Episode 2 Right on the Money


Episode 2

Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team help a family desperate to save enough cash to adapt their home for a wheelchair.


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Transcript


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Whether you're a spender or a saver,

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we could all do with knowing how to make the most of our cash.

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So, we've found simple advice for you to do just that,

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and taken it to people right across the UK.

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Whatever help you need with your finances, we are right on the money.

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Hello, and welcome to Right On The Money,

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the show that goes all out to boost your piggy bank.

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And the best part is,

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we're going to show you how to do it in the easiest possible way.

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Sounds good to me.

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Let's get on with it. Here's what's coming up in today's show.

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The full extent of one husband's impulse shopping habit is revealed

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when he's confronted with bags of evidence.

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Nickie, your face says it all.

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Oh, my word!

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And when it comes to contactless cards, we've gone barking mad.

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Smudge is wearing the new contactless coat.

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People don't tend to carry cash any more,

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so it's a simple way to make a donation.

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BEEPING

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Now, the great thing about our show is that it's full of top tips and

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expert advice.

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Which is something our next family is definitely in need of.

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43-year-old Nickie Herrick and her husband, 48-year-old Graham,

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have been together for 20 years.

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It was a mutual love of sports and fitness that initially drew them

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together.

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Met each other, started dating.

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Went on a holiday.

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Come back, got engaged.

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Got married. Had children.

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Yeah. It was just meant to be, I guess.

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They live in Luton, together with their children, Bethany and Sophie.

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Five years ago, former gymnastics coach Nickie's life changed

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after she was diagnosed with a rare, debilitating, genetic condition.

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I think it took a good nine months of testing

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and it eventually came out that I have the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome,

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and also gastroparesis,

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which basically means paralysed stomach.

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So, my food can't break down.

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It has just been quite a rapid decline.

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It now means that I'm just sort of left in a wheelchair.

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I can still walk, but things really hurt and I get extremely tired.

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People don't realise how much pain she's in because you look at her and

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you think everything's OK

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when underneath really it's not.

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So, you know, she's really, really positive and keeps her chin up.

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To help look after Nickie,

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self-employed driving instructor Graham cut his working hours.

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Therefore, the family's income has dropped.

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I've spent so much time in hospital.

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He's always been there.

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He would come up at the drop of a hat, sort the kids out,

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which you can't ask for better, really.

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Family, to me, means sticking together.

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Too right, Graham.

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Nickie's mobility means it's not easy for her to get to the supermarket.

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So, Graham has stepped in.

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But he's no savvy shopper.

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Um, I don't really even look at the cost of what the shop's come to.

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The cost of things is a little bit of a mystery

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because Nickie spent such a long time in hospital

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that life has come up to the top of the priority list.

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Well, Graham, Miss Marple is otherwise engaged.

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But we've got someone better -

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FT Money editor and all-round financial hero, Claer Barrett.

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Hi. I'm Claer. Hi, Claer.

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Come in. Thank you.

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Hi. Morning.

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Tell me about who manages the money

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at home.

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Nickie does tend to take control of the finances.

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Graham, how much do you get involved?

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Do you look at bills, look at your bank statements?

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To be honest, I'm traditionally the world's worst for keeping on top of

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things like that, but it's something really that...

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It's hard to find the time to do.

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..I don't really take much notice of.

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Understandably, the family's focus has shifted away from their finances

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over the past couple of years.

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But now it's time to regain control of the coffers,

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as they want to adapt their house.

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Over the last few years,

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I've become more and more dependent on a wheelchair.

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Unfortunately, we only have one toilet.

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Right. And that's...?

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Upstairs. Upstairs.

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Yes. So, even if we could extend in some way

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so that I could have some downstairs living...

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Well, let's try and make that happen.

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Claer has got a moneymaking and money-saving plan for the Herricks

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and cracks on with some saving suggestions.

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First up, with four mobile phones on the go,

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their monthly bills are pretty hefty.

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And where better to start the journey to financial fitness than in

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Graham's garage gym?

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We've been looking at your bank statements to find out how much,

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as a family, you're all individually spending

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on your different phone contracts.

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Feel the weight of that monthly bill, Graham.

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Oh.

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?101.99.

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Yeah. That's how much all our phone bills come to.

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All added together, per month.

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Now, for some good news.

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I've worked out that you could actually get a much better deal for

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your mobile phone usage as a family

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if, guess what, you get a family deal.

