comfort. Or saying "that holiday looks nice, let's book it" rather than "we can only afford this one". If you've got to stop and think before splurging, you're not rich rich. But I daresay everyone has their own definition.

BadLad Mon 07-Jan-13 11:47:22

To answer your questions:

Why is that? Well, if you spend 70% of your disposable income, then you won't feel as rich as if you didn't. No big mystery.

What do I think? I think you are right to feel unreasonable.

Kendodd Mon 07-Jan-13 11:47:34

Not read thread but..

Do you want to feel rich?
If so, why?

ElectricalHoHoHoBanana Mon 07-Jan-13 11:47:47

crikey....42k for everything else?

our family income for three adults (one is DD2 who is disabled) is a lot less than that!

And tbh i feel "well off". we live within our means...we eat well and are always warm. Ok we dont smoke, only DH has a drink and we dont go out very often. We havent had a holiday for a couple of years and we dont have any savings.

I am happy....

WiseKneeHair Mon 07-Jan-13 11:54:13

This thread has cheered up my Monday morning grin

Thanks you all

IceTheChristmasKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Jan-13 11:56:07

Morning everyone,

We'd just like to remind you of our talk guidelines, and say that we've gone through this thread and deleted some post.

I don't feel poor or rich. OH earns about 22K, I earn nothing (SAHM), and we have one child.

But I am am very very happy. I have been VERY poor - part of childhood in the 90's, mum would feed 2 adults and 4 kids on £10/20 a week, and as an adult lived in a yurt earning only 4K a year with a PT job. I had no running water, electricity, no toilet!! Was very happy though (would've been happier had it not been for that fucking ex of mine).

Maybe you're not happy. It's the old 'being rich in love' thing. You really should have some savings though, with a disposable income of 42K. What do you do with this spare cash?

Kinnane Mon 07-Jan-13 12:05:12

It's all about what families spend their income on. Even if I were very rich I would never send my children to private schools. Others would never send their children to state schools. I wouldn't ever live in London others would never live in the country. Many have no choice at all. Just be happysmile as others have said - do your best - rich or poor you can be happy.

3smellysocks Mon 07-Jan-13 12:05:56

Of course you are rich, when your kids have left home you won't know what to do with your money.

I have loved the xmas period - I got an extra £300 pay from work for an extra project I undertook and my mum gave me £100. This means that every time I have opened my purse I have had notes in it. And a little in my bank account. I have been able to take the children out to buy the odd extra toy for a fiver, bought myself a few magazines and had a coffee at the gym instead of water. That's just important to me really. Oh god, that sounds like 'my cardboard box is smaller than yours 'grin but that's just 'rich' to me at the moment!!

Yeah thanks OP, this is just the sort of post I need in the week we find out of DH gets made redundant from his £30k job (which actually covers us quite nicely, we even managed to stretch to one week camping in North Wales this year!)

Nancy66 Mon 07-Jan-13 12:07:55

I agree with Amber - have always believed that bright, self-starting kids will thrive in any school. State, private, public whatever...

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 07-Jan-13 12:09:33

Wow, I've been deleted! I only said 'get a grip' and offered a biscuit.

I think there are stronger comments on here. None that deserve deleting though.

drcrab Mon 07-Jan-13 12:09:45

I think, like some posters here have said, alot of it is due to lifestyle. So when we were students, we thought a buy one get one free pizza deal at Pizza hut was great, and watching movies on student afternoons/evenings when it's cheaper was a great date... and therefore we 'went out' alot. We possibly also shopped at the cheaper supermarkets, at times when things were being marked down, or were happy eating lots of beans on toast.

Fast forward to now, when we have decent wages, with a couple of kids thrown in with childcare to pay for... yes, we have much more money, but we also 'throw away' close to £1000/month just on childcare, have to cook decent meals (therefore having a bigger shop), buy nappies, clothes, shoes for the kids...

we used to go on cheapish holidays... now we fly long haul because we need to visit elderly grandparents once a year and that's costing £3000...

We used to pay £35/week rent; now we pay close to £1000 on mortgage.

People adjust their budgets to suit their lifestyle. It's easier to shop at waitrose because there's underground parking and non-wonky trolleys... it's really not about putting on a platter of waitrose finest nibbles (vs something cheaper).. at least for me anyway.

we used to eat out once or twice a week; now we're lucky if it's once a month... and with vouchers!! smile

There are a lot of deleted posts grin

OP - look, you know where your money is going. It's going on school fees for 4 children and frankly that's only going to get worse. Sounds like you resent that so you and dh must sit down again and talk that through. If you put them all in state schools - could you find schools you could get places in that you like? What would you do with the 85 grand then? Because if it's handbags and extra holidays I think your child's education is a better bet. If it's pensions etc then maybe not.

Let me try LadyClarice, I've never been deleted before...

Get a grip OP biscuit

Pootles2010 Mon 07-Jan-13 12:13:40

Yes of course you're quite well off, but its all objective innit?

People spend what they have. Before i had ds I thought we were struggling, now I have to find £700 a month for his nursery fees. No idea what we were spending that money on hmm frittering it I guess.

I also suspect you've got rather well off friends, and so this seems normal to you. I'm sure someone living in slums in India would think I'm the luckiest woman on earth.

PessaryPam Mon 07-Jan-13 12:14:31

whoovian we chose to move out of London to an area where the state schools are very good but we can still get to London pretty easily. I think this is a cheaper option and you get the benefit of living in a healthier environment. Maybe you should consider this option.

Is that £42k family money you have access to? Or is your DH spending it without your knowledge?

Tralalalaha Mon 07-Jan-13 12:20:40

Is the OP's DH spending it all on fast women? Because I could be fast, just try me!

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 12:21:02

I think some people are being a bit unfair, are only people who are struggling allowed to ask for advice?

As someone has mentioned that take home is probably around £140k maybe less if you are paying pension contributions.

Private schools fees in London for 4 children must be huge plus the high cost of living. I would imagine your disposable income is not that big but at the end of the day that is due to your schooling choice.

We earn amout £80k between us and live on the South Coast. Both DCs go to private school but we have paid off the mortgage and chose to stay in a normal 3 bed terrace house rather than get something bigger. We spend about £10k a year on holidays I think we are pretty well off TBH. We have one crap car that I use and one nicer one (not amazing and 4 years old). Sometimes at the end of the month we have nothing left especially after all the after school clubs etc. We do have some savings though.

However we actually live to pretty much the same standard as when I wasn't working at all so had half the income but its the private school that makes all the difference. If we hadn't chosen that route we would be so much better off each month (probably about £1.5-2k per month) so I would feel fairly rich then.

ErikNorseman Mon 07-Jan-13 12:24:09

Mrsmelons OP has already broken down their income and outgoings, they have £42k income after mortgage and school fees
If they can't work out how to live comfortably on that they are twats need a serious reality check.

MmeLindor Mon 07-Jan-13 12:27:44

I am surprised that your actually pay that much tax, actually. I thought that all high earners knew how to lower their tax rates.

And you must have bought your house ages ago, if you are only paying £1k a month, and living in a naice area of London (which presumably you are).

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 12:28:02

As someone said on another thread in this vein, just because you choose to spend your wealth on discretionary items which make life more comfortable, doesnt mean you're not rich. You just made bad spending choices.

OP, your income is in the top 0.01% of the country. To quote the great Andre Agassi "Take your money and go buy yourself some perspective"

Adversecamber Mon 07-Jan-13 12:28:28

LadyClarice what type of biscuit was it though? Something too plebeian for the op like an ALDi own brand chocolate digestive?

I think the point some of us are trying to get through to you OP is that you have a lot of money, its your spending choices that are the issue.

I choose to spend £2K pm on school fees. If I didn't spend that I would not be £2K a month better off. I have that £2K every month, its just that I choose to spend it on school fees - it is not an essential, it is in effect a luxury purchase.

kim147 Mon 07-Jan-13 12:30:32

I hate these threads. You see so many of them on here.

To earn £250k is a hell of a lot of money. Puts you in the top 0.1% of earners - or something like that.

We all pay tax. We all have outgoings. There's plenty of advice on sites to reduce outgoings. And really reduce them like so many people on here have to do to survive and to feed and clothe their family.

I'm never sure of the purpose of such a thread as it only serves to wind up and to upset a lot of people.

sadaccountant Mon 07-Jan-13 12:31:30

I have namechanged for this so I can be frank with numbers! I do understand where OP is coming from a little bit. I have 4 children (2 in private school) and live in London. Our income is significantly less than OPs.
I too don't feel rich, but I know we are compared to the vast majority. We do not go out much, don't spend much at all on clothes, no designer stuff.

To keep myself sane when my first child went to a private school I started to record all our outgoings in some detail. Ignoring mortgage and school fees last year we spent £59k. This includes holiday (not lavish) council tax, bills, insurance, food, after school club, petrol etc. I don't shop at Ocado, I don't have a nanny or similar, rarely use babysitters. It does include some music lessons/sports clubs which could be considered luxuries, but it certainly does not feel like a lavish lifestyle. This is somewhat more than OPs £42k which covers the same things (ie after mortgage/school fees).

Most of the people I know locally I suspect earn a lot more than our household income, and seem to live more of a "lifestyle" than we do. We do not save much money (apart from our meagre endowment and my husband's pension).

At the same time I know we are very fortunate - the school fees are our choice and they are the reason that we can't have a bigger house or better holidays.

OP I do see where you are coming from but like others have said the school fees are the key. Count your blessings - most people could not contemplate private school for one child let alone 4, and that is your choice.

Astley Mon 07-Jan-13 12:32:06

Wow. I cannot imagine having that amount of money. But it won't just be the school fees. It'll be all the extras on top, the uniform the trips going to the birthday parties etc. all those things for 4 children will really add up.

Ditch the public schools and you'll feel a lot richer!

Lueji Mon 07-Jan-13 12:32:28

I find it interesting that you have no savings.

Why is that?

Do you feel it's not necessary?
Or you spend it all?

You should set aside a given amount for savings, then budget accordingly.
Particularly if you spend all you have available.

Names for a posh Jammy Dodger a la the MN biscuit?

Preserve Evader
Conserve Swerver
Marmalade Sidestepper (thick cut please)

PearlyWhites Mon 07-Jan-13 12:35:58

Of course Yabu and very insensitive as well

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 12:37:58

Sorry missed one or two pages as it was so long so have just seen the OPs breakdown. Of course you should be comfortable and I haven't said that they shouldn't but £250k sounds like such a lot (and it is) but it can be spent pretty easily too.

I think you should manage on £42k however I have just checked my spreadsheet (sad I know) and we have the same left over after school fees but it does soon go - here's a rough breakdown;

£10k - Food/all bills
£9k - savings for holidays
£2k - Kids activities
£6k - savings to put away in ISAs
£7.5k - cars
£4k - left over to go out
£1k - cleaner
£3k - specific savings for stuff like birthdays/xmas/football season tickets

We could really cut back but I can understand how easy it is to not feel rich when your monet is tied up. There is NO WAY I would ever consider we are not comfortable at all - that is just ridiculous!

It does sound like you need help budgeting TBH!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 12:41:21

MrsMelons Please please tell me that is a joke. Please. If it's not, i think I might have to..........I really dont know what.

cuteboots Mon 07-Jan-13 12:42:21

YABU and really insensitve banging on about where all your money goes when there are people struggling to feed their kids and just pay monthly bills! Meanwhile back in the real world!!!?? ; 0(

PurpleStorm Mon 07-Jan-13 12:42:34

42k a year after mortgage and school fees are paid sounds like a lot to me (it's certainly more than DH & mine's take home pay before money for bills is deducted).

But, I suppose it's all relevant to who you're comparing yourself to. If you're surrounded by people who earn lots more than you and spend accordingly, you're bound to feel poorer than them, regardless of how wealthy you actually are. And I'm guessing that you come across a lot of well earning or wealthy families through your kid's school.

