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To feel awkward about our financial situation?

310 replies

Choppypog · 15/03/2023 16:15

Over the last few years my DH has been doing insanely well in his job, to the point he is going to be getting a very large sum of money soon which will make us very wealthy.
I work in the public sector on a fairly low wage all things relative, but I am a professional and got to where I am through 4 years of uni and hard graft.
I went part time after having our daughter however so my income is really very tiny in comparison.

Urgh, I'm probably going to get flamed for this, because it certainly isn't a bad problem to have considering the hardship many are putting up with out there...

But honestly, I feel so awkward about it all.
I didn't grow up in a wealthy environment, and all of a sudden we are in a position where we can buy whatever we want, go on whatever holidays we want, we can invest in a much bigger/nicer property.

I think there's a couple of reasons. Firstly I'm starting to worry about what friends/colleagues think. I often get jokey remarks about how amazing my life is, our 'fancy' cars, things like that. I feel awkward talking about it when people comment.

The second is I guess is I feel awkward about it not really being my wealth. It's my husband's. I almost feel like it's not really mine. Especially now I only work two days a week. Yea I could buy myself a nicer car, but my DH has paid for it. He argues what's his is mine, which on paper it is, but mentally it doesn't feel that way.

I guess I know I'm BU but I just need advice regarding how to adjust to all this and whether I need a good slap round the head and told to just enjoy it!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

GordonShakespearedoesChristmas · 15/03/2023 21:54

MadMadMadamMim · 15/03/2023 16:36

If colleagues make jokey remarks again give them a hard stare and say 'My husband works very hard for his money" and then change the subject.

It's rude. They will hopefully realise that.

Please don't.
People on £9.50/hr work very hard for their money too.

Knitterofcrap · 15/03/2023 21:57

A close friend of mine has a similar situation. She has a normal office job for a local authority but her husband is MD of a large company and basically they are minted.

She tells me she often gets shitty remarks about the fact she gets a new (Mercedes/Range Rover) car every 3 years and has lots of luxurious holidays.

But she shouldn’t have to drive a less fancy car so colleagues aren’t jealous, or have to lie about what she’s doing on her holidays or how she got such a tan in January!

She just rolls with it now, says “jealousy is such an unpleasant trait” if anyone really bitches to her, but in general she tries to make light of it.

Like you OP, her DH will happily tell people he never could have achieved his success without her working pt when DC were little, and putting her own career on back burner so he could put in the excessive hours etc.

Fuck em!

MrsMitford3 · 15/03/2023 21:59

Led9519 · 15/03/2023 16:50

Not sure if this would help with the awkwardness but can I suggest you be generous with it? My sister has a very well paid job (her bonus alone is 4* my salary) she has just bought a £1 million holiday home in Dorset. Meanwhile my other sister was made redundant in the pandemic and can’t afford the flight to my dc’s christening… I can’t afford it either… and my parents were hoping for something towards a bungalow or even a stair lift (but too proud to ask). We don’t expect anything of her in a way as it’s her job and her money but… I am disappointed she’s not more generous or aware or others needs. She seems to spend her money on herself or save it.

I’d hope if I had some money I might pay for an extended family holiday in Summer for my siblings… nieces and nephews and I’d certainly make sure my parents were comfortable. Not sure if that would make you feel more or less awkward though!

are you bloody kidding me????

NaturalBae · 15/03/2023 22:00

Also, expensive cars and spa breaks are not necessarily an indicator of wealth.

In addition, don’t talk about it and do not flash your lifestyle all over SM. No need to hide, but be private.

You don’t have to answer people’s nosey questions. You are not answerable to anyone re. your private life outside of work.

You do not need to discuss your salaries or family finances with anyone, that includes family members. It’s none of their business and it would be rude of them to ask

Bs0u416d · 15/03/2023 22:01

Surely just enjoy it? Is it the lump sum that is going to change your lives or your DH's ongoing earning potential? If it's the latter then it must be very significant indeed!! Me and my DP earn >250k and <300k. I do not feel rich but we do what ever we like, we fly business class long haul and we take plenty of holidays, have nice dinners out etc. I share these details with family, friends and colleagues (the nature of my job means im mostly surrounded by much lower paid support staff too) because these are details of my life. I'm never boastful and have never had any awkwardness or animosity. I'm equally interested in their holidays, cars, struggles and the like and find engaging equally and respectully is in no way hindered by my own fortunate position. It takes allsorts, as they say.

Sluttypants · 15/03/2023 22:04

Just enjoy it. I’ve got £1 in the back right now, so I would.
You don’t have to buy fancy cars, if it makes you uncomfortable.

