Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team helps a woman to avoid debt by curbing her generosity to family and friends.
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Whether you're a spender or a saver,
we could all do with knowing how to make the most of our cash.
So we found simple advice for you to do just that, and taking it
to people right across the UK.
Whatever help you need with your finances, we are right on the money.
Hello and welcome to Right On The Money,
the show that aims to boost your coffers
by making simple changes to how you spend.
And today's programme is full of lots of top tips and
expert advice. Here's what's coming up.
We help one woman whose spending on family treats is plunging her into
the red, but will our expert be able to stop her stockpiling?
How many ketchups have you had here? Is it just the one open?
There's another one there at the back.
This has got to stop. This has got to change.
And if you fancy seeing your name in lights,
we have some creative ways for you to make some cash.
It's been a really, really good day on set.
I've been used in lots of scenes and I've been a really busy nurse.
Thank you. Cut.
Now, keeping track of what you spend can be pretty hard,
especially when you're juggling lots of different demands.
Our experts love a challenge,
but tracking down where one woman's money goes looks like a particularly tricky
SOUTHERN PRONUNCIATION: Task.
lives in Liverpool with her 28-year-old son, Adam.
My job is I'm an occupational therapist.
I work with people who have physical or mental disabilities,
or dual diagnosis.
It's very rewarding, yeah.
It makes you feel good when you help someone.
Lovely. But the thing that makes Yvonne feel bad is her bank balance,
which is definitely in need of some TLC to return it to rude health.
Well, my spending habits...
I don't know where to start.
I'm not really that good with money.
It goes in one hand and out...
out of the other.
Well, I got paid on Tuesday and I'm already in the red.
It's... I'm living off my overdraft again until next payday.
Son, Adam, thinks he knows the reason for that.
I think she's too generous for her own good.
She obviously likes spending money and treating people,
but she doesn't really focus on herself.
Not only has she got a job helping others,
but Yvonne is also heavily involved in bringing up her
nieces and nephews, too.
Well, for taking the kids out...
Which most weekends I'll take the kids out, my brother's kids,
and we'll just have a little day out and treat them.
You need cash for that, don't you?
It's no wonder she's feeling the pinch.
I think if I carried on spending the way I am,
I'm not going to be able to pay my mortgage off.
I'm not going to be able to
have a holiday and, you know, I need to.
I need a little smack on the wrists.
No need for that yet, Yvonne,
because personal finance expert Simon Read has got your super-sized
spending habits in his sights,
and he's on his way to set you on the right track.
So, Yvonne, it's lovely to meet you.
Thank you for inviting us into your house.
And, you know, I've been looking at your finances...
-And I hope you don't mind me saying this, but, frankly,
they're a bit of a mess.
Ooh. It seems Mr Nice Guy's been left at home today.
So, what does Yvonne think of that?
I totally agree.
Phew. That's a relief.
I've been working all night to prepare a visual guide to help
show you what happens to all your money.
In front of you we have this pie chart.
That's impressive, Simon - well worth that late shift, I'd say.
So, what does his super hi-tech calculator tell us?
What do you think this one is?
It is food. What about this one here, the blue one?
What do you think that accounts for?
In fact, it's all Yvonne's household bills and mortgage,
but there is a mystery hidden in Yvonne's paperwork
that even a financial super-sleuth
like Simon hasn't been able to solve.
TUBA PLAYS A LOW NOTE
In this segment, it adds up
to a total of around £1,200.
Do you know what that might be?
No, but I'm... Go on, tell me.
I've got no idea.
We can't account for this money.
We know how much money comes into your account.
We know how much you put in your tax account, how much you spend on food,
how much you spend on bills...
What do you spend this money on?
All this cash that you take out, what do you spend it on?
Now that you're asking me, I can't really think what I spend on,
what it goes on...
But that's not good enough for our Simon.
His quest to crack the case continues
as he decides to refresh Yvonne's memory
by showing her the cash withdrawals on her monthly bank statements.
Confronted with the evidence in black and white,
it's case closed in the mystery of the missing £1,200...
..or is it? TUBA PLAYS A LOW NOTE
I couldn't tell you right now.
-You couldn't tell me?
And this one here - there's another £100.
I'm not sure, to be honest.
So, we've got to battle this.
We've got to come up with a solution,
so you don't overspend and you don't go into the red.
What you're going to have to do
is to write down every time you spend
money, and the way to do it is in here.
-It's a spending diary.
Well, I want you to take it away.
Every time you go to the shops,
every time you go and spend any money,
you've got to write it down in here...