Perhaps you should try to compare yourself to families who earn less than you instead? That would make you feel richer.

cuteboots Mon 07-Jan-13 12:43:49

Mrsmelons- Is this daily lunchtime wind up thread! Ive stopped eating my lunch so please tell me you are having a laugh?

1991all Mon 07-Jan-13 12:44:23

Op-sorry you got such a hard time
You actually called yourself unreasonable, you know you are

On paper £250k should buy you a nanny and a cleaner and a couple of fancy holidays and a swish new car, but it doesn't. You are spending it

I would question the £85k for school fees though, that seems extortionate

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 12:44:54

Which part Richman?

I have still said that the OP is being ridiculous.

AnyFucker Mon 07-Jan-13 12:45:30

I can't even be arsed to scroll back and check if I was deleted

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 07-Jan-13 12:45:58

Adversecamber, why yes, maybe I gave a very low-rent biscuit ... grin

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 12:46:00

Sorry - I am trying to explain where that money goes - should I give it away?

We earn a quarter of what the OP earns BTW!

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 07-Jan-13 12:46:34

AnyFucker ,you were.

<<high five>>

AnyFucker Mon 07-Jan-13 12:48:05

Tut, I thought mine was one of the more helpful posts. hmm

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 12:49:04

Oh, I dunno- perhaps the way you say "it does soon go" as though you're about to list a tonne of necessities, and then go on to list a number of completely discretionary items. That's what being rich means!! It means you have £15k a year to spend on holidays, football tickets and going out. Not sure if you know this, but most people in the UK don't do that. Surprised? Jesus wept.

I only do cheap biscuits so I don't know why mine's still there.

veryworried29 Mon 07-Jan-13 12:51:20

Do people really think this could be an interesting discussion?

Its like an op coming on and saying "please help, I am 5 stone overweight and I eat 3,000 calories a day. I don't feel like I'm overeating but I suppose I must be".

Very silly and dull. And nothing to do with inverse snobbery. Everything to do with thinking op is being a bit dim.

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 12:54:24

Sorry my post has not come across how I meant. I can understand how its been taken but if you knew me you would know I am not that sort of person at all. In fact it has taken an awful lot of heartache to get to our fortunate situation so you don;'always know what you are 'judging'

I am saying that there is no way the OP shouldn't be comfortable and SHOULD be able to save but I understand her feeling.

We choose to tie our money up so have little spare CASH. I am 100% happy with what we have and it would be insensitive and ridiculous to not be.

It does soon go if you spend it and some people are really crap with money so would easily spend £42k but the OP is being unreasonable to not feel comfortable. She said she does not FEEL rich, not that she isn't

I am genuinely sorry to upset anyway not my intention!

LettyAshton Mon 07-Jan-13 12:57:13

I can sort of see where the OP is coming from, and we don't earn anywhere within world champion spitting distance of OP.

It's the mindset of feeling that you have to watch every penny, which is probably due to coming from a poor background. There are many tales of wealthy people who scrimp and save; I read somewhere that Steven Spielberg is incredibly parsimonious. I have the feeling that if I won the Euromillions I'd still be shopping in Primark and hurling myself on the reduced sticker items in Waitrose.

Furthermore it takes more and more money to "live the life". £250K might seem a huge amount of money but if you are trying to emulate the lifestyle of someone on the equivalent salary 50+ years ago with nice house on one income, private schools, household help etc then yes indeed it's not enough.

AThingInYourLife Mon 07-Jan-13 12:58:34

"Do people really think this could be an interesting discussion?"


And your comparison is not at all the same.

Maybe you should look a bit closer to home for "silly and dull".

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 13:01:30

But I could earn £7 million and be crap with money and spend it all on first class flights and coke, but it doesn't mean that i wasn't rich to start with- and let's say rich, not comfortable, because the OP is rich. Her household income puts her in the top 0.01% of the population. She lives in a nice area. Her kids go to private school. She is rich. It's crass of her to even pretend otherwise.

Anyway, sorry I cyber-yelled at you. Peace.

sadaccountant Mon 07-Jan-13 13:01:39

Mrs Melons - if I listed out everything from our spreadsheet it would not be dissimilar to yours - except scaled up in some respects as a family of 6. Why should you feel the need to apologise - you are reporting facts not bragging!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 13:03:02

You know, this is why poor people hate rich people. They don't resent their wealth. They resent them not bloody well appreciating their good fortune grin

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 13:06:16

sadaccountant I just wanted to apologise to ensure other posters who were being quite nasty understood I wasn't bragging - just stating facts! I am glad I was not the only one brave enough to go against the grain in this thread!

Thanks - Richman. You are right and its not that I was actually saying anything different to you - just not worded very well I guess.

£7m is a different league though!!

At the end of the day someone earning £30-40k could actually be rich in the fact they have loads of spare money if they were a single person with no mortgage whereas a family of 4 living on £30-40k would be significantly worse off.

spanky2 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:06:21

You are showing off. I have no sympathy for you. In fact your moaning makes me sick. My ds1 's teacher died at the age of 34 and you are moaning makes about to not having enough money . You should be ashamed of yourself .

whatphididnext Mon 07-Jan-13 13:06:33

MrsJay I always like your sensible comments.

If you try and keep up with the Joneses you will always feel 2nd best.

We have 2 children in private education and it is mind-numbingly expensive and everything is 'extra'. The school fees are just part of the cost, albeit the hefty part. For example, one school trip this year is costing £550 and both our DSs are going so £1,100

DH and I have chosen this education route mainly because one DS has SN's and his school is absolutely the right place for him. It works for our situation and the DSs needs to have them at the same school but we know it means huge sacrifices in terms of nice family holidays or posh cars.

I think OP's numbers are a red herring, she feels poor because the Joneses she lives next to are probably multi-millionaires and £250k gross is not in that league.

Arthurfowlersallotment Mon 07-Jan-13 13:06:56

You're comparing yourself to people with more money than you. I suggest you count your fucking blessings.

spanky2 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:07:40

My phone added extra words . She left behind a two year old dd.

ComposHat Mon 07-Jan-13 13:08:16

This has to be a pisstake. No one could lack self awareness to that degree.

We could really cut back but I can understand how easy it is to not feel rich when your monet is tied up. I hope this was a typo grin

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 13:08:50

So many completely valid points being made here.

I have broken down my budget further. (There are 6 of us - 2 adults 2 teens and 2 primary).

42k after tax and school expenses and mortgage

Then we make the following payments
6k paid to husbands pension
2k council tax
2.5k utilities
10k food
5k holiday
1.5 k insurance
1 k burglar alarm
5k travel (car & public transport)
2k childrens savings
3k birthdays/christmas

gives 38k with the rest 4k going on clothes, house maintenance, the odd evening out.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 13:09:23

tralalalala it's fast CARS and loose women!

I can be loose for 250k

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 13:09:46

I think OP's numbers are a red herring, she feels poor because the Joneses she lives next to are probably multi-millionaires and £250k gross is not in that league.

True, but the multi-millionaries are probably pissed because they're besties with Philip Green and feel like povs next to him. If you keep comparing, you're never going to be happy because there will always be someone better off than you. To be honest, if you dont lie awake at night worrying about money, you've little room for complaint.

nannyof3 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:09:59

What the hell does he work as....

BackforGood Mon 07-Jan-13 13:10:55

Thing being though - MrsMelons and SadAccountant - what people are flaberghasted at is the fact that you can't see that those amounts are just ridiculous to the vast majority - I dunno, maybe 98%? - of the population.

We consider ourselves to be very comfortably off, but don't hit the higher tax bracket. I'd never start saying we've "only" got enough to pay for this or that, because, at the end of the day, I know we are very comefortably off compared to where were were 10, and 15 years ago, and also, compared with a lot of other people on MN. It's just distasteful to come and say it's somehow a struggle when you are on good money.
I don't resent the fact that some people earn a lot more than us, but I do laugh when they come on a thread like this and try to somehow make out it's reasonable to have - was it £9K a year for holidays, £3K for Christmas presents and treats !!!!!! I mean, it's fine that they have it, but the insensitive part is to then not realise that it is incredibly privileged to have that kind of disposable income, and puts you into a tiny, tiny minority of families.
As for the OP having £42K net after housing costs, and saying she doesn't feel well off shock. It's not the having it that's a problem, it's the "Oh dear, I only have it" that grates.

BackforGood Mon 07-Jan-13 13:11:24

As ever, x-posted with dozens of posts blush

3monkeys3 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:11:31

I haven't read the whole thread. I understand how you feel op - my dh earns £100K and we often feel poor too (eg - huge panic on Saturday when we realised we were over the overdraft by over £300 and it was only 5th Jan). We have a 2 bedroom house and 3dc - it doesn't really match up! BUT we make a big effort to focus on what we do have - a lot more money than the vast majority of people for a start - but also the less material things like our gorgeous dc, our health, etc. And the fact of the matter is, when we realised we were over the overdraft we were able to shift things about to sort it out and will be able to manage for the rest of the month - we are very lucky to be able to do that. So YABU to moan when there are many, many others who are significantly worse off - try shifting your focus onto what you do have.

ICBINEG Mon 07-Jan-13 13:11:34

sorry 3K for birthdays and christmas?

Do you KNOW that you can't buy love?

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 13:11:47

£10k on food??

whatphididnext Mon 07-Jan-13 13:12:42

whoovian - where is you pension contribution in those numbers? Take some out of the children's savings and set up your own savings.

But I think this is mist likely just a piss-take posting. Am I wrong?

nannyof3 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:12:48

Oh get over urself !!!!!!!!!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 13:13:17

Spanky2, what a ridiculous post!

Is no one ever allowed to talk about any negative feeling they might have because someone they don't even know died at the age of 34? Get over yourself, seriously.

I hope the next time you complain about feeling ill, being skint, the fact that your child is being bullied, or you have any other reason to want to indulge in a bit of harmless moaning, you remind yourself that things could be worse, because you could be dead at 34 hmm

I think everyone that is saying that the OP is insensitive is pure selfish. As has been pointed out earlier in the thread, there could be any number of reasons why OP is dissatisfied with life. As you should know, money does not equal happiness.

I'm not even going to start replying to your budget whoovian.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 13:15:29

OP I think you just have to accept that you cant afford 4 kids in private schools. Simple as. But then, who can these days? - that's why I've only got two of the cash-sucking little blighters? Unfortunately, this still doesn't mean you're not rich.

Also, when you say you don't have savings, you're overlooking the £8k into pension and children's savings accounts- not an insignificant amount I think you'll agree.

ICBINEG Mon 07-Jan-13 13:16:20

My family are terribly middle class but we spend about 20 quid per person MAX on presents (making my estimated yearly present spend a total of 400 quid a year). Because birthdays and xmas are about being with people you love not the monetary value of the presents.

I genuinely feel sad for anyone who gives a shit about how much the birthday presents they are buying cost (note cost not what they are worth which is in the eye of the receiver).

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 13:16:43

You know, this is why poor people hate rich people. They don't resent their wealth. They resent them not bloody well appreciating their good fortune

I know you said this with a smile so you probably aren't taking your own comment too seriously, but the same could be said of so many miserable people.

You are about to be made homeless? You should be grateful you still have your health.

Your child is dying? You should be glad you weren't infertile.

See how tasteless it is?

ErikNorseman Mon 07-Jan-13 13:18:12

All your money is accounted for (£3k on Christmas???) and you don't have ££££ in the bank. But you are still loaded. Because you have £120,000 per year to spend, more or less. That is a fuckton of money. I spent around £500 on Christmas this year. I will have a little holiday with DS costing £500. I have no savings. I rent a house. I'm happy with my lot, and so should you be. You are rich you just choose to spend all your money on expensive shit rather than living more frugally and keeping £££ in the bank. No mystery.