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Ah! But how much will they save?

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So, this is how much it could go down to.

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Yes. This would be your new monthly bill

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if you switched to a family contract.

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?45. ?45.

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So, we'd save like ?60 a month.

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The deal Claer found them is SIM only,

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which means the four of them get a SIM card,

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but have to keep their existing handsets.

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Let's hope that gets a good reception from the girls.

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Wow! Have you got the phone number?

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That's a lighter load to bear.

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By switching to a family deal, they could save around ?60 a month,

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or 683 smackers a year.

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What a result!

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But now we're going to move on, Graham, to your credit card.

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OK. I think I'd better put these down.

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LAUGHTER

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No use running away, Graham.

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Claer is determined that her training regime will make you financially fit.

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Graham has racked up ?1,300 on his credit card.

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But each month, he's only paying the minimum.

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A big no-no in Claer's eyes.

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Imagine, Graham, that you're 21 again.

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I wish. OK.

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So, hold that thought. You're feeling positive about being 21.

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Imagine also that you've got a ?3,000 credit card bill.

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Now, if you only paid off the minimum payment on that bill

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per month,

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how old do you think you would be before your balance was cleared?

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Er, probably the age I am now.

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You're exactly right.

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It would take you until nearly the age of 50...

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That was a good guess. ..to pay it off.

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So, that's nearly 30 years.

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The average British household owes around two and a half grand on their

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credit cards. That's a whopping 67.6 billion across the country.

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Claer's advice is to pay off your credit card every month

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if you can to avoid those interest charges.

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Claer reckons, if they used the ?62 saved on their mobile phone

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bills to do this, then the credit card debt will soon vanish.

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All of the charges and interest that you're paying

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are fattening the pockets of the credit card companies.

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So, we need to act.

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So, what do you think of paying ?62 a month in order to clear that

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balance? Does that sound achievable?

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Yeah, that's definitely a good suggestion.

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If he ups his repayments, Graham will be debt-free in just 21 months,

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and could save ?416 overall

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in interest charges.

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Ker-ching.

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Time to put the family's shopping habits under the spotlight.

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Claer's noticed they spend a hefty amount in the supermarket.

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While Graham's out,

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Claer decides to lift the lid on where all that cash is going.

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Graham confessed that whilst he goes out to the shops

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and tops it up every week,

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he doesn't actually know what's in the middle and the bottom.

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So, I thought I'd sneak out here.

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Go on, Claer. Get in there.

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Dig deep. Sausages.

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What's this?

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OK. Another packet of frozen chicken breast fillets.

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That's about the fourth one we found so far.

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Wow! It just goes on and on.

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I wonder if they know just how much money they've got tied up in this

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chest freezer. I mean, this is hundreds of pounds.

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That's a lot of frozen assets.

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Earlier, Claer suggested a small experiment

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to find out why the Herricks have got so much tucker

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tucked away in the deep freeze.

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So, we've sent Graham off to the shops.

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It's going to be fun. You've given him a list,

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and that list had five things on it. It did, yeah.

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How many things do you think Graham will probably bring

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back with him? Oh, gosh.

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I would say possibly double it.

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Behave yourself, Nickie.

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You're way, way off.

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Right. Oh, my God!

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Nickie sent you out to the shops with a list

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that had five things on it and you've come back with four bags.

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Five things, not five bags.

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What...? What caught your eye in the supermarket, other than all of it?

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Well, our super snooper will soon find out.

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Er...chocolate.

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Chocolate.

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Chocolate.

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More chocolate.

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Ooh, we've got some shampoo and conditioner.

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Were these on offer? Is that why you bought them?

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No, I just picked up shampoo and conditioner.

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But you haven't got any hair, Graham. No, they're not for me.

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They're not for me.

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Oy, oy. Steady on, Claer. Graham looks just fine to me.

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Chicken breasts. Always need chicken breasts.

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Interesting.

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There's at least 20 individual chicken breast portions

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in your freezer.

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You're buying lots and lots of food, but you don't know what you've got.

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I've got to ask, how much did you spend? This come to ?124.

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?124!

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Nickie, your face says it all.

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Oh, my word!

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Too right.

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Let's hear what Graham's got to say in his defence.

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I think I just pick up stuff that takes my fancy.

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Life is such a rush

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that I don't spend the time looking at the labels

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and the items and the deals.

