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To ask if anyone else lives a normal, 9-5 existence with some debt

(43 Posts)
Mangetoutrodney Thu 07-Mar-19 05:32:01

Sometimes when I come on here I feel like my normal 9-5 slightly skint lifestyle isn’t very normal so wondering if it is!?

DP & I have 2 kids, work 9-5, drive slightly banger cars, rarely have any spare cash, find it hard to save at the end of the month, can’t afford 4 holidays a year, we rent our house. I do a professional job, DP a manual job. We get by but while we raise our kids, it’s unlikely we will have much spare cash. We do manage a camping holiday to France most years but on the very cheap & we save all year for it.

I find that my normal existence seems unusual sometimes when I come in here & read about other people’s incomes & lifestyles! I find the same on social media actually - I know it’s not real but it feels sometimes like we are unusual in our normal, slightly broke, slightly hand to mouth existence.


Birdsgottafly Thu 07-Mar-19 05:46:05

I think this forum is more diverse than it used to be.

On certain threads, usually involving, SAHP, relationship issues, you get the same posters, all wading in wanting to tell others how they've got life so wrong.

I'm from Liverpool. Most people I know are in a similar, or worse off, than you. Most people need the back up of Family/Friends as childcare. They are happy to do a 'job', have little work stress and get by.

Everyone I know enjoys a party and would see giving cash as a present as an easy option.

I've never known anyone to keep family away after Birth. I could go on.

But you do start to question yourself, if you spend a lot of time on here.

Also, there's probably a few posters who aren't telling the truth.

Kahlua4me Thu 07-Mar-19 05:46:18

Social media does not paint a clear picture! People only post the best of their lives not the mundane so it gives a warped view. Otherwise some of my friends on Facebook must be out eating and drinking every night.

We live a normal 9-5 life like you, some months are tighter than others. The only difference is that we own our home rather than renting. WhT about your friends? Are their lives similar to yours?

Mangetoutrodney Thu 07-Mar-19 05:49:38

@kahlua I guess I have a mix of friends doing all sorts- a lot seem to be self employed. I just feel sometimes that I got life wrong!! I am well educated, have a degree etc but never bought a house for various reasons so maybe that is why we feel extra skint!

BitchQueen90 Thu 07-Mar-19 05:50:59

I'm a single mum, household income £20k a year but that includes tax credits as my wage is low. I live with DS in a rented flat. My income probably goes further than most would as my outgoings are very low but I'm not well off at all.

BitchQueen90 Thu 07-Mar-19 05:53:43

Oh and I'm not well educated at all, I didn't do A levels or a degree (nobody in my family has a degree) so I'm definitely a MN anomaly grin

PumpkinPie2016 Thu 07-Mar-19 05:57:35

We have a fairly normal life. I am a teacher, DH is mainly at home now but does do some self employed work as a gardener/tree surgeon which he fits around DS (5 years).

The only difference is we do own our home and don't have any debt.

We don't struggle but are not extravagant - modest holidays etc.

I think the vast majority of people probably live very ordinary lives but people don't tend to shout about that grin

BendyBeard Thu 07-Mar-19 05:59:51

Same here mangetout!
DP manual job, mine professional, 2 DC. We get by but there’s nothing left at the end of the month. One UK holiday each year. We’ve always rented and are just buying a shared ownership property for which we have received loads of stick from those fortunate enough to own outright. (‘It’s a scam’, ‘it’s the worst of both worlds’ ... we are early 40’s and it’s literally our only option for some stability for us all!)
We live in a very middle class small town and situations here are quite ‘mumsnetty’ and we always feel very working class.
The new place is in a different area!

Littlepond Thu 07-Mar-19 06:02:27

Three kids, two working parents, just about managing! We do have a mortgage, but that means we can’t afford a car. We save up for holidays and have enough money to go to Nando’s once a month. We have a fairly simple existence but we are happy!

hopefulhalf Thu 07-Mar-19 06:10:08

We had years of feeling like this. My Dad said something once that really resonated he said they had years of "living on the edge of thier overdraft" made me feel miles better and much more normal. smile

Raver84 Thu 07-Mar-19 06:15:05

Same here. Dh has a professional job and I work part time in an office we pay our mortgage and bills every month without trouble but we don't have much left to save. What we do have is put towards a camping holiday. I think until I am ble to work full time (my 4th is only 1)life will be like this. We have a small debt but nothing I worry too much about

KitKat1985 Thu 07-Mar-19 06:18:05

I'm in the same boat. Me and DH both work full time. We owe about 8k between us. Mostly we struggle financially through to one payday to the next.

I saw a thread on here a while ago about how many months people could survive on their savings for if they suddenly became unemployed, and the number of people who could survive months or years because they had significant savings was staggering, and made me feel like we must be very poor, but in reality I think there's thousands of people like us that just struggle to get by.

WinterHeatWave Thu 07-Mar-19 06:28:41

You only see what people have, not what they dont have.
So you see one friend eating out lots - you dont see the car like yours or the lack of holiday Another friend has a newer car (maybe on hire). You see one friend with the latest electronics. One friend with new clothes. And you combine them so that everyone has all those things, when in reality they just have one thing they spend on.

user1493413286 Thu 07-Mar-19 06:31:55

Your situation is almost identical to ours; I pay into my pension through my job but I have nothing left over at the end of the month to put in savings. I work hard to put money away for a holiday and Christmas each year.
Mumsnet does seem to have a lot of people with an awful lot of money left over each month (also very low mortgages). My finances are relatively similar to my friends though

Mmmmbrekkie Thu 07-Mar-19 06:32:04

I don’t live in a “normal” area at all
Very affluent SE town on outskirts of London
My ex husband earned £150k plus bonus a year and this was very much the norm. Lots of SAHMs.
I’m now back at work part time. After a 9 year break I manaagee to secure a £40k a year job (£24k pro rata) and that will shortly jump. I receive a significant amount in child and spousal maintenance from my ex.

