To be absolutely fucking amazed how much money people have?

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

I thought we were in a recession.

I thought people were genuinely struggling.

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

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

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

What's going on?

scarletforya Fri 26-Apr-13 17:57:02

I was just thinking this today walking around a shopping centre. The amount of brand new high end prams. Not one tatty one or even secondhand by the looks of it!

Piffpaffpoff Fri 26-Apr-13 17:58:47

My theory on this is that because mortgage rates are low, a lot of homeowners have more disposable income than they used to. I've certainly noticed a lot of new cars, fancy holidays etc round us.

GrowSomeCress Fri 26-Apr-13 17:59:25

YANBU! And the expensive nights out haha.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 17:59:30

The 16 iPads are less than £500, especially if you get a 2 now that the 3 has come out.

People are struggling, it's only the super wealthy that haven't noticed any difference in the cost of living. But that doesn't mean that no one can afford to go on holiday or spend any money any more, a well paid job is still a well paid job. It just doesn't go quite as far as it once did.

Ashoething Fri 26-Apr-13 17:59:36

Yep it amazes me too-especially as on paper it looks like my dh has a good job. But I know people with very menial jobs-cleaner,security guard etc who seem to be able to afford holidays abroad twice a year,new cars and all the latest gadgets.

We cant even afford a week in a caravan this year. Honestly I don't know how people do it!

lilystem Fri 26-Apr-13 18:00:45

I'm amazed at how many people have a brand spanning new £800 pram!! Everyone is different though.

pizzaqueen Fri 26-Apr-13 18:00:45

There are lots of potential reasons why people can afford these things:
- higher incomes
- lower outgoings
- debt and credit cards
- given as gifts
- different spending priorities (e.g. Living on beans and toast to afford designer clothes)
- savings

For example, my DP and I don't earn a huge amount, and some people might wonder how we can afford, holidays, 2 cars, iPad, gym membership etc. But we took our mortgage over 40 years to keep the monthly payments down so we have (a little bit) spare cash for luxuries. We also save really hard month to month to buy a couple of 'treats' in the year, and are really tight with our food shop.

Not that it's any of your business how other people manage their finances.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:01:45

I think I just expected to see more evidence or people reining it in confused

WorriedMummy73 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:02:02

We had three days on the Isle of Wight last summer and that was our first family holiday since DD was 18 months - she is now 11. No iPads or owt like it in this house!

VerySmallSqueak Fri 26-Apr-13 18:02:29

I am similarly puzzled.

Are people maxing out their credit cards for it though?

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:02:49

It doesn't matter a fuck whether it's any of my business or not. You could say that about 95% of the threads started on this forum.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 18:02:51

I have no idea. I think it's a good week if I can pop to the charity shop for a "new" top!

NadiaWadia Fri 26-Apr-13 18:02:56

I bet a lot of them are putting it all on credit cards.

Some people are reining it in. And because they are, you don't notice them. The ones that you notice with all the expensive baubles - I'd suspect a lot of them are building up debt on their credit cards.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 26-Apr-13 18:05:13

Are you really that baffled that people have varying incomes? That people have different sized mortgages? Different priorities? Or that some people do continue to spend beyond their means?

I sort of understand your point, but some people have money. Fact.

Tee2072 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:05:46

Different people spend money differently. We never go on holiday as we'd rather have gadgets.*

*Before someone notes that I have posted on the holiday thread, my mom is paying for our trip to California in July.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:06:07

Yes Cake - what I'm saying is that I expected to see less spending, less luxuries etc., but if anything I'm seeing more!

VinegarDrinker Fri 26-Apr-13 18:07:05

You don't notice the people reigning it in, though, do you?

I don't suppose you'd walk past me in the street and think "oh look she's wearing an ancient tatty New Look jacket and oooh that buggy looks a bit cheap, oh and she doesn't have an iPad"

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:07:15

Yes, but surely the struggling family in 2013 cannot afford a holiday OR gadgets confused

The whole sacrifice one thing for another gets my hackles raised a tadge.

Phineyj Fri 26-Apr-13 18:07:20

Debt. A lot of them are probably only one redundancy away from problems... maybe congratulate yourself on your frugality!

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:07:33

True Vinegar

LauraPashley Fri 26-Apr-13 18:07:42

We pay our iPad monthly with our phones!
But I know where you are coming from and am always a bit shock when I see friends' food cupboards full of brands!! We are not struggling but need to keep to a tight budget and a branded food shop now I think would double our bill, which isn't a possibility!

pizzaqueen Fri 26-Apr-13 18:07:55

I think it's easier now that ever to get a good bargain too. Our tv was reduced from £650 to £300 and we doubled up tesco points to afford new furniture. DP got his tablet and playstation free when he took out at phone contract (£22 per month).

So to an outsider we probably look better off than we are. If we want something new we scout around for good offers.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 18:09:32

People reign it in in ways that aren't noticeable. I budget better with the weekly shop nowadays, and make more effort to go to cheaper places for cosmetics, shampoo, cleaning products and the like. I don't buy new clothes for us all as often as I used to. I give less to charity. We are going on holiday, but it is a much cheaper one than we had last year and the year before. My car guzzles more petrol, so we use DHs car more now instead of not even thinking about it. Spend less on birthdays and Christmas than we used to.

There are lots of ways to cut your living expenses that no one would notice.

JakeBullet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:09:47

It never fails to amaze me how much money is out there. I don't have it though.
We have an iPad which was donated to DS who is autistic and also have a very flash laptop which I was sent free in return for an honest review of it on a shopping website.
So it's not necessarily stuff people have bought for themselves.

cheeseandchive Fri 26-Apr-13 18:09:55

I think it depends on people's priorities. On the flip-side, I know people who give 10% income to charity every month and more on top, save alot and therefore don't have loads of money to buy new stuff or lots of holidays etc. But they're probably not as bad off as they seem, they just do different things with it.

I know what you mean though. I think things like FB/Instagram make it so much more obvious that someone's off on holiday/bought an iPhone/gone on a shopping spree etc - I have often found myself wondering how on earth people afford it!

ENormaSnob Fri 26-Apr-13 18:10:08

We have definitely reined it in over the last year or 2. Even more so now I'm on mat leave.

No holiday this year for the first time ever ever.

My pram is lovely but was off eBay, as was all my other baby stuff.

Smart phone each on contract. Mine to be reduced right down next month.

We have booked Centreparcs for dec, booked last year so ample time to pay off.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 18:10:51

Credit cards, maybe?

Some people have parents who can help them with money, too.

Tee2072 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:11:10

"The whole sacrifice one thing for another gets my hackles raised a tadge."

Why? Because you can't do the same? Too bad for you.

I'm actually very tightly budgeted. That budget just happens to include smart phones. My Tablet was bought through vouchers from a survey I did, not that it's any of your business.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:11:23

Hmmm...so I'm probably taking too simplistic a view...

Yes, but whilst one of my friends quietly admits she is well off and happy about it, my other friend of equal means is always pleading poverty, but has five holidays a year, is always out for meals/drinks/lessons for dcs, having work done on expensive house.....all fine, if you've got it/earned it to do what you will, I don't envy them, but don't pretend you're bloody hard up, especially when you have friends genuinely struggling.

Another couple we know that are vair, vair well-off, never discuss money, but are so kind and generous to their friends and family (in ways that matter). When DS2 was 4WO and I was struggling after a second CS, my friend came round, looked after DSs and cooked then left some meals for DH and I. It was so kind, I cried. The other (poverty-stricken hmm) friend I mentioned above is desperate to get in there with this couple I know.........

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 18:11:58

Some people are just lucky I guess.
I don't begrudge them, but I'm jealous smile
I'm sadly not one of them, though on the holiday thread that Tee mentioned, I couldn't believe the sheer number of holidays people were having.

noisytoys Fri 26-Apr-13 18:12:21

A lot of people spend beyond their means, and a lot of people have low mortgage payments and will be hit hard when interest rates start to rise again

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:12:47

Jeez Tee, are you as kind in RL?

I repeat. Doesn't matter a fuck if it's my business or not - I'm entitled to post about it on here if I wish.

Madlizzy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:13:06

Store cards for ipads and the like with a lot of people.

HeadFairy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:13:10

I bought dh an ipad for Christmas. Very are doing interest free credit for a year so every month I put £40 in to a savings account and I'll use that to pay for it.

JakeBullet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:13:31

A holiday is out of the question for me. Haven't had one for the past four years and won't be this year either.

I am struggling to keep my very elderly car on the road at the moment. I can't afford another one and even worse my plans for going back to my previous job are scuppered without it.sad

But....I am healthy, we have enough to live on (just about) and we can do without luxuries.

Rosesforrosie Fri 26-Apr-13 18:14:42

I've just written and deleted a very smug post.

Without trying to be a bitch, yes OP, I'm better off now than I was before the recession.

How? Well, I've been promoted since then.

It's inevitable that individuals don't always follow national trends isn't it?

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:15:51

Fair enough Rosesforrosie, but you are probably an exception.

JakeBullet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:15:57

It's normal to wonder how other people manage though surely? You are not being judgemental, just curious.

Tee2072 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:16:19

Jeez, HigssBoson, are you this judgemental in real life?

You're entitled to post about it and I'm entitled to tell you it's none of your business. That's the beauty of the internet.

And I'm exactly like this in real life. If you questioned my spending or said "The whole sacrifice one thing for another gets my hackles raised a tadge." to me, I'd give you the exact same answer.

Ask my friends.

CarpeVinum Fri 26-Apr-13 18:16:23

iPads have nothing to do with how badly off you are.

Proof.

Email from my brother to my sister in law

.....

"No. I won't be sending you five pound in child support becuase simply I do not have an extra five pounds to spare."

-sent from my iPad

....

So there you have, a magic forcefield around iPads and feeling the pinch.

stifles the urge to go and shove his iPad so far up his arse he chokes on it

paintyourbox Fri 26-Apr-13 18:17:51

I'm one of the twats with a load of expensive stuff. However:

iPad was bought for DPs 30th as a joint present from me, my parents, his parents and our siblings.

Expensive pram was bought by each of working 3 extra shifts per month (including boxing day and new years day) during my pregnancy AND money as a baby gift from my parents and sister.

Car bought when I graduated and had no responsibilities. Now paid off. I justified it by saying if I was going to commute 90 miles a day, it would at least be in a comfortable car. Prior to that I had a 12 year old Renault.

Tbh, it's about priorities, considering we are living in a rented house but when we think that we may never be able to buy (the average 3 bed round here is £280k) as we will struggle to save the massive deposits, we may as well spend the disposable income we do have on things that we can enjoy.

A lot of our friends are the same, we have professional jobs and a decent wage. We can afford a good standard of living but have nowhere near enough to get on the property ladder so spend disposable income on luxuries instead.

HeadFairy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:17:59

I'm not sure Roses is that much of an exception... people still get promoted in a recession. Dh was promoted this year, he got a sizeable pay rise and an increase in his benefits package from his employer which include shopping vouchers, we've got an extra £200 a month in vouchers for our food shopping now which has made us feel much more secure.

NotYoMomma Fri 26-Apr-13 18:18:02

I'm better off now...

BUT in 2007 we had JUST bought a house on a 5 year fixed rate deal and I worked at northern rock in a minion capacity.

So you can imagine the absolute shit we went through.

So now I'm bloody enjoying my cheap as chips mortgage, overpaying and splurging :D
I also have a very nice pushchair.

specialsubject Fri 26-Apr-13 18:18:48

the baby kit thing does stagger me - it is bloody difficult to sell second-hand kit for anything other than a pittance, even if in immaculate condition.

Also with savings rates almost non-existent, mortgage rates very low and the government wanting to keep it that way, many people will have more disposable income and see no reason to do anything with it except dispose of it.

there's also the 'can't take it with you' thing.

but we are, after all, a 'first world' country (can I say that?) That means nobody starves, nobody is shooting at us, we can drink the tap water and we can say what we like.

racmun Fri 26-Apr-13 18:18:50

Some people just earn a lot of dosh.

Mortgages are relatively cheap you can get really good deals if you shop around and nearly all the restaurants are doing deals and vouchers. For some people their disposable income goes even further now.

I live in an affluent town in the south east where many commute into London. Tbh I don't really see signs of any one cutting bank or having frugal times round here. Loads of new Range Rovers etc and house prices are going up and up and up!!

You do sound a wee bit put out about it OP.

There are still plenty of people out there with well paid jobs. DP is one of them. We (luckily) don't have to budget and booked a lovely summer holiday today with no real restrictions.

I would never buy any of the brands on your list though especially the Ipad. There's a difference between having money and having taste wink

HeadFairy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:18:54

carpe sad and grin at the same time to your last post!

We are better off on the face of it following the recession because it forced us to get our books in order.

I go on far far less nights out with friends or DP. Buy less clothes/cheaper clothes. Haircuts less often and hairdye at home etc... but in return I can go on holidays now which I couldn't do previously as we were relying too heavily on credit etc.

It is weird, and our wages are the same (in fact a little less) but we are in the best financial position that we've ever been. There's a lot to be said for being frugal in certain places.

Rosesforrosie Fri 26-Apr-13 18:19:35

I'm not sure I am that much of an exception- you say it yourself, you have seen lots of people about with 'stuff'.

Millions of households in the UK, lots have faced redundancy yes- and times are tough for many, but it's not such a tiny minority that have had promotions and good fortune either.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:20:03

Blimey Carpe!

I'm not being judgemental at all Tee, just wondering.

What I meant is that I tend to be offended by people who believe that holidays, private schooling etc., would be available to us all if only we made the necessary sacrifices. Clearly some of us have nothing to cut back on, that's what I meant.

If you want to be nasty, that's cool - I expect a certain amount of that on MN smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 26-Apr-13 18:20:18

So much is to do with housing costs. If someone has a low mortgage rate because of interest rates being so low at the moment, then they probably have more disposable income than 5 years ago despite price rises.

Also, people are still making progress in their careers, getting pay rises, inheriting money and so on. Our income has increased significantly over the last 3 years but our mortgage and other bills have stayed the same except for a very small rise in the gas bill. So we have more to spend on the visible things if we choose to, which we do sometimes but not often.

pickledginger Fri 26-Apr-13 18:20:26

Everyone earns different amounts of money. And people spend what hey have. At the very high end, some clothes are so 'this season' that you might as well burn money, but higher quality mid range stuff like Whistles carefully chosen and bought in sales works out at great value per wear.

MyDarlingClementine Fri 26-Apr-13 18:20:53

I thought people with money were supposed to be spending it.
If people with money reigned it in, we would all really and truelly be in the shitter wouldn't we?

All the people who work at I pad, the shops that sell them, etc etc etc.

We don't have an I pad and its not even on my list I don't even have a current mobile I am still on the old brick thing pay as you go.

We do not reign it in and there was nothing to reign in in the first place but I have v wealthy family member's who all do as you say, they simply have better paid jobs, more investments and security. I dont covet what they have it doesn't bother me.

People reigning it in, have lead to mass rounds of redundancies where DH works, a reduction in his pay, the company fighting to stay a float.

I for one am glad people are still buying and spending.

Its keeping a roof over our head.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:22:40

Good point Clementine smile

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:23:09

Perhaps we are in the minority then?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 26-Apr-13 18:23:33

We're better off now.

I took a worse paid job than I was in - but now have no childcare fees.

Interest rates are staying low, so our repayments are less. That means we can save a bit, and still enjoy holidays, take always, days out etc.

We're fortunate, but it's not all through luck.

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Apr-13 18:23:39

I live in an area in which people constantly bleat about how poor their families were (ex-mining area), yet it is literally overrun with new build housing estates with houses starting at £450,000 and usually over £500,000. Great swathes of them. Who buys them? Where do they work? All the houses seem to have vans outside them with tree surgeons, security services, drainage services, plumbers, etc.. 2 new cars, 1 a 4 x 4, are standard. I'm a professional, I've bought a couple of run down properties and done them up myself, and I know I couldn't get anywhere near raising a mortgage for that much!

So I'm either thinking the parents weren't as poor as they like to make out, or tax avoidance. Or both.

There always seems to be people in the local Tesco during working hours, they can't all be working shifts, none of our neighbours seem to have anything approaching what could be termed a full time job yet live in houses worth even more than mine, so what do they do that makes so much money?

Hassled Fri 26-Apr-13 18:24:28

I think people just have massively different priorities. And everyone prioritises something - in our case it's holidays. Holidays are a big deal for us (DH works away all week every week so we really value them) and that's what we spend what small amount of spare cash we have on. For other people it will be gadgets, or clothes, or cars or prams or whatever - but it will seldom be more than one thing, IYSWIM.

forevergreek Fri 26-Apr-13 18:24:37

We can afford to but have a different way of life to most.

We could afford to rent a 3 bed flat in central London. Instead we rent a 1 bed ( 2 adults, 2 toddlers). We therefore have more leftover each month.

We could get the tube to work, instead we cycle. Therefore save more.

We could have sky tv/ Xbox/ every toy out there. Instead we don't, spend free time as family, and limit presents to Xmas and birthdays. Therefore more money again

Therefore we can eat organic poncy food, travel lots to nice places, buy 100% cashmere .

Our iPad was a Xmas gift from in laws, the new laptop is dhs from work ( it goes back if he leaves), the shiny bugaboo is actually secondhand.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 18:24:50

I'm with Roses too, I don't think she is that much of an exception.

I was made redundant from my part time job, but was lucky enough to find one that is slightly better paid, and gives me more hours. DH also had to change jobs, same pay, but has saved money on petrol because its loser to home.

All of the people I know that have lost jobs to redundancy over the last couple of years have found new jobs within a couple of months max.

Rosesforrosie Fri 26-Apr-13 18:25:02

I don't think either are a 'minority' OP. you are thinking about this in a strange way, every families situation is different. It's not a case of 'all' struggling, or 'everyone' else being ok.

Is it mainly Southerners with money? Certainly in East Anglia salaries haven't risen with inflation for years.

