AIBU to think there is a problem on MN discussing anything at all to do with income

(335 Posts)
amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 10:07:26

There are a lot of threads started nowadays, that are causing offence to people who are on low incomes.

It is getting increasingly difficult for those on higher incomes to discuss quite a lot of things.

I dont know if the answer is for those with more income, to not talk much about anything, or those with less income to let them talk about what they want to talk about.

I dont know the answer to all of this.
I would like both sets, or indeed anyone in the middle, to be in harmony on MN!

Nancy66 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:09:09

I agree to an extent. However you have to see how the 'we earn £250k and are broke' threads don't go down well when there are people who can't afford to put the heating on.

Tee2072 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:11:11

I completely agree with you. We are borderline with our income, since I freelance some months are easier than others. But I don't feel I can discuss it because as soon as you have any money around here you're being or insensitive.

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 10:11:16

of course people can start threads about income but when people post about thei huge incomes and not being able to afford a holiday inthe maldives this year
it is taking the piss people can't pay their mortgages or heat their houses,

KirstyoffEastendersweirdtoplip Wed 23-Jan-13 10:12:38

I propose a caveat be added to the title, something like 'warning: poor people may be offended by this' or 'please only read if you earn more than £??? per year'?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 10:14:40

It's just called sensitivity.

Same on here as in RL, or should be.

Would anyone stand in a random group of strangers in the playground and talk about their income issues without knowing how others were fixed...?

Anniegetyourgun Wed 23-Jan-13 10:15:53

Talking about money is so middle class, darling.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 10:16:07

I don't find it difficult to talk about anything much tbh - I am not sure what the pressing issues are that can't be raised?

Netguru Wed 23-Jan-13 10:16:31

Quite agree. I was agonising over a decision over the new year. My husband said quite seriously why don't you see what mumsnetters say. I explained that as the decision needed financial info and we earn a lot I'd just be told to shut up.


I agree to a certain extent, the "I earn over £60K but I'm skint" ones piss me off. Or the ones where people deem themselves too good to share a house but are too 'poor' for renting outside of their parents home (which they then complain about). Or those who live beyond their means and then complain that they have no money.
But I think discussing income shouldn't be a taboo on MN unless it's one of the above situations!

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 10:17:54

Paggy - you are right m'dear!

I don't either.

How interesting...

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 10:18:12

But it is the sensitivity that is the problem really.

In rl,you more or less know who you are talking to, and if needs be, roughly what income group they are in.
So can talk accordingly.

But on MN, there is or must be an almost complete range of people, and incomes.
And you are basically talking to them all at once.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 10:19:31

But what do you want to post that you can't?

ubik Wed 23-Jan-13 10:20:02

As others have said, it depends on the thread context and those moaning about not having enough money for a foreign holiday each year because they are privately educating their children should, quite rightly, get s reality check.

Isabeller Wed 23-Jan-13 10:20:09

This is a really important question IMHO! Mumsnet is an amazing opportunity not available in previous times of austerity for people in very different positions not to be isolated within homogeneous groups.

It gives us a chance 'look for the similarities' and see if we can live peacefully with the differences.

Do you think amillionyears that if you are better off than 90% of people it is possible that a democratic majority might question one or another aspects of the relative position they find themselves in?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 10:20:27

So be MORE sensitive.

Really need some examples of non-discussables, because, as Pag said, I don't have any issues I think I'd better not discuss, so I don't understand the problem.

Sugarice Wed 23-Jan-13 10:21:43

High earners should be able to have their say and a moan on a public forum.

It's often how the OP is phrased that gets people's backs up.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 10:22:01

And you know what? If people can't afford lovely foreign hols because of school fees - and they are MOANING ABOUT IT...they bloody well do need a reality check, and sharpish.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 10:23:28

Depends what they moan about, sugarice, some probs are universal: worried about dc, husband cheating, probs with MILs etc etc, some = "privileged problems" and anyone with any sensitivity/kindness/humanity wouldn't think to moan about them.

diddl Wed 23-Jan-13 10:23:53

I do wonder if it´s even necessary to mention a figure, though?

I mean that may depend on the problem of course.

But if it´s needing help to stretch things or where to look for what benefits you might be eligible for-is a figure necessary?

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 10:24:59

It's often how the OP is phrased that gets people's backs up.

^ ^ this it is how they word things some times tongue in cheek isn't really is it as others have said you won't stand in a group of strangers and declare how skint you are because you can't afford to go away for the weekend or whatever, it is all about context and words you use,

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:26:36

No I think there are a number of people so used to saying poor me they refuse to look at anybody else.

At the end of the day it is money in your pocket that counts and as it stands many,many people on some form of benefits will actually have more in their pockets than people who receive nothing,pay higher tax and who look on paper better off ie they have a mortgage etc.

Most people would far rather have money in their pockets and if we all had lower paid jobs,paid less tax,received housing benefits, received CTC,rented instead of paid off a mortgage the outcry would be on it's knees.

Personally I think some people need to realise the grass isn't always greener,remember the saying re walking a mile in my shoes and develop some empathy as unless people think of others and stick together against the few uber wealthy we'll all be shat on.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 10:27:40

I don't begrudge people talking about any problems they have regardless of how much they earn. There's almost always someone better off and worse off. People who are homeless could complain that people who have HA houses are boasting.

Surely the point of this board is the opportunity to speak anonymously about things that are important to you. Or have I been mistaken for the last 9 years?!

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:27:42

That said I have no sympathy re school fees what so ever.

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 10:28:12

There isnt anything that I personally wouldnt post I dont think.
I tend to take whatever is thrown at me.

But I am seeing a lot of threads that end up being a mini bunfight because people post things, that other people on the opposite end of income, are upset by.

I am not sure that there even is an answer to the question.

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 10:29:26

we are not really hard up we are in comparison to some and others but I find certain things about money offensive usually I ignore the threads sometimes I can't

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:29:40

That would be country not outcry-damn you IPad.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 10:33:18

Polka dot. I am offended by you boasting about your iPad. So tasteless! ;)

MN has really opened my eyes up to the number of people who manage on much lower incomes than I have, it's one of the good things about MN IMO. Of course there are also people on here with much higher incomes than mine.

I agree it's the way posts are worded that gets people's backs up. I've never experienced poverty myself but still feel annoyed when people use that term in jest when they are clearly minted.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 10:34:18

Hully - staying with your analogy, yes it would be insensitive to discuss new cars, foreign holidays and the like with a group of moms, knowing that some may be on a low income or benefits.

It is another matter to say that my well off friend and I shouldn't discuss such matters if there are strangers within earshot that might overhear and feel bad about going to Butlins instead of the Maldives.

I see MN as the latter.

If a returning to work SAHM were to start a thread asking if salary x was reasonable then she and responding posters should be free to discuss it without being flamed for being insensitive to those on a low income

As a MNetter suggested above, OPs should include text in the subject to warn away people who might consider the subject to be 'sensitive'.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 10:36:39

Everyone's problems are relative to their own situation. Telling someone they can't discuss money problems because some are worse off is ridiculous. By that way of thinking you could damn all the people who come on here moaning about problems with their ex's or oh's because it's terribly insensitive to widows. Or how dare anyone moan about the inconvenience of their kids having chickenpox when some people's children are living with life threatening conditions.
Some people may earn 60 k and still have financial difficulties. Who are you (general you) to tell them your problems are more valid?

Tailtwister Wed 23-Jan-13 10:36:45

The school fees thing is contentious and I agree, it IS a choice and for many people it means that other luxuries are out of the question. The fact does remain though, that schools are not equal in the quality of education they provide. If you are fortunate to live in a good catchment then that's great, if not then you have to look for other options and the independent route is a valid one if you can afford it. Whichever way you look at it, you make a decision and have to accept the consequences, be it a bigger mortgage for a better catchment or school fees. Some have the choice, others don't.

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 10:36:50

I wish I hadn't mentioned the Maldives now I really really want to go grin

I dont begrudge anybody nice things I do go all po faced if somebody has an ipad or a new car or whatever, I just think some people not all dont seem to see past their own nose about things and will not give up a lifestyle they can't afford they won't compromise

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 10:37:21

I don't go*

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 23-Jan-13 10:38:33

I think if you were a self employer person who hadn't been paid for some work and you needed to pay your full time nanny but had a cash flow problem I like to think most people would respond sympathetically. Although a reasonable comment would be that you should have had a contingency for this knowing the nature of self employment.

On the other had the I can see why people would be unsympathetic to "I can't afford a foreign holiday even though I earn £250k because I have to pay 4 lot of private school fees".

ubik Wed 23-Jan-13 10:39:13

I see alot of empathy for posters regardless of income. I see threads where posters seek advice in which private school to send their child, largely left in peace.

It's interesting that some posters on higher incomes do not realise how wealthy they are; that private schooling, a large house, several cars are a necessity and are surprised that they cannot afford other things that constitute a good life.

i work with people on relatively average income - many of these people can afford new clothes and a couple of holidays a year, they have a nice car, a good social life.
But their housing costs are low, either council or very low mortgage, they do not have children or have one at the local state school, they work hard in tough jobs, they often have 2 jobs...and they do not complain. They have made their choices.

So it annoys me when people who have chosen to live in an expensive area, high mortgage, paying for education, several cars, putting away for pension/savings start complaining about it - we all make choices, what is it that makes you feel you are entitled to a certain lifestyle?

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:40:43

Blue don't be, I hope that was tongue in cheek. [Smile]If it wasn't Dp got given said I pad from work.We have no smart phones(Tesco £10 jobs),very old computer completely stuffed up that we can't afford to replace so he gave it to me.

You just can't see an entire picture from posts on here which the above illustrates.

LesBOFerables Wed 23-Jan-13 10:41:52

I feel so sad for the oppressed rich people on MN sad

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:44:34

That said school fees are a choice which more and more people aren't going to have.

My kids go to a Satisfactory school,many kids go to similar and far worse because they have to.Said school,could slump even further but I'd sooner be able to pull a bunch of flowers out of my ears than stump up for school fees to send them elsewhere.

If you can afford school fees you are wealthy.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 10:46:57

Pretty - I totally agree.

It's not just money talk that gets some people going. Apparently, if your (general your) bright kid isn't being challenged by the school then you are insensitive if you mention it on MN since many other DCs are struggling to achieve what your DC finds too easy.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 10:47:10

I still don't really see that it is a problem except when a poster is being crass or someone on the thread is looking for a fight.

I have posted about loads of things. People don't get arsey when a post is in context. If someone posts 'have you booked your holiday yet. Are we going to fab places in 2013' then no one posting on that thread should get thir arse chewed and I never see it happening.
A woman was posting about damage to her weekend chalet - a gift from her dh - and ecause the problem was genuine and no boasting was involved she was universally supported and got helpful sympathetic advice.

The posts that get flamed are the ones (IMO) with gratuitous mentions of the price of things or stealth boasting.

I don't think it's a problem.

Badvoc Wed 23-Jan-13 10:47:16

The threads you are talking about are threads where the op moans about her Carrara marble staircase having a chip in it.
When you consider the state of the country and the global economy, threads like that are at best ill thought out, at worst boastful and ignorant.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 10:47:32

Still waiting for even ONE example of difficult problems people feel unable to broach...


PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:48:15

Ubik many don't have a choice re the high mortgage area.If you only got on the mortgage ladder in the last few years,live in an expensive area and had no help with deposit you will have a big mortgage which is why more and more people are renting and youngsters find it impossible to get on the ladder at all.

Dothraki Wed 23-Jan-13 10:51:05

mrsj for me - you have hit the nail on the head - I know a few people - (their income is irrelevant) and their lives revolve around their lifestyle and how they arre percieved. Getting into more debt - is a habit. When my children were very small - I was really, really skint, but I budgeted - to within an inch of my life. I was lucky - for me it paid off. I know thats not true for everyone, but some people - seriously need to lower their expectations. You could pick any random salary - and some will consider it high and others will consider it to be low - now -where is that holiday brochure smile

ubik Wed 23-Jan-13 10:51:38

indeed, i live in a 'nice' area and our mortgage is higher than most people i work with who live in less desirable areas. But i understand this is a major reason why a colleague is off to Tenerife with her son for half term and i am will be spending it at home with my three children.

you make your choices

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 10:52:17

It was, hence the ;) wink!

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 10:54:22

I saw a thread where a woman was saying she couldnt afford the piano tuner.

I agree with everything ubik said.

I never begrudge someone success or wealth. But when posters are moaning that they earn so much and cannot afford quite simple things you really have to wonder how they have tied up all their income.

Its also the refusal to change anything because the £40 per week wine bill is absolutely necessary and little Johnny simply cannot live with his £20 a box breakfast cereal. I mean come on. Since when did having money mean someone should never ever have to budget or prioritise or sacrifice again?

It's very difficult to post that you earn a lot of money but are massively in debt hully - last time i did i got asked why i lived like that as i was putting myself in a precarious position. No shit sherlock.


PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 10:55:12

I don't think it's as cut and dried as that.You will get some some in expensive areas who bought years ago,some who had help or others who live in areas where all property is expensive.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 10:56:48

To some people living in Eastern Europe, India, Africa etc those of you on low incomes or benefits are living like kings although you obviously don't think it. We have 'free' stuff like education and medicine. Then there is council housing and FSM. And lets not overlook the 'poor' people connecting to MN via their £10-15 a month broadband package.

If people on £60k pa should shut up about trying to make ends meet then maybe some of you should do the same. I mean, you are just being insensitive towards the homeless or people who live in countries where there is no benefits safety net.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 10:56:55


But with respect that isn't a wealthy problem is it?

The problem is about a lack of money. If you are massively in debt then you arn't wealthy and the problem isn't about wealth.

Startail Wed 23-Jan-13 10:58:22

Surely the point of MN is to discuss things you can't in real life.

If a thread isn't relevant to you or upsets you - don't read it!

Takver Wed 23-Jan-13 11:00:31

"I saw a thread where a woman was saying she couldnt afford the piano tuner."

If it helps I know at least a couple of stoney cold broke people who still get their piano tuned regularly. I imagine they would feed their children first, but I reckon that it would come above a lot of other things for them. If your whole family is very musical & it is really important to you then it's not trivial IYKWIM. (And it is bloody expensive to have a piano tuned!)

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:00:50

Also many people can't move as the travel fees would mean zero saving,to move costs £££££££. Things have changed a lot in the last few years food,bills and mortgages have gone up,the lack of empathy for people struggling and stuck is unpleasant.I've read a few posts from people trying to sort themselves out and they've had really nasty replies-not nice.sad

ubik Wed 23-Jan-13 11:01:13

One of the most touching/disturbing threads i have ever read on mumsnet was the 'are you secretly poor?' thread.

And there were many people in absolute financial crisis, on the face of it 'living the dream' in reality unable to sell large house in negative equity, redundancy, recession, yet still keeping up appearances in tattered designer clothing. I was one of them until I was fortunate enough to find a job and DP's business started to lift out of recession.

There was alot of sympathy and good financial advice on that thread.

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:01:47

And what Totally said.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 23-Jan-13 11:01:54

In re. These people need a reality check. (mentioned upthread, more than once>)
But this is their reality. Is MN for everyone or isn't it?

I think some of the reaction comes in relation to those people who don't see that their lack of disposable income comes from their own spending choices not because they are short of money. People who perhaps don't recognise that large mortgages and school fees will never be in the reach of some posters.

I really think it depends how you post. If you post, I've overspent this month / I'm a bit stretched any good meal ideas - you will get loads of advice irrespective of your monthly income. If, on the other hand, you post I earn £75k a year and its bloody unfair that I am losing my child benefit because I promised the kids a skiing holiday, I can understand why you might get your arse kicked a bit.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 11:02:40

There's a girl asking for advice re getting council to hurry up fixing her heating. She was a first time poster iirc, and was on the whole, flamed. The poor woman was distressed and asking for advice and people basically said " stop whinging and get on with it. We were in the sane position and didn't even blink plus we had to pay xyz for it" hmm

Now, what they said was fair enough in a way but it was worded so harshly. Maybe the op didn't know it was a reasonable timeframe. Harsh posters could have said "aww, I've been there, it sucks! Here's what we tried" instead it was full of how dare you be feeling do entitled etc.

I was open mouthed in shock reading through it and felt so sad for that girl.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 11:03:16

It cost us about £50 a go to have our piano tuned. Hardly 'bloody expensive' smile

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 11:04:01

Is that it?
The 'I can't afford a piano tuner' is the sort of problem high earners can't talk about?

What advice did she get. Were people horrible.

Isn't this boiling down to people with high incomes yet feel poor don't feel they can post?

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 11:04:15

I disagree with whoever stated if you can afford private school you are wealthy What a sweeping generalisation. If you only have one child in private school then you may pay around £9k a year. I know people who piss that amount of money up the wall by going on 2 holidays a year and a day trip every weekend...yet to most people they'd probably be described as comfortable not wealthy. The two families have just made different decisions in what to do with their money.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 11:05:28

Yy to Chaz.
I think that's it.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:06:05

I think the problem is is that the expenses or difficulties that come with earning a large amount of money are instantly dismissed, or there are claims that they are imagined or made up.

I also think, and it saddens me, that there are a large number of people who aren't well off who have convinced themselves that they are the poorest person in the world and therefore refuse to listen to anyone elses opinions on finance. Which is as bad as the I can't live on £60k threads.

Badvoc Wed 23-Jan-13 11:07:33

Ubik. Yes. I remember that thread. It was very distressing.
MN is not real life.
It's strangers being able to say whatever they want to other strangers as its anonymous. Things they would never say out loud.
Some MNers think you should be able to Feed your family on dust and hairspray.
Others think that lobster thermedore is the only thing for weaning kids.
I don't mind that.
What I mind is posters posting threads that they know will cause upset and distress to many on the forum because they think they are being witty or clever.
And not caring.

Please somebody think of the birds!
the "I earn £250k but I still feel poor" post just showed that even if you have stacks of money you just end up with bigger outgoings, and it doesn't matter if you're on benefits or loaded, some people just can't manage their money.
The piano tuner poster had the grace to say "I know this isn't an essential.." I think it was more a comment on how times are harder on everyone, and she was having to cut out non-essentials. Like the piano tuner.
Startail you are spot on. MN should be a platform for free speech and debate as well as LTB etc.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 11:08:03

Ah but £50 could feed a family for a week or more. It's all about perspective!

silverfrog Wed 23-Jan-13 11:09:49

I can see the point the OP is making.

It isn't always possible for posters to come on and have a moan about something that isn't life-threatening, or even vastly important, without (sometimes) a whole host of "well, aren't you lucky that's your only problem" type replies.

Iirc, Pagwatch, you had a thread once having a moan about some shoes yur dh had bought you, which had t lasted as well as they should for the price, and it all got a bit ugly with accusations of stealth boasting, and such. When what you wanted to do was (rightly) moan about something g that was not as it should be. Yes, a real first-world problem. But still an irritation.

Often, the first few replies to a thread set the tone, and t can get band-wagonny.

Takver Wed 23-Jan-13 11:10:16

TotallyBS - I'm sure it was more than that where I used to live & we got it tuned (also housing co-op so not my piano and I can't play so possibly I was less worried by the out-of-tune-ness and more inclined to prioritise other spending from the communal pot grin )

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 11:12:18

So, so far for undiscussable problems we have:

1. Piano tuning.

Any more?

ethelb, genuine question. What difficulties come with earning a large amount of money? Apart from higher tax which is obvious?

pag that's true - i feel that sometimes tho, just the fact of earning a decent amount of money is enough to switch off the sympathy/empathy/advice. Our disposable income is actually minute after debt and mortgage.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 11:14:53

I know the thread you mean Silver.

It wasn't quite as you recall because I wasn't moaning. I was asking where I could possibly get them re soled.
But yes, it did get ugly.
But I always knew that was my fault because I was showing off. I really was. I could have got that advice with trumpeting in gushy terms.
And the vast majority of people were stil lovely with just a few getting determinedly arsy.

TwoFacedCows Wed 23-Jan-13 11:16:07

I dont see why the people on higher wages can not post what they want and visa versa.
I wouldnt post on a thread about someone on low income bragging about how rich I am blah blah blah to try and make someone feel bad.
I would not expect some one of a low wage to try and make someone who has posted a thread about their high wage feel bad.

people are on here to get/offer advise, not slag others of because they can not afford to heat their home!

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:16:09

@hully on another thread I have stated that to earn higher wages you need to pay more for childcare costs and that has been slated.

Because don't you realise, we all make our 'choices'. hmm

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 11:16:41

blue - that's £50 once a year. Averages out at about £1 a week. You probably find that your average 'poor' person spends more than that on fags and booze.

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:18:57

Pretty 9k a year is pretty much 1k a month if you factor in everything else and the fact a lot of fees are more.Nobody pisses up 1k a month these days,sorry they just don't.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:19:23

@wannabe i think it was you on the other thread who claimed that childcare costs weren't more. But that is the big one.

You would probably be restricted to a high housing cost area ie London.

I could live on two thirds my salary in a different part of the country and have teh same standard of living.

Cooking, cleaning is harder to fit in when you work longer hours so less time to cook from scratch and save money there(though this can be a problem with low income jobs too, I get that).

silverfrog Wed 23-Jan-13 11:20:45

I don't remember any trumpety gushing (but then I am clearly crap at remembering threads accurately anyway grin). It seemed that you mentioned the brand, and wanted advice, and it all turned into a car crash of a thread.

It stuck in my mind because it did seem to me to be a "mention anything to do with money in a less than grateful way and you will be jumped on" situation.

I don't know.

Tis true that there is a lot of advice out there if threads are seen to be phrased the right way. I've benefitted from a lot of it, especially in travel planning terms.

Maybe it is to do with where threads are posted? Ie threads in longhaul won't attract the "how can y

amicissimma Wed 23-Jan-13 11:20:58

I enjoy Mumsnet because I find it interesting to hear from people who have different lives from mine.