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 13:19:20

I have not said ANYWHERE I do not feel privileged or that it is a struggle so I am not sure why you are bringing me into that comment and I can't imagine DH and I come anywhere close to being in the top 2% of earners like the OP is. I am under the 40% bracket and DH is very slightly over it.

All I was pointing out is that the OP probably needs to budget better or cut back if she is that bad with money.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 07-Jan-13 13:23:40

You AREN'T skint on that income - you are just reassessing your priorities.

Your choice to send four children to private school (unnecessary expense but a choice you and your DH have made) is probably costing almost half your income.

It's a priorities issue - obviously Private school is a high priority for you. The side effect of which is that you don't have the same level of disposable income as other families with an income of £250k.

It's your choice to live in London, and it's your choice to pay for private school for four DC's.

The very fact that you HAVE those choices says that you are not skint in the slightest.

Feel happier with what you have - it's not like you are struggling to find money for your food shopping, or electricity bill, or worrying how you are going to afford the next lot of school uniform...

RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 13:28:03

How to cut your expenditure OP

6k paid to husbands pension - rely on your state pension like the rest of us
2k council tax - downsize your house then
2.5k utilities - shop around online to see if you can get a better deal. Or stop leaving all the lights on, and tell the kids to unplug all their gadgets if they aren't using them.
10k food - stop eating out, shopping at waitrose, buying expense brands and items, make packed lunches
5k holiday - go back packing. Its character building. Your kids might learn something about the world too.
1.5 k insurance - sell some stuff so you have less to insure
1 k burglar alarm - see above
5k travel (car & public transport) - buy something smaller, more fuel efficient and doesn't have a status badge on the front.
2k childrens savings - I hope your kids will be paying their own way through uni rather than sponging off you then
3k birthdays/christmas - stop buying the kids the latest gadget and turning them into super brats.

Problem solved.

BalloonSlayer Mon 07-Jan-13 13:29:14

10k a year on food.

Aye carumba!

Do you have that caviare with gold flakes on it instead of cornflakes or summat?

ThalianotFailure Mon 07-Jan-13 13:30:12

one thing that jumps out from your last post which might explain why you're feeling like this, is the 6k for your husband's pension and 2k for the children - but what about you? What financial security is being provided for you from this substantial salary? Do you have a pension? I do feel that your husband shouldn't be so insistent on school fees (esp. primary) when you are not so bothered, at your cost.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-Jan-13 13:31:08

clouds and trees I don't understand your analogy. Are you saying "rich people have problems too" because I'm sure they do, but money ain't one of them, and 90% of life's problems can be at least alleviated by throwing money in their general direction. Therefore, rich people (i.e. those in the top 1% income bracket) should have the good sense not to bemoan the fact that their diamond shoes are too tight, just as someone with a corn shouldn't complain to a chemo victim about how much pain they're in.

CaHoHoHootz Mon 07-Jan-13 13:36:07

Why are people so nasty and snide on MN angry. There is a real pack mentality on this site sometimes. I understand that posting about massive salaries is a bit provocative but I don't think it warrants some of the replies on this thread.

OP has said she feels comfortable on £250 and knows it is a huge salary, what she is asking is why she doesn't feel rich she hasn't been boasting about owning islands or whatever.

Maybe, it's because she lives in a wealthy area and see other people seem richer. There are some spectacularly wealthy people about. not me

I can sort of understand not feeling rich if I didn't have any savings. I guess, once the OP's DC have grown up and her DH's bonuses (or whatever) start rolling in she will start to feel rich.

My philosophy on this type of thing is there is always someone poorer than you and there is always someone richer than you AND that you never actually know how much money people have.

Meh hmm

Dahlen Mon 07-Jan-13 13:36:19

I think if you're left with £42,000 net AFTER paying school fees and mortgage, then the root of this problem is psychological rather than financial, and probably based in your poverty-stricken childhood. I'd recommend counselling personally, and possibly a long chat with your DH about the merits of jointly made decisions (re private schooling) rather than you deferring to him all the time. Your insecurity may stem from the fact that is his income financing all this, and as such you've let him have the greater say in how it's spent. Thus relegating yourself to lesser partner status which is bound to make you feel that the money somehow isn't quite yours and could disappear at any time.

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 13:38:25

I am very interested to see if people think I am leading an extravagent lifestyle.

The school fees aside (which are a luxury for me but are deemed absolutely essential by my husband) I don't feel we throw money away.

Is 10k on food for a year for 6 people - 2 adults, 2 teenage boys and 2 preteens really extortionate? I can see that it is nowhere close poverty levels but is it really extreme?

seems a hell of lot to me - really!

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:13


RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:37

It works out £4.95 per person per day on food.

But since you have to factor in your buying power in bulk feeding six people that actually is even more than the £4.95 would initially suggest.

You've a lot of room to cut costs in that £4.95 a day.

Dahlen Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:42

Average (as in typical, rather than mathematical average) spend on food per week in the UK according to government research is £60 per week for a couple. So for 6 adults (let's count your DC as adults, as they can often eat as much), that would equate to £180 per week or £9360 per year, which isn't far off your £10,000 mark.

MrsKeithRichards Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:54

I was initially shocked at the 10k on food but actually when you think about it that's under £30 a day for what is basically 4 adults and two kids. Is that including lunches at school and work? It's probably not that bad, I spend about £8 a day overall on 4 of us budgeting quite tightly.

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 13:44:37

the food bill seems about right for 6 people esp as its practically 4 adults but I think its the fact that you have £5k spare for holidays and such like - some people could never dream of that which makes stuff like that extravagent.

We buy lots of 'cheap' variety food brands and spend £350-400 per month. We don't drink alcohol or buy posh food but we have 2 DCs that eat their body weight in fruit each day and we buy fresh meat etc which is fairly pricey compared to processed crap.

I don't think you sound like you throw money away but don't seem to have any concept of 'normal' living anymore!

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 07-Jan-13 13:44:46

10k on food is flipping loads. If we spent even half that much, we'd be up shit creek.

Shop around for basics like cleaning products, rice, pasta, bread etc. Bulk buy things that will last, especially when they are offer.

Use a greengrocers and a butchers and buy only what you will use.

Meal plan.

spanky2 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:46:52

Clouds you have missed the point . Every time you want to moan you do need to remember you have your life, your family and your health. Surely that is reason enough not to moan about not the little things .

sadaccountant Mon 07-Jan-13 13:48:10

Whoovian - your family composition is very similar to mine - two teens, two pre-teens (3 are boys), and we spend about £10k per year on supermarket shopping. That is not just food but includes washing powder, toiletries etc. It also includes school dinners for two (state primary) and packed lunches for everyone else. No starbucks, no supermarket sandwiches, no caviar, smoked salmon, innocent smoothies etc. That is a sainsbury's or tesco shop buying special offers, and quite a lot of basics range items and cooking most meals from scratch. We eat well but I don't think it is excessive. No doubt I will get shot down....

Sounds about right RedToothbrush.

HiggsBoson Mon 07-Jan-13 13:48:22

Laughing my tits off at this.

DP & I both work, have one DC (can't afford another hmm )and survive on ONE TENTH of your income OP.

Trip trap...trip trap...trip trap ffs.

Dededum Mon 07-Jan-13 13:48:38

A slightly related point - her husband must be working long hours in a stressful environment to earn £250K. That could create a stressful environment for the OP not conducive to feeling 'comfortable'.

When we lived in London, we earnt over £100K a year, but were surrounded by people much, much richer. It was horrendous and bad for ones mental health.

Does the OP have good friends or are you just mixing with the private school mums? There might be your problem.

MarshaBrady Mon 07-Jan-13 13:49:24

I don't think it's overly extravagant but it is comfortable and enjoyable to eat well, spend as you do, do private school for four children. All of which costs a fortune in London.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 13:49:38

rich people (i.e. those in the top 1% income bracket) should have the good sense not to bemoan the fact that their diamond shoes are too tight, just as someone with a corn shouldn't complain to a chemo victim about how much pain they're in.

But she's not moaning to poor people, so your analogy about corns can't chemo doesn't apply. Otherwise I'd agree with you.

OP is using a website designed for parents, and as she's a parent (but even if she weren't) she is not being insensitive by talking about how she feels on here. It's not like she's sitting outside the local food bank looking for someone to talk to about it. If she were, then you would have a point.

mathsconundrum Mon 07-Jan-13 13:50:29

Facebook-I don't think it's the terrible DM woman. The op lived hand to mouth as a child. DM woman had a privileged upbringing. Having said that story matches in all other regards.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 13:51:20

Given that you're not saving, I think some of those things are a bit unnecessary.

I would have a cheaper holiday, try to cut back by 2k or so on food, spend a quarter of what you are spending on Christmas/birthdays.... Having a large family just has to mean choosing cheaper options, because things mount up so much.

And I think you probably have an unrealistic idea about what being 'rich' means. It doesn't mean never having to think about money. Rich people have always complained about the cost of school fees, taxes etc and attempted to economise on certain things while paying out loads of money on others. Eg the bit in Jessica Mitford's memoir about them hugging their warm plates to try and keep warm in the unheated dining room while waiting for the servants to bring the food in....

Tragedies Mon 07-Jan-13 13:52:25

Some people have little money because they are low earners for whatever reason. Some people have little money (or in your case feel they have little money) because they exercise certain spending choices. It is far, far harder to earn more than it is to spend less...

RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 13:52:28

Assuming you have accumulated a lot material stuff through spending so much on gifts at christmas, what do you do with all the things that are no longer used?

Do you bin/give away or do you sell on?

Perhaps you should see if you can recoup some of the money you have invested in these items...

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 13:53:52

Thanks Sadaccountant - the 10k would be for supermarket shopping so includes cleaning stuff etc but it doesn't include school meals - they are in the school expenses figure.

Dededum is right that my husband works long hours in a stressful job and this does contribute to the lack comfortableness with the situation.

LettyAshton Mon 07-Jan-13 13:56:09

I suppose the thing is if you earn £250K you have to question why then should you buy Asda Smartprice and eat lentil stew five times a week.

On that sort of salary one would assume one would be looking forward to an Ocado delivery full of steak and lobster whilst lounging around dressed head to toe in Brora.

It takes a massive amount of money to be truly rich these days.

bryonywhisker Mon 07-Jan-13 13:58:46


TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 13:59:12

And if OP didn't have 4 kids she could easily be living the Brora-clad Ocado steak and lobster lifestyle. People with large families have always felt poor even when they're rich.

HiggsBoson Mon 07-Jan-13 13:59:22

Nah. We would be MINTED on £250K. Wouldn't know what to do with it.

Smudging Mon 07-Jan-13 14:01:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Peka Mon 07-Jan-13 14:04:15

Ok, deep breath, but I think that what the OP is actually commenting on is how much flipping money do you have to earn to feel rich - if that's what you want - in this country (particularly London) these days? Its totally bloody ridiculous.

We (like many) earn a fraction of that but do live in London and have friends who earn much more and I've discussed with DH what our priorities are and basically we have decided to opt out of the greasy pole that is trying to keep up with your own expectations of how much you should have based on the hideously consumerist society that is London for the middle classes. Sure we probably could try and earn a similar salary - but it's a pact with the devil I'm not going to take. Really there is no end to it, it's shouting at you from every billboard and every well-groomed family with all the latest gadgets, cars etc on the other side of the street. It's vile and degrading to the human spirit - it makes me want to go and live up a mountain in Scotland, or Norway or somewhere.

