Money-saving advice series with Denise Lewis and Dominic Littlewood. The team help a couple facing an uncertain financial future after the rise in the state pension age for women.
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'Whether you're a spender or a saver,
'we can all do with knowing how to make the most of our cash.'
'So we've found simple advice for you to do just that
'and taking it to towns and cities right across Britain.'
'Whatever help you need with your finances,
'we are Right on the Money.'
Hello and welcome to Right on the Money -
the series that puts more cash back where it belongs.
-Where would that be, Denise?
-In your pocket.
And today, we're in my old stomping ground,
Birmingham, and I'll be giving Dom a little bit of a personal tour
and passing on some super savvy advice.
You know what they say - time is money.
So, we better be getting on with it.
And coming up on today's programme...
'We try and help one couple save enough cash
'to see them through their retirement.
'But persuading them to give up those creature comforts is
'easier said than done.'
I want to keep doing it.
I mean, there's no point if you're cutting back
to such an extent that you can't go out and enjoy yourself.
'Plus, how you can turn those car-boot sale buys
'into a tidy profit by reselling them online.'
If you spend time sourcing the right items and make them look good
and list them, well, there's money to be made
from other people's rubbish.
In my short time here, I've discovered that Birmingham
has got one of the youngest populations in Europe.
Which is probably why it's full of vibrant restaurants,
bars and great shops.
All the sort of things that will appeal to the next family
that need our help because they do like the odd treat.
-Ha, or ten!
'Aubrey and Jane Perch from Stockport
'just love their creature comforts.'
I just like to spend money, basically.
I just like stuff.
I love buying tops, for instance, and I buy a lot of them.
My lifestyle now, really, is
I play golf when I can and we eat very well
but I just go on the basic idea - if you've got enough beans,
yeah, go ahead and buy it.
I just don't like spending money that I haven't got.
And I'm the opposite.
I enjoy spending money.
'And Jane's love of spending means her wardrobes are bursting
'with hundreds of items of clothing.
'And while Aubrey does like to treat himself to posh nosh,
'Jane enjoys dining out with her friends.
'These two just like living the high life. They always have.
'They first met on a skiing holiday in the Italian Alps.'
We bumped into each other a few times on the slopes
and then eventually just went out for a date and that was it.
-Here we are...
-Here we are now.
-..26 years later.
'Jane and Aubrey have two sons -
'Christopher and Andrew - who, despite being 24 and 21,
'still rely on the bank of Mum and Dad and, in the case of Christopher,
'still live at home.'
Paying your way through paying rent and bills in a house
is quite difficult. So, every now and then...
-..I've got a fall back.
We've always been there for them.
Financially helped them out when they've had to be.
To be fair, if it was a friend who was struggling,
I'd probably do a similar thing. So, if it's your children,
there's no question. You step in and do it,
whatever help they need.
I would rather it was me who had no money than they have no money,
if you get my drift.
'We get your drift, Aubrey,
'because you're amongst the 75% of UK parents
'who have at least one child over 18 still living with them.
'Despite this though, they've always managed to afford to help
'their children and maintain a comfortable lifestyle,
'but that's all about change.
'Aubrey is already retired and in a week's time,
'Jane's going to join him.
'She's leaving her part-time job, which means a big drop in income.'
My State Pension doesn't kick again until 2019 when I'll be 65.
We're now at quite a crossroads.
Until I finish work and I start getting my pensions,
we're not quite sure how the future's going to be.
'With no State Pension for another three years
'and a mortgage still to pay off,
'these big spenders need to reduce their monthly outgoings.
'But with some huge changes ahead,
'can they live without those little luxuries?'
I don't think it's worth, in life,
giving up everything just because you can't afford it.
'Seems like Jane and Aubrey need a firm hand.
'So, who better to pay them a visit than personal finance expert
Hi, Sarah, Aubrey.
'She's determined to help them find a way to fund their retirement,
'but Jane is one of the 500,000 women affected by
'the Government's decision to increase the State Pension age
'for women and that's something she hasn't budgeted for.'
I was expecting to get it earlier, I think.
Most people of my age presumed they were going to get
their State Pension at 60.
It would have been quite a nice buffer.
And, unfortunately, they changed, moved the goalposts,
and just as I was coming up to that point, they moved it to 65.
It was a huge disappointment, though. Huge.
So, between now and then,
how much less will you be having to live on as a family
compared to when you were working?
I think we realised... The difference is about £400 a month.
'Now, don't worry about having to wait for your pension, Jane,
'because if anyone can help, our Sarah can.
'Sarah clearly needs to tackle the family's overspending
'on clothes and expensive treats.
