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    • walletmoths
    • By walletmoths 5th Feb 18, 8:03 PM
    • 29Posts
    • 40Thanks
    walletmoths
    How come everyone seems better off than me?
    • #1
    • 5th Feb 18, 8:03 PM
    How come everyone seems better off than me? 5th Feb 18 at 8:03 PM
    Have you ever felt that when you look around, everyone seems to be better off than you are? It's really grinding at me, and I'd appreciate any tips on how you get around this yourself.

    (Please be gentle... I'm doing my best...)

    I've posted my budget on here, and have fixed loads of things - thank you Moneysaving Experts - but now that I'm living to my means, working full time, paying the mortgage OK etc, I still can't afford to do anything more than that. I'm getting really hacked off that I can't ever go out for a cuppa, or even for a drive. I can't ever afford new clothes, and certainly not a holiday for me and my kids! (I tried a 9 Sun holiday once - had such a bad experience that we left after one night).

    I'm not entitled to any benefits. I've tried. I do wonder that if I earned less I'd actually be better off - but I don't want to risk slipping into a trap of any kind.

    So, how come folks who I'm 'sure' have less income than me seem to do so much more? Are they really all living off credit cards?

    Does anyone else ever feel this way? How do you cope with it?
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 5th Feb 18, 9:18 PM
    • 14,042 Posts
    • 13,302 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 18, 9:18 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 18, 9:18 PM
    Because its usually financed by credit thats why.

    Everyone has to pay the piper one day, you can put it off by various sideways moves, but in the end, you gotta pay for it.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
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    • datlex
    • By datlex 5th Feb 18, 9:21 PM
    • 1,630 Posts
    • 1,533 Thanks
    datlex
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 18, 9:21 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 18, 9:21 PM
    Hi OP. I have been trying to see what your income is. Your posts contain a lot on your expenses but not income. Possibly some people are using credit cards. Some people seem better at sniffing out a bargain than others.
    • a_silver_lining
    • By a_silver_lining 5th Feb 18, 10:44 PM
    • 223 Posts
    • 666 Thanks
    a_silver_lining
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 18, 10:44 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 18, 10:44 PM
    Looking at your SOA I'd say that you're doing ok You have a mortgage rather then paying rent so are building money there for your families future. You have enough for food as basics like glasses etc. You also have 30 off a month on haircuts for your family, where as I grew up having hair cut at home, so I would say you are providing some luxuries for your family. You can provide shoes and clothes for your children each year and still have 75pm for entertainment. So actually I would say your are going great!

    Not all families holiday, or go out a lot. Again, growing up we didn't have a lot of money, and perhaps we would have been better off on benefits. But I am happy that my dad is now mortgage free and comfortable. He has a lot more money for luxuries now he has no children at home and goes on holiday etc.
    19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
    ..... to buy my first home.

    2018: 1200 savings --- Family Loan (3250 direct + 2000 saver) 5250/10K paid 52.5%
    #38 1% Challenge: 514.70/ 2018, now at 25%!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 5th Feb 18, 11:17 PM
    • 6,403 Posts
    • 13,180 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 11:17 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 11:17 PM
    There are so many variables which determine how well off or poor someone is.

    They may earn more than you or have a second stream of income like private work, rental property, investment income or two earners to your one

    They may have less outgoings, smaller mortgage, no debt, less expensive lifestyle, no kids to support

    They may be living off credit cards and loans although eventually that will come back to bite them

    It doesn!!!8217;t really matter how others are doing. If you can manage to meet your expenses, have no debt and have a bit extra for treats and some savings you are doing ok. If not, well the best way to fix that is one of top two options above.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Sharon87
    • By Sharon87 6th Feb 18, 12:51 AM
    • 3,538 Posts
    • 3,014 Thanks
    Sharon87
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 18, 12:51 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 18, 12:51 AM
    I was like you 'I'm skint, I have no money, I can't do anything'. Then I got a credit card, then another, went on holidays/days out/ate out and enjoyed it all. Now I have a lot of credit card debt which I am now paying off. I earn more than I used to so I can afford to pay it off, but it does mean I can't afford to buy a house yet (aged 30, live in London).