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I just want to get in the shop, get round it

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and get out as soon as possible.

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But Claer thinks that ordering their groceries online

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is a simple way for them both to decide what they actually need

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from the supermarket.

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A bit of planning ahead is a pain but the ultimate reward is,

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if you can really control the amount of money that you're spending,

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then your dream of the home extension can only come nearer.

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Claer reckons that by doing this

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they could save a staggering

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?2,340 a year.

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Graham is a classic impulse spender,

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but it seems that Nickie is prone to a spot of that, too.

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I must admit I love spending on the girls.

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Yeah. Just treating them.

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Because they've had so much to deal

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and they're so brilliant with everything.

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What a nice mum!

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But Claer's worked out that Nickie spent ?1,327 last year

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buying designer clothes from websites

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that specialise in flash sales and deal-of-the-day offers.

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But Claer wants to delve deeper.

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What the big brands do to make us spend money is making us think

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like we're getting the deal of the century.

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Even if the price is actually quite high,

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the fact there's some money off makes us think, "This is OK.

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"I'm getting a deal here."

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It's understandable that Nickie wants the best for her girls.

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But Claer suspects they would rather the money went into extending the house.

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Something that would make their mum's life much easier.

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They don't want to see you struggling at night

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and not being able to have everything on the same floor.

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I'm sure they would swap a million jumpers if they...

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I'm sure they would. If you could get that. Definitely.

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At the end of the day, they'll want their mum to be happy

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more than they'll want, you know...

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A sweater or a pair of jeans or something. Exactly. Yeah.

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I think it's time to stop the sales.

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Good.

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Great work, Claer.

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And another ?1,300 saved.

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Now it's time to think about how Nickie can make some money.

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She's become an expert in nail art

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because her illness means that she no longer coaches gymnastics.

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Claer thinks Nickie could turn her hobby into a handy money-spinner.

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I hear you've got a bit of a talent for nail treatments.

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Claer sent Nickie to her local college in Bedfordshire to meet

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Alex, who runs courses for aspiring nail technicians.

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It runs on a Wednesday evening for about 36 weeks.

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That will give you all the skills you need to be able to set yourself

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up as a self-employed nail technician.

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Alex says a qualified nail technician could earn

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around ?10 an hour working from home.

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It's a relatively cheap set-up really to do nails.

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You just need, you know, an area that's a good height for you

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to work for your posture.

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So, perhaps, a nail station, a stool and a chair.

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That's all you need. Well, I've got one part.

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I'm so excited. Thank you.

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Nice one, Nickie. If you think this is the career for you, go on,

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pick up the phone and give your local college a buzz.

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They'll have all the details.

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Just made me feel like, I don't want to get tearful, that I'm actually,

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or can be worth something again.

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I don't have to just sit in my house feeling down about things.

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So, to feel that

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I can be someone again is like a second coming.

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Join us later when Claer dishes out some more money-saving tips.

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How does that make you feel? That would be amazing.

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Smashing!

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And Nickie and Graham will be joining Dom

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and I to talk about the whole experience.

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First, let's speak to Andy Webb from the Money Advice Service

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and consumer psychologist Dimitrios Tsivrikos.

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Andy, I'm going to start with you.

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The family's situation has been pretty dire

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over the last couple of years.

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As a result, their finances have suffered. What's the advice?

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I mean, we all have stages in our life where life gets in the way.

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When that happens, I think,

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often the things that drop down the priority list are those kind of

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financial issues. But that's not the thing we should be doing.

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Take a couple of hours, and get all your credit card statements,

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your bank statements, and list out everything you've been spending.

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Just pick them out one by one

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and try to find the ways where you can get a better deal

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or you can cut back.

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If you do it bit by bit, or one by one, as I say,

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it's not going to be too overwhelming

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and hopefully you'll get your finances back on track.

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Nickie, she said she was an impulse spender, didn't she?

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She did. She found it quite funny but... Self-confessed.

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So, how do we stop them?

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How do we curb that bargain-hunting spirit

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that we find in so many people?

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I think that we have two techniques. One of them is quite easy.

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Go out with a full stomach. Don't go out shopping hungry.

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Research has shown that people that go out hungry,

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they spend 30% to 40% a lot more than otherwise.

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The second thing is, actually, withdrawal costs.

