What Do People Do to Afford Such Life?

Wife wanted to go get a $2,000 watch.

I don't usually get her anything so I thought yeah I will get her something special this Valentines. Drove to the CBD and saw a long queue outside Hermes, LV, Chanel. My wife told me there was a even longer queue outside Rolex. And my wife told me the purse and bags etc would easily cost $5k and above.

I thought everyone would be cutting back on expenses given the uncertainty but where are all these people getting money to spend on discretionary luxury goods? Not saying it is bad but where do these people do to be able to afford such luxurious lifestyle. To put it in perspective, I wear a Hush Puppies t-shirt (was a gift) and a brand-less short pants, I have been using iPhone 8 with shattered screen for 1.5yrs now. Been living frugally since entering workforce and I still feel I am very poor. When I step outside my home, my personal belongings on me might be worth $100-$200 max.

Any idea anyone?


            • +1


              "valuable materials" are mostly for fashion anyway and aren't actually worth anything

              Gold is very ductile and corrosion resistant. Sapphire is quite hard to scratch.

              Many expensive materials have real intrinsic value, although yes the market value is often inflated by fashion.

          • @abb: yeah - and since now most of us have the time updated accurately from the internet in our pockets, (I stopped wearing a watch years ago), fancy watches now have no intrinsic value outside of conspicuous consumption

            you know - so you can flag your insider status to other cogniscienti - like the Australia Post CEO who bought 'Cartier watches worth almost $20,000' for four of her top staff … welcome to the Club ! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=70&v=ishhDXdYAnc&feature=you...


        • Well said. I’ve never bought a Rolex as don’t wear a watch but if I did I wouldn’t get an entry level one as I feel like they mass produce those for people who are just tying to buy a piece of status rather than something of quality.

      • +2

        Either way, if she likes $2k watch, she is gonna get the $2k watch

        I feel for you… thats a spiral to nowhere. wait till she sees the 4000 watch next trip… and ………

        • +2

          when we're dating, a $400 Marcs jacket was considered my limit
          she recently told me about this $2000 watch
          haha… so yeah $4000 probably few years down the track

  • +4

    Not sure what a $2000 watch does that a $20 watch doesnt do ?

    What do they do to support that life? Work… or Crime.. Not many options

    • +1

      Mate, that's my mum's thinking
      Obviously isn't compatible with most of the modern people today

      • +23

        Obviously isn't compatible with most of the modern people today

        I love how most of these threads just turn into a wankfest of "I'm superior to everyone else cause they spend money on stupid things and I don't".

        Seriously though, what percentage of "modern people today" want a $2000 watch? The overwhelming majority of "modern people today" don't even wear watches let alone expensive watches.

        The irony seems a bit lost with you - you/your wife want to buy an expensive watch, so you take the opportunity to rag on other people buying expensive stuff (without the introspection that you're buying expensive stuff yourself), then you take the liberty to rag on "most of the modern people today" regarding expensive watches when you're the one looking at buying $2000 watches, not the majority of "modern people today".

        What even?

        • +2

          The overwhelming majority of "modern people today" don't even wear watches let alone expensive watches.

          32 people on this floor, not one watch… With PC's, phones, cars with clock on dash and stereo who needs em l0l

          • +2

            @pharkurnell: Not even fitness watches? Most younger corporate types I know wouldn't be seen without their latest Garmin that heralds their superior fitness, lifestyle,wokeness whatever.
            Admittedly a few of these do swap out for dress watches for black ties events etc

        • +2

          sorry i dont mean this in a bad way
          I consider myself really old school and i share the same view as my mum too - i think its perfectly fine to buy a $20 watch if it does the job
          Im just saying, modern people around me dont think that way
          they go all out to buy stuff beyond their means
          my cousin bought a GBP 10k curtain for his apartment in London
          whats the difference between a normal k-mart curtain vs this AUDe 20k curtain? i dont know.

          • @legendary-noob:

            I consider myself really old school and i share the same view as my mum too - i think its perfectly fine to buy a $20 watch if it does the job

            How's that old school? Most of the young people I see around me are pretty thrifty and are always bargain hunting.

