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How do ordinary people afford ...

(113 Posts)
EbenyZebraScrooge Wed 22-Dec-04 11:09:35

good quality furniture, original artwork, water softener systems, anything expensive?

This is not to criticise anybody, rich or poor, spendthrift or frugal.

DH & I are, I think, relatively very financially comfortable. No debts, own house outright, savings...But we see shops full of stuff that is more than we think we can afford -- more than we can justify spending. We will have to save up for a few years to buy some of the things we want (like good quality solid wood furniture).

Most of our current furniture was inherited/gifts, actually. Are there a lot of very wealthy people out there? Do people buy these big things mostly on installment or credit cards? I just can't imagine how most furniture shops/art galleries/whatever stay in business!

Tinker Wed 22-Dec-04 11:13:26

I seriously think a lot of people are in a lot of debt. I've often wondered this when friends, whose income I know, seem to get new kitchens/conservatories/their houses fixed up in a relatively short space of time plus still have holidays. Also, think a lot of poeple are given/lent money by parents.

throckenrobin Wed 22-Dec-04 11:15:17

a lot of people live on credit - and often the more they earn the more credit they have as well.

hosannainIXELsis Wed 22-Dec-04 11:15:55

I think the whole world lives off credit!
Was talking to a friend the other week, who was saying she only just breaks even each month now they're on one salary... then found out their income is TWICE ours! So if they 'cant' afford things, what hope is there for us?? On the other hand, the world has gone mad with regard to thinking you need things that you really really dont.When it comes down to the bear bones and I have to choose what to spend on, its suprising how I can suddenly see things in a different light.

karenanne Wed 22-Dec-04 11:18:47

i agree the majority of people nowadays have alot of credit.its just so easy to get.
i count myself lucky due to a failed relationship years ago and a subsequent repossession i cant get credit.i know many would not agree but least what i buy i pay my way for.i have nice things they may be cheaper that what i would really like but i the end im not getting myself into debt to ay for them.

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Wed 22-Dec-04 11:29:02

I have often often wondered the same Zebra

even when we were dual income and had a fair amount of disposable cash I still felt like there was lots I couldn't afford and I've never been comfortable with credit (unless interest free and we have the cash in the bank to cover it .. or its a mortgage)

At the moment we're taking our hard-earned cash (over about 10 years) out of investments so we can do some alterations to the house .. I thought I had a big amount of money, but everybody I speak to .. builders / glazers / architects just make me feel small and like I'll have to make 50 million concessions

I am constantly amazed at furniture / beds / whatever and the prices

as for art ..we collect over the years never spending more than £100 .. and I love having real pictures / paintings amongst some cheaper prints

KristmasBear Wed 22-Dec-04 11:32:03

Credit definitely. We don't have any debts now(having paid off everything when we moved, car loan etc) although get offered a credit card every time I go into the bank and they look at me in horror when I say no. One woman in the Halifax said I was "pre-approved" for their card last week and said "that'll get you through Christmas". So I said "what is it, free money then?". She laughed. I didn't. At the time I was waiting for payday so I could go out and "do" Christmas. If I was desperate I would have snatched one up and run amok at the shops with it.

Yesterday I said to DH, wouldn't it be nice to just wander into the travel agents and book a holiday in the sun for January. He laughed and we just walked on!!

Debt would keep me awake at night.

KristmasBear Wed 22-Dec-04 11:32:39

Of course we have the mortgage but I don't count that cos you gotta live somewhere!!!!

ellimum Wed 22-Dec-04 11:39:15

I find that I scrimp and save , hunt through charity shops for clothes and have water instead of coffee when I am out with friends etc, and then my dh goes out and spends £££ on new home theatre systems and computers and mp3 players and lots of other rubbish which is never used after about three weeks. grrr

He says that we are not badly off and that I am just tight with money. I think we just have different attitudes to debt.

Minstrel Wed 22-Dec-04 11:40:08

My dh's friend has just moved into a 5 bed 3 reception house with her single parent mother who works part-time. Price ...£315,000.00!!

