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Minimum £44 per week on clothes and £106pw on social/cultural activities???

(136 Posts)
Snowflake65 Mon 06-Feb-17 16:53:33

For one adult and two children - does that seem excessive?

Just completed the calculator on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website and this is what it says is minimum income standard

Funnily enough it is telling me my salary is not enough - I should be earning £35,000 a year to have a minimum standard of living or when I put in my actual mortgage and utility figures it told me I need to earn £40k+

Surely they cannot be right? If they are campaigning against poverty I would have thought they would use more credible figures, or maybe IABU.

TeenAndTween Mon 06-Feb-17 16:55:25

per week ?
That's a lot of clothes!

OneWithTheForce Mon 06-Feb-17 16:57:16

£106 per week on social and cultural activities!??shock

PlayOnWurtz Mon 06-Feb-17 16:58:36

What a joke!! That's ridiculously excessive

MewlingQuim Mon 06-Feb-17 17:00:10

Says we need a family income of £32K. I would say that sounds about right, we get about 10K more than that and feel fairly well off.

enfru Mon 06-Feb-17 17:01:02

That's obscene! They should definitely be using more realistic amounts

LunaLoveg00d Mon 06-Feb-17 17:03:30

Does the "social and cultural activities" include summer holdiays and things like Christmas presents or birthday parties averaged over the year?

I think these sorts of figures are why it's so hard to believe the statistics about poverty, this Foundation would say anyone not spending at that level is therefore in poverty, which they're most probably not.

Enidblyton1 Mon 06-Feb-17 17:03:35

It sounds a lot, but people always spend more than they think on these things. Social and cultural activity presumably includes eating out. I'm sure I spend more than that per week...
I recently realised I was spending £500 a year on take away coffees (4 per week!!).

pointythings Mon 06-Feb-17 17:03:51

It says we need £36k for the four of us - we are on a lot more than that and we are well off because no mortgage. But the amount on clothes if you tot it up annually is ridiculously high. We don't spend anything like that. A lot of my stuff is 10+ years old and is just fine. Same with DH.

NC1nightstand Mon 06-Feb-17 17:04:13

That can't be right!

MewlingQuim Mon 06-Feb-17 17:04:32

Not the clothes and social activities, I mean the total income.

32K is two adults on 16K each, so quite poor but just about manageable. I cant realistically see £100 per week on activities coming out of that, though confused

drspouse Mon 06-Feb-17 17:05:12

Over the course of a year that's going to be £2300 on clothes - which may be common in families where adults buy £100 boots or coat or dress for an occasion, and teenage DCs need secondary school uniform every other year plus top ups in between and sports kids.
So not without the realms of possibility.

For the cultural etc. does that include holidays? Supposing £1000 per individual for a 2 week summer holiday (Med in the summer school holidays is probably not that far off) and then that's £220 per term per child for sports clubs etc, which could be just 2 activities with today's prices, though that leaves nothing for a day out at half term!. - and the same for the adult for nights out and the gym.

I am not saying any of these are essentials but families leading a "middle class" lifestyle could easily spend that much without really thinking "wow, I'm really living the dream"!

drspouse Mon 06-Feb-17 17:06:15

Oh yes I forgot social meals out (as opposed to buying lunch rather than making it for work - i.e. coffee in town with the kids having hot chocolate instead of coming home).

Ginkypig Mon 06-Feb-17 17:06:21

Iv not looked at it but it might be because although you (as a family) don't really spend that every week on the weeks you have big expenses like winter coats shoes and uniforms etc once you spread that out.

So you might spend nothing in June but 200 in October.

I have to say though including £80 for my lovely new boots Iv spent only a fraction of that this year on clothes! Infact Iv never spent that much ever in a year on clothes.

c3pu Mon 06-Feb-17 17:06:48

That's complete BS. It gets my utility bills more or less right, but clothes/food/etc are WAY off! Who needs to spend that much on clothes?