            Im just saying, modern people around me dont think that way

            You really think that most "modern" people don't think that way? Really?

            they go all out to buy stuff beyond their means

            And what percentage of "modern people" do that?

            whats the difference between a normal k-mart curtain vs this AUDe 20k curtain? i dont know.

            Well you're the one who wants to buy a $2000 watch, not me.

            i think its perfectly fine to buy a $20 watch if it does the job

            Great, you can buy your wife a $20 watch and live happily ever after.

        • Most people I know and see have watches of some kind. You forget about smart watches.

    • What do they do to support that life? Work… or Crime.. Not many options

      Inherit, Invest…

    • +2

      It's a label, and can mean you gain membership to some clubs, which will gain you access to things others don't eg. the right connections

      That connection is called a sugar daddy or a man or even "friends" if you have the personality and they want to keep you around.

      Ultimately it's a status - though if you're married and have real friends you don't need it.

  • +2

    Maybe it's just that some people spend more on certain things that others might think is stupid or dumb?.
    No way in hell would I spend that much of a watch but right now my PC setup cost me 10k cause I personally see more value in that vs a watch or anything else tbh.

    • +2

      and people see your 10k PC as a waste. when you can get a decent pc for around $2-5k

      • +4

        Exactly! Different people see different value in things.

  • Could be:
    The middle class spending their travel budget elsewhere.
    Online business owners buying things with their profits.
    "Influencers" who can buy and claim a tax deduction.
    People who don't know how to spend their bonus.
    People financing it on the credit card.

    • +1

      I think of myself as middle class - so to my point, we should be saving for rainy days, given uncertainty now
      Online business - maybe, but wont be such a long queue? At LV, its a queue that extended around the corner I'm not joking
      The last two categories - oh well…

    • +2

      "Influencers" who can buy and claim a tax deduction.

      Not likely. Personal items like watches, even if blogged about, are not deductible. Otherwise I'll call myself a travel blogger, post a few hashtags, check into a lounge and claim every airfare.

      • Not legally deductible. Plenty of people do though!

      • I thought they were?
        - not implying they are just what I thought.

        Is there a source you can point to to prove this is not the case?

  • When I step outside my home, my personal belongings on me might be worth $100-$200 max.

    what is your phone ?

    • +1

      a shattered iphone8
      probably $150?

  • head to the markets and get her a herpes or vl or blueberry or panda bag

    • +4

      head to the markets and get her a herpes

      He’s talking about his wife, not his new mistress.

  • +10

    1.Some people are rich, 2. Some people arent and 3. Some people want to appear rich and buy everything on Credit/Afterpay/Zip etc and end up f**ked financially later in life.

    The people in 3. are probably the most common in Australia - thanks to a education system that lacks financial literacy and the glamorisation of unattainable materialism if have loads of stupid people

    There is also a bit of a lack adequate regulation with the access to credit unbelievably easy for anyone over 18…

    • I find it hard to imagine 3. People can't be that stupid.

      • +1

        Look at Afterpays share price…..that comes from shear stupidity

  • +15

    Depends on circumstance. Build a strong business which generates high income.

    I bought a few properties, fattened up my super, put my kids in private school, etc.

    My retirement is sorted and you can't take it with you, right?

    I like fine suits, nice cars and a collection of stylish watches, cuff links, etc.

    I worked hard (and still do) to get where I am, why shouldn't I treat myself?

    I've known so many people amass wealth and die living like paupers. I just don't get why. What's the point of all that effort not to enjoy some of it?

    • +2

      Can answer that last one, not me but family. Missionaries, here to serve others, to make the word a better place, while saving ever cent to send the motherland.

    • +6

      At least you're enjoying your money. I know so many rich tight assess, still driving cars that are 30 years old and never buy anything nice or do anything fun. All they care about is building up their bank balance with no intention of using it.

      • So odd, right?

  • Depends entirely on what you earn and what you do for work/personal circumstances.

    Similarly, wearing 100-200 dollars worth of stuff is a lot to some and Hush Puppies is more "branded" than many others own.

