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How do people afford to buy so much?

(587 Posts)
Ilovexmastime35 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:45:45

Aibu to be confused about where I'm going wrong?! Of course everyone's financial situation is different and for those earning well it is no problem paying out for clothes/shoes etc.
But for low - mid earners, how do you afford things? I see people on social media going out regularly, days out, holidays, clothes, city breaks, seaside trips, buying new technology etc. I know what jobs they do and they are not high earners. How are they doing this?

I want to treat my kids to a day out over half term. I've just looked at booking tickets to a local safari park for 2 adults 2 children. It comes to £145!!
I was looking at a local meet Santa on a train event, £80! We can't do it because if I bought those tickets I wouldn't have any money left for anything else for a month.
I think these prices are extortionate and for low-mid earners most people cannot afford these prices.

I need new clothes, boots and a coat desperately. I'm plus size so cannot shop at Primark. The cheapest I can find is a cardigan is priced £34.99. A coat over £59. I just cannot afford these things! My clothes have holes in and my shoes leak!

Im unable to work at the moment ,but my husband earns just over 50k. After all bills, food, fuel, we have about £200 disposal income to last a month. We don't drink, smoke, we don't eat out or socialise. Our money goes on the children and the house. There is never a penny left over for us.

I think in comparison to wages, most things are priced too high. I'm grateful we have a roof over our heads and can afford food but everthing else seems out of reach!. My husband is senior management, he can't earn any more than he does now. We are not frivolous at all. Any advice on how to afford these things apart from getting into debt?

OP’s posts: |
NotJustACigar Mon 19-Oct-20 13:49:04

For clothes and boots try it really is a great site. I've been buying loads on there the last couple of months and have received very nice stuff with only a few duds.

AriettyHomily Mon 19-Oct-20 13:49:46

Credit or they earn more than you.

Santa train here was £80 for four last year, this year it's nearly £500 for a semi private carriage. I could afford it but that is just stupid money IMO.

McT123 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:50:03

Our money goes on the children and the house.
Spend less on the children and/or the house.

ForeverRedSkinhead Mon 19-Oct-20 13:50:13

Try shopping for clothing on eBay.

Also , you may want to look at your spending in detail. You can probably make savings here and there.

RandomMess Mon 19-Oct-20 13:50:56

They are probably in debt...

Also what are you spending on utilities, mobiles, the DC, food??

Do you have a large mortgage and car loans?

Wander over to money saving expert and see where you can reduce your outgoings?

Thepilotlightsgoneout Mon 19-Oct-20 13:51:10

Trying not to be rude but if he earns £50K and you only have £200 a month left, then somethings going wrong. What are your outgoings? Any way of changing them?

RonaRossi Mon 19-Oct-20 13:52:23

We can't do it because if I bought those tickets I wouldn't have any money left for anything else for a month

And that’s a choice plenty of people make, if the tickets are important enough to them.

And then you see their pics on Facebook and go ‘but how?’. Different choices, that’s all.

LaBellina Mon 19-Oct-20 13:55:11

I have a friend who wears designer clothes, goes out for dinner quite often and drives a very naice Mercedes.

She bought the car on credit and unless she's moonlighting somewhere besides her regular civil servant job I don't think her income covers her expenses. So I am pretty sure that she's in debt.

starray Mon 19-Oct-20 13:57:39

50K and not enough to buy new clothes then something is definitely wrong. You need to look out for bargains, deals, discounts, use voucher codes. Become more creative in your spending.

Nibor1991 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:57:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Liv2015 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:58:06


mindutopia Mon 19-Oct-20 13:58:40

Fwiw, dh and I earn very well, certainly over £100K annual household income and never in my life would I spent £145 for us to spend a day at a safari park or £80 for the santa train. I think it's extortionate. We spend our money on other less showy things and honestly, I can't remember the last time we went on a day out that charged an admissions fee. I think we may have gone to the botanical garden sometime over the summer. I do have a school mum friend from school (she doesn't work and her dh is in a sort of unskilled labour type job, so I can't imagine they have a particularly high household income). They book the santa train every year at £30 per head for the two of them and their five children. No way, wouldn't be how I spent my money, but it's something they enjoy and I can only imagine they save up and prioritise that.

I would assume it's a matter of priorities. I'm not really into big days out, even though we could well afford them. I think it's a bit of waste of money and we can make our own fun for less or free. I imagine they save and make the most of what they can afford, whereas we do other things, but have lots left over at the end of the month, which can be put into savings or spent on something else, which I probably wouldn't post about on social media (so who would know).

AldiIsla Mon 19-Oct-20 13:59:30

Our income took a big hit with covid.