HeadFairy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:26:29

I think Alibaba is right too... rents are insanely high at the moment, if you managed to buy before the crash then even a relatively big mortgage is smaller than rent for the equivalent rented property, so although they may not be earning more, they have more of their income to dispose of on frivolities.

HeadFairy Fri 26-Apr-13 18:27:32

LittleAbruzzen I live in the south east.. work in central London. I haven't had any pay rise, in line with inflation or not, in the past 6 years.

dramaqueen Fri 26-Apr-13 18:27:52

I'm another who has a much better job now than I did 3 years ago. Not that unusual TBH. We're not smug about it but quietly get on with our lives without worrying what others think about us.

priorities and debt.

no ipads here. just working through our noses to clear debt. only way to do it.

RhondaJean Fri 26-Apr-13 18:28:04

I suspect a lot of people may be storing up trouble for the future financially by being lulled with the low interest rates. Not everyone obviously - although a review meeting with my bank whoever it was I was speaking to told me that there are practically no new cars, especially midrange upwards ones, on the road that are owned outright or even on HP now, most are leases.

So people don't have x thousand pounds, but can scrape together x hundred a month, but at the end they don't own the car. You can do it now with laptops and tablets in pc world, and I see Vodafone have just started something where you can lease a brand new phone which you don't own but you can upgrade whenever a new model comes out without waiting till the end of your contract.

Some of the people I know who went to Florida etc last year took out loans to pay for it.

So no not everyone by a long shot, but definitely some.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 18:28:23

Salaries haven't risen in the SE in my experience.

Weegiemum Fri 26-Apr-13 18:28:41

We appreciate he fact that dh earns very well - he's a GP. It means we don't worry, we own property, we can afford for me to work at a low income for a wee charity that means a lot to us both.

We don't for a second not appreciate it. Our dc have all they need but aren't spoilt - we have one tv, an ageing play station and basic phones (apart from me I got an iPhone for my 40th!! 3 years ago).

We splash out mainly on holidays - 3 years ago we went to the Carribbean, this year it's Italy.

The rest we save, and give.

Never for one minute do we not appreciate our good fortune.

Tee2072 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:29:45

You say nasty, I say honest. Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.

BTW, if I hadn't quit my job to open my own company when my son was born, I'd be one of the people you judge. Well, judge more.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:30:47

I think people just have massively different priorities. And everyone prioritises something - in our case it's holidays...For other people it will be gadgets, or clothes, or cars or prams or whatever

Really though? What about low income families who can't afford any of the above? No amount of prioritising is going to make the cost of a flight appear is it?

We live in the South East - salaries have definitely not risen at all sad

jacks365 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:31:47

What gets me is people who have to have a new pushchair for each new baby! I wasn't expecting to have another child so got rid of all my baby things most of what my dd4 has now i bought second hand including a very nice upmarket pushchair for next to nothing.

I can't be doing with people who complain about having no money when they then go and buy some expensive luxury.

Lizzylou Fri 26-Apr-13 18:32:44

In all honesty Op Mn always made me feel like this a few years ago. Everyone else seemed to have more disposable income than us.
Then Dh had a big promotion and equally big hike in pay and responsibility.
We don't have ipads (Samsung all the way, which are part of Dh's package).
We always go to France with Keycamp, we've just pimped up this years trip.
We are now fairly set, though Dh has aged somewhat recently.
We are in NW. I do know that we have been fortunate, I come into contact with a lot of people who are struggling a lot through work.

Ivytheterrible Fri 26-Apr-13 18:33:08

Looks can be very deceptive! We are not fabulously wealthy but my DD wears Joules clothing most of the time. My SIL works there so only pay 50% of retail. It all gets ebayed after she has grown out of it so her clothing is cost neutral if I do this. Works out cheaper than buying supermarket clothing!

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 26-Apr-13 18:33:13

But are you really seeing more spending, or just noticing luxuries more because of the recession/cut backs?

From a personal POV it's really difficult to comment because recession came at a time when we renovated our house/had kids, so our priorities for spending changed massively at the same time. And despite DH having a much larger than normal salary, I've always been a bargain hunter, cheap-clothes-buyer, because of my upbringing and the fact that I've never personally had a large salary.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Fri 26-Apr-13 18:33:26

As pizzaqueen says - there are bargains to be had and appearances may be deceptive.
I am a VERY savvy shopper - I get good quality clothes off ebay, use Tesco points to get free holidays, and use cashback mobile phone deals etc. So it may appear I am spending loads of cash whilst in reality, I'm not. (The fact I do scrimp around for deals betrays me as not being one of the super rich though because then I just wouldn't care how much anything cost!)

MTSgroupie Fri 26-Apr-13 18:35:06

The recession means that some people's job are at risk and some are unemployed but for the rest its business as usual.

In my case, I haven't had a pay rise in the last few years but since I'm paid a lot more than the national average to start off with, it's not hurting me. My mortgage is cheap, inflation is low. So overall life is good

I wonder the same as you OP but think I live in a bubble (SE London) where there's highly paid professionals. A mile down the road, it's a less affluent section of society - I see people in the supermarket counting the pennies.

I've also noticed more begging on the trains and in central London. People coming up to me for money, asking me for work etc.

We have good salaries, however our joint income has fallen back to where we were about 7 years ago. We've had to cut back - gone are the days of 2 holidays a year, we don't buy brands and rarely buy new clothes (only for the kids). My take home pay has gone down again this month by a big chunk too.

It's hard but It's forcing us to be more careful with money - not a bad thing.

havingamadmoment Fri 26-Apr-13 18:36:12

I may be totally wrong here because this is just based on people I know but in my experience people I know of my age (twenties) have very little that has been affected by the economic changes. We have no house of our own, no car, no debt, no credit card. We are on an average income but our outgoings are small so we afford iPads, computers etc but we have no real assets.

People I know who are say late 30s and above seem to have large mortgages and many many set demands on their income like loan repayments, credit cards and cars. However they do have property wealth.

Perhaps it's a case of not comparing like with like.

pickledginger Fri 26-Apr-13 18:37:47

People can also choose how to buy things. Someone who has a 4 bed detached house in a nice area with a shiny new Audi on the drive may be mortgaged up to the hilt and be paying for the car monthly. Someone in a 2 bed terrace in a cheaper area with a 7 year old ford parked out front may actually own all that outright.

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 18:38:50

The fact is that if you haven't lost your job or had your hours cut, the 'economic downturn' doesn't affect you at all. So there is no reason to cut back (assuming you have managed your finances sensibly in the first place).

That said I think a lot of people are still addicted to credit.

Hassled Fri 26-Apr-13 18:39:39

Higgs - you're right and that was pretty insensitive of me. Yes, I'm assuming a level of disposable income. What I should have said was that people prioritise how they spend their disposable income if they have any, which of course many people don't (and for years and years that included us).

Flisspaps Fri 26-Apr-13 18:40:41

Perhaps the people who can't afford Boden, Mercs or Hunters are at home, saving what little they have, so you don't see them.

DD's Hunter's were a Christmas gift from her Godfather. She's worn them daily for 4 months. There is a hole in the heel and I can't afford to replace them. She'll have to go back to her £5 Tesco boots.

Our car (second hand Mondeo) is on the drive. We cannot afford the £800 repair bill to make it roadworthy after a wanker garage owner sold us a dud and refused to take it back. We're having to wait to see if Barclaycard will give us a Section 75 refund before we can use it.

Our last holiday was a week in a B&B in Llandudno with an 18mo in a travel cot and twin beds. We had no holiday last year, or this year. This is the first year in 5 that DH hasn't been at risk of redundancy.

We don't have an iPad. In fact, our PC can't be switched off because it needs restarting about 30 times to get it going again.

It's 20fucking13. We both have degrees. He's in a good job. I'm trying to find one, but the equivalent of my salary will go on childcare.

spanky2 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:40:54

Why are some people replying then saying it's none of your business . If it is none of your business don't reply ! hmm I wonder how people afford stuff . I have just paid out over £400 on my cat this last two months so maybe that's why I have no cash!

marjproops Fri 26-Apr-13 18:41:37

DC has an old nintendo ds that her aunty gave her (when aunty upgraded), a playstation that was very kindly donated by someone who knows i struggle, our tv i saved up a year for, most of our furniture is donated, i manage food and clothing (hardly for me, all for DC).

never had a cred card and never want one. if i want something i save. always been that way.

got an old style mobile phone, i couldnt give a fig about thel latest gadget, a phones a phone. no designer stuff ever.

but we're sort of ok. never been able to afford a holiday, just the odd day out here and there.

yes OP i wonder too, and yes i am also jealous.

as a fulltime carer ill never be able to get a mortgage, but the ideal place to live, and afford anything halfway decent.

but i have a good eye for bargains too, so somehow mangae to, even if its only a couple of ppounds a week, put away for emergencies.

also wondering why so many houses have been sold and bought. can understand the selling but the buying?

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:42:42

EXACTLY Fliss.

Cheers Spanky grin

There's rather a large gap between the rich and the poor though. I was just reading an article about the increase in people using food banks. How you perceive the wealth of the country depends on the people you are exposed to.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 26-Apr-13 18:43:40

The thing is, people who have decent jobs, own houses etc, have not really suffered in this recession. The hits are being taken by those below them on the economic chain.
Professional jobs have been pretty safe-not all, but like Clouds said, most professionals who took redundancy found work again soonish, (in my experience only I should add.)
My friend who gets paid £400 a day as a consultant still gets that. My lawyer friend has had several pay rises since 2008.
Cleaners/ shop workers haven't had rises, and food has gone up MASSIVELY, as has VAT, which takes a much bigger % out of people on lower incomes money.
Also, fewer people can get a mortgage, and so are renting, and paying more than a mortgage.

LynetteScavo Fri 26-Apr-13 18:44:23

I have no idea.

This bemuses me daily.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:44:25

DP earns £16K sad Love him though! We have one preschool DD and I work 3-4 evenings per week to make ends meet.

I feel (and I know it ain't healthy or right) envious, especially when I come on MN and see all the 'rich' posters on here.

There seems to be more and more affluence out there despite all the news reports on the country's failing finances!

freddiefrog Fri 26-Apr-13 18:45:16

We're very fortunate as we are better off now than a few years ago

DH has worked his way up his profession and is now quite senior and earns a good wage

We also inherited a house, which we decided to rent out as we struggled to sell it, which covers most of our living costs here.

I also work part time

We are lucky that we have a decent disposable income.

We do have an iPad, I have an iPhone, DH likes gadgets and I love clothes and fashion. We don't have loads of expensive holidays every year, I'm afraid of flying, so we camp in the UK.

We don't have any debt, we do save, put money away for the kids future and donate to charity, we don't spoil the kids and we appreciate everything we have. We don't spend like its going out of fashion, I don't have a wardrobe full of designer clothes, and the kids aren't awash with expensive crap, but at the same time we don't skimp or go without either.

We are fortunate, but DH has worked really hard to get where he is career-wise so we enjoy the benefits.

LynetteScavo Fri 26-Apr-13 18:45:54

oh, someone will come along soon OP, and tell you they live a jolly life on an income of 18Kpa. hmm

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:46:42

Helpful post IfNot Now - this is something I need to understand smile Gorgeous song btw

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Fri 26-Apr-13 18:46:50

No amount of prioritising is going to make the cost of a flight appear is it?
Erm... yes, it can do. Shop at Tescos, convert clubcard points to Avios = return flights to Europe for £30 tax each.
Or look out for Ryanair/Easyjet sales - flights to be had for £20+ all in.
(...I did a long weekend in Venice for less than £100 total for 2 people inc. flights, accommodation and airport car parking).

I appreciate that if you need money for rent/mortgage/bills this may seem flippant BUT there are ways to get a few days away without it costing a packet. (Sun £9 holidays is another one).

landofsoapandglory Fri 26-Apr-13 18:46:57

We don't have any debt and our housing costs are low. All of us are on PAYG phones. Neither DH or I smoke, we don't eat takeaways hardly ever, we shop in Lidl &Aldi and top up in Tesco. I buy a lot of my clothes in Primark, New Look and Dorothy Perkins, very rarely do I buy any Boden or anything of that ilk.

I still shop like I did when DH was earning a lot less money, tbh.

We do have iPads, laptops and newish cars. We usually have a holiday abroad each year, this year it is costing nothing due to a refund from last year.

My sister bleats that we have 'better' or more things than her, but she smokes like a chimney, goes to the pub 2-3 nights a week, eats lots of takeaways and 4 out of 5 of them have iPhones.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 18:46:58

A couple of things come into it but almost none of these people will be putting money away for their retirement, have more than 6 months of living expenses in cash and be paying off their home (interest only mortgages are a bad rental contract with a bank IMO).

lessmiss I think the same thing all the time. We moved to the US and DH is earning a lot these days. When we visit home I am shocked to find out friends have moved into very expensive homes. When I asked my Dad about it he said that he thinks a lot of people are buying homes and renting them to their kids. The kids qualify for housing benefit and therefore the government is in effect buying a home for them. I have no idea if this is true or not but it is the only logical explaination that I have heard. As far as I am concerned there is no way that a family with 1.5 jobs which bring in no more than 40k a year plus two children can afford a 500k house. If anyone is able to do it please do share!

Goodwordguide Fri 26-Apr-13 18:47:14

But, (and this is a big but of course), assuming you have kept your job, then you may have more disposable income - many products eg, cars, holidays, supermarket deals, get cheaper in a recession. Mortgage rates are ridiculously low at the moment.

People have very different spending priorities as well. Our car is ancient (and mouldy!), we hardly ever use it so practically no petrol costs, and our holidays usually consist of camping, we don't have Sky etc but I spend quite a lot on food and extra-curricular stuff for the children.

I don't know how younger people afford to buy a house though, especially in London - 1 bed flats in our area started at £250,000 shock

thefirstmrsrochester Fri 26-Apr-13 18:50:32

My best friend works part time, is a lone parent (her ex says he can afford £0 in support for their 3 dc) and makes what she has stretch amazingly. Her dc have laptops, ipads, expensive footie strips, swankly clothes, concert tickets & holidays.

She doesnt waste a thing foodwise, she shops around, researches every single thing she buys to see if there is a cost effective option, she enters (and wins startlingly often) radio phone-in competitions and the like. Family passes to expensive attractions, 2 x bikes, a huge TV, vouchers for a holiday and other thing (she donated an xbox she won to school to raffle as her ds already had one).

She worries about money all the time, counts every penny, cries about it to me some times. But as far as outward appearances go, her dc have everything and more.

Others will be like her, others will use credit, others will have the disposable income, others will work all the hours god sends to make ends meet.

UserError Fri 26-Apr-13 18:50:34

My DP won my our iPad in a raffle at a work's do. Honestly.

deleted203 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:50:46

Maybe it's the area you live in? I don't notice anyone round here with clothes from Boden, driving a Merc or having foreign holidays. We are in an area of high unemployment and very low wages. I do watch things on TV about London, say, and think 'fucking hell - it's a different world'. It just seems very alien to me. The big thing for me is probably watching shows like 'Escape to the Country' and wondering how the fuck a couple in their late 30s has got £750,000 to spend on a house, say.

Everyone I know is wondering if they can afford one that's going for about £68,000...

AngryFeet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:51:31

Well we are pretty well off in comparison to lots of our friends. DH has worked 60+ hours a week for many years to get to this point (I know we are very lucky that he found a job in the industry he is in). We now have 4 times the income we did 4 years ago. We have an ipad but won it in a competition. We don't do holidays apart from camping. We are about to buy our first house so I think things will get a lot tighter financially then. Most people I know struggle most of the time apart from friends who have no kids and work long hours in London - they seem bloody loaded!

Skinnywhippet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:51:33

I have an ipad. I also bought my first house at 23. However I don't have an especially well paid job. However, my husband and family have helped out. So in our case, we have been lucky to have financially supportive parents. I think that makes a big difference. Also, I don't have children. Everyone's circumstances are difference....it doesn't always matter what their obvious disposable income is as there are too many other variables.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 26-Apr-13 18:51:56

We don't pay a huge mortgage and both earn good wages. We have seen things get more expensive, so we plan meals well and have got rid of gym memberships. We own our own cars, so I guess that helps.
I don't buy all expensive clothes, just mix them up with cheaper high street ones.
We do go on holiday every year, but just camping. Nowt fancy.

ShowMeTheYoni Fri 26-Apr-13 18:52:40

We spend little on food, I try really hard to make it healthy and from scratch. My job gets us a lot of "perk" such as free nights in hotels, park entry etc so we do go away a lot, but I work for it. We don't holiday abroad, but run two cars, have a ipad, a brand new mac and so on. I'd say we are better off now than before. BUT that is because we have had to cut our cloth. And by doing so we are not frivolous anymore, but frugal. We have learned to cut back on non essentials, but our moneysaving ways have been the making of us. We now appreciate all we have. We make our income meet our outgoing.

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 18:53:02

We also inherited a house, which we decided to rent out as we struggled to sell it

That's because you were asking too much money for it.

HTH.

Roseformeplease Fri 26-Apr-13 18:53:19

I wear Boden, Joules, Levis (bought on eBay and sold when I get fed up and because they are good brands, you get your money back, or even make a small profit. We have a lovely car (eBay and 10 years old) and I have an ipad (bought by our business and cheaper than a laptop at the time). Not everything is as it appears......

LittlePeaPod Fri 26-Apr-13 18:53:42

Firstly sorry I haven't read all comments.. I am a little confused but why does it matter what other people spend their money on.. Different people make different choices and sacrifices. Some can afford it and some get into serious trouble. Recession or not utilmately it's no ones business really. Or maybe IABU.

Skinnywhippet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:54:20

Want2besupermum

That may be true for some, but I have decent savings and have a pension through my work. I would never buy anything on credit. I too am amazed, like the OP, of some people's apparent lifestyles, but I would rather properly own the things we have like the car and house than be paying for them with added interest.

awkwardsis Fri 26-Apr-13 18:56:12

I think appearances can be deceptive. I buy dc and I lovely clothes second hand, our wanky bugaboo cost £100 secondhand, and dd's dad won our iPad as his bonus as work (tech bod). To a casual observer we probably look well off. We're not.