If OP's kids go to an expensive private school they're going to have as much pressure on them as the parents to 'keep up' with friends on holidays, gadgets etc etc (would love to see them take a home made wooden model of an aeroplane made lovingly by your DH into school in show and tell after Xmas). If you live in an area like Northcote Road or Barnes or Hampstead and even if you could afford a house there, it wouldn't stop there because you'd need to have the nice car outside the house, the cleaner, the fancy blind thingys, the full width kitchen extension with bifolding doors etc etc etc. It's ENDLESS. And it's all a total massive CON!!! None of it will make you the slightest bit happier. The joy of being able to buy what you want in Waitrose will wear off and it'll become the same chore as shopping anywhere else. The grinding stress of wondering if you'll be in the red at the end of each month will be gone, but you'll find lots of other ways to be unhappy and resentful. If 'feeling rich' = 'feeling content and happy and secure' then OP doesn't feel that because London life isn't designed to give you that, it's designed to make you feel insecure, afraid and ever so slightly inadequate ALL THE TIME. That's capitalism for you - ain't it great?

I suggest you start a little veg plot in your back garden, runner beans are really easy to grow and pretty and taste good too. Sit out there sometimes and listen to the birds and watch the leaves in the breeze. Il faut cultiver son jardin.

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 14:04:18

Not read all replies, but although I think the OP needs a dose of perspective, I'm a bit fed up of all the unnecessary cattiness.

FWIW, I send my 1dc to a private school cos it provides enough hours of wraparound childcare and if I didn't have that I would need a nanny who would cost the same. Working full time in London is a massive drain on finances.

I am also considering not having any more children because of the expense of childcare and reduction in my earnings potential. Have no spare time or money as it is! Would like to see an improvement in my lifestyle as I earn more and this is unlikely to happen if I have another. If I do, I will be prepared to make the sacrifice.

It's about realistic expectations.

RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 14:05:09

So the £4.95 for food per person per day, does not include lunch for kids during school time?!

So 5 days a week you only have to give them breakfast and dinner, and you still think thats not much considering you can bulk buy and cook for 6?

You should be able to get a full english and a big dinner out of that!

MarshaBrady Mon 07-Jan-13 14:05:16

We spend about £150 a week and only four of us. Seems ok.

I suppose it really is that you need to earn more to feel rich in London with a big family (inc fees).

MerryCouthyMows Mon 07-Jan-13 14:05:43

But Cloudsandtrees - some of the parents on here ARE worrying about how to find the money for school uniform for their DC's, or how to pay the gas bill - I am one of them.

So she isn't in an 'exclusive' group of people where nobody's income is less than £100k - this a website for parents. Some of whom will be trying to support their families on wages of less than £12k.

Bit odd to complain about feeling skint on an income of £250k to people with an income less than a tenth of that...

HelpOneAnother Mon 07-Jan-13 14:07:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Mon 07-Jan-13 14:09:06

I have just two questions to ask. What job does your DH do and are there any jobs going? grin

kim147 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:09:28

All I can say is that I'm glad I don't live in London.

SirSugar Mon 07-Jan-13 14:09:56

Would someone please define poor and rich?

HiggsBoson Mon 07-Jan-13 14:10:32

Having been raised in a council house by a mother who starved herself to feed us, I don't see the connection between that and being an ingrate.

Quite the opposite - we have very little, but we APPRECIATE it in the knowledge that so many are even worse off than we are :-/

Bonsoir Mon 07-Jan-13 14:11:09

"On that sort of salary one would assume one would be looking forward to an Ocado delivery full of steak and lobster whilst lounging around dressed head to toe in Brora."

Yes, if it weren't for school fees!

Sometimes I am glad to live in Paris without the school fee option!

RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 14:12:14

Tbh, I've seen several things about some the very wealthiest people out there actually having reputations for being stingy bastards cough Paul McCartney cough. One of the reasons they have done so well, is because they know how to save and how to invest the money they have earnt in addition to having earnt it in the first place.

drcrab Mon 07-Jan-13 14:14:42

regarding the 2K on council tax - I've just checked and mine is nearly £1500 and it's a 3 bed semi. To hit 2K, I just have to move 2 council bands up... I imagine that'll be a house that's about say £500K or just slightly above, in my area, the SE of the country.

regarding the £10K shop, it sounds reasonable enough...

You probably need to factor yourself into all of this... where is your spending money?! (the occasional coffee/hairdressers etc???)

Sitting on my sofa under a blanket with the woodburner on so as not to waste the heating oil and I am looking at my sleeping baby beside me and I feel like a millionaire.

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 14:18:31

Perhaps it comes back to being a grammar school kid - the difference between what I had and other kids had was so great at times it was very distressing which had to be hid from my parents because they were trying so hard.

As a result I try very hard to ignore what those around me have (we are not a fancy holiday, flashy car lots of gadgets for the kids type of family) but I suspect that the environment I am in (professional, private school, london) is affecting me more than I had realised.

Katnisscupcake Mon 07-Jan-13 14:19:09

I agree with HelpOneAnother.

Our joint income is far beneath your DH's income but still higher than average for the Country. But, growing up I was one of five. Mum and Dad both worked hard but there were times when we really didn't have enough food either. Or we had to eat out of date food.

One of the things I most remember was that at school all my friends would be tucking into their crisps and chocolates at morning break and I would just look on, clutching my horribly empty stomach, feeling so hungry. I had no breakfast and had to wait until lunchtime.

Because of that, I send my 3 year old DD to school with more snacks than she would ever want to eat (healthy ones - because that's the rule of the school!), because I have a real fear of her being hungry.

But like HelpOneAnother, I know that we could live well on a tight budget. We waste money terribly at the moment, but I am going to budget this year to see just how much we can survive on and save as much as we can. For that day when we may be hungry, because with the economy the way it is, it's likely to happen at some point... sad

So I guess what I'm saying is, I do actually understand how you feel and feel that it is probably deeply inbuilt into you, that you will always worry about money, irrelevant to how much you have...

Peka Mon 07-Jan-13 14:19:49

Seriously, whoovian buy a packet of seeds, and get digging. It's the only defence against the madness.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Jan-13 14:19:53

Does it matter that you don't feel rich, OP? Not many of us luxuriate in any feeling of prosperous well-being for very long, regardless of income. That's just life (and human psychology). If you're worried though, work on reducing your outgoings and building up savings. Sounds as though it's less about feeling rich (which is ultimately about comparing oneself with others) than feeling secure.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 14:22:12

That sounds very likely Whoovian.

I think you need to do some things to help you break out of the social circle where everyone you know has stupid amounts of money. Maybe some voluntary work where you meet a more mixed crowd?

And take the kids camping or to a youth hostel for their next hol, instead of Europe. Something where they can meet other kids and make friends - which in the end, is what most affects whether they have a nice time or not.

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 07-Jan-13 14:22:29

Peka I read your long post and I think you are right. I'm way happier since I stopped caring about material things as much. It is hard in this crazy environment (London)

MerryCouthyMows Mon 07-Jan-13 14:23:41

I don't actually think it's that extravagant - those feeding 5/6 where 3/4 of them are DC's, and spending less - age of DC's makes a huge difference.

It is easy to spend less on food if you are feeding 2 preschoolers and 2 infant age DC's.

Once you are feeding two adults, two teenagers that eat MORE than most adults plus two older primary DC's, I defy you to feed a balanced diet on less than £160 a week if you are including cleaning products and toiletries in that.

A teenager will always eat about 4 times as much food as a fully grown adult toddler, and it DOES push up the food bill.

And that works out to £8320 a year. So there's only £1680 a year 'wiggle room' in their shopping budget - only about £32 a week.

Maybe bulk buying washing powder when it's on offer, buying cheaper meat could account for that (we never eat lamb or steak, for example, to keep food bills down), but I don't think a £30 a week saving is going to help them feel any 'less skint' tbh.

It's the private school that is the highest unnecessary cost.

Food is an essential cost, and I can see that if the OP's DH is working long hours for that £250k, he's not going to want to give up the occasional steak dinner or lamb chops dinner...

Until your DC's have finished school, you are going to feel the effects of your DH's choice to send them to private school. But as it is his hard work that is paying the school fees, I can't see where the problem is.

Your DC's will have had the advantage of going to private school.

It's no different to me not paying for Sky TV (don't have it) or my Internet (my uncle pays it, long story) so that I can pay for an after school club for each of my DC's.

I can see the advantages of going without now so that my DC's get the long term benefit of having been involved in an after-school activity.

Ok, so I don't have certain things - but it is to benefit my DC's.

It's priorities.

I think you are feeling frustrated because you and your DH have different priorities where private school is concerned, and it isn't as essential an expense from the household budget for you as it is to him.

And it DOES grate more when spending priorities differ in a couple and it means one person in the couple going without what they perceive as the benefits of that income.

Maybe you need to discuss again the Private school issue with your DH?

Dededum Mon 07-Jan-13 14:24:29

DH poor as a church mouse as a kid and abandoned by his mum... aaagh

He earns good money now, but we have being have the same conversation since he earnt £20K, doesn't matter how much you earn its how much you spend. He thought that earning a good salary equates to him deserving what he wants...

Now finally he gets it, life is less stressful. For him it has coincided (not by chance I think) with being very settled and in control of his work-life balance.
While he did a job he hated he couldn't understand that he couldn't spend what he wanted, when he wanted. Now his satisfaction relates to other things not just his salary and spending potential.

Maybe, this whole thread is a covert, need to change our lives thread!! Does DH like his job or has the money become a trap he can't leave?

drcrab Mon 07-Jan-13 14:24:44

The environment can play such a big role in how you feel. we have friends who have 1 child and similar income levels to us...therefore more spending money if that makes sense. they do the costa/starbucks v regularly (I don't even drink coffee!), eat out (not necessarily at expensive places but they do eat out), and go to lots of events (panto, winter wonderland, plays etc) and because we've become really good friends with them, we've been dragged along (not that I'm complaining about the activities)... but hell, the amount of money we've spent in recent times have been so much more...!

So this January, I'm going to be alot firmer and not go to so many of these events. We didn't do panto and frankly, the kids didn't miss out (5 and 2?!)... we will eventually go to one, but just not now. Just like we have friends who've brought their kids to disney last half term - I don't have the money and I'm not sure the kids will remember just yet..! maybe in a couple of years....

MoreBeta Mon 07-Jan-13 14:27:51

Not read the whole thread but it is true that £250k is not a lot to live on with a family in London if you have them at private school.

A few years ago DW and me sat down and estimated we would need £500k a year to live well in London with children at private school. It is an exceedingly expensive place to live which is why most people move out once thay have children.

LettyAshton Mon 07-Jan-13 14:29:05

I agree with Peka. It is toxic living cheek by jowl with people who appear to be better off than you are. It doesn't matter what end of the income scale you are, if you see your peers doing better it can't help but make you feel inadequate.

Often you don't really know where people's money is coming from, either. I read that one third of school fees are paid by grandparents. Some people receive massive inheritances, too (imagine if you have a granny living in Surrey) which enables them to live a more extravagant life than someone on the same earned income.

2013go Mon 07-Jan-13 14:29:19

Poor old you OP.
If you'd like to experience 'feeling rich' could you maybe go and volunteer at the local food bank?

Peka Mon 07-Jan-13 14:29:54

Thanks madamelebean smile

ouryve Mon 07-Jan-13 14:42:42

OK, whoovian - the council tax payment is moot because even on a family income equivalent to your disposable income, in a band A 2 up 2 down, ours is more than half that. You're getting away very lightly with that one.

There's 2/3 as many of us in this house and we spend 2/3 as much on food, so no one could begrudge you that.

We put more than you into savings for the kids.

And put more of our own money into savings than you spend on holidays. That 8K you spend on holidays, christmas and birthdays needs to be lumped in with your "left over" 4K as they are not essentials. You could save half of that 12K and still have £500 a month with which to treat yourselves.

You ARE well off. Very well off. Your problem is that if all your children are at private schools, you will rub shoulders with the filthy rich on a regular basis. You probably also rub shoulders with people who think nothing of spending outside of their means and probably have 5 or 6 figure debts aside from their mortgage, so they will, at least temporarily, appear to be a lot wealthier than they really are.