MzHz · 15/03/2023 22:17

57NewPosts · 15/03/2023 16:48

I get it. We are lucky that my husband and I have similar earnings. Not huge wealth but decent pay. I would feel embarrassed if he was earning huge amounts compared to me. I am very independent and would hate this.

Just don’t change as a person. That’s all you can do.

It’s not you that changes sadly in situations like this, it’s others

my oh is mega well off. When I first met him I was a struggling single parent.

When we moved in together and bought a house my ex boss was clearly so jealous that he flipped and I ended up losing my job. Best part of 10 years gone in a puff of smoke. With it all the colleagues I’d worked with. IRL Friends… only really one of them treats me the same as she always did. Others went proper weird sadly.

Real friends want to see you rise. Remember this @Choppypog

you can’t make others be the people they are not. Don’t feel guilty for your H work paying off, you’ve both made sacrifices and this is what you’re getting back

it’s yours to enjoy, embrace it and enjoy the peace that security brings.
you’ve all worked for it

LoisLane66 · 15/03/2023 22:23

I have a very fancy Mercedes saloon which I bought after seeing a postcard ad in a shop window. Turned out to be only 2 years old with 18k on the clock. Father had died, they're moneyed, live on a well known golf course and sold it for £1,750. Yes, you read that correctly. No children to pass on to and wife had her own and 1 other vehicle.
I too go on spa breaks and have regular hairdressing appointments, buy clothes every month, Sahara, Zara and some independents plus the occasional Ralph Lauren and Massimo Dutti.
I have Versace raw silk evening trousers and some Ferragamo boots and shoes.
Not rich or wealthy, retired on a basic pension with some savings but I'm debt free and food shop at M&S, Waitrose and farmer's markets with some household cleaning items, bottled water and Graham's gold top smooth milk from Tesco.
It's how you manage your money and put together your outfits that make an impression. You don't need to say anything to friends or colleagues. If you don't want to get under their skin, don't drive your DH's car or mention the Maldives more than once. Most people can afford holidays and it's often more expensive to stay in the UK.
Wealth is variable depending on your own status. I don't think that you're wealthy, just not used to money.
When I was married we had a 6 bedroom house with triple garage, pool and tennis court. We weren't wealthy. Husband was a commercial diver for an oil company. That's just good money management, not wealth. We had 5 children to educate and feed.

EatDiamondsForBreakfast · 15/03/2023 22:24

@SleepingStandingUp ❤️ Sending love. That comment about leeching off men made my eyes roll so hard!!!!
Surely people can understand just because THEIR OWN life is one way - doesn’t mean everyone’s is!!!!

mswales · 15/03/2023 22:26

@Led9519 so shocked some posters are calling you grabby. Of course family members who are very wealthy should help out family members who are struggling. Despair at how many people think it's morally ok to be really wealthy and not routinely give money to people/causes in need.

Ali85 · 15/03/2023 22:27

OP I hope you don't mind me saying that your first posts starts by talking about becoming very wealthy but then your posts seem entirely about spending. Have you taken advice on what to do with this life changing money that your DH is coming into? It's difficult to guage how much your are talking about but it sounds as if it is the kind of sum that could be invested to give you and your children freedom to choose how to spend your lives without having to base those decisions on earning. That kind of freedom is incredibly valuable. If I were in your position I would spend more time thinking about how to invest the time and money wisely and less on consumption. That's not to say that you shouldn't spend on nice things but at the moment that sounds as if it is the centre of your thinking.

Kranke · 15/03/2023 22:33

Sounds a perfect time for him to support you and you to flourish in your career!! Sounds like that would be ideal and you’d feel less guilty about everything.

FlyingFang · 15/03/2023 22:37

I get that most people can't relate, but I don't see why the OP can't post about how she feels. Mumsnet is for everyone and you don't have to read or comment on threads.

We are in a similar situation. DH has started to take home £2m a year after tax, and will do for the forseeable future.

We're both from very modest backgrounds and don't know anyone rich. My best friend is unemployed and struggling. My family are various levels of skint. We live in the North so housing etc is cheaper (I say this as what he earns is more usual in London or down South).

I find it embarrassing and don't talk about it, but we moved house and all my friends can look on Rightmove and see what we spent.

If you're not from a wealthy background and come into money fairly quickly it does feel weird and will take some adjustment.

