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The Preacherman

Are You 'secretly Poor' Too?

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My wife aleted me to this thread on Musnet which makes grim reading. http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1001477-Are-you-39-secretly-poor-39-too?pg=1

Its full of Mumsneters confessing that despite their DH earning a decent wage they can't make ends meet because the cost of their lifestyle is overwhelming them.

Take the OP for example.

Listened to a phone-in on Jeremy Vine a few days ago about people who are 'secretly poor'.

Well, I had to stop the car and cry a bit because it just hit home that my DH and I are 'secretly poor.'

On the surface we look fine, quite affluent even and definitely middle class. We're both university educated and DH is self employed but in a professional career. But the recession has badly affected him and his business. I work part time because of child care. We have a lovely house filled with expensive furniture and nice clothes in the wardrobe.

But, behind the scenes it's all so horribly different. We're 6 months in arrears on our mortgage. Obviously, we'd love to sell and downsize but we can't. The bank have a charge on all the equity in our house. So, we couldn't afford a deposit on another much cheaper house, and anything we bought would have to have the same amount of equity in it IYSWIM. So, renting somewhere cheap wouldn't be an option either because we'd still owe the bank.

We're just about keeping on top of paying all the other bills and the two loans we have, but it's really hand to mouth every month. And once or twice people have actually turned up on our door step for their money (we had a bad leak recently so reluctantly got a plumber in, so far we've only paid him back two thirds of what we owe and he's really not happy). All the while we're robbing Peter to pay Paul and it's so stressful. Some days I only have a few bits of change in my purse and that's it. I can't buy myself a newspaper and I have to chose between toothpaste or toliet rolls in the supermarket.

I'm trying to feed us as cheaply as possible, buying whatever is on offer at the supermarket and my Dad often donates some groceries. But I'm aware that we're not eating as healthily as we should and once or twice recently I've actually gone without a meal because there literally hasn't been anything for me to eat after the DCs have eaten.

I've lost count of the times I've turned down doing something because I know I can't afford to do it, can't even afford the petrol to get there. It's a joke because I have a nice little car but can't always put petrol in it. I can't even sell that because it's tied in with my DH's business and you need to give the finance company a balloon payment before they'll let you sell it/give it back to them.

Finding the money for the DC's after school activities has been a real worry, enough to make me feel slightly sick. We've managed it but only just, and usually it's a few weeks late being paid. They don't do much and I hate to think of them missing out. At the moment the thought of finding the money to buy their winter uniform is just insurmountable even if I get it all from ASDA and it only costs me £50 in total.

And yet I'm sat here wearing an expensive pair of jeans which were bought in happier times but they're looking very worn now, and wearing a very expensive wedding ring and engagement ring. To look at me no one would have a clue how desperate I feel inside. I have actually thought of selling my wedding rings but I think it'd break my heart a bit. I've already sold two other pieces of jewellery which meant a lot to me.

Am I the only one living like this please tell me I'm not.

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Thanks for posting but what a load of horse hockey they are.

Nice house clothes and posessions etc etc after school activities they pay for ...

Its called living beyond your means and if you do then you are a jack ass (thats a mule so not swearing).

I've been in poverty through no fault of my own and have never acted as irresponsibly as some of the moaners out there. My god, if you have kids you should act much better than that. If you don't have the money then don't spend it. What a sad little world these people live in.

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My wife aleted me to this thread on Musnet which makes grim reading. http://www.mumsnet.c...oor-39-too?pg=5

Its full of Mumsneters confessing that despite their DH earning a decent wage they can't make ends meet because the cost of their lifestyle is overwhelming them.

Take the OP for example.

These stories are fascinating, and I suspect there are more people in this camp that many would imagine.

Interestingly I expect many HPCers might do it the other way around. Actually I do have to confess to a certain amount of shabby sheak. , I am the sort of guy who buys a reasonably expensive car for cash and then sticks a four year old number plate on it so as to stop people scratching it. I also avoid washing the car too much, as whilst it might be nice to look at a shiny motor, it attracts attention- and from a resale perspective, cleaning cars tends to put fine scratches on the paint, so in my book its better to not to clean are car more than 2-3 times a year.