    I am now budgeting properly and feel like 'I don't have much money to spend on things I want'. But that's because although I earn an ok amount of money I am paying 300 towards my credit cards each month to get the balance down. We're all different in our attitudes to money even with our younger selves!
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 6th Feb 18, 7:22 AM
    • 8,955 Posts
    • 17,004 Thanks
    savingholmes
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:22 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 18, 7:22 AM
    Have you tried the 10 a day challenge on the Debt free wannabee challenge board? That was a lifesaver for me when I first joined MSE. The goal is to make 10 a day - to either pay off your debts or for guilt free spends... Most months I've done the challenge - I succeeded.
    Today is a new day 93/310 10 a day Mar Challenge DFD August 2021
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 6th Feb 18, 8:07 AM
    • 1,061 Posts
    • 1,301 Thanks
    enjoyyourshoes
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:07 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:07 AM
    Don't start to compare with others as its not helpful.

    Live within your own financial envelope

    Work out what your life goal is and set that as a target to save for, then you will enjoy it more when you achieve it.
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 6th Feb 18, 8:28 AM
    • 26,964 Posts
    • 10,862 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:28 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 18, 8:28 AM
    Do you save money where you can? Paying nothing by instalments if it costs you extra etc.
    I used to pay my car insurance monthly it came out each month and I knew how much that was etc. But then when looking to save money you realise how much extra your paying.

    Having a takeaway once a week went from 8 - 9, to 10 then 11 then 12 and now its pennies short of 20.
    But even 10 a week its over 500 a year, closer to 1000 now.

    So we eat far fewer takeaways these days.

    Making your own meals gives you the chance to know exactly whats in it and no more pies with a teaspoon of some grey mush at the bottom. Real ingredients that you recognise.

    We have been camping, Cornwall (which is usually very expensive) under 20 a night for a family. Tent or caravan if you have the storage or budget storage into holidays costs etc.
    And thats in the main peak School summer holidays.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • maisie cat
    • By maisie cat 6th Feb 18, 8:43 AM
    • 396 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    maisie cat
    I think you are doing extremely well to get by, it won't always be like this and you are focusing on the right things. As others have said , the people you are comparing yourself to may have 000s in debt or have been bailed by family.
    My sister fell into the trap of comparing herself to her ex who took the children abroad and got into debt doing the same.
    I think a lot of it as about priorities, some people do appear to have them a bit skewed. Frugal is not the same as cheap and buying fancy clothes but not maintaining your house is also short sighted.
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 6th Feb 18, 9:50 AM
    • 2,067 Posts
    • 7,092 Thanks
    Ilona
    OP, don't worry about what other people are doing, concentrate on your own life. Those who appear to have lots of spare cash, often don't, they are living on credit. Likewise, someone who looks like a vagrant could well have millions in the bank, they just don't spend very much. Same old cliche, don't judge a book by it's cover.

    I do very well on a pension, I know the difference between what I need and what I want. My needs are paid first, and I save up for the wants. You will often hear pensioners complain that they can't manage, heat or eat is a common phrase. I would like to go through their finances with a fine tooth comb and see what else they are spending their money on. Everyone's priorities are different.

    I don't ever have a cuppa out, why would I, I have plenty to drink at home and if I go out I take it with me. I very rarely buy new clothes, at a guess 20 a year, most of mine come from charity shops and car boot sales, and friends give me clothes which no longer fit them. I can have a holiday and days out but I save for them, just booked two nights B & B at a Youth Hostel for 31.

    Do I feel deprived, no not at all. I don't care what other people have, money and material possessions do not always bring happiness. OP, ignore what you perceive to be unfair, and concentrate on making the best of what you have, and doing the best for your family. Some good comments on this thread, take note.

    Ilona
    I love skip diving
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 6th Feb 18, 9:56 AM
    • 1,061 Posts
    • 1,301 Thanks
    enjoyyourshoes
    Ilons, what is skip diving, I dare not ask !?
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 6th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
    • 2,067 Posts
    • 7,092 Thanks
    Ilona
    Ilona, what is skip diving, I dare not ask !?
    Originally posted by enjoyyourshoes

    When people want to get rid of rubbish, and there is too much to take to the tip in their car, they hire a skip. This sits on their drive for any where between a few days or a couple of weeks, depending on how long it takes them to fill it. Skips vary in sizes, average size costs about 150 for one fill.

    They might be sorting out a garage, or downsizing and can't take all their possessions with them, or having some building work done and need to get rid of the rubble. The builder usually includes the price of the skip in the quote for the job. Bigger skips can be found in factories and are not usually accessible to the public.

    When skip diving you must always ask the owner, (hirer) if you can remove something, they almost always say yes help yourself. Taking something without consent is stealing.

    I can't walk past a skip without looking in, even if there is something useful in there which I don't need I will ask for it, and pass it on to someone who does need it. I have had brand new items still in their wrappings. Some of it I keep for myself, but lots I pass on. I found a lot of childrens toys once, two car loads full, I passed them on to the Womens Refuge. I take things to charity shops. I hate anything being dumped if a new life can be found for it.