Sometimes I find people comlaining about their situation but ignoring lots of good suggestions on how to improve it, or coming up with more and more ridiculous reasons why they can't do what is suggested. Sometimes they seem totally unaware of how their choices have left them in their situation and are upset that they were 'allowed' to get that way. I know that we all make mistakes but I do find it frustrating when they just keep complaining at how much better off other people are.

To look at just one example, is it worse for a musical family with limited funds (let's say they spend £5 per month on a simple PAYG mobile) to find it hard to get the piano, which can provide hours of entertainment and pleasure, tuned, than for someone to find it a stretch to pay the heating bills when they pay £35 per month for the latest smartphone?

Mosman Wed 23-Jan-13 11:21:01

What difficulties come with earning a large amount of money?

The fact that everyone expects you to dress a certain way, more women than men, DH can wear the same suit for a year, but I am expected to look polished that costs money, I have bought shampoo and conditioner and gone without food before now.
The fact that everyone cuts their cloth, Danielle Lloyds bloke said he had less worries on £100 a week as an apprentice than he has now on considerably more with a wife and kids. Well yes.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 11:21:26

I thought piano tuning one was tongue in cheek? Was it a thread about a thread?!

Hully- the basic premise is that you seemingly aren't allowed to complain about money if you have an above average income.

Oddly, some seem to enter into an "I'm poorer than you" competition hmm

HelpOneAnother Wed 23-Jan-13 11:21:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 11:21:46

My DCs are at secondary school now but before that the cost of childcare plus £4k pa commuting expenses reduced my 'high' salary to the same level as some PA singleton who had a 30min bus trip to the office

So no, a high salary doesn't by default = wealthy

Dothraki Wed 23-Jan-13 11:22:06

Twofaced some people do come on here just to be arsey. I was in arts and crafts recently, and one poster kept bashing the op - she had clearly not read the post properly (although when several people mentioned it she still carried on) so even some where safe you can get flamed for nothing !

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 11:22:13

Ok, let's try it another way.

To use amillion's phrasing:

It is getting increasingly difficult for those on higher incomes to discuss quite a lot of things.

What apart from piano tuning, are these things?

LifeofPo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:22:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 11:22:29

Mosman- who expects you to dress a certain way? You mean for work? Socialising?

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:22:31

Let alone the 3k a month I'd need to send my dc to private school.People don't have that kind of money down the back of the sofa.If you do you are wealthy and if you can't afford it you take your kids out and send them to the local mediocre school like everybody else has to.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 11:22:47

Is this just boiling down to the notion that high earners should be allowed to feel relatively poor.
And should not be made to feel bad when really poor people get arsy.

I am not trying to be trite. Is that it though. Is that what it boils down too.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 11:23:13

Hully- the basic premise is that you seemingly aren't allowed to complain about money if you have an above average income

Um, isn't that just common decency?

Ordinary old sensitivity?

silverfrog Wed 23-Jan-13 11:23:16

Grrr phone.

Anyway, agree that there is a lot of good advice given, to everyone, on a wide variety of topics.

But I don't like the pile-on threads, where sometimes only one or two arsey replies can really change the whole tone.

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:23:17

Re the piano,get an electric one- they don't need tuning.wink

LifeofPo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:23:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Wed 23-Jan-13 11:23:34

The difficulty of finding a good French polisher?

The piano tuner thread was entitled something like middle class first world problems wasn't it?
I mean I don't think it was someone weeping that they were so poor they couldn't afford a piano tuner and asking everyone to chip in even though they earn 600k a year.

I didn't read the whole thread but the bit I did read seemed a bit tongue in cheek, lighthearted sort of thing.

Disclaimer-I may be wrong on that, she could have been asking for paypal donations. I didn't RTFT.

threesocksmorgan Wed 23-Jan-13 11:24:12

imo if someone posts that they have <<insert massive>> income and 4 kids,then moans then gets shedloads of sympathy.
yet someone with 4 kids and struggling... is asked why they had so many.
it shows how bad mn is.
perhaps we need a poor people topic

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 11:24:20

grin at me and Hully still tryingo figure out what these untouchable topics are.

Hully - you need too add re-soleing Louboutins. That was mine <preen>

LifeofPo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:25:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:27:06

@hully you have been told a few

the cost of keeping up appearances for work

Quenelle Wed 23-Jan-13 11:27:34

I read the beginning of the piano tuner thread this morning.

The OP posted that she earns money giving piano lessons and can't afford to get it tuned. She was making a wry observation that 'I can't afford to get to get my piano tuned' sounds like such a 'middle class' problem but in fact it is a problem for her because it is going to result in lost income. Nobody who took offence knew whether this was going to cause her actual hardship or not, they just read the word 'piano' and chose to view her as privileged.

DandyDan Wed 23-Jan-13 11:27:37

£50 may average out at £1 per week but finding it all in one go is difficult and is easily beyond many people on a low income with bills, childcare, travel etc to manage.

I think the "school costs" issue is the one which makes these threads provocative.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 11:27:47

Close friends of ours go on 2 holidays a year. One 'big' holiday, like a week abroad, then a week in a caravan or something...easily £3k worth addition to this, they do something with their dd every trips to the zoo etc. with spends and petrol that can easily be £100. So that's £3k on holidays and approx £5k on day trips/special activities etc. Yet I wouldn't call them wealthy. They love in an average house, have average jobs, clothes from Asda, a 5 year old car. Comfortable IMO. Maybe not just comfortable to someone who can't afford food or heating...but that's the point. What one person considers 'wealthy' may be different to someone else, based on your own circumstances. Why is it the less well off who have the sole right to brand others as wealthy or rich?

Giving in to "expectations" and making yourself poor in the process is utterly ridiculous. Sorry but it is.

There has still been nothing said that doesnt affect low paid earners.

Living in london? Well arent there menial jobs to be done in london too, on low pay with the same childcare and housing costs?

LifeofPo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:29:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 11:29:39

Soz, ethel, one of my posts got lost.

What do you mean childcare, housing, clothes?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 11:30:30

1. piano tuning
2. resoling Louboutins

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 23-Jan-13 11:34:30

You could just paint a bit of red nail polish on the worst scrapes, Hully smile

TwoFacedCows Wed 23-Jan-13 11:36:03

the poster who didnt feel 'rich' on her high wage was flamed! why?

that was her personal feelings, you can not help how you feel! I for one agreed with her, feeling rich meas different things to different people.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 23-Jan-13 11:36:21

Hmm I know this thread has moved on but surely its the same as any other topic that hits a nerve.

I, for example, dont open threads about how annoyed people are with their dms because mine died some time ago and if I'm not careful I'm all over those threads shouting about how people should be grateful to have a mum etc and thats just not that helpful to someone who just wants a vent.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 11:38:13

Private school in my area is around £3k a term, not month! Big difference.

TwoFacedCows Wed 23-Jan-13 11:38:22

PrettyKitty1986 i agree, you just put it better then me!

HelpOneAnother Wed 23-Jan-13 11:46:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:46:53

That is 9 k a year so roughly 1k a month per child with extras and the higher fees others actually pay.

1k x 3 = 3k a month which is cloud cuckoo land for the vast majority of parents including me and the reason why my dc go the mediocre school down the road.

I find it slightly insulting to infer that with a bit of belt tightening everybody can afford private - they can't. We don't go on holiday,we don't go out,we don't smoke, we have 1 very old car- pray tell where 1 or even 3k a month is supposed co be found in order to spend on school fees?

As I don't have that kind of money down the sofa I keep a close eye on the dc at school and keep on top of things at home like reading and homework.Said school,is improving and the dc are doing well ie they haven't melted.

"Poor me I can't afford the school fees "is something I refuse to have empathy with as for the maj fees aren't an option however shit the school,is.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 23-Jan-13 11:52:13

I really dont want to wade into this but the reason people sometimes moan polka is that although a nice lifestyle is a choice, for our family it comes with 3 jobs, i have 2 and dh works a 14 hour day, and at weekends.

And so yes it is very tiring and the commutes are terrible and even if we moved to a 2 bed flat the rent would still need two salaries and how do you move out of London if both your industries are based there?

Its that feeling of working really hard at supposedly good jobs and still finding life really quite tough.

The quality of life in this country can be rubbish unless you are properly wealthy.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 11:53:11

A squeezed middle topic is a good idea.

And my 'grudges' topic too.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 23-Jan-13 11:53:30

OP - I do know what you mean.

There have been several threads where people will come on saying they earn £X (pretty good salary) and that by the time they have paid mortgage or rent, bills, childcare costs and fed the family there is nothing left for holidays or cars or nice days out.
And these people are genuinely asking - how do people on decent but not huge salaries afford these things.

And then they get shot down in flames by the 'OMG if we earned £20k I would feel rich, you insensitive cow what are you moaning about' brigade.

The piano tuner thread should have been funny, but one poster decided to use it as a platform to boast about how much money her DH earns again (as if we don't already know) and how lovely and privileged her life has been, name-dropping private schools and generally making a fool of herself - and being extremely insensitive at the same time.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 11:56:24

I dont accept that menial jobs reqire the degree of flexibility in childcare as higher earnings jobs actually. I know as i have done both.

PolkadotCircus Wed 23-Jan-13 11:56:37

I agree You totally as many do the above and still can't afford fees. School fees are separate and a luxury.If you can afford fees you aren't poor.

I totally sympathise with those working all hours for a salary that looks ok but isn't.Many do this and can't even afford a holiday.

I don't know if the wealth gap is the worst thing at all on mn.

I reckon by far the worst thing is the bloody trolls.

Especially the ones who play the long game, you know, bed in for a while, post a lot on a caring board such as learning difficulties or relationships. Then they start dropping a few bombs which set the place a fire and cry innocence. Their followers from the caring boards pop along in support and it all gets silly, with flounces over the whole fiasco etc. It's amazing how much trouble they can cause on a site.

They are insidious and worse, fucking boring.

Sorry, sorry, just having a bit of a rant, carry on as you were.


Care assistant.

Hospitality industry.

All low paid areas where flexibility is usually written in the contracts.

HelpOneAnother Wed 23-Jan-13 12:03:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PaellaUmbrella Wed 23-Jan-13 12:03:45

If you're talking to a bunch of strangers you don't know and therefore don't know the circumstances of, certain things are always going to get people's backs up. It's human nature. That doesn't mean that people should stop posting their problems, or be entitled to helpful replies - but don't be surprised at the odd comment here and there.

I have to admit, I wouldn't have time for people moaning about not being able to afford school fees. There's a very black and white solution to that one plus I don't agree with private education anyway

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 12:05:09

Someone on here has said about putting something in the subject heading to alert people of its content.

Not sure how I feel about that.
That doesnt seem to quite sit right with me.
Makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:06:49

But no hope of progression...

The most important lesson I learnt was when I was a wee gel of 19, just at Uni, life full of all sorts of possibilities. I went to an older friend's house and met her mother, let us call her Sarah.

Sarah was 55, she had three cleaning jobs. She worked from 5 am until 7 so that she could get home, get breakfast and get the kids to school, then a job from 9.30 am - 2 pm so she could be home after school, supervise etc, then back to office clean 7 pm-9.30 pm. Her dh had upped and disappeared years ago.

