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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..

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 08-Feb-14 07:49:54

I don't know what it's like to be rich but I've experienced 'poor' and 'comfortable' and would go with the latter every time. Being able to afford essentials and a few luxuries without thinking too hard about it is a nice way to live but I think that being 'rich' (in the sense of being able to pop into the Ferrari showroom and pay cash for a new one) would bring a different set of stresses.

For example - and I know people who have been able to lavish expensive education, experiences and material goods on their kids - some of the kids turn out OK but others end up highly dependent, have unreasonable expectations and lack personal motivation.

redcaryellowcar Sat 08-Feb-14 07:54:45

i don't know what its like to be rich, do daydream about it quite a lot, fortunately my Dh has a good job with good salary and we are able to live 'comfortably' but certainly could not afford private schools, we are lucky to live in an area with three good schools we can choose from, secondary is not so simple but will worry about that once ds is a bit older!

lovetoski Sat 08-Feb-14 07:57:31

My sil has a lifestyle like this, dn at private school, a couple of holidays a year, buys what clothes she wants without a thought. But the downside is her husband works very hard for it and travels a great deal so quality family time together is rare and she is lonely and most of the time a single parent. It's not always green on the other side.

HarrietVaneAgain Sat 08-Feb-14 08:03:11

I suppose we fit your initial description but for us sending our kids to private school would be a whole different order of magnitude. It's probably 20 grand a year for each child - there are not many people around who wouldn't feel that difference over several years.

chanie44 Sat 08-Feb-14 09:31:44

I've been thinking about this recently and I think it is relative as to how 'rich' you feel.

Some 'rich' people have high outgoings and may not feel rich. I once read that Elton John spends more a month on flowers that some people earn in a year!!!

I guess it comes down to what you are used you. Even if I won the lottery, I don't think I could ever spend as much as Elton John does on flowers.

Helpyourself Sat 08-Feb-14 09:46:08

Feeling rich has a lot to do with your outgoings and the people you mix with.
I feel rich when I buy 99p bunches of daffodils practically every time I go to the shops this time of year; another poster on another thread feels poor because cherries are so expensive- out of season food just isn't on my radar. I feel not so rich after an evening at bookclub where they all live in enormous immaculate houses and jet off on holiday every half term.
I felt very rich when ds lost his school shoes and had to wear trainers in the next day. I bought him a new pair the following day. DH was shocked, but I just felt lucky we could afford to.

armourplating Sat 08-Feb-14 14:26:24

I used to be skint (single mum on benefits) but a few years ago I got married to a new partner who is a high earner and our lifestyle is very comfortable now. I would have considered anyone on that income to be 'rich' in the past, and many people would say we are, but every day life hasn't changed that much. DS goes to a private school now and our home is nicer and in a better area, the food we buy and the holidays we have are better. But we still think carefully about what we buy, use money saving strategies when we can, I don't think I'd ever be frivolous enough to just waste money on things that could be done cheaper. Personally I wouldn't describe us as rich now, as we still have a mortgage etc - being proper rich for me is having enough capital for work to be a choice.

The big difference for me is that I definitely don't have to worry about money any more. If things turn out to be more expensive than I thought, it used to make me want to cry as I just couldn't afford it, whereas now it's just an annoyance. And we sometimes opt for more expensive options when we think the price difference is worth it, but if the cheaper option is good enough for us then we won't pay more just for the sake of it. I definitely feel less stressed and better mentally now I feel I have more control, more options in life and that I can make choices instead of everything being determined by price. But I think you don't have to be incredibly well off to have that mindset.

Yes, of course you all right and make very valid points... We're an educated couple who live in a lovely, sought after area (although we rent!) and we are fortunate to be surrounded by very good primary and secondary schools - which is a lot more than other people have... We do have to budget to be able to afford to live in this area though - meal planning, we don't run a car, start squirreling away for birthdays for the following year the day after said child has had his birthday in the current year etc.. It's swings and round-a-bouts!

I was a single mum on benefits - I had my eldest at 18 years old - and lived in a tiny flat on £3.20 per hour/15 hours per week, gas and electricity keys etc - so when I think about where I am now, 11 years later, in comparison to where I was and at the time, never envisaged living in a home with an upstairs or a back garden (I have a front garden too!) then I guess we could be described as comfortable.

And now I feel incredibly selfish and materialistic!! Food for thought!

