How to be poor on £80,000 a year

GUINEA pigs and goldfish too common for your darling little prodigies? Try these pretentious pets instead: 

Alpaca Want everyone to know you’ve got a one-and-a-half acre garden? These animals are big and impressive but impossible to ride so you won’t waste money on lessons and equipment for Matilda and Laurent. Plus you can use its wool to make a shrug.

Armadillo lizard Looks like a dragon, requires hardly any care and does so little that once you’re bored of it you can sell it complete with vivarium on eBay and the children won’t even notice it’s gone.

Micro pig Like a puppy but more kooky, and ideal for sensitive flowers allergic to pet hair. It may end up growing into a 25-stone monster, but it’ll be organically raised so simply pop it round the butcher to be turned into bacon when the kids get bored of it.

Koi carp Koi carp are basically expensive goldfish on steroids. Not very cuddly but perfect for proving you’ve got cash to burn when they see the Instagram photos of you feeding them from a little bridge.

Chinchilla Essentially fancy rats, chinchillas offer the same skittish movements and nasty little teeth as more basic rodents, but in a luxurious fur coat. Ideal if you want something that won’t last very long.

‘Adopted’ whale Pets too much hassle? Rather than admitting it, tell the kids the most worthy and sustainable thing to do is to pay to ‘adopt’ a pet. They’ll be impressed because whales are massive, and you won’t have to clean up any dung.