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I think, when we spend with Visas and a lot of other cards,

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we don't really realise how much money we might be ending up spending.

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So, set yourself a limit,

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and actually withdraw the amount of cash that you will be spending.

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The physicality of actually exchanging cash for goods

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is so much more powerful... It hurts.

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It does, it really does hurt.

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I've decided to get you a little present, Dom.

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Because... About time. ..I know you like to spend on coffees.

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So, Tom...

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Can you just come over and give Dom his little present, please?

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Certainly. What's going on here?

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Right. Right. Dom... Roll up your sleeve, please.

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That's not a watch you've got there, is it?

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Well, we've got a little watch for you.

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Mm-hm. A little wearable device,

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which will help curb that impulse to buy the coffees.

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Can I ask why it hasn't got a watch face,

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but got a picture of a lightning bolt on?

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You don't need to worry about that. Tom... It's a bit of a clue.

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Tom, explain how this watch works.

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So, this isn't a watch, this is a bracelet

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that gives you electric shocks.

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Oh, charming. Thanks, Denise.

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And we know... Yeah.

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..how people are using cards, using mobile phone payments

0:17:320:17:35

and what we're doing here is we're connecting people's bank accounts

0:17:350:17:38

with devices such as this

0:17:380:17:41

so that we can bring that physical element of their spending back into

0:17:410:17:44

the real world.

0:17:440:17:46

So, you, as the consumer, can set your spending limits.

0:17:460:17:48

Then, when you go and use your card to make that purchase,

0:17:480:17:51

or your mobile phone payment,

0:17:510:17:53

that's when, if you go over that limit,

0:17:530:17:55

you'll get a little reminder.

0:17:550:17:57

Let's just test it to see if it works. How powerful's this going to be?

0:17:570:17:59

Don't worry about that. Have to wait and see.

0:17:590:18:01

Order a coffee, please, Dom.

0:18:010:18:03

Can I have a skinny latte, please, extra hot?

0:18:030:18:06

It does... Did it get you? It was like a needle prick, wasn't it?

0:18:090:18:13

I was expecting a little tingle, but it was one of those.

0:18:130:18:16

It's good, but it's a bit of a harsh way to curb your spending, isn't it?

0:18:160:18:21

I'd save money, but I'd end up spending a weekend in A, wouldn't I?

0:18:210:18:25

You may laugh, Lewis, but I think you should have a go at this, as well?

0:18:250:18:28

Come on, Tom. Stick it on Denise here.

0:18:280:18:32

Here we go. Right. Maximum power, please, if you don't mind.

0:18:320:18:35

Thanks. Thanks, friend. Lewis... Right.

0:18:350:18:38

Where's my coffee?

0:18:380:18:39

Oh, God!

0:18:390:18:41

Exactly. You see.

0:18:410:18:43

Thanks, Tom. I like that.

0:18:430:18:45

You are rotten.

0:18:450:18:47

I'll have one, please. Oh, gosh.

0:18:470:18:49

Thanks, guys.

0:18:490:18:51

Now, we love a good fact on this programme, so here's one for you.

0:18:510:18:55

It's been ten years since the first contactless payments were made

0:18:550:18:58

in the UK. Can you believe that? No, I can't.

0:18:580:19:01

And here's a couple of great statistics, too.

0:19:010:19:04

Us Brits now have more than 100 million tap-and-go cards.

0:19:040:19:08

Last year, we spent a whopping ?25 billion using them.

0:19:080:19:12

That's three times as much as the previous year.

0:19:120:19:15

So, is paying contactless making us more careless

0:19:150:19:18

with our hard-earned dosh?

0:19:180:19:20

In simpler times, we paid cash for our goods,

0:19:210:19:24

buying what we could afford with the money that was literally in our

0:19:240:19:27

pockets.

0:19:270:19:28

At the checking out point, the counter comes in for the first time,

0:19:280:19:32

as purchases are totalled up and paid for.

0:19:320:19:34

Cash was king.

0:19:340:19:36

How times have changed.

0:19:360:19:37

The growth of contactless in the UK has been amazing.

0:19:420:19:45

Right now, probably about a quarter of all card transactions are

0:19:450:19:48

contactless.

0:19:480:19:49

BEEPING

0:19:490:19:50

I absolutely love using contactless because it's guilt-free shopping.

0:19:500:19:54

No PIN, it's better security. You're not wasting paper. It's brilliant.