SilverViking Sat 08-Feb-14 15:03:38

Sorry, can't help you with the "what is it like to be RICH".....But a few observations on life...
Your wealth is determined by many things, but mainly income, outgoings and expectations.
Everybody, and every family have their own values and limits.
Some sacrifice a lot to earn good money, some inherit good money, others don't have money and still spend, some don't value wealth in money terms, but in quality of life (depending on how they define that!)
Some have relatively more income than others, but still feel "poor", and some people are genuinely skint.
I think in your last post you maybe appreciate wealth you have that is not necessarily based purely on money, and to me, that is the greatest wealth to have!!

I have never meet someone yet in RL who wouldn't tell you that if they only earned 20% more, K life would be a lot easier .... And that is avoids people who have genuinely nothing to those able to spend �10,000 on their weekend hobby per month!

Branleuse Sat 08-Feb-14 15:09:37

its probably much the same but with a nicer house

MissMilbanke Sat 08-Feb-14 15:18:39

I probably fall into that category of what you consider rich.

I'm not sure I am very different to you. I want the same things you do for you kids, I want to live a long and happy life, money is I guess something w hich just eases the passage of all this. I don't worry about the bills and if we do something extravagant from time to time I know I'm lucky and I enjoy it.

How the super rich live though is mind boggling

Arohaitis Sat 08-Feb-14 15:23:05

OK some observations.

You are already richer than most of the planet vastly vastly richer

if you are looking at independent school you are probably richer than an awful lot of people in the UK

Does money make you happy? was talking about this with one of my kids the other day, it is the old having a bit more would make us feel a lot richer, I am sure there have been some studies on it.....

People talk (and it is clear to me from on here) that clearing your mortgage makes you feel so much richer especially if you can do it early enough to make a difference

I often think when they have those crazy lottery prizes of millions that they would be better giving more people 1 million each, would make so much more of a difference to people without (hopefully) some of the damage.

Would we be noticeably happier if it was all spread around a bit more or in reality would we all only end up with about 2 quid?

Personally at times I would like a stately home and the land that goes with it (but not the maintenance!)

NK5BM3 Sat 08-Feb-14 15:27:14

I don't know what rich will be and I seriously doubt we will ever find out but we were comfortable for a while even when we had 1 kid as we were both earning quite a bit and it was a double income. So even though we had a big nursery fee to pay (full time) and of course mortgage and other bills, we ate out at least once if not twice a week, we flew long haul (because one set of grandparents live far away) and if we needed a new tv, we'd be ok. We'd just go and get it.

Then we lost one income and gained another child. And that's tough. We are kinda coming out of it now..but it's been scary.

I'd like to go back to

FadBook Sat 08-Feb-14 15:41:50

We're not "rich" but comfortable (we couldn't afford private school)

Like a pp said, we have money saving strategies and I'm always looking for a bargain. We separate our needs and our wants and don't want for much really i.e we had one car for 2 years despite being able to afford to run another; Aldi shop most weeks as the products is no different to branded products

I've been poor and loaded with debt, and it feels nice to be comfortable. Dp and I say it every week though - we know how lucky we are and take nothing for granted.

Cuckooforcocopuffs Sat 08-Feb-14 15:41:51

Compared to ten years ago, we are way better off. Back then I would have considered someone with this income to be rich, but now it just seems average. I know we have more disposable income than all our friends, but part of that is because we have kept our housing costs relatively low, instead of moving up to a McMansion like most in our income bracket seem to.
I have a fairly flash car, and a cleaner, and we have nice vacations every year, but I find that now I can afford pretty much whatever I want, I find that I don't really want anything.
We have been saving quite aggressively for college and retirement.
In my job I do come across people who are seriously wealthy, and it boggles my mind when someone spends $8000 on a bedspread, then gives it away because their DH doesn't like it!

catsrus Sat 08-Feb-14 15:43:23

When my dc were little they asked if we were rich, I said "yes" because we could buy anything we wanted - but if we started wanting things we couldn't afford we wouldn't feel rich any more grin

I do think it's about lifestyle and expectations, my exH always measured himself against colleagues who had the country mansion and the helicopter / yacht so he never thought we were rich hmm I measured what we had against the way I was brought up so thought we were rich. I also didn't want the helicopter or yacht - enough to feed, clothe and house us was enough for me. Post divorce I do now have to be more careful about what I spend but i can cover the essentials without worrying so that is rich enough for me lottery win would still be nice though

TalkinPeace Sat 08-Feb-14 17:42:07

I have very, very rich friends. Most of them only see their high earning husbands at the weekend.
I'll settle for being able to afford to go abroad after searching for good deals, school fees never on the radar, but not having to look at the total at the supermarket (with lots of nice reduced stuff in my trolley)

Pagwatch Sat 08-Feb-14 17:47:52

I've had no money, a bit of money and lots of money.
Removing the stress of budgeting, the freedom to do what you want is great. But the real problems of life and how they impact you don't alter.
And the essential 'you' - bitter or happy, pessimistic or a joy to be around, kind or selfish - they ll remain exactly the same.