She worked harder then anyone I knew, she had been working since she was young (had to leave school, difficult life) and she had nothing and never would have anything NO MATTER HOW HARD SHE WORKED.

That is just not right.

At least in professional jobs there is the possibility of advancement.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 12:07:01

School fees are a complete luxury (sen aside) however i am surprised that there are few threads about changing schools due to redundancy as i have heard Of that problem coming up for quite a few people in rl.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 12:09:02

It's till not really clear what the issue is though amillionyears.

The only issue seems to be the difference between people who are poor and the people who feel poor. And that doesn't seem to be a major issue as long as ops post with some sensitivity and self awareness.

I think you are trying to resolve a bit of a non problem tbh.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 12:15:51

Hully that is only a 9 hour day though. Lots of people work way more than that for not a huge amount more money.

Okay - here's something I have not posted for fear of being flamed for a) putting children in nursery in the first place, b) for feeling conflicted / worried about money when I earn a decent salary, c) for taking into account my own ambitions in terms of building a career and d) stealth boasting. It's about returning to work after mat leave, and I mention approximate figures because it makes the situation clearer.

We have 3 nursery age DC counting the new baby so fulltime nursery childcare = £2000 per month. My take home wage is around £1200 per month [NB not a stealth boast, I know this is a comfortable wage and certainly don't believe that I'm entitled to more]. Commuting costs are around £300 per month. It makes financial sense to stop work if you just look at my salary on its own. With DH's salary included things are less cut and dry, but family members keep telling me I'm mad to stay at work because I'm "paying for the privilege of going to work". I want to keep working because a) further down the line I will probably earn more, and childcare will cost less, b) if I take a career break, the odds of getting back into the industry are low and c) I'm grateful to have a job in case anything happens to DH's job.

AIBU to continue working?

I fear being flamed because I've seen posters on previous threads that mention money selectively focus on one aspect of the OP (e.g. salary level) and ignore the rest of the post. I also fear being flamed because we chose to have 3 children close together (well, number 3 was a surprise but still a choice IYSWIM).

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 12:17:58

No, not poor. But not are they carpeting their second parlour with £50 notes just because they can afford private schools.
Whether private school fees are a luxury or a necessity again depends on your pov. For some they probably are viewed as a necessary expense, depending on your own background/experiences/expectations etc.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 12:21:24

If with your df's salary you can afford to work and don't mind the children being on child are then no yanbu.
If you working would stretch family finances to breaking point or seriously impact your current lifestyle then I'd say yabu and selfish.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 12:21:57

in child care

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 12:24:18

@frozen yanbu. And im glad you posted that as i may be in a similar situation soon and wondered what on earth women did in that situation.

My own family set up was the same as yours growing up and i find it odd how we were considered 'rich' compared to families with sahm.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 23-Jan-13 12:24:19

Frozen in that situation i would probably work pt until school before fulltime after. But we had a massive gap between dc to get round the more than one in nursery at a time thing. And we only have 2 dc.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:24:34

Oh ethel

She worked from 5 in the morning until 9.30 at night and did her own childcare in between because she couldn't earn enough to pay for ANY and she didn't want her kids to run wild and wanted them to have chances she didn't have.

She was like a hamster on a treadmill, earned just enough for the very basics with nothing for emergencies. She couldn't be sick, school hols were impossible. The point is, in her circs, she worked as damn hard as she could and got nowhere. Can you really not see that?

It is true for many, many, many people.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 12:28:36

I can see she was a v hard working person and deserved a lot of respect. However, i dont see why she should have more sympathy than a headteacher of a difficult inner city school actually.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 12:29:02

Frozen north pole.

Can I ask though? Your op is perfectly understandable without any need to detail your costs, salary or nursery charges. So, if you fear people will pick on the salary, why detail it?

Your issue is AIBU to continue to work when my salary and commute charges barely cover the nursery charges for my 3 dc?

The figures are irrelevant arn't they and the problem is not affect by the amounts - just the net result.

Plus, I am not at all sure you would be flamed anyway as it is a problem about career paths, independence and choices.
It's way more likely o be a sahm/wohm Bunfight.

pretty - ah, that makes sense. No, doesn't stretch us to breaking point as long as we are otherwise reasonably careful.
ethel - glad it was useful, I know a lot of people who decided to stay home in my situation but also a few in my workplace who did not.
youbroke - yes, part time would actually be ideal. I am on a 2 year full time contract though, so no job security and I don't have the same rights to flexible working. If I fulfill this contract well, my hope is that they might offer me a 3 year contract next.

Tomorrow is my first day back in the office; I'm sitting here trying unsuccessfully to get DS to take a bottle of milk sad. I really hope my children don't resent me working when they get older.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:32:50

what pag said

ethel, can't you?


well, as an absolute minimum, the headteacher has the right to belong to a union, has holiday and sick pay and gets a pension.

HelpOneAnother Wed 23-Jan-13 12:33:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HelpOneAnother Wed 23-Jan-13 12:36:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 23-Jan-13 12:36:47

ethelb - can you really not? To keep working like that and know that life was never going to get any better? That no comfortable retirement waited when she had had enough? To have no leeway, no safety net, no nothing - if you cannot find some empathy and respect for that then you are a cold person indeed.

Pag - I see what you mean. I probably could have been clear without it. I suppose the figures illustrate the extent of the issue in a way that I found helpful writing it. Honest question though: do you think including the figures would annoy anyone? Might it come across as a stealth boast? I genuinely don't know - I wouldn't take it as such but then I only came across the phenomenon of genuine or perceived stealth boasting rather recently.

I guess I was also trying to give an example of a post that I've been conflicted about writing, since people were asking about issues that people might be reluctant to post about.

IWorshipSatin Wed 23-Jan-13 12:37:39

I can understand it irking people when others post details of their comfortable salary but where does it end?

People with really poor health must be irked when they read a thread about something 'trivial' like not being invited to a wedding

People who can't have children must feel irked when someone posts to moan about little Johnny being an irritating brat today

Etc etc.
Salary/income is just one small part of what makes up the whole in terms of wealth, so unless people are poor in all respects are they not allowed to post details in case it offends someone?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:40:02

But there is no need to detail the salary. Childcare costs as a proportion of salary is something we all understand. Why should the figures be necessary?


RosyRoo Wed 23-Jan-13 12:40:24

The issue I think is that if you are reasonably well off, in general you mix with people in rl who are in a similar economic position. This leaves you very naive about the real financial issues that the majority of the population have. So posts here about financial issues often come across as being incredibly entitled, or ridiculous, or insensitive.

I hit up against this issue is rl as well. I'm a nanny. It amazes me that a couple who both earn over £80,000 a year can describe themselves, in total honesty, as being middle earners. There is large amount of fretting over issues that most people will never face, because they don't have the money to make the choice - private schools, holiday arrangements, the best sources of food. I can only assume that they somehow think I am affected by the same issues, because they love to share the angst.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:40:45

Put the details if you want Satan, but don't be surprised if people respond as they would to an insensitive arse.

FlouncingMintyy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:41:48

I had some very helpful financial advice from Mumsnetters recently and we are loaded wink.

I hope someone had a word with the numpty who peed all over the piano tuning thread.

The woman who felt poor on £250,000 and paying 4 sets of school fees was a very silly person indeed so I left her to it.

There are some mumsnetters who are unable to post a single thing without hinting at or even detailing their colossal incomes and for the most part I think they are just laughable.

Help - thank you smile. Yes, a nanny would be cheaper (although not lots cheaprer when you take into account nanny's petrol, daily expenses, tax, NI, fees for accountancy firm like nannytax to administer the above) but we don't want to move the older 2 out of a setting they like so much, plus oldest will go to school in September.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:43:32

In essence, Mintyy, they are vulgar.

Hully - was 'Satan' an autocorrect error for Frozen? grin

FlouncingMintyy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:45:21

Vulgar - that's it exactly.

Chandon Wed 23-Jan-13 12:46:16

Calling someone Satan, just cause you do not agree with them is a bit harsh IMO ...

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:47:26

eh? Satan?


Should I delete the post then for vulgarity? Will request. I never seem to do this kind of thing right.

WhateverTrevor Wed 23-Jan-13 12:47:59

pag did you get them resoled? Did they resole them in red?

Back to thread, I love reading what people's incomings and outgoings are, it's not something you generally can discuss in real life.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:48:08

Don't be daft!

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:49:08

that was to frozen.

seriously frozen, do you see now how and why you can mention your dilemmas without invoking Money Wrath?

I see now! grin < takes note >

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:51:46


well done.

Chandon Wed 23-Jan-13 12:52:07

But OP, it is like that in real life!

If you are skint, you can talk about money. But if you have it, you keep schtum and count your lucky stars.

I once made the mistake of telling two friends what I earned, as I was so proud of my career progress. I thought they would be pleased for me. They were openly dismayed, envious and a bit angry. I guess I was young and naive. I learned my lesson, and I never tell people how much or how little money I have now!!! Not even online.

Also, can people really not understand that moaning about private school fees is a bit of a slap in the face for anyone struggling to make the end of the month and pay the gass bill?!

Still, maybe we should have a separate corner on MN for Private School Parents, and another one called " rich people have feelings too!"

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 12:53:39

I haven't had thm resoled yet whatevertrevor.

Turns out I don't wear them that often and when I do people don't often try to look at my soles. Who knew?

WhateverTrevor Wed 23-Jan-13 12:54:39

Frozen I thnk it is helpful to detail salary and when you are paying out £800 more on childcare than your salary can not see how that is seen as a stealth boast?
Also like I said earlier I am v nosey and like to know incomes and outgoings.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 12:56:04

I think the nosy part is perhaps uppermost in your thoughts trevor

HelpOneAnother Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Toast123 Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:21

Maybe they should start new version "Mumsnet Platinum" ?!

Dromedary Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:51

Rich people can ask rich people questions and they will get the responses they want from other rich people. No harm in getting responses from the less well off as well. You don't often come across a rich person who thinks that they're rich - they tend to moan about how badly off they are, how they really need and deserve their money, etc. Presumably this is in part because their social circle is just rich people. Mumsnet is a great opportunity to find out how the other 99% live - get some perspective. I wish Cameron would make better use of it.

JenaiMorris Wed 23-Jan-13 13:10:30

To be honest, I don't actually believe a lot of people who post on the threads like the one AliBa menstions claiming to have a household income of thruppence p/m.

Which is not to say that I think that nobody earns a tiny salary, but sometimes they neglect to include any TCs coming in, or ignore the fact that they're talking net and the OP is talking gross.

Froze YANBU wrt to working at "a loss". I did (albeit a tiny loss really) and had I not, I'd be earning far less now and be offering far less ecurity to ds as he gets older.

Nastiest, bitterest income-related thread I've seen for a while was where the OP dared to contemplate accepting a 4 bed house for her, her husband and their three children. That was horrible - there were some very ugly posts there and I changed my opinion about a number of MNers after that.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:41

Drome: that is an unfair generalisation. I know a lot of rich people. Ok they aren't in the same league as Richard Branson but they are doing ok. They don't 'tend' to moan about how badly off they are.