'But she's easing them into saving money
'by tackling their household bills -
'starting off with their TV, phone and broadband package.
'And even here, it's clear that the Perches like to overindulge.'
You've actually got over 200 channels as part of this package.
It's about as big as you can get, in terms of TV packages.
It's about £125 a month, I think.
It's the XL package we have.
Do you watch a lot of TV? Do you watch...?
Are you scuttling between 200 channels?
I do watch quite a lot of TV,
but it's generally mainly the terrestrial channels.
Have you never watched this before?
So, you tend to watch between the five channels?
That's all my mum watches is Channel Five, terrible films.
-And Murder, She Wrote.
-Strictly Come Dancing.
'Which raises the question of why they're wasting so much money on all
'those channels when their viewing habits
'haven't actually changed since the 1990s.
'Well, Sarah's found them a brilliant deal
'which will save them £40 a month,
or a whopping £480 a year.
'And the good news is - they can still watch Columbo!
'Sarah's also discovered that the Perches are spending a small fortune
'calling mobile phones from their landline.'
Do you ring your friends or family on mobile from your landline?
I do ring Aubrey, yes.
I just don't think about it.
I just pick up the landline.
'All those phone calls are costing them an eye-watering £300 a year.
'Jane would be much better off calling Aubrey using her mobile
'because she rarely gets near to using up the minutes
'on her monthly tariff.'
That's £25 a month that could be in your pocket
-if you just stopped calling mobiles from your landline.
So what are you going to do? Start calling...
'That's another easy saving
'of £300 a year.
'Result! And there are plenty more monthly bills
'for Sarah still to tackle.'
So, you might wonder why I've insisted that we come up here
into your bathroom. Well, it's because one of your monthly costs
that seems quite high to me is your water bill.
So, how much are you paying a month for your water?
I don't know! I'm sorry.
I don't know.
-You're actually paying about £85 a month.
It's almost £1,000 a year.
£960, or so.
And that's quite high.
How much water do you use?
Two baths a day and...
-Well, more than...
-Three or four showers a day.
Three or four showers a day as well, yeah.
So, you're very clean, aren't you?
You're a squeaky-clean family, aren't you?
-With a shower in the morning and a bath in the evening!
'A bath and a shower a day.
'Now, look, I'm no soap dodger, but this lot are in danger
'of disappearing down the plughole.'
You might be able to save some money by switching to a water meter.
And if you then cut down on the water you use as well,
you could possibly save a bit more.
'But this family uses so much water that surely you won't
'be able to save them any cash. Sarah?'
-Well, do you want the good news?
Based on your current very, very clean lifestyle,
we can actually save you about £200 a year.
'That's another £200
'towards the retirement coffers.
'Sarah's really on a roll.
'She wants to find out how much 24-year-old son Chris
'contributes to the family household.'
This room, the room we're in now, this is sort of your lounge, is it?
Yeah. My man cave, essentially.
-And what do you pay your parents?
Do you pay them any kind of rent or any money towards bills or food?
The only rent I really pay directly is about £50.
-So, £50 a month?
£12.50 a week.
Yeah, it's not a lot. Yeah.
'According to the housing charity, Shelter,
'a quarter of all 20 to 34-year-olds in work
'still live with their parents.
'Like Chris, many simply can't afford to move out.
'But, very often, their parents are the ones left out of pocket.'
I'm going to be a bit nosy about your finances now.
-Have you, sort of, tried to give your parents more?
Is it that they don't want the money, or that you've not
thought about giving it to them?
They never ask me directly just for money back
or any more money than £50.
I would really like to be able to pay them back more every month.
Yeah, I'd be OK with giving them £100.
'Wow, you got off lightly, Chris.
'But offering to pay more every month is certainly a result.
'But getting Mum and Dad to actually take the cash is another story.
'So Sarah gathers the family for a heart-to-heart.
There are going to be families up and down the country
who are in the situation you're in.
How do you feel about the kind of financial contribution
that Chris makes?
Well, I think it's reasonably fair.
We don't cause the household a lot of expense, anyway, do you?
-No, not really.
-So, Chris has said he pays £50 a month.
-It's £12.50 a week.
I'll be moving in with you!
-'By the way, Sarah, I was first.
'Let's get to the point.'
And have you ever had a conversation about him paying more,
or would you rather he doesn't pay more?
Rather he doesn't pay me, to be honest.
-And why is that?
-Well, because I think the money he earns,
he should have as much to himself as he can have, really.
I think, if we needed to,
we could ask Chris to pay more and I'm sure he'd say yes.
But we'd rather not.
