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To sometimes wonder how people afford their lifestyles?

(354 Posts)
Babysafari Sat 18-Jun-16 21:28:48

Most people that I know appear to have really nice lifestyles. New cars, really nice houses all done out immaculate and on nice roads. Holidays abroad several times a year to nice places too. I've also noticed that most of the parents at school pick their dc up themselves (I'm on maternity leave). There are loads of dads at the school gates too and a lot of mums and dads do the school runs together. A lot of these people are really young too.

One of the dads is a road sweeper so won't be being paid loads and his wife doesn't work, yet they are always doing the school run together but they seem to have the above lifestyle.

Me and dh have a decent household income, hardly rich but 50k, we're not struggling at all but our cars are old, we can only afford cheap holidays, dh works really long hours and is never there for school runs.

I'm not being deliberately envious, logically I know they could have family help or anything I guess people just make it look so easy, I wonder how they do it.

Helpmepls1 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:30:15

The key word is appears!

LittleMoonbuggy Sat 18-Jun-16 21:31:49

Sometimes they have had inheritances, or financial help from parents to buy a house.

Or they may be up to their eyeballs in debt!

Some people are amazingly good at stretching every penny and making their money go far.

Chottie Sat 18-Jun-16 21:32:42

There was a similar thread about this recently......

Lots of suggestions were given

Credit cards maxed out
Lottery / pools winners
Bank rolled by DPs
Black economy
Just good at managing money / finding bargains

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Sat 18-Jun-16 21:33:13

I know at least two or three families who buy everything on credit, on the surface they have new car, amazing holidays, massive tv etc etc but they owe THOUSANDS on cards. I'd personally rather keep debt at a manageable level than constantly have brand new stuff when nothing wrong with the old stuff!

Babysafari Sat 18-Jun-16 21:33:39

Just to add I'm not being horrible about any of these people as they're mostly nice people I like. They just make life look so easy.

sofasetteecouch Sat 18-Jun-16 21:33:54

Some people do shift work so they can do the school pick up. That road sweeper may have started work at five am so he can do the school pick up and save on child care costs.

witsender Sat 18-Jun-16 21:33:55

More people than you would expect buy a lot on credit.

And people work all sorts of different hours, I know there were always a lot of both parents at school when I used to do pick ups.

RitchyBestingFace Sat 18-Jun-16 21:34:41

Why not just ask them? I'm sure they'd welcome being interrogated on their income and work schedules by a random stranger.

Flacidunicorn Sat 18-Jun-16 21:34:54

Keep an eye on Can't Pay, We'll Take It Away. For some people it's all smoke and mirrors, debt up to the tits.

Some people, on the other hand, have money from other sources like property, investments etc.
Your man may be a road sweeper now but he might be a millionaire that does sweeping o stay busy.

Marmalade85 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:35:51


sonlypuppyfat Sat 18-Jun-16 21:37:30

I know a woman who is a childminder has no partner and goes to theme parks most weekends a couple of Haven holidays a year and abroad once a year. My niece has no partner a part time job goes abroad brand new car and she's just bought a bulldog

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 18-Jun-16 21:38:43

Most of the people on the school runs who have nice cars either live in houses I would want to or lease them.

We all make our choices about what's important...

LastGirlOnTheLeft Sat 18-Jun-16 21:39:14

Safari, my best friend was the manager of the Court Service Dept Department. She worked in a room as large as a high school assembly hall, and every wall was covered with files detailing families that were being brought to COURT over these were not families or people who had manageable debt!!!!

She said every road in every town had families and people with uncontrollable debt that we're reaching court level.

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 18-Jun-16 21:39:29

Would = wouldn't!

Handsoffmysweets Sat 18-Jun-16 21:40:40

What about hard work OP? That tends to get you a nice lifestyle if you put the effort in. Not everyone lives on credit.

newmumwithquestions Sat 18-Jun-16 21:40:57

Could be several reasons. Maybe they are borrowing (loads of people buy cars, TVs, sofas on credit) or at the other end of the scale maybe they have saved up in the past... Eg we currently probably look like we have a better lifestyle than our current income but we upgrade when we can afford it and never before so never pay for credit and we look out for offers (eg needed dining table, kept our eyes out then bought one 2nd hand on gumtree, hardly used but less than half its new price of over 1k.)
Or could be inheritance or a family member picking up the bill?

LouieLou2013 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:40:59

Not a clue.

Although once DS starts school 2017 we will be £600 a month better off and might be able to afford some nice holidays!

I have a friend who outwardly has it all but they are drowning in debt. Keeping up appearances is important to her, me not so much.

Babysafari Sat 18-Jun-16 21:41:07

Well I'm definitely not going to ask anyone but I can quietly wonder.

Yes probably shift work. I know there are logical explanations, probably just feeling a bit envious at the minute which is a horrible way to think.

Handsoffmysweets Sat 18-Jun-16 21:43:29

What is this notion that everyone is living on credit and leasing their cars? How can people assume that someone 'probably' hasn't paid for their car?

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 18-Jun-16 21:44:28

Because people are very open about it!

AyeAmarok Sat 18-Jun-16 21:45:24

Hmm, I really dislike these threads OP, as they, without fail, always descend into 90% of people adamant that it's all done on credit cards and debt to prop up their lifestyle.

It could be anything; inheritance, surprisingly well paid job, family help, bought property at right time, very low outgoings, working from home. Anything.

I very much doubt that this many people are all piling up debt. Most people aren't stupid.

TheHobbitMum Sat 18-Jun-16 21:45:36

Sometimes you can be very frugal so money really goes far. I won't pay more than I absolutely have to for a lot of stuff so it seems like we spend far more than we do lol Holidays are super cheap (usually not always) for us 6 (classed as 4 adults 2 kids due to teenagers) and I've managed to find these deals in the past
Disneyland - 7 days staying in Disney hotel half board early July £650 all in
Major a 7 days may half term - £600 all in
France summer holidays staying Eurocamp accommodation £240 with euro tunnel
Budapest in September this year for 7 days for 8 (taking inlaws) flights & penthouse £700

The trips can be a lot cheaper than it seems, we also have a new car every 8mths as DH gets a lease car from work and he arranged to work pernament earlier so he does school pick ups everyday. We use tesco for all days out usually Alton Towers & Drayton Manor each year at least. Looks can be deceptive smile

witsender Sat 18-Jun-16 21:46:00

These threads inevitably lead to benefit chat/bashing.

AyeAmarok Sat 18-Jun-16 21:46:57

I find the debt comments very sneery actually.

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