Whether you are rich, comfortable or just plain MC there will be those that complain vocally. And because they are vocal, they get noticed.

So it's kind of ridiculous to base a generalisation on the vocal representatives of a group or class and ignore the silent majority

ubik Wed 23-Jan-13 13:17:54

there is a strong emotional response to some of these income threads which is totally understandable.

a thread musing that the family has a large double income and yet they cannot afford everything they want is likely to draw some flaming because money worries have very serious effects on peoples lives; marriages break up, mental health suffers, so does physical health.

you could look read these threads, and think of your recently-redundant, depressed husband and your stressful job and the fact you have been told there is NO overtime, and feel a flaming is well deserved.

an example was 'teachers are effectively on minimum wage' one

everlong Wed 23-Jan-13 13:23:36

Only read title and OP.

I wouldn't disclose how much we earn on MN just as I wouldn't in RL.

Seems wrong somehow.

JenaiMorris Wed 23-Jan-13 13:26:45

I just wish people could be less aggressive when they tell people to get a grip, and hold back on the biscuits.

ApocalypseThen Wed 23-Jan-13 13:31:54

I too feel great sympathy for the problems of the rich and wish we could have more threads comparing the merits of different diamond pot scrubbers.
It's terrible that the povos think that it's not really a problem.

Isabeller Wed 23-Jan-13 13:32:31

Hully I have to delurk to say how sad I am to see no empathy and care about your friend's Mum. Can no one imagine how tough that many hours a day of physical labour is? Would the poster who compared it to being a head teacher really feel equally happy for their own DC doing either pattern of work?

I do think working hours for a lot of people in 'professional' jobs can be life destroying so not at all unsympathetic to the teachers who are sticking it out.

Isn't the real shame the change from being automatically interested and sympathetic about the lives and challenges of others to being ready to judge criticise and blame at every turn. Or perhaps I'm just getting old.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:33:27

"you could look read these threads, and think of your recently-redundant, depressed husband and your stressful job and the fact you have been told there is NO overtime, and feel a flaming is well deserved."

But its not that simple. I earn average wage but my DP was in exactly that situation until up until two weeks ago. Depressed, fired horibly from his job (as I was one year ago).

However, posting my average wage would have howls of 'we would feel RICH beyond our wildest dreams on £25k" neglecting the fact that that is gross, we live in London, rent, have student debt and aren't entitled to any benefits (except JSA) because of it. (BTW I was well aware that we had a lot more money than many other families on MN and we priviledged in the fact that we did manage to break even as many don't).

So what is poor?

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 13:33:50

I don't think that is true. I think that most people with lots of money feel very grateful and don't feel the need to talk about it. So you are assuming that the people on here moaning about the dazzle from their diamond shoes are all the rich people. Whereas everyone on this thread could be stinking rich but just don't feel the need to mention it nor feel the need to plead relative poverty.

pinkyponk67 Wed 23-Jan-13 13:35:24

Hem hem, I think I may know one of the threads you mean.

Total sense of humour failure going on in some parts of MN.

Children are starving in Africa so we are not allowed to have a laugh at our own expense...

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 13:35:29

1. Piano tuning.

Any more?

just the piano tuning (unless it is for work ) ;)

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 13:35:40

ehthel are you just going to ignore my answer to you about the difference between her and the headteacher?

Was it a bit inconvenient?

amillionyears - really, yet ANOTHER thread about what's wrong with mumsnet? You're a bit of a glass half empty person aren't you? smile

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 13:36:19

I know, Isabeller, I know.

It explains a great deal about the demonisation of the poor.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:36:27

@Isabeller I didn't judge or criticise. I don't have no empathy and care about Hully's friend.

I just asked why she should get empathy but not the headteacher who is also working longer hours.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 13:37:10

see answers above ethel^^

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:37:10

@Hully sorry I was at the hospital and haven't read thread. I will have a look now.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 13:37:55

Amillionyears loves mumsnet.
She is just trying to make us all better posters.
I think we should get behind it.

"mumsnet : let's be less wanky"

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:40:53

oh wow, I see people have actually claimed I have said things I didn't.


Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 13:40:56

have to go out now

everlong Wed 23-Jan-13 13:41:30

Ok I've not been here much this week ( had to clean house for viewers ggrr )

What is this piano tuning thing?

ubik Wed 23-Jan-13 13:47:58


I don't think anyone with half a brain would describe you as rich.

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 13:52:11

Someone upthread has mentioned a seperate topic may be a good idea.
A squeezed middle topic?
It may not be used much, it may be. Who knows.

But at least then, some MNetters would know to avoid the topic,if they chose or wanted to.

Currently there is money matters, which doesnt quite cover what we are discussing, I dont think.

And credit crunch, which is really for those that are brassic.

persimmon Wed 23-Jan-13 13:53:23

It's a bit naive to say in the middle of a recession that people should be able to ask for advice about how to manage on/spend their very large incomes without any comeback. Get real. The gap between rich and poor in this country is getting ever wider. Why should someone on £17k not make a snarky comment about someone on £80k being unable to afford something unnecessary? I would.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:54:14

@ubik really? so what is?

I think that is the problem here. And why many middle income earners feel a bit miffed. I am in the camp that doesn't think that a £40k salary in London, renting with a family and no free childcare is well off. (However they should be able to break even). I wouldn't describe someone with a duel income (v different to single income with sahm) with a £60K income in the same sitation as rich.

But plenty on MN do and start doing competitive poverty. It detracts for the real poverty in society imo.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:54:56

~By the way there is a thread for rich people on MN. Look at the investments thread and prepare to be amazed.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:56:25

But @persimmon is that £17k net or gross? Do they qualify for tax credits? Do they have a council house or housing benefit?

Do you see the problem? It's not clear.

Isabeller Wed 23-Jan-13 13:56:58

Indeed ethel I have probably not fully understood your point. Apologies if I am being a dark coloured kitchen utensil.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 13:59:12

@isabeller wtf?

I self edit to a massive degree on MN because of my financial situation. Partic as a less prolific/well known user. Have seen too many hmm and biscuit comments to open myself up to that.

I remember one particular thread (it was a while back) when a women was really suffering from PND and her HV recommended she make use of the local surestart centre. She was totally flamed to a horrific degree once she disclosed that her/her husband were middle earners. Told that she was effectively stealing resources from someone who "really needed it'. It was one of the most disgusting threads I've ever seen.

Oh and that poor woman who wanted to buy a nice handbag to remember someone by - fuck me, she was totally vilified by some.

It's not just having a moan about not being able to afford private schools but eg if you try to discuss certain situations and don't mention salaries, you can then eg get asked "are you claiming all the benefits you're entitled to?" which can sometimes lead to a "FFS, if you're not entitled to benefits, then your life must be fucking perfect and lovely and stop moaning".

Not to say there aren't some fucking deluded head in the clouds nutters with more money than sense but they don't really last that long round here, do they?

Bonsoir Wed 23-Jan-13 14:03:32

The problem is that some incredibly frivolous "problems" which are mere budgeting issues (school fees versus foreign holidays) get confused with much more fundamental problems (nanny versus nursery). The fact that these are all First World rich people's problems means they sometimes get lumped together by resentful or envious posters as "undeserving" of others' attention.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 14:04:50

What would you consider an income level sufficient so that you never have to budget or struggle then persimmon?

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 14:11:41

@freebutton I see it on both sides tbh. There are those who think people could all afford private education 'if they stopped going on holiday'. They are tits who's private education made them shit at maths.

But there are also people on lower incomes who have their head in the sand about how everything doesn't automatically get better, or even easier, with an extra £5k per year in the bank account, and to be honest, they piss me off as much as the rich tits, but they aren't flamed as much. They also appear to be shit at maths.

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 14:16:26

A major issue during the recent US elections was raising taxes on the top 2% of Americans. I can't remember the exact polling figures but those for and against the increase was evenly split.

Think about it. Yawning deficit. Economists saying that it was only going to get worst if there is no new sources of tax revenue. In spite of this, 50% of those who had an opinion was against raising taxes on uber rich people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

Can you imagine your average Brit being against increasing Richard Branson's tax bill?

This thread says it all about us Brits and our attitudes towards people that are better off than us.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 14:20:04

that was why I asked the question about the headteacher and the cleaner @totallyBS.

melika Wed 23-Jan-13 14:28:15

It's not only on here but in real life, how many of us are going to tell anyone, they can no longer claim child benefit because they earn too much.

I think they should have cut it altogether.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 14:49:43

ethel you still haven't responded to my reply about the difference between the cleaner and the headteacher.

Do you not think that rude?

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 14:56:57

I have now suggested a "squeezed middle topic" to MN, as several have mentioned it, and no one seems to object to it.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 14:57:57

@hully no its an internet forum and I owe you nothing. You ignored several of my posts earlier on.

I am well aware of the difference between the two, don't patronise me. And I am very very pissed off that I was misquoted by other posters down thread.

The point was why does the headteacher who works hard get less sympathy than the cleaner when both work very hard? That is not a question that has really been answered.

Your attitude really stinks and you have more than proved the point the OP was making. Why are you so bitter, why can't you see the hypocrisy?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:02:28


You really are rude.

I haven't ignored any of your posts, certainly not on purpose.

I haven't seen any misquoting either.

The answer to (because it was answered):

The point was why does the headteacher who works hard get less sympathy than the cleaner when both work very hard? That is not a question that has really been answered.

is the Headteacher gets:

1. A pension
2. Sick pay
3. Holiday pay
4. Status
5. The ability to move jobs, to move sideways in his profession, in short opportunities which a cleaner doesn't have.

That's just 5.

If you honestly think there is no difference and both deserve equal sympathy (tho not pay of course), then wow, just wow.

Why exactly does my attitude stink?

What point have I proved?

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 15:05:56

so does a freelance journo get more sympathy than the teacher? Despite earnign more?

(I was misquoted as saying I had no respect and empathy for the cleaner when I had in fact explicity stated that I had both. You ignored mine and several people's points about what costs more for higher earners. Whether that was to make a deliberate point I do not know, but you did).

LesBOFerables Wed 23-Jan-13 15:09:10

It will possibly make MN a bit of a laughing stock if we are going to chop it up into sections like Squeezed Middle, Undeserving Poor, and Pinching Diamond Shoes. I look forward to MNHQ's response.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:09:57

freelance journo and teacher are both professionals.

I didn't ignore for eg childcare costing more, I pointed out that houses, childcare and whatever the other one was were not income-specific, they were a question of scale. As did others. Sometimes if others have addressed a point I don't because it gets repetitive. If you address something specifically to me, I will respond if I see it.

Please tell me you see the difference b/n the cleaner and the headteacher.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:10:44

MN must quail when they see there is an email from dear old amillion.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 15:12:15

I have already explicity stated I see the difference. Your being pretty rude by not reading my replies properly.

A journalist is not a profession in this country. There are exams and examining bodies in the trade, but they are not essential and it is no more a profession than being a painter/decorator.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 15:12:26

Hahaha at squeezed middle and undeserving poor.

You are a party pooper BOF.