'That extra £50 a month from Chris
'could really boost Aubrey and Jane's retirement fund.
'However, this looks like one battle Sarah is destined to lose.'
I think it's really hard for parents who've got
grown-up children living at home to have that conversation
about whether they pay anything and how much they pay.
But I do think this family's beginning to realise
that they do need to make some changes.
And if Aubrey and Jane aren't prepared for Chris to pay them more,
they'll have to bring in that extra money from somewhere.
'And that will be Sarah's next big challenge.
'But she's not doing badly so far.
'If the Perches take on board Sarah's advice,
'they would save £980
'on their household bills.
'That part was easy.
'But Sarah's biggest task will be convincing the family to cut back on
'their love of fancy food, eating out and buying all that clobber.'
How many tops have you got?
I've no idea. I've never had a count.
Well, we'll find out whether Sarah here has managed
to work her magic on the Perch family finances
a little bit later on.
Now, in that film, we mentioned that a quarter of adults
aged between 20 and 34 are still living at home with Mum and Dad.
Just like Jenny here. Jenny, thanks for joining us.
-We're going to come to you in just a second.
Sarah, that a large number, isn't it?
Why is it such a big issue?
Well, figures show that if you'd been born in 1960,
by the time you were 30, you'd have about a 50% chance
of owning your own home.
If you were born in 1990, that would have gone down to about 25%.
The average deposit at the moment is about £33,000
for a first-time buyer. Well, that's almost double what it was
less than ten years ago.
It's a huge amount of money for people to find.
But how is that impacting the parents and their finances?
I think there are two issues and it depends on whether you're a parent
who's still working or whether you've already retired.
If you're still working, for a lot of parents,
once they get to, say, their mid-50s,
that's when they think their children will have left home,
they can really concentrate on their own finances.
Well, if their child comes back to live with them,
that's going to put a spanner in the works, as it were.
If they've retired, I think it's more serious
because they're on a fixed income.
They won't have budgeted for that extra cost, the food, the energy,
all those extra bills.
And I think that's where it can cause a real problem.
Now, Jenny, you're still guilty of living with Mum and Dad, aren't you?
-I want to find out, one - has it helped your finances?
Why are you still living at home?
And also, tell me about the blog you write.
So, I moved in with my parents in September 2014.
And I moved in to save money,
like most people in their 20s do.
There's absolutely tonnes of us.
And we've got quite a bad reputation, I think,
us boomerang generation, 20-somethings.
So I thought this would be a chance to get our side of the story
-and put the record straight.
-And how are those savings going?
It's going really well. I've got around £13,000, £14,000 now
towards my deposit on a house.
-That's not bad going.
But you saw Chris in the film.
Please tell me that you're paying more than £12.50 a week?
Yeah, I'm paying £200 a month.
-That's not too bad.
-As soon as I moved in, my mum was like,
"You're paying us 200 a month. If you don't pay me, you're out."
So they're happy with that money.
Good for your mum. Because, Sarah, in that film, we saw you.
You tried very hard and you failed
to convince Aubrey to charge his son more.
What would your advice be to other parents?
Well, I think, first of all, you've got to think about the financial
implications of having your adult child moving back in with you.
And be up front, be honest about it.
Work out what you need and what do you think is fair.
For some parents, they may not need a huge amount,
but if you're on a fixed income then I think you should be
quite realistic about what you charge them.
And also, just work out some ground rules.
You know, the person moving back into your home isn't the child
that lived there when they were a teenager.
But equally, they do need to have some rules
so you can to have it sustainable on the longer term,
and you don't all resent each other after a few weeks.
Denise, can I ask, do you charge your children rent?
Mine are still a little bit too young.
But fast forward, when they are of an age where they can contribute,
I think I would really expect that if they were living at home.
I think your job is to parent, to educate,
and contributing to the household finances,
I think is a good thing for them.
-I'm with you.
-Even if you don't particularly want the money,
like in Aubrey's case, still charge your son a reasonable amount
and stick it in a pension fund for them, or a savings account.
So you're giving it back to him,
but taking it from him in the first place to teach them that value.
-Oh, you are tough, aren't you, Dom?
Thanks, Sarah, thanks, Jenny.
Now, we've all heard the saying,
"One man's junk is another man's treasure."
And that's very true of this next bunch, who are using modern
technology to cash in on the old-fashioned car-boot sale.
They were all the rage in the late '80s,
and now car-boot sales are firmly back in fashion.
Often mammoth weekend events with hundreds of stalls,
there are few better places to hunt for hidden treasures.
And the main appeal is that, for a few pounds,
there's the tantalising thrill of finding a diamond in the rough.
