‘I’m bitterly jealous of my richer siblings who don’t invite me skiing’

Katie Morley
Katie Morley's latest guest struggles with self control around spending, and the disparity it's creating - Heathcliff O'Malley

If you’ve got a financial dilemma or you need some advice send me an email or a voice note to moneyconfidential@telegraph.co.uk or fill out a contact form here.

Over a delicious slice of lemon cake, this week’s Money Confidential guest, Poppy*, makes a rather sour confession: she’s bitterly jealous of her richer siblings, who all go on skiing holidays together and have stopped bothering to invite her, as they assume she can’t afford to go.

It’s not that Poppy hasn’t been a success in her career. She holds down a respectable professional job, and has a flat with a mortgage. However, it seems, her siblings have all chosen higher paying careers and their disposable income affords them a certain standard of living, which Poppy can’t keep up with.

Hear the full story on Katie Morley’s new podcast: Money Confidential.


In truth, Poppy finds the wealth gap awkward at best – and painful at worst. There are difficult moments at birthdays and Christmas when gifts are exchanged. She tells me about one time where she witnessed one sibling giving another a lavish Tiffany bracelet, while she received a cheap pair of tracksuit bottoms.

Uncomfortable moments like this live as they say, “rent free” in her mind, popping up every so often to torture her. 

Poppy’s feelings of envy over money and material possessions started as far back as university, she says. She recalls the humiliating experience of being a waitress at a fancy restaurant having to serve other girls from her degree course, who were all well dressed and clearly wealthy enough to dine there.

But being in Poppy’s home environment, it wasn’t long before I realised that there might be more going on here than first meets the eye. Could money envy actually be a symptom of a bigger problem going on behind the scenes?

The first clue was a glass display cabinet containing dozens of designer bags. A pink one was also hung proudly on the wall in the living room, for all to see.

Despite her modest income, Poppy clearly has a penchant for posh purses. She explained that she struggles with impulse spending after payday, particularly where designer bags and luxury cosmetics are concerned.

She described a rollercoaster journey of the irresistible urge to splurge, followed by a period of deep, dark regret for the rest of the month, as she leaves herself so skint that she struggles to buy food. Despite earning a regular salary, on occasion she’s even resorted to going to food banks for supplies, she confesses.

This sort of behaviour became easier to understand once Poppy explained that she suffers from ADHD, meaning she struggles far with money management when compared to most of the neurotypical population. I felt it was brave of Poppy to bear her soul to us, so in the episode I brought in not one, but two experts to help her get to the bottom of all this.

We hear from money psychotherapist, Vicky Reynal, who explains why we feel money envy – and how to control it. We also hear from financial expert and fellow ADHD sufferer, Clare Seal, who gives Poppy her tips on how to improve her self-control.

We are also joined by Telegraph columnist Celia Walden, who reveals her one financial habit that annoys her husband Piers Morgan the most...

And, of course, I want to hear from you. What did you think of Poppy’s story? And be honest, have you ever experienced financial envy yourself?

If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments, or send me an email or a voice note to moneyconfidential@telegraph.co.uk with your thoughts.

And on next week’s episode of Money Confidential, we’ll hear from a young mum agonising over whether private school will be worth the huge financial sacrifice.

On hand to help will be a professional school selection consultant from the Good Schools Guide, and mother of nine Helena Morrissey, who reveals whether the £1m (and counting) she has spent on private schooling was really worth it.

And finally, I am looking for people to appear on future episodes, so if you’ve got something to get off your chest or you need some advice, send me your money dilemma by filling in my contact form below.

You can listen to this week’s episode here, and if you like what you hear, you can follow along here to be alerted to future episodes.

*name has been changed