How on earth do people cope financially in the UK?

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  • How on earth do people cope financially in the UK?
  • Whats more lots of people seem to have new cars, take holidays abroad, buy new carbon road bikes…where the hell does all this money come from?!

    This is where your assumption is incorect IMO. There’s very little ‘and’.

    When I worked up north in Middlesbrough* and rented a 3 bed house for <£500/month, those in employment generaly drove nice cars (Financed or 3-6yr old BMW’s, Audi’s etc). I live in Wokingham** and the car park is full of 6-10 year old Ford Focus.

    That’s only anecdotal, and probably subject to observational bias. But the same applied to bikes too (far more SS’s down south, >50% of the northerners were on new-ish Santa Cruz and I was the only SS). Also I think southerners seemed to spend more weekends doing DIY, northerners always seemed to have tradesmen in doing the work.

    That’s just my observation having worked in 2 offices for the same company at two different ends of the country, so similar demographics and earnings in different siuations. Obviously there are a lot of poorer northerners and richer southerners as well.

    *pretty much the most deprived place in England, the ICI Petrochems site went from 100,000 staff to 10,000 in alsmost no time at all, similar story at the steel plant, and all the associated ironstone, limestone and coal mining villages nearby.

    **3rd most expensive place in the UK outside London, 1 bed flat would be £500+

    joemarshall
    Member

    The main thing is. How on earth do you make it work on 20k? If you’re take home is 1300 quid a month. you pay about £100 council tax, maybe £700 in rent, £20 on your phone, £30 on utilities, £130 on your travel card? It leaves you about £200 a month to live on.

    You save 75 quid by getting a bus pass not a travelcard, you save a tenner by not having an expensive phone, you share a room with someone else which cuts down on the rent or live somewhere absolutely minging.

    Median salary in London is about £34000, so if you get an average job in London, you don’t have it so bad obviously.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    far more SS’s down south

    That’s cos we’ve all got strong legs unlike our northern pansy gear needing, bow legged, whippet cosseting brethren….

    or possibly there are no hills down here…

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    But the same applied to bikes too (far more SS’s down south, >50% of the northerners were on new-ish Santa Cruz and I was the only SS).

    Thats nowt to do with cash! That’s just because we’ve got proper hills, and big pointy rocks, and stuff. So need gears and suspension. And our bikes get hammered because we can go out riding all the time without having to drive 100 miles! Though to be honest, 90% own an Orange 5 😉

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    good point about travel in London
    its got the best travel network in the country, buses are frequent and run 24hrs, it moves millions of people daily

    however get a ss (or in my case a 1×9) and youll save 2 grand a year in travel expenses but youll have to be prepared to ride in all weathers!

    anyone at your new workplace want a lodger?

    I also know how difficult it is. Especially to get on the housing ownership ladder and break away from renting. I live in the South East (not quite London but near) and find it funny on forums when people tell you not to live there like it’s a practical solution. Yes, I’m going to move away from my family and children’s schools and friends of years gone by, so I can live up North with cheaper housing and comparatively lower job earnings so I’m basically the same in terms of disposable income anyway. No.

    I earn enough to survive and occasionally buy something. To get my MTB, I had to buy something old and second hand. How people just pluck 2K out on a new one every few years is like….how the? I’ve owned cars worth much less!

    Thats nowt to do with cash! That’s just because we’ve got proper hills, and big pointy rocks, and stuff. So need gears and suspension. And our bikes get hammered because we can go out riding all the time without having to drive 100 miles! Though to be honest, 90% own an Orange 5

    Yup, but it does kinda dispell the stereotype that everyone at Swinley rides a 150mm travel carbon superbike and everyone up north rides an On-One.

    Bessides, the only places the SS felt out of it’s depth was on those long straight moorland bridleway decents where everyone else could pedal away! :-p

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Yup, but it does kinda dispell the stereotype that everyone at Swinley rides a 150mm travel carbon superbike and everyone up north rides an On-One.