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cleaning cars tends to put fine scratches on the paint, so in my book its better to not to clean are car more than 2-3 times a year.

Only if you do it badly. In the meantime bird crap and tree sap etc is eating into the surface.

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I went through insolvency back in 2004.

I am the sort of person who does not keep that sort of thing to myself. I told anyone who would listen.

You would be amazed to know how many people have already gone bust in one form or another. Some of them more than once. And those folk are just the tip of a huge iceberg.

If the economy does take the huge dive that I am expecting these people will be dropping like flies.

I honestly don't think that our current government is aware of the full extent of most families finely balanced (or not balanced) finances. Either that or they just don't care.

If interest rates creep back up, even to what would still be historically low levels, that would be a real killer.

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My wife aleted me to this thread on Musnet which makes grim reading. http://www.mumsnet.c...oor-39-too?pg=1

Its full of Mumsneters confessing that despite their DH earning a decent wage they can't make ends meet because the cost of their lifestyle is overwhelming them.

Take the OP for example.

Fascinating link. How sad for those people, lumbered with nice junk and nasty debt.

The debt courts are administered in secret, but that is a clear snapshot of what's going on.

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These stories are fascinating, and I suspect there are more people in this camp that many would imagine.

Interestingly I expect many HPCers might do it the other way around. Actually I do have to confess to a certain amount of shabby sheik. , I am the sort of guy who buys a reasonably expensive  car for cash and then sticks a four year old number plate on it so as to stop people scratching it. I also avoid washing the car too much, as whilst it might be nice to look at a shiny motor,  it attracts attention- and  from a resale perspective, cleaning cars tends to put fine scratches on the paint, so in my book its better to not to clean are car more than 2-3 times a year.

Made my day, I now have a good reason as to why I never wash the car.

As per the op, how it took a radio show to realise she was secretly poor I don't know.

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'............we had a bad leak recently so reluctantly got a plumber in, so far we've only paid him back two thirds of what we owe and he's really not happy'.

Really? I can't imagine why?? Surely his mortgagee accepted 2/3's payment that month and the supermarket also accepted 2/3's payment that month. I've got family & friends on the tools and this isn't a joke when it happens, especially for me who usually ends up lending (giving) 'em money to tide them over :angry:

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If people are self-employed builders etc and don't get paid (like the poor plumber in the post) it's sort of more acceptable that with erratic/unexpected loss of income they can have rough patches.

However, I get the feeling a lot of these are quite educated people with stable incomes who should have been able to work out exactly what they could and couldn't afford. I suspect the main criterion to making a purchase was what purchases their friends, neighbours, relatives and peer group were making.

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I honestly don't think that our current government is aware of the full extent of most families finely balanced (or not balanced) finances. Either that or they just don't care.

If interest rates creep back up, even to what would still be historically low levels, that would be a real killer.

I thought the government does realise this so that is why they are going to try and keep interest rates low for as long as they can. They do seem a bit more into getting the deficit down though.

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Only if you do it badly. In the meantime bird crap and tree sap etc is eating into the surface.

I think this is less of a problem with modern quality paints.  My last three cars have all been from Deutschland based manufacturers, and I have never had an issue.

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shabby sheik.

What do poorly dressed Arabian nobility have to do with it? ;)

Have to confess I am just the opposite I am incapable of paying full retail price for anything - its ridiculous.

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What do poorly dressed Arabian nobility have to do with it?  ;)

Have to confess I am just the opposite I am incapable of paying full retail price for anything - its ridiculous.

Damn, my spell checker.  Yes, shabby sheik sounds like something a tabloid would do to catch out Man United players or Sarah Ferguson.

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Before the debt boom I was naive - if some people that earned the same or little more than us seemed to have the decent house, the new kitchen, the mean machine, the clothes, the holiday, etc. I just assumed that some great Aunt must have left them a fortune or they were ex-Trustafarians still attached to the parental money-teat.

Then I learned about loose lending, self-certification, all that jazz.

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You never know what is happening behind closed doors until you observe that big black 4x4 tank has disappeared off the driveway and a smaller cheap car replaces it.

This is not new it has been the case the past 4 years. ;)

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You never know what is happening behind closed doors until you observe that big black 4x4 tank has disappeared off the driveway and a smaller cheap car replaces it.

