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To think it can cost a fortune to keep up appearances?

(346 Posts)
ethelfleda Tue 19-Nov-19 22:22:18

Talking to my friend this evening...
Her and her partner are wonderful, very down to earth and not at all materialistic.
However, his family are (in his own words) trying so hard to show everyone they have a bit of money that they’ve nearly spent all their money doing so!
Seems like a bit of a paradox to me. AIBU to think that in some instances, those that go for outward displays of wealth actually aren’t that wealthy?

I know quite a few people who view cars as status symbols, for example. The nicer that car, the wealthier they must be. But surely, if you have a fairly regular income and decent enough credit score, a new car is within your grasp - you just need to finance it? Your name brand clothes can be put on credit cards and you can mortgage up to your eyeballs to get a 4 bed detached house (in the area we live, it’s possible to get a very nice 3 bed semi with a large garden for £200k so am not talking about people living further south here that have little choice but to get the highest mortgage they can)

What do you think?

inthethickofit19 Tue 19-Nov-19 22:24:29

I agree. I never estimate wealth on outwardly displays now.

It's ashame that some go as far as getting into serious debt over it. Nowt as queer as folk

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 19-Nov-19 22:25:55

A friend of mine got into a load of debt over this kind of thing- loans upon loans for a fancy wedding, designer clothes, expensive flashy car lease. Her marriage nearly broke down when her OH found out and she had to give back the car. Not entirely sure she’s learnt anything from it as she’d rather be car less until she can afford flashy again- wouldn’t be seen dead in my little hatch back.

Tractorgirlz Tue 19-Nov-19 22:29:58

I always think the harder people try to look designer and flashy, the less money they have.

Evilmorty Tue 19-Nov-19 22:32:42

We call it negative rich. It’s all on credit. Where we live you have people aged 35 with £40k cars still living in their mums loft room.

AnnieMated1 Tue 19-Nov-19 22:32:54

Why is it any of your business what money people have/don't have?

JKScot4 Tue 19-Nov-19 22:34:37

There was a thread lately of parents in their 70s losing their house to debt from keeping up appearances, definitely a cautionary tale.

sar302 Tue 19-Nov-19 22:37:44

The flash car thing is interesting. I was the 'poor' kid at private school growing up, and all my school friends used to turn up in range rovers, Mercedes and BMWs, but no one else I knew outside of that world had one. Now anyone who has a few hundred quid a month free can get a Mercedes on finance. Cars are definitely no longer a symbol of wealth, unless you're talking really top end brands.

blue25 Tue 19-Nov-19 22:37:50

Agreed. I find it really sad that so many people get into debt for flash cars etc. I have colleagues like this who moan they have no pension or savings but spend all their money every month on new clothes, car loans etc.

AgeLikeWine Tue 19-Nov-19 22:43:10

Consumerism: spending money you haven’t got to buy stuff you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.

Hellofromtheotherside2020 Tue 19-Nov-19 22:48:15

Totally agree!!!
I think I was similar to this when I was in my early 20's. I had wardrobes (plural) of designer clothes which were paid for on credit. I'd hate to be seen in the same outfit twice. I had taken out a car loan to buy a brand new car (aged 18!). We were fortunate to have a low mortgage as we bought a house at the 'right time'. My friends (who were all at uni at the time) must have thought I was earning a fortune, when in fact I was at the time earning about £1000 a month! I feel bad that I knowingly at the time made them feel bad.

Four years go we moved to Australia and sold absolutely everything we owned (except one house back in England - our safety net in case oz didn't work out). Owning nothing was liberating!!! I felt so free!! Literally, as a family of five, we turned up in Australia with just a back pack each and some cash! Thankfully over here (or at least where I am), class is irrelevant and people are happy to drive shi**y old cars without ever being judged for it. Refreshing!
Irony is, I now probably look poorer than ever but have way more money in the bank than I could have ever imagined. We do drive nice cars, but they're paid for. It feels so good and a far cry from where I was 18 years ago. I do feel sorry for people who get I to debt by keeping up appearances, but I imagine there's more of them than we realise.

TheBigFatMermaid Tue 19-Nov-19 22:52:48

I don't even care enough about people's wealth to try to assess it.

I am skint myself, so that probably helps with the lack of judgement!

I used to work with someone who would describe people as 'they own so and so business' or they 'own such and such a house'.

We were care assistants in a nursing home!

She told me her dad was the engineer on a massive project and her mum was a .... High-up job...