If you are happy now then you will be happy with cash to spare.
If you are a miserable arse now then that won't change.

Everysilverlining Sat 08-Feb-14 18:04:55

By almost any standards I have to accept I am rich. I have a large house in an expensive city in the south east, a cleaner, and a gardener. (I do have a mortgage) I never worry about putting the heating on and what it costs and buy the food I want to eat. I also go shopping and if I see it I like it.

I could afford private school for ds if there was a school which would take him. However he is disabled and private school can't cater for him. Also the fact we do have money means we can spend the £200- £300 per week on therapy for him which he needs without worrying where the money comes from. I can also write the cheque for the £50,000 operation he needs but the NHS don't fund. So for me what it's like being rich is knowing you have choices, and sometimes money can buy those choices and largely money isn't what restricts those choices. But without it the choices are much much more limited, and given the limitations of disability I have finally realised what the money is for.....

I work hard but no harder than most people although I did when I was younger, pre ds and while building a career. However I love my job (mostly) and am lucky I can earn well doing something I love and which is valued by society. I think being rich means money isn't a factor, and it gives you choices but often you don't realise that others don't have those choices. I still shop at markets, shop around for everything from heating to broadband, don't have sky and run an old second hand small car which I barely use. But if wanted to shop at waitrose and drive a jaguar I could, I just can't imagine wanting to....

By the way i think it's an interesting question and one worth thinking about especially for those who don't really know what not having money would entail.

Think 'rich' is defined differently for all of us. I have a high income but like other posters the trade off is a quiet life.

Money makes life easier but so does time. We have 2 houses (1 abroad) and don't fret stuff like heating or most things to buy.

But I spent the week abroad and so did DP. With our DD being tag team cared for by dm and the nanny. I work every weekend and 4 nights this week I was still working at 11pm and then up at 6.30am. 55- 60 hour weeks away from home and permanently stressing about who is around to look after DD.

But then I know there are people doing 2 jobs for low pay who are in the same boat and that it truly rubbish and unacceptable.

Mum2Fergus Sat 08-Feb-14 21:10:46

DP is friends with an exceptionally rich sports person...but whenever I speak to him I hear him yearn for the simple stuff that I take for granted...anonymity being the main one I think. He's on his 3rd WAG in as many years...not a bit happy Id say...sad.

Just been watching Hans Rosling's Don't Panic on iPlayer (world population growth, poverty etc).

Now I already now that we in Britain are richer than most, and that DH and I earn a reasonable amount compared to many in Britain (private school for the kids, horse etc). We are certainly not megarich and our house is fairly modest, but we can afford what we want. I don't compare myself to rich people - I don't know many, and I'm not envious of what they have.

But even knowing this it was sobering to watch Don't Panic, with a couple in Mozambique saving desperately for a bike because of the huge difference it would make to their lives, making it easier to get to market, get the kids to school, fetch water. We have half a dozen bikes, just for pleasure.

K999 Sat 08-Feb-14 21:29:32

It's fucking great grin

dashoflime Sat 08-Feb-14 21:40:12

I am not rich, but with a joint income of £32,000 (both part time) and a tiny mortgage, we are definatly comfortable. In my life I have been very poor, and I grew up poor. This is what having money feels like to me:
Not thinking about money before I spend it. Example: today I took DS to soft play and bought him food there. Then we went to the park and because he was getting abit cold, I took him into a cafe and bought food again. So, twice in one day. Either of those would have been a remarkable once in a blue moon treat when I was a kid.
Being a lazy parent. See above? That happened because I didn't pack snacks.I didn't pack snacks because I don't have to think about it.
Being an indulgent parent: Ds doesn't like blankets on him and kicks them off in the night. Instead of trying to stop him doing it, I just keep the radiator on in him room. If I think he might enjoy a toy I get it for him.
Getting away with being disorganised: We live right by a massive tesco and don't bother with a weekly shop. If we want something we just buy it- definatly no meal planning. Last week this included £10 on giant prawns.
Being able to go on holiday: I pay upfront with my current months wages and don't usually miss the money, beyond putting less in savings
Having a cushion if there's an emergency: the dog needed an operation costing £500 recently. We had that in the savings account.

