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Aibu to think im starting to be judged for not being (lower) 'middle class' enough, and disliking it?

(221 Posts)
Sparkles10 Tue 07-Aug-18 00:36:03

I have never really thought about the idea of class much but i guess my husband and i have similar backgrounds. We both grew up in a typical 4 bed detached home, went to the local comp, did well at uni and now have relatively good jobs - not high flyers but middle & senior management type positions.

We spent quite a bit of our money travelling when in our 20s so didn't have a huge house deposit and ended up buying a modest house that we are happy with. We are also quite careful with our money and drive old cars and shop at Lidl/Aldi so we can save for our future; holidays, spends for the kids, the house etc. However we are generous with our friends & family and like spending on nice holidays.

Anyway now we are in our 30s/40s I've noticed that many of our friends are leading a different lifestyle. They drive brand new cars, shop at Waitrose, drink certain brands of coffee, shop at certain clothes outlets etc.

What is starting to bother me is that some of our friends/family have now started making quite regular comments like why don't we buy new cars (we choose to save our car allowances rather than spend them and that's apparantly not a good thing).
They also talk generally about how chavvy some of the supermarkets we shop at are and diss certain clothes brands i might buy sometimes.

Im starting to feel like they are viewing us as less successful because we choose to lead a different, less materialistic lifestyle to them. I feel a bit down about this considering that educationally and financially we have done just as well and in some cases a lot better than these friends and family members, who are in a lot of debt to fund their more lavish lifestyles. However im even annoyed at myself for these comments making me feel that i have to define doing well in those terms because i think people have no right to comment on what we drive and where we shop regardless of how much money we might or might not have.

Aibu to be annoyed by this peer pressure to conform to this so called middle class lifestyle that's propped up by so much debt, or should i just give up and spend loads a month on a new car and start drinking craft gin and decorate my home with wallpaper from Laura Ashley?!

I know that deep down our real friends couldn't care less about what we do and that i shouldn't worry about what others think but i guess I'm just a bit cheesed off.

AltheaorDonna Tue 07-Aug-18 00:47:28

Seriously? Ignore them, they sounds like snobby arseholes. I find it hard to imagine people give a damn about where anyone else shops and how old their car is. And if that is all they have to worry about, I'd tell them they need to get a life.

InDubiousBattle Tue 07-Aug-18 00:48:39

Why would you feel down about it if this is the life you've chosen? What is it exactly you're cheesed off about? Obviously they shouldn't make any nasty comments about where you shop but how much do all really know about one another's finances?

PaulCollin Tue 07-Aug-18 00:52:50

I lived as your friends in my 20s because my exh earned a six figure salary. I didn't look down on others, I just enjoyed life.

I now have a very small home bought with my divorce settlement for cash and live on a tiny income. I adjusted my lifestyle.

I was happy living both ways as I lived within my means. I have had nice life experiences at a young age.

Just do what makes you content.

pennycarbonara Tue 07-Aug-18 01:00:46

They sound flashy and materialistic. Plenty of people with middle class / upper middle upbringings don't live like that. Friend, early 40s, public school-going family and Oxbridge, only last year described Waitrose as being for people with more money than sense. (Which I find a tad severe given that some people use it for ethical reasons or to get items not otherwise available locally, but you get the point.)

You will be glad of your choices in future when you have enough to help your kids out at university, or when you retire, and they are still paying off their mortagages.

If you want to play them at their own snide game you could start talking about levels of consumer debt, news stories suggesting future interest rate rises and the like.

Neolara Tue 07-Aug-18 01:03:22

I think people who make those kind of comments often feel unsure about their own choices and are trying to self justify their own behaviour. Id just ignore them.

pallisers Tue 07-Aug-18 01:06:06

I'm amazed people comment on this. And tbh I'm amazed you care. You are in your 30s. Surely by now you don't give a curse what anyone else thinks of your reasonable choices? Why would it get you down? Do you secretly hanker after the middle class totems?

TheFaerieQueene Tue 07-Aug-18 01:08:21

Who the hell are these people that think they have a right to tell you how to spend your money and live your life? They are vulgar at best. Keep doing what makes you happy OP.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed Tue 07-Aug-18 01:30:44

Just tell them next time yes but we are considerably richer than you

Preferably in a brommie accent

Aintnothingbutaheartache Tue 07-Aug-18 01:38:31

I’m amazed that you give a shit tbh. You sound like you and your partner have a great life. You’ve worked hard and enjoy a nice standard of living. Who gives a flying fuck where you shop or how old your car is?
Stop bothering your arse over petty bollocks

Touchmybum Tue 07-Aug-18 01:58:43

Carry on doing your own thing! I hate Laura Ashley anyway, it is so twee!!