    I look in builders skips and find scrap wood which I can use for my arts and crafts. I find things for the garden, bricks, paving slabs. All free.

    In the USA they call it Dumpster Diving. Don't be afraid to ask if you see something you want, the worst that can happen is they say no. Don't be embarrassed to lift things out of a skip, it's better than it going to landfill. We throw away far too much.

    Sorry for the long winded reply, you did ask.

    Ilona
    Last edited by Ilona; 06-02-2018 at 10:56 AM.
    I love skip diving
    • tallyhoh
    • By tallyhoh 6th Feb 18, 2:22 PM
    • 2,109 Posts
    • 2,167 Thanks
    tallyhoh
    I'm with Ilona on this one! I live life as frugally as possible, never buy new what I can get free or used, I have an allotment & my hobby is woodwork at the local "shed" 23 a year.
    My only luxury is a 14 year old car.
    Never had a particularly well paid job but managed to finish work when I was 47 & lived off my savings till my pension kicked in. Still have money in the bank.
    It was time I craved not possessions.

    Only wish my partner was the same.
    Tallyhoh!

    Stopped Smoking October 2000. Saved 21,840 so far!
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 6th Feb 18, 6:44 PM
    • 5,159 Posts
    • 6,411 Thanks
    theoretica
    The other thing to think about is how many people know about your financial situation? We all tend to project the good, and I expect that some of your friends look at you and think you are better off than they are.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • Peelerfart
    • By Peelerfart 6th Feb 18, 8:07 PM
    • 1,913 Posts
    • 1,671 Thanks
    Peelerfart
    Been there! Despite earning good money there always seemed to be an expensive"thing" that month. So never seemed to have any disposable income.
    Yes, those days are gone now but it taught me a lot.

    Everything was paid,I was never afraid of the mail. Children had what they needed and we paid very few bank charges, my pet hate.
    However, the crux of it is,to me, it doesn't matter how much money your neighbours or friends are perceived to have.
    Because you can't spend it, and you don't have to pay it back, so what the hell, who cares
    Space available for rent
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 6th Feb 18, 8:38 PM
    • 2,680 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    Never compare your inside to others' outside.

    In other words, don't compare what you know is going on inside your life to what you think is going on in someone else's life.
    • walletmoths
    • By walletmoths 6th Feb 18, 8:42 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    walletmoths
    Thank you soooo very much for all of your replies everyone. You really are a motivational bunch

    I'd got into the habit of looking around me at what others are doing - but you're right - after everything I've done to get my finances in order, and now being able to get by without owing anything to anyone - it is a good place to be in.

    I guess I need to be more grateful for that.

    After reading your posts, you've really motivated me to crack on with more challenges to save (or make!) more money. Looking forward to it

    Thanks again.
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 6th Feb 18, 8:58 PM
    • 649 Posts
    • 7,230 Thanks
    117pauline
    On your diary, it has been suggested that you should do an SOA so you can see where exactly your money is going. It will also let you see some areas where you can potentially make savings.

    An SOA is a work in progress where it will change over the years. A spending diary will also show what you are really spending, not what you think you are spending.

    Please don't compare yourself with others. It never ends well

    Take care
    Pauline

    How about deciding to do some surveys and use the funds towards some treats?
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • datlex
    • By datlex 6th Feb 18, 11:25 PM
    • 1,630 Posts
    • 1,533 Thanks
    datlex
    Thank you soooo very much for all of your replies everyone. You really are a motivational bunch

    I'd got into the habit of looking around me at what others are doing - but you're right - after everything I've done to get my finances in order, and now being able to get by without owing anything to anyone - it is a good place to be in.

    I guess I need to be more grateful for that.

    After reading your posts, you've really motivated me to crack on with more challenges to save (or make!) more money. Looking forward to it

    Thanks again.
    Originally posted by walletmoths
    obviously with some of the challenges you need to be careful regarding tax, if it is seen as actual income rather than you getting rid of old tat. If for example you were to sell crafts online that would be income, hence you would be liable for tax which could potentially depending on your current income put you above the threshold for child benefit.

    As others have said, give more information e.g. an SOA (not like you are giving name address or any personal details) and folk might be able to see ways to get you a better life style without going into debt. Unfortunately being restrictive with what you share means it is hard to see where you could do more to cut back or reallocate funds.

    Do you save? Or do you think I'll save what's left? If you can put aside just 10 a week that's 520 in a year! It will seem less if you do it weekly than 40-50 a month.
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