The main thing really is that wheras the people around you are thinking about money all the time; if you have money you are just not thinking about it at all. One aspect of having money is having to make a concious effort to remember the position skint people are in. You might have difficulty working out if the thing you plan toinvite someone to, is something they are likely to afford.

I still remember what poverty feels like. It feels like a lot of closed doors and a lot of things that are just not for you. I still feel horrible anxiety when buying new clothes or shoes. I have to get them in supermarkets because then I can kid on to myself that I'm just getting some groceries.

TawdryTatou Sat 08-Feb-14 21:45:28

I've been there, not now.

You can buy loads of stuff. You don't worry about the mortgage, etc.

I was still as miserable as sin, though, because I was in a shit relationship and had issues.

The money bought me a lot of therapy. I got rid of the husband, who took a lot of the money with him.

Now, I have a lot less money, but a lot more happiness.

I guess, if you're already happy, money will enhance that. If you're not, it will buy you stuff and/or pay for your therapy.

LauraBridges Sun 09-Feb-14 10:10:18

It's all relative. I have a mortgage although probably won't soon. Pay school fees ( at one point paid 5 sets from my female income). However we had a lot of years of no spare money at all, second hand baby clothes and working sometimes 2 jobs and 16/17 hour days on the basis of jam tomorrow, deferred gratification and wow it paid off.

I have taken a good few career risks not all of which worked and which most women probably would not be prepared to do.

I have never felt rich but I feel more fortunate than many people.

I also put at the top of my list of things that matter that I and the children are happy and healthy. If you are ill or depressed it does not matter how much money you have you feel rotten.

yes I can have the heating on as much as I like - hearing and lighting are about £4000 - £5000 a year and I am lucky I don't need to worry. I rarely worry about food bills. However I hardly buy any clothes to save money, dye my own hair despite earning a fair amount etc. We all make choices based on our income and desires.

I suppose as a teenager I began planning how I could afford the school fees the original poster cannot afford and in a sense we reap what we sow in life.

singaporeswing Sun 09-Feb-14 10:50:56

DP and I are what most would call rich. Everything we earn is disposable income and we have a combined joint income of around £180k after tax.

We do however live quite a nomadic lifestyle, have to pack up and move countries on a drop of the hat according to DP's company (we're talking every 3-4 months), work very long hours including weekends and live far away from our loved ones.

Our plan is to do this to get together a decent deposit, quit our jobs, go travelling and then buy a house.

Peers say that we are lucky, they are jealous etc but we have sacrificed a lot and taken a lot of risks to be in this position. Some haven't paid off, some have.

SnowBells Sun 09-Feb-14 11:13:32

It's all relative. DH & I ave an income that apparently puts up above 96% of the population.

Given the costs in the UK South East though, that does not amount to much. You have to remember housing costs is high.

Our combined gross income is a bit above £100k p.a. That amounts to a net income of around £60k. Granted, DH pays around 6% into his pension which is matched by his employer (to give 12%). I only pay about 1% into my pension as my employer pays 11% into it, too (so it's also 12%). PLUS, DH still has student loans.

Yes, about £35k is pure tax and NI.

It's much more than we ever had 5 years ago, when DH was still a PhD student, and I was the only one working (and I got made redundant as well!). But we are still watching the pennies, and still trying to climb our careers. I reckon, we could get to a combined gross income of about £140k or hopefully above that within the next three years. And we are really working towards that. We have to, if we want to afford private schools...

NearTheWindmill Sun 09-Feb-14 11:42:23

We are very close to the top of that earnings table that is sometimes linked on here but where we live (London) we feel comfortable and certainly live amongst people who are vastly richer.

We have a nice house, children in indys and no debt or mortgage. But we aren't extravagant; we've never bought a brand new car for example, I'm happy with clothes from the High Street and the odd good coat or bag, may be not Primarni but not usually more than Jigsaw. We don't have takeaways and fillet steak is a once a flood treat. Whilst I think nothing of having a coffee and snack with dd at weekends I wouldn't dream of eating out properly more often than very occasionally. A perfect examply will be Valentine's day next weekend - of course I'll have flowers but I'll buy them reduced on Saturday or Sunday and would be livid with DH if he wasted money on the actual day when there's a huge mark-up.