-OK? And when will you start doing this?
I'll start in the morning, or tomorrow, anyway.
All right, start tomorrow, and when I come back and see you,
we'll go through it, we'll turn it up,
and hopefully we'll have a better clue
of exactly where that 1,200 a month goes.
Hmm... Yvonne's case is trickier than we thought, but
until the spending diary has been sent back for analysis,
Simon's easing Yvonne into taking back control of her finances
by showing her how to make some quick-hit savings,
starting with her soon-to-expire energy deal.
I've had a look at the deal you've got at the moment,
and it's really quite a good deal.
You've switched really well about a year ago,
but if you don't switch at the end of the deal,
your yearly charge for gas and electricity will climb to just over
Now... Now, that's quite a lot of money,
and that's more than you need to pay, isn't it?
We've had a look for you,
and I reckon we could get you a plan at around
That will mean a saving of £187 a year,
just by switching, just by remembering
to switch when the deal ends.
better in my pocket.
So we'll make sure you switch when the deal ends.
A good start - £187 clawed back.
Nice one, Simon.
The advice is to review all your bills regularly.
And with energy, many of the cheapest deals are only fixed for
the first year or so. So, if it looks like your tariff
is going to go up, that's the time to switch again.
A top tip from me - put a reminder in your phone or calendar.
And while Simon's on a savings roll,
he's spotted a new broadband deal that will save Yvonne £60 a year.
-How does that sound?
-It sounds good, yeah.
That's a good deal.
Now, one area that desperately needs looking at is the mortgage.
Yvonne earns a decent wage as an occupational therapist,
but has opted for a deal where she only pays £100 a month.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that she won't pay it off until she's 68.
That's in the year 2034.
Crikey! I think we can do better than that, Yvonne.
Simon's brought her to meet mortgage expert Steve Robinson to spell out
how a different mortgage could be far better for her financial future.
We can reduce that mortgage from
the 17 years that it is now to five years.
Wow. Sounds great. How does that work, then?
Basically, what we can do is we can make it still affordable,
but cut this term down, and looking at what we've got available,
we can get your mortgage down to five years,
and keep you at just under 265 a month.
If Yvonne ups her monthly payments to £265,
she'll pay back the mortgage earlier,
which will save 12 years of interest
payments, or five grand.
What would it mean to pay off your mortgage after five years?
That'd be great, wouldn't it? That'd be great. To be so clear of that
debt in five years. So, what's...
What would that mean, though? That's going to cost a lot more, isn't it?
Erm... Well, no, not really.
I mean, if you work it out over the term that you're currently paying,
we're actually going to save you around about £5,000 doing that.
Simon's now clear on what his new mission is.
If he can save Yvonne an extra £165 a month,
she can increase her mortgage payments and will actually own her
home outright 12 years ahead of schedule, saving herself thousands,
and buying peace of mind when she's older.
-You should have done this years ago.
-I know, I know.
And how easy is it going to be to switch?
Oh, it's very easy. Literally just a case of seeing a mortgage broker,
do a meeting with them and they'll ask you for paperwork.
Once they've got that, it's off and running.
It's going to be waved through, really, isn't it?
That's really good. That's unbelievable, that is, isn't it?
Within five years.
I think we should thank Steve for coming up with such a
-great idea. Thanks, Steve.
WHISTLING MUSIC PLAYS
So, Simon is back on the case trying
to claw back £165 a month.
And guess what?
Super generous Yvonne lavishes almost exactly that amount
every month treating her family and friends.
So, he's arranged to meet one of them - best pal, Lee -
to try to explore the extent of Yvonne's giving nature.
How generous is she?
With the family, I've seen her, with family occasions,
and she's extremely generous with family.
And I think Yvonne's,
because she's the only girl amongst a lot of brothers,
she's taken on the mother role,
supporting them as much as she physically can.
-It's lovely, hearing this.
It shows how much of a warm and
generous person you are, but,
and there has to be a "but" in this,
you should be looking after yourself first.
Family-minded Yvonne regularly helps out looking after her brother's
children. And making sure they don't miss out doesn't come cheap.
Where's my biscuit?
To be honest with you, it's like second nature.
It's just become second nature.
-I tend to do it all the time.
And it's just normal, it's become normality to me.
It's become normality?
-Yeah, it has.
-And it's why you're in the red every month.
And because Yvonne's regularly in the red,
her bank is hitting her with £400 a year overdraft charges.
So, Lee, I have a question for you.
-How do you value Yvonne as a friend?
She's just a genuine, warm friend
and doesn't need to buy gifts!