LayMizzRarb Fri 26-Apr-13 18:56:43

What I meant is that I tend to be offended by people who believe that holidays, private schooling etc., would be available to us all if only we made the necessary sacrifices.

We're lucky, the recession has not really affected DH and I. Our Mortgage has actually decreased with the falling interest rates, by a couple of hundred pounds a month. Please don't be offended because we are not having a major struggle.
We are not mega wealthy, but honestly do appreciate what we have. And I really mean that sincerely.

Please don't think those who are not having to reign it in are literally sticking two fingers up at those who are.

freddiefrog Fri 26-Apr-13 18:58:13

That's because you were asking too much money for it.

It was on the market for what a local estate agent valued it at

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 26-Apr-13 18:58:21

Depends on people's circumstances, too. People inherit money/win money/have v generous parents or inlaws. Also depends where you live. Round here, people tend to go skiing in February abroad in the summer and a week in this country at some other point envy We do not do this. However, DH earns way over the national average, but it doesn't go very far here and we have a big mortgage. The recession hasn't affected everyone, that's for sure.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Fri 26-Apr-13 18:58:24

We have very low wages.
We have an some luxuries like an iPad and a posh pram, the pram was like new just an older model secondhand from Ebay.
However, I budget carefully, start Christmas shopping early to save money, use the Tesco vouchers, take out lunch with us on day trips which are usually to cheap places like a park.
Friends of ours earn about three times what we do but don't budget for the same things as we do.
For example we will eat sandwiches when we meet them and they will go off for a expensive meal.
I think different people have different opinions on how to spend their money.

Skinnywhippet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:58:35

What's the obsession with private schooling!!

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 18:58:37

To those that have been able to hold their own during the recession, can't we just say Good Luck to them?
If the lucky ones come on threads and bash benefit claimants and people in social housing, or anyone struggling to make ends meet, then yes, I will react with suitable anger.
I do see many, many Mumsnetters out there though with good incomes and lovely lives who will be the first to jump in to defend those struggling.
Live and let live though I will continue to hate this Government and it's treatment of the vulnerable until they're out of office.
Oh and I'm poor and live in social housing BTW.

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 18:58:48

Ah yes, it all becomes clear, nobody has actually paid for their iPad, everybody got theirs for free by winning it or finding it in a hedge or some other dubious story.

TiredFeet Fri 26-Apr-13 18:59:34

you can't tell how much money people have from their visible assets. DBIL and his wife are always in nice expensive clothes, but I know for a fact they have 100% mortgage on their house, car loan for their car, and even bought their ipad on a credit agreement thing shock (and that was when he had been made redundant and just before their first baby was born hmm ) and basically they often struggle with money for food by the end of the month because of all their debts and have to be bailed out by overly kind family members

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 18:59:40

It was on the market for what a local estate agent valued it at

That was the problem.

BoffinMum Fri 26-Apr-13 18:59:55

Most of my flash stuff is second hand or comes from the skip/charity shops/Ebay etc. You would be amazed what you can find if you look.

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 26-Apr-13 19:01:07

We have no mortgage and pay our credit card off every month..we have a John Lewis card and pay for everything on it...in return I get about £750 worth of vouchers a year .
We have savings and dh has a good pension. He has his own very small business.
We don't have flash holidays or cars but a nice lifestyle and don'towe anyone anything.

awkwardsis Fri 26-Apr-13 19:01:09

Overprotection, why would I lie to a bunch or faceless strangers on the Internet? Dd's dad has a geeky job and were handing them out to all and sundry by all accounts

BoffinMum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:01:57

Also if you save your Tesco vouchers and book a year ahead with discount codes you can get a holiday for much less than if you just ploughed in and booked it when you felt like one. Sometimes we stay with friends/family for holidays, and buy Eurostar tickets with Tesco vouchers, so we only pay for petrol and supermarket shopping. I realise that relies on calling in a lot of social capital, though! wink

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 19:02:56

My salary is £200 per month - yes per month.
I have an iPad, nice car, am going abroad this summer and I'm a single parent.
I get wtc and child maintenance.
I can afford nice things because I have a small house with a £20 per month mortgage, I also sell on eBay which works out about £100 per month.

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Apr-13 19:03:12

Want2bSupermum As far as I am concerned there is no way that a family with 1.5 jobs which bring in no more than 40k a year plus two children can afford a 500k house. If anyone is able to do it please do share!

That's my calculation too. It really is baffling. My (part time) hairdresser lives in a 1/2 million pound new build and has just shelled out cash for a giant Jacuzzi in the garden. Her DH is some kind of salesman, no degree, both have newish Mercedes. My neighbour has 3 Mercedes and was a plumber for the local Council. His wife has never worked. I know people who shell out on newish cars for their kids on hitting 18, buy £50,000 horseboxes and several £30,000 plus horses, yet none of them seem to have anything like the traditionally well paid careers, or to be particularly posh. Its bizarre.

hiddenhome Fri 26-Apr-13 19:03:28

I honestly can't figure out how people afford holidays. If I take us on a trip out here, it comes to about £60-£80 including petrol, entrance, food, little gift, ice cream etc.

Where do people get the money from for a holiday? Is it on credit card, or do you save up? I haven't had a proper holiday for nearly 16 years and would love on.

skippedtheripeoldmango Fri 26-Apr-13 19:08:11

It's about priorities. And various other things. I haven't been on holiday abroad since 2003 and the and time I went on holiday was in 2009, but I have a smart phone and a lap top and broadband and TV. If I didnt' have those things I could probably go on holiday...but staying in touch with people and browsing the internet is more important to me, but I certainly can't have it all.

I think there is a lot of debt out there - living on the never never tends to bring out the worst in people spending money they don't have on just about anything that takes their fancy.

In addition to that, there are some amazing deals out there (the Wii we have came free with my mobile contract) and then there's ebay, and gumtree, and amazon....you can really pick up a bargain.

BoffinMum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:09:50

Hiddenhome, maximize Tesco vouchers for the travel end of things via supermarket shopping and use of the Tesco credit card that you pay back every month.

Try to sort out a house swap, housesitting, or stay somewhere in Europe where you won't find another English tourist for miles, that is an unfashionable as possible! That is how we have done it. This works particularly well for things like skiing.

Also look at places like the former East Germany, the far north of Bavaria near the Czech border (eg the Bavarian Forest), and consider Kolping hotels (run by a Christian charity) or plain gites in the back of beyond, or youth hostels with family rooms if you want something in a prettier area. Sometimes you can stay cheaply in university accommodation in the summer vacation.

Also sometimes going for 5 days is financially viable when 1 or 2 weeks might not be.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:09:57

Skinny I am very much the same way and disappointed that no one on here has managed to shed light on how those on lower incomes are able to afford these expensive homes.....

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 26-Apr-13 19:10:11

If you are in the right industry then there are lots of freebies that go around, we've had lots of MP3 players, monitors, TVs and other gadgets over the years - many of which we have traded and sold and then bought the items we want.
We normally sell existing technology in order to upgrade to the next thing, it is amazing what you can get for things, so often things have been zero or very low cost to us.

And there are bargains to be had on larger items. I have just ordered a new bed for DS1 today. I paid slightly less than half RRP, and asked if they would waive the delivery fee or else I would pop next door and see what they would offer me. Deal done.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I paid full price for anything that cost more than £50.

We budget, save, put money aside for Christmas and holidays as we go along. We are really frugal about things like coffee and lunches out, which many people we know do 2-3 times a week and then moan they can't afford a holiday.

We are definitely in a fortunate position, but DH has been made redundant twice in the last 4 years which has been very stressful, so we haven't had it handed on a plate.

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 19:10:34

My salary is £200 per month - yes per month.

I like how you tried to draw attention to this, and then downplayed the fact that the vast majority of your income comes from benefits and child maintenance, ComeYoniWithMe.

Fuckwittery Fri 26-Apr-13 19:10:47

We have recently been better off because both our incomes have increased, due to progressing in our careers in our late 20s and early 30s in professions have rapid increasing salary after a long training period. We don't have a big house and drive a 14 year old pretty unimpressive car. Until recently we both worked full time and dh did shifts at weekends and unsociable hours which cut childcare costs, one child at school too which helps. We probably could have had a grand a month spare each month without holidays, iPads, fancy stuff etc, not because we earn huge amounts for the southeast but because we have decent salaries and live frugally in other ways. We have been saving it though, but could have splurged. We've recently given that disposable income up as I'm going to sahm as worked v long hours and never saw each other, and I never saw the kids in the week. So no more possibility of buying nice stuff, but I never felt comfortable with it either, prefer to save for extension and overpay on mortgage. We could have had the fancy stuff and no savings in the bank.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 19:11:33

A lot of people really haven't seen much of a change in their income and lifestyle with the recession, if you've kept your job, have a house were your mortgage repayments are cheap (particularly if you calculated what you could afford and set budgets on higher rates), and don't rely on benefits for any of your income, then the recession isn't something that will effect you - other than the fact a lot of companies have deals and offers on so your money goes a lot further.

DH's team was ring fenced for the last load of redundancies (so didn't have to worry about it), and my company are just doing them now (I survived the first lot that was all the way back in 2009), but I'm on mat leave, and wasn't sure if I was going to go back anyway, a nice payout might just make that decision a little easier.

It does sound like I'm gloating, I'm not, it's just we haven't been hit by the recession - we bought a house much smaller than borrowing to the limit the bank would let us borrow so we could afford to live on just DH's wage if we wanted too, we have a good load of savings (currently 6 months worth of mortgage, bills and food costs, we add £300 a month to it) so our spending money is just that - I also don't tend to shop regularly for clothes, so rather than spending 5 lots of £30 on things over a couple of months, I will just buy a couple of things from Boden online.

(And I tend to assume that most people pushing a £800 pram have been given it by grandparents).

Flappingandflying Fri 26-Apr-13 19:11:54

My income went up by a large jump once I stopped paying childcare. We were hand to mouth for years but now we are OK. We both have reasonable wages and a mortgage which is reasonable compared to some. We couldn't afford to buy our house now. But I am amazed at how many kids have expensive phones which must be on £35 plus a month contracts. Also when we go on the ferry to France it stuns me how many people are in big huge four wheel drive cars which must cost to buy and to run. I suppose people prioritise for whatever works for them. We don't pay for private education and we don't go out much but we do pay for Kids to do expensive hobbies that we wouldnt be able to do if we did the former.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 26-Apr-13 19:11:55

LessMiss - have they inherited them? If people are in sales, don't underestimate the commission if they overachieve against target.

pickledginger Fri 26-Apr-13 19:12:04

I think that those who were already on a low income with a tight budget have been disproportionally hit by this recession.

If you were earning enough that you had money to put into savings each month then you were more likely to be able to absorb rising food and fuel costs. If you had the money to spend on regular treats/meals out then there was expenditure to trim when looking to save money. If you were already budgeting carefully to cover your weekly food shop there wasn't any slack to take up.

If you were in a job where you get x amount per annum regardless of hours and you haven't been made redundant your income has stayed the same. If you were in a job where you are paid by the hour then you're more likely to have had your hours cut/lost usual overtime due to the downturn and had a drop income.

If you were on a lower income you're more likely to have been in receipt of one of the benefits that's been cut or to have been hit by the 'reassessment' of your health/ability to work or the bedroom tax.

If you were looking for low skilled part time work to supplement your income the workfare scheme had filled the the needs of many companies. In the past people may have taken shifts shelf stacking etc but the paid work isn't there because workfare gives it to companies for free.

ChangeNameToday Fri 26-Apr-13 19:12:40

Um...our ipad was free too actually! DH was given it by his work. We recently bought another one as a 70th birthday present for his Dad so there's somebody else who got one for free!

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 19:13:50

A lot of very good points there Pickled.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 19:14:09

I know what you mean. My friend and her husband both have an ipad each and her 3 dc each have a ds. She is a sahm, he works full time and she was telling me they get help with housing costs etc. I did wonder how they can afford all the gadgets when we get no help at all finacially but would have to save for ages to get an ipadhmm

Another friend moans how skint they are and can't see how anyone can afford to save but manages to have a week away in Cornwall or the like plus get married spending a good few thousand.

How are the doing this and what am i doing wrong!?

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 19:14:26

I found my Audi TT down the back of the sofa I won in a raffle.

colleysmill Fri 26-Apr-13 19:14:28

I think sometimes appearances can be deceptive.

We have holidays but not abroad. our holidays/weekends away are always in the camper.
There are 2 cars on the drive but they are company cars so no MOT/unexpected costs - we only own the slightly tatty campervan.
I don't own anything "named" unless its from TK max
We have smart phones but about 3 years old so non contract now
I am a lidl convert and anything not spent is saved for weekends away
We didst over stretch ourselves when buying a house - we borrowed about 100k less than we potentially could of.

Nothing beginning with i owned here - give me a record (or tape in the van) any day. Still have a big old fashioned telly too.

landofsoapandglory Fri 26-Apr-13 19:15:13

We save up for our holidays hiddenhome.

When our DC were small, we went on Sun holidays, then as they got older and I went back to work so we had more money we had a week abroad. We go SC, book early and aren't into 5* etc. We,also, have never been worried about taking them out of school for a few days until they hit 13/14.

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 19:15:43

Overprotection how exactly did I downplay it?
Benefit bashing are you - how lovely.

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 19:18:00

Benefit bashing are you - how lovely.

Not really, I was just somewhat amused at your attempt to portray yourself as some sort of superscrimper who magically lives a champagne lifestyle on a tramps budget.

It's not just you though, there's a lot of bollocks being spouted on this thread.

Lizzylou Fri 26-Apr-13 19:19:33

Pickled, I completely agree, in the main.
I know of a few people in higher paying jobs who have been made redundant. But they have either been able to find new roles pretty swiftly or belt tighten. Certainly not living in poverty.

Dragonwoman Fri 26-Apr-13 19:20:54

Well.....going from my own experience I was made redundant from my job when the recession started.
However since then I have found work but on a short-term self employed basis. There are more & more companies employing people this way because of the flexibility it offers them.
I get more per hour than in my old job BUT I have no job security, pension paid holidays or sick pay. There are loads of people out there like me. It's cheaper for businesses as despite paying more per hour they make a huge saving on the benefits.

So I have more cash in my pocket, but need to be careful as I have no security. Most people with cash in their pocket will just spend it all though in my experience, thus appearing to be well off even though they know their job is not secure.

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 19:20:54

I think it's my £20 mortgage that allows my champagne lifestyle rather than the millions of £'s I get in benefits.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:23:19

Quite a few people seem to be evading their taxes....

These freebies should be included in your income that is taxed. As an example, emergency daycare is paid for by employer BUT the cost of it is added to my income and I am taxed on it. If I won an ipad at work the cost of it would be added to my salary the month I collected it and taxes would be paid on that amount.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 26-Apr-13 19:24:23

My iPad is from work!

MomsNetCurtains Fri 26-Apr-13 19:25:23

Yoni How is your mortgage so low? That's wonderful! Wish mine was! grin

Glittertwins Fri 26-Apr-13 19:25:49

We've done okay despite the recession although there were a couple of wobbly times. My recent promotion means my pt salary is now higher than my FT in 2007 and DH got a new job. We have deliberately not moved house because we want to make sure we can still pay the mortgage on one salary. We both got made redundant before the age of 30 and climbed back up.

pickledginger Fri 26-Apr-13 19:26:19

I think many people exist in a binary state financially when they have a main salaried earner. They're fine or fucked depending on that person's employment status. There isn't an inbetween. Even with employment protection insurance and some savings most people would be in trouble within 3 months and screwed within 6.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 26-Apr-13 19:27:01

Want2 - not if the competition is run by a third party, or if the iPad is provided as work equipment.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:27:50

lessmiss You would be shocked to learn what DH earns in sales. I am an accountant who used to work in investment banking. He sells pork FGS and makes much more than I did when I was working crazy hours at the bank. I was making a lot back then too. To cap it off DH left school at 17 and is only doing an MBA now because his employer are paying for it and he needs it to be able to progress to a senior management role the company would like him to take.

givemeaclue Fri 26-Apr-13 19:28:00

Lots of people aren't struggling though. Those that are , asr having a really tough time, but plenty people are not. Two goodincomes and minimal childcare costs makes most of the families I know pretty well off. But I also know people who live in very hard circumstances

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 19:28:04

ComeYoniWithMe - how have you got a £20 morgage? And how can i get one?

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:29:20

err if you performed work for them I am pretty sure inland revenue would classify that as income. Here in the US the IRS would expect you to include that as income without a doubt.

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 19:29:47

moms it's a little house and I bought it along time ago. My mortgage should be paid off in a few months.

PoppyWearer Fri 26-Apr-13 19:30:05

DH earns a fantastic salary and we can't afford lots of the things listed in the OP. If the DCs wear Joules/Boden type clothes we buy them second-hand from eBay. iPads and the like have to be funded from eBay sales. We rarely go overseas on holiday and if we do it's using air miles. In short, we try to live within our means and pay off our credit cards monthly. We also try to save for the future and ours DCs' future.

We have concluded by a process of deduction that of our friends and relatives, one family genuinely must earn more than we do and can afford their lifestyle. The others must be living on credit. Or the bank of mum and dad. (SIL and family, for example, lean heavily on PILs and go out and on holiday way way more than us.). And are not paying into savings or pensions.

S'not fair <stamps foot>.

Actually, I am pleased we stand on our own two feet. Although I bet I know who will be paying for our PILs' care home. hmm

pickledginger Fri 26-Apr-13 19:30:27

The reason we got our first iPad is that DH's employers won't fork out for decent kit and it allows him to do his job a lot more easily and work from home when they decide they need him to work all night. His work laptop is a dusty paperweight.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 19:31:52

It's also worth pointing out that what's a good wage when you don't have DCs and what's a good wage when you have them is very different! A lot of people out spending don't have childcare to pay for, can happily live in smaller houses/flats, live in less desirable areas if they don't have to worry about schools, if you only have to buy clothes and food for yourself, you can flash the cash much more than if the same wage has to support several people etc.