RedToothbrush Mon 07-Jan-13 14:42:44

Have to be honest we have friends who have similar incomes to our household income and always go on about how we go on 'flashy amazing holidays' and how they couldn't afford it. It makes me chuckle as I know we spend less on holidays than they do; we backpack - we shop around, get the best deals and cut corners on things that they wouldn't dream of. Most of the time we've managed to find incredible and different places to stay as a result, instead of soulless generic package holiday hotel rooms. Which is why I think they think we spend a fortune on holiday.

Equally, you get the couple who blew £40k on a wedding and you honestly wouldn't know what they'd actually spent the money on, when you compare it with the couple we knew who did it all themselves including the venue hire and food for 60 people for £1500.

I know which are richer experiences of life... You can't buy common sense. If you are a savvy shopper, you'll always make your money go further and probably be richer for it.

I do have to say I find this a lot of crap: It is toxic living cheek by jowl with people who appear to be better off than you are. It doesn't matter what end of the income scale you are, if you see your peers doing better it can't help but make you feel inadequate.

If you feel the need to constantly compare yourself and live up to other people's standards, you'll always be on a loser rather than living life how you want to.

happynewmind Mon 07-Jan-13 14:45:54

Well if you take a couple of zeros off I earned that last year (£2500 newly self employed)

So yes I think you are rich!

DolomitesDonkey Mon 07-Jan-13 14:46:44

Your basic problem is that you're living a millionaire lifestyle and you don't have the salary.

hammyimo Mon 07-Jan-13 14:53:38

I think on paper it sounds a lot of money but once you've bought a nice home and paid four lots of private school fees, the disposable income left probably isn't much more than somebody on a third of that income living out of London using state schools.

The extravagance is perhaps being able to afford to have 4 dc in the first place, being able to live in a nice part of London and being able to have your dc privately educated.

But it's hard to see it if you're living amongst people with the same lifestyle.

Your food bill sounds reasonable to me. We spend about £7k on three of us.

I'd agree - it takes a huge amount of money to be truly rich now.

Times have changed such a lot. I went to private school in London in the 1980's and my parents had fairly low paid work. My dad was a line manager and my mum a part time nurse. They bought a five bedroomed house in a nice area. I would guess that me and dh are on a similar income but no way could we afford a house like that or afford private school fees.

LessMissAbs Mon 07-Jan-13 14:55:47

Perhaps then OP, your problem (lack of feeling rich) could be solved by you yourself getting a job, perhaps preceeded by an all-round education, and earning your own money, to contribute to the family pot?

Just a suggestion.

CotherMuckingFunt Mon 07-Jan-13 14:59:22

OK, I hate competitive poor posts but just to put it in perspective for you, your annual food bill is 500 less than our net income last year.

Fluffy1234 Mon 07-Jan-13 14:59:47

My DH earns just over half that amount and I feel really, really rich and fortunate. Our DC are at state school, we have 3 amazing holidays a year (because thats are real big passion in life) a couple of mini breaks, private tutors for the DC, 2 meals out a week, have savings, pay lots into pensions, have a nice but not flashy home and average cars. Perhaps you are just one of those people if your income was in the millions it wouldn't be enough.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 07-Jan-13 15:02:46

I'm a bit hmm at your grammar school statement - having attended grammar school myself, I was led to believe that admission was upon merit - not income of parents!

Stop making excuses and use your brains - and those of your husband whom I'm going to assume has them in abundance to pull in such a salary and take a moment to ponder upon this:-

Mr Macawber said - 'Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20 shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings, expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness'

Bobyan Mon 07-Jan-13 15:03:46

Well there is only one thing for it OP. You and your DH need to sell a kidney each, that should help.

2013go Mon 07-Jan-13 15:07:00

Obviously your fundamental mistake was in not having brighter children- if you'd had cleverer kids then you could have taken the dreadful risk of sending them to (shudder at the thought!!!) the local comp. A double win: you'd feel richer and BE richer, and they'd still get their A* grades.... plus mixing with other, less wealthy, folk might prevent them from inheriting the rather absurd sense of values and priorities that seem to be prevalent in your rarified world.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 15:07:41

A third of that income would still put you in the top 5%. And would be more than four times the median, if I've read the table here correctly.
I think better-off people often have no idea how little most other people earn.

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 15:20:40

This is not about being poor its about 'feeling' poor which is nothing to do with the figures and everything to do with how the OP sees herself and her place amongst her peers. You need to be grateful rather than stressed but that takes a certain mindset which in turn takes work. But is worth it for someone like you I am sure.

StuntGirl Mon 07-Jan-13 15:23:11

It does sound like you have some deep seated issues wrt money. That is your problem, not how much money you do or don't have.

hoodoo12345 Mon 07-Jan-13 15:26:04


whois Mon 07-Jan-13 15:29:26

I can totally see why the OP doesn't 'feel' rich.

OP has a high income and high outgoings. Luckily also has cash to not have to think about day to day spending decisions such as "can I buy x or y" but OP certainly doesn't have the kind of cash to be flying 1st class to a private island.

MN always comes out in force whenever anyone has the audacity to suggest they don't feel rich because they have high outgoings.

People spend what they have, and socialise with people in similar income brackets usually hence you never feel rich.

OP's husband is paying more tax in a year than many people ever pay, so no need to be so snipey.

I think husband should be putting way more into his pension. You should also have one.

Private school is a choice and because of that you won't feel rich until the ankle biters are off your hands and mortgage is paid off.

I don't think £10k on food is unreasonable. If I scaled my spend up to 6 adults it would probably hit that including washing powder and stuff.

A lot of people who are single or in couples and childless where you are earning £30 or £40k each are probably much better off than the OP. I can't be bothered to work it out exactly but per person after tax their income is not massive.

nilbyname Mon 07-Jan-13 15:34:29

meal plan
spend less on christmas and birthdays
cut pension contributions by 50% until kids are out of school
charity shop clothing, free cycle, veg plot

You have committed to a educational investment that is non negotiable. You need to get your head around that and suck it up. It is hard feeling like you do not fit in, but linking it to £ and lifestyle is essentially shallow and not going to get you anywhere so try not to give it any head space.

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 15:36:54

I am surprised people are suggessting to cut down the pension - there is a lot else they could cut back on surely. In fact they don't actually NEED to cut back - it is the OPs insecurities that is the issue not the amount of money they actually have.

2013go Mon 07-Jan-13 15:37:02

whois OPs husband is paying more in tax in a year than many people ever pay because he is earning more than a majority of people earn in a decade. And he just got a tax break by the way, while everybody else is having to face further cutbacks.

weegiemum Mon 07-Jan-13 15:38:47

I keep trying to write a response. My dh earned slightly less than half of OPs dh. I don't earn a lot (2days a week voluntary sector plus my DLA).

But I can't write anything that doesn't sound smug to me. We are very comfortable, own a uk property for holidays but also holiday abroad every 2nd year.

We live in Scotland where our 4-bed property cost £167k and our other property remortgaged financed it. We let one out for holidays if we're not using it. Also dh works 4 days/1 night, I do 2 days school hours, for an educational charity. Our dc go to state school. They couldn't get the benefits at a private school (our dc go to bilingual school)

We feel rich, able to give a lot of time/money away.

I don't care if I "feel" rich. Do I have enough? Yes! Why else should I worry?

I don't have a lot o

BackforGood Mon 07-Jan-13 15:39:23

If it helps, for comparison whoovian I have 2 adults, one constantly starving 16 yr old ds, and dds age 14 and 11, so only one preteen less than you, and our 'average' weekly shop is around £60 - £65 not the £192 you are spending. I do pay out for dinner money on top of that, but see that your dcs lunches aren't included in that either.

OldMacEIEIO Mon 07-Jan-13 15:39:49

Times are tough op, a quarter of a mil goes nowhere these days.
I was just syaing as much to my butler

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 15:44:37

do you live in London Backforgood? I am not being funny, just asking as that seems so low?

Just our fruit costs about £25 a week as it is so bloody expensive and thats one thing I wouldn't scrimp on if possible. I shop in Asda monthly but do buy fruit in Tesco Express weekly so it is slightly more expensive but only a bit.

My friend lives in Guernsey and her food bill for just her and her 6 year old is more that mine for all 4 of us as it is so much more expensive there even so there can be a vast difference. Their cheapest shop is the co-op and normal shopping is M&S!

ScaredySquirrel Mon 07-Jan-13 15:44:41

the short answer is you have too many children, too many school fees and too little income to fund it.

You can't have it all.

You either reduce the school fees
increase the salary (go back to work maybe)
or learn to live on the hardly paltry amount you have left.

I don't have any sympathy really, although I can see why you feel like that. You are probably surrounded by people with more money than you (and I had children at london private schools once too, so I know what it's like).

If my DH was bringing home £250k a year in our current situation I certainly would not spend my time complaining how poor I am!!

As it stands DH and I earn about £24k between us working full time...we are not skint but manage our money as best we can. Do you work? If not, why not? If you rely on another person to bring all of the money in and feel like you have little disposable cash but spend your days doing little to supplement your income, YABMassivelyU to complain that you are skint!

I grew up as a 'have not' and would pirouette through life for the chance to not worry about bills for one day but I don't have that luxury so suck it up and be grateful your children are not in that category.

ScaredySquirrel Mon 07-Jan-13 15:46:06

I have 6 children, live in London and earn a lot less than the OP. I don't fund private school, and don't feel particularly poor.

the issue is the school fees. and your expectation of what is normal.

Comparing yourself to others, always leads to misery. Are you happy in your life and how you live it? Is that not all that matters??

You are well off compared to the vast majority of people, but desperately poor compared to Bill Gates or some Russion plutocrat grin.

Having said that, I do know what you mean. We have 2 highish incomes, probably a total of about half of yours, and will NOT be sending our 4 kids to private school because we do not want to 'feel poor'. Holidays abroad tend to be to the country of my origin where we see my family - and stay rent-free. DH has a penchant for expensive cars, but he has an expensive estate car, nothing flash.

VonHerrBurton Mon 07-Jan-13 15:50:26

I feel sorry for you. Seriously, I'm not being cynical.

I thank my lucky stars every day that I have a happy marriage to a wonderful, caring, kind man. My child is healthy and happy. My parents are around and I see the utter content in their eyes every day when they look at their grandchildren. That's what makes me 'comfortable'.

I don't give a flying fuck that we earn a huge amount less than you, we don't live in London (nor would we want to in a million years) and ds is thriving in state school. Maybe you should look at your life and get to the nitty gritty of why you feel unfulfilled scarcely comfortable. It's not the income.

JoanByers Mon 07-Jan-13 15:51:34

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Whoknowswhocares Mon 07-Jan-13 15:51:49

If you choose to send 4 children to private school, then you must perceive a benefit to that. Ot why bother?

unless you are a millionaire, you will notice the hit in your pocket! You pay your money and take your choice.

The one thing you should not do is make your decision and then whine about it to those less fortunate than yourself without the luxury of that choice!

LynetteScavo Mon 07-Jan-13 15:52:47

OP, I impressed by your very low (for London Mortgage). shock

You could cut down on food, but to live a "nice" lifestyle I can see why you would want to spend £5K on holidays.

It's all relative though. Our house hold income is a fraction of yours....but some would think we are are OK (we are on paper) some would think we are positively loaded...personally I find myself counting every last £1 and wondering why I feel so poor.

If your DH is still earning the same when the DC have finished education, you will be laughing. As my children are at state schools I will still feel poor. grin

threesocksmorgan Mon 07-Jan-13 15:53:41

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everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 15:56:13

Bonkers thread.

You bring home ££££ spend £££ on education and have ££ to pay for everything else.

What's is actually wrong?

As I said earlier if you want more cash to spend pull the kids out of school. But I'm sure you don't want that.

We have committed to private school. It's a fair wad of money ( nothing like yours though, 2 dc ) and our mortgage is twice yours. We are not on £250k but we are not in London.