So whilst this isn’t your “normal” , high earners etc is my “normal” BUT still modest homes (in terms of size but not sadly cost!), modest holidays (abroad yes, but often euro camps) and most cars (i have just sold my 10 year heap)

gamerwidow Thu 07-Mar-19 06:40:02

MN it’s seem to have a higher % of wealthy families than is average so you do get a bit skewed picture of what is normal and SM doesn’t paint a true picture of people’s lives either. You might see pictures of the holiday or new car but you don’t know what debt is financing them or what other struggles they had.
Most people with kids break even if they’re lucky. I have a professional job and DH has a junior admin role we can’t afford a holiday this year and don’t have much savings BUT we can afford food, we have a house with an affordable mortgage, we can afford the occasional treat, we can afford clothes for DD and if something in the house breaks we could replace it straightaway. We are luckier than a lot of people.

BarbedBloom Thu 07-Mar-19 06:44:39

Yes, same situation here at the moment. We have to budget carefully, we try to save where we can and we do have some debt where things have broken and we have had to replace them like our hoover or the washing machine. We can’t really afford holidays, so just have weekends in the UK when we can. My DH is on minimum wage, sadly I could earn a lot more but I have to work part time now due to a chronic illness so we just do what we can.

nothinglikeadame Thu 07-Mar-19 06:44:49

I hear you, OP!

Me and my partner both have jobs around the £22k p.a. mark, live in a very modest house in North of England , have one 6 yr old and drive a knackered ford focus.

We would have never been able to save fir the house deposit..that came from parents and grandparents. Even now we struggle to keep savings at more than £250. I live mostly in an overdraft as well.

Sometimes Mumsnet would have you believe you are a disgrace if you haven't got £10k in savings . I read in astonishment a thread titled ' how much money are you saving to give your kids when they are 18'..I didn't even know this was a thing!.

I get that some posters can save a couple of grand a month, but this can't be the norm surely?

Also, the abroad summer holiday is totally off the table now. £2.5 k all in for a week in Majorca is just not doable sadly.

Sleephead1 Thu 07-Mar-19 06:52:24

I think a lot of it depends where you live. I live near Newcastle it's a lot cheaper to live and if I worked full time we would probably be reasonably well off even though neither of us are professional. I only work part time so we manage but are always skint at the end of the month. we save but sometimes have to dip into them. We have our own flat with a mortgage that is our only debt. To be honest i dont recognise a lot on here it's just not the norm to keep people away after birth, to have such strict boundaries with family, people touch your baby bump and ask to hug your baby ECT. My work colleagues sometimes hug.

Sleephead1 Thu 07-Mar-19 06:54:09

sorry meant the norm where I live

WFTisgoingoninmyhead Thu 07-Mar-19 06:59:38

When my family was young, we both worked FT
He went out at 7am came in at 6pm I went out at 9pm crime back at 7am (stayed awake all day in the week)
We had a mortgage (15% interest rate!)
We had 1 car
We shopped wisely
Went camping once a year
We had Sweet Fanny Adams to spend

Now 25 years on life is very different, stick at it OP. life will improve.
Don’t spend your time living someone else’s life (like looking at SM) live your own.
We were not exactly what I would call happy in those days, but we got through it. A young family is stressful if you both work and have little money to spare, but you have each other and the 4 of you must make a great team.

Nodancingshoes Thu 07-Mar-19 07:00:51

We are the same op although we do have a mortgage. We get by and can pay our bills but with not much left over. Camping holidays most years - we have been abroad a couple of times but its not the norm. We both work normal, average wage jobs

MaybeitsMaybelline Thu 07-Mar-19 07:09:50

Hi OP, you are not alone.

Our life when the DC were much younger was exactly the same. A couple of grand of credit card debt, car loan, mortgage for many years to come.

It’s on,y now we are 52 that we have no mortgage, adult DC who don’t live here and money for four holidays a year!

You will get there, in most cases it takes years unfortunately.

Mangetoutrodney Thu 07-Mar-19 07:14:33

@maybeits i’ll be 55 by the time my kids have grown up & left - at the moment, it feels like a long way off. I do try and make the most of life every day though & we are mostly happy. We just don’t have a glamorous life!!

HotSauceCommittee Thu 07-Mar-19 07:22:48

We definitely felt the pinch when the kids were young. DH was younger and more junior in his career and pay grade, I was part time.... It’s definitely eased now: I decided I wanted a “career job” again when the kids got a bit older and DH’s career took off.
Whether it’s death and inheritance or career status and all that brings, the years have made a difference.
I do remember being in Woolworths when DS1 was a toddler and deciding we couldn’t afford for me to buy a cheap rose bush I wanted for a few quid.
Now, DH has recently done some collaboration abroad for his research quite happily and the organisation involved has just paid him a decent sized stipend without him expecting it. I did say to DH, “oh that never happened when we were younger and really needed it”. Don’t get me wrong, we will always use the money but it never seems as easy when you really need a little financial easing.
Unfortunately, the housing crisis means that starting out now is much harder. I do hope things get easier for you flowers

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