My reply was 'You had all the opportunities in the world,yet you still ended up washing shitty arses, like me, with no opportunities'.

She didn't like that much!

MaButterface Tue 19-Nov-19 22:54:20

All the juniors in my office lads in their 20s drive fancy cars and wear designer watches. It is quite sad really when people feel they have to keep up with the Joneses.

TrophyCat Tue 19-Nov-19 22:57:03

A lot of people can look rich, but they just don't own anything they have. It took me a long long time to learn this and to understand it.

My very lovely neighbours are like this, they earn less than us but drive a massive new car, their rent is double our mortgage, she gets her hair highlighted every couple of weeks, they dress in really nice clothes, etc. But.... They have NO savings, literally zero.

Whereas we drive old cars, look slightly scruffier and less polished and generally have a more boring life than them but we have lower monthly outgoing and manage to save into various pots (house savings, pension, kids savings,etc) each month.

If anything we are probably too frugal, but I have a pathological fear of debt (due to my childhood) and would far rather have money in the bank than the latest iPhone. Whereas their mentality is the opposite, as long as they can afford all their monthly repayments they will continue to spend spend spend

PineappleDanish Tue 19-Nov-19 22:59:11

My cousin is like this. She irks in a supermarket as a checkout team leader. Still lives at home with her parents.

It's all Michael kors bags, £300 trainers, pandora jewellery, MAC Make up, endless supply of clothes. Won't buy anything off a sale rail in case someone gets the idea she can't afford it full price. Sneers at the people buying yellow sticker in her superbas they should be buying full price and branded.

She's a fool.

chamenanged Tue 19-Nov-19 23:03:14

* She told me her dad was the engineer on a massive project and her mum was a .... High-up job...

My reply was 'You had all the opportunities in the world,yet you still ended up washing shitty arses, like me, with no opportunities'.

She didn't like that much!*

No, most people don't like totally needless outrageous rudeness directed their way hmm

user1471510720 Tue 19-Nov-19 23:11:15

Nothing wrong with financing providing you have a house you can afford (rent or mortgage) savings, pension and can cover all bills etc otherwise your just a dimwit.

CSIblonde Wed 20-Nov-19 01:08:12

I grew up in an 'old money' wealthy rural town then moved to wealthy part of London. From what I've seen, old money wears M&S & drives a sensible car a couple of years old & are quite thrifty (2nd hand stuff/inherited antiques etc). New money wears designer labels, drives a flash car & eats out a few times a week & splash their cash way more.

IWantADifferentName Wed 20-Nov-19 01:14:40

Never judge a bank balance by a car! But if you do, in my experience it is inverse - cheap or old cars tend to go with a bigger bank balance. I think that is both for practical reasons and reasons of taste.

If really do have it, you tend not to flaunt it.

MsMellivora Wed 20-Nov-19 01:38:11

CSIblonde DH is from old money we have a couple of pieces of his great grandmothers furniture. We spent quite a few years in top 5% of earners so are well off. I nipped to the shop today wearing a regatta hoodie some jersey shorts that are now too small for DS and my three year old trainers carrying a small rucksack. We don’t see the point of flashy anything.

BillHadersNewWife Wed 20-Nov-19 01:55:21

I used to live in Cheshire before emigrating to Australia and to be honest, I felt such relief when I got here. There's much less of that business here.

I never cared about posh cars or anything but so many people I met in Cheshire did care...very much.

I remember a fellow Mum gave me a lift home once and my neighbour said "Ooh she's loaded...look at the car she was in!" and I honestly had no ideal what car it was or if it was expensive.

I just don't notice. I know a newish clean car...from an old battered or dirty one but that's it!

DangerClose Wed 20-Nov-19 02:20:45

One of the joys of actually being "down to earth and not at all materialistic" is that I don't really pay any attention to or care what other people choose to spend their money on or how they attempt to "display wealth".

spacepyramid Wed 20-Nov-19 02:26:53

What Dangerclose said.

CilantroChili Wed 20-Nov-19 02:41:44

At last. My people!

Does anybody know about a thing named “earring jacket”.
God-daughter is to inherit and she doesn’t get the good jewels until she’s married

kateandme Wed 20-Nov-19 03:12:04

CilantroChili bloody hell you leanr something new evveryday!
Typically worn as a decorative piece that clips onto the post of the earring from behind the earlobe. Earring jackets can alter the look of your earring set, turning stud earrings into dangle or drop earrings. The jackets are often detachable, giving you the ability to change your look from day to night in an instant!

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