But to get to that position I worked 12 hours a day from 20-35; the year our son was born my DH worked 12 hours a day and every weekend bar 5. When I went into labour far too early with our second son, my DH couldn't come immediately - he got there to see his son die.

There is often a price to be paid and sacrifices to be made. I work now, but locally and fairly low key compared to what I did in the 80s and 90s but I am happy with that. Most of all it gives me some sanity and keeps me grounded.

My dream as a young teenager was to have a nice house (4 beds) with a guest room and a run around car of my own. At that stage I didn't think beyond the provinces. I worked towards that at the beginning.

I think the OP does have wealth - she's 29 and her child is 11 so has a life time of relative independence and freedom ahead of her. I was nearly 50 at her stage with a lifetime of achy joints and hot flushes ahead of me. We didn't even start on the family stuff until we were mid 30s.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 09-Feb-14 11:51:48

My DH earns 150k a year, I'm a SAHM, we have a mortgage, use state schools and I feel really rich. It's great to be honest. I've found I use minimal time or energy on drudge stuff so can focus on planning nice things. Weekends are full of eating out and days out not working or doing household chores. Every couple of months we have a mini break and twice a year we have a massive holiday. So there is always something to look forward to. If there is a way of improving things with money then we have that option. Shitty things still happen but money can sometimes help. For example my son has a disability, but we are able to get him seen by a top consultant two months which has really helped him. I have been so poor in the past and I try to appreciate what I now have.

TalkinPeace Sun 09-Feb-14 13:12:04

^ I have been so poor in the past and I try to appreciate what I now have.^

and the appreciation of what you have is what makes you wealthy rather than just rich
there are too many people who do not understand the value of the privilege they have
many of them sit in the House of Commons hmm

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 09-Feb-14 13:37:04

That's a nice thing to say. Thank you.

Millie2013 Sun 09-Feb-14 19:22:49

The in laws are rich, by any standards, but they are also bloody miserable and don't appear to enjoy their wealth much.
We are more than comfortable, but we have struggled at times and I don't think I am any happier now than I was then, maybe just a little less stressed, from day to day

LauraBridges Sun 09-Feb-14 19:30:46

Talkin is very wise in saying the appreciation of what you have is what makes you rich. I woke up today breathing the fresh air through the open window and felt so good to be alive and there was something about the air that made me feel so good. If you can delight purely in fresh air even that can make you happy rather than thinking about what you don't have.

(nearThe's points seem similar to our lives/past. We did well. We worked very hard. Imagine returning to work after 2 weeks off to have a baby (although I certainly certainly recommend it)- that kind of hard. Not everyone wants to make the same choices ).

bakeroony Sun 09-Feb-14 19:36:09

To give a bit of context, I grew up poor and watching every penny, and am now fortunate to be comfortable.

I feel rich at the moment because I've got £1.8k of disposable income coming in every month, and although most of this goes into savings, it also means:

- I don't always notice the amount I pay when I type in my PIN, e.g. at the supermarket: part of this is because it always comes to the same amount give or take £20 but also because I'm not that bothered about an extra £20
- I can buy a £30/£40 dress every couple of weeks without worrying
- I can have the heating on without feeling guilty much
- I can buy flowers every week (my DM sees them as a gross extravagance)
- The only thing that limits what we put in our trolley is an awareness of healthy eating and our general likes/dislikes
- I sometimes forget that it's payday!
- I can fill up the car to a full tank rather than just putting £10 in

The best thing is being able to splash out on presents my family will actually like - such as a spa day for my Mum or a holiday - and being able to financially support DM if she's stuck in a particular month.

TalkinPeace Sun 09-Feb-14 19:59:51

To give context,
my family are rich
for various reasons I grew up poor but surrounded by wealth
then got well off again
then got poor again
am now pretty comfortable

when you've put milk and bread on a credit card one month and booked flights to the US the following month, you learn that money is only part of the state of mind.

Preciousbane Sun 09-Feb-14 20:11:15

I grew up in extreme poverty and I am now what I would class as very comfortable. We did the where do you fit in calculator

It is rough and not perfect but very interesting and we come out as 80% better off than the rest of the country. When I worked before ill health got me we were about 89% better off. So whilst we are not Russian ogliarchs we are certainly very comfortable.