I think that's the key thing.
Well, I accept I've got an issue.
I didn't realise I had an issue until now.
It does come down to choices.
-I choose, I freely choose.
-..you can spend your money
how you like, but when you're putting yourself into the red every
month and being charged a pretty penny for doing so,
this is not very sensible spending at all.
No, it's not.
Wise words, Simon, and ones which everyone could learn from.
He reckons that if Yvonne halves the amount that she spends on family,
that would save her £1,500 a year.
That still gives her enough money
to indulge in treats.
It's great that Yvonne is so loyal
to her nearest and dearest,
but now Simon wants to know why she's being so generous towards
another long-term relationship.
Listen, how long have you been with your current bank?
I've been with my current bank since I was a teenager.
So, it's at least ten years.
-Over 30 years?
-Why have you stayed?
-And it's the same bank in the...
Well, I always go to the same bank.
I think you need to switch to another bank,
another bank where the charges are lower and there are better deals.
If you're going to go into the red,
there are better deals that you can get doing it.
Now, what I think we should do is find a bank which gives
you a free overdraft. So, I've got one deal here, for instance.
Here's a current account where you can get 12 months' free overdraft.
Yeah, good, yeah.
If Yvonne chooses to switch banks,
she'll save £400 a year in fees.
If you're being clobbered
with bank charges, why don't
you look around for another provider?
Switching is actually easier than you think.
Join us again to if see Simon can save enough money
to pay off Yvonne's mortgage earlier
and solve the mystery of that missing £1,200.
I've worked out that you spend, every year,
£720 on the lottery.
Oh, my God.
And we'll be catching up with Yvonne later on, but first,
Sarah Pennells is here, along with psychologist Catriona Morrison.
Nice to see you, ladies.
Sarah, I'm going to come to you about Yvonne.
She really didn't have a clue about her spending, did she?
That's right, and her experience isn't that uncommon.
There's some figures from the money advice service that show that
around 40% of people don't have a budget.
And I think, as well, partly because a lot of us pay bills by direct
debit, the money just goes out of your bank account without you really
-And large chunks of money we're talking about, as well,
not 50 quid here and there, was it?
Exactly, and we saw Simon trying to
uncover what was happening to £1,200 a month.
I mean, that's a lot of mystery money.
I mean, I do it, I go to the bank
and don't actually use my plastic.
I'll draw out maybe £100 and, literally, in a day and a half,
I have no clue what I've spent it on.
So, I think it's easily done and people do it all the time.
In the words of Tom Jones,
it's not unusual for me to go in a coffee shop every day
and, they know me, and I like them
and they'll say, "Hello Dominic, how's your day been?"
And I like that, and it's my treat.
I agree with you, and when we've talked about spending,
there is a huge element of a social transaction.
So, it makes you feel good to have that relationship with your barista.
Yvonne is such a lovely person.
She likes to treat her family and friends.
It must be hard for someone like that to curb their spending.
I guess so, but...
And we do want to treat the people we love, and she is treating her
nieces and nephews, but the thing is with children, they value time.
That's what children's memories are made of.
What you remember from childhood is the experiences you have,
it is not the monetary, the materialistic things that you get.
Ladies, fascinating stuff, thanks.
Now, as you know, this programme is not just about saving you money but
-making it, too.
-And if you fancy
something a bit more unusual and you're not shy of showcasing
yourself, well, this could be for you.
Marissa, Maria and John all make a tidy sum every month by using their
most important and valuable assets...
Mum of two Maria Pike regularly gets dressed up as a nurse,
but she has no medical training.
She's a TV extra.
DOCTORS THEME PLAYS
We've arrived at BBC Doctors, where I'm going to be filming for the day.
We're going to go to hair and make-up,
and then I'll go through to wardrobe and get my kit on.
Hello, Maria, are you OK?
I'm OK, thank you.
-All right, love.
-There you go.
Good morning, darling. Yeah, pop your things down.
Maria has been a supporting artist -
that's a posh name for an extra -
for 17 years.
I always tend to get those nursy roles.
Maybe I just look the caring kind?
So, that's hair and make-up done,
we're now going to head into the wardrobe department.
-I've just come for a uniform, please.
The costume department is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful items.
But, for Maria, one neatly pressed nurse's
uniform is just the ticket.
We've left base, obviously, hair and make-up, wardrobe department,
and then we're just go to have a walk round to where it all happens.
It's just a great job to be in.
It's very exciting. It's just the variation of the job.
Yeah, all set.
All set to go, know what I'm doing.