Plus some people get free childcare from grandparents, that's like being given an extra grand a month round here.

MomsNetCurtains Fri 26-Apr-13 19:32:51

Yoni Nice! It's cheering to hear things like that.

FourLittleDudes Fri 26-Apr-13 19:33:35

I suppose it must look to some people like I have a lot of spare cash but most of what I have came from eBay.

I buy all my children's clothes from eBay - I've just bought ds2 a Bench jacket which looks brand new for £2.01 and I bought myself some second hand but barely worn vans for 99p

I have a flat screen tv (the type the daily mail like to point out all the time!) but I bought it from cash converters, paying a few pound a week for ages until it was paid off and I could take it home. I have leather sofas, from gumtree £80.

I have a samsung tablet - a birthday present, and an iPhone which was an upgrade after being with t-mobile for years.

(My double buggy isn't a super super snazzy one though!)

I've had to claim benefits since ex left during my pregnancy with ds4 (I am looking for work though) and have had so someone suggest that I was fiddling or something because we have a few nice things - but I don't run a car, have no pets, no holidays, don't drink or smoke and don't have nights out so I suppose the money goes further, although I have been shocked at how much money I get, so I can see why someone made that comment to me.

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Apr-13 19:34:17

LOL Want2bSupermum sales I can understand. But all the others I know with the megabucks houses and cars either work for the local council or are tradesmen. How much do tradesmen earn really? They can't all earn £150,000 plus per year surely? And how do you get a mortgage for that much, when so much of your salary is based on commission? A large deposit doesn't really matter in these days of stricter lending criteria.

To make it even more baffling, its a strongly left wing area, lots of ex-council housing stock (which the new build £500,000 plus houses are built around) and people were celebrating on Margaret Thatcher's death, along the lines of her having caused such poverty to the local community!

If people can afford it then it is good they are shopping surely - boosts the economy!

CheerfulYank Fri 26-Apr-13 19:35:16

Depends on where you live too, I suppose. I live in a teeny town in Midwest America. Houses are cheap, food is cheap. Only one (state) school so no school fees. DH has a decent job. I work part time at a cinema for very little...it's just my "extra" money and we go to the cinema for free so days out that way are cheap.

DH got his iPad and laptop through work and has a cheap phone. He got me a tablet for Christmas (he has a friend who is heavily into computers, etc, and can always find a good deal) and I have a smart phone. We don't have a television so no cable fees. We watch Netflix or DVds on the laptop.

We don't go for holidays really, just family days out and trips to my family's cabin. Someday! smile

Also I'm not really fussed about clothes and as I don't ever have to "dress up" I mostly just have jeans and t-shirts. DH is the same, jeans or khakis with his work polos. I sign up for coupons at all the kid's stores around here and usually buy clothes for DS a year out, one they're on sale plus coupons. So he might wear "nicer" brands but they've hung in his closet for a year, plus I've bought them on sale with an additional 20% off.

Varya Fri 26-Apr-13 19:35:50

I have come to the conclusion that most of the goods piled high at the checkout are paid for with credit cards. As for Chelsea tractors I don't know how ordinary people can afford to buy and run them - that's another mystery. We have people at work with expensive tastes particularly single mums working part time and getting benefits. They have luxuries like Sky, Golf lessons for a six year old, fancy dress hire for hen weekends, i-pads, all kinds of stuff that I cant afford!

EuroShaggleton Fri 26-Apr-13 19:36:27

I sort of know what you mean, OP. According to those income calculator thingies the news websites publish from time to time, I am in the top 1% of earners. I am certainly comfortable, but I don't know how so many people afford swanky cars, luxury holidays, etc. Last year we had a tough year in a number of ways and treated ourselves to a week 5* in December. We struggled to find somewhere that wasn't sold out. I drive a "naice" but 8 year old car and am amazed at the number of new 30k+ cars I see on the roads. There are a lot of people out there paying a LOT of money for luxuries and they can't all be earning daft amounts (or if they are, they aren't appearing on the official statistics).

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 19:37:42

I guess as we are at the 'lower end' income wise maybe we are feeling/noticing it more. No doubt there are many who struggle on far less.

Mind you, I've just got back from popping out for a bottle of wine, so all is not lost...we can still afford some luxuries grin wine

whois Fri 26-Apr-13 19:37:56

Not everyone is affected by a recesion. Its devestating for those that are made redundant, difficult for those on low incomes squeezed by inflation but not really any different for those with high salaries and low outgoings..

I'm not struggling.

Duel income, no kids. Good job £50k ish. No wedding or other 'big' expense to pay/save for. I'll have been on 6 'exotic' holidays by December. Lots of eating out.

But then I spend practically nothing on clothes, transport costs are zero and shop cheaply for mainly veggie food the rest of the time. The number of holidays is misleading because two of them are with my parents who have paid. My iPad 1 was a gift many years ago. My iPhone 5 a free upgrade. My car paid off years ago and ticking along nicely. Renting and not massively saving.

What looks like a super extravegant lifestyle can be a bit false or be the result of different priorities!

williaminajetfighter Fri 26-Apr-13 19:38:00

Glad to see the thread hijacked by angry people and smug frugaleers! And Yoni a £20 month mortgage is what you pay for a £10,000 house maybe. So either you're living in britains cheapest house or you're being smug by being propped up by the govt.

OP you're not being unreasonable. Some thoughts:
- many people especially those in public sector not affected by recession. Life goes on and they get their rise up a scale point each year.
- public sector salaries are not regionally weighted so an HE administrator in the SE will make the same as one in areas of the country where it costs much less to live
- a lot of people don't save or put money away for their pension
-a lot of people get financial support from parents and child are support as well, saving them lots
- many younger people still live with parents meaning they can use their disposable income on consumer goods and bling
- a lot of people eat shit food, seriously beans on toast and pasta and stuff that costs very little to have money elsewhere. True you can eat well and cheaply but I'm talking pot noodle territory.
- a lot of people compromise on housing to have more money to spend in other areas
- some people have lived in social housing for a long time and still do even if their economic situation has improved. So 15 years when they weren't well off the council gave them housing at a reduced rate and they are still in the housing despite being in a much better situation with work and income. I saw this ALL THE TIME in Glasgow where a high percentage of the population live in HA/council housing and it made a huge difference to disposable income. This isn't a bash but an observation, one of the reasons why council house provision should be reviewed annually to take into account residents changing circumstances

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 19:45:26

This thread is swiftly turning around from 'How do people afford these things'?, which I assumed to be people lucky enough to be on good incomes, to how do "quote Varya 'single parents on benefits afford to buy more than she can' confused.
Why am I surprised, these threads always end up like this sad.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 19:45:29

Lots of people on really good salaries smile I mean 50K would be just life changing for us...really could never even dream of that! It IS jealousy...I do admit that and I do find threads like this helpful in setting my head straight.

TattyDevine Fri 26-Apr-13 19:47:57

Some people are on Directors salaries.

Some people were wealthy before the recession and bought flats in Stratford before the London 2012 Olympics was announced

Some people are mortgage free

There are loads of reasons.

BoffinMum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:48:18

Kolping about £30 a day per person incl half board and activities.

Self catering in the Bavarian forest (cheaper accommodation is out there but this website is in English)

Bavarian Forest

Harz Mountains in former East Germany is supposed to be another nice place to go.

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 19:48:58

I mean 50K would be just life changing for us...really could never even dream of that! It IS jealousy

The thing to remember is that whatever you earn you will always wish you earned as much as the next person above you on the jobs ladder, whether they earn £10k or £100k. So no point getting jealous about it, it's the same for everyone.

givemeaclue Fri 26-Apr-13 19:49:30

Poppy wearer, are you paying school fees, because on a fantastic salary I am surprised at what you're not able to afford

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 19:49:51

I dunno...we'd be seriously minted on 50K smile

GoSuckEggs Fri 26-Apr-13 19:49:53

We are doing very well despite the resession. DH got a 30% payrise and 25% annual bonus! He works very hard and deserves it.

Euphemia Fri 26-Apr-13 19:50:13

We entered the recession both in secure FT employment, mortgage paid off as a result of inheritance from FIL and my grannie. We get a lot of stuff from DH's work: iPad, two PCs, printers, stationery, his iPhone.

We've never been so well off. I guess the effect of the recession depends on how you went into it, and how secure your employment is.

ouryve Fri 26-Apr-13 19:51:01

My iPad mini was £269.

Generally, few people have ALL of those things without a debt to match.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Fri 26-Apr-13 19:51:40

" many people especially those in public sector not affected by recession. Life goes on and they get their rise up a scale point each year. "

Nope. No pay rise or progression up the scale in last 3 years for this public sector worker. sad

Not moaning. Very pleased to have secure(ish) work. Don't have an Ipad. grin

overprotection Fri 26-Apr-13 19:52:48

He works very hard and deserves it.

I do wish people would stop it with the "One works very hard" line. Lots of low paid people work very hard too, and don't have a big salary to show for it.

I earn good money now, but the jobs that drained me most were much lower paid.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 19:54:20

Totally agree overprotection

GoSuckEggs Fri 26-Apr-13 19:55:07

tough tit overprotection. He does work hard. i am sure if i had said he sits on his arse and does fuck all all day and his job is piss easy then you would have something to moan about also.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 19:55:20

Alas... no one can tell me how these people are able to live in a 500k house with an income of about 40k a year plus still afford to drive a car (lets forget the fact it is a shiny new one), afford to park in the city center which is 9/day and also buy at least one, if not two or more things while on their weekly shopping trip.

Euphemia Fri 26-Apr-13 19:56:06

I work my arse off and I haven't had an above-inflation pay rise ever.

forevergreek Fri 26-Apr-13 19:58:50

To the person with £20 mortgage. How?

And £200 a month still would help with £20 mortgage for me.

Don't you pay bills? Our council tax is £140 a month, add yor £20 mortgage and that only leaves £40 per month. £10 per week.

Are you really trying to say you pay the rest of your bills/ food/ holidays/ pair of pants on £10 per week? No of course not

You salary is earnings + any benefits = total. So that includes wtc, child benefit, any bill reduction etc etc

I'm sorry but no one in the uk lives on £200 per month in total to pay for all housing/ bills/ food.

bamboostalks Fri 26-Apr-13 20:02:26

Some of many people's spending power is from benefit fraud and tax avoidance. Deeply unfashionable to say this on mumsnet but true.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 20:03:45

I think as well, a lot of people have lost track of what job titles pay well and what don't - and who they think should be equal to them wage wise because they are seen as equal status wise (not sure if that's clear)

For example, my dad was horrifed to discover that a PA in London with 10 years experience would expect a salary of around £40k, depending on workload/hours. He had a career as a teacher and always thought of the secretary being someone quite junior.

Also a lot of careers the big money jumps in income are around your early to mid 30s, so you can have two people who earned about the same when they were in their early 20s suddenly have a vast difference, but if you hadn't realised their career was the sort to do that, then you might assume they were roughly following the same sort of pay scale as you because their job used to be paid about the same as yours.

(Plus things like ipads are often given by work, and aren't actually owned by the person using it, it's their company's property - I'm currently typing this on one of the two laptops DH has been given by work, both belong to his company, if he leaves their employ he has to give them back, it's over a decade since he's owned his phone as well - he just has whichever one the company gives him as he can't be arsed carrying around 2).

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 20:05:18

'Depends on where you live too, I suppose. I live in a teeny town in Midwest America. Houses are cheap, food is cheap. Only one (state) school so no school fees. DH has a decent job. I work part time at a cinema for very little...it's just my "extra" money and we go to the cinema for free so days out that way are cheap.'

That's true. My parents and sister live in areas where cost of living is cheap in relation to average salaries, and my sister and BIL have very, very good ones and also used an inheritance from his side of the family to minimise their mortgage even more. They have a disposable income goes a long way there.

My father bought a home in the early 70s that's now worth very much more than he paid for it. But he had a low mortgage in relation to his salary and was frugal and lucky in investing. This and a good pension package means they have lots of holidays far and away and are able to buy things like jewellery and nice handbags and do hobbies like golf.

IShallCallYouSquishy Fri 26-Apr-13 20:06:10

I don't think it's fair to assume people but things on credit just because they have new/nice possessions.

I'd be very upset if people thought I was in debt. My DH and I work hard (well I'm on mat leave but that's bloody hard too grin) and are fortunate enough that we have a nice car and my pile of shit iPhones, iPad, his nice bikes and golf clubs, my nice shoes and handbag, and DD has a nice pram and nice clothes.

Some people are careful with their money, some work hard, some have inheritances. Yes, some most likely are in debt, but its wrong for that to be an automatic assumption.

Pixel Fri 26-Apr-13 20:10:13

Both my dcs have ipads. smile
Dd rents hers from 6th form for £15 per term, paid for by her paper round. When she leaves she can pay another £50 and it's hers. Not only does that make for a cheap ipad but it spreads the cost. even if it will probably be very dated by then
Ds has autism and friends and relatives gave up trying to find presents for him a lot of Christmases and birthdays ago! They usually give him a token gift (sweets or comics) and some money which goes in his account. When his school wanted him to have an ipad for communication we used his own money.

I don't therefore think ipads can be an accurate gauge of wealth, although when we went to buy ds's I was surprised at the number of people in the Apple shop snapping them up (on a weekday too), so who knows?

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 20:14:31

Plenty of people 'work hard' and are very poor. hmm

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 20:15:31

One thing that baffles me is the amount people eat out/get take out. A friend of mine will always be moaning about lack of money saying how skint they are yet will regually be getting Dominos etc.

McDoanlds/pizza hut/takeaway pizza/kfc etc are all friggin well expensive, even with vouchers yet the amount of people i know who get them several times a week is amazing despite saying they are struggling finacially and slagging off the Government for cuts etc is amazing!

GrowSomeCress Fri 26-Apr-13 20:17:13

yeah takeaway food is a big one chocolatecake, I agree.

soverylucky Fri 26-Apr-13 20:18:09

Many people of my age (30's) have parents who were among the first generation to own their homes and they are sadly now at an age where they are passing on and leaving an inheritance. Prices have gone up so much that a property bought in the early 80's for 15K can now be sold for 100k etc. People then inherit this and can therefore afford a much nicer house than they would have done on just their wage.

My house is shit and my parents have nothing. I do however have a nice holiday every now and again but you won't see me in designer clothes, don't have an Ipad, car is very basic etc.

Also I am a teacher who has not had a pay rise for a couple of years now.

Jux Fri 26-Apr-13 20:19:22

My iPad was a present from my brother, who is a single bloke with no dependents, no mortgage and had a fuck of a good job which earnt him squillions a year. He worked all hours so the only thing he spent money on aside from basic food, rent, fares etc, was books. There's actually a limit to how many books you can buy a month and still read them all!

Sadly, he's just been made redundant.

PoppyWearer Fri 26-Apr-13 20:21:04

givemeaclue nope, no school fees. We are similarly mystified about what we can't afford compared to friends!

Honestly, I think it's the fact we are trying to save a bit that is the difference.

usedtobemankymolars Fri 26-Apr-13 20:23:08

We are better off as we no longer pay extortionate full time nursery fees now that DC at school. Also I have gone back from 80% time to full time.

Also, we don't go out really at all during the year, but save up for one luxury annual holiday.

Roseformeplease Fri 26-Apr-13 20:25:07

Also, living in the wilds of Scotland, no pressure to privately educate (and no need) and really good local schools anyway so no need to move into catchment areas. Property prices are ( relatively) cheap and we no longer pay for childcare, which used to cost a fortune. I also don't thing the recession has been bad for everyone. Also, people do just seem more label conscious now than in my childhood so wealth (or at least spending) is often very much more visible in labelled clothing, cars etc.

My clothes at 12 came from M&S. My son wants Levis for his birthday (just won some on eBay - he will be delighted).

givemeaclue Fri 26-Apr-13 20:26:18

Poppywearer, wow you must be saving lot. I guess thoughcanyou a afford all those things but choose to save instead, so its not really unfair if others save less but spend more , its a different choice.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 20:27:46

I also think housing might be a function of parents passing on their wealth before they get to the stage of needing a care home. If you buy the house now when the parents are in their 50's it will be at least 20-30 years before they need to think about care homes. I don't see the government going that far back to check on assets given to children.

PoppyWearer Fri 26-Apr-13 20:29:31

givemeaclue you're correct that saving is a choice. But I was brought up to believe it's an essential, as was DH, so it's something we do when we can afford it, even if it doesn't leave as as much as we'd like for luxuries!

I guess I was raised by frugal parents.

sydlexic Fri 26-Apr-13 20:30:08

I bought my house in 1990 with a fixed rate mortgage.5% over base rate, which was around 8 % the payment was £850 per month. At the end of the five years the mortgage went to 1% over base so I expected. It to go up, I was returning to work so that wasn't a problem.
When the 5 years finished the base rate had dropped to .5 % so. Then paid 1.5 % which is £292 per month at least £600 less than I budgeted for.

BellaVita Fri 26-Apr-13 20:30:26

Because we both work. Because DH earns a decent salary. Because of lots of things.

We have new cars, holidays and gadgets (cars paid for in cash btw from shares that DH gets from work and holidays are paid for with my salary), eat in nice restaurants.

We also save every month too.

Ours sons are teens so we do not need child care and when they were little I worked evenings.

kilmuir Fri 26-Apr-13 20:30:54

We are better off now than we were a few years back. Paid off a lot of crippling debt, DH has a better paid job, and I am more grocery shopping savvy! I refuse to give the large, expensive supermarkets a large percentage of our income.

sydlexic Fri 26-Apr-13 20:32:01

Yes end of childcare makes a lot of difference.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 20:32:10

Blimey, rub it in why don't you!