It basically means choice and less fear though I would swap money for my health back any day.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sun 09-Feb-14 20:11:22

My story is
Grew up with two full time working parents so we were fine for money but lived on a really awful estate.
Went to a grammar school in a nice area which made me hate the estate more.
My family moved to the nice area for about 18 months.
I became a teen mum and ended up back on the estate but in a worse bit.
Went to university as a single mum living in real poverty.
Met my DH, he had nothing, got married, he got a good job,brought our first house, brought a nicer house, had a baby, he got a better job,had another baby, he got an even better job, brought a bigger house, I got a job, I left my job when DS3 was diagnosed with epilepsy, DH got an even better job then we got our perfect for us house last summer.

NearTheWindmill Sun 09-Feb-14 20:16:03

I had teenage years a bit like that talkin never quite that bad perhaps but zero security. From the day I started I work I vowed never again and just started salting it away and not taking risks or every spending more than I had.

Our children have greater freedom than that and it really worries me that they (well one of them) will be careless over money matters.

MrsYoungSalvoMontalbano Sun 09-Feb-14 20:21:19

We are probably rich - we have no mortgage, live in a large house in good area, DC in top ranking indie schools, don't worry about heating etc, and could afford to have fancy holidays if we wanted to (we don't) and do not worry if the car needs fixing. But we like simple things - I am happiest sitting in the garden with a book while the DC kick a ball around. We do not do designer - I was complimented last week on my 'designer dress' - it was from ASDA grin. The DC save for stuff if they want it - luckily they show no interest in stuff.
The absence of worry is an enormous privilege and allows me to train in a job which pays peanuts, is tough, but worthwhile and I enjoy it, and allows DH to give large amounts to a charity he is heavily involved in. The DC will have to earn their own.

Liara Sun 09-Feb-14 20:22:08

It's meaningless. Because the word 'rich' includes a factor of your expectations as well as your income.

I know people who have hundreds of millions in the bank and in assets and who constantly worry about money. One of them said to me, in a sorry-for-himself voice 'I have come to terms with the fact that this is the last private jet I will be able to buy'.

I know people who feel like 500k a year (in perpetuity) is just not enough 'to be financially independent'.

I know people with families who fight like scavengers over a tiny proportion of the assets - when they already have enough to keep themselves, their children and their grandchildren on incomes of over 100k for the rest of their lives.

I know people who have inherited 10s of millions when very young and it did enormous damage to their self esteem and life prospects - they became a target for leeches everywhere and felt that no one gave a damn about the person behind the money.

For myself, while in a completely different league, I have had many years where dh and I were both on very high incomes. Not millions, but enough that we never had to worry about money. We decided to quit all that and head for a much simpler life, and we are undoubtedly happier now than we were when we had a lot more, although we could no longer afford to send our dc to independent school if we wanted to.

I am by no means saying that it is harder to have loads of cash than not to, but it is not the recipe for happiness that people think it is.

this fits very well with some of the rich people I know.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 10-Feb-14 16:04:31

We are pretty comfortable - not in the way some are here but in that I was cold earlier so I bumped the heating on, we eat out regularly, private school is doable (although slightly tight) if we want it, if I see a top I like I buy it.

It is nice. It is a whole area of life that we don't worry about. We have lots of other worries - will baby ds ever sleep comes to mind- but money is not one of them. And that really is a luxury.

I feel like I never have a spare penny to rub together most of the time - even though I budget meticulously on a spread sheet - to the actual penny. But there is always something that eats up any disposeable and saving an emergency fund is out of the question when I save every month for birthday funds, christmas fund, school uniforms, summer holidays (never taken my kids away on a holiday), budgeting for winter/summer clothes (though I happily take second-hand where I can for play clothes, I'm not precious and actually very grateful).. I have three children...

Saving for a deposit, or even thinking about it is completely out of the question.. I feed five of us on a shopping budget of £60 per week because I meal plan meticulously - that included toiletries and house cleaners etc.. I don't have any TV subscriptions etc, I live a very frugal life and we live pay day to pay day.. HOWEVER, this is the trade-off I/we chose when we moved to a house in the area we live in - it's nice and has good schools etc..

I'm not really bothered about 'stuff' per se, but of course I can't deny that I would like to experience 'how the other half live' and not to have to go to bed every night worrying (which I know helps nothing in the slightest!) If we're cold, we all put on a jumper lol, unless the thermometer is reading 16 degrees or lower...

