I don't know how to get round this

People assume that because DH and I are in well paid jobs that we have money to burn. Of course it doesn't help that we live in a big house, have two cars (one is a company car) and lots of nice things (hence the £70k debt:o ). The thing is we don't want people to know the mess we're in, its none of their business but what do I say when someone asks me to sponsor them for a charity run or if I get invited out to lunch or if someone asks why my girls didn't go to beavers/cubs. For example I am going out with my mum and my girls next week and she automatically assumes we are having lunch out. If I tell her I can't afford to she might question me and she is the last person I want to tell about my problems.

Can I just add I'm not ashamed or embarrassed I just don't think its anyone else's business.

Lightbulb moment: 14 May 2008
Debt free date: April 2014
DMP Mutual Support Thread Member No 188
Nightowl Member No 16


  • wen3
    wen3 Posts: 158 Forumite
    Hey Just Me we REALLY are similar LOL this is just how I feel. As I have said in the other thread we have already paid for a holiday to Florida but we are going with MIL FIL SIL and BIL (OH what fun) and there is no way I want them knowing. We do have some spending money but it will be tight, where as normally we wouldn't worry and just put iton the CC, but not this year. So I am going to have some thinking to do about why we cannot do some of the thigs they will want to do. We got caught on Saturday with te sponsoring thing but we just sponsered for a couple of pounds. Good Luck Hun
    DMP Support Thread Number 186
  • Lucy1982_2
    Lucy1982_2 Posts: 4,611 Forumite
    I feel you.

    How about suggesting somewhere that does buy one get one free... Tell them that you've heard it's really nice or something.

    Or what about grapping a sandwich and having a nice sit down in a park somewhere?

    Hopefully that will cut the cost a bit and they might not realise something is up.

    Good luck and we all know what it's like.

    Have a dodgy looking hug :grouphug:
    Current debt - £16,300 :(
    Debt at worst 17/03/2011 - £18,067.62:eek::eek:
    :ANot going anywhere else, ever again :A
  • OliveOyl_2
    OliveOyl_2 Posts: 3,506 Forumite
    Hi Justme & welcome.

    We too were in the same position as you, good income, comfortable lifestyle and big debt.

    A few things we've done to "obscure" our debt.
    • become very green and ethical. Because of this stance we don't waste anything, we cook from scratch, buy local stuff, check out charity shops and recycle. It is also hugely money saving not to shop, but you can just emphasize the moral aspect.
    • Walking more than driving is for green reasons, not to save money
    • Non-expensive and free activities with children - my children are adults now, but it is those activities that they remember. DS2's favourite memory is being allowed to climb trees :D (his friends weren't)
    • OH currently works abroad, so I tell people that the extra money he earns is entirely used in paying for our flights. I exaggerate the cost slightly :o He has taken this job for career advancement, not extra money :rotfl:
    • As for charity donations, sponsorships etc. I choose carefully what charities I support and give them my attention and charitable budget. (Currently only one charity, but I don't admit this) So I don't endlessly sponsor other peoples charities and dilute my budget. Or that is what I say, not admitting that my budget is miniscule.
    • I took up Mystery Shopping as a "challenge" to make my car insurance "free". I've kept it up because it is fun. Or that is what I say.....
    As this last year has gone on, I've admitted our debt to more people (I really push MSE, and that is how it comes up) and the more I touch on the subject the more I discover how in debt people are - people who I'd never expected to be, are struggling.

    I'm not sure how you get around the lunch issue, unless the weather is good, and you have a picnic. Or you are on some wacky diet (invent one?) that means you need to go home to eat what you are allowed to eat. ;)

    Good luck. The best money saving advice I have though, is keep looking on here.
  • floss2
    floss2 Posts: 8,030 Forumite
    Why not adjust the time you pick your mum up to after lunch-time, and if she asks why, just say you've got other stuff you need to do.

    Also, maybe just a "throwaway" comment like how your mortgage has gone up, or your housekeeping / bills are going up - maybe people will realise that your lifestyle isn't all it appears & that's where your money goes.

    Can I assume that at least 1 of you falls into the higher tax bracket too? As thats another thing to "moan" about to deflect the expectations, how the Chancellor pinches a lump of your salary before you get it ;)
  • Lucy1982_2
    Lucy1982_2 Posts: 4,611 Forumite

    Those are GREAT!!!

    Thanks x
    Current debt - £16,300 :(
    Debt at worst 17/03/2011 - £18,067.62:eek::eek:
    :ANot going anywhere else, ever again :A
  • Another one you could throw in is that you just had a big bill for your car? (dont know how new it is)
    Debt Now~Total-£14,366.72~CC-£1,600.00~Sofa-£1,349.01~Loan-£11,417.71
    :eek:Debt@Oct 12~Total £15,674.60~CC-£1,636.40~Sofa-£1,648.77~Loan-£12,389.43:eek:
  • onamission_2
    onamission_2 Posts: 338 Forumite
    or just admit it - lately i had the same thing about going on weekend break for a birthday - I said i hadn't booked flights cos i couldnt afford them (yet) and I got "put in on your cc" -and when i said i haven't got one they said "put it on OH cc".. They still haven't realised that we have all the bills, twice the mortgage of them and their income is double ours. I just said i can't afford it and thats the end of it. I'm losing friends over this but then i think that they are not true friends.
    I may look mean but when they get their LB moment I'll be laughing.
    total debt at lightbulb 18th April 2007:idea: £42367.60:eek: DFW Nerd No 725. DFW longhauler no 8.:rolleyes: Official DMP mutal support club member no 62.
  • supersavershal
    supersavershal Posts: 1,270 Forumite
    I have exactly the same problem, I earn more than my siblings and because of that they cant understand why I havent got lots of money.Especialy because up until a year ago I was living the high life on credit.I tell them I am saving and the money gets put into an account where I cant touch it for 90days.
    I did tell a couple of my close friends at work though and was amazed when they admitted they were in a similar situation, they seemed quite releived that they were not alone.
    Everyone is feeling the pinch with the credit crunch, just say you are cutting back and being sensible.
    It is hard but trying to keep up with everyone elses aquisitions of stuff is what got me into debt in the first place.
  • elona
    elona Posts: 11,806
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Could you say you are having a "no spend day" to save the planet - or on behalf of charity or something?

    About eating out - you could say you are trying to avoid additives and preservatives for your kids health - think "Honeywe're killing our kids!" and pack a picnic.

    My family love the recipes that won Martin's challenge of meals for a fiver -for six people -three courses for under £5 and still ingredients for another meal.

    I have bought myself a breadmaker and have started making my own bread and rolls- the machine does all the work! Officially I am doing this so I know what is in what we are eating but the fact that the end product is one third of the price does not do any harm either.

    The Old Style board on here is fantastic and very friendly and I have saved a lot of money usng their tips for saving money by getting back to basics - food, cleansers etc. Some of the threads there are hilarious as well as useful.

    DH says he always knows when I am trying to save money - we eat better!!!;)
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
  • MrsTinks
    MrsTinks Posts: 15,241
    First Post Combo Breaker Name Dropper First Anniversary
    My first suggestion is to just admit it... I know you say it's none of their business, but you might find they are struggling too and mutual support is a wonderful thing :)
    If not then the best suggestion I think is to just say you've had an unexpected bill and you'd rather do something like a picnic in the park etc.
    We try to live green and orgaic where possible, or local produce if not organic and you can hide a multitude of moneysaving under the "living more healthily and thoughtfully" umbrella...
    DFW Nerd #025
    DFW no more! Officially debt free 2017 - now joining the MFW's! :)

    My DFW Diary - blah- mildly funny stuff about my journey
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