NCforthispurpose · 15/03/2023 22:38

We earn what many would call an insane amount of money through our jobs (think several millions per year and this has been going on for over 10 years). Yet we don’t have flashy cars, we don’t travel business when going on holidays with the kids (except if we can on air miles), we don’t do flashy holidays, no fancy clothes or hand bags… You get the gist. Where we do spend a lot is on help at home (housekeeper, cook…) and buying properties/refurbishing them. I therefore don’t experience the awkwardness you are referring to and don’t feel I am missing something in my life.

From the outside people who don’t know us well have no idea of our wealth which I find great and very liberating. Only our close friends/trusted colleagues know we have many properties in some of the best parts of the UK and Europe and a lot of savings/investments so we can retire early. We have also been helping several members of the family when they needed to buy a house and have given money to the kids so they can buy a house if they want.

Genevieva · 15/03/2023 22:41

It is all relative. Your idea of a lot of money will be someone else's idea of not very much. You have a very young child at the moment. Believe me - children can be a bottomless pit of spending if you want them to be - music lessons, riding lessons, school trips, school fees, driving lessons, university... Especially if you have more than one then I can guarantee you will have no shortage of opportunities to spend that money in ways that make you think twice about whether you can justify a flashy car.

AngryBirdsNoMore · 15/03/2023 22:47

Luredbyapomegranate · 15/03/2023 21:47

I do think you might be imagining some of this OP. The only thing I think might be obvious is an expensive car - in which case either don’t let it bother you / say it’s a company car - or just buy a cheap runaround when your husband needs yours. Houses are often an inheritance, holidays you can be vague about, school fees you can put down to grandparents/scholarships, clothes you can claim to rent/ buy on vinted if anyone noticed..

In terms of the money being his - you are a team, you look after your child. If he became disabled and you had to work FT to support him would your money not be his? Of course it would.

In the nicest way, catch yourself on.

Good post.

you don’t have to lie, you can just be vague in a way that doesn’t give much away and doesn’t make colleagues who are much less well off - and may be struggling - uncomfortable.

Bananalanacake · 15/03/2023 22:54

I'm in the same position, DH is a high earner, about to sell his company, and I'm a Sahm. He expects me to feed the kids and drive them about so I need access to money.

thesunday · 15/03/2023 22:55

Finding it very hard right now working up empathy for this 'problem' OP, so sorry! You definitely need a little slap around the head. Stop overthinking.

redrobininmygarden · 15/03/2023 23:00

I am very interested in your husband's job. I wonder what does he do for a wealthy living?
Enjoy this wealth

SofiaSoFar · 15/03/2023 23:22

I'm loving the unfounded "you sacrificed your career for his..." posts, as usual. 😂

You tell yourselves that if it makes you feel better but wives of high earning men are in a far better position to not "sacrifice" their career than poorer families.

If you don't want to be vilified for riding on his coattails, get working on your own career since, as a family, you have the financial means to facilitate that. And if you don't want to then don't, but just own it.

Many of us manage to make our own ways in successful, high earning careers whilst our husbands do the same. There are ways and means to both achieve, if that's what you want.

Tropicaliyes · 15/03/2023 23:31

All I can say is make sure you or/and your husband save and invest wisely. Protect yourself from dropping back to where you were or even lower as best as possible and enjoy yourself! Regardless who earned the money… It’s earned.

Tigp · 15/03/2023 23:34

To be honest money has never interested me. I don’t care how big my house is, what car I drive and what holidays I go on or anything else to do with it.

Who cares what people think anyway.

TheTeenageYears · 16/03/2023 00:03

Unless DH did half of everything in the house/child related/mental load then it very much is a team effort. I have absolutely facilitated DH's life & career and thankfully he recognises he wouldn't be where he is work wise and we wouldn't have the assets/savings we do if it wasn't for me doing everything I do. Almost all successful people do not get where they are on their own.

JudgyVonHolierThanThou · 16/03/2023 00:08

SofiaSoFar · 15/03/2023 23:22

I'm loving the unfounded "you sacrificed your career for his..." posts, as usual. 😂

You tell yourselves that if it makes you feel better but wives of high earning men are in a far better position to not "sacrifice" their career than poorer families.

If you don't want to be vilified for riding on his coattails, get working on your own career since, as a family, you have the financial means to facilitate that. And if you don't want to then don't, but just own it.

Many of us manage to make our own ways in successful, high earning careers whilst our husbands do the same. There are ways and means to both achieve, if that's what you want.

Thank you for pointing out the obvious!

JudgyVonHolierThanThou · 16/03/2023 00:11

If you’re both earning decent money, you get live-in help while they’re small, you WFH, you get a great deal more flexibility in a senior, professional role of your own.

If you don’t want to ride on his coat-tails, you definitely do not have to.

If you do want to ride on his coat-tails, then own it and make your peace with it.

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