MouseholeCat Tue 07-Aug-18 02:02:50

If there's anything I've learned about money is you never know what's going on behind the scenes so there's no point feeling beat up about having less than someone else based on appearances. Invest time and energy in what makes you feel happy.

Clairetree1 Tue 07-Aug-18 02:07:11

Just feel happy and proud of the lifestyle choices you have made, what does it matter what they think?

FannyCornforth Tue 07-Aug-18 02:07:14

Laura Ashley wallpaper is very overated. It is thin and poor quality.

GoodHeavensNoImAChicken Tue 07-Aug-18 02:14:36

You’re right about saying real friends wouldn’t care. Nor would they be so cheeky as to say those snide comments.

You can also sleep soundly at night knowing you aren’t drowning in debt and that itself is priceless. You’re living a life you’re content with that is within you means - you’re winning here and anyone who says otherwise is deluded.

Aldilogue Tue 07-Aug-18 02:21:52

OP. I get what you saying and the fact that you're annoyed with yourself for even thinking it reasonates with me. I'm in Oz and in my forties and still don't even own a house which some people find amazing. Basically we've been priced out of the market because we didn't buy earlier because we did so much travel.
At least you own a house. That is a massive dream of mine and we will get there but nearly all of my friends own. Not so much my family because we all enjoyed traveling so much and it's expensive when you live so far away from U.K.Europe and US.
Nobody lives their life problem free, enjoy your life and the way you've chosen to live and remember people often say things without thinking. Maybe your friends are massively in debt, who knows?

Littlechocola Tue 07-Aug-18 02:24:07

Find new friends

DuchessAnnogovia Tue 07-Aug-18 02:42:47

I'd be off to find new 'friends' as soon as possible.

People who look down on folk because of where they shop, what vehicle they drive etc. These are usually people who are living way beyond their means, all to maintain the illusion that they better than you.

In my experience folk who are very wealthy tend to drive the crappiest cars, couldn't care less if the clothes they wear are designer or not, and shop wherever it's convenient

As for Laura Ashley wallpaper, it's shite!

Copperbonnet Tue 07-Aug-18 03:06:24

Seriously, find better friends.

No one who really loved you and had your best interests at heart would care!

I have friends at all sorts of income levels, I don’t care what car they drive or what their home is like or where they go on holiday.

I care that they are nice, fun, caring people.

Don’t waste your time on these arses.

Stripybeachbag Tue 07-Aug-18 03:08:41

I understand the OP. I have noticed that when you get to your 40s there is a kind of divide between those who have money and spend it (or flash it around, depending on your pov) and those who don't have money or save it.

We are in the second camp. Still saving and quite frankly not bothered with paying for pointless crap. We have acquaintances who have more money but really our true friends are on the same level as us. I think that is because we have shared values and the way live our lives results from that.

Btw due to dd's school being in a well-to-do area we have met the flashy parents. Some of which are complete knobs. I suspect that they would be awful anyway, but having money has not helped their personalities one bit. I cringe for them at times.

CSIblonde Tue 07-Aug-18 03:10:21

Unless they are earning fabulous £, they're probably up to their ears in debt sustaining the flash car, designer clothes etc etc they see as so important. If they are being snide about your choices, I'd ditch them, they aren't real friends.

Pixiedust2017 Tue 07-Aug-18 04:07:40

I am confused because I thought minimalism was becoming more popular and that living within your means was becoming a more popular lifestyle choice.
I don't even own a car at the moment because we don't "need" one, a choice which to many of our friends is mindblowing...
I don't see the value in putting myself in bigger debt and bigger financial pressure unless we actually need it.
In my opinion, I think the choices you are making are sensible ones. But it looks like your friends hold different values to you and also are probably trying to justify their own choices to themselves.

KC225 Tue 07-Aug-18 04:15:38

Seriously, your friends are shallow. At your salary level and age why aren't you discussing Brexit, Corbyn, house prices and box sets.

TheRealKimmySchmidt63 Tue 07-Aug-18 04:20:06

In my experience folk who are very wealthy tend to drive the crappiest cars, couldn't care less if the clothes they wear are designer or not, and shop wherever it's convenient *

I agree with this comment from pp

ilovesooty Tue 07-Aug-18 04:20:53

I'm with pallisers

I'm surprised people comment on this stuff and that you even give it head space.

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