On this occasion, I've got to listen for a line, and then move.
I need to make sure I don't bump into people or anything like that.
Yeah, ready to go.
Take three, cam A/B.
Stand by. And...action.
So, it's goodbye Maria and
hello practise nurse Tasha Verma.
End board. Thank you, cut.
Maria found work after signing up with an agency.
If you fancy appearing as an extra,
there's lots of reputable ones out there.
They usually take a percentage of your free,
but make sure you do your research first.
The advice is you should never
part with your cash upfront just to sign up.
So, how much can you earn as an extra?
One man who knows the industry backwards
is former Emmerdale actor Chris Villiers.
He juggles being in front of the camera with running his
Down south, in the London area,
the average wage is about £130-140 a day.
Outside London, you may only get £80-100 per day,
but there's always a chance of getting a TV commercial where
you're suddenly offered £3,000 for one day's filming.
So, you never know what the day's going to bring.
Chris knows what he's talking about.
His extras have worked alongside
Hollywood A-listers such as Tom Cruise,
Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt.
Chris has got a couple of tips on how to make it in the business, too.
What makes a good extra
is a loud alarm clock.
Don't be late if you want to be hired again.
And, on set, mind your Ps and Qs.
Most extras spend most of the time in a holding area waiting
or standing, waiting, for someone to say, "Action".
It may be that you've got Tom Hiddleston next to you or it's
Tom Cruise and your favourite film is Mission: Impossible,
but you're not supposed to go and talk to them,
you're not supposed to go and ask for selfies with them.
There is a whole etiquette involved on being on set.
So, if you fancy dabbling in the world of showbiz and have the time
and patience to do it, being an extra could be just for you.
For Maria, it's become a way of life.
Well, I've finished for the day now, but it's been a really,
really good day on set.
I've been used in lots of scenes and I've been a really busy nurse.
Now it's time to reveal an even more daring way of generating some extra
cash. For the past ten years,
writer Marissa Burgess has been supplementing her income with a spot
of life modelling.
So, the first poses will all be
standing poses and will last for about one minute.
I am actually quite self-conscious, believe it or not.
So, the idea of being sat in a room full of people where they are all
looking at you, was like, "Ugh!
"No, that would be horrible."
But it doesn't feel like they're actually looking at me.
It's quite a calming sort of atmosphere.
Three, two, one, if you could change pose, please.
In fact the naked truth of the matter is,
it's often not the model who finds it totally embarrassing.
When you start a college class, particularly for teenagers,
you will always get some students that will basically be just hiding,
behind their easels, just absolutely mortified.
But that's not to say Marissa doesn't
go red in the most unexpected places.
I've met people in the supermarket before now and they've sort of
announced, in front of lots of people, "Oh,
"I didn't recognise you with your clothes on!"
I get that one a lot.
So, a good sense of humour helps.
But apart from that, anyone of any shape and size can do it.
Marissa began by approaching her local art group.
And her advice is to sit in on a class to check you're comfortable
before you take the plunge.
And what will you get in return for your trouble?
Well, it's certainly better than minimum wage.
You certainly should be getting at least £10 an hour.
Now, if you find baring all too much,
here's another handy way to boost your piggy bank,
and one which John McKenzie discovered four years ago when
he gave up his job as a housing officer.
It literally was a case of just a complete change in career, you know,
from working behind a desk,
it was a real turnaround.
You're constantly working
with different clients, with different settings,
doing different products.
It's just a whole different world.
Hmm. Any more clues?
If, for example, you watch the television,
you will see close-ups of hands
and you can't always assume that those hands are actually
the hands of the person that's being featured.
It's quite possible those hands could even be mine.
A-ha! So, John is a hand model.
That's nailed it.
Hand models are used by advertisers who want to feature
an attractive or distinctive hand in close-up.
John's mitts have featured in campaigns for coffee,
male grooming and cancer awareness.
And then of course, if you tell someone,
oh, that's you, they go, "Oh, yeah?
"How can you prove that?"
It's like, well, I know that it's me. I know that's my hands.
And because that's how he earns his money,
John has to look after his hands, moisturising them daily,
but he isn't too precious about them.
Sometimes I do worry that, you know, if I damage my hands,
that I won't be able to work.
So I'm aware of it.
But at the same time, I'm not over the top.
So, what sort of money can your hands pocket?
You can earn anything up to £1,000 in a day.
But those kind of jobs are not every day.
They might not even be every month.
For anyone that was interested in doing hand modelling,
initially you'll be asked to send in,
like, selfies of your hands and they'll invite you in to have a look
at the hands, in the flesh, so to speak.
