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Third Of Middle Classes Too Short Of Cash To Pay A £500 Bill

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In The Times, so paywall but the opening paragraphs say enough:

"One in three middle-class people could not pay an unexpected bill of £500 without resorting to borrowing, according to research showing the squeeze on household finances.

A poll for The Times illustrates the lack of disposable income for many British households as they try to square static wages with rising living costs.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/third-of-middle-classes-too-short-of-cash-to-pay-a-500-bill-lrgc5lb8g

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In The Times, so paywall but the opening paragraphs say enough:

"One in three middle-class people could not pay an unexpected bill of £500 without resorting to borrowing, according to research showing the squeeze on household finances.

A poll for The Times illustrates the lack of disposable income for many British households as they try to square static wages with rising living costs.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/third-of-middle-classes-too-short-of-cash-to-pay-a-500-bill-lrgc5lb8g

Bump.

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They are not middle class. They are working class. Working to live.

They've been convinced they are middle class and loaded up on DEBT like good little plebs, but they're still working class, because they have no choice whatsoever in their need to work until they drop. As evidenced by their £500 savings.

The great middle class scam IMO.

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They are not middle class. They are working class. Working to live.

They've been convinced they are middle class and loaded up on DEBT like good little plebs, but they're still working class, because they have no choice whatsoever in their need to work until they drop. As evidenced by their £500 savings.

The great middle class scam IMO.

My first reaction too. If you can't afford to fork out £500 without blinking and checking the bank balance you ain't middle class. I can afford £500 without blinking and I most certainly am not middle class.

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My first reaction too. If you can't afford to fork out £500 without blinking and checking the bank balance you ain't middle class. I can afford £500 without blinking and I most certainly am not middle class.

Sir_Sidney_and_Lady_Joan_at_the_polo_mat

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In The Times, so paywall but the opening paragraphs say enough:

"One in three middle-class people could not pay an unexpected bill of £500 without resorting to borrowing, according to research showing the squeeze on household finances.

A poll for The Times illustrates the lack of disposable income for many British households as they try to square static wages with rising living costs.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/third-of-middle-classes-too-short-of-cash-to-pay-a-500-bill-lrgc5lb8g

...as of today I could pay an unexpected bill of £950,500 without resorting to borrowing. Funny thing is I don't call myself middle class. Frugal, yes, planning ahead, yes, giving myself options, yes, middle class, absolutely not. A completely pointless moniker that means nothing IMHO.

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"One in three middle-class people could not pay an unexpected bill of £500 without resorting to borrowing, according to research showing the squeeze on household finances.

And one of them is my landlord. The ******ing ****. Fix the ******ing bath.

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...as of today I could pay an unexpected bill of £950,500 without resorting to borrowing. Funny thing is I don't call myself middle class. Frugal, yes, planning ahead, yes, giving myself options, yes, middle class, absolutely not. A completely pointless moniker that means nothing IMHO.

Love it :-)

This was discussed on another thread today too. Yeah, nowhere near your league but the feeling of being able to deal no matter what is similar.

Also reckon that by not borrowing and saving instead, you build a substantial amount of mental resistance unconciously at first. Now i feel like even if I didn't have anything - say in the advent of a mass bail in, financial armageddon or something silly I would simply be able to cope because my expectations in life aren't based around chasing materials, having to feel like I'm not keeping up with my peers etc. Everything I need - skills - are internalised.

Living on those margins - especially when you have a choice not to (plenty don't but if you're calling yourself 'middle class'...) and you can't find a monkey you're pretty much a drone for life.

Edited by Frugal Git

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Love it :-)

This was discussed on another thread today too. Yeah, nowhere near your league but the feeling of being able to deal no matter what is similar.

Also reckon that by not borrowing and saving instead, you build a substantial amount of mental resistance unconciously at first. Now i feel like even if I didn't have anything - say in the advent of a mass bail in, financial armageddon or something silly I would simply be able to cope because my expectations in life aren't based around chasing materials, having to feel like I'm not keeping up with my peers etc. Everything I need - skills - are internalised.

Living on those margins - especially when you have a choice not to (plenty don't but if you're calling yourself 'middle class'...) and you can't find a monkey you're pretty much a drone for life.

Agreed. I'm not sure if I read it on here or on one of the blogs I follow - "Quality of Life not Standard of Living". Describes nicely what I and many HPC'ers like your good self are now pursuing. Best thing I've ever done.

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Where I live, very average three bedroom houses are going for £500k+ and people moving into the street are young. We rent, I work a 5 minute cycle from the Office and my Wife looks after our 16 Month old baby at home. Rent is expensive but my wages cover all living expenses and our reserves are building by the week. The Wife wants to buy somewhere / anywhere but I resist. We have zero financial pressure, have a good quality of Life and we are very much enjoying being a Family in a lovely area. I spend a good hour in the Morning with my Daughter and then two hours in the Evening. I love it. We can ride any financial crisis.