0:19:540:19:57

You're just waving your card in front of the machine.

0:19:570:19:59

It's magic money. It's like the never, never card.

0:19:590:20:01

This radical reshaping of the way we spend our money is eating into our

0:20:010:20:06

everyday lives.

0:20:060:20:07

In this South London cafe, cash is off the menu altogether.

0:20:080:20:13

So, in January of this year, 2017, we stopped accepting cash.

0:20:130:20:18

I'd gone to Sweden, to Stockholm, and just never took out any cash.

0:20:180:20:22

I was able to use my card anywhere, everywhere.

0:20:220:20:24

Little shops, big shops.

0:20:240:20:26

It just made it really easy.

0:20:260:20:27

Coming back home, I just felt that that was the future.

0:20:270:20:30

There seems to be no complaints from the customers either.

0:20:300:20:33

You can just tap and go and I'd be on my way.

0:20:330:20:36

It's a lot faster service. Saves mucking around with cash.

0:20:360:20:40

For Ross, being contactless means less time counting coins

0:20:420:20:46

and more time mastering the perfect macchiato.

0:20:460:20:49

You don't have to count cash. You don't have to wander around

0:20:490:20:52

to the bank. Ultimately just saving myself and everyone that works here

0:20:520:20:55

time that we can reinvest back into doing things

0:20:550:20:57

that we actually want to do.

0:20:570:20:58

But others are worried about the potential pitfalls of a cashless world.

0:21:000:21:04

Concerned that we don't always notice

0:21:040:21:07

what we've spent when we're using contactless.

0:21:070:21:10

In experiments where they ask people how much they've spent

0:21:100:21:13

when they've just been in a shop, if they've spent cash,

0:21:130:21:15

they're much more likely to know how much it was than if they spent money

0:21:150:21:19

on a contactless card.

0:21:190:21:20

Because just looking for the cash in your wallet, thinking,

0:21:200:21:23

"I need a five and 6p to make that up,"

0:21:230:21:25

it forces you to think about how much money it is.

0:21:250:21:27

If you do it on a card, you don't have to think about it.

0:21:270:21:30

So, how can you avoid the downsides of the contactless revolution?

0:21:300:21:35

If you find you are overspending a lot on contactless,

0:21:350:21:39

then I think it's a good idea to try to imagine that you're getting the

0:21:390:21:43

cash out of the cash machine - that exact amount -

0:21:430:21:45

and what that exact amount would look like

0:21:450:21:47

every time you're spending it,

0:21:470:21:49

and to deliberately take note of what that amount is.

0:21:490:21:52

Because, otherwise there's a danger of even stopping noticing

0:21:520:21:55

what's good value and what's not.

0:21:550:21:58

And, it seems, us Brits are reluctant to give up physical money.

0:21:580:22:02

A recent survey revealed that we're one of the least keen of all EU

0:22:020:22:05

countries on becoming completely cashless.

0:22:050:22:09

Personal finance expert Sarah Pennells isn't surprised.

0:22:090:22:13

I think in the UK we've got a bit of a love affair with cash.

0:22:130:22:16

Although a lot of us are using different ways of paying now -

0:22:160:22:19

contactless, paying with our mobile phone and so on -

0:22:190:22:22

I think there are some real advantages of cash that people love.

0:22:220:22:25

So, you know, you can see it, you know when you've run out of it.

0:22:250:22:28

You have a real sense that you are spending money.

0:22:280:22:30

However, there are practical ways to keep in control.

0:22:300:22:34

If you are going to use contactless,

0:22:340:22:36

first of all, I'd make sure you always ask for a receipt,

0:22:360:22:39

so at least you know exactly how much money you've spent.

0:22:390:22:43

And also if you're checking your bank balance online

0:22:430:22:45

or on your mobile, don't forget the contactless transactions

0:22:450:22:48

can sometimes take three, or even four days to show up.

0:22:480:22:52

Lastly, if you do find you're spending too much money

0:22:520:22:55

on contactless, then switch back. Use either real money, use cash,

0:22:550:22:59

or use your chip and PIN.

0:22:590:23:01

At the moment, vendors are not obliged to offer you a receipt.

0:23:020:23:06

So, if you want to remind yourself of how much you're spending,

0:23:060:23:09

just ask.

0:23:090:23:10

Every time I pay with contactless, I need the receipt.