You can pick up some great bargains,
absolute great bargains.
I picked up a beautiful bowl about two months ago -
it was an 1877 Coalbrookdale bowl for £2.
It's been valued at 300-400.
I enjoy coming to car-boot sales because I like meeting people
and having a laugh and just getting out the house, really.
People seem to think that it's everybody's sort of...
..rubbish, but it's not.
The treasures you can find are fantastic.
An estimated £1.5 billion a year is spent at car-boot sales...
..with the typical seller taking home £80 for every sale they attend.
But these days, most of us sell our unwanted clutter through
online auction sites.
However, you can make a very tidy profit by combining the two,
and selling on your car-boot sale bargains over the internet.
To see how much cash you can make,
we've enlisted the help of car boot fanatics, Nick, Caroline and Ken.
All three turned their hobby into a full-time career.
Nick Hills from Hertfordshire quit his job as a police officer
to launch an online shop selling clothes, toys and games.
Board games is a big thing for me.
Whatever I can find that I know's got a margin.
One of the best profit margins we ever made
was a limited-edition Mariah Carey CD from the mid '90s.
We put it on auction at, like, a couple of pounds,
and when it finished it had got to well over 100.
Caroline Matthews from Devon caught the online selling bug after
the birth of her son and now sells vintage clothes and retro items.
Anything I think I can buy and make a profit on is what I look for at
car-boot sales. Last year I bought a job lot of video VHS cassettes
for 99p, 300 of them,
and I'm currently up to about £250.
And Ken Chapman from Lancashire
has been selling collectables and antiques since 2011.
You never know what you're going to find. I bought a man's
lifetime collection of playing cards and it filled my car up.
I paid £50 for the job-lot at the auction -
I've had about £3,500 back so far,
and I've got another £2,000 worth still listed.
Each of our volunteers have £50 to spend
and a huge car-boot sale to browse.
And it's not long before Nick spots a potential money-spinner.
How much are these?
Five each, 20 for all four.
Would you take ten for the four?
The lowest I would go is 15 for the four.
-How much do you want for these?
Two of our buyers are straight out of the starting blocks,
but Caroline is being careful with her cash,
and being happy to haggle is a must.
How much for the dress, please?
Two? You'd take two?
-How much are these?
-Seven quid each.
Seven quid each.
Would you do 12 on them?
-I know I can make money on those at £6 each.
Cheers, that's great, that.
From jam pots to toys and designer jackets...
How much is your jacket, please?
50p an item.
..with bargain-hunters out in force, there's stiff competition
to bag the items with the best reselling potential.
Thank you very much.
Cheers, thanks a lot.
Once back home, our savvy sellers waste no time
in getting their bargains online. And they're willing to share
their secrets on how you can turn your car-boot purchase
into a good earner.
I've washed it, I've ironed it, I've put it onto the mannequin,
and I'll be able to present it in the best possible light to sell it.
It's really important to get as many quality pictures as you can, so the
buyer can see exactly what they're getting and the condition of it.
I've got to list them well with good descriptions -
hopefully, they'll sell.
We've given them three weeks
to see if they can turn their purchases into profit.
And there's good news if you fancy trying this at home.
In the last budget it was announced that, from April 2017,
individuals selling on auction sites can earn up to £1,000 tax-free.
Meanwhile, with their three weeks up, let's see how much Nick,
Caroline and Ken were able to make from selling
their car-boot-sale bargains online.
After deducting postage and selling fees,
Nick made a total profit of £43.53.
While Caroline's clothing sales earned her
a very fashionable profit of £75.47.
But less successful this time was Ken -
who ended up with an £8.34 loss,
which means it's Caroline who ends up on top.
I'm really pleased to have won. It's great to have beaten both the boys
and it just goes to show that if you spend time sourcing the right items
and make them look good and list them well,
there's money to be made from other people's rubbish.
Now, I've been to the odd car-boot sale in my time, but I love
finding bargains in shopping centres like this.
Now, Paul, you're a consumer psychologist.
Tell me, why is it that every time I come to places like this,
I always end up with more than I bargained for?
Malls are designed, really, as a sort of shopping machine, almost.
They're designed to get you to make as many purchases as possible.
You could come in the morning,
you could spend half the day looking round the shops, then go for a meal,
then go to the cinema - it's a whole day's experience.
So they're specifically designed to make you part with your cash?
Absolutely. If we look at one end, we've got a Debenhams store,
at the other end, we've got a Selfridge's store.
These are both destination stores.
Someone will go into one of those stores then wander through
the rest of the mall to the other destination store.