MinnesotaNice Fri 26-Apr-13 20:33:43

'Depends on where you live too, I suppose. I live in a teeny town in Midwest America. Houses are cheap, food is cheap. Only one (state) school so no school fees. DH has a decent job. I work part time at a cinema for very little...it's just my "extra" money and we go to the cinema for free so days out that way are cheap.'

^Yes this. My parents live in the US. DM works shifts at a grocery store and DF is a truck (lorry?) driver. So def not generally high-paying salaries. They own a detached home in a nice (as in safe, not as in naice) area of town.

Also, remember in the US, at least for now, there aren't the high taxes to pay for socialized health care. My parents have always either bought private insurance when only my DF worked as he is self-employed or now have insurance through my DM's employer. As much as people on MN want to bash the American healthcare system, there also aren't sky high tax rates to pay for health care. I say this with a DB who went through cancer treatment as a toddler and my mom needed an emergency hysterectomy a few years back so they have had health issues, but insurance covered most of the costs.

skaen Fri 26-Apr-13 20:33:57

We both work in reasonably secure professional jobs, but have spare income because we sold our flat in London and moved out. The equity paid for most of new house as prices in London were so stupid.

Mortgage now paid off so we give 10% income to charities and save anything else in care if redundancy/ needing a car/ holidays etc

FasterStronger Fri 26-Apr-13 20:36:08

I dont like buying small things like ipads which makes life easier to buy big things like houses. Soon we will have the latest mortgage paid off, then I want a holiday home and a wood. after a large extension.

I don't get the children in hunters. The whole point of hunters is living somewhere where you wear them frequently and cheaper wellies would not last. Hunters for children is just pointless.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 20:37:47

'I don't get the children in hunters.'

Not when you can buy them on the cheap abroad and then sell them on here for more than you paid for them wink.

FasterStronger Fri 26-Apr-13 20:39:48

Well that is very sensible grin

CheerfulYank Fri 26-Apr-13 20:41:23

MinnesotaNice do you live in Minnesota?

Whatalotofpiffle Fri 26-Apr-13 20:41:29

Weird isn't it! Image is everything to so many people though and they would rather be in debt than go without

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 26-Apr-13 20:42:45

we have benefitted from the recession.. it feels uncomfortable emotionally.

my mortgage is for £35,000 repayments of £75 per month. interest rates couldn't be lower! (taken out in 1997)

DH's salary hasn't grown but his company has still given all the staff an annual bonus.

Car was bought in 2004 and is reliable and I get 650-700 miles of diesel from a tank.

we don't have lots of spare but we don't have lots of outgoings YET.. DS's are moving to private school in september so we will really feel the pinch but it is a choice we have made.

DrCoconut Fri 26-Apr-13 20:43:53

You might assume I'm loaded if you see me with my I pad. But my employer provides it as they require me to have one.

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 20:44:28

moms thanks
william I bought my house for £55 k it is now worth £165k I have approx £5000 left to pay therefore my mortgage payments are £22 per month. Is that ok with you?

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 20:46:37

childcare is the big divider of wealth in my opinion for parents, those who get it for free and those who pay for it and those who are SAHMs, a full time preschooler place is about £1k a month here, if you are getting childcare for free from grandparents you will have far more disposable income than those paying for it, or those who are paying for it by having a SAHP.

Also, most of the better paid careers are standard office hours, so those who have to look at shift work so they can fit round their DP's work hours because childcare costs too much are also not able to take jobs with the best prospects of moving up pay wise.

We did toy with the idea of private school for DS, but then nursery fees aren't far off private school fees, we're just used to paying stupid money out for him. We're not going to, and I had expected to feel rich once he was at school and only having to pay for wrap around and holiday care, (probably releasing about £400 a month once you factor in holiday childcare costs which i've realised are best to budget for year round rather than being killed over the summer) - of course, I've since got pregnant again, so start all that again, only this time with wrap around for DS to pay for (who'll be starting school around the time I'm due back from mat leave), so am seriously considering staying at home.

ComeYoniWithMe Fri 26-Apr-13 20:48:11

Forevergreek I did say plus wtc and maintenance. So no I don't live off £200 per month but that is my salary.

paintyourbox Fri 26-Apr-13 20:51:18

Childcare makes a massive difference, we pay £463 per month for 3 days per week but I work every Saturday and do the equivalent of another days work from home in the evenings (lucky to have an employer who doesn't mind me working from home)

So we are paying for 3 days childcare but make 5 days wages as DP looks after her when I am working on the Saturday.

Everyone else I know who has kids and a lot of disposable income has family who live close by and do most of the childcare.

givemeaclue Fri 26-Apr-13 20:55:21

Childcare is very expensive, we are £10k a year better off now dcs have started school

suebfg Fri 26-Apr-13 20:55:23

people have different money priorities. DS goes to private school but I shop at Aldi, rarely treat myself and am very careful with money in terms of material things. but I do like a good holiday but I value education and experiences more highly than material things.

I'm sometimes shocked by the amount people spend on clothes or cars or whatever but then if they're not spendingon school fees etc, they are probably spending less than me each month.

BellaVita Fri 26-Apr-13 20:55:51

Not rubbing anything in. You asked!

doritosmonster Fri 26-Apr-13 20:56:04

Interesting thread! This is a topic that my sister and I often talk about. My DH and I have a high income, as do my sister and her DH, but some people, that seem to have very average jobs/incomes, seem to be absolutely rolling in the cash, and to be honest it is baffling. Two people in particular that I know spring to mind:

One friend is a SAHM. Her DH works in a skilled manual job. I have known her for about 5 years and every year without fail they have been to Euro disney, and also had at least one foreign holiday too. Just the other day she posted a FB photo of her on Venice Beach in California! They have 3 children, all decked out in nice clothes, and my friend has no shortage of clothes; all Topshop, River Island, Fat Face, White Stuff etc, no Primark or New Look stuff! Plus she is always, always having her hair done, and not just a trim, things like a colour and straightening treatment, plus nail extensions at the same time. Oh, and the kids do so many activities. Different (costly!) things every single night of the week.

The other is also a SAHM, and her DH works as a civil servant earning around 20k (she has told me his salary). They get tax credits and housing benefit. And just give the appearance that they are rolling in it. Kids dressed in Boden, Fat Face and Joules. She's just decorated her eldest's bedroom in a Cath Kidston wallpaper with matching bedding, which isn't cheap. Constant photos on FB of days out on the train, statuses about shopping trips. Not to mention numerous weekends away, to places like Center Parcs, London, Paris, and various others.

I dont' begrudge anyone having anything, and I'm not jealous, but I am genuinely intrigued as to how some people afford so much. As I said, we have a high income, but we don't splash the cash, and I don't have/do half as much as some of my friends seem to.

TigerFeet Fri 26-Apr-13 20:56:13

Despite having just moved to a bigger house our mortgage is quite small as we had a lot of equity in our old teeny tiny house which we bought before prices got silly.
DH has been promoted twice in the last 5 years.
Childcare costs are dropping for us now that our youngest gets funded sessions at nursery.
Dh drives a fairly new car, it's a company car though which he needs to do his job (ie not a perk)
We don't have many expensive gadgets but we do have a couple - no ipad though.
kids have boden, joules etc but it's all second hand and I will sell it for almost as much as I paid for it.
I think that to the outside world we probably look better off than we actually are - if dh were to lose his job things would be different. We have been able to save a bit if a buffer and have redundancy insurance. We can afford our life, which is cheaper than it might seem.

MummytoKatie Fri 26-Apr-13 20:57:52

Ironically you can also buy things cheaper if you are well off. From big to small.....

We have a decent amount of equity in our house so our mortgage rate is really low.

We also have spare money so when nappies, toiletries etc go on offer we buy a ton of them. I think I worked out that by buying the biggest pack available, only on a really good offer, we got nappies on a per nappy basis for less than a third of what it would be if we bought them in a small pack. Currently there is enough shampoo in the bottom of our wardrobe to last for about a year as there was a really good offer last month.

That doesn't explain the £500k house on £40k income though.....

Could they have bought somewhere pre 1998 so got all the benefit of the rises?

givemeaclue Fri 26-Apr-13 20:59:11

We do save a lot and we do spend a lot on holidays, have iPad, clothes, new car etc but if one of us was to lose job there would be drastic change of lifestyle

ShellyBoobs Fri 26-Apr-13 20:59:49

Since 2008, when the recession bit, OH and I have done well financially.

The multi-national company I work for (until 1st June when I move on) has bought out 2 competitors who were going to go under due to the downturn. That's meant that as well as securing the jobs of the vast majority of employees I've effectively been promoted twice due to the additional regions/departments which now fall under my remit as a director. As a result of that I've had several substantial pay increases.

OH is a partner in a business planning consultancy. It seems that during the downturn, their services are more in demand than ever as companies look for ways to improve and therefore survive (or otherwise take advantage of their competitors' demise.) He's therefore been well rewarded.

OH's car lease, which he pays for out of an allowance, is now in the region of £500 per month less than it was 3 years ago. Many companies can't afford to lease the sort of cars they were previously funding so rates for some high-end ones have plummeted.

We have 2 small mortgages on property here and in France (both UK mortgages as we bought the French property using money secured on a UK asset). The quite high fixed rates have now dropped to base rate +0.29% so as you can imagine, they are significantly cheaper than they were at the start of the recession.

I sincerely hope that my post doesn't come across as gloating; it's genuinely not meant to do. I'm just hoping to explain why some people seem to be (and are) doing well in the recession. Not everyting is more expensive than it was 5 years ago and some people are better off than they were, too.

Shakey1500 Fri 26-Apr-13 21:00:41

We're doing ok. Mainly due to me returning to full time work after being a SAHM for 5 years. No ipad, just lil 'ol "Netty" (netbook). We were lucky with selling a property at height of boom though so have a small (ish) mortgage.

It's not an easy juggle because of shifts but we have a flexible nursery and GP's in an emergency.

Eat out infrequently, I hardly buy clothes new, very few gadget-y type things, one holiday a year.

I'm hoping that we continue in this vein until retirement looming large but DS is only 5 so a way to go before there's any nest fleeing. I worry about education costs in the future so trying to save a bit as well.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 21:02:25

'I dont' begrudge anyone having anything, and I'm not jealous, but I am genuinely intrigued as to how some people afford so much.'

Parents?

suebfg Fri 26-Apr-13 21:04:51

Plus half of our income is put into savings each month. Some people don't save or not to the same degree.

CheerfulYank Fri 26-Apr-13 21:05:11

It is hard not to be jealous sometimes, I understand. I have a friend who married a man who "dabbles" in video game production, but his family has a huge trust fund from his great grandfather.

They all have loads of money because they employ someone to invest a certain percentage every year. So they have brand new cars, holidays all the time, cleaners, etc, without actually working for a dime.

But, you know, it is what it is. That's her lot in life, not mine. We have our own little house and almost no debt (what debt we do have is from college; DH and I have never had credit cards). I'd like to go on a holiday someday but we do lots of camping, hiking, little day trips, etc, and that's fine for now.

We have enough for extras like lessons for DS in different things. Both of my parents work in areas that make them very good at home decorating/building/repair, so we've never had to call a professional when anything breaks, and my mom keeps my house looking nice. grin I wouldn't bother myself, but she's done all the projects possible in her house and started on mine, so more power to her.

I don't drive so we've only got one car. DH isn't a "car guy" and doesn't care what he drives, so the car we have is older.

My FIL is a hobby farmer and keeps us in eggs and veggies, and my SILS/BIlS and DH and I all take turns working on each other's projects, so we never have to hire people to do things like paint the house. Or babysit.

It's a lot of little things but they do add up over time.

BellaVita Fri 26-Apr-13 21:05:33

We do not rely on anyone but us.

CheerfulYank Fri 26-Apr-13 21:08:37

Also the company DH works for is doing very well, actually, and he got a promotion. In pounds he makes <hastily googles> about 39,000?

It would nothing in some cities but in our little town it's quite enough.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 26-Apr-13 21:09:41

It's got fuck all to do with "priorities".
Interest rates couldn't be lower. Yes. This, exactly. If you bought a home 15 years ago, and you have a job, or a couple of jobs between you, you are probably going to be OK. If your parents gave you a substantial deposit to buy said house, then, yes, you will have extra money for I pads.
I wish people would stop going n about how wonderfully frugal they are, and that's why they are loaded. It's not. When rent, and food and essential utility bills consume 100% of your income, it doesn't matter how you prioritise. None of those things are optional.
I don't begrudge anyone having lots of money. I just can't bear the smuggery.
OP, I had no idea my username was as song! I have googled it, and, thank heavens, it is a nice song smile

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 21:13:29

It's a gorgeous Tracy Chapman song smile

You have better articulated what I was trying to get across re 'prioritising'. How can you 'prioritise' when the basics take up 100% of your income?!

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 21:16:23

Reading this thread makes me wonder where all these people who are struggling due to Tory Government cuts are? You wouldn't think it from the reading.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 21:22:50

Give it a rest, Chocolate, it's not a benefits thread, everyone on it is answering with posts about their FT job(s). Keep trying to hijack, though hmm.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 21:25:07

MummytoKatie Nope they have bought these homes from 2008 onwards and didn't own before then. They are 32/33, their OH's are all the same age and none of the OH's owned property from before 1998.

Chocolatecake We are living abroad. Our lifestyle would be downgraded by quite a bit if we lived in the UK.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 21:25:44

Hijack?confused I was commenting on the thread - from what you read in the papers and see on the news, everyone is struggling which is why i said you wouldn't think it on this thread.

suebfg Fri 26-Apr-13 21:31:01

Priorities are relevant - to a point. Obviously if your income only covers your essentials, it is meaningless. but if you have any disposable income, then it is relevant.

Frankly, even though my disposable income is quite high, I have never been one for buying lots of material things because I don't know when my circumstances may change. So I prefer to save instead.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 26-Apr-13 21:31:25

As some have said, it's important with those with money to keep spending it in this sort of economy. We have shops closing left and right as it is. We should want people to continue to spend frivolously if that floats their boat. They're keeping other people in work.

Another fact of an economic downturn- you will see people shift their spending patterns to different luxuries, whilst reining in spending elsewhere. Sales were up at M&S and Waitrose during the holiday season, which might not make sense given the economy, but people are looking for small luxuries such as more indulgent foods to make the holidays more enjoyable. They might not have spent as much on gifts to compensate for this spending.

Ipads, well, that's just the new thing. Sales of PCs are down 11% or something this year. Tablets are the future.. for now. wink They're getting cheaper now, though, hence seeing more people with them. We have two HP Touchpads, which retailed for about £500, but we purchased them for 99 USD each when HP decided to sell off their stock and we happened to be in the US at the time to take advantage. Our DS has a very small tablet he plays with sometimes, that was £50 in a Boxing day sale.

Expensive prams , well, that's the sort of thing which is often a gift, often from grandparents who traditionally have more money than a young family just starting out. We bought ours secondhand, and it wasn't a name brand fancy one.

We are fortunate in that we can afford what we like, when we want it. We are very very frugal. I'd list our frugalities here but it will start a pissing match. Suffice to say, we prioritise certain things as luxuries, and shop like paupers for everything else. smile

ShellyBoobs Fri 26-Apr-13 21:33:35

Reading this thread makes me wonder where all these people who are struggling due to Tory Government cuts are? You wouldn't think it from the reading.

That's the thing, Choc, those of us lucky enough (and yes luck is involved) to be making our own way through life without the need for any assistance will/should do ok under the Tories. Woe betide anyone who falls on hard times, though.

We've been lucky enough to be able to put some money aside just in case. I know many, many people who are already in the shit and can't even hope to do that, though.

BarredfromhavingStella Fri 26-Apr-13 21:33:40

On the tick & in denial maybe...

sweetkitty Fri 26-Apr-13 21:37:36

One of my friends had in the past year bought a new kitchen, a new en suite, a new main bathroom, new flooring throughout, new huge TV, new iPad, new sofas, converted her garage at 6K probably bought more oh and she's going on holiday to Florida.

Her joint income is less than 50k yes she is one of these people who tells you every financial detail whether you want to hear them or not. What she did do is borrow against the equity in her home, so remortgage to free up cash. Probably not the best thing to do long term really but loads of people just live in the now.

I think it just highlights the crazy house price situation where people think because their house is doubled in value lets borrow against the equity.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Fri 26-Apr-13 21:42:18

two words: interest-only

I was shock to find out how many acquaintances are interest-only with no repayment vehicle.

<not me. that's why I've got no money>

LayMizzRarb Fri 26-Apr-13 21:43:37

There are lots of families in this country who are struggling at the moment, but you wouldn't necessarily notice them. People don't wear money struggles, nightmares about debt and lack of luxuries like holidays and days out like a badge.
When I had nothing, and was completely down to the wire I would carefully time buying groceries, and pay by cheque (20 years ago!) knowing that by the time the cheque hit the bank, my wages would be in. If I got off the train one stop early and walked 2 miles I could spend the 70p difference buying a large bag of chips for a bargain supper. These were the days before the Internet, and I couldn't afford a daily paper, and I Love the news. I would walk the length of the train at Charing Cross, where it terminated in the hope that another commuter had left a paper behind.

No one knew these things I didn't advertise how poor I was. I worried into the night alone.

Just because these people aren't immediately apparent to you doesn't mean they are not there. They are just not so noticeable as iPads Hunter willies and smart cars.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Apr-13 21:44:13

'I was to find out how many acquaintances are interest-only with no repayment vehicle.'

Which will work out for them if they bought before the boom, I suppose. Sell up when the principle is due, pay that off and still have enough left over to buy something smaller in cash if the house has appreciated enough.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 21:44:14

I don't think it is how much money you earn, but how much you spend. if you have few overheads and outgoings you can live on next to nothing and still live really well without having to earn much.

exexpat Fri 26-Apr-13 21:50:02

Just because we are in a recession doesn't mean that everyone has lost their jobs or taken a pay cut. And it is just as well that not everyone has got caught up in the austerity mood and stopped spending, because that would mean more people would lose their jobs. The people who are still splashing their cash around are keeping all the businesses & shops afloat.

