Have you any idea what it’s really like to be in the Squeezed Middle? How it is to have to stop eating out in restaurants because you’re spending £45,000 a year on private school fees? How it is to never be able to upgrade your two cars because you’re paying the mortgage on a £350,000 house? How it is to have to tell your sons that they’ll need to get a student loan because you’re paying both of their £9000 a year university fees up front for them? How it is to have to stop getting your shopping delivered by Ocado and suffer the ignominy of having to go to Tesco to get it yourself? Well let me tell, you it’s hard, damn hard. Guy Jackson knows. He’s in straitened circumstances because his £120,000 basic salary just doesn’t stretch far enough. With an annual household income of roughly £73,000 after tax, before bonuses. Take away the £45,000 for the private school fees and he’s still got a thousand pounds more in his pocket than the average Briton’s entire pre-tax salary. And roughly twice as much as someone on the minimum wage earns gross. He still thinks that makes him ‘the Middle’ though, despite just his basic salary putting him firmly in the richest 20% of UK residents. He’s spending more on school fees for his children alone, in one year, than someone working full-time on the minimum wage would earn in three years.
Well here’s some handy tips to help Guy and his family cope with their unfortunate situation!
1) send your kids to state school. It’ll save you thousands each year and as an added bonus, statistically there’ll be far less chance of them going on to a top university so you’ll save £££s on fees in the future too. And you won’t have to worry about ‘coping with the setback of children from poorer backgrounds being given priority at a great many grammars’ because if everyone sends their children to state school the standards will improve overnight.
2) don’t buy a £350,000 house. Consider trying living in accommodation you can actually afford to pay for. Although, see point 1) above. You might find you can afford your house after all.
3) don’t buy your children a house either. The typical deposit stands at £31,000, which the Telegraph tells us might be manageable for one child. I don’t know what planet they’re living on but it’s not mine.
4) If all else fails, there’s always supermarket value own brands.