Author Topic: You just can't live on six figures!  (Read 8279 times)

Monkey Master

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You just can't live on six figures!
« on: April 25, 2013, 12:48:37 AM »
I am using this article on my blog as an example for lifestyle inflation as I call it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2308344/Petronella-Wyatt-Its-hell-posh-poor.html

I wish I was so poor!

marty998

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 01:00:17 AM »
Surely this is satirical?

tuyop

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 03:31:16 AM »

marty998

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 03:35:52 AM »
love it.

Donovan

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 08:55:45 AM »
What...what did I just read O.o ? What is this hellish publication?!

the fixer

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 09:04:28 AM »
See tuyop above.

Friends don't let friends click on dailymail links.

brewer12345

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 09:06:25 AM »
Holy crap!  What a spoiled brat.

ace1224

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 09:49:00 AM »
haha the dailymail always cracks me up

Rollin

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 10:19:42 AM »
Sadly so much boils down to money.

Undecided

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 11:44:32 AM »
I don't think she's said anything so bad; isn't it clear she understand that she's talking about falling short of earning enough for a luxurious lifestyle, despite having a background/education/job that would once have secured that lifestyle? She's not saying she's living a wretched life of misery. And presumably there's an audience of other people who set off down paths that would once have afforded more financial rewards than they've actually realized. Of course you can think that their priorities are "wrong," and that they should have taken their better-than-average pay, lived a simple life and retired early to do something else, but "there's no arguing over taste". I think something mostly missing from her piece, though, is the role that the failure to preserve inherited wealth played in driving down the lifestyle of her class.

Rollin

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2013, 12:18:08 PM »
My take is she is suffereing (i.e., pretty close to "living a wretched life of misery").  It's often what you are used to and what you have to deal with when that changes that determines the suffering.

I don't think she's said anything so bad; isn't it clear she understand that she's talking about falling short of earning enough for a luxurious lifestyle, despite having a background/education/job that would once have secured that lifestyle? She's not saying she's living a wretched life of misery. And presumably there's an audience of other people who set off down paths that would once have afforded more financial rewards than they've actually realized. Of course you can think that their priorities are "wrong," and that they should have taken their better-than-average pay, lived a simple life and retired early to do something else, but "there's no arguing over taste". I think something mostly missing from her piece, though, is the role that the failure to preserve inherited wealth played in driving down the lifestyle of her class.

dragoncar

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2013, 12:25:36 PM »
I actually liked the article.  She kind of buries the (mustachian) lede:  "We never thought to save.  We simply assumed our golden days would last forever."

Living in SF, I can feel A similar pain to those Who live in London (although admittedly on a lesser scale).  As the world's wealth gets more concentrate in fewer hands, the most desirable international cities seem to get Disproportionately more expensive.  For example, the average home price in SF is now 7 times the median income (compared to 5 times 30 years ago and 2.8 nationwide).

This isn't an excuse per say.  But the basic complaint isn't that you can't live well on your high salary, just that you can't live as well as you used to.

Also of note, it seems the british system encourages spending your entire paycheck.  The bailiff comes by her house looking for things to sell.  Anything she saves is likely confiscated so why not spend on expensive ($100 per person) meals even when you are skiff ("broke").

The term broke may be off putting, but it's technically accurate if you have no savings.  If she called herself the "profligate spending with no savings" generation, it might get a better reaction.

Maybe I just liked the article cause she's kinda cute and uses quaint (to a yank) British colloquialisms.

AJ

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2013, 01:47:27 PM »
It's often what you are used to and what you have to deal with when that changes that determines the suffering.

This is so true, and it works both ways. We just moved into a 1300 sf house and it feels like a mansion! Our old place was <800, which is small by American standards but still wouldn't qualify as a tiny-house. This new place has a dishwasher, AND a family room, AND a master bathroom! We've never lived in such absolute excessive luxury :) Parking our car in a garage? Surely you jest! The realtor that showed it too us gave us quizzical looks when we talked about how big it felt - I guess 1300 isn't what she thought of as "large". It's all about your perspective. The same way almost any food tastes good when your *really* hungry :)

Jamesqf

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2013, 06:52:51 PM »
Living in SF, I can feel A similar pain to those Who live in London (although admittedly on a lesser scale).  As the world's wealth gets more concentrate in fewer hands, the most desirable international cities seem to get Disproportionately more expensive.

Maybe the problem is the attitude that considers either of those a desirable place to live.  (I've lived fairly near London, and in the Bay Area.)  Or that can see the sense in a statement like
Quote
‘These shoes cost 370 — it was either them or taxis.’
  I can buy a damned good pair of riding or hiking boots for maybe 20% of that, a normal pair of everyday shoes for 10%.