0:23:100:23:13

It's like mentally you need some sort of proof

0:23:130:23:16

that you've spent the money.

0:23:160:23:18

I just keep a receipt and then I just check it at the end the week

0:23:180:23:21

and make sure everything's accounted for in the bank.

0:23:210:23:24

Yes, I'm fully aware how much I've spent.

0:23:240:23:26

I know to the penny whether I spent it on my card or whether I spent it

0:23:260:23:29

via cash. It shouldn't matter which way you're spending it.

0:23:290:23:32

You should be to keep a track of your monies.

0:23:320:23:34

And technology guru David Birch says contactless gives users more -

0:23:350:23:40

not less - information on their spending

0:23:400:23:42

because there's a digital record for every transaction.

0:23:420:23:46

You know, I would say to people, use the data.

0:23:460:23:49

Right? You're not using cash, you're using the card.

0:23:490:23:51

That's giving you information.

0:23:510:23:53

So, if you feel that you're overspending,

0:23:530:23:55

you should sit down and look at what you actually spent the money on.

0:23:550:23:58

You can't do that with cash, with contactless you can.

0:23:580:24:01

So, check your monthly statements and keep across where your money is

0:24:010:24:05

going.

0:24:050:24:06

Now everybody has contactless cards, and everybody uses them,

0:24:060:24:09

you could start to see contactless being built into other things.

0:24:090:24:13

Now the innovation can be unleashed.

0:24:130:24:15

Or put on the leash.

0:24:150:24:17

Hello. I like your jacket.

0:24:170:24:19

Even charities are getting in on the act.

0:24:190:24:22

Meet Smudge, one of a crack team of cashless canines.

0:24:220:24:25

Smudge is wearing the new contactless coat

0:24:250:24:28

and people can make a contactless donation

0:24:280:24:31

simply by tapping their cards onto his coat.

0:24:310:24:34

So, if you just hold your card there on the card reader...

0:24:340:24:36

..and you've made a ?2 donation.

0:24:370:24:39

People don't tend to carry cash any more,

0:24:390:24:42

so it's a simple way to make a donation.

0:24:420:24:44

What could be easier?

0:24:440:24:46

Thank you very much. Thank you. Bye.

0:24:460:24:49

And if you think a contactless dog is odd, hold on to your hats.

0:24:490:24:53

The future is invisible payments.

0:24:530:24:55

The payment experiences that consumers like the best

0:24:550:24:58

are the ones they don't have to deal with.

0:24:580:25:00

You order a taxi, you get in a taxi,

0:25:000:25:02

you go to where you're going, you get out and walk.

0:25:020:25:04

You don't even think about it. Then you sit down at the end of the month

0:25:040:25:07

and you can see all your taxi rides.

0:25:070:25:09

Payments will just vanish from day-to-day experience.

0:25:090:25:12

They'll all just happen in the background,

0:25:120:25:15

they'll be part of the warp and weft of life.

0:25:150:25:17

Like it or not,

0:25:170:25:18

sounds like we're all going to have to get used to change

0:25:180:25:21

but not in our pockets.

0:25:210:25:23

Now, some people are more savvy than others at keeping track of their

0:25:280:25:31

spending, but none more so than the blogger who's so thrifty,

0:25:310:25:35

she's known as Miss Thrifty.

0:25:350:25:37

She's here to tell us about her savvy ways,

0:25:370:25:39

along with Clare and Leanne,

0:25:390:25:40

who'll be doing a little bit of an experiment for us.

0:25:400:25:43

More about that a minute. I've got to ask you a question, Miss.

0:25:430:25:46

Do you think it makes a difference to your spending habits

0:25:460:25:49

if you're paying hard, physical cash,

0:25:490:25:51

or whether you're just using the contactless card?

0:25:510:25:53

Lots of people find that if they pay via contactless,

0:25:530:25:56

they end up spending more. Me, I'm the opposite.

0:25:560:25:58

I find that if I'm trying to keep track of what I'm spending every day

0:25:580:26:01

with cash then, by the end of the day, I've lost count,

0:26:010:26:04

I don't know where I am. Invariably, I end up at the till

0:26:040:26:06

and I don't have enough money for what I need.

0:26:060:26:08

So, I think it's a case of finding out what works best for you.

0:26:080:26:11

Over the past few days,

0:26:110:26:13

we've been asking Clare and Leanne to keep a diary of their spending.

