/ How much money do you spent overall?
Just trying to work out what we could get away with...how much money do you spend over the year (averaged) including your holidays, petrol everything. We are a family off 3. Don't want to skimp, just would like to know whether we are spending too much..?
We ( family of 4) spend approx just under our income for the year, all bills paid, hodilays and fun time with a wee bit of savings - basically we are boring and live within our means
I am embarrased about how much we spend. We don't want to skimp so we don't. We always promise ourselves that we will save each month but we don't. No reason why we shouldn't, we just want to enjoy ourselves and because of this, we are always away, having treats, etc etc.
We are a family of 3, daughter is 3 in 2 weeks time, I am a stay at home dad and the other half is a Naval Nursing Officer. I already have a monthly pension and my other half is well paid. We don't skimp because we didn't have it as kids.
We live in military accommodation and we rent our house out in Cromarty. Like I said, I feel embarrased about the amount of money we spend. We could easily save £1000 each month and still live very well. We do spend too much but enjoy our time away with each other (wife works away a lot in Afghanistan) so we have lots of mini breaks and a really extravagant holiday each year.
The way we look at it is enjoy it, we have a house if we ever get homeless and I'm sure there will be a time when we can and will save but until then, what the hell! As an aside, I get a wee bit fed up with friends telling me we are lucky to have this money, which we are, but it Isn't through luck, it was, and is, hard work to achieve what we have.
The savings do get dipped into occasionally for big holidays or when we change cars but I think it would be fair to say we spend just under half our income on everything else.
I'm sure if there were 3 of us we wouldn't be able to save so much! But the good thing about overpaying the mortgage while you can is that we can stop doing that at any point and free up an extra few hundred a month without having to skimp on something.
We keep 10k in the back as an emergency buffer zone and spend the rest. You cant take it with you. The buffer is only for a genuine emergency though, we are going on holiday this year and are putting 500 a month away from last month to June to pay for it.
other than the mortgage we have no debt and never have had so saving is easy if we chose to do it.
You wanted figures rather than 'we spend this proportion and save this proportion', right?
Ours is in the ballpark of £24k/year, including rent, bills, food, running my car (partner's is company car), holiday, and a few other bits and bobs. We're a family of two half the time, four the other half of the time.
The 0ld "you're ok with all the money you have' statement really bugs me! - normally trotted out by low/ no ambition people that prefer to knock others than think what they can do to have a similar lifestyle.
It seems you spend quality time with your child, your wife ihas a truely tough and worthwhile job and surely you deserve to enjoy your time away together etc.
Seems you have it spot on to me!
Yup, I was after figures, but I guess it's a bit of a sensitive subject....! 24k sounds not like a lot considering two (part-time) kids.
I think we spend too much on our two cars (one car and one van) and they seem to forever needing repairs...
I haven't really summed it up in total,but I reckon we spend more then that, but includes several grand of childcare.
There's a lot more to ours but that's mostly about private school fees and maintenance payments, so I decided that wasn't relevant to most people - though I suspect that it's similar to the situation many people have with childcare for younger kids.
You can sell children on the internet? Can you share the link please? And what about if one were to dress up two cats and a dog in children's clothes?
It's a very personal thing as many people will spend money on things they don't 'need' to but enjoy or whatever. As it's hard to separate one from from the other (I don't analyse it - though maybe I should) people won't be able to give you a sensible answer. However, I do often think my 'cost base' has grown as I've got older. I used to get by on next to nothing; now I fail to see how I ever did !
> The 0ld "you're ok with all the money you have' statement really bugs me! - normally trotted out by low/ no ambition people that prefer to knock others than think what they can do to have a similar lifestyle.
What are you on about?
Who are you making that unpleasant judgement about?
People have vastly different attitudes towards money, and many many people have other priorities in their lives other than achieving a certain lifestyle defined by consumption.
There are people (who perhaps you're thinking of) who end up feeling a bit bitter about not having as much money as others despite, in their eyes, working harder. These tend to be those in lower paid work that they've chosen to do because of the job satisfaction they expected and because the work is intrinsically socially valuable: nurses, social workers, teachers etc. The government has a knack of taking the job satisfaction out of these kind of jobs, and people who do them occasionally end up feeling like they wished they'd just worked in any old private sector job (I'm not saying it's impossible to work in the private sector and for your work to be socially valuable btw) and tried to make as much money as they could, because they've just ended up with very limited job satisfaction and relatively low pay.
