|Just consider how we are situated. We are orphans, with a sister twelve years younger than ourselves to be responsible for. Our guardian got his affairs into a frantic muddle, and then conveniently—for him!—died, leaving us to face the music. You’re in the Forests, and your furlough is up in three weeks’ time; Joey is delicate and shouldn’t live in a wet climate; and between us we seem to have some fairly decent furniture, this house, and three thousand pounds in East India Stock at four per cent.—or something over a hundred pounds a year.’|
|On a related note - how risky were these shares? We do occasionally hear of people losing all their money from investing but AFAIK it is always explained away to bad solicitors.|
|All the private income business was always quite alien to me too. It seems that earned salary is never enough.|
|Mrs Redboots wrote:|
And yet, even as recently as 20 years ago, my mother commented that my husband "only had his salary" - not, you understand, as if it were something to be ashamed of, but just as stating a fact.
We do have people with private incomes these days - they are called "Trust fund babies" or "Trustafarians" by the media. But for the vast majority of people, these days, any private income is the jam on top of the bread and butter of an earned income.
The cost of living was a lot less in the past, house prices were lower, and there weren't so many consumer goods to buy, so people could have what seem like luxuries to us. You might have a servant, but you wouldn't have to pay for a tv and tv licence, computer, two cars, central heating, maybe electricity, etc., etc. In Genius, for example, the Rutherfords live in a big house, but they only have coal fires and they don't heat all their rooms as a matter of course.
|I think there's a difference between a 'private income' which means you don't have to work and can afford foreign holidays, expensive clothes, etc, and a 'private income' which is just a bit extra on top or your salary and comes from a legacy or savings which have been invested. A lot of people, like Kathie, might have the latter.|
|Mrs Redboots wrote:|
|many children at secondary schools were withdrawn on their 15th (later 16th) birthday and put to work in a shop or on a farm. The culture of staying on into the sixth form and beyond simply didn't exist a generation ago!|
|I set up the Vocational Sixth Form at my school (our very large local comp.), and initially many students who stayed on were the first generation in their family to have post-16 education, much less University opportunities. Several were expected to make a financial contribution to the family, which meant massive part-time jobs, and I more than once loaned the money for UCAS applications to lads (it always was lads, no idea why!) whose parents expected them to meet the costs themselves. And that was only 10-15years ago.|
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