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How do people afford nice things?

(339 Posts)
Nocares Sat 27-Feb-21 18:52:29

Looking for advice or an explanation of some sort!

Me and my DP both earn a good wage and have no kids.

We both drive very old cars and just bought our forever house (doer upper) very cheaply due to the works.

I have 0 debt . We never get anything on credit/finance we just save up for everything.

Although our monthly outgoings are low and we have spare money to save and spend, I don't understand our quality of life compared to others.

So we need a new bathroom first in our renovations which will cost about 4K all inc. We would both like newish second hand cars too at some point. To get something reliable and decent your talking about 7k each.
A new kitchen would be 10K with discount including fitting.
That there alone is 28K shock

As we pay for everything in cash as we save, I just don't see how its possible to get those things in under a decade of us saving!

A lot of our friends drive nice cars (on finance), have new kitchens or other refurbs done on their house with average incomes.

Even if you were to put everything on credit, after your repayments on top of bills and mortgage you'd have no disposable income left for years until its paid off?

I would get that people did do that, but most people still go on holidays, take maternity leaves etc. So they must still also have disposable income after paying off new car finance, credit card, and doing home renovations?

I feel like maybe we're missing a trick? confused
I can't imagine every single person I know is in huge debt! Especially as a lot of people have recently bought new homes due to stamp duty. So must have good credit.

I just don't see how its possible for us to do what we want to do within a reasonable time frame without it taking us a decade whilst we also live frugally.

The everyday people we know also have average jobs and income so its not like were surrounded by wealthy people either!

Am I missing something?!

OP’s posts: |
idontlikealdi Sat 27-Feb-21 18:54:26

Finance or different priorities to you.

partyatthepalace Sat 27-Feb-21 18:55:50

I think people often stick home renovations on the mortgage, on the grounds that it increases the value of the house.

A lot of people do carry a lot of debt also, mortgaged to the hilt etc.

BitchIAmFromChicago Sat 27-Feb-21 18:56:43

I think everyone I know has cars on finance and has borrowed on the mortgage to fund projects like kitchens etc...

user1936784158962 Sat 27-Feb-21 18:56:53

Ok, but if you pay for a kitchen on 0% finance then you get the kitchen now and the monthly payments are no different to putting a sum into savings each month.

Except that inflation would mean you'd have to put those monthly saving sums away for longer than you'd be paying back the finance in order to buy the equivalent kitchen in however many years.

In that scenario your determination to only pay cash costs you more not less.

jeannie46 Sat 27-Feb-21 18:58:35

They choose their parents carefully.
One's that can help them with deposits (and much more)

PenisBeakerIsMyFavouriteMuppet Sat 27-Feb-21 18:58:55

I have a small mortgage, lots of savings, and no other debt.

I earn more than most people. So does my husband.

Surely that’s the case for a lot of people; they save.

Nocares Sat 27-Feb-21 19:03:23

@user1936784158962 you know what. I hadn't thought of it like that! Thank you!

I guess me being financially risk averse, doesn't always pay off.
I get irrationally worried that if you lose your job then you'd be screwed if you can't pay something back, at least if you've saved then you won't have the kitchen but you'll have your savings and no debt.

But maybe thats not the right mentality as then you can't enjoy nice things I suppose.

OP’s posts: |
1940s Sat 27-Feb-21 19:03:25

It depends what phase of your life you're in. I didn't have nice things when we got our doer upper house. But I was fortunate enough to be on the property ladder so I didn't mind. Once the house was done there was more scope for treats. It's very hard to do everything at once - renovating a house, buying two new cars etc.
Also sometimes finance isn't a bad option if you can save to pay back. Eg if a new kitchen costs £1000 or ten £100 instalments you can get your kitchen and save to repay rather than save to buy. Finance and loans are a bad idea if you can not imagine saving that amount every month.

LittleMachine Sat 27-Feb-21 19:03:35

I think you have answered your own question there, lots of people buy nice things on finance.
I was 25 when we bought our house and I'm now almost 35. We just had a shit bathroom kitchen for ages until we could afford it. Got our cars on finance or leased, stick our nice holidays on the credit cards, then pay off, usually with DH's bonuses.
Earning a good wage and juggling I guess.

shinynewapple21 Sat 27-Feb-21 19:04:07

Presumably if you had bought a house which was smaller/ in cheaper area but didn't require a lot of work doing on it, then you would have a lot more disposable income .