When they're doing that they'll pass all these other shops which,
you'll probably notice, none of them have got any doors on,
cos that makes it nice and easy to just wander in and out,
so you get more impulse buys out of people.
With that in mind,
I wanted to know how many of the shoppers today
have been able to stick to what they came in to buy.
Can you think of anything that you didn't intend to pick up?
Stuff for myself, clothes for myself.
What drew you to purchasing those things?
-I love it.
If you're passing through, you're walking down this way,
you might be tempted to buy something?
-Even if you don't need it?
So you would say you're total impulse buyers.
Oh, yeah, definitely, definitely impulse buyers.
When I'm with my mum, I'll shop in the more expensive shops.
When I'm on my own, I don't mind going in Primark.
So you like to find a bargain, as well, then?
Yeah, but when I'm with my mum, there's no need.
If this is on telly, I didn't buy anything!
You know that buzz you get when you buy something
you really, really want?
Well, it soon disappears if something goes wrong with it.
And it seems our days of seething in silence are long gone because in a
recent survey, complaints about poor products and bad service
have gone up by 30%.
And I'll tell you something -
you wouldn't want to argue with this lot.
I love to complain. Who doesn't love to complain?
I can vouch for that.
No, I don't... There's not really much point in complaining
if you can do something about it and just move forward.
People waste too much time complaining.
If I'm not happy with a service, I'm the first to complain.
But, on the flipside, as well, because I have worked in
that kind of industry for a long time, if I get good service,
I'm the kind of person that will phone up a company
and say that I had really good service.
I'm not shy. I will kind of tell people if something is wrong.
I wouldn't cause a scene, though.
I'd just kind of be like,
"Look, something's not right, can we get it sorted out?"
I think you had mouldy cheese one time at a restaurant...
-We just don't go back.
-..and it tasted rank.
Yeah, we just don't go back. But we never complain.
If it's something I'd bought,
though, then I'd complain and take it back.
I love to complain also, and especially companies cos I find,
if you make a complaint, they're pretty fond of acting on it.
Say you've had some food and it wasn't up to the standards
of how much it was, I'm going to say,
"I haven't enjoyed this, it's not right."
It was a parking zone run by the council outside a shop
and I complained and they gave me a voucher back
for the value of the fine. So it pays to complain.
Yeah, I mean, how are they supposed to improve if you don't complain?
That's the whole point, right?
I'm here with Alex Hill in his rather unusual des res.
And it is unusual, Alex, isn't it?
It's all right, it's no different to anyone else's house.
Oh, come on, it's a van.
It's a big house, it's bigger than my usual London flat.
This is actually your home, isn't it?
Tell me how it all came about.
Well, I was coming up to the end of my rental contract in London and I
couldn't find a new flat for the minute,
and I just bought the van instead.
I met someone earlier who'd moved back home with her parents
to save money. Surely that was an option for you, though, wasn't it?
Unfortunately not - my parents live in the South of France,
-so that would have been quite a big commute.
You must be saving an absolute fortune.
List all the things you're not having to pay for.
Rent, water, electricity, heating, TV licence.
Pfft. Should I get hair like yours, Dom?
I tell you what, you'd save some money.
All right, how much do you think you're saving on a monthly basis
by living in here?
£1,000 a month.
12 grand a year - it's a lot of money.
-It's a lot of money.
-That's quite a saving.
What's it actually aimed at? What are you going to do with the money?
Well, I'm putting the van off the road next month,
and spending six months cycling round Europe.
So really this is just funding your lifestyle?
-There's got to be some downsides to this.
How do you shower and how do you have a comfort break?
Well, showering is very easy.
One of my main things is I have to have a shower at least once a day,
cos I like my showers. So shower at work five days a week,
shower at climbing gyms, shower at swimming pools.
Basically, do exercise and then go for a shower.
And then, even on the way up here, M40 services.
Where do you park your house?
Just in residential streets, it's really not that difficult.
Like every street, especially between boroughs -
always got free parking.
No complaints from the neighbours?
And what do people at work say, like your boss and your colleagues?
They must find this a bit unusual.
Yeah, I have had some interesting comments,
but generally pretty positive.
-The boss OK about it?
-Yeah, he loves it.
What advice would you give to anybody who's watching you
and thinking, "Wow, I love that, I'm going to go for it?"
Well, if you're young, adventurous and fancy a bit of a story,
then it's great. If you're looking just to save money,
it's probably not the best option.
And I would imagine on top of that,
a bit cold in the winter, bit lonely?
-Pretty much, yeah.
-Good luck to you, Alex, that's all I can say.
