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Achieving a better standard of living that your income suggests

(81 Posts)
ChocolateWombat Sun 19-Jan-14 17:40:10

I notice that people who have similar household incomes, family size and house size in the same area often seem to have very different standards of living.
My question is how do those who seem to have the higher standard of living achieve it? I'd like to know their secrets which allow them to have this.

Just as an example I'm thinking of a family which have an income of around £60,000 in Surrey and who manage have holidays and privately educate their child. How do they achieve that when lots of people with much more seem to have neither?

foxdongle Thu 20-Mar-14 10:49:47

preciousbane fancy cars are definitely at the bottom of our list, we both have just never been bothered about makes/ones with bells and whistles on/flash cars and all. as long as it gets A to B , is comfortable and is economical etc.
so we buy a smallish one every 3 years from new, then trade it in after 3 years for another similar one, no hassles, so far.
smile @ brolly story.

duchesse Thu 20-Mar-14 11:07:39

Help with school fees from family (quite likely)/ booking flights on budget airlines very early and going to stay with family and friends abroad/ doing a lot of things themselves/ having second income maybe from pre-marriage flats/ not having a mortgage/ no debt (debt is expensive). There are many possibilities.

duchesse Thu 20-Mar-14 11:09:07

Shopping around for everything- ie refusing to pay a lot for things, "settling" for cheaper than top-notch. Unless you care a lot about status symbols, you can save a lot of money.

Johnogroats Thu 20-Mar-14 11:36:09

So much is down to timing. Being mid 40s, we are very very lucky...big house in reasonable part of s london, as well as small holiday house in France. We haven't had any inheritance, although my Dad gave me �30k when we bought first house and DH had a large redundancy payment. However, we are both fairly high earners (c�80k each) and bought first houses very young - DH was 21 when he bought with his brother, and then I bought with DH when about 27. We are essentially savers not spenders, livign well within our means, and so have managed to pay off the morgage on the holiday house and reduce it substantially on london house.

I know that others think that we live fairly modestly - car is about 10 years old, and I don't buy new clothes very often. Takeaways are rare, although we do eat out once / twice a week. I have just bought a new bike, so at the moment commuting costs are nil. We are going to take the kids to see the Normandy beaches...looked at June ferries, but decided to go in Sept as it was �150 cheaper. Holidays are usually in holiday house, which costs us about �500 in travel.

We are contemplating private education, but are undecided.

AnneElliott Sat 22-Mar-14 20:01:44

I would say timing has a lot to do with it. We bought our old 3 bed house in 2001 for £124k (SE London). 4 years later my brother had to pay 135k for a tiny 2 bed flat in a terrible area. 4 years made so much difference.

As we benefitted from the increase in value we were able to buy a 5 bed in a really nice area. That is unlikely to be an option for my brother. I think inheritance will be his only way out.

emma16 Sun 23-Mar-14 21:13:30

A SAHM can save a lot in childcare however she brings nothing in to the family income & also bearing in mind that the longer she's off work, the more time passes & it's harder for her to get back on the career ladder.

Often we sit & watch programme's like Location, Kirstys Best of Both Worlds etc & it never ceases to amaze us the price bracket people are looking in! I think some people are happy to take mortgages out over 30-40 years as realistically they know at some point down the line they're inline for an inheritance which will probably wipe the majority of their mortgage out, or they simply don't care & think they deserve a big house because they work hard & earn a 'decent' wage.

Parental help makes a massive difference, whether it be via childcare or cash in your hand, i'd be very interested to see what the country would be like if no parent had never helped their grown up children in some way!

As frustrating as it can be sometimes, believe me i get it, i think you just have to ignore how others live their life & how they get by day to day..but more importantly stop comparing your life to them.
We're going to Florida next year for 18 days & some will think how do they afford it, but it's my husbands annual bonus that pays for our holidays. Yes we could use it for something far more sensible but we've always said a bonus is a bonus & we use it to make sure we have that one big break a year away from the mundane day to day reality of life/work/school etc.

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