There's an implication in your post that people who achieve a lifestyle of gaining wealth and consuming goods should be looked up to by those who don't. I disagree with that at the most fundamental level. People whose work is valuable should be looked up to: they might also be well paid, but it's scientists who discover new knowledge, teachers who inspire kids to fulfill their potential, lawyers who defend people's rights, artists who create our cultural life and countless others whom I respect. Those who work hard and make money in an insurance business (or of course, worst of all, an investment bank) aren't bad people, but I'm afraid I will never look up to them because they've managed to earn enough to buy an expensive 4x4.
Hahaha! I hear you can even sell dirty underwear on the internet? Maybe that's the way to go...or some sweaty thermals from last weekend's climbing trip?
And there's an implication in your post that they want or expect you to look up to them - whereas they probably don't at all. Everyone makes choices with their lives - as you say.
Hmm - I think Damo's response is more to do with threads of this nature usually being quite self-selecting, as people who are struggling to get by are less likely to respond if the thread's about 'do you live a nice life whilst still managing to save (etc)'. As it happens, Heike says that's not really what she's interested in finding out about.
As a single bloke (with no commitments like kids etc) I reckon I spend about £15k pa on 'lifestyle costs'. My accommodation is a bit odd because it is subsidised by my job at the moment. If I had to pay proper accommodation costs then I guess that figure would rise to about £20k.
I have a pretty good lifestyle, I spend the majority of my money on holidays and trips (my choice) and very little on 'stuff'. Last year I had a two week ski trip, my summer holiday was to the states and I had 2-3 weekends awat. I run a car, though not a vastly expensive one, and if I am using that a lot then petrol costs skyrocket. In a normal month (i.e. without a holiday) the majority of the expendable income probably goes on meals out.
I save the rest of my salary, the amount varies month to month, but I aim for between 20 and 30% of my income. I agree that you can't take it with you but I like to have a bit put away for the future so that choices can be driven by want and not financial necessity (for example I may be made redundant this year and would like to have the financial cushion to find something I really want to do rather than being forced into the first job I find because I need the money).
I find it interesting how my attitude to money has changed over time. In my early twenties I spent every penny I earnt, every month, without fail and had very little to show for it. Most weeks I would buy CDs, DVDs, playstation games etc as well as spending a lot on 'going out'. I wouldn't dream of doing that now (despite earning three times as much) and don't know where I got the money from...
I completely agree with that! I guess it's the same for most people of that age.
Then after that when it was just me and hubby we could save some money (as you say to have something to fall back to), now we have moved to bigger place (so bigger mortgage) and have more outgoings again so I guess it's a bit like being in early twenties again (hahaha I wish).
> And there's an implication in your post that they want or expect you to look up to them - whereas they probably don't at all. Everyone makes choices with their lives - as you say.
It's an interesting argument. I believe that status goods (the 4x4 is the classic example) are bought because they tell other people what you've achieved. Those who buy them will never admit it of course ("it has fantastic engineering") and it's rather difficult to prove someone's subconscious motivations...
You make a lot of nasty assumptions there! My point actually being you should not feel bad about having means and lifestyle you enjoy, esp to people who envy your position but are unwilling to do anything to better themselves. If you actually read my post and remove your liberal rose tinted glasses you will see I did actually value socially valuable positions.
Excuse me I must go and find the butler, thinks he's stuck under my 4x4
I have re-read your post and I'm still not sure what your point is.
I don't get who it is that "really bugs you" (apart from the obvious)? Who are these people who envy the OP but are "unwilling to do better"? And where do you say or imply anything about how you respect socially valuable work?
I don't want to get into a daft row (despite the narky tone of my first response), there's just something that really rubs me up the wrong way about the use of phrases like "lack of ambition" towards people who don't have any money!
Denni isn't the OP, Heike is.
So, when you or anyone buy smart clothes and/or does themself up to go out, that's a 'bad' thing because it's really just showing off about your relative wealth? You don't think it's equally as possible that it's because you enjoy doing it?
I'm sure there are people who do it for the reasons you suggest; but I'm equally sure there are many others who don't.
I don't like sweeping generalisations either.
Errrr....all of it!
Tall Clare is saying that it was me who originally posted the question ....
and I didn't want any judgements on what people think of other people's spending or such like. I was interested to hear how much people spent so that I can compare and see what's possible.
Having been a student and self employed and my partner is self employed too we spend all our joint income of about £20,000 per year, though this year i have spent about £3000 on training courses and spent £2500 on a car and about £2000 on the garden and house so in reality we probably spent around £12,000 on just living, bills, food, entertainment, holidays etc.
We live cheaply and dont really buy things like clothes other than work gear and we have a dog and some chickens and low mortgage. The majority of our money goes on petrol, insurance for varying things, car repairs and household stuff. Cant wait to earn more!
> So, when you or anyone buy smart clothes and/or does themself up to go out, that's a 'bad' thing because it's really just showing off about your relative wealth?