Alex, thanks ever so much for your time. Now, I've got to get back
and meet Denise. Is there any chance of a lift in your house?
Yeah, of course, Dom, no problem.
And while we head off, let's catch up with the Perch family,
and find out if they've saved enough money to fund their retirement.
Right, chocks away.
The Perches from Stockport have grafted all their lives
and have always used their cash to treat themselves
and their family and friends.
Aubrey has a passion for golf and fine foods,
while Jane likes to indulge in eating out
and buying herself loads of cheap and cheerful tops.
He doesn't always notice the brand-new ones.
I will quite often, if I go to Sainsbury's,
find a top, and I put it in with... I buy it with my food shopping,
and you never know.
You never know, indeed.
So far, Aubrey's pension and Jane's wages have enabled this family
to afford their nice lifestyle and also help out their children.
But their monthly income is about to change.
Today is Jane's last day of work at the local school.
-Thank you very much, Jane, for everything you've done.
And I wish you a long and happy retirement.
Retiring is an emotional moment for Jane,
but it's also a tricky time for the family.
She's realised too late that her state pension payments
won't start for another three years.
That means that the family's income will drop by £400 a month.
We're now at quite a crossroads.
Until I finish work and I start getting my pensions,
we're not quite sure how the future's going to be.
Oh, you've even bought me a cake.
Personal finance expert Sarah Pennells
has already been busy,
finding ways that Jane and Aubrey could save a total of £980 a year
on their household bills.
Sarah's now returned for another visit.
With son Chris out at work today,
she will tackle this family's extravagant spending.
For starters, they stock up on too much food.
Why have a freezer, when three would do?
We've a freezer in the kitchen.
We've got a tall freezer and then we've got a small chest freezer.
If you buy meat, it tends to be a bit on bulk.
-So we need space for that.
Are you buying a cow at a time or something?
Because if you've got a tall freezer, and another one,
and one in your kitchen, that is buying in bulk, isn't it?
We do have good stocks, I have to say.
Yes, maybe we over-stock.
The chest freezer is really handy because you just throw things in it.
And you never find them again.
Three people live in the house.
If they wanted, they could have a freezer each.
What on earth do they keep in them?
I feel like I'm in a freezer showroom. This is extraordinary.
You've got a real collection here, haven't you?
All our beef, mince, chicken, fish,
and then pork and sausages.
We do spend quite a bit on our fish.
You'd be good in a siege, wouldn't you?
-You'd be going for weeks.
And not only are Aubrey and Jane over-buying food,
they're running up a massive energy bill, too.
This must be the equivalent of an American gas-guzzler or something.
I don't know, but I have a feeling
that might be just slurping away energy all the time.
Do you actually need this one?
That's very good news.
We've calculated that unplugging just this one beast,
will save the Perches
£40 a year in electricity.
But Sarah still needs to tackle their massive food bill.
This family likes to treat themselves to their favourite meals.
The Perches spend a mouthwatering £320 a month on posh nosh.
But Sarah has found a tasty way to save money here, too.
Right, Jane and Aubrey, you didn't realise it was breakfast time again,
-No, we didn't.
-A bit of a taste test.
By opting for cheaper brands, this couple could save hundreds.
Sarah has lined up two cereal bowls - one containing
Jane's favourite cereal, the other a much cheaper brand.
Will they be able to tell them apart?
There we are, right, so let's have a go.
Now, obviously, Jane's a real connoisseur. But we don't want you
to feel left out, Aubrey, so we'll let you have a bit as well.
What do you reckon? Which one do you prefer?
-What about you?
-Just about that one.
This one's just a little bit sweeter,
but that's perfectly, perfectly good.
Well, you guessed right - the one that you picked
is the more expensive brand.
It is the one that you prefer.
But I don't know if you know the price difference.
This one here, for a box, costs £2.85.
The cheaper alternative costs 89p.
So now do you prefer this one?
At more than triple the price, I think Sarah's proved her point.
Next up, carrot soup.
Get your laughing gear round that, Aubrey.
So which one do you prefer out of these two, then?
-So you're both quite sure, this one?
Not a lot in it, but, yeah, that one.
That would be my choice, yeah, definitely.
This one's actually from the cheaper supermarket.
If I tell you what the price difference is - this one is £1.89.
This one is 85p.
At more than double the cost,
I reckon the Perches will be going for the less pricey one from now on.
And the ham, and again, here, you preferred the cheaper ham.
The more expensive ham, £2.99.
The cheaper ham, half price -
-Tastes better and you get some change in your pocket, as well.
Absolutely amazing, isn't it?
If the Perches steer their trolley away from expensive products
and start exploring the lower-cost brands and stores,
they could save up to £2,000 a year.