    I’m always amazed at the bikes I see at Cannock, you’d think they’d all got lost on the way to an Uplift day at Les Arcs….

    samuri
    Member

    Rents are bizarrely high at the moment.

    On the down at the moment. We had to knock 50 quid a month of the rent for our house before someone would take it.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I live in the South East (not quite London but near) and find it funny on forums when people tell you not to live there like it’s a practical solution. Yes, I’m going to move away from my family and children’s schools and friends of years gone by, so I can live up North with cheaper housing and comparatively lower job earnings so I’m basically the same in terms of disposable income anyway.

    Unfortunately housing policy in this country, such as it is, is presently geared, as always, to keeping the baby boomers of the home counties in Range Rovers, by maintaining an artificially inflated housing market in the south east, so they can carry on sucking at the teet of property equity/credit. Hence Georges absolutely insane Help to Buy scheme. Pumping billions of taxpayers money to prop up property prices, an re-inflate the bubble by fuelling insane price escalation

    The housing market in this country is completely unsustainable. Has been for years. But rather than allow the much-needed correction (as all independent experts seem to recommend), they’ve decided to replicate ‘sub-prime’ conditions again. With the taxpayer on the hook for the losses directly this time, instead of the banks What could possibly go wrong?

    The upshot of this is that social housing tennents are being booted out of the capital, to the provinces, en masse, already. Now private housing policy is geared to making sure people in your position won’t be far behind them. All but the very rich are being priced out of Londinium. This is a deliberate policy

    I’m always amazed at the bikes I see at Cannock, you’d think they’d all got lost on the way to an Uplift day at Les Arcs….

    Perhaps the midlands are the proof of the theory. Similar disposable incomes to the north, therfore nice bikes bought, but without them being justifiable.

    camo16
    Member

    All but the very rich are being priced out of Londinium. This is a deliberate policy

    They’re being pushed out, but not necessarily that far. Relatives of mine are managing to eke it out in Croydon 😯

    My sympathies to any STWers who also live in Croydon.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Relatives of mine are managing to eke it out in Croydon

    To miss quote Jade from BB – “Croydon, isn’t that a different country?”

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Whoah there – I’ve been here two years under a assumption that STW is populated primarily by the wealthy niche-hunter (he’s got a couple of London flats – he calls them ‘pads’ and has two because he digs choice – a Tassimo, two Audis and a corral of carbon-framed steeds) CFH. Way to destroy my illusions, fella.

    ftfy

    camo16
    Member

    Felt like it, footflaps!

    30 minutes from Victoria though… 😯

    EDIT: 😆 @ TomHoward

    There must be serious wonga in post-its, I guess.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Mark Radcliffe was saying the other day that Croydon is effectively part of the north that accidentally found itself daaaaaahn saaaaaaaaarf.

    In the same way that Cheshire isn’t northern in anything other than its geographical location. Maybe there was a terrible mix up with the instructions when God was delivering the UK in Ikea flat pack form

    camo16
    Member

    Croydon is effectively part of the north that accidentally found itself daaaaaahn saaaaaaaaarf.

    I don’t know about the north/south thing – Croydon felt to me like Plymouth gone gangsta – without the sea and navy hoes. 😯

    trail_rat
    Member

    rents might be on their way down where you are samuri or perhaps your house just wasnt the same as the other on offer – remember area is everything…….

    house rental here is only going one way – mental.

    1k gets you a 2 bed in a highrise if you want to be in an area where your car doesnt disapear over night.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    There must be serious wonga in post-its, I guess.

    You’ve no idea how much they cost down South…..

    b r
    Member

    This probably hits the nail on the head. Hence why couples work/play hard on their 50k-100k salaries and then move to the country (or surrey) to have kids.

    Or based upon another post, spend £420 on their PCP financed cars 🙂

    We moved from the Buckinghamshire to the Scottish Borders. Houses are cheap to buy, considerably so. Renting looks about 50-65% of the SE price.

    But, wages are not only lower but there are far, far less companies of a size to generate middle/upper management roles/salaries. Best payers are either in Edinburgh or the public sector.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    London is expensive but it’s a trade off as, generally speaking (and this is a generalisation), there is a lot more opportunity and carear upside there. It’s a lifestyle choice, take a hit now in the hope of progression and pay rises or probable better lifestyle elsewhere.