This is not new it has been the case the past 4 years. ;)

It scary the number of people who's big black 4x4 tank are on lease plans as the post on the mumsnet thread testifies. These are often hard to get out of before the contract end without paying a penalty so the poor punter is stuck with an fuel guzzling behemoth when there circumstances become reduced.

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It scary the number of people who's big black 4x4 tank are on lease plans as the post on the mumsnet thread testifies. These are often hard to get out of before the contract end without paying a penalty so the poor punter is stuck with an fuel guzzling behemoth when there circumstances become reduced.

Would have thought they'd repossess if the instalments were in arrears - can't be a big glut of unwanted 4x4s as 2nd hand prices are gravity-defyingly high given the running costs.

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I am really shocked by the stories on that mumsnet thread, really, really shocked.

What were some of these people thinking? What planet are they living on? Loans, two mortgages, overdrafts, leased cars, student debt .... and then they make comments about the house "looking tired", and their two big dogs, and their children's acting lessons.

I am flabbergasted.

You know what? Some people in Britain have completely lost the plot.

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Would have thought they'd repossess if the instalments were in arrears - can't be a big glut of unwanted 4x4s as 2nd hand prices are gravity-defyingly high given the running costs.

The cars not yours your leasing it. Yes they'll take it back but they'll also chase you for what you owe.

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I am really shocked by the stories on that mumsnet thread, really, really shocked.

What were some of these people thinking? What planet are they living on? Loans, two mortgages, overdrafts, leased cars, student debt .... and then they make comments about the house "looking tired", and their two big dogs, and their children's acting lessons.

I am flabbergasted.

You know what? Some people in Britain have completely lost the plot.

It amazing how many of the posters are stay at home mums (SAHM in mumsnet parlance). They are sinking in the debt quicksands from their profligate lifestyle but can't bring themselves to get a job to help out their poor husband as the kids will suffer.

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The cars not yours your leasing it. Yes they'll take it back but they'll also chase you for what you owe.

I understand leasing. I don't understand how 4x4 prices are remaining so high if significant numbers are becoming unable to finance the lease.

If people can't make instalments or the balloon payment they aren't going to be leasing another one. Despite this a 5 year old RR Sport with atrocious fuel economy and high ins group still fetch over half new list price.

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Apparently, In the US, there is footage in California of people making a few dollars by collecting drinks cans/scrapping metal and selling them to the recycling yard. The cars they roll up, some are nice 4x4s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j-vlW4aTpg

The US is where we'll see the unveiling of rich people who are really poor.

Oh and 7 people stand around digging a hole at the end of the vid.

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I thought the government does realise this so that is why they are going to try and keep interest rates low for as long as they can. They do seem a bit more into getting the deficit down though.

There are a number of 'tools' that a government can use to control the economy but the two headline ones are taxes and interest rates.

For many years the Tories used promises of low taxes and threats of "high tax under Labour" to swing elections. I am convinced that fear of tax rises cost Kinnock victory in 92.

As a result open use of taxes became nigh on impossible. Hence so called stealth taxes. Hence all the nonsense with interest rates under Major.

Current circumstances have made the raising of interest rates difficult to say the least which puts the Tories between a rock and a hard place. They have little choice but to raise tax. They need to if only to put a dent in the deficit.

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Can't help feeling sad for this person, after all they did all the 'consumer society' expected of them- acted like good little footsoldiers of the system- and now that system will destroy them.

Yes, of course, they could have been smarter and wiser and more careful- but just look at the odds- a vast industrialised propaganda machine in the form of advertising and 'lifestyle' TV pumping out the message that to consume is good and safe and the right thing to do. And every week a new offer of credit landed on the doormat- easy, cheap and always just a phone call away.

A mortgage 'industry' that peddled debt like candy and made it so easy and apparently risk free that only a fool would not get involved. Or so it seemed.

Did they really stand a chance? Did any authority of any description raise it's voice against the tidal wave of inducements that flowed over them- did the education system they passed through even superficially call into question or even discuss the nature of their financial reality?

No. To blame the sheep for being fleeced is to twist the knife unfairly I feel- these people have been shafted by just about every agency and entity in their world, either by commission or omission. Sad to see.

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  • 143 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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