That means you are living on a fairly small percentage of your post-tax income then? Do you eat much?
No we're both vegetarian*. You don't pay tax on the first 11k you earn, and you also don't pay tax on your pension contributions (so effectively 20% free money). That's about 50% of my income that I don't pay tax on before the money even hits my bank account. Everyone benefits from the 11k threshold and tax-free pensions, and if you're on a reasonable wage you can really pump a lot into the pension to get a great savings rate (plus employer contributions which are basically free money).
*untrue, I occasionally eat meat when she's not looking.
Is it even possible to save 60% of your pre-tax income?!
Outside of London and with two pretty normal early-middle-aged salaries, yep. It's extreme though. No doubting I'm on the extreme end of the tightwad scale.
But again, not in London, and not with kids, not on a low income (although I think most but not all people can save). London's a choice we made, not having kids until 30 is another choice. Some people don't get that choice and that sucks.
Considering most people on this forum live in a city where on average two thirds of the monthly pay check goes on rent
Yeah that's a tricky article because there are no hard numbers in there. According to the ES the median London income is 30k. According to my very rough sample (page 20 of 42) the median London rent is 600pcm (for a houseshare). That's about a couple of grand less than I earn, and about a grand more than an equivalent houseshare in my city. So all other circumstances being equal (and I am aware they are often not) maybe it's a 40% savings rate instead of 60%. But I've never lived in London so maybe I'm talking out of my arse, I don't know.
I'm not saying saving so much is easy (especially when starting out) - it's hard everywhere in the UK because consumerism's the norm. It's additionally hard in London because of the relative cost of rent vs income.
I think it's incredibly simplistic and borderline insulting to basically say "you buy so many TV's and watches that you can't afford to buy a house".
Sounds pretty Daily Mail when you put it like that, I admit. Reading my very first post I am talking about the habits of about 20 people I know. Maybe my mates and colleagues are a particularly spendy bunch, but I doubt they're anything but typical.
I'll be clear though. If you're on a low wage, life's hard, and you don't have the choices that I do. Consumerism only makes it worse but you're not really on a level playing field to begin with. Plus there's the compounding effect of financial impotence; you can't enjoy the free money of an employer pension if you can't afford the 5% sacrifice in the first place. I campaign and vote against it, for what that's worth. I can see how it's insulting, so, sorry.
Funny you should mention watches (I don't think I have?) a friend at work has a 4 grand TAG and just bought his wife a 3k Rolex (whilst on a trip to Dubai no less), but was saying it's impossible to get a deposit together... you're fucking wearing half of it.