Advanced search

To wonder how so many people seem to have so many nice things?

(134 Posts)
QwangleWangle Wed 08-May-13 11:55:09

I'm sure I'll get told it's none of my business but here goes...

So many people that I know seem to have so many nice things, and so much money, and to be honest it confuses the heck out of me as to how they afford it. We have 3 children, we both work and our income is fairly high but we can't afford the things that some people seem to afford easily.

To give a couple of examples:

A friend of mine works part time as a teacher, so obviously doesn't earn a fortune. Her husband has started a business, about 2 years ago, and my friend says it's not making any money yet. They live in a massive house, worth over 350k, all beautifully furnished. Cath Kidston this. Laura Ashley that. Loads of Next furniture. That kind of thing. I saw her yesterday and she had her 2 DCs with her on their bikes and I said I liked their bike helmets and she told me that each helmet was a whopping £50!! She has also said before their weekly food shop is over £200. I just don't know how they afford it. They don't exactly skimp on things for themselves either and have plenty of clothes and holidays.

Another friend, who is a stay at home mum, and whose DP works in a factory, posted this morning on her Facebook that she was "road testing the new Cath Kidston bedding". Which isn't cheap. She has one baby girl and seems to have so many nice things for her baby; a brand new bugaboo, expensive nursery furniture, designer clothes for the baby. And then lots of nice stuff for herself too. She's always spending money in Topshop, River Island, Monsoon, and those kinds of shops. Never Primark or New Look or anywhere budget.

I'm just fascinated really and am wondering if we're missing a trick to afford all these nice things. As I said, we earn well but our bedding was £12 in Asda, the kids wear Primark and George clothes, and I can't afford to spend anywhere near £200 on a weekly supermarket shop!!

MortifiedAdams Wed 08-May-13 11:55:59


Forgetfulmog Wed 08-May-13 11:58:19

Does it matter? Some people have more money than others. Hardly requires an in depth analysis!

ExcuseTypos Wed 08-May-13 11:58:44

There are 101 reasons why they may be able to afford "nice" things.

Parents helping out, no morgage, inheritance, savings etc etc. credit cards may be the answer as well, but not necessarily so.

meddie Wed 08-May-13 11:59:12

I know a few people like this too. They are up to their eyeballs in debt. maxed out cards, loans and remortgages. Will come and bite them on the arse eventually.

adeucalione Wed 08-May-13 11:59:33

I think you are on a hiding to nothing if you try to second guess other people's finances.

At a guess - credit cards debt, financial help from parents, nice things as presents from parents, low mortgage repayments (people with tracker mortgages are much better off now than they were five years ago), income from savings/investments, cut back in other areas (eating out).

My friend is always saying this about me - but I am amazed at how much money she 'wastes' on stuff that wouldn't interest me.

WilsonFrickett Wed 08-May-13 12:00:11

Inheritance/family money/family income
Prioritising 'stuff' rather than, for eg, mortgage overpayments

Eskino Wed 08-May-13 12:01:29


ElleMcFearsome Wed 08-May-13 12:02:46

My guess would be credit, private income, really skimping on somethings (not sure what) or help from family.

We have no debt (other than the mortgage) and don't use credit. The house is tatty, as is the car. The DDs have new clothes - ours get inexpertly repaired by me. No holidays, rarely eat out. Both DH and I have a horror or debt as that's the choice we made. And I appreciate the fact that we can manage on our income and that not going into debt is a choice not a necessity.

Have friends who owe horrendous amounts of money but still go on holidays and buy new clothes. I don't know how they sleep at night, as I know I couldn't sad

Blowin Wed 08-May-13 12:06:30

OP I agree with you. My dh earns a good wage, i am a SAHM, and we have 5 kids. There is always money to buy what they need etc but i am always trying to get bargains, ie buy in tk maxx, primark etc and hardly ever buy myself new clothes. Yet i see other families and their kids to toe in monsoon or similar, their houses are full of flat screen tvs etc and they never seem to use hand me downs for the younger kids in the family as we do.