...and really, my main desire to experience money is literally about the choices, particularly re. schooling. I would like to be able to give my children choices and I can't and I guess I feel bad because of that, guilty if you will. They are lucky of course, they are loved and wanted, bright as buttons, clean and happy and live in a lovely home with a lovely and supportive extended family but I can't help feeling bitter (as bad as that makes me sound) that I can't choose to give them the best education without a second thought - of course this is my shortcoming and not anybody elses, I do not begrudge others their lifestyle as they have of course earned it and deserve it... So it's not a personal thing, just a general thing...

Creamycoolerwithcream Mon 10-Feb-14 18:19:45

But you are able to give them a nice home in a good area with good schools. You already doing what parents would love to be able to do. You should be proud of yourself.

Jaisalmer Mon 10-Feb-14 18:34:35

Liara that link was interesting. I would consider that I like nice things but those images really were quite repulsive. Maybe we all have a bar at which we would happily spend up to but after that we would begin to feel uncomfortable.

A decade ago we were very comfortably off but I regret so much that we wasted much of the money and didn't save anything at all. I wish I could rewind the clock as we are now in a very different position but you can't can you.

OP you sound like you have your head on ok, wish for a bit more but realise that what you have is adequate (not enough I know but more than a lot have). It is human to want more, we wouldn't have been as successful as a species if we didn't strive all the time to better ourselves.

Mintyy Mon 10-Feb-14 18:38:36

I think being rich has plenty of downsides and stresses. Being very comfortable would be nice, but I don't think I would like to be so rich that neither of us had to work, for instance. That is not a particularly fulfilling life.

Jaisalmer Mon 10-Feb-14 18:40:40

Oooh I don't know Mintyy! Me and my DH have tons of hobbies and interests and you could set up trusts and charities to funnel and manage some of the wealth into. I'm sure I would be very happy trying to lead a fulfilling life grin!

MissMilbanke Mon 10-Feb-14 18:51:04

Why does work fulfill you though...aren't there other things to make you feel complete ?

I suppose it depends what your vocation was or if you were self made millionaire then you might still want to keep your hand in, but I think not working has its advantages.

Creamycoolerwithcream Mon 10-Feb-14 18:53:41

I don't work and I feel super fulfilled.

BronzeHorseman Mon 10-Feb-14 19:00:16

Being rich? It's wonderful smile I have lovely children, I have time to do things that I enjoy and they enjoy some great activities.

We also have hardly any money but we are certainly rich.

"Some people are so poor that all they have is money" - not sure who said that originally.

Aelfrith Mon 10-Feb-14 19:02:57

* Precious* that's a really interesting link

I put in my info and it turns out that we are better off than 26% of the population. Our budget is tight but I don't feel like I or the DCs miss out on anything. (Indie school was never going to possible on our incomes).

We eat well because I plan and shop carefully, the DCs do various activities, we have paid-for TV channels, pay into pensions etc. I can put the heating on, if I see a bargain (less than £20 or so) I can buy it.

I've been really well off in my life (income of 80k) and absolutely skint (homeless when parents went bankrupt and house reposessed). It doesn't make a lot of difference once you've got enough to put a roof over your head, feed yourself and your Dcs and keep warm and clothed. Its a bloody disgrace that some people are surviving on food banks and payday loans.

I'd say we are comfortable even with a mortgage, credit card to pay off, and threes DCs, living in the south east.

I have everthing I need and there's nothing that I want. (Don't mean that smugly...mean wealth is a state of mind once your basic needs are taken care of)

SnowBells Mon 10-Feb-14 19:12:08

The thing is… once you are rich, you sort of end up having to spend more. Just on maintenance.

My previous boss, for example, spends £60k per year maintaining his garden. All DCs in top indies, etc. Let's say his household expenditure is probably close to £500k any given year.

He never thought he was 'rich' though.

Sad51 Mon 10-Feb-14 19:28:07

You are asking the wrong person!

I was born into poverty. Dm was a young single parent and received no financial assistance from my df. We did not go without food but there was definitely lack. We went through periods of having very few clothes esp whilst as teenagers which was awful. I worked p/t from the age of 16 and continued to supplement my dm's low income for the next 10 years.

My time at university was great. I paid no fees, received a grant and had a pt job. I gave dm x amount for the month and the remainder was mine. I bought dresses to go clubbing for £50-60 and only wore them once or twice. I ate out a lot.

Fast forward 16 years and I spend no more than £30 on each item of clothing. We only eat out for celebrations, do not buy take aways/magazines/coffees/lunch out.

Our join salary is over £60k but we are in major debt (long story), negative equity and have no savings.