I want feckless fuckwits, the I'm alright Jacks and the considerably richer than yeeoooows

Susan2kids Wed 23-Jan-13 15:18:40

Maybe....If you are whinging about how hard life is on your large salary then perhaps you do need a wake up call from the rest of the users. Its called realism. Realising that you arent that badly off puts your complaint into focus. The reason people are scared of posting in such a situation is because they are aware their complaint is basically trivial and ridiculous. Asking people to be 'sensitive' to such posters is basically asking poeple to quit being honest.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:19:10


Then please say that you can now see why one is more deserving of SYMPATHY than another, based on pay, pension, holiday and sick pay and status.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 23-Jan-13 15:19:47

There isn't a problem on MN discussing 'anything at all to do with income' - there's a problem with discussing things in ways which seem tactless, thoughtless or heartless in any topic, though. Like if you started a thread saying 'Am in bits - dd only got an A in physics but A* in everything else' you might get a few backs up. You have to see things in a wider context, and consider who might be posting and responding - seems obvious enough.

OverlyYappyAlways Wed 23-Jan-13 15:20:20

I'm broke most of the time but do not mind others talking of money problems, I have had more money before this erm.. skint time grin so erm.. no I don't care tbh!

I am also quite nosy, so I do not mind people with high incomes talking about it if something is bothering them.

Maybe we should have a 'special section' for those who do not call their toilets toilets though, just wrong on so many levels.

rainrainandmorerain Wed 23-Jan-13 15:23:25

It's an internet forum. You never really know who you are talking to and what their circumstances are.

it's a risk of posting anything anywhere that you might get a kicking. I don't like that but that's how it is.

I love reading posts about people's money. I am nosy as hell.

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 15:25:31

Ethel I think the reason the headteacher would get less sympathy than the cleaner is because she's likely to have more choices. Odds are that someone who has the goods to get work as a HT could get a teaching job with less responsibility in a less stressful area. It isn't the type of role you fall into, or take because you couldn't get anything else. Whereas a person living Sally's mum's working life is pretty unlikely to have had better options. Sure, maybe the headteacher has colossal debts and needs the 80k salary or her DC will be homeless, and maybe Sally's mum used to be a headteacher but decided to become a cleaner after she'd paid off her mortgage and got a nice big pension fund. But for most people in their relative positions, the HT has chosen to be there and isn't stuck, whereas that's not true for the cleaner.

Hullygully I think sometimes the amounts of money involved are relevant, in childcare discussions. So for example, two posters wonder whether it's worth working when it actually reduces the family income. A poster whose DP is on 70k probably doesn't need to worry about that and can afford to take a temporary hit, a poster whose DP is on 15k might be spending the food money if she carries on. Equally, lots of posters wonder if it's worth them working when it only boosts the family budget by like £100 a month after childcare and travel. The one with the 70k earning DP could probably manage without the money, the one with the 15k earning DP has to keep going because they need that £100 for the electricity bill. The amounts involved are sometimes more relevant than the proportions, iyswim.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 15:28:41

@hully no because I wasn't talking about sympathy and I am not going to discuss this according to your terms.

Why can't I discuss income on my terms? Can't you see that you are proving the OP's point about there being a problem on MN discussing anything to do with income without getting quite pissy over one little, eeny, weeny comment about inverse snobbery on MN?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:33:12

However, i dont see why she should have more sympathy than a headteacher of a difficult inner city school actually.

Ethel you said exactly that.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:34:09

I have also checked back through the thread and seen that not only did I answer you, but I apologised for not doing so sooner because I lost one of my posts!

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:35:45

*Soz, ethel, one of my posts got lost.

What do you mean childcare, housing, clothes?*

See? From this morning.

StickEmUp Wed 23-Jan-13 15:36:00

One thing that occured to me was .... look at the women who set up the site.
They are not poor .... but saw fit to set up a website to help mothers.

So surely there example is 'Everyone needs help'

StickEmUp Wed 23-Jan-13 15:37:47

Plus, people say you might get a kicking, flaming, whatever.
It can be pretty harsh but then again, its t'internet.
Not like someone is going to turn up at your house and duff you up.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:38:18

Chunderella, as was said earlier, you can still discuss the pros and cons without disclosing figures


DH's salary is such that...however etc etc

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 15:42:23

@hully sorry I missed that post

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 15:43:38

So surely there example is 'Everyone needs help'

Of course everybody needs help if a person is a judge or a shop worker but sometimes people post things about finances that seem a big deal to them but is trivial and ridiculous to other people, some people who are in a huge salary bracket dont seem to see the big picture, this isn't about not posting so you dont offend the poor, this is about thinking about how daft you might look if you post that you can't afford to keep on the stable hand this year im going to have to muck out yourself this kind of thing is going to be really scoffed at ime of mumsnet

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 15:44:13

It is not what you post it is how you post

StickEmUp Wed 23-Jan-13 15:47:34

this is about thinking about how daft you might look if you post that you can't afford to keep on the stable hand this year im going to have to muck out yourself this kind of thing is going to be really scoffed at ime of mumsnet

^^ This.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 15:48:50

but what about the poor stable hand losing his job? grin

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 15:50:19

mrsjay - this is a public forum. If people want to post about furniture polishers, piano tuners and stable hands then that is up to them. Skip pass that thread, roll your eyes and let them be.

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 15:50:28

well Id imagine my hypothetically mumsnetter isn't really being that tactful she is worried about the stable hand is loosing a job she is just woe is me about shoveling shit grin

Netguru Wed 23-Jan-13 15:51:15

Ok. I'll give an example of what I felt I couldn't ask. Any flaming will just get ignored.

I earn 65k
My DH earns 110k
We own our home (300k mortgage) and four other properties which we rent out. Total income 8k a month. We have three children, own three cars and holiday four or so times a year as travel is a hobby.
We have about 150k in savings

I am agonising whether to give up work. We can obviously afford it. We really just save my salary and the children (11 and 14) would benefit from me being at home. However either we change our lifestyle (less holidays, cars) or stop saving which seems silly in our early 40s.

I like being well off. So do the kids. When I said their allowance would have to change if I was at home they said they would rather I worked!

It is a real first world problem. I know we are lucky but I still agonise over whether to be at home and concentrate on my phd or keep working.

See. Not a mumsnet problem is it.

mrsjay Wed 23-Jan-13 15:53:43

Id tell you do to your PHD tbh and do what fulfills you your children will cope with a little decrease in allowance

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 23-Jan-13 15:55:39

In that instance, Netguru, my response would be that you'll be fine with just dh's income, and if you want to do a Phd you're in a fortunate position, and I don't think you should let your children dictate on this - it's not as though they're going to be placed on the breadline, after all.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 15:57:20

Why not?

Why can you not post - I want to stop working but it woud mean a substantial drop in our lifestyle.
We would go from being very comfortable to having to limit some things we enjoy.
How do I decide. Are the slight reductions to my DCs lifestyle something I should put before my own day today happiness.

Why is that not a sensible way to post?

Why the need for the 'we have 3 of these and we have four of those? In what way does it change the basic question other than to list your possessions?

I genuinely don't understand what the inventory adds?

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 15:59:04

There is you and DP and DCs 11 and 14. And you have three cars. His and Hers car plus family car. Now that is what I call 'wealthy' smile

This isn't a flame. Congrats for doing so well. I just find it funny that you have three cars in a family of two adults and two children.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:59:13

I just want to know why three cars?

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 15:59:43

@netguru I think you should stay and focus on your PhD. My mother came home for a bit when I was 13 and after years of nannies (who I liked and got on with generally) I found her presence really suffocating to be honest. Having her around as a SAHM just wasn't our family's rhythm. (Plus friends scoffed when I tried to explain this to them because hey, spoilt little princess' diamond shoes are too tight).

We weren't grateful she was at home, though I think we were expected to be. Plus I left home five years later.

So she went back to work and did a PhD. Now she is very happy as an academic, and I don't have a wingey empty-nester parents who are up at my back all the time. A real problem for some friends who's parents were SAHM or early retirees grin

But no, its not a mumsnet problem.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 15:59:49

Absolutely bloody fucking lutely Pag darling.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 16:00:47


you know how you said you didn't say "sympathy" and I kindly pointed out how you did?

Are you going to ignore that too?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 16:02:19


WHY are figures necessary netguru?

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 16:03:48

nope. sorry I got confused by being singled out so horribly.

and I really do resent being told off for 'ignoring' and earlier post which occured just before I had to head off to the hospital for an appointment about a condition which leaves me temporarily disabled. I thought you of all people would understand Hully. But no.

And you dare talk to me about sympathy.

Netguru Wed 23-Jan-13 16:04:26

Probably because that's how I'm working through it in my own head. The rental income is not guaranteed but allows continuing income. The cars could change. But I've seen bland generalisation posts on here just get accused of drip feeding and demands for more info. At very high income levels change is easier to absorb but the fear of giving up my independant income makes me nervous. (unlikely I would ever return to full time work once I quit as husband's career is getting more and more demanding)

I really can't make my mind up and stick to it. Each day I come to a conclusion then sleep on it and change my mind.

Enough about me though. I just thought it would help illustrate someone who thought to post then decided not to.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 16:06:49

It's a good example though Netguru but perhaps not or the reason you intended grin
Because with two minutes thought you could post exactly the same issue but without needing to list sums of possessions.

Like someone said upthread, it's just about sensitivity. It's not hard really.

Netguru Wed 23-Jan-13 16:08:15

Three cars - live in country. One for me to commute to London (160 mile a day) One for husband and one 4x4 for the hobby (need off roader)and taking kids out. Also pay for mother's car (she lives in annex)

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 16:08:59

ok ethel

you are clearly unwell

I'll just leave it be.

We both know you were quite wrong as is proven in black and white

that will have to suffice

PeneloPeePitstop Wed 23-Jan-13 16:09:40

As I posted it's not so much the complaints about being skint because you can't afford designer knitwear, or to get the piano cleaned, or afford to pay a cleaner any more.

It was the fact they called those sorts of things poverty.

When poverty does exist. When there are people struggling to feed their families and heat their homes.

If you've ever been in the position of raiding a recycle bin for newspaper to use as sanpro because you can't afford it, if you've not turned on the heat this week so you can eat, if you've counted out your coppers in the shop and STILL had to put the milk back, then having the above examples called poverty is brayingly insensitive.

Nobody said mc people can't live in poverty. There are professionals out there with the heat/eat/roof dilemma. They're going through a hell of a lot more than stopping shopping at Boden, though.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 16:11:06

And just to clear up the rest.

You were not singled out horribly. I told a story to illustrate what formed my awarenesses.

You commented on it from your own free will. It developed from there.

You seem to have absolutely no sympathy for anyone but yourself and be incapable of even a basic apology for telling a blatant lie.

hey ho.

Netguru Wed 23-Jan-13 16:12:26

But that is the point of the OP isn't it.

If I said

I am a nurse and earn 20k
My husband earns 40

We have a good amount of saving and a policy which brings in £150 a month so my income would continue if I gave up work but we would be worse off.

We each have a car (mine's an old banger) I suppose I could give that up if I stopped work. But my daughter would have to stop her music lessons and I'm feeling a little guilty.

