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to think some people have no idea of how some people live?

(127 Posts)
ihatevirginmobile Tue 01-Dec-15 23:02:44

Being vague cos I like the person and I don't want to out myself or them but it did make me think they have no idea...
We were talking about paying for an activity for children - a charity run by volunteers and the 'fees' are deliberately kept as low as possible to be inclusive. Can be paid monthly (so small amounts) or four times a year - which works out at max £25 - but actual amounts vary for various reasons. Payment can be made by internet banking, cash or cheq.
Person I was talking to was complaining about having to make the payments (by bank transfer -takes a few minutes) - it would be better just to make it quarterly payments of the same amount so they could set up a standing order. And to make it more rather than less so the charity didn't miss out - they would happily pay £10-15 more a year for the convenience....their time was worth more than that...
They are employed in a public service role that is relatively well paid and we do live in a relatively affluent area - I would agree that most people would be fine with it - could easily afford it...(I could but have struggled in the past)
But I also know from something else that we do have the odd person who is less comfortable and struggling - and £10-15 a year for some people is a is a couple of hours work at NMW.
So AIBU to feel a bit cross ... and .. I don't know - sad? despairing? ... that people can exist in a bubble and have no idea how difficult things can be for some people...or maybe I'm wrong and isn't really a lot of money so maybe they have a point...

Queenbean Tue 01-Dec-15 23:10:23

I absolutely agree with you

I asked a (much wealthier) friend for some suggestions for presents for Christmas and he suggested all designer items. I sort of jokingly said "oh I'm on a bit of a budget so probably not that" and he said "don't worry - they have a section of cheaper stuff, all under £150". It was candles and pants and that was it.

I felt utterly shit that he hadn't just considered that the cost of one of his stupid candles was the total budget for me and highly embarrassed about the whole thing.

I think that people should be aware that others may not find things so easy and that circumstances are all so different. Some people are just thoughtless though rather than selfish.

TheHouseOnTheLane Tue 01-Dec-15 23:10:43

YANBU. Some people seem to have no imagination. You see it here on MN too. Someone posts about struggling with money and people are mostly kind and helpful but SOME posters will say "Have your food shopping delivered if you can't drive"

Without thinking that supermarkets have rules about spending over a certain amount....when I was struggling I spend around 25 pounds a week on food...not enough to have it delivered.

Or they say "Why don't you buy in bulk?" or go to Costco without thinking of the extra costs involved..membership and more initial layout.

Someone needs shoes for their child....they only have a it's cheap shoes all the way....the shoes last a term, and another pair is needed.

So that person ends up paying out way more than the person who'se got 45 pounds to spend on a good pair. It's like a tax for being poor!

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 01-Dec-15 23:19:14


I've totally fucked our finances for the next two months - of course Christmas and my twins birthday falls in this time - and my friend at work seemed totally aghast that o couldn't drop £120 on my stepsons xmas present and still afford to buy stuff for my own children.

But then, no word of a lie, she has spent £2k in the last week on a couple of days away and then her sons birthday.

A different world.

dodobookends Tue 01-Dec-15 23:30:07

I was at a large family & friends party a while ago at someone's house, and I happened to be standing in the kitchen when the dishwasher was being loaded. I said how I would really love a dishwasher, and one of the teenagers said "Well why don't you buy one then?". I explained that our kitchen was tiny and we didn't have the room for one. Her reply? "Why don't you just buy a house with a bigger kitchen then?"

Andro Tue 01-Dec-15 23:31:18

You are absolutely correct op, the lack of a point of reference is a recurring issue across many areas of life.

Geraniumred Tue 01-Dec-15 23:35:40

Having lots of money can make some people seriously unimaginative.

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 01-Dec-15 23:39:13

£10 buys nappies for the week for DD and DS2. (Sainsburys because more expensive pampers are shite)

I spend about £40 a week on shopping for myself and DC
I can't afford to spend much more than that. And that budget includes cleaning products, nappies, wipes, baby milk (if ive no healthy start vouchers left or im using them in fruit/veg) etc.

Egosumquisum Tue 01-Dec-15 23:39:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Backawaynow2 Tue 01-Dec-15 23:39:56

You only know what you know though.

As working class 70s kids me and dh know poverty.

However we have had huge peaks and massive troughs financially in our married lives and you get used to both. You don't forget how awful skint is though


Backawaynow2 Tue 01-Dec-15 23:42:37

Fatty where do you shop? Just wondering as we did ASDA and it was good but since discovered Aldi's and it's cheaper by far and better quality meat/fish.

BackforGood Tue 01-Dec-15 23:44:12

There's a massive difference though, between what has been posted in the OP and some of the replies.