Our days out are all to free places like country parks. We bought good quality food thermos and coffee flask with cups and we have very nice picnics using them. I appreciate depending on age parks and such aren't always what kids want to do.

Have you tried to find vouchers for the places you would like to go? Season passes can work out well if there's somewhere local they all like. Perhaps as a joint Christmas present.

It's rubbish when it looks like everyone has loads. Everything is so expensive isn't it.

Clothes wise we use charity shops. All the coats were second hand and we used the savings to get good winter boots for the kids.

Quackersandcheese3 Mon 19-Oct-20 13:59:51

I wonder this as well...

LaBellina Mon 19-Oct-20 14:00:08

Do you thoughtlessly spend money on small things OP? Like luxury extras in the supermarket, take out coffee, clothes for the DC that they don't need but you couldn't resist buying and it was on sale etc, etc.

That's how I easily overspend if I'm not careful, small things add up to a lot of money if you buy them often.

RedRec Mon 19-Oct-20 14:00:40

Try charity shops for your clothes, OP. I get a good, cheap haul every few months.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 19-Oct-20 14:00:46


Trying not to be rude but if he earns £50K and you only have £200 a month left, then somethings going wrong. What are your outgoings? Any way of changing them?

I agree. Unless your housing costs are very high, or you are in debt, you should be able to afford adequate clothes at the prices you've said.

Many attractions, leisure events etc can be found for much cheaper than the headline price by using voucher codes, Groupon etc, Clubcard vouchers. Take your own food to avoid buying their food which is usually overpriced and poor quality. Many people won't be paying full price, which is the modern day version of having more money than sense, as discounts are so easy to come by.

Have you reviewed your budget to see where your money is fully going?

Also signposts to any help if you are in debt or could you be entitled to benefits if you can't work for health reasons?

abigailsnan Mon 19-Oct-20 14:00:51

Something is wrong somewhere with your spending if hubby is on 50K a year where do you shop ? do you cook from scratch with in season veg etc do you feed your children differently to yourselves?
Look at comparable sites for utilities and phone deals they save a fortune when you add them up,check on car insurance etc this year I saved £220 by changing my insurer.Have halved my shopping by going to Aldi and using Ebay for my winter coat,new from Next cost £18.30 so get looking and get saving money its easy to do.

Ilovexmastime35 Mon 19-Oct-20 14:01:05

His wage has to cover absolutely everything. He earns 3k after pension. Pays for mortgage, a loan that bought our car and furniture, all the bills and insurances, fuel, and food there is not much left! We don't have any savings at all. No subscriptions or sky TV etc.

My point is tho that even if we could afford it I think things are far too expensive!! 35 pounds for a cardigan! I need multiple! Anything I have is second hand or charity shop but they don't always have my size

OP’s posts: |
RedRec Mon 19-Oct-20 14:01:46

... cross posted with your comment about charity shops!

DoctorYang Mon 19-Oct-20 14:02:03

We earn similar to you OP, have a mortgage and 3 kids and I can certainly afford new coats & clothes and days out.

SleepingStandingUp Mon 19-Oct-20 14:02:13

Re clothes, try Very or Simply Be then pay it interest free over 3 months. Even if you spend £100 that's only £33 of £200 per month. Santa Train is £80. That's £113 this month. That's roughly £20 a week then. Take out one week, the early cinema showing one week with your own sweets, coffee shop the next, be school bags the next. That's £200 and a lot of Facebook photos of people wondering.

What are you spending£200 a month on at present and can you reduce your main outgoings?

Mumdiva99 Mon 19-Oct-20 14:02:18

I look for deals. We did Chessington last month - 1 ticket was with tesco vouchers and one family of 4 ticket bought on black Friday last November. (The kids donated some Xmas money towards it instead of getting gifts from an Aunt).

Always look for special deals on FB, websites, local papers.
Always Google for a discount code.
If you see an offer for somewhere you like but can't afford then mark it on the calendar for next year as they often do the same deals year after year.

Buy kids stuff second hand.
Wait for the sale to get your coat. A £200 coat reduced to £50 will last longer than a primark £30 one.

Premier Inn and travel lodge do really cheap rooms...£30 for a family. You need to book ahead. Then breakfast (in the PI is 2 kids eat free with each adult....).

We would say £145 is too much for one day out - you can get a whole weekend away for that. (Yes you have to do picnics to keep the cost down).

ColleagueFromMars Mon 19-Oct-20 14:02:33

How much is your mortgage? I can only assume a lot of your income goes on that.

Try ebay - some lovely good condition clothes on there.

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