And now Sarah's spotted a way for the Perches to make some money,
and all it needs is for Aubrey to turn one of his hobbies
into a nice little earner.
I do most around here. Things like, if something needs
cleaning or taking down or whatever, like,
say, a lawnmower or something like that, I'll come in here,
stick it on the bench, strip it down, clean it,
then put it back together again.
And I sort of enjoy... We call it bumbling.
But your bumbling sounds quite efficient,
and like it might actually be something you could capitalise on.
Yeah, it's something I've certainly thought about.
I reckon our Aubrey can make a very handy handyman.
So with some business cards freshly printed,
he and Sarah take to the high street to start drumming up trade.
Aubrey's not alone in wanting to keep busy after retirement -
almost 1,000,000 people in Britain now work past the age of 65.
I'm starting a firm, a handyman business,
and I want to put the cards in certain shops. I just wonder if
you'd be kind enough to let me put it one in your window.
If Aubrey earns just £10 for every job he does,
even two jobs a week could top up the household income
by a tidy sum of £80 a month.
That's £960 a year.
Now for the serious bit.
Taking out public liability insurance is recommended,
and you might need to declare the income to the taxman.
Do you think that this idea could actually be
quite a nice little earner for you in your retirement?
Yeah, I think it could certainly supply the amount of work
I'd wish to get involved in with it.
And if it moves on from there, well, so be it.
If it doesn't, and it supplies me with what I want,
that's absolutely perfect.
You'll have your own empire before too long.
But while Aubrey is busy trying to make money,
up the road, Jane is busy spending it, at this restaurant.
Time for a Pennells intervention.
You told me about these regular lunches with your friends.
Do you mind if I ask how much do you spend, roughly,
when you meet for lunch?
About 15... It depends if we're having a drink or not,
but generally about 15-20.
With their family income down by £400 a month now Jane is retired,
can she still afford to eat out this much?
Is this something that you would think about giving up on
or cutting down on?
I think I want to keep doing it, cos there's no point,
if you're cutting back to such an extent that you can't go out
and enjoy yourself and meet up with your friends.
That's the point of life, really, isn't it?
So, no, probably wouldn't.
Well, there's a vote of confidence for you, cos Jane obviously thinks
you're worth spending money on, so that's good.
Fair enough. Sarah's not going to get between this woman and her
ladies' lunches. But there is one area where Jane may be prepared
to negotiate some cuts - her constant spending on new tops.
So, Jane, show me what's in this wardrobe.
It's a lot of tops.
A lot of colour-coordinated tops.
I have to, otherwise I'd never find them all.
How many tops have you got?
I've no idea, I've never had a count.
So these are all the tops you have?
No. I do have more.
Show me. Show me where your other tops are.
Blue and green. Different colours.
These are the pink.
These are the yellows and peaches.
In each drawer, you've probably got 30 tops.
That's an impressive collection.
I do wear them all.
Some of these may be as cheap as chips,
but it all adds up to thousands of pounds spent on Jane's tops.
But she's not the only one who loves clothes shopping.
In Britain, we buy four times as much clobber as we did in 1980.
I do know that I do need to cut down.
Do you know how much you might be able to save
and still feel reasonably OK about it?
Well, I'm cutting down anyway at the moment,
but I would probably say a good £50 a month, I could...
-As much as that?
That's brilliant. So you could still buy some new clothes,
but you'd save £50 a month.
-£600 a year.
That's not bad going. It might raise more money than you think.
Very good work, Sarah.
If Jane can stick to her plan and reduce the urge to shop,
the £600 a year saved will be a good contribution to
their retirement pot. So, with Sarah's work done and dusted,
have we saved the Perches enough money
to secure them a comfortable retirement?
Cutting back on their food and clothes spend and switching to
a new TV and telephone package, plus installing a water meter
and unplugging their big freezer could save them a small fortune.
And if Aubrey's handyman business takes off,
they stand to save a grand total of £4,580,
which is just a whisker away from the £4,800 a year income the couple
have lost by Jane retiring.
Without too much effort, we've cut down our costs,
and it's made a difference.
And it will make a difference now, for good,
because we're thinking along those lines all the time.
Knowing we've saved some of the money, and we can see it
at the end of every month, just makes us more relaxed.
We can enjoy our retirement more,
knowing that we're doing everything we can to help the situation.
And that money can be spent on us.
And the lovely Jane and Aubrey are here, along with Sarah.
Now, it's been a few weeks since we've seen you,
and you've been very good, I hope.
The question is, have you managed to save some cash?
