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What is it like to be rich?

(84 Posts)

I just genuinely wondered... What is it like not to have to think twice about running your heating in case your direct debit shoots up by £100 in the next quarter, or seeing something you like and buying it without a second thought?

I apologise in advance if anyone is offended or thinks it's a bad taste question etc.. I just genuinely wonder...

I'm always of the frame of mind 'skint but happy' - and I do genuinely believe that - but I still can't help wondering lol. Both myself and my partner are, realistically, never destined to be rich - that's just a fact of our chosen professions, there's a ceiling limit on the top wage we could ever hope to achieve..

But there are times where I dream... like now. I applied for my son to attend the local independent school, he passed the exam with flying colours and we attended an interview today HOWEVER, even if he gets offered a place, we could only send him if we are lucky enough to receive some assistance in the form of a bursary, and that's not guaranteed to be offered even though we have been assessed and meet the criteria... Just feel somewhat helpless!

It's times like this when I just can't help but feel a little envious of others where this would not be an issue and I could be content knowing that I was able to afford my child the gift of a quality education and a range of experiences and opportunities (and please do not think I am bashing state schools, because I'm not, I've been very fortunate in the primary schools my children attend and I did very well myself at state school - but it doesn't change the fact the opportunities at independent schools are incomparable!)

sigh I know it's the way of the world though..

SamanthaJones Sat 08-Mar-14 17:24:17

What an interesting thread

I think we're rich by some standards (income is about £175k) but we don't feel it particularly

I love not worrying about money though.

Hungermonkey Thu 06-Mar-14 07:24:08

I suppose we are what one woudl describe as scruffymoney. We have a large, rambling old farmhouse that is in dire need of a large cash injection, I drive an old Landrover and have a yard full of horses.

Our furniture is battered , old and well worn.

It's bliss but like everyone, we prioritise. And servicing a lifestyle like ours is horrifically expensive .

PacificOcean Thu 06-Mar-14 07:05:27

Sorry to hear about your DS, OP. I hope he has a place at a state school that you are reasonably happy with?

We are rich because DH has a very highly paid job (although it is partly bonus dependent so can vary from year to year). I'm currently a SAHM and am planning to return to work when DC3 starts school.

To be honest, it's great! We're lucky not having to worry about bills, or if we have an unexpected expense. We live in a nice house in a nice area. Our 3 DC go to the local primary school, but we may well decide to go private for secondary school and, if we do, DH's salary is at a level which would make this easy for us. DH works long hours during the week and sometimes has to travel, but he hardly ever has to work at the weekend so we have plenty of family time then.

No one would guess how much DH earns. He works in the city and it's obvious he's well paid, but I reckon if our friends were asked, they would estimate a lot less than the actual amount. This is because both DH and I are natural savers and not flashy with our cash. We have a cleaner once a week but no other help around the house / garden, two fairly standard cars (one was bought new 10 years ago, the other was bought second hand 5 years ago), we go skiing every year but our summer holiday is a week in France, I buy my clothes from M&S and Next. We could spend more on all these items, but we spend at the level that makes us happy - and we are happy. Like a couple of previous posters, we really appreciate how lucky we are smile

Well, back to feeling poor in the monetary sense today, or rather lack of choices and frustrated at closed doors.

The school application I alluded to in my OP has reached it's conclusion today - 'We'd love to offer your DS a place at our school, however, even though we've been through your finances with a fine tooth comb and know you don't have two pennies to rub together, we're only offering a full-fee paying place. N.B. we do not accept brass buttons and cabbage leaves as payment'.

It's basically a really nice way to say no, as if I;m just going to miraculously have £11k per year spare...

That said, no point in being bitter. The children that were lucky enough to receive bursaries are obviously just as much as in need as we are, and the children most likely out performed my son in the examination the day.. So... just wish I had a wealthy and generous relative... I put the Euromillions on, just in case. One can dream... (-_-)

Contrarian78 Tue 25-Feb-14 16:51:13

I don't consider us to be rich. We've had kids at private school (it turned out to be a bit of a con as far as we're concerned) and spent freely on cars and holidays. We have more money than we need, but I wouldn't consider us to be rich in a financial sense

Because of my nature, the money was never ever enough, and I was always doing more in order to earn more. I can tell you, that was a pretty miserable existence. We've been poor though (food parcels from parents poor) and that was far worse than being comfortable.

We've bought a wreck/moneypit of a house and DC no.3 is now on the way; so I've reconciled myself to the fact that, in terms of bank balance, I'LL NEVER BE RICH!

YouAreTalkingRubbish Sat 22-Feb-14 00:03:53

I think poor when you are young is ok as you have the future to look forward to but older and poor must be a bit a lot shite.

MissWing Thu 20-Feb-14 21:17:58

From this thread I have learnt that the main threshold is having enough that you do not worry about buying food or heating your house or something breaking and giving horrible repair bill.