    It was a few years ago but there was a study which showed Machester, on average, had best disposable income on average as housing costs were much lower but salaries were quite good.

    Re rents, you can rent a nice 3 bedroomed house in the Surrey Hills for £1k a month

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    house rental here is only going one way – mental.

    1k gets you a 2 bed in a highrise if you want to be in an area where your car doesnt disapear over night.

    aberdeen is hardly representative of the rest of scotland though is it now?

    SD-253
    Member

    “Joe – Member
    I’m looking at coming back to live in the UK, after not paying tax abroad for a while. I earn what I thought was a decent ish salary, but after tax/NI etc it’s looking increasingly like living hand and mouth. I’ve no idea how young families, nurses and teachers etc cope.

    I’ve been looking at rent in the suburbs of London and my eyes are watering. You can’t get a 1 bedroom flat for much less than £250 a week.

    Whats more lots of people seem to have new cars, take holidays abroad, buy new carbon road bikes…where the hell does all this money come from?”

    Nurses and teachers? Hardly the poor. I know home helps in Manchester who are paid £7 an hour. Have to use there own car (and therefore higher insurance), pay for there petrol and get paid only when they arrive at the job. 12 hour a day 6 days a week just to get the equivalent of minimum wage. They do this by making them self employed. They are the poor, they are the ones that deserve your sympathy not the well of teachers and nurses. I know of many many examples of this. I live on less than £200 a week pension (disability) although to be honest I don’t find it that much of a struggle as I own my house and have not got a car (epilepsy). Example I shot 3 pigeons in my garden yesterday. Or put another way I have the time to be frugal. How the hell someone working 12 hours a day cope?

    ska-49
    Member

    I’ve worked out that I need to earn £600 a month to break even- pay rent, bills, food, council tax, NI & student loan (with £30 disposable income).

    I think that’s very cheap. £7,200 a year! You could make that on a part time minimum wage job. You won’t be living a life of luxury but you’d get by just fine.

    johnellison
    Member

    The answer is very simple – don’t spend more than a) you earn, and b) you can afford.

    Judging your own standard of living by looking at other peoples’ is pointless.

    SD-253
    Member

    PS housing cost in the south? Trying looking at how many second homes there are, last estimate 300,000 And that does not included foreigners who buy London homes as an investment and never occupy them.

    patriotpro
    Member

    you will get free healthcare

    No such thing.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    The main thing is. How on earth do you make it work on 20k? If you’re take home is 1300 quid a month..you pay about £100 council tax, maybe £700 in rent, £20 on your phone, £30 on utilities, £130 on your travel card? It leaves you about £200 a month to live on.

    Rent: you share a flat or house with others. Somewhere livable and well connected for transport inside zone 2 is <£600/month. You split council tax, utilities, TV licence, internet, etc too.

    I’ve never lived in a flat on my own – lived in several house/flatshares until my (now) wife and I got a place together. She’s never had her own place in the past either.

    Travelcard? Cycle everywhere.

    Mobile phone? £10 a month more than covers that these days unless you must have the latest thing subsidised by the network.

    Lunch? Make it yourself rather than spending £5+ a day.

    That would give the hypothetical £20k earner more like £500pm for food and anything else they might need.

    ericemel
    Member

    Or based upon another post, spend £420 on their PCP financed cars

    Well we do need to escape the city now and then and as a % of take home, its acceptable.

    I’ve worked out that I need to earn £600 a month to break even- pay rent, bills, food, council tax, NI & student loan (with £30 disposable income).

    I think that’s very cheap. £7,200 a year! You could make that on a part time minimum wage job. You won’t be living a life of luxury but you’d get by just fine.

    +1, although I’d go further and point out the vast majority of students get by on about £4,500/p.a. loans and don’t top it up with a job.