I only buy smart clothes to look professional for work. To feel comfortable and enjoy myself I wear scruffy clothes. Obviously I can't do that at a wedding or whatever, so in those situations I just feel uncomfortable and leave early. So I can't really identify with the question!
I do. Without looking at the trends in the way people behave you miss out on something fascinating.
Wonder how much of this is about your income. If your well off I guess that your not going to be buying clothes at Primark in the same way as if your less well off your not going to want to spend a disproportionate of your income on designer clothes.
it depends on the individual rather than the job - there are as many impressive "professionals" as those who do "valuable" work.
Right then, if no one minds, back to Heike's thread!
As noted, people are reluctant to give actual numbers but going off your post Heike, I differ from yourself in that I now feel bad if we do not save some money regularly, probably because for years we struggled with a house and family and had no spare cash at all, in fact forever being overdrawn. Now, through hard work we are fortunate enough to be able to afford literally whatever we want, but we are perhaps also fortunate in the fact that we still have the years of penury (alright, not quite..) still in memory, so we are trying to build a safeguard. But the thing is, you earn it, you do what the heck you like with it.
But we've got by on a lot less, and we do manage to keep a few months' income aside if things get tougher (I work for myself contracting/consulting so usually know what I've got on for the next few months).
Well, no, I feel quite bad, too, that we can't save anything, because what happens e.g. if you had an accident and you couldn't work etc. So, I would like to save some, but there is not really much left at the end of each month...we get by without debt which I would like to avoid like the plague, but I haven't got millions or even hundreds to stash away.
My thinking is if there are any ways in which to live more efficiently and yet work less. Just trying to get some ideas.
Basically, I want it all ;-)
> My thinking is if there are any ways in which to live more efficiently and yet work less. Just trying to get some ideas.
Other than that eating cheaply but very well from Tesco's cheapo counter (once got a lobster for 50p!)and cooking from scratch. I bought clothes cheaply in sales when I could but if I had to pay full whack I'd make sure it was a classic that would last years rather than fashion.
Still manage to run a car,live well, drink good wine and have plenty of weekends away, foreign trips etc and spend about £12k a year.
We spend a lot, probably about £45-50k a year, but that does include expensive holidays, lots of weekends away in a diesel thirsty campervan, currently 2 mortgages (although that will end soon and getting rid of the second house will free up about £12k a year in mortgage and bills) and lots of nice food, wine, meals out etc. We still save plenty and will be overpaying the mortgage as of summer, so although we spend a fair bit, we aren't wasteful or careless by any means.
Cycle to work
Council tax: About £1000 I think. I'd have to look it up.
TV License: £145
Buildings & Contents insurance: £200 ish
Interweb/phone: £200 ish?
Utilities: No idea. Not a great deal, but I never add it up.
So maybe £2.5k tops.
I keep all this stuff in a spreadsheet so have got accurate figures.
35k p.a spent, of which (roughly) 20k mortgage and bills, 5k petrol, 5k food, and 5k bits and pieces (e.g. holidays, house improvements, restaurants, etc). This is for two people but a big (1930's 4 bed detached) house, so mortgage/bills would probably be bigger than would normally be expected for two people.
I also drive all over the country for work, hence the petrol costs.
Me and Mrs T together earn about £100k per year. So our income is about £60k.
Main outgoings are a 2k per month mortgage, (only 5 years to go though), running two cars, food, gas, electric, rates etc, and two daughters in university, where we pay for everything for them, - don't believe in students loans, or even them having to borrow.
We just about break even, we have no savings, and sometimes can't have holidays.
do you not eat?
You don't believe in one of the best methods of debt finance available?
I know plenty of 18 year olds who had the foresight to take out the loan and stick it into an ISA, giving them a nice amount to use as a deposit as a house when they left university.
Also, given that you don't believe in them having to borrow, I assume you won't be permitting them to take out a mortgage either? Or is that acceptable debt?
> Me and Mrs T together earn about £100k per year. So our income is about £60k.
also, your net income should be closer to £70k per year. Bonus! :-)
> don't believe in students loans, or even them having to borrow.
> You don't believe in one of the best methods of debt finance available?
One of the Coyote cubs loves here loan. She tells me got it at 1pc below base and so is currently being paid half a per cent by the govt for having it. As she says, it's sod all cash wise but a lovely glow from getting someting for nothing from Mr Osborne.
I'm surprised at the number of people that are prepared to share the amount of money they have to spend. To me that's AWFULLY private information!
I think the answer to your question is, if you're having to regularly dip into savings or, worse, you are going overdrawn/running up bills without ready means to pay them off, then you're spending too much.
> I'm surprised at the number of people that are prepared to share the amount of money they have to spend. To me that's AWFULLY private information!