Conversely, our lovely Neighbours bought last year and are both working with a Baby younger than ours. She commutes to London every day, leaves home early and arrives home late. That is the sacrifice they are / were prepared to make when they signed up to a mortgage. What is the point?

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Agreed. I'm not sure if I read it on here or on one of the blogs I follow - "Quality of Life not Standard of Living". Describes nicely what I and many HPC'ers like your good self are now pursuing. Best thing I've ever done.

Sounds interesting - I'll have a look at that blog - thanks!

The thing i find fascinating in the FIRE/SRTWL (semi retirement throughout working life - I've just coined it) subculture is we're all going about thing's differently - for instance you working like a trojan and me doing the polar opposite so it goes to show there are a multitude of ways to achieve 'it' (whatever quality of life means to the individual) too.

Back in the 'normal' world its uni, marriage, mortgage, 1 x yearly ski holiday, replace roof, retire, cruises, die. How utterly boring. And how awful it'd be if a bill for 500 quid means you'll behave to postpone the two weeks in the alps that's been keeping you sane.

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And one of them is my landlord. The ******ing ****. Fix the ******ing bath.

He's not middle class, he's part of the debtland owning elite.

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Sounds interesting - I'll have a look at that blog - thanks!

The thing i find fascinating in the FIRE/SRTWL (semi retirement throughout working life - I've just coined it) subculture is we're all going about thing's differently - for instance you working like a trojan and me doing the polar opposite so it goes to show there are a multitude of ways to achieve 'it' (whatever quality of life means to the individual) too.

Back in the 'normal' world its uni, marriage, mortgage, 1 x yearly ski holiday, replace roof, retire, cruises, die. How utterly boring. And how awful it'd be if a bill for 500 quid means you'll behave to postpone the two weeks in the alps that's been keeping you sane.

I'm along the lines of SRTWL, essentially doing stable work I enjoy with lots of time off and little pressure, and largely avoiding the ratrace. I do wonder how different that is from historical norms. Or whether both husband and wife working 45 hour weeks in a job you hate for 40 years is actually less representative of historical norms, and an aspirational fabrication of the industrial era?

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Agreed with most - these people are not middle class.

They are debt slaves who think they are middle class because Tony Blair tricked them into believing they could get rich by borrowing. Then they got used to the luxuries without owning anything whilst their real wealth was stolen from them by the "real" middle class.

£500 is what, 40% of a monthly minimum wage salary?

I have been there, when I was starting off. Scary thing is, these bills come, and once you get used to paying them off with credit cards or borrowing, that then becomes the norm.

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If you don't have savings and you have children, why would anyone work full time when you can do a PT or minimum wage job and get a large chunk from the taxpayer in the form of housing benefit, working tax credit and child tax credits/ Where I live in London, LHA would pay 87% of the rent. Top that up with salary and child tax credits and you are on the same equivalent income of someone on £40k after tax and NI and you don't have to work that hard.

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My first reaction too. If you can't afford to fork out £500 without blinking and checking the bank balance you ain't middle class. I can afford £500 without blinking and I most certainly am not middle class.

That doesn't really have anything to do with what class though does it? A middle class person to me is someone in a traditionally middle class profession. I know plenty of people who consider themselves middle class but are very cavalier about how much of a safety net they think they need (possibly because most of them have access to BOMAD if things get really bad)

In my view, if you can't pay a £500 unexpected bill, you're living a hand to mouth existence. The minimum safety net I'd personally be comfortable with is 1 years living expenses (preferably 2)

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A more useful and picture painting 'statistic' would be how many people of working age earning under £30k have £300+ spare to dip into.

I think that would be a scarily low number.

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That doesn't really have anything to do with what class though does it? A middle class person to me is someone in a traditionally middle class profession. I know plenty of people who consider themselves middle class but are very cavalier about how much of a safety net they think they need (possibly because most of them have access to BOMAD if things get really bad)

In my view, if you can't pay a £500 unexpected bill, you're living a hand to mouth existence. The minimum safety net I'd personally be comfortable with is 1 years living expenses (preferably 2)

Maybe upper/middle/lower meant something one, but I'm not sure it does now. Some people define it by money (ie the report we're discussing), but even then, there's no distinction between income and wealth. You define it by job - but what does that make me? Other people define class in a pile of woolly characteristics and behaviours (middle class have crap, old cars and don't wash them, etc).

Personally, I categorise economically by those who have to work and those who do not.

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If you have to work to live, you are working class. Nothing wrong with that at all, just goes against the brainwashing campaign of the last 20 years which has coincided with the DEBT campaign. If you don't take on shtloads of DEBT you are working class and will be looked down upon by your middle class (DEBTloaded) betters.

Its worked a treat because now everyone thinks they're middle class, whatever that is. They all still have to work until they drop to service their DEBTS but they can call themselves middle class because they run two new cars or whatever trinkets they are told to strive for to attain acceptance from strangers.

DEBT is the key, innit.

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