It may seem tasteless when so many people are struggling, and obviously it's not good if anyone is doing it all on credit, but when you think about it, it us actually a good thing that someone is still buying £800 prams and eating out three times a week.

If everyone stopped spending on anything but basic necessities tomorrow, the economy would grind to a halt and we would be even deeper in the shit than we are now.

Personally I think it would be much better if income and spending power were a bit more evenly distributed, but that's a whole different question.

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 21:51:38

Chocolatecake Hijack? I was commenting on the thread - from what you read in the papers and see on the news, everyone is struggling which is why i said you wouldn't think it on this thread.

That's kind of why I started the thread and I've been educated by it, however I don't think there are many people on the thread earning as little as we do (and we do work hard!), so perhaps they are viewing things from a slightly different perspective?

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 21:53:10

"Personally I think it would be much better if income and spending power were a bit more evenly distributed, but that's a whole different question."

That is an interesting question - how could that happen though?

Capricorn76 Fri 26-Apr-13 21:54:14

Its no big mystery why some people have more disposable income. We're not living in a communist regime where everyone must earn the same, we earn different amounts and sometimes luck plays a part.

Some people even do better in a recession.

....and my £800+ pram was a gift from my father.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 21:55:22

"That's kind of why I started the thread and I've been educated by it, however I don't think there are many people on the thread earning as little as we do (and we do work hard!), so perhaps they are viewing things from a slightly different perspective?"

I don't know? It was more of an obsevation based on what i have read on this thread rather than a judgement on society as a wholesmile

exexpat Fri 26-Apr-13 21:57:16

Chocolatecake - that's a highly political question because the main answer is redistribution through the tax system (ie tax the rich more, have more effective corporate taxation etc) as well as things like higher minimum wage and measures to promote employment - all of which are the absolute antithesis of what this government's policies are.

exexpat Fri 26-Apr-13 21:59:23

...but that will start a whole new argument and diverts the original theme of this thread.

MummytoKatie Fri 26-Apr-13 22:01:30

Want2b - oh. That was my best guess! Inheritance / family money?

They can't all have won the lottery!

I guess if they got the mortgage at the height of ridiculous borrowing they could have got 5* income ie £200k in mortgage.

So would need £250k in savings. Age 32 that means saving £20k+ a year which seems a bit unlikely on that income.

Must be missing something!

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 22:01:57

ChocolateCake

I also wondered how income and spending power could be more evenly distributed.

Higgs

I think we probably have even less than you coming in tbh, but outgoings are very few. Hence my post above about not needing to earn much under those circumstances.

I have noticed that our Town Centre is dead during the day. The old and unemployed are not about anymore. All the shops are closing and it can be like a ghost town, during times you knew it used to be heaving sad

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Fri 26-Apr-13 22:03:16

Thing is, over all the economy is struggling. But people's personal circumstances might be completely different. In the early part of this century, before the credit crunch, we were young, expecting a baby, I had no job and dh earnt less than a third of what he does now. Fast forward thirteen years, I am now working as a teacher, dh has moved on in his career, and we have saved lots so overpaid on the mortgage, and now have less mortgage than we did then. So certainly we have MUCH more money than we did before the recession.

I still don't have an ipad though, as I don't really see the point in them. And I just sold my car for £100 as we are going down from two cars to one, and it was a clapped out old banger. So perhaps I am not quite as well off as I feel!

BeingAWifeIsNotForMe Fri 26-Apr-13 22:03:33

Many of the big spenders may have lived a life on credit, and are now raking in the ppi refunds.

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 22:04:56

OP - I think it comes down to you assuming that everyone does earn roughly the same, and have the same outgoings. As others have said, you might be assuming wrongly how little others have coming in, or assuming wrongly they have the same amounts going out.

MorrisZapp Fri 26-Apr-13 22:06:06

I don't know why you think people's spending habits should have changed, unless they've lost their jobs in which case they will obviously be worse off.

I'm better off now than I was a few years ago, as I have a better job. Dp has stayed in work and has his usual incremental pay rises but no bonuses.

I don't know anybody in my family or friendship group who has been made redundant. Our lifestyles haven't changed. Why would they, if our income has remained steady?

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 22:08:04

OK, so the UK being up shit creek hasn't affected a lot of people financially at all then? I didn't know that, hence being puzzled about the amount of brand new Mercs I've been seeing outside Surestart groups.

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 22:08:41

From what I have observed in the UK I think Starbucks is the least of Inland Revenues problems. If you want a mortgage here in the US they want 3 years worth of tax returns or a darn good reason as to why you have not got them ,plus evidence to support your income, to qualify for a mortgage.

Evasion/ avoidance of taxes or benefit fraud are the only reasons I can think of as to why people my age have so much money to spend. Parents are paying for some if but not that much.

Still, no answers on the house question. Even with an interest only mortgage the cost would be 900 a month or so. I fail to see how a household income of 40k a year is enough to pay for a 500k house.

MinnesotaNice Fri 26-Apr-13 22:10:02

CheerfulYank I wish I was back in Minnesota! We are currently living in the UK due to DH's work. Hoping to get back to Minnesota in a few years though!

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 22:10:05

Not taking political sides but just throwing in some "but what if..." questions.

If you tax the rich more doesn't that lead to people taking their money abroad to lower their taxes so the UK lose out even more?

What does one define as rich? 50K? 100K? 500K?

Corporate tax needs sorting.

Raising minimum wage is a grey area because it might not sound alot putting staff wages up by say 50p ph but if a company employs thousands of staff they will lose millions in profit. People forget that profit is used for re-investment too and without re-investment new jobs aren't created so it's a lose lose situation. Plus businessed would start laying off staff to pay the other higher wages. Sounds easy when it is a big company but for small businesses profit is not a million pound sum in some cases.

The Government need to step in and ensure basic utilty companies and the like are not ripping off people (which they are.) Start there and maybe we will get somewhere.

thermalsinapril Fri 26-Apr-13 22:12:15

YANBU. I've had to hide a few threads recently where people are complaining they've got to decide between moving to a 10-bedroom house or keeping the family helicopter, and how hard it is that it's such a squeeze these days!!

HiggsBoson Fri 26-Apr-13 22:13:21

I hear ya thermals grin

DontmindifIdo Fri 26-Apr-13 22:13:23

OP - yep, that's about the size of it. it's all swings and round abouts, jobs where you earn the same, not relying on overtime or bonuses, mortgage payments being lower than people budgeted for which can counteract the higher food costs, discounts if you can bulk buy things or lots of deals on everything from meals out to new fridges, and not needing to top up income with benefits, then they aren't affected that much.

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Fri 26-Apr-13 22:13:52

DH and I live fairly frugally, but we've been helped by several factors, the biggest one being our parents. House is on interest only mortgage, so cheap. PIL lent us the deposit. My Mum buys lots of our extras and fun stuff.

Wedding: we're one of those 10k ones, however, 4k was from bonds my Gran had set up for me, which had matured, 1k from PIL who had put aside that much as a contribution to each of their children's weddings, 4k from my parents and final 1k from our small savings.

I have never had a credit card, I rarely drink, rarely drive (have a very cheap to run car that was my Mum's that she gave me when she bought a new one. My DH got my Dad's car when he died), buy most of DS's clothes from nearly new sales, wear one pair of boots that get reheeled and soled for £20 each year, cut my own hair, don't buy make up. I don't buy much clothing, only essentials when I've worn something out, usually from supermarket, or similar. But, I do get Joules clothing as Christmas presents from Mum and DH.

We only go on an abroad holiday about every 3 years, cinema about once a year, theatre once or twice. We have NT membership for days out, go to free museums, stay with family or have weekend breaks in cheapish hotels in UK. We eat out about once a fortnight, either at local Indian (£30) or pub (£10).

Jobs: I'm a teacher (on a pay freeze), DH is self-employed plasterer who some months brings in £50 and other months £1500. He does most childcare, but if he has a job on, my mum steps in. We have no debts apart from mortgage and loan from PIL. Only government support we get is child benefit.

I guess it all boils down to how you measure wealth? I'd love a 3 bed house, with driveway, a foreign holiday every year and be able to occasionally do things like upgrade telly/laptop etc. myself. Others already in that position probably want a 4 bed, 3 holidays a year and so on.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 22:15:44

There is so much to disagree with you on your last post, I'm lost for words Chocolate.

CheerfulYank Fri 26-Apr-13 22:16:24

Oh funny, MNNice! I've lived in Minnesota since I was 7. (Ohio before that.) I love it here. smile

SplitHeadGirl Fri 26-Apr-13 22:16:28

My friend works for the courts (Court Service) in the debt dept and she said you would not believe how much debt so many, many people have. There are people on every street in our city with huge debt....not just a few thousand but tens of thousands - it has reached her in the courts so it is serious debt. Yet their bank statements show they pay for meals out, sky, holidays....no one would ever know they were in serious debt.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 22:17:32

It's fine to disagree and and i am happy to stand corrected. Just throwing out questions to get a balanced arguement on itsmile

GrowSomeCress Fri 26-Apr-13 22:22:42

LadyBeagle bit of a pointless post if you aren't going to point out any of the things you disagree with and why grin

Want2bSupermum Fri 26-Apr-13 22:24:53

There is nothing wrong with corporate tax per se. If anything it needs to be simplified and should be a flat rate on profits. The media mislead people greatly when they talk about taxes paid as a percentage of revenue. From a corporate perspective, taxes are paid on net income. Personal income is paid on gross income which is a different kettle of fish.

I think there are a lot of 'self employed' people who are not really self employed. I read an article about the number of self employed at the BBC. I can't fathom how they are self employed.

I also think capital gain tax on primary residences should be tightened up. I think it is shocking you can live in a place for 6 months and not pay capital gains on any profits. If you are doing a BTL then there should be 20% VAT applied to the purchase price of the home. The only time this shouldn't apply is if the home has been your primary residence for at least 5 years or you have proof of your employment location changing. I would abolish stamp duty.

Don't get me started on utilities.... how the government can justify applying any VAT to them is just awful. It is a bloody necessity to have electricity, heat and water. The utility companies are not ripping people off. The government are. Sadly it is the people we voted in.

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Apr-13 22:29:19

morethan I have noticed that our Town Centre is dead during the day. The old and unemployed are not about anymore. All the shops are closing and it can be like a ghost town, during times you knew it used to be heaving

They're all in the shops in the retail parks (3 within 5 miles at the last count) and garden centres that have been built around where I live. They're always absolutely thronging at any time during the working day. I guess the people buying the £500,000 plus new builds need something to do during the day!

williaminajetfighter Fri 26-Apr-13 22:30:30

Yoni you write smug posts about how you live on the cheap and the get huffy when people come back with comments.

And actually it's not all right. When my DH lost his job a few years ago he wasn't allowed any kind of unemployment benefit as we 'owned' a flat and were told to sell off that asset first before he could get support. Really. The person at the job centre said '...I know where you live and it's a nice street.' This despite paying into the system for years.

So if you own your own house or will shortly wtf should the govt be giving you tax credits?!

Flame away but posters like you just irritate...

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 22:31:11

I do think the OP has a point though.

Being an oldie and having lived through several recessions, I am always reminded how easy it is to be made redundant, and you think it will never happen to you.
It surprises me that some people aren't more cautious, but I couldn't pick out those who should, in the street.
If I worked in retail in my town, I'd be really worried about my job.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 22:33:26

In the little highstreet where i live (which is a suburb of the main town) we have been really lucky over the past 5 years because the shops have been filled with small independant shops (very rare.) The downfall though is it has become a victim of it's own success because Costa, Tesco and now Sainsburys have moved in and already 3 little shops have closedsad

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 22:38:11

William

When we paid our mortgage off, I called tax credits helpline immediately within the hour. They said thank you very much, it makes no difference as it is not an income nor does it affect income.

Are you trying to tell me that you wouldn't have taken the money?

LessMissAbs Fri 26-Apr-13 22:38:45

One of the other things that puzzles me is that while I guess DH and I are reasonably well off, we do a lot of things ourselves. ie DH does pretty much all his own car servicing and repairs and we drive older cars. We decorated our own house, as in physically doing the painting, tiling, kitchen and bathroom installation, etc.. Yet I have friends who I'm pretty sure don't earn as much as us, who wouldn't dream of dirtying their hands by doing that sort of stuff, yet have top quality kitchens and bathrooms which cost a fortune to install!

FoundAChopinLizt Fri 26-Apr-13 22:41:51

Isn't it just a symptom of the increasing inequality in society? Rich are getting richer, poor are having to weigh up heating versus eating. It's only going to get worse.

Saying that, the flashy type rich are often not necessarily happier than the frugal saver rich types. I only say that because people often chase money equating it with happiness. I think it's more interesting how unhappy many rich people are and how some people manage to be happy even in very difficult financial circumstances.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 22:42:01

I am cynical like that though because i blame supermarkets for everything. I am still convinced it has been the supermarkets that have torn communties apart - first by enticing shoppers away from the independant shops in the highstreet with their cheaper prices, then building big superstores out of town thus luring shoppers out of the local shops altogether and now they have opened up in every highstreet in the country (almost) to put the final nail in the independant shops coffin. They have even closed non food businesses from selling tvs/books/cds/furniture etc. Those independant shops (bakers/butchers/green groucers etc) put communities together, now everyone hates eachother as they walk around a large supermarket aisle looking depressedsad

zeeboo Fri 26-Apr-13 22:42:11

I didn't find my iPad in a hedge. I found it at a bargain price on the 3 website when the 2 came out and they were shifting their stock of the original iPad. I paid £20 a month for it for 2 years and then recently upgraded to an iPad mini. It was free but I now pay £29 a month. £29 is what, 2 rounds of drinks in a pub? A takeaway? I don't go out drinking so think this is fair enough. I get my iPhone the same way, cheapest contract deal I can find and pay it out of my wages.
I'm sure you'd be fascinated to learn that I also have a kindle. I craft from home and spent last summer working my fingers to the bone when the kids were in bed and hoarded all of that money in PayPal to buy a kindle. Oh how wanton of me!!
If only I'd sat on my arse and done nothing and then I could have had a sack cloth and some ashes instead. Woe!

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 22:48:27

Chocolate

I know exactly where you are coming from and was explaining the irony of HMV going bust, to my ds's 21 and 18.
Until they emerged there were many small independents selling music and related goods. They all went out of business or had to concentrate on other sides of their business to survive.
They were quite amused when I told them I bought vinyl from the market, Martins the newsagent. Boots ffs, and Woolworths. grin Them were th'days

williaminajetfighter Fri 26-Apr-13 23:04:20

Morethan. I'm not interested in a bun fight about who deserves tax credits and who doesn't especially on Mumsnet which can make even the most leftie of socialists feel like fascist conservatives. And that's not what this thread is about. And god forbid I might suggest that anybody might not deserve money given to them by the govt... That is their right, right???!

But when Yoni started yammering on about how she's debt free, owns a house and lives on a low income in a smuggle way... Well she was asking to be questioned and pulled up.

ChocolateCakePlease Fri 26-Apr-13 23:05:28

Yes it is very ironic. I long for days when communities had local shopssad everything was such better quality.

It is also ironic that everyone nowadays want quality food yet also want to pay the very least for it but also think it is discusting that farmers don't get their fair price, chickens are crammed in cages and so much food is imported and they want local produce too. How on earth does anyone think this is possible without some sort of moral injustice and without some poor bastard losing out at the other end of the supply chain?

Bearbehind Fri 26-Apr-13 23:13:41

How on earth does the poster who claims to live on £200 a month salary do it?

My gas/ electric/ water and council tax bills come to more than that before anything else.

I can't see anyway how her claim can possibly be true if her house is now worth £165,000 so council tax alone would be £100+ a month.

racmun Fri 26-Apr-13 23:17:04

Re the question as to how someone earning £40k affords a £500k

And you don't know how much equity they have? They may have bought and sold quite well over the years, been left an inheritance and only have £120k mortgage for example.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 23:25:10

William

I didn't think the post sounded smug at all, probably because I have posted pretty similar ones in my time. But each to their own. I know some comments wind me up too, no offence meant smile

Mrstyphoo Fri 26-Apr-13 23:26:52

Since 2006 my husbands income has Increased considerably. It's true not all are effected by the recession.
My husband is a cautious man, always has been. We have never outstretched ourselves, have no debt, and our only annual splurge is that our children are in private school. We only made that move when we had enough put by for each child. If it ended tomorrow, the children could stay in school.

Many of our friends have no idea what he earns (some of them I suspect have an idea). and I know they would be shocked, 1 or 2 I know would be disgusted! We avoid certain conversations!

We live in a very normal area, our house is quite large, and we are now mortage free.

Mrstyphoo Fri 26-Apr-13 23:28:39

£200 a month .......?????? Our council tax is £240 a month.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 26-Apr-13 23:31:22

Bearbehind

Council tax may be a lot lower surely dependant on when the OP bought the house.
We could manage on not much more than that I think. Although very lucky we have a bit more grin
I think it depends on what utilities you have and use as well. When we moved to town from country and gained gas, our utilities costs doubled irrespective of how little we used.
The OP might use cheaper ways of heating, lighting and cooking. I used to have a woodburner it saved us a fortune grin

Bearbehind Fri 26-Apr-13 23:35:33

morethan council tax is based on the house's valuation in 1991 so when it was bought is irrelevant.

I'd love the poster (it wasn't the OP) to come back and explain how it's possible?

Cravingdairy Sat 27-Apr-13 00:01:34

Everyone has different priorities. I like nice food but my clothes budget is tiny and our TV is third hand. My daughter has swimming lessons but we don't have Sky. I spend a lot at Christmas but I hardly ever get my hair done.

BegoniaBampot Sat 27-Apr-13 00:04:34

a lot of people still have nice lifestyles, many of folk on Mn as well, generally they just don't talk about it as it's seen as being insensitive so it skews how many there are.