I think the OP's friend has a point. Setting up a standing order for a monthly or quarterly fixed amount does make a lot of sense for the vast majority of people rather than having to remember to pay each month. It is particularly helpful when on a tight budget to know the amounts that will be going out each month, IMO.
I also don't think that £10 or £15 difference over the course of a year is enough to make a difference of affordability for most families - what are you talking, around 40p a week? Plus of course, it would be good if the charity / activity weren't struggling in quite such a hand to mouth way, as they would then have wriggle room to make exceptional cases for those who genuinely couldn't afford it.

That, however, is entirely different from the first reply.

ihatevirginmobile Tue 01-Dec-15 23:44:17

I'm glad I'm NBU - I really did have a moment of doubt..if you are busy it is a pain -but then you can be less wealthy and busy...
Anyway I have come up with an evil cunning plan -
I am going to suggest that they suggest the charity should offer the quarterly payments as an option.
So people can still pay monthly or every few months but those who wish to can pay £15 a year extra and pay by standing order.
I do wonder how many would seriously take them up on the offer of paying more for the convenience....especially if they know it is costing more than others are paying. But I could be wrong...and if there is a good uptake maybe they can charge less for the 'pay monthly' people ...

nattyknitter Tue 01-Dec-15 23:48:46

I do wonder how many would seriously take them up on the offer of paying more for the convenience

It works for the DVLA, it costs more overall to pay monthly than annually, but a lot of people take up the monthly option to spread the cost. Not quite the same thing, I know, but people will pay more for something that suits them better.

Unreasonablebetty Tue 01-Dec-15 23:50:01

Tell me about it! I've a friend who talks about being skint all the time, then goes and takes the whole family to the cinema and out to eat, then manages to find the money to book a 2 month holiday for themselves and their four children next year, then they are coming back for a week and off on holiday on their own...and I'm sat like,
None at all!

Bambambini Tue 01-Dec-15 23:54:17

I think you are really milking this one for me reason. Yes, many people live in a bubble - but this situation isn't that kind of a bubble.

ihatevirginmobile Tue 01-Dec-15 23:54:32

xpost -but I do see your point of view back it isn't a lot...
but then it is if you think of it as a pair of shoes for a DC or a couple of hours work...
And natty the DVLA thing is like Thehouse's poor tax -I pay my car tax and insurance annually - because I can and it is cheaper in the long run. But if I didn't have the money spare upfront it would cost me more...

BackforGood Tue 01-Dec-15 23:55:02

Looking at it from the charity / activity's pov though, it is very helpful to have the regular income of standing orders, and even more helpful to have the cash in the account in advance, so options that a lot of Scout Groups / Guide Companies, etc do is either £10 per month by Standing order, or £30 cheque at the beginning of term - so those who want the discount pay in advance.
You can't charge more for those who are helping the group out by making their payments regular.
You seem to be forgetting the role of the volunteers running the activity in all of this.

TheHouseOnTheLane Tue 01-Dec-15 23:55:25

BackForGood when every week sees you literally running out of money 2 days before payday, 40p a week is a lot. Every penny is a lot. That 40p could mean the difference between not being able to afford milk in those last days.

Bambambini Tue 01-Dec-15 23:55:44

For "some" reason.

BackforGood Tue 01-Dec-15 23:55:57

x-post......where are you going to get a pair of shoes for your dc for £10-£15 ? shock

BackforGood Tue 01-Dec-15 23:57:49

House - I am aware of that.
I am also aware that that is probably not the case for the vast majority of people. If it is, then every activity I've ever taken my dc to, have always been very clear they would want the parents to speak discreetly to the leader and something has been worked out - which, as I said in my first post - they have more flexibility to do if they have a slightly healthier bank balance.

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 01-Dec-15 23:58:24

backaway I shop at Sainsbury's. The only aldi near me is nasty and filthy. The lidl bakery smell knocks me sick. And sainsbos is near my mums so I can have a brew with her when I go. We also buy a lot of Sainsbury's own brand stuff. It's better than asdas or Morrison's IMO. The nappies and wipes are the only ones that don't give my DD nappy rash, and the chocolate is good too. grin.
I've always been skint though (I say always, I wasn't as a child!). I've learnt to batch cook where possible, and freeze. I plan every meal carefully and every penny spent is carefully considered.

backforgood I know to some people £10-15 over the course of a year isnt much, but that's a birthday present for one of my DC. Or an emergency pair of shoes. Or a school trip. Or even a school jumper if my 7 year old rips his.
Especially when you consider all the other stuff that could crop up. This year I've had to buy a new sofa and a new cooker. So yeah, it can be a lot to some people. We survive, because we have to, but that money could be needed for something else that quite frankly, as far as I'm concerned, takes priority over a charity.

TheHouseOnTheLane Tue 01-Dec-15 23:59:36

BackforGood Shoezone. Crappy fake leather ones which work for school.

ihatevirginmobile Tue 01-Dec-15 23:59:49

Not saying anything but....

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