Beyond this it's all perception.

I often feel not-rich because it seems like the other parents in our baby group are all dentists/accountants but DH points out it's only 3 couples and the rest (4 couples) are the same as us just 5-10 years older.

To my sister we probably look rich (we just took out a big old mortgage to move to our 'forever' home). To my cousin we probably look like Elton John, he lives in a caravan he can't afford to heat.

I bet all those minor celebrities or less successful finance types don't feel rich yet because they have not yet bought their first island.

bonvivant Tue 18-Feb-14 18:58:11

I think you've hit the nail on the head there overmydeadbody. Some people will never be rich regardless of how much they earn because they can't resist spending it.

I do wonder if those people ever think about the financial freedom they could achieve if they just reined in their spending more.

I feel very rich and I really like it.

I used to be a lone parent on brenefits, until DS went to school and I got back on the career ladder and worked really hard.

Seven years later I am increadibly financially secure, and it feels so increadible I am grateful every single day.

I do not notice when payday is.

I need and want very little though, so I just don't spend much money (some people are hurtful and call me tight, but I am not, I just can't be bothered with spending money on things like handbags, I have a bag, it holds my stuff, why do I need another one?)

I buy DS whatever he needs, we have cars, a warm house, holidays, but nothing extravagant.

DP is the same, both of us are better at saving our money than spending it, but that means we always have money when we want to spend it, and are never in debt or counting down the days till payday.

Some people think we are poor, but we don't think we are, we think we are very lucky indeed and do not want to live beyond our means.

MrsSteptoe Tue 18-Feb-14 13:00:01

I did have a period of having about a thousand a month left over that was purely disposable income. It was absolutely great, and I miss that kind of financial liberty. Although I can be guilty of taking things for granted as much as the next person, I did always feel extremely blessed to have that kind of money to spend on what I chose - holidays, clothes, whatever. Now, although I have far less money to spend, I work fewer hours which has its merits too.

But on balance, I'd like to have more money again. It wouldn't go on clothes now, though. It'd go on being able to take my DS and DH on holidays, which we now don't have, and perhaps a house in an area I like - we're currently in a two-bed flat in an area we absolutely love, but can't afford a bigger place here. Struggling with the notion of moving to an area we don't like in order to afford a small house. Well aware that this is a high-class problem, and like PPs, well aware how lucky we are!

newpup Tue 18-Feb-14 12:37:01

I would describe myself as financially rich but we are well off compared to most. We live in a beautiful large house in a lovely village on the outskirts of a great city. My DDs go to a private school, we have nice cars and a holiday somewhere nice every year. We go out for meals whenever we want and if I want something I can generally have it. I don't have to work, we belong to a very lovely health club and my life is easy.
However, there are downsides, my DH has a very pressurised job and works long hours. He travels a lot for work too, often out the country. When the children were small this was hard but it meant we could pay for their education and all the extras, they enjoy such as dance classes, music lessons etc and the wonderful holidays. The DDs are very well travelled. The money for our lovely lifestyle is hard earned and not without sacrifice to family life. I do appreciate it though and never take my lifestyle for granted, I know exactly how lucky I am. smile

Apatite1 Tue 18-Feb-14 11:37:52

I think I'm comfortable (income £150k plus with me only working part time and neither of us at the top of our earning capacity) but house prices in London mean we are about to get a huge mortgage to afford an ordinary house so we will never feel rich. However, I have the luxury of only working part time, so I must appreciate that this means we are rich enough to have options. We don't expect inheritances either, so all our money is very hard earned. I think we would be considerably poorer if we had kids, especially if paying school fees. I admit I really wonder how families in London who put several kids through fee paying schools survive without huge incomes.

foxdongle Mon 17-Feb-14 11:06:24

I have been down to my last fiver in the past, so now I feel rich compared, but in reality just v. comfortable.

we have 2 houses (one with small mortgage), home is large and well kept (not huge though) in lovely area/town.
we have savings and no debts.
we holiday abroad 2/3 times a year (Europe/ worldwide-which we still save up for or use dhs bonuses) plus lots of mini breaks/days out in uk.
kids have enough saved for house deposits .
we eat out/buy what food/treats we like
we have heating on when we like.
we still look for best deals and try not to squander.

These have made a big difference-Lottery win (not jackpot), inheritance, gifts, dh 3 promotions in 5 years.
But they are nothing without family health and happiness.

I know a couple of rich people who shop in charity shops, seek out bargains etc but are very generous in other areas.

I don't know the definition of really rich, but IMO; having option to work or not and having big nicely done house(s) in good area, with no mortgage plus £500k+ in bank.

DipMeInChocolate Sat 15-Feb-14 18:23:32

Growing up it looked like we were rich. A large 6 bed detached, biggest in the street, holidays to America, Australia and Bali. My parents wanted to send me to private girls school (I refused). We didn't feel rich as my parents grew up poor, they held onto cars for 10 years and always shopped for bargains. I hardly saw my Dad as he worked a lot. In contrast I've traded earning power for time with the children. I'd love to win the lottery. I like working pt, we get by with not much fancy extras. I hope to earn more when the kids don't need me as much. So in short, I'd love to be rich but don't want to work for it yet as I like being time rich at the moment.It's my happy medium. I think that being wealthy brings its own issues with having everything you want and nothing to dream for and others begrudging what you have.

LauraBridges Sat 15-Feb-14 15:02:47

Kendodd hits the nail on the head. For some reason I always compare myself with others worse off and I tend to feel pretty well off (and am happy and healthy which is the only thing that really matters). Other people find others who are much better off and feel poor which is never a good route to happiness.

In some ways I feel so glad we ended up in this hugely mixed bit of London rather than some rich white posh enclave. The variety in London is pretty egalitarian if you pick the right place.

(Sorry about the dog 34DD but it sounds like you took the right decision).

A lot of us who have ended up fairly well off in the past were not so we appreciate every day (I certainly do) the fact we can afford to have the heating on and am not limiting what I eat by cost (although I only eat paleo so veg and fish etc is a pretty cheap diet and you don't eat as much).

Kendodd Sat 15-Feb-14 14:43:09

We have a good income (about 100K) live in a large house in a very nice part of the country, have two cars etc.

I feel poor.

A lot (most) of our friends have vastly more than us 3-4x income, no mortgage etc. We can't afford to do most of the things they do, we can't go on the joint holidays, or to the fancy places, our children don't get to go to Disneyland. Even when I bump into them in the supermarket I have lots of value products they have all the premium.

It all about who you compare yourself too, I know that in fact compared to most people in the world we are very well off.

34DD Sat 15-Feb-14 14:26:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Sat 15-Feb-14 14:07:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Sat 15-Feb-14 14:03:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bishbashboosh Fri 14-Feb-14 20:33:31

I love my life . I have freedom and a living partner and kids . I'm educated. Have choices

With a combined income of 40k I don't know what it's like to be rich but it's nice to treat ourselves and eat good food

bonvivant Fri 14-Feb-14 20:13:09

I'd probably qualify in your definition of 'rich'. Funny thing is, I feel poorer than when I was younger. I just have more responsibilities/outgoings these days. I've just paid off the mortgage but DS goes to private school so it's not like I can quit work yet and I need to bump up my pension payments. I'm also increasingly 'tight' about how I spend my money - I rarely buy anything new for myself and whereas I used to shop in designer shops in my youth, I now shop in supermarkets or Primark.

I like Apache's post too. I was brought up relatively comfortably (parents were young and skint when I was born but Dad worked quickly up through the ranks and we were posted abroad for a while so a lot if our expenses were covered by the British Council for a time until he was fairly senior and earning a decent salary to afford stuff himself - mum always worked ad hoc around our needs too)

But they taught me to budget, taught me the value of money, the importance of passing some of your wealth on. I've been so so fortunate to have never struggled but have worked with people who have and consequently have always given at least 10% of whatever I'm earning to charity BUT I know I'm fortunate enough to do so.

It's relative to circumstances too though isn't it? When we first married for 4months I supported us on a £6.50/hour job in a shop until we both got "proper" jobs. We never felt skint even though we didn't have much - now we have substantially more money but our outgoings have increased too so some months were down to the last penny. BUT we're lucky to afford to rent a house big enough for us and guests (live abroad so I make DC share a room so we have a spare room for family), pay for part time childcare and lease a car.

I keep a tight food budget, DH and I rarely buy clothes and I save up to do a big clothes shop for DC in the sales, we babysit swap with other families and find ways to save. But then we don't think twice about buying coffee out and do get to eat out once of twice a month. We can't afford indie schools but do get to take little weekend breaks a few hours drive away a few times a year.

I feel rich in comparison to the vast majority of the world but live side by side with the seriously mega rich so that comparison makes me feel pretty average.

CelticPromise Thu 13-Feb-14 10:22:10

Apache I like your post.

CelticPromise Thu 13-Feb-14 10:21:25

Our income is a little over £70k a year. I think we are rich. We have mainly made sensible choices (thanks to DH!) so we haven't stretched to buy a house. We're not interested in independent schools or new cars or much in the way of clothes. We do like eating out and I think we spend a lot on food and drink. I feel rich because we don't have to worry if the washing machine breaks down or the car fails its MOT. There isn't anything I really want that I can't have. We are very lucky.

RudyMentary Thu 13-Feb-14 07:39:54

It's interesting to see people opinions on what is cash rich

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