ThisIsMummyPig Sat 27-Apr-13 00:27:34

Yoni will be getting Council Tax Benefit, so she will only have to pay a proportion of her bill (if any). She will also be getting working tax credits, and if she has children, then she will also get child benefit and child tax credit.

I am always gobsmacked by the number of children (pre-teens) who have mobiles that I couldn't afford. They often have parents who claim to be hard up.

Mimishimi Sat 27-Apr-13 00:38:32

We have the gadgets but we economise in lots of other areas. I make my own clothes and those for DD ( clothing costs for DH and DS are negligible). We have an ordinary car and a unit, not a house. We cook at home 95% of the time rather than eating out and we buy a lot of our food in bulk from ethnic grocers rather than from supermarkets which are far more exxy. When we travel overseas, we stay with friends/family. Very few ordinary people have all the nice flashy objects but when you observe the society as a whole, it can seem that way.

MrsBungle Sat 27-Apr-13 00:42:10

As many others have said there are loads of reasons.

We earn more now than we ever have. I don't have a massive mortgage and I hardly ever buy clothes and gadgets. DH and I both have work smart phones (paid for by them) and DH's car is a company car and all his petrol is paid.

My car, I bought with money my mum left me when she died - ditto my expensive pram. My pram was a lot but I was pregnant and had just lost my mum and thought I would buy whatever pram I damn well pleased. As it turns out I have had that one same pram for 2 kids and looking at some threads on here other people buy 4 and more pushchairs! I reckon mine was cheaper in the long run!

I don't claim to be hard up but we are not rolling in money either.

Some of my friends appear 'rich' but I know that they are on interest only mortgages with no back up for paying it off and have many credit cards and loans.

expatinscotland Sat 27-Apr-13 00:50:02

On the whole I just CBA to monitor how others are spending, tbh. We have a lot of family support for our kids. Nothing outlandish, but we are low wage-earners.

My father is nearer to 80 than 70. He flies us out, usually twice a year now but if we asked then however many times as we wished. The journey is easier on us than him now, and he doesn't take cold as well as he did. He wants to enjoy life now, and has the means to do so. He buys our two children lots of gifts, but he had to help us bury one of those grandchildren when they were three, and watch her die. He offers to pay for things for them, activities, and we accept it. He doesn't point score, he says there are no pockets in a shroud, and he would rather we enjoy his means whilst he is here to see it and see his grandchildren every other day on Skype, telling him about Scouts or football or dance.

My mother, who is 72, always says, 'Don't buy me flowers after I am dead. Be my flower now, whilst I am here to see it.' So instead of bought gifts the children make her paintings and drawings or I send her their school photos, all framed, to enjoy. I do the same to FIL and MIL.

Perhaps these people you see have similar parents.

You never know.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 27-Apr-13 00:59:09

Your parents have got it so right, Expat.
I'm glad you've got so much love and support from them.

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Sat 27-Apr-13 01:11:44

To me, it is definitely about priorities.

I see lots of clients who claim to be unable to afford basic healthcare for their pets, but then suddenly can afford to get their vaccines etc (£24) because they are going on holiday for 2 weeks (£X??) and putting the dog in kennels (around £200.)

I don't care, is the honest answer. DH works for the armed forces, and hasn't had a pay-rise for 2 years. I started a vet business 2 years ago, and work 6 days a week, 50 weeks a year, and am still taking only a small salary as the business needs time to build.

It's easy to look around at people you know will probably be earning even less, who have flash cars, designer clothes- but none of those things actually matter to me. We don't believe in buying new cars (waste of money, imo) and DH and dad fix the cars we have when there's a problem. I can't be arsed with designer clothes- if you want to pay over the odds for a white t-shirt with some "name" on it, that makes you a muppet in my opinion, but that's your prerogative.

The main spends in our house are mortgage, heating/ electricity and food. I can't do much about the mortgage or the council tax or heating bills, but I do spend money on decent food. We have 3 young children. I am of the opinion (and it IS just my opinion) that they are better served having decent food every day than having expensive clothes, or an ipad. I do shop at my local butchers/ fishmongers, have my veg delivered by a small local firm, because I believe in supporting my local community.

I have noticed our food bills increasing, and I try to be prudent, but I won't compromise on decent food for our kids. They can wear cheap clothes and it won't affect their health/ growth, but crappy food will.

My dad was made redundant in the 90s, and invested the money an got another job. Until then, my parents had no savings, and it was a worrying time. His investments have paid off, and he now has lots of money. But he still drives a Y-reg car, wears clothes from asda. Why- because he doesn't give a shit what other people think of him!

We spend any disposable income on our house, really (we DIY!) because having a nice place to live and decent food is important to us. I don't have an ipad, but I do have a (cheaper) tablet- dad (computer geek) looked into it and found that the specs for the tablet he got me for my 40th were better than those of ipad. I refuse to pay for a "name", but it seems like to many in society that is tantamount. Up to them, of course

I feel a lot of people have these things because they feel it is "expected", and maybe there is an element of appearances. I am not impressed by things at all, and I don't feel any pressure to "keep up". We will get a holiday this year, but its a cheapy, and we'll have a great time and make the best of it if it isn't perfect.

So, OP, ironically we don't have a large disposable income, although we make more than you- we have debts from setting up the business, a mortgage, bills etc. I too sometimes raise an eyebrow at people pleading poverty with designer gear and an i-phone, but hey, that's their call. Happily, I don't want designer gear, an ipad OR an iphone, or even a posh car. I see it as, if I did have lots of money, the only thing I'd want to spend it on is more holidays with the kids, but then I'd have to work more and would be less able to take holidays!!

Maybe everyone HAS won their laptop/ iphone/ipad around here, but all the shops in the high street have gone, and in their place are "we sell gold" "we cash cheques" "we'll lend you money till payday" establishments, which would lkead me to believe that everything is not as rosy as people make out!

expatinscotland Sat 27-Apr-13 01:30:03

My husband's father had only one sibling to survive infancy and childhood out of a total of 5 children. They came from poor stock in the Hutchison area of Edinburgh - his father used to work as a lad pulling horses up Leith Walk with goods and then as a driver. His mother had been a Scottish traveller used to work on farms and became a charwoman, taking the children out of the city in the summer to do agricultural work.

FIL left school at 14 after his father died when he was 13 to work on the docks in Leith, unloading and loading heavy goods from the ships into and out of warehouses. Then he worked as janie for BT. His only sibling, his sister Shelagh, worked as a charwoman all her days till near her death. Her husband worked as doorman at the Old College at Edinburgh University for 25 years, but from the time he was 14 till he was 34 he'd worked the mines in Fife. It was the undoing of him. He died of miner's lung a day before he was 60.

But he had a flat, from his mother, in the Old Town, as his two sisters had gone to Canada in the 60s and fared well and had mostly lost touch.

FIL looked after his sister and when DH was old enough, he did, too.

She left her brother that flat. He sold it, as he owned his own house in Trinity by then.

With some of the proceeds, he bought his son our car, a fully-loaded, diesel, K-reg people carrier he scoured and researched before going up to Coupar Angus to buy for his son. He gave it to him as a gift from his auntie.

I'll never forget it! Both FIL and his wife, a legal secretary, are retired now. They came to stay in a self-catering cottage our friends let out. There was this shiny silver people carrier parked up next to their blue one.

Got in, I put the kettle on. DH never expected anything. FIL was beaming. A friend had come along to drive it through. He said, 'Son, I can't give you a house before I die, but Auntie Shelagh's left you something. The silver outside is yours. Here you go, son,' and gave him the keys.

We sold the car they had given him previously, using the money to pay for the last holiday our daughter was ever to have before her death. It had well over 100,000 miles, but had a Nissan engine.

Still, having the carrier was a boon when our daughter had to be treated so far away.

So now people see a man who works as a mini-bus driver and hotel lackey, in a 'nice' car. Think, 'How does he afford it?'

Why? He knows how it was bought, he takes GREAT care of it and of his licenses.

Why waste your time on such meaningless rubbish? Really? Might be so long as this story behind what you see. And if not, so?

expatinscotland Sat 27-Apr-13 01:44:50

They do, Lady. Both my father's parents lived to 90 and 92, but he is no fool and no one can say my mother is. I have told them both so often, SPEND IT! But they have already locked in care homes if need be, too. The house and its environs were purchased in 1972 for $36,000, a huge sum to him. The land, an acre, is worth is $600,000 now. The house would be razed, to put up what is called a 'McMansion'. They have never borrowed against it. The mortgage was paid in 1997. He always said, 'No property is yours until you hold the deeds. Now, this is mine.'

Today, they are off to Hawaii. Good.

WafflyVersatile Sat 27-Apr-13 02:01:35

because you only notice when people spend money, not when they don't.

So you'd notice that I do most of my shopping in M&S, and a lot of that on ready meals and salads etc. But you won't notice that I spend next to nothing on alcohol that I don't have a flatscreen telly or a car or that all my electrical appliances are 15 years old. That I buy little in the way of clothes, or that my mortgage is low because I bought 15 years ago just before everything went crazy.

Oh and whoever made the 2nd ? post about having a good job but seeing people in menial jobs with the nerve to have things they don't have, fuck off.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Apr-13 02:45:45

I think a lot of it comes down to perspective, and also you only see one very small snapshot of a person's life. Do you know that the person buying the ipad hasn't been saving up for a year to afford it? Do you know that they didn't get the money for it from someone else as a gift? You can't judge people based on one tiny moment of seeing them across the counter from you in a store.

I've got a "friend" who likes to bemoan the fact that I apparently have a lot more money than her. She was on a single parent pension for 14 years, and then when she chose to go back to work, immediately ordered a new kitchen for her house, bought her kids new computers, phones and ipads, and ordered a brand new $40k (Australian) car, all on credit of course. She's now having to pay back these purchases at a silly interest rate, in addition to her mortgage and things are tough now because she pays two thirds of her wages in debt repayments. Meanwhile, I don't even have a credit card, but when she sees me buying something, she immediately starts on at me for having more money than her. It's actually incredibly draining to be around someone who is so focused on thinking that you have something they don't that I avoid going anywhere with her now.

MomsNetCurtains Sat 27-Apr-13 03:11:01

I saw this ALL THE TIME in Glasgow where a high percentage of the population live in HA/council housing

A high percentage? It's less than in Manchester and Newcastle which are smaller cities! Really tired of the Glasgow bashing by anyone south of the border. Every city - and Glasgow is the the 4th biggest UK city with a strong industrial past which is no more, so therefore has left a legacy - has crap areas. Glasgow's east end is awful, really awful - that is why the rest of Glasgow doesn't go there! God, these comments wind me up. I'm just so tired of ignorant attitudes bashing my lovely home. sad

expatinscotland Sat 27-Apr-13 03:37:43

My friend lives in Glasgow. She used to work. Now her son has autism and her little girl is life-limited. Despite care in the US, there is no cure for her girl's cancer. She is life-limited. There is no known cure for her brain cancer and no one known to be cured.

Want to swap? I would not, for all the housing association homes in E. Glasgow and parties and what have you before she dies of brain cancer before her mother's eyes. There is no cure.

I wish her all the takeaways in the world. If I could buy them for her, I would. All I can buy her is a pinata. A crappy pinata, for a girl who will not live to be an adult. Same as my own daughter.

So FFS, I don't give a DAMN what clothes she has, or shoes or takeaways, I just know I'd give a whatever-Euro-mill jackpot for that child or mine not to die. But mine did and so will she.

And I can't and no one can stop that and really, GET SOME PERSPECTIVE.

She has this and I don't . . .

Really, is that what you're about? A sofa, an extension, a house, a car, some holidays and clothes?

Gees, and I thought I was a loser . . .

norfolknic Sat 27-Apr-13 08:02:31

Lots of reasons

-Low mortgage rates mean many people have more disposable income
-Some people, such as myself find ways of saving money, like always making packed lunches for work, walking rather than driving, eating less meat.

I don't have an iPad though as they are expensive and I don't want to waste the money, plus I'd barely use it...

williaminajetfighter Sat 27-Apr-13 08:17:52

Momsnetcurtains, I was the one who wrote about HAs in Glasgow and this was my observation after living there for 10 years. I did not live in Newcastle or Manchester. I loved living there but it was an observation based on statistical evidence. At one time Glasgow as a %ge of population had more social housing than anywhere in the UK. There is a long culture of HA provision and intervention; of course it was council housing before GCC sold a lot of its housing stock to the HAs.

I saw and worked with people who were on significantly reduced rent and despite now making 40k pa were still in subsidised housing which means more disposable income. Which was the root of the question. And this is people who lived in the north, the west, the south side not just the east.

Its not a Glasgow bash but my experience of living there. Do you know what being 'chippy' is?

fromparistoberlin Sat 27-Apr-13 08:22:43

expat

you are right, of course

money or no money, some things cannot be borne

that said, reading MN has givewn me an insight that some people really do exist in grinding poverty, and its tough

fuck the ipads

and my condolances for your loss xxxx

I have an iPad, iPhone etc and got them both through haggling deals with my mobile company!

We are going on a weeks holiday this year but its to a friends villa in Spain so vastly less cost than a normal holiday.

And we have just both changed our cars for 4 year old diesels.

Are we rich? No

But we are v careful

And yes I am buying a £700 buggy for our baby this year but I'm saving for it!

Oldandcobwebby Sat 27-Apr-13 08:42:34

I think its great that people spend their cash on fancy stuff at high prices. Bring it on! It means that when they dump their used stuff on eBay and Gumtree, I get uber-bargains. My big fancy car with 15000 on the clock was £35,000 cheaper than new. £790 saving on my top of the range pushchair- thank you very much. And when I finish with these things, they can be sold on for much the same as I bought them for. We live really well for very little. And my daughter's university fund is growing nicely in the meantime.

This thread really shows how people's priorities can be vastly different, doesn't it?

For example, looking at me wandering around in my tatty, ancient Converse and cheap clothes, you'd think I was poor. And I am.
But if you saw me on the bus playing on my handheld console, you'd think "how the hell did she afford that?". And the answer to that question is that I do not smoke, drink, have Sky TV or a smartphone, go out to eat or go on expensive holidays. All the money I save by not doing those things, I can spend on expensive gadgets because I like them. I used up all of my disposable income until December to get it, admittedly. But for me, it was worth it.

Other people want IPhones. Other people still (like fairydogmother) like to have a brand, good quality buggy. Having one or two expensive things does not a rich person make, though I wish it did grin

LtEveDallas Sat 27-Apr-13 09:07:47

Expat, I love the way you post about your family. Some of your stories are heartbreaking of course, but you are so eloquent and informative. Listening to you I feel like I know your parents, you make them sound so real. I love the way you post, you really bring their history to life.

(Sorry for hijack OP)

Paintingrainbowskies Sat 27-Apr-13 09:18:59

The low interest rates has really helped us, we currently pay £700 a month on a £150,000 mortgage (we are about 60% LTV), we paid the same £700 on a 1 bed flat 10 years ago when we rented but we earn a lot more now.

My husband works shifts so we are both able to work almost full time jobs (30 hours) but pay very little childcare.

I now live in area of the country where there is low unemployment.

Saying all that we drive old banger cars because we have always prioritiesed our house, we have gadgets and sky but I have always been a bargain hunter, spend a lot of time ensuring I switch my utilities and shop around. Also use credit cards for cash back.

I think it is all a case of luck and priorities, if I lived in a different area of the country, not had lucky breaks in the housing market and accumulated debt before we would not be in this position.

RedHelenB Sat 27-Apr-13 09:39:24

Can I just point out that Yoni cannot only have £200 a month earnings & get WTC. As a single parent you have to work 16 hours so at a minimum wage of £6 that would be £96 a WEEK!

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 27-Apr-13 09:43:22

The posted on £200 a month purely listed their salary, obviously very part time work. On top of that will be tax credits, possible working tax credits (although at £200 it doesnt sound like 16 hours work a week) child maintainance and council tax benefit, free prescriptions etc. They will be netting far more in benefits than their salary so not really a true picture.

People have different incomes, it will always be the case. Some choose to to work few hours or not at all whilst others have both aduts working. Everyone makes their own choices in life.

Spending is also different for everyone, some like the latest gadgets and a new pushchair a month (having once stumbled across the pram threads on here) whilst others prefer to save and overpay on their mortgage or gi away on holiday. Nobody has to justify how they spend their earned salary so who cares if they have an ipad they bought rather than a "gift or competition win".

persimmon Sat 27-Apr-13 09:46:51

I wear Principles, Wallis, Boden and Karen Millen to work. How? EBay, second hand, sometimes for pennies.
At home I wear Tu and Florence + Fred!
I am naturally frugal, have zero interest in technology, drink little, cook economically, have a simple low maintenance hairstyle, etc. You might see me at work and think I was fairly well-off but I'm not, not by a long chalk.

We are probably what you would consider "well off", OP, and we are. We take four or five holidays a year (including weekend breaks) and eat out about three times a week. Because of the interest rates, I now pay the same on a 220,000 mortgage as I paid on my first 32,000 mortgage 23 years ago. My DC are both teens, and have decent weekend jobs, so I'm not funding them, and I now work FT.

BUT work is harder than ever. I start early and finish late and bring work home. And DH works away most weeks - getting up at 4am on Monday morning to fly off, then not back till late Friday. We have very little family time when we're all together. That's why planned holidays are important. It lets us catch up and regroup. And we go out for dinner because we're all too knackered to cook or wash up.

From September, we will be paying for one (if not two) lots of university accommodation, so we're making the most of having money while we can.

I will add that we plan a few children (fingers xd!) so the buggy will be reused and reused again.

Everyone is different and has different priorities. I can't afford to get my hair done, buy new clothes or beauty treatment etc whereas some consider those essential.

I choose to spend my money on my horse - every last penny at that!

I agree with those noting that you really can't know anything from a brief glimpse at someone's pram in a shopping centre etc.