    Me personally I'm not into branded bags or clothes but I have my own hobbies that are expensive to others (golf, cars, tech). I make a good living and sometimes I want good stuff. Some people choose to invest their cash in branded bags or clothes that's fine by me. Whatever floats their boat.

  • +5

    I've got a few watches totalling about $20k in total…I also have $5 t-shirts and get $10 haircuts…I spend money on things I like and also on assets that appreciate. I have a finance background and am very good with my money, I am conservative with my spending evening though it may seem like I'm not by buying those watches…it's about perspective and income.

    • +8

      This is the way I handle things. Spend money on things you care about. Don't spend money on things just because other people do.

  • +1

    Some people buy Rolex to sell it again for profit. Same with Dior, Hermes, etc.

    • +1

      Some are collectors too

  • +2

    You are poor mate. There are many better off people living in Australia, which makes you look poor in comparison

    • +2

      Won't stay rich for long with that mindset. My mates Dad earns more than you can imagine drives 2003 Subaru forester to appear poor, so clients won't think he's ripping them off.

      Longer trips out of the city he rents a car. Many people buying those products are trying to 'look the part', without being the part ;)

      • +1

        Rich people don't drive to see clients. They have employees to handle that.

        • +7

          Not true. One of my mates dads is super-rich. He built his company from the ground up driving across Australia building a dealer network. He still hits the road at 60+Yo to maintain the relationships with his dealers. He uses his 2003 BMW 5 series for this although he owns heaps of Luxury cars because he doesn't want to look like he's making a lot of money out of his customers. Also to look like he's within reach of his dealers (not to intimidate).

        • +5

          I used to work for a guy who had an Audi R8 and would drive it to see clients. One of them passed a comment that "Business must be good". He ended up buying a modest Hyundai to drive to clients after that.

          • @automatoes: To give the illusion of not being successful? Huh. Ok. I might rather the guy with the flashy car.

            • +3

              @zwolf: To give the illusion that we're not ripping off our clients. The late model Hyundai looked like a fleet car as most of our staff had the same thing and the boss still looked like a successful business owner. It was professional, but not flashy.

      • +1

        My friend earns good money in construction turned up to job site early one day where he was quoting on a million dollar job and saw this old fella looking down on his luck old clothes sitting on an old ute outside. He stopped and took a tea break so he could offer the guy one of his sandwiches without embarrassing him. He took the sandwiches they had a chat and when my friend said OK see you later I've got to go to see the boss, the old fella said yeah just tell my secretary ill be in in a minute.

        • Reminds me a story a mate told me:

          While he was buying a coffee this bum comes in, the owner tried to shoo him out! but my mate said it's okay and asked what he wanted to eat, some pastry.
          Then as he was going to pay, old mate pulls out one of those "prestigious cards" and pays for both the coffee and his pastry then walks out LOL jaws dropped

  • +2

    People are physiologically conditioned to consume products. It's only been getting worse as the years roll on and the wealth gap between top end and lower class grows.

  • +2

    The simple answer is that no-one in Australia can spend their travel budget on travel currently.
    The rich can't holiday on the French Riviera, the bogans can't party in Bali.
    That is why luxury goods are selling well here at the moment.

  • +3

    It's all relative. Partner and I earn $180k pa. No kids. We have a mortgage and investment property and still have money left over each month. We buy brand name things for the house. Clothing wise, I like casual surf brands, wear thongs or go barefoot. So the whole outfit might be worth $50. Occasionally get some discounted brand name stuff like Armani and Zegna for work in the office when not in lockdown. Flies business for the overseas holiday. Love Coles and Woolies specials or loyalty offers. Yet people in the office who earn similar amounts of money would buy from Aldi and buy the cheapest stuff.

    My philosophy is to look for value and stretch the dollar further while enjoying the good stuff.

    • 90K each?

      • 100 and 80

    • -2

      $180k net?