But, again, do your homework and don't hand over cash
upfront to an agency.
It just shows you, there's jobs out there for everyone and everything.
Indeed. And as Marissa, Maria and John have shown,
with a little initiative and courage,
there are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash from an asset
you'll never leave home without.
Hmm. I'm not so sure I'd be up for a bit of life modelling.
What do you think, ladies?
-Definitely not, Dom.
Charming! If you want to save some money in a more conventional way,
Sarah Pennells is the woman who can help.
She's here along with Sandra Ellison who managed to save money as part of
Sarah, we are told time and time again to switch our energy supplier,
go out there and get a better deal.
But a lot of us don't bother.
Why is that?
I think there's a perception that it's going to be a lot of
hassle and also that you will not
necessarily save a huge amount of money,
but it is really worth switching your energy supplier,
especially if you've never switched before,
or if you're on the standard tariff, which most people are.
Now, Sandra, you were quite guilty of
-just sticking with your same energy provider, weren't you?
-Yes, I was.
Then you got into a thing called collective switching.
I haven't got a clue. Tell me what that is, Sarah.
It's something that's quite new.
And what happens is, typically,
either a local council, or it could be a charity, will set up collective
switching in a certain area.
And they'll ask people to get in touch and register their interest
if they want to be considered.
There, they'll put out or use the bulk-buying power and ask
energy companies to bid for this contract.
-Give their best rate, so to speak.
-Absolutely. And the idea is that,
because the energy company knows they're going to get a certain
number of customers, they'll give a really good price.
It's collective bargaining, but it's also a lot less hassle.
-And you obviously ended up doing this, Sandra.
-I did, yeah.
Well, I've never switched before.
I've always been a loyal customer.
So I thought, well, give it a go.
So I rang them up. All I had to do was give my details,
-how much I was paying monthly...
And then they said they'd contact me back
between 6-12 weeks to let me know how we got on.
What I'm interested is how much you've actually saved.
So let's talk turkey. How much were you paying,
how much are you paying and how much better off are you?
Well, I've saved, yearly, on the gas and electric, I've saved £436.
Gordon Bennett, it's quite a lot, isn't it?
-I bet you're happy with that.
-Oh, I was made up.
-Now, there's another shocking fact here.
And you can explain this, Sarah.
A lot of people build up credit, don't they, on their bills,
but they don't reclaim it.
You do have a right to ask for that money back.
You can just ring them up, say you've got a metre reading,
and they have to refund that money pretty quickly.
If you ask for it.
If you ask for it.
At the moment, there is, like, 11 million households,
£1.3 billion of customers' money
sitting in the energy suppliers' bank accounts,
earning them a bit of interest.
Now, have you ever checked if you're in credit?
-Do you know if you are now?
-What would you say?
-What are you going to do when you get home?
-Read them bills.
-We're going to check?
-Don't just throw them in the drawer.
-Eh?! In the what?
-In the Draw-wer.
-In the drawr?
I'm learning how to talk like a Northerner, now!
I don't think you'll be mistaken for a native, Dom!
I, however, want to find out from some real Northerners here in
Stockport market how good they are at switching suppliers.
Can I just ask you,
how long have you been with your energy supplier for your gas and
I would say about ten years, so now 11 years.
Ten years? Have you ever thought about switching?
I have, yes.
I only thought about it. But...
Yeah, I didn't used to do it.
You know, you're getting a rubdown for many years.
But over the last couple of years I have actually changed twice.
Very useful and surprising how much you can save.
What do you say to anyone sitting on their,
say, a regular tariff, the standard tariff?
Make the time. A lot of people can't be bothered doing it and they think
it's difficult, but it's not.
Do you quite happy switching?
Oh, yeah, yeah. I do it online.
Yeah, so, I browse and then a lot because the ones in the past,
we've just been ripped off on them,
so I do gas and electric and then check to see what's available.
Good on you. Can I just ask you,
how long have you been with your energy suppliers, so,
your gas and electric?
-How long have I been with them?
A couple of years. I could do with a switching again, actually.
Yes, I signed up to the alert and
I keep looking and seeing what the cheapest price is.
And how will you set your reminder?
Do you keep a letter or do you put a little note in the diary?
On my... In my diary, yeah.
Well, it seems the people of Stockport are pretty savvy
when it comes to switching.
I think I could learn a thing or two.
Earlier on, we met Yvonne,
whose overgenerous nature
was causing her to go into the red every month.
Let's see if our money man, Simon Read,
has managed to save her some cash.