I thank my lucky stars for many things.

Assuming this is a genuine thread, I suppose it all depends on your definition of 'rich': able to afford a house, 4 kids + private education, still go on holiday etc etc, or to be able to buy Ferraris and Haute Couture and fly by private jet to one of you houses in the Caribbean.

I think you ought to consider yourself rich, and I think you know that too grin.

sugarandspiced Mon 07-Jan-13 16:01:33

I assume that this is someone's idea of a joke. In pretty poor taste considering that a lot of people really are counting the pennies.

However, if it is a genuine post, I suspect the OP doesn't feel 'rich' because I don't think that many people actually see themselves as rich. Whatever your income bracket, you will always know people on higher levels of income and see more and more things as essential and covet more and more expensive goods. It's human nature.

I think you mentioned somewhere that you went through the state education system and were not well off as a child. I think that you should have a good think about the fact that you appear to have lost touch with reality.

NetworkGuy Mon 07-Jan-13 16:01:55

"We have less than 42k a year to live on and we pay our mortgage...

I think no matter how much money you have, you will always feel you don't have enough."

I can see the logic. Perhaps, OP, there are areas where you could cut down - have you considered switching utility suppliers ? Do you use 'cash back' schemes (eg Quidco or TopCashBack, or others, if buying online) or credit cards ? (You can get extra cash when switching if you go to a cash back site and then on to your chosen supplier - use a comparison site to find the best deal for you and then the cashback site so you get the money that would have been paid in commission.)

When you take a holiday in Europe, is it planned months in advance and not doing a lot of searching for ways to save (eg some of the deals like Groupon or similar offer) ?

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 16:05:25

Ditch the private schools and job done you will feel loaded(maybe)

kim147 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:06:10

Don't worry - in about 10 - 12 years, you'll be loaded.

bbface Mon 07-Jan-13 16:08:01

OP, I sort of know where you are coming from. DH earns £122k plus circa 18% bonus. We have one son (2.4) and another on the way.

We live in a two bed ground floor in Kent. DS goes to nursery two mornings a week, costing £60 a week. We have one car, a second hand ford focus. DH spends £4.5k a yr on train travel. We have one holiday a yr, to SA to stay with family, and then maybe one europe mini break. We spend about £130 a week on groceries, nappies, cleaning stuff etc. We are careful with money, for instance we are having a bit of work done on the flat (two doors replaced and a window), but we have spent a good few hours researching best price and getting quotes.

In short, we are careful with money. And yet, like you, we do not feel rich.

Mumsnet is not the place for this sort of thread. I presume you are quite new to the site. A massive and great support in so many respects. Bring up money in any other way other than you are on the breadline, and you will be brought down quickly and sharply.

MrsMcEnroe Mon 07-Jan-13 16:15:40

<applauds the OP for sending her children to private schools, thereby freeing up state school places for those who can't afford private school>

Crinkle77 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:16:27

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MoreBeta Mon 07-Jan-13 16:17:53

The truth is that the OP is not being unreasonable. There are a huge number of people in London like her who have no choice but to pay school fees and a huge price for a house and a high price for everything else - and yet stil only have a struggling middle class life after £250k of earnings.

The typical breakdown is as follows:

£250k Gross
£125k Net (after all taxes)

Mortgage or Rent £50k
School fees £50k (4 x £12.5 k)
Living Expense £50k

Net over spend £25k per annum which hopefully will be covered by annual bonus.

Just ditching school fees in London is really not an option unless you have children in grammar schools. As I said earlier it is this mathematics that makes people move out of London with a family.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 07-Jan-13 16:20:19

I remember XH driving me to work when I was expecting DS1, and him saying he thought we should be putting money aside to send our children to private school. I laughed hollowly and asked how he thought we were going to afford that. I was at that time on a salary of around £16k, which would just about have covered private school fees if we didn't have to live anywhere or eat anything, and XH's business never made a bean. He did try saying (later strenuously denied) that we only had to worry about school fees if they were boys, because girls would be getting married so they didn't need such a good education...

And yet I not only stayed with the idiot but went on to have 3 more children with him. None of them were girls. And none of them were privately educated either.

zlist Mon 07-Jan-13 16:21:10

It is pretty rich to be able to send 4 children to private school and live in London by most standards. However, I can appreciate that given those outgoings day-to-day life doesn't feel very rich at all.
My SIL/BIL live in London and have 3 children at private school and I doubt they would be able to maintain their non flashy lifestyle on £250K/year. Many of the parents of their childrens friends are very rich, I think that is why makes the difference - comparisons with what is normal for your 'circle'.
You will probably feel rich when your children aren't financially dependent on you and the mortgage is paid though!

kaiserfootmuff Mon 07-Jan-13 16:21:47

fgs private schooling isn't compulsory, it's just he middle class dread of the comprehensive system

"Bring up money in any other way other than you are on the breadline, and you will be brought down quickly and sharply."

I think that is true, but is as it should be tbh, bbface.

OP, it seems to me a lot of your resentment does stem from your husbands decision to send your DC to private school from priimary onwards. If this was not a joint decision, and now you feel squeezed, and can see why you'd feel angry about it.

I thank my lucky starts to not live in London, to not move in circles that involve competitive dressing/schooling/car purchasing/holidaying. We have a massive mortgage for a huge house in an unexciting location with good primary and secondary state education and that does me just fine.

Maybe starting to write down 5 good things about your life everyday, would be a good exercise for you?? Or volunteer for Shelter for a while...
I have some sympathy for how you are not feeling 'rich', but really, get a grip and look at the real world for a change, and not just your bubble.

noblegiraffe Mon 07-Jan-13 16:22:58

I think I feel more sorry for the people in London who have to cope with London prices, have no choice but to send their kids to state school and only earn a pittance because they clean the homes and offices of the 'struggling' middle class.

usualsuspect Mon 07-Jan-13 16:23:03

Of course she has a choice not to pay school fees.

SugarplumMary Mon 07-Jan-13 16:26:46

Do you know where all the money is going or do you think you are earing so much you should be able to treate yourseleves and frittering it away on none items?

TBH I would expect you to be comfortable on that wage - ie can cover the bills, pay into pension, have luxuries like a holiday a year and not have to bulk meals out with cheap ingredients ever week and save a bit in case unexpected expensive events happen.

sugarandspiced Mon 07-Jan-13 16:27:45

More beta- I believe that state education does exist even in London.

The OP has made a choice, a perfectly valid choice to educate he children privately, but she has no right to complain about not feeling rich. She will come across as ludicrously out of touch with reality, as do a lot of our current politicians.

cory Mon 07-Jan-13 16:28:16

MoreBeta, I think what puzzles many posters is how you could possibly describe a life where you are spending 10k on food and 3k on Christmas and birthdays (as per the OPs post) as a struggling middle class life? Where exactly does the struggle lie? In finding presents expensive enough?

The fact remains that a life where you have 50k over for just everyday living doesn't strike the majority of the population as a struggling life at all: it seems like an impossible dream. I can't say it worries me that there are people that live like that or that I'm jealous or anything. But I don't personally know anyone. So if that is a struggle, what is the definition of the life that everybody I do know lives?

aamia Mon 07-Jan-13 16:29:48

My dad earned about 1/4 of that (mum was sahm), sent me to private school (boarding), had a 4 bed house, a holiday a year. We ate supermarket basics food, bought clothes in sales, or just not too often, had an extensive vegetable garden to provide pretty much all of the fruit/veg (we froze/canned the excess to eat during the winter) and the bday/xmas budget was 40 pounds per person. We did not feel 'rich', as others at my school blatantly were, and I remember desperately wanting just to buy something (foodwise) when shopping because I fancied it, to not have to scrimp and save with food particularly. My dad saved though, and their mortgage is now paid off. By comparison, I earn about 1/3 of what he did, hubby the same. We are careful, but if I want a cake, or a particular type of crisp, I can have it.

I guess it is about managing expectations. Comfortable to me, means I can buy something small if I want it. I would feel rich if I could just go out and get a TV, or a car or something 'just because'.

SugarplumMary Mon 07-Jan-13 16:33:13

You could OP do the sums for living/buying outside London commuting in for work for one of you and perhaps one working more locally - looking areas where state schools have excellent reputations?

Or perhaps do what the Toby young guy seemed to be doing – unable to afford private education for his DC campaign and set up a free school?

Rikalaily Mon 07-Jan-13 16:34:46

OP, you said that you work, the thread title says that your DH earns £250k, so how much do you earn? A few people have asked but I haven't seen an answer (sorry if I missed it).

We have 4 kids too and our total income inc dp wage, TC, CB etc is less than £30k. The only luxuries we have are Virgin TV and a 10 year old car that my partners parents bought, no holidays etc, dp and I only get a few new bits of clothes a year and usually only when we need them. Whatever you earn you cut your cloth accordingly, you choose to privately educate so you need to accept that it's sucking up a huge portion of what you have coming in. You still have plenty to live on and don't have to worry about where your next meal is coming from or choose between new shoes for the kids and putting the heating on, just having that piece of mind is priceless and most people would give thier right arm for that.

You really need to start thinking about and appreciating what you have got rather than focussing what you haven't.

2013go Mon 07-Jan-13 16:34:48

Morebeta, hilarious. There are many schools in London that are actually FREE to attend.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 07-Jan-13 16:35:21

Beta, 42k after mortgage isn't struggling. Really, it isn't.

There are people in London who are struggling to pay for everyday expenses after they have paid their mortgage and childcare costs, despite earning what would be pretty good salaries in other parts of the country. But the OP isn't in that category, even after school fees, not with a 5k holiday and 3k on Christmas and birthdays.

yabu as you have made choices that require substantial funding, you can economise, its no fun I know.

Today as well as losing entitlement to cb, dh found out his pension contributions are being doubled we are losing thousands as a result and it is difficult not to be pissed of about it. We are not extravagent, one english holiday a year, one old estate car, a very high public transport bill due to commute. I still recognise that we are fortunate and we will have to economise but we can and in the future I will work again (when dd2 starts school in sept) - hopefully I will be able to find work anyway.

woozlebear Mon 07-Jan-13 16:36:21

In my eyes you're pretty nicely off if you can afford private school for 1. If you can afford it for 4 you're rich.

I assume you mean you don't have much disposable income after living expenses and school fees, which doesn't surprise me. However that fact that you phrase this as not feeling rich implies that you have come to see sending 4 kids to private school as some kind of basic essential, like food and utilities and rent. That's not a criticism, if it's a non-negotiable for you, and you can afford it, it is just another bill, I suppose. But if you stopped and remembered what an amazing luxury it actually is, maybe you would feel rich. You certainly should do.

JustAHolyFool Mon 07-Jan-13 16:37:22

FFS, what do you think happens to children who go to state schools in London? Do you think they turn out feral?

Some of you lot need to get your head out of your arse.

bbface Mon 07-Jan-13 16:38:59

*"Bring up money in any other way other than you are on the breadline, and you will be brought down quickly and sharply"

I think that is true, but is as it should be tbh, bbface.*

Why? Seriously why? you are saying you should only talk about money if you are on the breadline, otherwise shut the hell up! Pleased to see that the Mumsnet Talk Guidelines do not share your view. Very short sighted IMO.

HecatePropolos Mon 07-Jan-13 16:40:50

I suggest - and I am being genuine here - that if you want to see just how well off you actually are - try living off half of it for a year. Or a quarter of it.

Or £25,000 a year. Which is I believe, roughly the average wage.

Or, if you don't feel like losing your home and giving up your children's school places, sit down with a budget spreadsheet and try and see how you would have to change how you live, in order to live on £25,000 a year.

If that doesn't help you, then I suggest you volunteer at a homeless shelter, or samaritans helpline, or debt service or something.

"You really need to start thinking about and appreciating what you have got rather than focussing what you haven't."