FannyDeFuzz Mon 06-Feb-17 17:07:37

Over 30k for us. We're on less than 20k and things can be tight but we're certainly not living in poverty

Twistmeandturnme Mon 06-Feb-17 17:10:00

So that's 5.5K per year to cover all socialising, holidays, extracurricular activities, days out, Christmas, birthdays, parties, gifts for others etc.

Loads of people spend £1K just on Christmas. Say both your kids do a £5 dance or sports lesson in term time, that's £380. swimming lessons, another £380? Cubs or brownies £100-150 a year. A 2K holiday?

Cut these out and already you are down to £30 per week. It's shocking how things add up.

Snowflake65 Mon 06-Feb-17 17:10:41

I totally get that if you are factoring in summer holidays / eating out then you would spend £5,500 a year on them.

But I wouldn't say that they were essential or minimum standard - I would class them as the lifestyle of someone who is comfortably off.

Not having them would not be what most people consider poverty.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 06-Feb-17 17:11:11

Loads of people spend £1K just on Christmas. Say both your kids do a £5 dance or sports lesson in term time, that's £380. swimming lessons, another £380? Cubs or brownies £100-150 a year. A 2K holiday?

And some spend a lot more. But what the Joseph Rowntree foundation are saying is that if you are NOT spending at that level, you're living in poverty.

PoundingTheStreets Mon 06-Feb-17 17:13:19

I don't think it's that far out there. Yes the clothing allowance is far too high, and so is the cultural/social activities on the face of it, but other things are underestimated and it doesn't allow for peak/troughs.

Poverty is about so much more than lack of money. It's about lack of aspiration and lack of opportunity as well. Children whose parents spend next to nothing on extra-curricular activities or family social/cultural activities will be children who are doomed to never break out of that social mobility trap. One of the main reasons public schools are so successful is not because of the standard of teaching (often state schools are better) it is because of the extra opportunities afforded, the broadening of horizons and the networking possibilities.

The rent/mortgage allowance is undervalued for people in the south east as well.

Childcare will skyrocket in the summer holidays.

A whole school uniform could wipe out a good two month's worth of clothing allowance and won't include shoes or clothing requirements of others in the household.

Twistmeandturnme Mon 06-Feb-17 17:17:35

So the living standard isn't a measure of poverty per se: it is a level calculated based on regular research into what the public feel is an acceptable standard.
I think that internet, mobile phone and tv streaming may come under the same heading.

sewingjassy Mon 06-Feb-17 17:20:53

Social cultural activities - if this means extra curricular I spend somewhere (I dare not add up) over £400 on dance and related lessons per month, but I don't think this is usual.

£44 seems excessive per week for clothes.

Snowflake65 Mon 06-Feb-17 17:21:53

Here is the complete breakdown:

Food 97.30
Alcohol 4.31
Clothing 44.21
Water rates 13.35
Council Tax 25.55
Household Insurances 1.92
Gas, electricity, etc 23.01
Other housing costs 1.92
Household goods 22.93
Household services 22.07
Childcare 0.00
Personal goods and services 38.59
Travel costs and motoring 77.10
Social and cultural activities 106.01
Rent 0.00
Mortgage 152.81

FannyDeFuzz Mon 06-Feb-17 17:22:00

We don't go on foreign holidays: we go camping. Clothes second hand, one old car. DD has music lessons, we live in the countryside, go hiking a lot, and have a NT membership. Library in the winter and there's always free craft workshops etc in the nearby museum.

We're total lentil weavers, I'll admit, but I do think that judging poverty by how much random stuff you're able to afford to buy is a bit, well, it's not the same these days is it?

VivDeering Mon 06-Feb-17 17:22:56

I've just done this as a childless adult living with partner. It came in as each of us needing to earn £11 703. Some of the figures are pretty low and would seem quite miserable (what kind of accommodation would £90 per week on rent get us?).

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