We've already seen how occupational therapist Yvonne's approach to money
management was in need of a bit of love and attention.
Got no control over money.
I live off my overdraft half of the time, which is not good,
and I've got a good income.
Yvonne's attitude to spending is so slapdash that, every month,
she goes through £1,200 without even knowing where it's gone.
I am an intelligent woman in other ways.
I'm kind of a little bit daft when it comes to my money.
I think my mum would probably benefit highly of
some basic plans of how to manage your finances more efficiently.
More on that missing £1,200 later.
But first personal finance expert Simon Read is back to go through the
spending diary he asked Yvonne to keep over the past week.
And here's the first headline.
She's spending over £230 a week on groceries, eating out,
takeaways and lunches on the road.
That's a staggering £1,000 a month!
I'm going to add this up quickly.
It's 15, 20, £35 you've spent on Subway in the past week alone.
Really? You know what?
I'll be honest with you. I have got to get a grip with it.
It's just convenience when I'm out on the motorways,
or I'm out and about and I just pop in.
Come one o'clock, my stomach's grumbling,
I just stop and I know I should make a sandwich, but it's just
Simon reckons that if Yvonne gets to grips with her grocery spending,
then maybe she wouldn't spend so much on takeaways
and lunches on the road.
Tell me about your shopping list.
I haven't got one.
Time for Yvonne's cupboards to give up their dark secrets.
What have you got here?
Um, well, kinds of I don't really know, really.
So, you don't plan your shopping.
You just pick up stuff when you go out and then
you just shove it in the cupboard?
-Kind of, yeah.
-And I hope you don't mind me saying this.
It's an absolute mess.
-Yeah, it is a bit.
-How many ketchups do you have here?
Is it just the one open?
Or are there more hidden away in the back?
There's another one there, look.
-There's another one there, at the back!
Crikey, you're not running a burger van in your spare time,
are you, Yvonne?!
This has got to stop. This has got to change.
I think it's time to take control of this.
I'm going to take you somewhere
where we are going to start, for real.
Let's close the cupboard and go.
Simon takes Yvonne to her local supermarket
to ram home the message of how
a little planning could save her a lot of pounds.
Chicken curry. Chicken, chicken pieces.
-What else do you need for a curry?
Tins of tomatoes.
-Spices, rice, naan bread, chicken,
and, oh, some bit of salad. Let's put a bit of salad in it.
-If we've get all this...
..we'll have enough for a meal for four, I would say.
Charming! What about me?
That Ruby Murray sounds tasty.
For the first time, Yvonne is going into the supermarket
armed with a list and a plan.
Not only will she get a tasty curry cheaper than a takeaway,
but she won't be tempted to buy things that
fester in her kitchen cupboards.
Diced chicken breast, here.
How much is that?
With Yvonne's food spend a whopping £1,000 a month,
let's see how much a bit of planning could save her.
OK, so we've spent £6.66.
We've got, I reckon, four meals, leftover rice, leftover onions,
leftover tomatoes for another meal.
If you start eating and buying sensibly like this,
we can halve that.
It'll be a little bit more money in my purse.
Simon reckons that,
if Yvonne gets more organised at the supermarket and reins in those
takeaways and lunches on the road,
she could halve her spending and
save at least £500 a month.
If every time you're thinking of spending money, just ask yourself,
what would Simon say?
Simon would say, "Keep your purse shut!"
Yep, she's got your number, Simon.
Back home, he's like a dog with a bone on that spending diary.
And he's found another tasty morsel.
So there's money here for somebody's birthday.
James. Who's James?
James is my nephew.
So you bought him a birthday present.
I did. I bought him a birthday present and I
also gave him some money, as well.
You gave him some money as well?
-We need to talk more about this, you know.
Too right! Earlier on,
help Yvonne admitted spending £200 a month on family and gifts.
Simon's calculated that she's also forking out another 400 smackers on
outings with her nieces and nephews.
It's becoming much clearer where that unaccounted £1,200 is going.
YELLING AND LAUGHING
Now, Simon's no killjoy and Yvonne looks forward to her fun days out as
much as her nieces and nephews.
So Simon doesn't want to stop them altogether,
but he's a man with a cash-saving plan.
Now, there's a way I think you can keep control of your budget
and it involves this.
It's a jar, a jamjar.
Jamjar? I'm all ears, Simon.
So, if you made it £150
that you could spend every month on your nephews and nieces,
take £150 out of your bank account and put it in here.
And then when you're taking them out,
you go to the jar and see how much money you've got.