ThalianotFailure Mon 07-Jan-13 16:42:22

I've been pondering this some more. OP, are your husband's earnings regarded as his, or both of yours? Because, if they're his, that's crap, but if they're both of yours then him committing £85K a year on school fees without your full agreement is even crapper, particularly as it seems to have left you with no pension or savings. You need to sit down with him and discuss this properly. And I would suggest you need to get back to work sooner rather than later. I think there's more going on here and you feeling not as rich as you should is just part of it.

2013go Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:11

bbface- it is really hugely offensive to see people in the top bracket of income bemoaning their lot when others are attending food banks to feed their dcs. We really are not all in this together.
It is right to 'bring down quickly and sharply' people whose lives are such a bubble that they have no concept of the realities others face- only a stone's throw away from their own lovely neighbourhoods.
In fact, I am amazed that this OP has got off so lightly, with people kindly offering tips and advice, given the repulsive nature of her OP

TalkinPeace2 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:18

50% Of people in London earn less than £25000 a year (nationally the figure is £19,000)
Get OP to ask her cleaner, gardener, ironing person, delivery drivers, petrol station attendants how THEY cope.

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 07-Jan-13 16:46:43

OP doesn't have to live in London and doesn't have to send the DCs to private school.

My DH works in London but we live 40 mins away where there are excellent state primary schools, grammar schools and good comprehensive schools.

House prices are cheaper and the area is lovely with low crime.

DH's income is over £100k and we feel very very well off compared to the majority of people.

When I read some threads on here where people are struggling to pay for food and heating I feel guilty for having such a privileged life.

I can't understand how you can possibly feel poor on £250k per annum. It can only be poor financial management.

BackforGood Mon 07-Jan-13 16:46:54

MrsMelons - no, I'm in the Midlands, but food isn't 3x as expensive in London than elsewhere. - I wasn't doing a 'competitive poverty' thing - as I said earlier, we consider ourselves to be comfortably off now, but £192 weekly grocery bill is a lot, and the OP asked what others spent, so I was replying to that specific question. smile

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 16:49:45

To those whose asked about me working. I do work (p/t).

I went back to work last year so this will be my first full year at work for about 10 years.

My income will be about £40k.

I think a lot of issues have been brought up quite rightly. I should feel more comfortable than I do. But I don't. I have some thinking to do.

Bluefrogs Mon 07-Jan-13 16:51:02

Oh well,mo money mo problems as the notorious BIG proclaimed.

sieglinde Mon 07-Jan-13 16:53:25

Thanks, OP. There I was feeling deprived this am, and now I see that I could be REALLY sorry for myself even if my dh earned 5 times as much! grin

Seriously, though - do your dcs need private school? Must you live in London?

mrsshackleton Mon 07-Jan-13 16:55:12

morebeta it is absolute bollocks that people living in London HAVE to pay school fees. London comprehensives are now the best in the country.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Mon 07-Jan-13 16:55:52

grin arf at Bluefrogs quoting the late great Biggie Smalls on here!!

Sorry op my heart doesn't bleed for you.

You really should think how lucky you are.

princesschick Mon 07-Jan-13 16:55:58

Is that £40k on top of £250K? Or is your £40k part of the £250k? If so, you'll have disposable of c. £70k? After mortgage, school fees etc?

I think you know that you ABU and that you have some problems you need to address. I have found life coaching / meditation brilliant in the past. It doesn't cost very much and could change your life. Guided meditations on youtube and lectures about mindfulness are free.

I think you probably compare yourself to much richer people (richer mummies at the school gate?), which isn't helpful and won't make you happy. Either that or you're making all of this up to provoke people less fortunate than you, which is horrible.

You have plenty. As I said before, go away and write a list of 10 things you are grateful for and then get your priorities straight in your head and talk to your husband....

ErikNorseman Mon 07-Jan-13 16:56:12

Just ditching school fees in London is really not an option

And the prize for the most twattish comment on mumsnet today goes to...

OP, do you resent paying for private school? Do you see it as a waste of money? Is that where your resentment comes from?

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 16:56:25

TBH I think we could probably get our food bill down as some months I don't plan our meals very well. If I earned £250k I would consider us to be loaded so I wouldn't need to and probably wouldn't bother!

At the end of the day having 4 children would be expensive regardless so I am a bit surprised the OP can't see this, we stopped at 2 as we knew we would struggle financially with more if we wished to maintain a similar life style, if we didn't then 4 would be fine of course!

I think the OP has got lots of useful advice on here and quite a lot to think about also!!!!

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 16:57:53

Oh no - do you earn £40k on top of the £250k????

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 07-Jan-13 16:58:27

Hold on, so your disposable income (i.e what is left) is a whopping £82k a year including your wage and you cannot manage on that? shock

What the fuck do you spend it all on??? Seriously? How can you not enough money with that much left over?

extracrunchy Mon 07-Jan-13 16:58:36

Yes YABU. You are LOADED.

LessMissAbs Mon 07-Jan-13 16:59:02

Its amazing how people with such limited writing and comprehension skills can earn such high salaries.

No wonder this countrys still in recession!

Tortington Mon 07-Jan-13 16:59:39

i think the loss of child benefit might hit you hard

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 16:59:44

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amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 17:00:08

You do realise you are potentially setting your kids up for the same sort of "trapped" life dont you?

There is a question I would like to ask you in amongst all this.
If your husbands opinion didnt come into it all, how would you choose to spend or save the 250k?

You say you have two teenagers. They wont stay teenagers for too long.

And maybe the most important thing.
Cherie Blair says she grew up in poverty, and no matter how much money she has, she says she will never feel financially secure.

Dededum Mon 07-Jan-13 17:00:29

Whoovian - I think going from poverty to abundance is tricky, as I said earlier DH has struggled.

You been very level headed about this at times tricky thread

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 17:00:53

LesMis seriously, do people actually worry that much about their writing/comprehension on an internet forum?

LessMissAbs Mon 07-Jan-13 17:01:38

No, I think they're more concerned with trolls, MrsMelons

MrsMelons Mon 07-Jan-13 17:02:32

Quite possibly!

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 17:02:52

I dont think it is rat like. I could be wrong
Unfortuneately, I think there are a sizeable number of very high earners, maybe especially the ones with a number of children, who do think and feel the same way.

Jins Mon 07-Jan-13 17:03:09

DOoin she'll have to pay tax on her 40K. Disposable income will be more in the region of 72K. £6000 a month!!!

It's the sort of amount I dream of....

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 07-Jan-13 17:04:26

Oh yes, of course tax. I forgot about while I was picking my jaw back up off the floor.

Jins Mon 07-Jan-13 17:04:52

Easily done grin

JustFabulous Mon 07-Jan-13 17:05:14

Why would you even want or need to feel rich?

If you don't know where your money goes then you have bigger problems than your feelings.

stopgap Mon 07-Jan-13 17:05:39

You are rich. End of.

(I say that as a woman whose husband is a high earner, too.)

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 17:07:11

Amillionyears - I do worry that my children will feel that they have no option but to privately educate their children (and will be ruined by it).

Husband feels the way he does because all his family have gone to private schools in the past and he can not contemplate letting them down.

Lueji Mon 07-Jan-13 17:07:37

Mr Macawber said - 'Income 20 shillings, expenditure 20 shillings and sixpence, result misery. But income 20 shillings, expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result happiness'

I was thinking exactly the same.

It's not the income that makes people rich or poor but the outgoings in relation to income.

If your DH is on 250k, you are not rich enough to afford a big house in the centre of London, nor expensive private school.

Also question: why do you not work?
An extra income might be handy and provide enough for savings.

skinnywhippet Mon 07-Jan-13 17:07:46

Yanbu- you are probably surrounded by friends/ colleagues also on that income so you don't feel significantly better off, although of course you are. Your expectations will be higher because of your friends but because the expectations are higher you won't necessarily be able to meet them. Your children, especially once they are teenagers will also have high financial expectations which you will endeavour to meet. I went to school with twins who were bought brand new matching mini coopers on their 17 th birthday! People on middle incomes wouldn't even consider these sorts of expenses but for those on your income it is more the norm.

Bluefrogs Mon 07-Jan-13 17:09:51

OP there is a great section on MN under legal and money called credit crunch.
There are some great Money saving tips such as what is good to buy in poundland,a no spend day thread etc
I'm sure by maybe doing a bit of batch cooking,researching what benefits you could get and buying Xmas pressies during the year in the sales I'm convinced you could make that £42k stretch a little more.
If times are that tough there's always freecycle

Lueji Mon 07-Jan-13 17:10:23

(that will teach me to post something I left for ages before re-reading the thread)
I now realise you work.

tomverlaine Mon 07-Jan-13 17:10:24

You have an expensive lifestyle - you spend your money on things that are luxuries- the fact that your luxuries are school fees and nice food rather than holidays and flash cars is neither here nor there.
The concern you should have is what would happen if your husband lost his job - how quickly could you reduce your expenses without ending up in financial trouble - you need savings in case this happens

bbface, I was not suggesting money matters should not be discussed 'unless on the breadline', but that it is not a bad thing to be reminded that those of us who are NOT on it are fortunate. That was all. Glass half full/half empty kinda thing.

Zalen Mon 07-Jan-13 17:13:53

Looks like you're winning in the race to 1000 posts attacking you!

Fluffy1234 Mon 07-Jan-13 17:18:15

OP why did you have such a large family if you knew your husband wanted to privately educate them. You must have done the sums and thought it would be a stretch.

SugarplumMary Mon 07-Jan-13 17:18:56

Husband feels the way he does because all his family have gone to private schools in the past and he can not contemplate letting them down.

I suspect that kind of thinking is driving your spending in many areas - DC must do/have x, y and Z so they fit in or so we don’t let them down.

Instead of thinking about longer term financial stability.

You need to have savings – stuff happens- incomes can go down other expensive unexpected stuff can occur. It’s more important than Christmas and holidays.

LessMissAbs Mon 07-Jan-13 17:20:29

Lueji the OP does work - handily, she earns £40k a year, working part-time. In her first job for 10 years after taking time off to have children.

OP is probably unrealistic to wish to feel oligarch-rich on such an income, but should be aware she is not in oligarch territory. And so should perhaps set her sights on feeling "comfortably well off" or perhaps even "wealthy" instead.

elizaregina Mon 07-Jan-13 17:21:06

op you could move slightly outside london ( rent) - rent out your house and live in one five times the size in a still very highly desiable area - within communting distance of london and STILL send your children to private school, probably all soley funded by the rent from your london house ....

elizaregina Mon 07-Jan-13 17:22:47

"If times are that tough there's always freecycle" - times dont have to be tough to freecyle - lots of very well off people freecyle....

ArethaSnellHutt Mon 07-Jan-13 17:25:02

Seems like a bit of a boast to me dressed up as a complaint about not feeling rich! Having said that everyone tends to live to their means so spend what they earn as has been said upstream. If you don't feel rich you could get a job yourself to supplement your husband's income?

mcmooncup Mon 07-Jan-13 17:25:42

What does 'feeling rich' feel like? confused

TheKindnessOfStrangers Mon 07-Jan-13 17:27:00

Erm, haven't read all of the thread but have to say initially I thought you were a troll. My family of 3 lives on approx. one-eighth of your income. My ex was privately-educated, I wasn't and at our Russell Group university we both got the same degree classification on the same course (and I got better A level results). For that reason I don't see the point of private education.

ssd Mon 07-Jan-13 17:27:40

morebeta, you're hilarious, you really are grin

houseelfdobby Mon 07-Jan-13 17:27:56

OP I can see where you are coming from. I would say that you ARE spending more than you can afford if you are to feel like you are getting somewhere as you don't have enough going into savings (including your DH's pension - 6k a year is simply NOT enough given his salary). School bills and food bills add up so quickly - I spend the same as you and we are only four.... One thought: have you considered Home Ed for the younger two? You could sort out general activities and hire tutors for some of the 11+ stuff out of the 30k you would be saving.