      • gross for the two of us

  • +4

    Instagram Models, Influencers, Onlyfans models?, Strippers and Sex workers spend a lot on luxury goods. So do Drug dealer, bikes and Underworld Wives and Mistresses. People runnings cash businesses like restaurants who have the cash to burn. Wives of Tradies who run a successful business with lots of cash income. Men and Women in top management positions, CEO, Trust fund babies. Most of them are not your average 9 to5 bookkeepers/ cashiers/ checkout chicks.

    • +8

      Instagram Models, Influencers, Onlyfans models?, Strippers and Sex workers

      Why repeat yourself 5 times?

  • but where are all these people getting money to spend on discretionary luxury goods?

    Log into your creditsavvy account and see yours vs state / suburb / age averages and you’ll get pretty good idea :-)

  • +1

    What Do People Do to Afford Such Life?

    The same thing you are doing to buy a $2k watch for your wife. Lol.

    There isn't that much of a difference between a $2k watch & a $5k handbag.

    • +4

      250% difference.

  • BTC? I know someone who accumulated a few thousands of those from the early day, all started with just a shit computer then slowly moving into renting a place and reconnecting electricity from the street for free energy.

    That's oversea just so you know.

  • +2

    Isn't the answer right next to you? Ask your wife why she wants a $2k watch and ask yourself why you are ok with buying it! I'm sure plenty in the queues are just likr you two.

  • Police should just monitor these stores, follow the money 😂😂😂

  • +8

    They run a furniture store.
    They bought Bitcoin.
    Their parents died early.
    They're in debt for it.
    They're spending on things they enjoy and have above-average incomes.
    They need a gift for an Australia Post executive.
    They bought some land cheap and had their mate rezone it for them.
    Their 5-minute old aged care business run by two undischarged bankrupts banned from running a business due to mass animal cruelty and their failed chicken farm is the recipient of federal grants to run an aged care home with no oversight (yes this just happened).
    They'll return it tomorrow.

    People on low incomes and unstable work suffered during the pandemic, but it's business as usual for a huge chunk of the economy and many investors actually turned it into a money-making opportunity.

    • Was under the impression lux goods aren't returable?

  • credit cards, layby, afterpay, loans, etc

  • +5

    I smell tall poppy syndrome….

  • You probably know how people afford it, just think of the various ways of getting rich.

    But does it make them happy and is it something to aspire to? The idea of a 5k handbag making someone happy is a bit of a laugh. I think it's just more an addiction/obsession for some people.

  • +2

    I remember when I diamond encrusted key-chain from Bruce and Walsh was considered the ultimate luxury..

  • there is a good chance that most of those people buying that stuff cant afford it… its all for show those who can afford it dont have a need to flaunt it. I'm surrounded by friends who have big brand label stuff & act no diffrently to those woth no brand stuff.. they dont see the brand names, they have to need to show off the brands coz they can actually afford it, and not put it on credit card to pay off over months/ years

  • +3

    You were doing the same as them. Others are probably wondering how you afford it.

  • +2

    Get her an Apple Watch. Ladies love it. Just show her all the fancy things she can do on it.

  • +3

    Most the people you see queuing at those designer stores are rich Chinese.

    Having said that I know an idiot that withdrew his super and spent it on Cartier jewelry.

  • Debt.

  • +4

    A lot of people are in absurd amounts of debt. For some reason society celebrates things such as purchasing a new house/car when in most cases, someone's just gone into debt multiple times their net worth/

  • +6

    If you're talking about Melbourne CBD 90% of those people who line up at those stores are usually just young Chinese adults who get money from their rich parents.

    • -3

      Well I guess their parents worked hard, did you only notice because they look chinese? most these pricey luxuries are driven by the privileged bogans already living by the coast

      • +1

        No, didn't notice because they look Chinese. I liveand work in the CBD. I am Asian and I can tell between the major Asian languages.

  • Had a chinese friend who brought expensive stuffs when shopping with friends and returned the next day. Never paid for anything when going for a trip, maybe they can't return/refund that. I don't know what is the point.

    I think mostly for social media/show off.

    • lol unless s/he's a great friend, idk if you'd want to have them around.

      Lux brands don't do returns though? Normal people hire.