    It’s all about expectations. If you expect a house to yourself in a nice area, a new car and a holliday somewhere exotic, you’re going to be sorely dissapointed. Get a house with some mates, live without a car and holliday in the UK and you can live for peanuts. Other than bike parts I never wanted for anything.

    Toasty
    Member

    +1, although I’d go further and point out the vast majority of students get by on about £4,500/p.a. loans and don’t top it up with a job.

    They also don’t pay council tax, which saves about £1,500 a year. Assuming you can rent a shared student flat for 30% less than a standard one, you’ve also saved another couple of thousand a year.

    I bet they have similar disposable income to someone on a minimum wage job, living in a small studio flat.

    samuri
    Member

    But the same applied to bikes too (far more SS’s down south, >50% of the northerners were on new-ish Santa Cruz and I was the only SS).

    Thats nowt to do with cash! That’s just because we’ve got proper hills, and big pointy rocks, and stuff. So need gears and suspension.

    Woah, woah woahh!!

    We don’t all need that stuff. I did after all, invent mountain biking and singlespeeding at my house when I was about 8 and I grew up in the peak district. We didn’t have suspension then either.

    SD-253
    Member

    “thisisnotaspoon – Member

    +1, although I’d go further and point out the vast majority of students get by on about £4,500/p.a. loans and don’t top it up with a job.

    It’s all about expectations. If you expect a house to yourself in a nice area, a new car and a holliday somewhere exotic, you’re going to be sorely dissapointed. Get a house with some mates, live without a car and holliday in the UK and you can live for peanuts. Other than bike parts I never wanted for anything.”

    RUBBISH Mummy and Daddy are supporting them. My daughter had 2 jobs going while at Nottingham University. She wasn’t getting any support from me and would doubt from her mother.

    camo16
    Member

    I did after all, invent mountain biking and singlespeeding at my house when I was about 8 and I grew up in the peak district. We didn’t have suspension then either.

    Nope, it was me who invented the combo you mention, on my bmx no less in mid Wales c. 1982. Oh how the locals gaped. I imagine my exploits reached the peaks in, say, 1983. My sick moves have since gone global. Some day, a fine researcher will discover me and write a book.

    dragon
    Member

    1k gets you a 2 bed in a highrise if you want to be in an area where your car doesnt disapear over night.

    Not sure where you are looking but you can get something in the West End for around 750-1k.

    I don’t think living costs in the UK are too awful outside London, but then too many people won’t save for anything and make the necessary effort to do so. I’m amazed how many people think things like an ipad or Sky are essential.

    prawny
    Member

    I love living around cannock.

    Houses are cheap – £160k for a 3 bed detatched

    Chase on the doorstep – I can do a lap of the dog in less than an hour riding from my front door

    Brum is less than an hour on the train £65 a month for a pass gets you city wages

    I’ve got a house, newish car, 2 kids, housewife, 4 (admittedly not great) bikes and go on uk holidays 2-3 times a year. Oh and a tassimo, better than a nespresso IMO because it steams the milk for you.

    In my little town that was a sh1thole 9 years ago when we moved in now has – an improved train service, a big ass Tesco, a Costa, an Aldi, a Skatepark, new tennis courts and of course the Dog and Monkey. I wouldn’t move away now unless I was minted and could retire to Cornwall.

    jamiea
    Member

    In my little town that was a sh1thole 9 years ago when we moved in now has – an improved train service, a big ass Tesco, a Costa, an Aldi

    No Waitrose? Still a shithole then. 😉 😀

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    prawny
    Member

    No Waitrose? Still a shithole then.

    It’s still in the Midlands, come on 😉

    randomjeremy
    Member

    I’ve worked out that I need to earn £600 a month to break even- pay rent, bills, food, council tax, NI & student loan (with £30 disposable income).

    I think that’s very cheap. £7,200 a year! You could make that on a part time minimum wage job. You won’t be living a life of luxury but you’d get by just fine.

    That would probably be ok if you were a student or had just left home but £30 a week doesn’t leave you with anything really when you factor in clothes, dental, medical, savings, tv licence, insurances, internet, phone, holidays etc etc

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