If you haven't got the money, you can't afford to take them out.
This is a way you've got to start thinking.
Do you think you can do that?
-I can, yeah, because that's a good visual cue, for me.
I need visual cues.
If Yvonne keeps to the £150 limit by using Simon's hi-tech
she could conserve £3,000 a year.
And there's one more secret hidden in the pages of that spending diary.
So, I've worked out that you spend, every year,
£720 on the lottery.
Oh, my God.
Tell me about all the big prizes you won.
I've only ever won £10 here and there, or £2.60.
Yvonne regularly tries her luck on lottery and scratchcards.
As well as phoning up to enter TV competitions
she spots while watching her favourite programmes.
Which all costs.
And Yvonne is not alone.
The average UK household spends £135 a year on gambling.
Did you know the odds of winning the lottery are one in 14 million?
So, to be honest, Yvonne, the odds are stacked against you.
But, worry not, because Simon has summoned an expert
in the art of winning.
Di Coke from Brighton
runs a successful blog and enters free competitions
on a daily basis.
In fact, she's so successful,
that she's given up her job as a graphic designer
to devote her time to entering them.
When it comes to winning, this Coke really is the real thing.
How much money have you made from competitions?
I've won over £300,000 worth of prizes.
Including a car and over 50 holidays.
A lot of cash and voucher prizes as well.
-It sounds like a lot, doesn't it?
-Just from entering competitions?
-Yep, that's it.
Well, really, I've been doing this for years,
and I know how to spot the kind of competitions that have got the best
chance of winning.
And Di's got a great tip about how what you put in your supermarket
trolley could end up earning you money.
Of course, that's if you need those goods in the first place.
These are the kind of things that you might see in the supermarket and
you just don't really notice that they've got competitions on,
or perhaps you buy a different brand,
but if you see that word "win",
it's worth having a look at something different.
I will always be looking, when I'm shopping,
-looking for the word "win".
-What do you have to do to enter this one?
This one, you just need to take a selfie
with the crisp packet, like this.
-So, have you entered this?
Yes, I've been entering this one and, last week, I won headphones,
-a PlayStation and a football in the same competition.
-Oh, my goodness!
This is a great one.
I think I know what's going to happen now.
There we go, brilliant, OK.
Look, look, Simon!
I've just had fun doing this!
That's a good one. You've got it in just the right place.
-How does it feel?
-It hasn't cost me anything.
It's cost you nothing. That was a bit of fun.
-And, fingers crossed, you'll get a lovely prize.
Hope so, yeah.
If Yvonne concentrated on entering free competitions,
rather than one she had to pay for,
she could save £924 a year,
and you never know,
she could, still, actually win something, too.
Simon's time in Liverpool is nearly up.
With his savings and his advice,
Yvonne should be able to stay out of the red and have better control of
her finances. So, before he goes,
he has a word with Yvonne's son, Adam, to make sure she stays on the
straight and narrow.
We were talking about Yvonne's money
and how she's struggling with some money.
When your mum starts spending money,
just keep an eye on her.
Yeah, that's worth a try, isn't it?
It's definitely worth a try. And you're up for this, aren't you?
Yeah. Definitely, yeah, of course.
So, I think with someone helping you, someone in your
court all the time,
it's not... Policing you is the wrong word,
-but just keeping a friendly eye on you.
-I need policing.
He needs to police me.
And hopefully, then, we'll get you mortgage-free,
you'll have more money for the things you want,
and you will all be happier.
Wise words, Simon.
He's managed to solve the mystery of the missing £1,200,
and shown Yvonne how she can be mortgage free
12 years ahead of schedule.
So, let's tot up those savings.
Cutting back on those lotteries and competitions.
Switching broadband and energy suppliers.
Economising on gifts and days out.
Switching banks and losing those overdraft charges.
Adding in the £3,600 she will save
by planning her food shopping,
and reducing takeaways and eating out,
plus, saving five grand on her mortgage
should put Yvonne's finances back on track.
The £14,671 saved in total
won't just be enough to clear her overdraft,
but there will be plenty left for a few treats.
Um, I've had a wake-up call.
The fact that I can now save thousands of pounds,
that will impact massively on my lifestyle.
I'm going to start now drawing the reins in, and take control.
And Yvonne's here, along with money-saving superwoman,
-I bet you like that title, do you?
Yvonne, let me ask you.
You've been wasting a lot of money for a long, long time,
-haven't you, really?
-Oh, tell me about it, yeah.
A bit of a wake-up call?
More than a wake-up call.
A financial slap in the face.