      • +1

        Not LV type of lux, not that they can't afford them. Just needless $500 splurge. Her husband is very frugal maybe that explains the returns.

        Lots of chinese got rich off developers buying their villages to build apartments. They are compensated with 2 - 3 apartments and sell the extra.

        • +1

          No doubt some, but there is also I suspect a tendency for Chinese in general to work relatively hard which also increases their earnings.

          It's reflected in school results most obviously, but continues later in life.

          And wherever you look around the world, wherever the Chinese have settled outside of China they have done really well e.g Malaysia, Singapore, other parts of SE Asia.

          • +2


            Chinese in general to work relatively hard which also increases their earnings.

            working hard alone doesnt make someone wealthy.

            • @Griffindinho: No but it is an important contributing factor for most self made people.

  • +1

    To me spending money on luxury goods would not give you the best "exchange-rate" from money to happiness.

    Money is best spent on experiences with your loved ones and is better spend on high-cost "buy-it-for-life" items

    The rest should be put into 6 months of emergency funds cash and on a 50% bonds, 50% passive, low-cost index funds

    Then you can retire early and travelling the world or buy another real estate or spend on your children education

    But of course luxury goods industry is a great stream of government tax and should not be erased, every one should have their own choice in this diversity world

    1. https://ed.ted.com/lessons/would-winning-the-lottery-make-yo...
    2. https://www.reddit.com/r/BuyItForLife/

  • I've never had any interest in upgrading my $3000 car that has had no issues ever, or to buy luxury brands. I'm similar to you. I wear runners + jeans most of the time, sometimes I'll put on my fake Air Jordan 1's and a standard shirt albeit some of my shirts/jumpers are vintage and I paid around $50-70 for them.

    I see money as comfort. If I have $100k and spend $5k on a luxury bag it'll make me feel maybe 5% less uncomfortable.

    Even at my highest savings balance I never once had the urge to splash out on those sorts of things. It does come down to taste though. Some people genuinely love the material and designs, and to be fair, some of the products that luxury brands produce are pretty cool, but I feel like a lot of people purchase it only for status which is something that I can't really get behind.

    I can see why someone might want to splash out on a $150 Lacoste or Tommy Hilfiger clothing piece because they're amazing quality and won't cause you any quality issues - it offers simplicity, but seeing people line up for $500+ designer shirts just doesn't make sense to me. To each their own though.

    • +4

      Your car though would be lacking safety features making it more dangerous to drive on the road that even a $20k car…

      • Conversely people these days rely too much on their safety features and don't know how to drive property.

      • You're right there actually. A $20k car with safety features beats a $3000 car without them, but it's still hard to justify the price when I don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars. My $3000 car still has airbags and has never had any issues at all for many years - also I drive within the speed limit so not much of an issue.

        • You don't need to have hundreds of thousands to justify having a safer car on the road for yourself, your passengers and all other road users.

          • @The-Kremlin: You can buy a very roadworthy cars for under $5000. My cars insured for like $2100 in fact. Never had a single issue in over 100000km. Has airbags, and most importantly I drive the speed limit or 5-10% under. I just service it every 10000km and change parts when recommended by the drivers booklet.

            I think the problem is people owning expensive cars and driving so aggressively.. just a trend that I've noticed.

            • @Mysterious: "I think the problem is people owning expensive cars and driving so aggressively.. just a trend that I've noticed."

              Unfortunately this is me…I just enjoy driving and my car…slower drivers annoy me so I whiz past/overtake them.

              • @The-Kremlin: At the expense of drivers like myself who just want to drive safely as it is part of our job.. I happen to drive the speed limit pretty much all of the time, or 5-10% under if I feel I may need to brake suddenly if there is congestion. Personally can not stand drivers who drive so aggressively.. definitely has something to do with the protection of lockable doors and tinted windows. I've driven motorbikes in developing countries and people would never dare tail you or violently drive against you unless they were actually tough because you're going to get scolded or beaten up. Too many times I see cowards bullying people on the road in their SUVs and trucks.. quite annoying really.

    • Tommy Hilfiger

      Junk brand

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