It puzzles me, and i wonder if i am tight, and should spend more on stuff, or they are spending over their means, but i feel like i have to spend as little as possible, and not splurge.

Blowin Wed 08-May-13 12:08:20

yes Elle we have no debts either apart from Mortgage. We never us a credit card, and only spend whatever cash we have surplus after mortgage, food drink and utilities are paid out.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 08-May-13 12:08:52

I dont understand why having nice things must mean you are in debt or prioritising the wrong things?

Maybe they have enough money to buy nice things?

stubbornstains Wed 08-May-13 12:09:08

I have a friend like this. Her apparent prosperity is down to credit card debt, an inheritance that she is spending on nice things, and an interest- only mortgage. She knows that she may well lose the house when the interest-only phase of the mortgage ends, but kind of accepts that hmm

LtEveDallas Wed 08-May-13 12:09:09

If these people are your friends why can't you ask them?

LaurieFairyCake Wed 08-May-13 12:11:31


I buy something fancy or designer ish every week and don't pay more than £20 ish. I had a Cath Kidston duvet cover for £12.

I LOVE posh stuff but can't afford it new.

Blowin Wed 08-May-13 12:12:11

LtEveDallas Are you serious? hmm That would be nosy. It's fine to speculate to oneself or ruminate about it on MN, but directly asking them would be just plain cheeky!

bollockstoit Wed 08-May-13 12:12:46

Ime, they are usually comfortable with a high level of debt. You could have the same as they have if you were willing to basically have a lot of debt.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 08-May-13 12:16:03

Again....why are you assuming because they have nice things?

Not everyone with nice stuff is up to their eyeballs in debt or spending their rent money on designer clothes.

caramelwaffle Wed 08-May-13 12:17:17

It is either:

High incomings

Low(er) outgoings

Plus perhaps savvy shopping/frugal shopping.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Wed 08-May-13 12:18:32

I came across a woman a while back with a car, two top of the range mobile phones (better than my old one) lovely clothes etc. I was advising her before her eviction hearing for non payment of rent at the time.

As the others have said you just don't know. I was talking to a colleague recently and she said she was shocked to find some of her friends were up to their eyeballs in debt, with a big mortgage, when they had finished paying theirs off.

Others have family money.

myron Wed 08-May-13 12:18:35

Different priorities.
Zero savings.
I know people who choose to go on a holiday and then stress over not being able to pay essential bills (hoiks up my judgy pants!)

Shanghaidiva Wed 08-May-13 12:19:10

Not sure what your point is - you are envious that others have nicer things than you? Not a very pleasant trait.

Different financial priorities, gift, inheritance, debt, savings - could be anything and frankly who cares?

bollockstoit Wed 08-May-13 12:20:10

I'm not assuming, I'm saying in my experience, if people are constantly buying lots of nice things all the time, it has quite often turned out to be on credit. I know this is not always the case though smile

QwangleWangle Wed 08-May-13 12:20:15

I think the main reason it baffles me is that in both scenarios there doesn't seem to be much income. The first friend, with the gorgeous house, I can honestly say doesn't skimp on anything, or at least doesn't appear to. They have an Audi each, and not old ones. Obviously she's not cutting back on her food shop, as she spends over £200 per week for four of them, and she doesn't appear to cut back on clothes for any of them either. I'm guessing they could be wearing jumpers all year round and not using the heating, or only having one shower a week each and doing one wash load a week to save water, but I really doubt it. They're not the type to cut back.

The other friend, who only has one child, I think may possibly cut back in other areas, plus I suppose they only have one baby. As far as I know they bought all the nice baby furniture and equipment themselves.

People must all have little secret businesses that they do working from home in the evenings that net them a fortune! grin

Fairydogmother Wed 08-May-13 12:21:06

My partner and I both work but dont earn large salaries. Our baby is due in November and we have chosen all our nursery furniture and a new pram etc. But what others dont know is that my DP sold his cherished (and mostly homemade) rally car to pay for everything.

So judging others merely on face value and assuming that they are in debt isnt fair.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: