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to think that it's okay to want 'nice' things?

(81 Posts)
Jaimx86 Fri 26-Aug-16 10:27:11

Lighthearted post about first world problems!

I was surprised by the comments on the 'news' story 'We can't live on £50,000'.

Firstly, the newspaper seems to have set the families up to look foolish as they are called 'middle class' and are said to have an 'enviable income' but the article later states that the average income is £26500, meaning as a family they are taking in £3000 less that the average family if their joint income is £50000. I wonder if they knew how the article would actually read?

Anyway, my main gripe is with the comments such as:
'I mean gym member ship , that's a luxury you don't need'
'colour hair at home and go only for haircut, simple.'
'Cry me a river. Everything shown could be cut back. Holidays, children's clubs, season tickets, hair/beauty, takeaways, gym membership, 1k a month on a childminder?!'

Why shouldn't people want nice (and pretty basic) things if they are working? That's not to say that they should buy everything they want, but I'd certainly be annoyed if I had to buy supermarket clothes without ever treating myself at other stores.

I do agree with the commenters saying £100 on Sky is a lot though. I had no idea it cost that much!! Still, if that's what they want to spend their wages on...

peppatax Fri 26-Aug-16 10:27:55

Yeah I read this and realised the maths didn't stack up either

90daychallenger Fri 26-Aug-16 10:30:11

I didn't read the whole article but I thought £50,000 for two adults and two or three kids isn't really that much, especially if they're in London.

monkeysox Fri 26-Aug-16 10:32:19

Yeah the utilities in the first bit was way too high.
Yanbu to want nice things but not at the expense or caring for dc.
People forget that if the mum with the smaller wage becomes a sahm to stop spending all wages on car and childminders then in five? Years time once all dc are in school she wont be able to walk back into a job at the same level. Bad but true.

Oysterbabe Fri 26-Aug-16 10:32:20

That isn't a huge amount to live on at all.

Soubriquet Fri 26-Aug-16 10:32:35

We pay £60 a month on sky and that is with heavily reduced channels so I can see the full package being £100+

£50,000 a year is more than enough to live on. As long as you live within your means. We can only dream of £50,000. They need to stop whinging.

LumpyMcBentface Fri 26-Aug-16 10:33:41

That is such a bollocks article. The figures for child benefit are all wrong for a start, it's paid four weekly yet they have it as an incorrect monthly figure.

And this couple: Rhiannon Stevens, 34 and Craig Harding, 34, live in Brentwood, Essex with twins Jack and Amelia, eight, and 18 month-old Phoebe. Rhiannon is an advertising company media manager earning £39,000 a year while Craig is a resourcing manager for a carpet company on £26,000.

The article says they earn over the threshold for child benefit. Er, no they don't.

Stupid, inaccurate journalism.

cakesandphotos Fri 26-Aug-16 10:34:07

I don't really understand now they can be short on money. My DH and I have a joint income of just under £30k a year and we have holidays, run two cars and have money left (usually) granted we don't have children yet but I'm struggling to see how people on more than double our income can consider themselves badly off hmm

MsRinky Fri 26-Aug-16 10:35:18

It's a crappy article, and I've no idea why the people involved have agreed to do the modern day media equivalent of putting themselves in the village stocks to be pilloried.

But although the average full time salary in the UK is about £26k, it is still relatively unusual for a two-family income to be twice that - the average family income is I believe about £35k. So these are families with higher than average incomes.

Rollonbedtime7pm Fri 26-Aug-16 10:35:52

The problem is that they are not really a 'typical' family on that wage - the average salary is only that due to the people that earn a hell of a lot more. 60% of the working population earn less than average wage and often, families have only one earner so are bringing up children on a lot less. It's too simplistic to say because it's 'average' that a typical family has 2 adults earning this amount each.

So yeah, most people probably wouldn't have much sympathy tbh. But I do agree that when you work hard, you should be able to enjoy your down time and not have to always go for the cheap option.

Damselindestress Fri 26-Aug-16 10:35:58

I can see both sides. Those articles are manipulated to make people look bad but of course if people complain about money publicly then they will get suggestions of where they could cut back, particularly from people getting by on a lower income!

Trifleorbust Fri 26-Aug-16 10:37:26

They can spend their money on whatever they want but I think it's weird to go in the paper crying poverty when you can afford gym membership, yoga classes, regular salon visits. One of those families said they never buy the kids any clothes, but £100 a month is going on exercise classes...

