Headline Catcher

Oh, oh, oh, I had to read this:

Money expert defends the spending habits of woman, 30, who struggles on £40k salary

The woman concerned is an accounts director for a marketing company and lives with her parents in Bournemouth. She says she has to ask for £100 to £500 from her mother to tide her over every month.

I am gobsmacked, but obviously cannot judge because I don’t know her circumstances or outgoings. I also appreciate that commission based salaries fluctuate and some months will be leaner than others.
However, if she is living with her parents, high rents and household expenses such as council tax and utility bills surely would not apply.
Yet a money expert defends her spending habits.
In order for anyone to feel sympathy, perhaps readers should be aware of what some of them are.

Bournemouth is not that far from my home town of Poole, and one of the reasons we left the area was because it was simply too expensive to live. We were both working and had a car each as it was cheaper than irregular public transport, we worked in different directions and different hours which didn’t coincide. It was a rat race, soul destroying to see our money making fat cats fatter, and we got sick of living our lives for other people.

When I say I’m from Poole, people automatically think of Sandbanks (Millionaire’s Row) and Canford Cliffs (Celebrity Alley).
I was born in a council house, there was never a lot of money, but we had everything we needed growing up and I had a happy childhood.
Hubby and I could not afford to move back there as a one bedroom purpose-built apartment is way beyond our budget, especially now. Our income is limited as we don’t qualify for a state pension for another three/four years respectively and just have our works pensions plus my 2 small annuities. Neither of us pay tax on our income, which is nowhere near the single person’s allowance currently standing at £11,850 pa.

It costs us about £5000 a year to live in our home, £1300 of that is Council Tax (which will rise by about 8% next year), £550 heating and electricity, £360 water/sewage, £150 for buildings and contents insurance, £350 for life insurance, and the luxury of broadband at £360.
Food at the moment has totalled around £1600 to date for the two and a half of us, and our car so far has cost £1500 to keep on the road as we’ve had a major service, new tyres and brakes.
Maggie has not been well and we have spent almost £600 on her care this year, but it has been budgeted for as we no longer have insurance for her.
We have to pay for our dental care, get no concessions for eye care other than a free eye test though we do get free prescriptions.
We don’t have a mortgage now as I halved it with my redundancy pay in 2001 and a year later when Hubby lost his job too, we cashed in our endowment policy which had been stripped of all profits and paid off the rest. It left us with about £200 in the bank and was the best thing we ever did. When we sold up, the proceeds were all ours and we were sensible when we bought our next house. The property market dipped and although not as badly pro rata as the negative equity we got caught with in the 1990s, we lost about £50K which included our investment in improvements in the 7 years we were there.

We have no loans or overdrafts to keep on top of, and should we use a credit card which has a minimal limit, it is paid off in full as soon as we get the statement, if not beforehand.
We don’t drink or smoke, socializing is walking the dog together, shopping or for me darts once a week, where I drink soda and lime at an average of £1 a pint.
That is us.
We manage on a fraction of this lady’s £40K salary, and there are two of us.

I am a good money manager. I have had to be as we never had a lot, and still don’t.
This lady is an accounts director, so should have a good sense of money……. or perhaps not. I don’t know.
But something appears out of kilter here if she is living at home and can’t cut her cloth to suit her purse/income.

Can I help?
Maybe some of these posts would be of interest to her:
according to whom
figuratively speaking
dispose of your income here
how do they live

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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9 Responses to Headline Catcher

  1. tidalscribe says:

    I hope she pays towards the household expenses! I certainly can’t get my head around this, maybe she goes out clubbing every night.

    • I have absolutely no idea. Maybe she drives an expensive car to impress her clients, maybe she’s owner of the company with extortionate overheads, maybe she’s paying off horrendous debts from a messy divorce. Who knows? I read things like this and honestly wonder how the hell we manage, but we just do!

    • Also, she’s lucky her parents, especially her mother (maybe her Dad doesn’t approve) are in a position to help, though they’re not doing her any favours by bailing her out when IMO they should be helping her with her budgeting.

  2. The Haunted Wordsmith says:

    It’s amazing how people complain about struggling when they have more than most. It’s that way in the US. 100k a year puts you in the top 10% of earnings, yet they complain the loudest because it costs a lot to keep up with the millionaires. My mother makes $21k a year with her social security and disability. Mortgage is $6960, taxes are $2300 and going up 10% next year, $1056 for internet, $600 for sewer/trash/water, $620 for heating, $430 for electricity, $1200 for property insurance. We spend about $300 a month on food and $150 for her cigarettes (she won’t quit). That leaves us $200 a month for my bills, spending, sons needs, etc.

    I wish I had the problems wealthy people do lol

    • I hear you Teresa. Your outgoings are way more expensive than ours. I can cut back on food if we have to, and perhaps turn the heating down a notch, but I refuse to be cold or hungry and will find a way somehow.
      When we smoked, cigarettes were about £1.50 for a pack of 20. I was on a 40 a day habit and Hubby 20. They are now around £10 a pack though we have never wanted to take it up again since quitting in 1991.
      I’m not unreasonable or unfeeling about someone’s financial plight, but sometimes I just can’t get my head around things like this, and have to ask WHY CAN’T SHE?

      • The Haunted Wordsmith says:

        Our neighbors both work for the local school district, so we know how much they earn (close to 95k) and they complain all the time about money (they even put their kids in for the Angel Tree at Christmas). People always tell me to cut back or to stop drinking soda because it’s expensive and I just shake my head. I have nothing to cut back. I just find it amazing how people view money and equate it to personal value.

      • I keep saying we are richer in other things. Hubby tells me it’s the privilege of the poor to say that! Seriously, we’re doing OK but I have to wonder exactly how, but the proof is there on my spreadsheets.

      • The Haunted Wordsmith says:

        We survive and don’t really miss what we don’t have (although I would love to have a car). I taught my son the difference between being rich and being wealthy when he was young. Only one of those involves money.

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