0:26:130:26:16

One using a good old-fashioned pen and book and writing everything down

0:26:160:26:19

and the other one using a smart app.

0:26:190:26:21

I'm going to come to you first, Clare.

0:26:210:26:24

You had the old-fashioned way. A book and a pen.

0:26:240:26:26

Was there any shocks here, anything where, at the end of the day,

0:26:260:26:29

or the end of the week, you looked at it and thought, "Gordon Bennett,

0:26:290:26:32

"I didn't know I was spending that on that?"

0:26:320:26:34

I was kind of shocked by the amount I spent on food and drink.

0:26:340:26:37

I think it was about 50% of everything

0:26:370:26:38

that I'd spent the whole week.

0:26:380:26:40

I don't suppose it's until you actually take this much effort

0:26:400:26:43

that you actually realise those sorts of things. No, absolutely not.

0:26:430:26:47

Previously, I'd never asked for a receipt before.

0:26:470:26:49

I'd always just used contactless.

0:26:490:26:51

I wasn't really paying attention to what I was spending.

0:26:510:26:53

It made me feel like I was being watched a little bit.

0:26:530:26:56

You're watching yourself, aren't you? Exactly.

0:26:560:26:58

Leanne, you went sort of more 21st-century, didn't you?

0:26:580:27:02

You put an app on your smartphone.

0:27:020:27:03

Tell me how that works cos I've not used one yet.

0:27:030:27:05

So, I used just quite a basic app, that you literally just put in your

0:27:050:27:09

income and you put out all of your expenses on the app

0:27:090:27:12

and it categorises it, so into sort of eating out, clothes,

0:27:120:27:16

other shopping, and then you can write notes on it.

0:27:160:27:18

Clare, how much do you think you've saved by monitoring your spending

0:27:180:27:22

using the system?

0:27:220:27:23

I think probably around ?50. What about you, Leanne?

0:27:230:27:26

I think mine was probably quite similar, probably around ?40, ?50.

0:27:260:27:30

I'll tell you what, it does add up.

0:27:300:27:31

Thank you, ladies. Thanks, Dom.

0:27:310:27:33

Now, a recent survey showed that many people in relationships

0:27:370:27:40

don't talk to their partner about money and their spending habits.

0:27:400:27:44

In fact, one in six haven't got a clue how much their other halves earn.

0:27:440:27:49

So, is a financially open and honest relationship the key to a happy one?

0:27:490:27:53

Let's see what the punters in Stockport Market have to say?

0:27:530:27:57

Whisper in my ear and give me a ballpark figure

0:27:570:28:00

what you think he's earning.

0:28:000:28:02

Yeah? Go on. Whisper in this ear.

0:28:050:28:08

Right. Is it right?

0:28:090:28:10

Very, very impressive you two.

0:28:100:28:13

No secrets between you then in terms of, oh, no little stashes,

0:28:130:28:17

no secret money hiding anywhere?

0:28:170:28:20

No. No. Not that I'm going to say on camera.

0:28:200:28:23

Do you discuss your financial matters together?

0:28:230:28:26

Yeah. Yeah. It's important to be honest and straightforward.

0:28:260:28:31

You share an account, you're a team.

0:28:310:28:33

When you get married, you're a team and share an account.

0:28:330:28:35

You two, you discuss everything, all money matters.

0:28:350:28:39

Yes. Yes, I suppose we do, really.

0:28:390:28:42

I think it's best to be open and honest, cards on the table,

0:28:420:28:44

you know where you're up to with everything. We've got a family,

0:28:440:28:47

so it's important that you budget for everything.

0:28:470:28:49

Do you know what his spending habits are like?

0:28:490:28:51

Yes, because I'm always with him.

0:28:510:28:53

She doesn't trust you out alone, basically. That's what she's saying.

0:28:540:28:57

Can I just ask you, do you have joint bank accounts?

0:28:570:29:00

No. Separate.

0:29:000:29:02

Separate? Why is that?

0:29:020:29:03

What Viv's got is hers and what I've got is Viv's.

0:29:030:29:06

Now, earlier on, we met Nickie and Graham who were struggling to find

0:29:110:29:14

time to sort out their finances, since Nickie became seriously ill.

0:29:140:29:18

Let's see if personal finance editor Claer Barrett has managed to work

0:29:180:29:22

her money magic.