Damselindestress Fri 26-Aug-16 10:37:32

Nothing wrong with wanting nice things but people should own that they have chosen to prioritise luxury spending rather than complaining.

Cocklodger Fri 26-Aug-16 10:38:00

They can afford to live.
They cannot afford to keep up with the joneses.
There is a difference.

LumpyMcBentface Fri 26-Aug-16 10:38:03

Oh, I actually read that wrong, it's child credit (whatever that is, tax credits, maybe?).

Still a stupid article.

PedantPending Fri 26-Aug-16 10:57:36

I read the article earlier, when I couldn't sleep.
Some of the utility costs were very high, but a lot of the figures did not add up and they were not presented consistently, so some weekly, some monthly. Childcare costs are outrageous, taking up the lion's share of the lower wage.
I wonder at the budgeting skills of all the couples, plus found it hard to believe that one couple spends £300 month on month to attend weddings!
Did anyone else notice the sly comments about always cooking from scratch and healthy food being so expensive? What a load of poppycock, clearly no meal planning and getting everything packaged at the supermarket a la Eat Well for Less Families.
I am afraid I was not very sympathetic at all.
Can we have a DM sad face emoticon?

ShebaShimmyShake Fri 26-Aug-16 11:01:36

It's the Fail. Nuff said.

PigletJohn Fri 26-Aug-16 11:03:49

It's easy to be hard up. All you have to do is to spend more than you have coming in, and to want more. Some people will complain of being hard up with a million coming in, because someone else has two million.

Being able to cope on not much, now that's hard.

ExConstance Fri 26-Aug-16 11:06:13

We earn a fair bit more than £50k a year so I read this article with interest. We have never had Sky TV, we have freeview channels and find plenty of films to record and other programmes to keep us interested in the evening. The expense of childcare was the biggest problem in my eyes for most of them, and of course probably with two people working the need for two cars. Whilst it may not actually pay to have two wage earners in this situation as has been pointed out once you give up work the prospects of going back to a well paid job are not good.
I did feel that if they wanted to generate a financial safety cushion and have some money left over at the end of the month then there were economies that could be made on gym membership and the like. I could afford to shop at high end highstreet but quite often find really nice things on ebay for a fiver or so. Sainsburys clothes are lovely.

Jaimx86 Fri 26-Aug-16 11:06:44

Lumpy, I thought the threshold for child benefit seemed off. I wonder if any of the families are on MN? I'd love to know what they thought they were signing up for when they agreed to do the story.

Half of the couples had no credit card debt (one couple's debt was for new windows and almost paid off) so they don't appear to be spending carelessly to 'keep up with the Jones' '.
It certainly raises questions about the financial future of many families if wages continue to stagnate.

BeMorePanda Fri 26-Aug-16 11:10:00


(never read the Daily Mail bullshit)

TaterTots Fri 26-Aug-16 11:12:04

I think there's a big difference between 'I can't live on this amount' and 'I don't want to'. I don't want to take a £10k pay cut, but that doesn't mean I couldn't survive it.

SerenDippitee Fri 26-Aug-16 11:17:38

I also thought that the figures didn't stack up. I don't know what possesses these people to appear in the newspaper, with photos and names of their children as well, divulging personal information in order to be summarily criticised. Do you remember the youngish couple in the Telegraph who didn't know whether to sell their second flat to pay for school fees?

Everyone has different spending priorities. There is a lot that I would sacrifice before I stopped spending £30 a week on a cleaner, but I know that many (MIL included) consider this a huge extravagance. I don't usually read the BTL comments but I did have a glance this morning and there were a lot of comments along the lines that it did not make financial sense for the woman (always the woman) to work if her salary is wiped out by childcare; no grasp of keeping a career going or making pension contributions as an investment in her future.

Ultimately, OP, YANBU - if you work hard in a traditionally stable job, especially with two incomes coming in, it's not unreasonable to expect to be able to afford a few luxuries. Otherwise, you're just existing, not living.

DelicatePreciousThing1 Fri 26-Aug-16 11:18:00

Why do the women in the photographs accompanying such articles wear nasty "nude" shoes which are too big for them and horrible clingy electric blue dresses?

SerenDippitee Fri 26-Aug-16 11:19:42

Delicate because the DM put them in those clothes for the shoot. Paul Dacre, the editor, has very specific ideas about how women should dress. You will notice that almost every woman photographed for the DM wears bright, jewel colours and a skirt or dress, generally knee-length. Very rarely do you see a woman in trousers from one of their own photo shoots.

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