I think worry about money all the time and feel I deserve absolutely nothing no treats until debts are clear. My self esteem has hit an all time low.

I feel I have no choice and hate that I cannot treat myself to going to the hairdressers/getting nails done without reducing the food budget.

Being rich means you do not have to penny pinch and constantly look at your budget wondering where you can cut corners.

It is affecting my marriage sad

ApacheIndian Mon 10-Feb-14 19:36:16

I am very rich, to the extent that I don't know just how rich I am. This is through wealth which will be inherited. The reason I don't know just how rich I am is because my parents have never told me. Had it been a smaller, more manageable number, we would have been told, probably.

Growing up we lived in a nice house, went to private schools, my parents had nice cars. We never had to worry about having enough money for food or heating or hot water. However, while my friends at school wore French Connection, I wore clothes from C&A. While my friend were bought Minis or MGs on their 16th birthdays, I was given driving lessons at 17 (because we lived in the sticks) and had joint use of a third hand VW Golf with my brother. Everything we had, we were taught to value and appreciate. My mother grew up dirt poor (think one egg between four children on a Sunday morning, lights on for an hour after dark etc), and ran the house.

As we got older, we were taught that with money comes responsibility. And as we got older still, we were taught that money is (a) the root of pretty much all evil and so must never be an end in itself (b) that we were more forunate than 99.9999999% of the world's population (c) that to abuse our wealth in any way is a pitiful, cruel disrespect to those who struggle.

Although I have always been taught to budget, save, and spend wisely, I have no idea what it is like to not have any money. I have never known what it is like to go without. You can reach your own conclusions about what this does for (a) your relationships with other people, specifically your spouse (and their family), once you've found one who doesn't want you for the lifestyle (b) how to raise children who are neither spoilt nor having to apologise for being born to me (c) how you decide on your values and principles (in terms of politics, for example) when you know that the vast majority of it simply does not apply to you (d) your credibility and relevance in the real world...the list goes on. There is no "woe is me" implied there, I'm answering the OP's question of what it is like.

Being rich has eliminated a life obstacle that most of the planet's population struggles to overcome all their lives, before they can get on with the task of progressing. But, this does not mean that there are no further obstacles left. Far from it, very very many new ones appear. To not fall at the first hurdle is an enormous advantage, of which I am always conscious. But that is it, really.

LauraBridges Wed 12-Feb-14 16:21:17

Sad, that's sad.
Mind you I am reasonably well off and only once had my nails done, before my daughter's wedding and loathed it and I dye my own hair at home. Sitting in the hairdressers and in nail bars is absolutely dreadful, a waste of time and money. I'd have to be paid before I'd be prepared to endure that theft of my time. Perhaps the answer then is just to turn things round in your head and look on the bright side.

(The interesting point re Apache is is SHE rich or is it just that she might potentially in future inherit money? There is a major difference in legal terms. It is also important to know in case divorce ever happened - if teh money is in her name her husband gets at least half of it. If virtually nothing is in her name it may be kept out of his clutches. If you might come into family money the family might turn against someone (I have often seen it happen) and ensure the money supply from the trust is cut off.

ApacheIndian Thu 13-Feb-14 01:57:28

LauraBridges the issue you allude to in your second paragraph is one of the problems that would come under my (a).

I am firmly of the belief that the level beyond which money is more trouble than it's worth is actually surprisingly low.

ChubbyKitty Thu 13-Feb-14 02:05:46

We were 'comfortable' when I was in my last job. Then I lost that job and now my dad sometimes helps us to buy food for the week.

The sad part is when we were comfortable I was actually only on £1000 a month, DP £1100, so it was still a drop in the ocean compared to a lot of people.

I much preferred it then. These day I panic when the postman turns up. sad

LauraBridges Thu 13-Feb-14 07:10:54

The level beyond which money is more trouble than it's worth? I've never got to that point so I cannot say. I am happy to try it out though.... As I love things like tax rules and laws and money and using my calculator and that kind of thing I am probably not the sort of person who would find having a lot more too much of a problem. The hatred of all this stupid beauty stuff is just that I have lots of other things in my life I would prefer to do and am glad I never get nails done and things like that.

I suppose my point was more about CBT and thoughts - if you can turn your thoughts around so that things are positive then whatever your income level you can be happy. it's really simple although not everyone finds it easy to do and happiness is actually a lot more important than money and not linked to it.

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

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

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.

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

Apache I like your post.

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.

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.

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

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

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 14:26:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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... (-_-)

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

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 .

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.

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