Just yesterday my sister and I had a discussion about lifestyles and pondered on how an individual would cope with having to suddenly survive on far less than they are used to. How much would their countenance change? Could they genuinely be hopeful about their future?
We concluded that most would struggle with reducing their lifestyle leading to unhappiness and depression. Generally it is in adversity that a person’s true character is tested. Whilst we can try to imagine the financial challenges others face, we cannot truly empathise unless we too have experienced this.
There are many privileged people living in the UK. Those whose children attend top private schools, fly business class, live on beautiful roads in affluent areas, hire cleaners, gardeners and nannies (even when the wife is a stay at home mother). If their income was to take a massive drop, their lifestyle would surely be impacted upon and not in a positive way. Life would no longer look the same, people would no longer treat you in the same manner, you would have to move in a different circle.
Sadly a number of city bankers have committed suicide over the years due to being made redundant. I imagine the thought of having that difficult conversation with their spouse was too much to bear. Having to remove their children from private school, relocate to a house in a not so nice area, stop their long haul holidays, face their friends and family.
To a certain extent we all have comforts. One person’s may be flying business class only and another’s may be shopping at Waitrose as oppose to ASDA. (I am a Sainsbury’s woman myself!) We enjoy our lifestyle and believe we and/or our spouse work hard for it. If full-time employees, we spend more waking hours during the week at work than we do at home.
Many commuters routinely stop to buy coffee from Starbucks, Cafe Nero, Costa and independent cafes. They pay £3 to £4 for a hot drink they could easily make when they arrive to work. Perhaps the hot drink makes the commute more bearable. Either way it is not a necessity but a comfort they are willing to pay for.
Lifestyle is everything to some. It is expressed via work and leisure activities; attitudes,opinions, values and allocation of income. Lifestyle reflects a person’s self image; the way they see themselves and believe they are perceived by others.
What lifestyle are you working towards? What is your main motivation?