Then there's perhaps the ultimate expression of her poverty:
Quote
Last year, for example, I had to decide between a summer holiday and a new summer dress. I decided on the holiday, but as the cost of the flights and hotel added up, I realised I would have to raise an additional 400.


dragoncar

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2013, 07:14:20 PM »

Maybe the problem is the attitude that considers either of those a desirable place to live.  (I've lived fairly near London, and in the Bay Area.)   

Lol, read that statement and said to myself "this must be jamesqf" and... I totally called it!

The really rich don't even necessarily live here... They just like to have a small 3br pied a Terre for when they visit.

LightTripper

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2013, 05:25:59 AM »
This is probably obvious (given the article is in the Daily Fail), but just to be clear this is a very unrepresentative slice of London life.  I do think there is a tiny subset of people like her who grew up in luxury when London "high society" was very largely British people with good professional jobs.  They probably have seen their "cost of living" (if you include things like Chanel and holidaying in Monte Carlo) increase far faster than the rest of us due to globalisation and London becoming a world city.

However, saying you can't live a very luxurious lifestyle on 100k is totally crazy.  Even after tax you would be left with 65k after income tax and NI.  Let's say you would have 60k left after paying for "essentials" other than rent (local taxes and utilities, basic groceries and bus/tube travel and/or bike rental to/from work).

Now to rent.  My last flat before we bought had a rent of 20k per annum (which I paid half of).  That was a beautiful warehouse conversion with 2 beds, 2 baths, a huge living/dining/kitchen and views of the Thames to one side and over a pretty park surrounded by other Victorian warehouses on the other side.  It was very peaceful, and close to some lovely old pubs on the Thames.  I could walk to work in 25 minutes (taking in views of the Thames, Tower of London, and Leadenhall Market on the way). 

Can you tell it was not really a hovel?  Rents have gone up quite a bit since then (this was 2-3 years ago), but there is no question you could still get yourself a very nice flat for one person within walking distance of the city centre for 20k per annum.  Personally I would never dream of spending that much solo, but each to their own.

So even if you decide you need a super-luxury flat that leaves you 40k for holidays, posh groceries, sandwiches, coffees, taxis, restaurants and savings. 

If you can't get by on 100k and still save at least 20% for retirement and buy yourself the odd nice dinner or a fancy holiday once a year (if that's what floats your boat) then something is going very wrong...  my guess is the 370 shoes gives the best clue to what that thing is...

I would also point out: she talks about her father never earning more than 130k per annum.  Based on his wikipedia entry I would guess he hit his peak when he was working for NewsCorp in the mid 80s.  130k in 1985 is worth about 350k today.  So she is earning around a quarter of what her father was: not so surprising then that she can't afford the same lifestyle!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodrow_Wyatt

Having said all that I quite enjoyed the article.  The lady can write!

Jamesqf

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2013, 12:01:46 PM »

Maybe the problem is the attitude that considers either of those a desirable place to live.  (I've lived fairly near London, and in the Bay Area.)   

Lol, read that statement and said to myself "this must be jamesqf" and... I totally called it!

But was I wrong?  It's like the shoes: 370 ($570 at current exchange rates) for shoes that you can't walk in, vs roughly $100 for a pair that one can hike or ride in, and are quite comfortable enough for everyday wear, too: http://www.amazon.com/Ariat-Mens-Terrain-Hiking-Boot/dp/B001ASARZE

Undecided

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2013, 08:58:52 PM »
But was I wrong?  It's like the shoes: 370 ($570 at current exchange rates) for shoes that you can't walk in, vs roughly $100 for a pair that one can hike or ride in, and are quite comfortable enough for everyday wear, too: http://www.amazon.com/Ariat-Mens-Terrain-Hiking-Boot/dp/B001ASARZE

Given that humans spent thousands of years developing their cultures, it seems disingenuous of you to dismiss the possibility that one could be sufficiently interested in the products and achievements of those cultures as to have a desire to have convenient access to them. So I could see why someone would want to live in London. For the shoes, though? Not for me, but I'm relatively tolerant of the variety among tastes.

Rollin

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2013, 02:47:18 PM »
She said she needed to "raise 400" to go on holiday, but yet paid 370 for the shoes.  Why raise any money at all - just nix the shoes next time.  Wouldn't that be a good "Mustacian way" - instead of looking to see how much more you can make the first thing would be to cut back on what you spend.

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: You just can't live on six figures!
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2013, 02:56:13 PM »
To be fair, the shoes quoted belonged to a friend and were not her own.  I find it interesting that she does say in the article that she calculated a need of 300,000 per annum to live as her father did when she was a child, but she doesn't make the connection to inflation and the fact that I highly doubt journalists (as she gives her profession) ever lived that high on the hog.