Keeping up appearances and looking good in modern Britain will set you back at least £625,000, according to a new survey from Quidco.
Cashback website Quidco recently interviewed 2,000 UK adults to discover the price tag of success. Its poll found that to be considered as a high-flier in today's Britain, you'll need the following 'lifestyle landmarks':
A high salary
Quidco found the yearly income to be considered successful in today's Britain to be a whopping £64,000. Of course, big earners want to be with someone equally successful, with those in a relationship expecting a similar salary from their partner.
To put this aspirational household income of £128,000 a year into context, a typical household income in Britain today is roughly £35,000 a year. In other words, to look like winners, a couple would need to be bringing home nearly four times the typical household income.
Forget living in a modest flat or two-bedroom terrace: to be considered a real go-getter today, you'll need a palatial pad worth upwards of £578,000. Of course, it will have to include the very latest gadgets, such as a 50-inch widescreen TV, a hot tub -- and even a team of staff on your payroll.
Again, this value is considerably higher than the average price of a UK home. Last month, Halifax estimated the average value of a home to be just short of £164,000. In contrast, a high achiever's home is worth 3.5 times the typical residence's value.
A flash car
If you want to look good, then so must your motor. Ideally, you should own a vehicle worth in excess of £27,000, with the most-desired 'parked on the driveway' brands being Aston Martin and Porsche.
To be truly successful in the eyes of the British public, you'll also need a solid pot of savings. Quidco found that to be considered top of the heap, you'll need at least £15,000 stashed away in cash.
This nest egg isn't as big as I'd have expected. After all, it's less than a quarter (23%) of the £64,000 salary mentioned above. In other words, this savings pot might last as little as three or four months if our hypothetical high-flyer suddenly fell to earth with a bang.
A £5,000 holiday
Of course, those who work hard often play hard, which includes enjoying top-notch holidays, such as long-haul holidays and skiing trips. Quidco calculates the price tag for our over-achiever's yearly holiday at around £5,000 a time.
Handbags, gladrags and home helps
Quidco found the price of success today also includes several other luxury items, such as designer handbags and clothing, as well as home helps (cleaners, au pairs, nannies and the like).
Unfortunately, these must-have accessories can carry a hefty cost, as they often result in over-spending and debt. One in seven Brits (14%) admits to buying certain items or brands in order to be seen as more successful than they actually are. Of these aspirational spenders, one in four runs up debts averaging £6,200 in order to keep up appearances.
Admire, desire and acquire
What this survey clearly demonstrates is that most Brits remain staunchly ambitious, despite the financial slowdown of the past five years. We still desire the everyday trappings of material wealth, particularly big homes, fast cars and luxury goods.
What do you think? What do you think makes someone a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.