Nocares Sat 27-Feb-21 19:04:57

@jeannie46 hahahaha I most certainly didn't luck out on the parent side of things when it comes to family money!
Neither did DP! Damn.. knew I was missing a trick!

OP’s posts: |
Onedropbeat Sat 27-Feb-21 19:05:02

I chose a small house that left me with savings to afford to do the kitchen bathroom and windows in cash

CherryFox Sat 27-Feb-21 19:05:44

How much do you earn OP?

Yes, lots of people buy on finance and some have helpful parents etc.

Yellowbowlbanana Sat 27-Feb-21 19:07:23

We come under your bracket. We earn quite a lot relative to most but we don't have lots of money.
We paid for a large renovation on our house by remortgaging and using some of the equity. We will try and offset this by over paying the mortgage.
We both drive old cars. We will need new ones in a couple of years and will try and save to put as much towards as possible but we may also take out a bank loan which we'd aim to pay off quickly.
We have relatively cheap holidays which we shop around for and always book independently (as a family of 6 it would be very expensive to try and do it otherwise). We save for these and pay for them outright.
Most of the people I know like the ones you are referring to have been given money along the way either via inheritance or from parents. So whereas we always feel like we're playing catch-up, they started from an easier place.

huuuuunnnndderrricks Sat 27-Feb-21 19:07:46

It's obviously finance although dh gets big bonuses and gets given shares in his company and we sold some and paid for a extension last year but I imagine we are in the minority .
It's perfectly normal to get a short term loan for house improvements. Cars , most people get on finance and never own it but that's a choice you don't need to take .

NeedToGetOuttaHere Sat 27-Feb-21 19:08:00

We’ve always bought new houses that don’t need any work doing so that takes care of that expense.
We’ve bought cars on a mixture of cash, loans or finance over the years depending on our situation.
Mostly though it’s case of getting older and monthly costs going down percentage wise compared with income going up.

BikeRunSki Sat 27-Feb-21 19:08:06

Big house deposits initially (parents, inheritance, life savings.....) - so smaller mortgage repayments, and a lot more debt than you anticipate.

Some of the cars might be company cars.

Dailywalk Sat 27-Feb-21 19:08:22

Do you need the cars at the same time as the kitchen? Do you need two cars? Kitchen on finance?

blowinahoolie Sat 27-Feb-21 19:08:44

We had to wait a decade after moving into our new home before getting a new kitchen and bathroom. We just didn't have the money when we first moved in. Bathroom and kitchen both were badly needing redone but we just made do with what we had. That's life. It takes time. You can't just instantly have nice stuff unless you take out credit.

Notavegan Sat 27-Feb-21 19:08:48

When I was younger I had a financial strategy like yours. Now I have a car load and have remortaged to extend. I think finances improve as you go up in career (kids aside). Plus I seem to care less

Nocares Sat 27-Feb-21 19:10:40

@shinynewapple21 nope! House was dirt cheap, even when renovations are completed we won't have spent as much as it would cost to buy a completed house.

Also we have plenty of disposable income, but not enough to just save and buy a kitchen one month then get a new car 3 months later and then a bathroom etc. If you see what I mean?
Then if we wanted to also go on holidays and enjoy life on top then we'd be saving up for decades!!

Even with our very good disposable income, it would take years and years to buy nice things through savings!

OP’s posts: |
NeedToGetOuttaHere Sat 27-Feb-21 19:11:05

Why won’t you take out a loan for one thing at a time if you can afford the repayments?

blowinahoolie Sat 27-Feb-21 19:11:16

Also cars you are seeing could be on a lease if people own businesses. Often they are part of the deal. One of my neighbours drives a BMW coupe but we suspect it's through his business it is on loan. He works in hospitality, so furloughed. Everything is not always as it seems.

CocoPark Sat 27-Feb-21 19:14:30


I think everyone I know has cars on finance and has borrowed on the mortgage to fund projects like kitchens etc...

In a nutshell.

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