Yeah, we have. It's amazing how much you can save from just reassessing
your contracts, reassessing how you shop,
just reassessing your whole lifestyle, really,
and also Aubrey's stopped me going out to the shops completely.
Oh, you're a brave man, Aubrey, aren't you?
Brave indeed. How's your little business venture going?
Yeah, OK. I've had some good feedback,
and I'm hoping that's going to bring some customers in,
and just let it snowball from there.
So a lot of women have found themselves in a similar situation
to Jane, with the rise in the age of the state pension.
What advice would you give them?
I think it's really difficult cos there are only two options -
one is to try and spend less, which, obviously,
Jane and Aubrey are managing.
The other is to try and increase your income.
But, for a lot of women, they didn't actually have much notice
about their state pension age rise and, actually,
getting a job may be quite difficult.
So if you can make those cutbacks, no matter how small, it will help.
How are you keeping yourself busy?
Well, it's only been a couple of weeks, so...
-..I've been very busy.
Well, doing all the things that you say, "When I retire,
"I am going to do this, that and the other."
And I've been doing those.
-Is the list long?
-Good for you.
-I've been, like, clearing out wardrobes and...
Stopping buying the tops.
I'm not replacing the tops, yes.
Music to my ears, I have to say.
I thought you'd like it.
Even though you must be tempted -
you're in Birmingham, there's some glorious shops.
What do you think?
I can't believe how fabulous the shops are around here.
So I would have gone in, but Sarah's here to stop me.
-I'm watching you.
Now, Aubrey, I've got to ask, have you put Chris' rent up yet?
Well, we were thinking of putting his rent up,
but he's now decided he's going to go touring for about three months,
so he's not even going to be there to pay the rent.
Oh, no. You'll be £12 a week out of pocket, won't you?
How are you going to cope?
It's going to be a battle, but we'll get through.
-You'll have to get a paper round.
Thanks a lot, guys.
Now, if you'd like Sarah or any of our experts to help save you
some money, drop us an e-mail at...
And you can find more tips to sort out your finances on our website.
We've teamed up with the Money Advice Service to bring you
easy-to-use money-saving tools to plan your budgets,
calculate the cost of your car or credit cards and give your money
a complete health check.
Download them at...
..where you can also take our interactive spending test and you'll
find plenty more tips and advice to keep your finances on track.
Now, Sarah Pennells is still with us. I've got to say,
I feel like I'm in the middle of a set of traffic lights here.
Now, we've got some questions from people we met today
which we'd like you to answer.
First up, we've got Elizabeth from Solihull,
and she's 62 and still working.
She's been told she won't be able to retire until she's 65½.
She wants to know, why is this,
and are there any other benefits she can claim?
Well, Elizabeth, like Jane,
is one of the hundreds of thousands of women,
as we were hearing earlier,
who've been caught up in this rise in state pension age.
The bad news is that the only benefits that she'd be able to claim
are things like Jobseeker's Allowance,
and after a certain period of time,
if she's married, her husband's income will be taken
into account and also if she has savings, so the benefits that people
in her situation can claim are quite limited.
Julie from Tamworth says her and her boyfriend are trying
to save up for a house. They don't have great incomes,
and they're finding it a struggle.
Would having a joint account make it any easier?
Before you answer that, Denise has got her own opinion, haven't you?
Julie, stay independent.
Now let's listen to what the expert's got to say. Sarah?
I would say,
whether or not they have a joint account at this stage,
isn't going to make a massive amount of difference.
Any mortgage lender would look at both their incomes when they came to
apply for a mortgage. The two bits of advice I would give Julie is,
first of all, to think about getting the government's Help To Buy ISA,
because then you get a government top-up if you save a certain amount,
and secondly, a good six months before they want to apply for
a mortgage, to check their credit record and their credit rating.
If there are any nasties, things they didn't know about,
or any mistakes, they've got time to put them right.
Great advice, Sarah, thank you. Well, that's it from us. Just enough
time to say thank you to Sarah and everybody else who joined us today.
And not forgetting the good people of Birmingham -
you didn't let me down.
So until the next time, its goodbye from us.
In this episode Denise Lewis and Dominic Littlewood present from Birmingham. They help a couple facing an uncertain financial future after the rise in the state pension age for women left them out of pocket. Can personal finance expert Sarah Pennells persuade them to cut back on all those little luxuries to secure their retirement?
Also on the programme, the savvy sellers turning bargains they've picked up at car boot sales into a tidy profit by reselling them online. Could the same work for you? Plus, as figures reveal more grown-up children are still living at home than ever before, there is advice on how parents can avoid finding themselves out of pocket as a result.