Minstrel Wed 22-Dec-04 11:40:56

Sorry that should have said dd

Gobbledigoose Wed 22-Dec-04 11:45:01

Agree with others that some people just live on credit and don't worry about if they can afford it or not. I see/know people who are a lot less comfortably off than we are who go on 2 or 3 foreign holidays a year, have a nice car etc - I know their salaries etc (family for example) and I know they can't really afford it.

I'm completely different - I couldn't live with debt - apart from a mortgage of course. I'd never sleep and I'd rather buy things if I could afford them and then I can enjoy having them.

Gobbledigoose Wed 22-Dec-04 11:49:07

I do think that the prevalent attitude in society now is 'I want it, I'm having it, now' - it always amazes my Mum (JoolsTide!) because they started off with nothing and worked their way up. When they bought their house it needed redoing completely and it was literally years before it got to how they liked it - they do it bit by bit. Friends of mine drive her mad cos they winge and moan that they want this,that and the other - they have no patience!!

I can understand that of course but my lack of patience would not push me to debt, no way! The only time I'd buy something on credit is like Twiglett says, if it's interest free and I could cover the full amount anyway.

IwigitcouldbeXmaseveryday Wed 22-Dec-04 12:36:23

Message deleted

ChristmasCracker Wed 22-Dec-04 12:38:16

We just don't buy that type of stuff, simple as that. It is way out of our reach so we don't even look.

We had to get a loan just to buy furniture etc and that was only argos stuff.

wrapmefestively Wed 22-Dec-04 13:01:36

If you look at the demographics there are quite a few people who can afford this sort of thing, and have that level of purchasing power.

IwigitcouldbeXmaseveryday Wed 22-Dec-04 13:03:43

Message deleted

wrapmefestively Wed 22-Dec-04 13:04:48

Ok, I'll come clean. I can afford that sort of thing without incurring big debt and so can quite a few people I know

wrapmefestively Wed 22-Dec-04 13:06:20

I didn't want to say that (as I prefer to play things like personal finances close to my chest) but I was becoming a bit narked with the assumption that everyone who buys this sort of thing is foolishly over extending themselves and living beyond their means...

nailpolish Wed 22-Dec-04 13:08:25

it always AMAZES me how much some people earn - more than you could ever need although some just want more and more.

one of my friends buys a new outfit every time she goes out - which is every weekend. to me this is luxury - to her its normal.

i moan that i dont have any clothes to wear - she moans thats she doesnt have a wardrobe big enough to put it all in!

imo its all credit these days - some people dont think its anything to worry about as long as they are careful and others like me are scared of it

nailpolish Wed 22-Dec-04 13:10:25

so do those who can afford these things pay for it with cash? or pay the cc balance every month?

ChristmasCracker Wed 22-Dec-04 13:10:53

Friends of mine who live near here have at least 3 times the amount of money coming in as we do, yet they are broke apparently.

I was really gobsmacked when I was there one day and she had a soliciters letter arrive because she hadn't paid one thing or another. I know they do have a quite a bit of credit though so can only assume it all gets eatan up paying for that.

Gwenick Wed 22-Dec-04 13:14:44

Just wait a few months - you'll be able to buy good quality wooden furniture for a decent price from DH's business :-)

He got fed up of having to buy 'pine' everything so is in the process of setting up.

Gobbledigoose Wed 22-Dec-04 13:16:05

wrapmefestively - I don't think anyone was saying that! I'm the same as you but I'm just saying that I do know of others that don't have the same 'purchasing power' but just get loans on top of loans anyway (to try and keep up or look like they can afford it or are just downright impatient??).

I think you can often (but not always) tell who has these things because they can afford them and who has them because they are up to their eyeballs in debt.

TBH, I'm not even sure what 'things' EBZ is referring to or how expensive she is talking!

wrapmefestively Wed 22-Dec-04 13:18:04

Oh, okay then Gobbledigoose..


walks off mollified

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