Indeed, but I'm automatically making judgements about some of the people from the amounts they spend. I'm honest enough to admit that. I'd sooner people didn't have the same information about me! :-)
> I'd sooner people didn't have the same information about me! :-)
But in real life, people only need to take one look at your house, car and the school your kids go to and they can quite quickly work out about 90% of your outgoings. It's hardly a private thing.
At the end of the day, who cares? Why is the subject of spending money so taboo in the UK? Bizarre.
> I'm surprised at the number of people that are prepared to share the amount of money they have to spend. To me that's AWFULLY private information!
Kind of unbothered. I've shared the amount I spend on food and bills etc before on here. Also, I shared the amount we spend, not the amount we have coming in.
I don't regard it as particularly private. If people want to judge me based on how much I spend on food a month its up to them. It's not like I'm likely to care what someone who judges me based on what I spend on food thinks of me anyway.
> But in real life, people only need to take one look at your house, car and the school your kids go to and they can quite quickly work out about 90% of your outgoings. It's hardly a private thing.
Yes, but you can't see those from here!
I have judged you to be an accountant ;-)
> I have judged you to be an accountant ;-)
> Kind of unbothered. I've shared the amount I spend on food and bills etc before on here. Also, I shared the amount we spend, not the amount we have coming in.
> I don't regard it as particularly private. If people want to judge me based on how much I spend on food a month its up to them. It's not like I'm likely to care what someone who judges me based on what I spend on food thinks of me anyway.
My thoughts exactly. And like you, have not stated joint income, just approx expenditure.
I am with you on that. But then there was an article last week about why money matters are so private in this country. It profiled some companies that were very open about who was paid what and noticed that generally speaking people were more productive in those companies.
I do wonder why personal finance is such a taboo in this country though.
Live in London, spend £18k a year. I'm very frugal, so I've saved £3k on my income of £21k.
Plans are in motions for my own business... so fingers crossed I'll earn and be able to spend a bit more in a year or so!
> I do wonder why personal finance is such a taboo in this country though.
It's the same in Germany, there is a saying: 'Money is something you have, but you don't talk about it' (or words to that effect)
I am not that bothered about it, my own motto is 'It's only money...', doesn't say much about you as a person.
> also, your net income should be closer to £70k per year. Bonus! :-)
No, its around £60k
> Also, given that you don't believe in them having to borrow, I assume you won't be permitting them to take out a mortgage either? Or is that acceptable debt?
I meant we don't believe in them having to borrow to finance their education. Even with student loans, they were both dubious about affording a university education, so we underwrote the lot. It may not make financial sense, but we wanted to do it.
> No, its around £60k
Really? Our joint income is a fair bit less than yours, with similar take home.
Fred might have other commitments he doesn't want to discuss here.
> One of the Coyote cubs loves here loan. She tells me got it at 1pc below base and so is currently being paid half a per cent by the govt for having it.
Best warn your cub that they are linked to RPI rather than BoE base rate and were only in negative interest for old-style loans for approx a year a while back (if memory serves)...
This is a really interesting thread, I've come to the conclusion that we are kind of average in terms of spending and earning. Still haven't seen any methods of saving money, though!!
Any more insights, let me know
> Still haven't seen any methods of saving money, though!!
That's because that's not what you asked and is a different question.
A bit off topic from your OP but to "save money" you need to spend less or earn more. Either or both!
There are loads of resources online for doing one or the other, both specific consumer advice like moneysavingexpert.com for things you have to buy, but other places for the psychology/philosophy angle of things you want to buy.
Some great blogs are thesimpledollar.com and getrichslowly.org. They're American personal finance blogs that have been running for years and have gone a bit downhill in terms of new content but have massive archives of great articles about getting more from your money. Sometimes you take your attitude to money for granted and don't realise what you've inherited from your family, or friends or culture around you, so it can be useful to see different perspectives.
In terms of actually saving though the simplist hack is "paying yourself first" which is setting up an automatic transfer to leave your account the day you get paid and go into savings, instead of relying on having something left at the end of the month. Then you live on the rest. Try it with even a small amount and increase it bit by bit.
Another method is that when you save some money or reduce your outlay some way (like switching a utility provider, or bulk buying something) put the difference you saved straight into your savings account. You won't miss it because you were managing to pay it before but if it's left hanging in your current account you'll just spend it on something else so it's not really saving. Lots of little trickles can add up.
It's a massive topic but have a rummage aroudn the net and see what you can find about things like the envelope budget method or balanced money formula. Sounds dry but getting control of your money really feels awesome and means you can feel less guilty about spending money on shiny things like cams :)
Interesting thread though - I'd never be able to put numbers on a public thread but enjoy reading about others - thanks for sharing :)
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