No-one would say I was being insensitive by posting details.

Either it works for all - or it doesn't.

I knew it didn't ;)

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 16:13:58

This thread is too depressing


ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 16:15:14

No I am not wrong, you have just misread my posts. I asked a question to begin with. You acted as though I had made a statement. And ignored the one statement I did make which is that I did respect and have empathy for your friend's mum.

You haven't responded to the point I made about other posters claiming that I had said the exact opposite.

Then you proceeded to patronise me and lecture me about 'being rude' for 'ignoring' Your Highness when I had had a fucking hospital appointment for a fucking problem that means I can't fucking walk.

What a horrible horrible person you can be. I have seen you in a completely different light. And you DARE lecture me about sympathy.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 16:17:25

I would still ponder the need to list the figures.
Thy add nothing to the op.

It's like posting
'I was driving to work this morning and had a crash' rather than posting 'I was driving my Porsche to work this morning'

If the thread evolves, if advice becomes amount specific then add it. But it's not necessary so why put it in there?

lougle Wed 23-Jan-13 16:24:03

This isn't about people earning lots of money and other people being insulted.

This isn't about people earning very little money and other people being smug.

This is about people who earn lots of money presenting luxuries as essentials and not recognising that the things they have to choose between are, for many people, absolutely pie in the sky, dream-world possibilities.

I have no objection to someone saying 'I earn 200k per year, would you hire a Nanny or have a child minder?'

I have no objection to someone saying 'I earn 300k per year, but if DD1 wants a horse she might have to sacrifice ballet because she already competes at national level in snowboarding and that costs a lot of money.'

I do have a problem with someone saying they feel 'poor' or 'middle income' because after many many luxuries are accounted for there are one or two more that may have to be sacrificed. The reason for this is because the poster has failed to realise that most of the things that are counted as 'essential budget items' are real luxuries, and most people are trying to decide which of the truly essential things they sacrifice.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 16:24:49

And I guess I wonder if you would list your finances etc if you were talking about this at a school coffee morning or something?

I wouldn't roll off salary and holidays and cars in real life because it's crass. Don't you apply the same rules here?

Itemising amounts/possessions where they are directly relevant to the situation is reasonable. Posting a salary and possession for no particular reason seems gratuitous.

I am not trying to be argumentative. I am just struggling to understand why anyone feels limited from detailing genuine problems simply by virtue of being wealthy. It's not a problem I recognise.
I get the 'relative poverty' angle a bit but I don't get this.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 16:27:43

@pag I think that generally people come on to a public forum to winge. ie nanny or childminder is unlikely to be a thread as if there is genuinely nothing in it other than money and they have money then it is not a problem.

The I need a nanny but can't afford one because of my massive London mortgage, despite my massive London salary is a more likely complaint and that seems to get people's backs up.

With due respect ethelb, no one knows your personal situation or your health problems and honestly they just arent relevant here. I have every sympathy but imo you should step away from this now. You are making it personal with Hully when Hully never made it personal with you.

You tried the same with me yesterday. Honestly, just step away. Take care of yourself. Use MN for support. But these threads are obviously getting to you.

Well said lougle.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 16:30:52

Sure Ethel. I said ^ I can see that people have a problem with posting issues around relative wealth.

I am still not sure that in the vast majority of situations, listing large salaries etc is ever directly relevant.

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 16:31:43

Hmm Hully but there are examples where specific amounts would be helpful and a poster won't get as much help without them. I'm not saying nobody ever stealth boasts or that it isn't sometimes utterly gratuitous and vulgar, but to say it's never justified is quite a step.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 16:34:05

I am the one that has been banging on about that and I did say

"If the thread evolves, if advice becomes amount specific then add it. But it's not necessary so why put it in there?"

Labootin Wed 23-Jan-13 16:35:26

Blimey no wonder Ol' Vincey boy cancelled.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 16:36:29

@wannabe the health situation is relevant as I was accused of ignoring Hully. Which I didn't do on puprose due to the sitation outlined above. And the fact that I have seen her frequently lecturing people on MN about not considering the needs of people with complex needs is relevant.

And I was misquoted above and then singled out for 'ignoring' Hully in a way that was very unfair and I don't want to let it lie actually. I have never seen another poster accused of 'ignoring' someone before and it being used as an excuse to really witch hunt someone. I really, really haven't seen that on MN before.

People are making all kinds of sweeping judgements about people on MN generally at the moment, and it is becoming increasingly unacceptable so I challenged that. Saying I have no sympathy for anyone else was a horrible thing to say (and slightly ridiculous) and also has no relevance to this thread.

Im sorry if you thought I was trying to make it personal yesterday, I thought that was an interesting debate as we obviously have very different perspectives. I really didn't mean to upset you and I am happy to hand over some business advice if needed as I have a business in a similarish sector.

NoelHeadbands Wed 23-Jan-13 16:39:33

I think some people could be a little more sensitive. And some people could be a little less sensitive.

<solves whole world>

I havent started that thread because I havent a clue what I need to ask about. I have been thinking about and researching this on and off for months now but can never seem to get the courage up to go ahead and talk about it or put wheels in motion.

I hope your health improves. I just didnt see the nastiness in Hullys posts that you seemed to.

Primafacie Wed 23-Jan-13 16:51:48

OP, I think you are right. Here's a few examples for Pagwatch, Hully and the other sceptics:

- anything to do with nannies. I remember a thread where lots of posters took issue with the fact that the OP referred to her nanny as "my nanny" or "the nanny". Total non-issue for anyone who is or has a nanny. It's not a shame FGS.

- anything to do with private primary school assessments. The 4+ and 7+ advice threads seem to be fair game for anyone who has a fundamental objection to private schools. By contrast, 11+ threads are okay, because grammar schools are free.

- the fact that there is no City/bankers/FS/compliance/lawyers quiche.

- there is generally a lack of understanding of the work pressure of being in a senior professional position. Much of the advice is completely unworkable when you are operating at that level.

- I think the fact that one poster is worried about sounding braggish (is that a word? probably not) for stating her THP of £1200 a month says it all. That's less than 15k a year - There are posters on here who make 10 times that, but of course they don't say it.

I quite wish that some posters would give it up when it comes to well-off bashing. I never post on benefits threads, because I don't have a shred of advice to give; so why do people who have no experience or intention of going through private school assessments, feel entitled to lecture on those threads?

Fundamentally though, the issue is not so much about income or wealth, as it is about wanting to be accepted by a group, and identifying with the perceived majority. So, for instance, you equally don't see any (or very few) posts by Russian/Polish/Chinese/Pakistani/Bangladeshi first generation immigrant mums. Being a first generation immigrant mum myself, although not from any of the afore-mentioned ethnic groups, I think it is probably to do with the fact that they don't recognise themselves on here, and don't think they will get valuable informed advice about their RL circumstances - and they are probably right. Mumsnet is terribly English, white, with a strong small-town/rural/non-London, lower class/lower middle class ethos, and generally a poor appreciation of the fact that some people's lives operate in a totally different set of circumstances.

On the one hand, it would be great if it were different. At the same time, I am learning loads about "English" society by the fact that mumsnet is so homogeneous, so maybe this is actually a good thing smile

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 16:55:38

@wannabedomesticgoddess she did make it personal when she asked why I had ignored her. Which pissed me off for obvious reasons. I could have continued to ignore her but didn't as I thought she deserved an explanation. She claimed I had no sympathy from a fairly innocous post (where I said "I didn't see why someone should have MORE sympathy than xxx" not NO sympathy btw).

Hully didn't do that to anyone else. Normally she accuses people in general of being nasty right wingers who don't understand the needs of others so it was a bit shocking to see her do it to one person.

However, I will take your points on board about my tone (seeming to make it personal etc) as I think I may have a skewed idea of what is the norm on MN.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 16:59:03

- there is generally a lack of understanding of the work pressure of being in a senior professional position. Much of the advice is completely unworkable when you are operating at that level.

^ This was the point I was trying to make at the beginning of the thread. It is quite sad that there is so little mixing between the classes/professions and imo its why there is so much bitterness.

usualsuspect Wed 23-Jan-13 17:02:18

A squeezed middle topic?

Oh my. How very MN grin

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 17:03:22

But Hully you're only allowing for it as a thread evolves, I don't rule out the possibility that it might be legit in an OP.

Am wondering what a compliance quiche is and why we would want one now...

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 17:08:17

I agree wholeheartedly with NoelHeadbands.

Thanks for giving examples just for me. I feel very special grin

I think you have listed a bunch of subjects that are difficult for many reasons. Mostly school assessment threads get difficult because of the state vs private thing don't they?
There are city meet ups. Why would they need a quiche - I met people at lunch to talk about my city based problems?
And most people said the that talking about money directly related to a financial based problem wouldn't be an issue for them.

I appreciate the examples you give. I just lack imagination I guess - I never find it a problem.

The only time I think I have been irritated is when people assume that money somehow means you have no problems and must automatically be happy which is of course nonsense.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 17:09:49

A compliance quiche would be unbelievably dull and would only ever discuss the circumstances in which posting would be ok. No actual posting would be necessary.

They would be snotty about the actuary quiche.

ethelb Wed 23-Jan-13 17:13:52

There are a few barristers being snotty about solicitors groups on Facebook.

Work pressure versus cantfeedmykids pressure.

High earners are getting paid for the pressure they are under. Theres a difference.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 23-Jan-13 17:15:56

I don't have a problem with people I higher incomes than myself talking about their income and expenditure.

I just struggle to show any sympathy for them when they say they are struggling. I mean people on 250k a year; I am on about 10k a year and I just get on with it. I've heard about real hardship, and deciding you can't afford your £1500 a month mortgage because you want to send your child to boarding school is not hardship. Talk about it, discuss it, moan about it, but don't expect sympathy from someone like me smile

Ofcourse money doesnt equate to happiness Pag. But if you have an income of £250k and you are still unhappy then your problems have damn all to do with money. Therefore money is irrelevant to any thread you need to post.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:18:59



I don't care about you one way or the other. But if anyone makes a false statement I will pull them up on it. That is not a witch hunt.

It would also be nice if people stopped mixing me and Paggy up...probs nicer for her than me.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:19:31

And thanks wannabe for attempting to help!

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 17:22:10

Yy wannabe.
That's kind of my point.

I only mentioned it because I have seen 'money = happiness" which it doesn't. All the money in the world does not prevent grief, depression, disability. That was all I meant. I have read on here the idea that rich people have no reaon to be unhappy eve, which is nonsense.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:26:30

In my circle of friends some are high earning professionals, some are on benefits. Everyone knows everyone's circs, everyone is sensitive about each other's circs.

The richer might speak privately about issues that would seem insensitive to the poorer. The poorer would talk about all their issues to everyone because it is not going to upset anyone, apart from wanting to help.

No one mentions actual sums.

One time this was said by an extremely poor friend of mine, "I realised you were rich (in her terms), when I popped round and you had four Dominoes pizza box on the side. I could never afford to have Dominoes delivered."

It's all jsut wrong.

PeneloPeePitstop Wed 23-Jan-13 17:27:23

My point is yes you can moan about it, it's important to you, a source of stress and equally valid to anyone else's worries.