Like some others on this thread, we are now considerably better off than when the economy starting going to the shit. We were both students and since then we've both managed to get well paid jobs (although not in the sense that some posters understand well paid; neither of us pays HRT grin). We have disposable income because of a range of factors. H inherited some money that helped us buy a house. We bought a house we can afford to pay for and live comfortably in on one salary. We have iPads and smartphones and eat out. But we've never been on holiday as a family. Ever. We're sorting out the house first.

It's certainly a very good thing for everyone if those of us who do have some disposable income spend it.

janey223 Sat 27-Apr-13 10:15:04

I have a massive hd tv that's 4 years old, an iPhone I sold my ex's Xbox & accessories to pay for (haggled it down second hand), a second hand pram, sky I pay £20/m for everything for, monkey often in gap/h&m that have been gifts or 70% off sale, clarks from factory shop, my clothes are all prepregnancy with the odd newer primark offering or stealing my mums clothes. I also smoke (not much) but get friends who travel to bring me tobacco back and roll my own. DS has his own IPhone at 15m that's my dads old one and not really worth anything but people are :-o when he's playing with it.

I'm bloody broke (single mum on benefits ATM) but I do everything on the cheap. Today we're off to city farm, we'll have a picnic in the park first and it's free to get in, ill go by tube even though ill have to struggle on escalators/stairs because it'll be cheaper than the bus.

lljkk Sat 27-Apr-13 10:15:54

they have had health issues, but insurance covered most of the costs.

it's nice to read someone describe American health care as affordable!

DH reckoned his company profits were (are) tanking so (as their highest paid employee) he quit before he was pushed. The company owner is still putting 3 kids thru private schools, though. Local gossip is that one of the schools is about to go bankrupt but DH's boss not least bit surprised or worried. <<Shrug>>

janey223 Sat 27-Apr-13 10:17:19

And we go on lots of 'holidays' to my parents in Scotland and the midlands, I have a railcard and scour for the cheap tickets, we had a free trip last time from points. It doesn't cost anything really because I don't have to do the food shop!

Phantomteadrinker Sat 27-Apr-13 10:17:37

I think GPs help a lot more too, they certainly do in our family, we've had a lot of help from both sets, house deposit, wedding, top of the range pram, holidays and ds1 got his iPad from them for Christmas. We struggle to balance things, dh has 2 jobs and we certainly both had bugger all as kids but our parents have done well and do a lot to help us - love them smile

ChocolateCakePlease Sat 27-Apr-13 10:37:31

I feel quite envious of people who have parents that can help them out financially or leave inheritance. My dear mum bless her has always lived hand to mouth and is living on a state pension with nothing. [Sad]

Chocotrekkie Sat 27-Apr-13 10:51:45

I think a lot of it is due to Internet shopping and sites like hotdeals/moneysaving expert.

Cash back websites and credit cards also give me about £300 a year + about £100 tesco vouchers (tesco credit card)

I got my iPad for about £300 on the apple outlet site. Hunters wellies for kids were £20 on m&m direct a bit ago. Boden/joules clothes come from eBay or new using discount stacking codes etc..

We've been in the house for 15 years and have paid off the mortgage. Kids are now both in school so childcare costs are minimal.

We both invested in our future by going to university (student loans) , doing extra qualifications at the weekend, all our own DIY to improve the crappy but big house we bought , living on very little for years to pay everything off so we are now able to have a decent disposable income.

Thats how we afford the holidays, buy what we like etc..

The fancy car is company car, the iPhone is a company one.

TheSecondComing Sat 27-Apr-13 10:53:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LtEveDallas Sat 27-Apr-13 10:58:02

Moneywise we are fine. I've got a good, secure wage (well for the next 18 months I have), we are able to save and don't have any expensive habits. Our clothes are almost all supermarket, but I have spent 'well' on the classics - a very good coat, nice suits etc. Clothes that are still going strong almost 10 years down the line - so if you saw me dressed for the Mess you'd probably think I had more money..

Our home is cheaply rented, but has good solid furniture that will last and looks better the more 'lived in' it is. When we buy our biggest extravagance will be the kitchen, because I want it built to last and not date too badly.

I do have an iPad (raffle prize - I had a thread on it), iPhone £40 a month and DD has my old iPhone she uses as a games engine. But DHs phone is a brick that is now 9 years old. He gets a new one every year but passes it on to his DD because he doesn't care for technology.

My contract finishes in 2014, and if I don't find work straight away I will be taking home a 1/4 of my current wage in a pension. But I'll still have those good quality clothes, technology and furniture, so people may think I have more

One of our 'expenses' though is helping our parents - both sets on pension only and with health problems. They won't accept our 'charity' but we are able to buy things / fix things and they don't always know about it (we replaced my DPs fence last year, but they think it was the neighbours!). I'd say that between them they 'cost' us a couple of hundred a month. We would give up a luxury before we stopped helping them.

To look at them though you'd think they were minted. My DPs drive a 2003 plate 'flash' car - I gave it them and pay the minuscule insurance. They spend weeks at a time at our caravan - but it's cheaper to heat then home, and what's the point in it being empty? They have a big house with a large garden, but it needs lots of work. DPILs have a huge house, but it's in a very cheap area and they don't use the top floor. The have a lovely new car - courtesy of DLA. DMIL dresses fabulously, but her clothes are years old and only worn at home (she can't really leave the house any more). They have sky and 2 large flatscreens, but when your only entertainment is TV then it is a blessing.

Looks can be deceptive OP. People may not be as well off as you think.

roughtyping Sat 27-Apr-13 11:40:05

Before the recession, I was a single mother/student/working low paid part time posts. Now I have a professional permanent job, DS is older and my partner lives with us, bringing in another FT wage, so we are now considerably better off.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 27-Apr-13 11:41:55

Dude for a lot of people morgages are superr low and salaries are broadly similar.. but I would never spend £50K on a car, some people are just daft.

CatAndFiddle Sat 27-Apr-13 11:44:37

I started a new job in late 2007, just before the economic crisis began. I still work for the same company, but my salary has increased by 57% over the last 6 years. I agree with others who have said that not everyone has been impacted by the recession.
Although I would say that it has completely altered my atttitude towards money and material things. My parents got caught up in the 'loadsamoney' mentality of the 80s and never taught me how to manage money, or the value of it etc.
My monthly outgoings now are actually lower than they were 6 years ago (though this is about to change as expecting baby in June). No iPads, iPod or iPhone here. Nor branded clothes or fancy cars. My car is 12 years old and I would be upset if he died because I have given him a name and personality.
From conversations with friends and colleagues though, I get the impression that some people are still prepared to put themselves in precarious financial positions in order to keep up with the Jones'.
I couldn't give a shit though. Each to their own I suppose.

Snog Sat 27-Apr-13 12:08:33

I would be financially worse off as I have been in a 3 year pay freeze whilst my living expenses - food, utilities etc have increased - however I have chosen to increase my working hours to full time so that now I am significantly better off
So I have more money to spend in absolute terms although effectively I am working longer and harder for less on an hourly rate iyswim.
Everyone makes the most of their own situation, don't they?
I have nice clothes and hair cuts because I need them for my job.
But I travel to work on a crappy old bike in all weathers!
Other people might never buy new clothes but have a car/use buses/have a nice bike/chose to work less hours than me or not at all...

BadLad Sat 27-Apr-13 12:51:28

To look at me, you'd think I didn't have a pot to piss in. I spend hardly anything on clothes, don't have a car, get the cheapest crewcut I can find once every four months, and shop around to save pennies (or the local equivalent) and buy in massive bulk when something I use regularly is on offer.

That way I can afford to indulge on things I really want.

Having said that, neither DW nor I are gadget-addicts - our main luxury is a break in a really nice hotel every so often, so perhaps the people who see us going in there wonder how we can afford it.

I am astounded at how little people in the UK seem to save, however. The Japanese are absolutely fervent savers, despite the non-existant interest rates.

LimitedEditionLady Sat 27-Apr-13 13:07:56

My gran says this is not a real recession.the recession they saw was a real one.noone could go shopping and people truly struggled.who actually NEEDS an ipad?

LimitedEditionLady Sat 27-Apr-13 13:19:33

In fact ill add to this.people being poor these days is nothing like years gone.some people say theyre poor theyve got no money etc etc.if youve got a roof over your head,clothes on your back,food on your table and a family car then to me and a lot of people especially the elderly generation you ARE NOT HARD DONE TO.yes times are harder but we are lucky in a lot of ways.talk to the people who went to work as kids and couldnt afford to go to school cos they had to help their parents feed the family and tell me then that you are poor.sorry makes me mad.

doritosmonster Sat 27-Apr-13 13:33:39

The thing that baffles me a lot of the time is how so many people can afford so many children. One friend has just had her fifth child, and is planning at least one more. They don't seem to skimp or go without anything even though there are 7 of them; the kids all have decent shoes and clothes, they do activities, go on holiday, buy nice furniture etc.

Another has had her fourth; she is a SAHM, her DH works and earns less than 25k. They 'might have another at some point'. And again their kids all have nice things, they do activities, they have holidays, they bought a brand new Bugaboo for baby 4.

We couldn't afford a fourth child, and we are on a fairly high income. I really don't know how people do it.

pastmybbd Sat 27-Apr-13 13:36:47

I was born into a very poor background. My dad was a miner and had a coal allowance. My mum had 6 kids and struggled on the tightest of budgets as my dad was a drinker. She still gave part of her coal allowance to someone who was worse off than she was. I grew up so jealous of other people I couldn't rein it in. I had a chip on my shoulder 4 miles wide and couldn't get on with anyone.

Shoot forwards to now. I'm now 48 years old and I've learned over the years that material wealth isn't the be-all and end-all. Being envious of others achieves little, though I know we all have twangs of envy.

I also know that being able to pay your bills without struggling is one of the greatest gifts. Not having that awful shadow in your head when you go to bed at night, worrying about money. Being able to get cash out of a machine and not worry about your card being swallowed. Being able to buy something you fancy, within reason...all are priceless.

This is a difficult time and I feel so sorry for the people who have money worries. I am not, however, jealous of the folks who seem to have more than me. I spend what money I have how I like. Other people are entitled to do the same.

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 27-Apr-13 13:42:16

Doritos, they may have inherited or done well in the rising property market in the 90s?

doritosmonster Sat 27-Apr-13 13:46:31

That's a good point FoundAChopin; in both these cases though both couples are in their twenties, so too young to have benefitted from the property market. One couple I don't think would have had any inheritance as I'm pretty sure both sets of parents aren't well off financially, but I think the other family do get a bit of help from the woman's parents. Only relatively small things though such as clothes for the kids, or a weekend away somewhere, rather than financial help with their mortgage

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 27-Apr-13 13:52:55

Sometimes I find having lots of dcs saves money, in a strange way. For example, going to the cinema is crazily expensive, so we don't. Same for days out involving expensive passes, just not on the radar, or feeding everyone with ready made pizza, or going to a fast food place. So we find cheaper and free stuff to do, which are just as fun. Even going shopping with lots of dcs is hell, so we tend to only go when it's school shoes time, and then it's in and out as fast as possible.

ChristineDaae Sat 27-Apr-13 13:59:18

We have just been lucky I guess. We have high rent, but we've been here 5 years so are used to it. In those 5 years, my salary has gone up 4k, DPs gone up 9k, so while we used to have a housemate to split bills with, the higher income now covers it all.
We are both really into gadgets. Both have IPads but mine was bought from America (cheaper) and DPs is second hand. We both have nice phones, on contract. We are going on holiday this year. But - we aren't massive shoppers. Clothes are bought when needed. Probably go on a night out once every 2-3 months. And we both work 2 jobs. I work about a 45 hour week, really early/really late shifts so I get to see DD between. So yeah we have nice stuff, but we work our asses off for it.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 14:02:36

We both kept working when the dcs were small.So we both have well paid pt professional jobs. We bought our 1st flat in 2002 and have done work to all our properties so have a large equity in our house.

We can afford foreign holidays, domestic help and nice things (sometimes). Our combined gross salary is 100k, but we pay little HRT as its split between 2 IYSWIM. We also haven't lost our child benefit. So yes we have a fair bit of disposibal income and hope to have more when I go back ft.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 14:04:05

Disposable ffs

lljkk Sat 27-Apr-13 14:17:03

how so many people can afford so many children.

ime of families size 6+, Canny bargain shopping and wasting very little food. Walking rather than driving places, Passing clothes down the family, taking holidays somewhere like Butlins and only in term time. Limiting kids to cheaper hobbies & clubs.

Other big help would be getting on property ladder at right time, too; so much dearer to buy or rent now than 12 yrs ago.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 27-Apr-13 14:17:16

Doritos, on a salary of £25k its likely that they net a lot in tax credits as the more children you have the more money you get and they have no childcare costs.

Large families are in the main supported by benefits or are wealthy. Those that dont qualify for benefits or net large salaries have to live within their means.

DoTheWrongThing Sat 27-Apr-13 14:38:36

I think there are three main things which affect how much disposable income people have: where you live, whether you have a job and when you bought your house.

About 12 years ago DH and I were newly married. I had a chronic illness/pain condition which meant I wasn't able to work much and even when I did it was only part-time. DH had gone straight from school into an unskilled job in a factory where he worked long hours for a low wage and had to work a lot of overtime to bring home a decent amount, he couldn't take risks and branch out into another job because I was ill so there wasn't a second wage to fall back on.

Fast forward to now. Our house was bought for peanuts just before the boom and has now trebled in value and as we never got involved in borrowing loads of money against the equity it is all ours - we will pay off the remaining mortgage soon. Our mortgage was ridiculously low to begin with and is now a third lower than it was due to the interest rate cuts. DH's job is secure and he has had regular wage rises above inflation (we know this is very lucky). Allied to this, DH retrained and we started a business together as a result so we have the double wage which eluded us before. We also have no children, which caused us some sadness at the time (though we are fine about it now) which means we are a lot better off financially than some of our friends. Oh, and I am a fantastic shopper and saver, I've always said to DH, 'make me some money and I will make you more'.

We are just getting used to having a lot more money but I remember very well what it was like to have less. For us, the main things that have affected us are the fact that we bought our house when we did, the fact that DH has a secure job and the fact that we started our own business. Some of this was luck, some good judgement and some hard work.

ChocolateCakePlease Sat 27-Apr-13 14:45:06

Wish - not saying it is your fault you haven't lost your child benefit nor am I having a go at you personally. But it does make me very mad and angry at the government that a household that earns 100 k combined has got to keep their child benefit when someone with half those earnings via one earner loses part or all of it. It is not right at all.

doritosmonster Sat 27-Apr-13 15:05:46

That's a good point, HappyMummy; I think the friend I know whose income is less than 25k has mentioned before that they get tax credits and housing benefits.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 16:33:43

CCP I agree. Totally wrong footed policy IMO particularly unfair on single parents. The OP was asking how/why people seemed to have lots of disposable income. I was just answering her.Their are massive disincentives for us as a unit to earn more even though we probably could.

We would be taxed at 40% on all of it and loose our cb. Someone a while ago was talking about marginal tax rates and ours would be very high.It's almost like another benefit trap. As we both earn around the threshold we don't need the money. As I said we have a very good quality of life.

We would

katykuns Sat 27-Apr-13 16:34:42

I am one of the people that was scrimping and saving before the shit hit the fan, that has to pluck money out of nowhere when something goes wrong. I am a carer, and like a similar poster above, get pittance for a full time job.
I don't hate people for having expensive things, but I do hate tge government for making things difficult for genuine hardworking people who just want security and to have a social life once in a while. I need my car to work, and don't have the money for a decent one that means I don't need to keep spending money on it. It is all fairly miserable in all honesty, and so hard. I don't think I'll ever own my own house without my parent's help, or be able to give my children valuable experiences like some others do. And just because care work isn't valued, and they cut benefits here and raise bills there. It doesn't even make sense.

GlassofRose Sat 27-Apr-13 16:37:27

My friend who has a no job bought an ipad mini for her 3 year old.

To me it seems more of a case that people don't have more disposable cash, they just have different priorities.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 16:41:50

Before 2008 we earnt 60k between use and paid our nanny over 30.....just saying

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 16:42:53

And my god did we need our cb in those days...

ComeYoniWithMe Sat 27-Apr-13 16:52:29

william I didn't get huffy because people commented, I got huffy cos you called me a liar. I'm sorry the fact I have a low mortgage irritates you . I am on a low income so get wtc to make up the shortfall.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 27-Apr-13 17:06:40

I also think many peoples mentality and priorities have changed.
When we first started a family nobody ever said we can't afford anymore children as people do today. They was no difference in having one or 3 financially.
Of course if you were poor you needed your cb, but there were very few nurseries, no tax credits and certainly no subsidised childcare. If you didn't have extended family or a very well paid job and had dc, it was tough you were a sahm if you wanted to or not.
I think on the whole we have it good now compared to say the 1960's/70's. As a society we just got greedy and wanted more, even if that meant extensive credit.

crashdoll Sat 27-Apr-13 17:13:33

"Before 2008 we earnt 60k between use and paid our nanny over 30.....just saying. And my god did we need our cb in those days..."

That was a choice though. It wasn't forced upon you. There are other forms of cheaper childcare. Working parents on much lower incomes manage to find childcare without using a nanny.

Wishihadabs Sat 27-Apr-13 17:28:42

Crash doll and your point is ? Yes we chose to have a nanny (7-7) after my 2nd mat leave. This enabled us both to get to where we are now (earning nearly 50k each for a 2-4 day week). So now we need very little child care.

Its easy to appear ok on a budget. All dcs are in next pretty debanahams clothes, huge bundles for around £10 on Facebook selling pages, ditto Clarks shoes or i go to the outlets and get last years range.
My bugaboo free but i had tp scrub and clean it like nothing else and file rust off etc it took months but now looks as good as new.
Holiday, the sun.
The kids ipods saved for a year.

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

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

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

HRT tax payers shouldn't have cb obviously

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

who actually NEEDS an ipad?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I totally get the baby kit thing.

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

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

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

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