But things are a bit better now.
Don't live on my overdraft any more.
-A bit of a party.
Because that was going to be my next question.
I was thinking, please tell me you're not still tapping into that
I'm careful what I spend.
And I go shopping now with my shopping list.
I think, very much in Yvonne's case, what you were doing,
you were so busy spending money on other people,
and generosity is a nice thing if you can afford to do it,
but you weren't really planning for your future at all, were you?
No. It's silly, really.
When I reflect on my misbehaviour,
you know when you've done something all your life
and you've been the person you are, all your life,
to kind of rein in on not being... Be generous,
but not be as generous as much,
and I've been used to years of just doing what I'm doing
and I'm changing my behaviour with small steps.
Small steps, slowly,
to change into a brighter future for me and Adam,
or for things that I want to do with my life.
But the bigger picture is the retirement, isn't it?
And making sure that you have a comfortable one.
What advice would you give our lovely Yvonne?
Well, I think you are really on the right track now,
but it is about balance.
And there's no point in having a money plan that means
you can't live at all for today,
you can't do anything that you want.
So, you have to be able to have some money to spend on doing the things
that are important to you.
But, and it's a big "but", you know,
you mustn't go into your overdraft
and it's really important you focus on
those longer-term goals, paying off your mortgage as quickly as you can
and knowing that you'll have a nice life when you stop working,
because nobody wants to work forever.
It's a good point. There's probably an awful lot of people right now who
are relating to your story and thinking,
"Actually, I'm just as bad".
So, now you've been through the experience,
what would you say to them?
What I would say is, get a grip of your finances.
Get a grip of your finances because we're here today and gone tomorrow,
and while we're here, we want to just enjoy life a bit better.
And this positive attitude,
do you think you can sustain it? You can keep it going?
Definitely. Without a shadow of a doubt.
That's on the cards.
Thanks, Yvonne, thanks, Sarah.
If you'd like Sarah or any of our money experts
to give you a financial makeover, e-mail us at...
We can't promise to feature everyone who gets in touch, but,
in the meantime, here's where you can find some easy budgeting tips.
Our website has everything you need to sort out your spending.
We've teamed up with the money advice service to bring you easy
money-saving tools to plan your budget,
calculate the cost of your car or credit cards,
and give your money a complete health check.
Download them at...
And Sarah Pennells is still here to answer some of your questions.
A question from Tommy,
who says he's got too much credit card debt
and wants to know the quickest
and the best way to pay it off.
So, what he should do is get his credit cards
and put them in the order,
so he has the most expensive first and the least expensive,
the lowest interest rate, last.
And then he should pay them off in that order.
So pay the maximum he can afford to the most expensive credit card.
Once he's cleared it,
cut up that card and close the account
and then use that money he was
paying on that card,
put it towards the next most expensive credit card.
It's actually the most effective way of clearing your credit card debt.
Ian says, I got turned down for a car loan.
Why would my credit score be bad and how can I fix it?
Just because Ian got turned down for a car loan,
doesn't necessarily mean his credit rating is bad.
He just may not have fitted the criteria of that particular lender.
So, I'd recommend he gets a hold of a copy of his credit report.
It could be that perhaps he missed a payment a number of months ago.
Something like a mobile phone payment.
If that's the case,
then he can put an explanation of up to 200 words on what happened,
why he missed that payment.
The other reason is maybe that he's just never borrowed money so far.
Because lenders take the view that they want to see that you've had
money you've already borrowed and you can manage to pay it back,
and then they see you as being a better credit risk.
Indy wants to know, should I get my kids to earn their pocket money...
I know I do. ..by doing household chores?
This one really divides parents, I think.
My view is, I think it's a good idea to incentivise your children into
doing some things for money, but not everything.
I don't think it's really healthy for children to think that they will
always get paid for doing things like tidying their own room,
the kind of things that I think they should be doing anyway.
But if there are extra chores that you want them to do, it's great,
because then they can see that money they've earned building up and then,
once they've got enough, buy something they like.
Sarah, brilliant advice as always.
So, thank you to you. And thank you to all our guests today.
And to you at home, too.
Until next time, toodle-pip.
In the last of the series, Dominic Littlewood and Denise Lewis share more advice on simple ways to make your money go further. Today, the team helps an occupational therapist whose constant spending on her family and friends is causing her to go into the red. Facing a particularly tough challenge, can our expert convince her to curb her generous nature? Plus we meet the people using their own best assets - themselves - to make some money. From a TV extra to a hand model, there are endless ingenious ways to boost your bank balance.