Just don't refer to it as poverty. That was what was offensive.

Viviennemary Wed 23-Jan-13 17:35:43

Yes but I see people's point. Posts like we are so so hard up but have five children at private school are not going to attract a lot of sympathy and why should they when lots of people are struggling. Or we can't buy a house but we absolutely have to live in Central London so all we can afford is a small flat to rent. I don't really sympathise very much with either of these 'problems'.

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 17:38:03

Sorry I've just realised I mixed up HullyGully and Pagwatch.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:42:54

you're not the first chunder...

it's just not fair on ol Paggy (she's the lovely one with the nice house)

I'm the horrible horrible one who shouts at right wingers.

chunops Wed 23-Jan-13 17:43:00

Irrespective of various people's annual salary you always get the green eyed monster in all society so it will still happen whichever social group you mix with so advice never discuss your finances with aanyone not even your best friend

everlong Wed 23-Jan-13 17:47:06

I'm flummoxed to why people mix hully and pag

I know they love each other and all that but they post very differently.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 17:50:26

I think it's the love thing Everlong. grin

But Hully is much cleverer and funnier than me. I am Ernie to her Eric.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Wed 23-Jan-13 17:51:47

I reckon you should add that lovely naked painting of yourself to your profile, Hully, nobody could forget you then grin

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:52:59

Oh I had quite forgot that, maybe I should Tony

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 17:53:49

It was because I'd been talking to Hully then Pagwatch joined in. I was also flummoxed as DD had shat all over her blanket and the cleanup was brutal.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 17:54:00

grin I'm laughing now at that pic, all those people trying to be tactful..

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 17:56:29

That pic was fabulous.

Poor chunderella. Copious amounts of shit makes me get muddled too

Chunderella Wed 23-Jan-13 18:00:08

I wouldn't mind if it had been the first time today.

Badvoc Wed 23-Jan-13 18:03:16

Hahahahahahaha...just realised you meant Eric morecambe and ernie wise and not bert and ernie from Sesame Street!
<very tired, needs to have a lie down>

TotallyBS Wed 23-Jan-13 18:03:36

Hully - Your posting style and language used - ie Why are you ignoring my question? You still haven't answered my question. Paste quote from MNetter. This is what you said earlier. Now, will you answer my question?- reminds me of a certain poster from Kent.

Are you "related"? grin

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 18:06:24

Bert and Ernie indeed. <hmmph>

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:09:17

Ooo who? <intrigued>

everlong Wed 23-Jan-13 18:15:55

hinge and bracket more like grin

LesBOFerables Wed 23-Jan-13 18:16:11

How did miss a naked picture of the lovely Hully? It's bad enough that I missed daft punk on the camberwick bedspread angry

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 18:18:50

Post it again Evadne hulster.

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 18:20:09

I wish I could find the lovely pic sad

Badvoc Wed 23-Jan-13 18:25:43

Oh, I always liked very and ernie!
Them and their latent homosexual overtones smile smile

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 18:30:22

I loved that they happily got into a double bed together and no one batted an eyelid.
Very funny.

Badvoc Wed 23-Jan-13 18:31:41

Me too.
And the pjs!
All so innocent and lovely...sigh.

MN Version needed grin

MN has made me appreciate more the very different positions people find themselves in. Still at times the first reaction to a post may not be entirely sympathetic or understand where someone is coming from.

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 19:01:26

Thank you for the link Nigella!

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Wed 23-Jan-13 19:04:37

Thread with naked Hully is here BOF.

My favourite bit is the way you keep it in the sitting room Hully grin

Was around at the time but still in nappies!! But it's a bit of a classic.

Also recall from Economics at school a description of the spread of wealth as represented by height - like a parade (Keynes maybe - or Galbraith - blimey not sure now!).

The first part of the parade goes on for a while - very very small people for a very long time, then gradually height gets bigger until you get to average height, doesn't last that long, then you'd get a run of giants followed by a few super super super giants. Also shows how the wealth is distributed, so the few at the top end tend to loose touch with those at the tail end.

Keep thinking we are average 'height' but when you really look at it we are more like above average tall but not in the giant part of the parade.

If you have come from further down the parade (so to speak) then you can forget what it was like there, similarly if you have been fortunate to always be tall it can be difficult to understand how the short and the very short manage. It's quite a good analogy.

So now on MN we can talk about height vs income!!

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 19:15:32

Oh thank you TonyDanza

I loved that thread. I loved the people desperately being nice to Hully when faced with that picture. And the rude one who called it akin to prostitution. Fab grin

LifeofPo Wed 23-Jan-13 19:21:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Wed 23-Jan-13 19:22:24

Did you? I thought it made them all seem rather wonderful?

Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 19:24:14

You are lucky to have a man like Timon Hul.
Sensitivity, warmth and buttocks that can crack walnuts. You are living the dream


Hullygully Wed 23-Jan-13 19:25:14

yy me too, such kindness and politness in the face of such oiled horror...

LesBOFerables Wed 23-Jan-13 19:31:59

Thank you Tony- I shall put my pyjamas on and peruse it in comfort...

LesBOFerables Wed 23-Jan-13 19:39:35

Ah, what a wonderful thread! I have only my imagination to go on for the actual picture, but it is so vivid.

TandB Wed 23-Jan-13 19:40:38

It's not that people on high incomes can't post. They can post what they like. But if someone on a very high income posts about feeling poor because of the choices they have made in terms of what to spend their money on (private school fees, large house in expensive area, multiple pricey holidays etc) then it's actually probably a good idea that they are reminded that they are making those choices and that they are privileged to be able to do so.

If everyone thinks they are skint, and conveniently forgets that they have an extremely enjoyable and comfortable lifestyle from their money, then we're going to finish up as a miserable, envious society, where even the wealthy aren't happy with their lot. It's probably a good idea for people to have a bit of a reality check every now and again.

There's also a big difference between posting "We've got very high outgoings and should be a lot better off than we are - any advice on how to make savings. BTW I know we're lucky to have these choices" and "I can't believe how poor we are - we've only got £1000 a month left after paying all the bills, four sets of school fees, the livery fees for the horses and the deposit on next month's ski-ing holiday. Poor me."

DP is a fairly high earner. I'm a fairly modest earner. We've opted for a biggish mortgage and DP works away part of the week so we have quite high outgoings due to effectively being two households part of the time. We have had cheap, UK-based holidays for the last three years and we have to be quite careful about expenditure. But those are our choices and we can't complain about them - otherwise people would be quite right to say "er, you could buy a smaller house and move closer to DP's work."

So while I might moan about specific aspects of our financial situation - eg cost of childcare meaning that my personal contribution to the household finances is fairly negligible, or losing my child benefit which paid for part of that childcare - but I'm not in any position to make sweeping complaints about being poor!

stephrick Wed 23-Jan-13 19:48:49

mumsnetters are from both ends of the scale, rich and poor and middle, it is an open forum. When i win the lottery I shall moan on which mansion to buy, so watch out it will happen, fingers crossed and every thing else, in the meantime working poor.

lougle Wed 23-Jan-13 20:16:45

It also works in other ways.

Someone who says 'I earn £1200 per month' may or may not be a high earner.

If they earn £1200 per month working 1 day per week from home, they are indeed much 'richer' than someone who earns £1200 per month working 6 days per week in split shifts during unsociable hours.

Again, the reminder that they are fortunate to be able to choose a working pattern that is both short and convenient while bringing in a good salary, wouldn't be unreasonable.

amillionyears Wed 23-Jan-13 20:49:22

Thanks for the posts.

Primafacie Wed 23-Jan-13 21:00:53

Lougle, I see your point but being a high earner is not defined by reference to the time spent earning - you are only a high earner if your earnings are high in absolute terms. Earning £15k a year is not being a high earner, it doesn't matter if you've earned it by working one day or 350.

You may be time-rich and cash poor, but that is an entirely different matter.

Bonsoir Wed 23-Jan-13 21:12:22

If you are able to charge yourself out at £1,200 a day, you can always work more days. You are a high-earner working PT.

lougle Wed 23-Jan-13 21:15:54

primafacie, I disagree. If you are a high-earner in 'per hour terms' you have the luxury of choice which a low earner in 'per hour terms' does not.

nkf Wed 23-Jan-13 21:17:49

I don't really agree. I think sometimes the threads are fine and sometimes not. For example, I once posted something about all the pre-credit crunch things people missed. And no arguments, nothing mean, just people sharing how they missed perfume and haircuts and so on.

Then this morning, a thread in which a piano teacher couldn't afford to get the piano tuned went haywire. I think it's often the word "class" that's the red flag rather than money.

Primafacie Wed 23-Jan-13 22:54:26

The taxman says you are a high earner if you make £130k or more in the tax year. It doesn't look at the number of days you've worked and say "oh, you made 15k but only worked 12 days, so you make £1200 a day, if you worked FT you'd be a HE therefore we'll put you in the higher bracket."

Thankfully smile

Lougle, I get your point about having more choice, but that doesn't make you a HE, just a low earner with time on your hands.

SnowLiviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Jan-13 23:02:55


I would like both sets, or indeed anyone in the middle, to be in harmony on MN!

or as I would put it, PEACE AND LOVE


SaraBellumHertz Thu 24-Jan-13 17:31:28

I was once torn apart on a "nanny thread". Nothing I thought to do with the issues which concerned settling my youngest DC and about which I was genuinely upset.

It was like open season and more than a handful of posters suggested I was a selfish bitch for having a nanny - dont think I'd have got that sort of response if I'd mentioned a CM.

I thought the OP on the piano thread was amusing and it didn't appear to be malicious in intent. Relative poverty is just that and so it was a shame she was subjected to such vitriol although there were a couple of very odd posts and one at least that was a blatant (and off topic boast) weird.

amillionyears Thu 24-Jan-13 17:41:09

PEACE AND LOVE SnowLivia Mumsnet
t'would be lovely smile

[sorry, not sure why I have not spotted your reply till now]

Any chance of a "squeezed middle" thread, to go alongside the "credit crunch" thread?

[not sure there would be too much PEACE AND LOVE if the "squeezed middle" posted in credit crunch].

TotallyBS Fri 25-Jan-13 12:00:33

Not that I seriously expect MNHQ to start up a "Squeezed Middle-class"forum but.....

On MN, as in the Real World, there are people who are struggling financially or their children are struggling academically.

Some of these people don't really want to hear about other people's piano tutor problems or which GS offer to accept or how they can only afford one holiday a year instead of the usual two or... or ...

Some of these people will simply ignore such threads. Others will inject themselves into a thread about what is a good salary for a returning to work SAHM for example and lecture people on how they are being insensitive to people who can only dream about being on what has been labelled as a "low" salary.

This latter category of MNetter will inject herself into a thread even though the forum is "Squeezed Middle-class" and it's in flashing neon.

TotallyBS Fri 25-Jan-13 12:02:24

...and then proceed to lecture people for bring insensitive.

threesocksmorgan Fri 25-Jan-13 12:03:38

if you want an squeezed middle topic op, can you ask for a "carers shafted by the government" one too

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