Can any of your DC aim at scholarships? Will any leave school soon?

BUT on the plus side, your DC's education is an investment in their whole futures and their lives so you know you are doing that for them. One thought only: move to Kent and the grammar schools. The commute into London might be longer than the current one but your DH could cut down his hours. I guess with 4 in school that might be too big an upheaval but you never know....

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 17:28:06

My dp and I both went to private ds local school and is happier and more rounded individual than either of us ever were at 18,

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 17:28:27

I have read before about people sending their children to private school, because they are afraid of letting their parents down.

ArethaSnellHutt Mon 07-Jan-13 17:28:48

sorry didn't read thread before posting but now see that you do work, but you earn £40k so compared to lots of families you are rich on a household gross income of £290k! Myself and hubby feel rich on joint income of £70k and have money to spare, I am shortly to be made redundant so our income will reduce to £40k but I still think we will feel that we are comfortable to well off, especially in comparison to our peers.

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 17:28:53

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skinnywhippet Mon 07-Jan-13 17:30:29

Also people are wrong to be so mean to you! You contibute £110k in tax a year and because your children are privately educated, you take less out of the system. Bizarre how you are being slated.

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 17:30:29

Oh that may have been me wetting myself a little.

Self indulgent twaddle. If family are so keen of rthe kids to go private, why aren't they helping out (as a hell of a lot of families do)?

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 17:30:29

Do you and your DH go to visit your parents?

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 17:31:44

We pay higher rate tax and take sod all out of the system. Please don't all cry for me at once. I'm not whinging about being poor though!

conantg Mon 07-Jan-13 17:37:02

OP, please tell us what your job is, that pays you £40K for part-time work after being out of the system for ten years? and did you get this job despite/because of the state education which you presumably had to suffer due to your childhood poverty??

soverylucky Mon 07-Jan-13 17:38:55

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LettyAshton Mon 07-Jan-13 17:40:22

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cathyandclaire Mon 07-Jan-13 17:40:28

Isn't it true that most of us feel poorer at the moment? If we've sort of lived to our incomes, whether we're high/middle or lower earners things have got much tougher. We spend way more on gas and electricity (despite chopping and changing providers like mad fools) car fuel and food than we used to and have lost on various tax-type changes/ child benefit etc. Doesn't everyone who used to spend what they had (whether it's 250k or 25k) have less left over, so feels poorer like the OP?

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 17:41:31

It's possible. My last job would've been about that if I'd done 3.5 days a week instead of two, and I'd been out of the job market for 8 years. I am very qualified for my as and have worked for some Big Names. It's not easy though, and loads of qualifications and skills are worth nada after such a long time.

JustAHolyFool Mon 07-Jan-13 17:41:35

I hate this concept of taking "less" or "more" out of the system. We live in a society. The doctors that treat you, the people who clean up your street - they've all been educated, many of them in state schools. Your contribution goes towards that, they then help you live your life. There is no "less" or "more".

Bluefrogs Mon 07-Jan-13 17:41:36

Eliza-I wasn't actually being serious,I'm pretty sure op won't need any of my suggestions.
And I can't imagine freecycle was ever intended for the very well off to get free stuff they could quite easily afford to buy even if that's what happens.

NetworkGuy Mon 07-Jan-13 17:42:17

"The concern you should have is what would happen if your husband lost his job - ... - you need savings in case this happens."

Indeed. While DH seems fixated on private schooling (and I went to boarding school for a while before going to a local grammar school myself, so know the difference between classes of 18 and 30), have you considered how much you will need to be earning when 2 are at university and 2 are teenagers ?

My guess is that long hours and these financial commitments could affect your husband's health such that he perhaps would have to take time off through stress, yet there's almost no way to continue with your lifestyle if it happened.

I'm guessing that private schooling and other cost will only go up, with all the things to "keep up with" peers that your children will have, as SugarplumMary at 17:18 suggested.

How well are the teenagers doing at school ? Where are your local state schools in any league tables ? Would they benefit from seeing how ordinary folk do at school, or are they too close to exams ?

If they've had a good education all through to their teens, they should be confident and capable if they didn't continue at private schools, but would they fit in, even, at a state school (or be bullied because of a 'posh' accent {not wanting to touch on stereotypes, but hope it can be seen as a valid point}). In case you are wondering, am just exploring what would happen if the world came tumbling down (your DH in hospital, or out of work, for 6-12 months)...

There's no 'slack' as you spend nearly everything /save for children / boost DH's pension, but what if he left you ? (OK, worst case scenario, and hope it never happens!) As others have indicated, no savings = bad news.

Admit I have no savings, but also just me to worry about (and only me to do the worrying).

perceptionreality Mon 07-Jan-13 17:42:43

This thread was never going to end well!

MoreBeta Mon 07-Jan-13 17:45:14

Just for the record, I dont earn £250k or live in London but know a fair few that do and I have lived in London in the past myself so I do get where the OP is coming from.

The OP is not saying she is poor but buying a reasonable but not massive house, getting a decent education for DCs and eating reasonable quality food, having a nice but not luxurious holiday. That is a middle class lifestyle and in London it does cost £250k with nothing left over after tax.

She is not complaining. Just saying she is not rich.

OliviaPeaceOnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Jan-13 17:48:06

Good evening all
blush Have just realised that I need to go and disrobe of my Christmas name and put my New Year name on but in case anyone needs to look at the guidelines here they are

StuntGirl Mon 07-Jan-13 17:51:10

To those whose asked about me working. I do work (p/t).

I went back to work last year so this will be my first full year at work for about 10 years.

My income will be about £40k.

The OP said shewill earn £40k when she goes full time this probably say, £20k now? That's still more individually than some households survive on mind.

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 17:51:28

Oh Olivia, you are boring. We are all having a lovely time on here. Aren't we, all?

sieglinde Mon 07-Jan-13 17:52:10

whoovian, aka OP, yes, you clearly have some thinking to do.

Are your children at a very very monied school? (Eton, say). If so this might be generating problems for them, which they are bringing home to you. I know not all London comps are good, but there are selective smaller schools like the Habs schools (not cheap, but not Eton), the new academies, and there are the Kent grammars and the Bucks grammars if you can move a bit. Are you sure your dcs are happy? I stupidly thought mine were, but they as it turned out were miserable...

Similarly your house - does it need to be big/impressive, or would you all rather have a holiday?

CaHoHoHootz Mon 07-Jan-13 17:52:46

As I have previously said and as morebeta has just said

The OP is not moaning, she is not complaining and she doesnt feel sorry for herself. She has said that she is comfortably off, it is just that she is surprised that she doesn't feel rich

A lot of bitchy posters are not reading the OPs posts and are making it up as they go along. hmm

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 17:54:56

The definition of rich, is having a great deal of money.

So they are rich. They do have it, but her DH insists on having it spent.

Moominsarehippos Mon 07-Jan-13 17:57:28

No, people are telling her to get a grip. I used to council (usually) women who would not count their blessings in life but obsess on some particular part of their life that other people just wouldn't see as a problem.

OliviaPeacein2013Mumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Jan-13 17:58:24

<twirls in New Year nickname>


Oh Olivia, you are boring. We are all having a lovely time on here. Aren't we, all?

<eyebrows> at the personal attack. I am NOT boring, thank you very much. hmm

And while I'm here, a reminder that not only is the strikeout facility really there for comedy and sarcasm for those who're blessed with that kind of wit and not for snide asides, but also that we FROWN wholeheartedly on troll hunting.

Thanks everso

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 18:00:33

I was wondering whether Moomins was going to get away with that!

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 18:03:03

Olivia but but but how can we all take this seriously?

You are so strict these days! wink

amillionyears Mon 07-Jan-13 18:03:06

I am getting the impression that whoovian has some issues with her husband.
op, if he didnt spend the money on school fees, would he find other expensive things to spend the money on?

Sidetracking slightly, but I just asked DH, who does all the shopping and suchlike in our house, how much we spend for a family on 4 on food and household stuff per year - he said around £3 K. And we eat fine, clean the house and even have binbags, so I reckon £10K for groceries for 6 is a fair bit - especially if the children are at boarding school. Are they? If not, they must be at horrifically pricey day schools..

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 07-Jan-13 18:10:44

I can't take it seriously, sorry.

The amount of money being discussed is simply mind boggling to me.

Still it is a nice distraction from writing 2500 on learning theory grin

OP's salary alone would be life changing to us. We are not poor, well I don't feel poor. We have nice clothes, nice holidays, the dc get pretty much everything they ask for, for Christmas/birthday etc. We eat okay-ish.

I cannot get my head around how you can 'scarcely feel comfortable' with a disposable income close to £6k a month, that's almost half of what Dh years a year shock

I get that is all relative, but £6k a month how can just 'lose' £6k a month? How? I couldn't spend that much if I tried to.

Joke OP no?

If your money isn't making you happy you may as well be poor. Give your money to me (or a charity) and I'll show you how to make a lot of people estatic!

mrsshackleton Mon 07-Jan-13 18:22:03

OP, why did you have four children if money is so important to you? I ask this out of curiosity, not to have a go.

As for those who want to know how you can earn £40k part time, I have a friend who earns about this for a consultancy job that takes up one day a week envy. Such jobs do exist, esp in circles where £250k isn't seen as a lot

Please tell me ths is a piss-take?

OP, is the reason you don't feel rich because your relationship is organised in a way that means YOU aren't? I mean does your DH take responsibility and control for all the money and where it goes?

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 18:28:44

I don;t think she is saying they need to change becasue tehy are struggling She knows they are well off but she doesn't feel it. They seem to afford all their outgoings so why whinge?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Mon 07-Jan-13 18:28:56


250k is a fucking huge amount of money! Jeez, I would feel rich on 20k never mind 250k!

CaHoHoHootz Mon 07-Jan-13 18:30:15

mrsshackleton. Nowhere has the OP said or implied money was so important to her. She simply said that she was surprised that she didn't feel rich with such a 'huge' salary.

everlong Mon 07-Jan-13 18:30:42

Indeed noddy. Just a weird thread imo.

I don't get the point of it.

crashdoll Mon 07-Jan-13 18:30:59

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

whoovian Mon 07-Jan-13 18:31:41

Fair question mrsshackleton. We had 4 because we thought we would be able to afford them. And in reality we can afford them. But we can't afford to privately educate them and 'feel rich'.

We can afford to privately educate them and have a 'normal' life.

herethereandeverywhere Mon 07-Jan-13 18:31:50

I wouldn't doubt OP's honesty but hope she comprehends the emotions it will trigger in those struggling through the double dip recession, facing the cuts in DLA, child benefit etc etc.

My DH earns less than OP's although approaching £200k on a good year. I've just been able to give up my £120k per year job which I hated (and which caused a breakdown) because of this (we have 2 DDs pre-school age, live in London.)

I KNOW how bl**dy fortunate I am and count my lucky stars every day. Every time we get a bill that's been paid, direct debit, without a thought, every time I walk out of the supermarket knowing I didn't actually clock how much the shop was, just popped my card in and knew it wouldn't be declined. THAT is rich IMHO. I was raised in a family decimated by the effect Tory rule had on the Northern working classes. I've seen both parents sob because they didn't know where the next penny was coming from nor how and if they'd ever get another job.

I'm surrounded by people who have had far more breaks in life than us - parents funding property purchases, holidays abroad since before they could walk, private education and parents funded them through Uni etc BUT if you judged your own life by other people's you'd never be happy. I am so so grateful for all that we have and that's rich enough for me.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 07-Jan-13 18:34:25

I've read this whole thread and I'm trying to see your POV Op.
But, Nah, you've got me, no sympathy at all.
Financially you are very, very lucky.

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 18:34:36

I know everlong just weird to say we are loaded live a privileged life with no worries about anything but I don't feel like I thought rich would what can I do?