0:29:220:29:23

Nickie and Graham love nothing better than spending a spot of quality time

0:29:260:29:30

with daughters Bethany and Sophie.

0:29:300:29:32

No!

0:29:320:29:33

Our parents, they do a lot for us.

0:29:330:29:35

They're just, like, dropping us, Bethany to college,

0:29:350:29:38

dropping me to school, to a drama academy, to riding.

0:29:380:29:42

But Since Nickie became seriously ill four years ago,

0:29:420:29:45

keeping abreast of the family finances

0:29:450:29:47

has not been their top priority.

0:29:470:29:50

As much as they would love to adapt their home for Nickie,

0:29:500:29:52

who uses a wheelchair, their lack of cash has been a stumbling block.

0:29:520:29:57

There you go, catch! Eh!

0:29:570:30:00

Earlier, we sent personal finance expert Claer Barrett along to save

0:30:000:30:04

and make some money for this family.

0:30:040:30:06

But the couple were in for a shock when Claer revealed just how much

0:30:070:30:11

those impulse buys were costing.

0:30:110:30:13

Nickie, your face says it all.

0:30:140:30:16

Oh, my word!

0:30:160:30:19

So far, she's saved them thousands of pounds.

0:30:190:30:23

Now she's back, and Claer's determined that nothing goes

0:30:230:30:27

to waste on the road to financial stability.

0:30:270:30:29

So I couldn't help but notice when I came in that you've got a ginormous

0:30:300:30:34

camper van sitting on your drive outside.

0:30:340:30:37

Tell me about that. That's Harvey.

0:30:370:30:39

Harvey? Harvey, Harvey the RV as I like to call him.

0:30:390:30:43

He's my baby.

0:30:450:30:46

That's some baby, Nickie.

0:30:470:30:49

The Herricks adopted Harvey three years ago, but sadly,

0:30:490:30:52

he's spent most of that time parked on the drive

0:30:520:30:55

and not enjoying the open roads.

0:30:550:30:57

When we first got it,

0:30:570:31:01

we were literally going to jump in it every weekend

0:31:010:31:04

and go off somewhere.

0:31:040:31:05

Oh, didn't see you back there, Claer.

0:31:050:31:07

But didn't really happen like that.

0:31:070:31:11

In fact, we've only been away in it, like, a handful of times maybe.

0:31:120:31:17

I think I've got a plan where you can make some money out of him.

0:31:170:31:22

We'll pull in a little further up the road at a campsite I know,

0:31:220:31:25

and I will reveal all.

0:31:250:31:27

Brilliant.

0:31:270:31:28

Time to enjoy...mm...the traditional British summer.

0:31:280:31:32

So you've probably heard of websites that people can use in the so-called

0:31:320:31:37

sharing economy to rent out their spare rooms

0:31:370:31:41

or maybe even their house when they go on holiday.

0:31:410:31:44

Assets, essentially, that you've got, like Harvey,

0:31:440:31:48

that you're not using all the time.

0:31:480:31:50

So why not rent him out to other families

0:31:500:31:53

who want to take him on holiday?

0:31:530:31:56

I think that's a brilliant idea.

0:31:560:31:58

Millions of us love to get out and about in the UK,

0:31:580:32:02

whether it's staycations or heading to a festival.

0:32:020:32:05

So Claer thinks Harvey the RV could be a nice little earner.

0:32:050:32:09

In terms of the rewards that are on offer,

0:32:090:32:11

so for a van the size of Harvey,

0:32:110:32:14

you could potentially get up to ?500 a week.

0:32:140:32:17

OK. Really?

0:32:170:32:18

Yeah. Wow! ?500 a week?

0:32:180:32:21

I had no idea.

0:32:210:32:23

That's a really good idea. No idea.

0:32:230:32:25

So how would it work in terms of insurance?

0:32:250:32:27

So if you were doing it yourself and renting out Harvey to people,

0:32:270:32:32

then you would need to inform your insurer

0:32:320:32:34

and get specialist insurance.

0:32:340:32:36

But if you're doing it through one of these third-party websites,

0:32:360:32:40

it will be in the terms and conditions

0:32:400:32:42

but they often as part of their fee have insurance

0:32:420:32:45

which will cover everything. But you're absolutely right, Graham.

0:32:450:32:48

That is a fundamental thing that you need to check out

0:32:480:32:50

before you hand over the keys.

0:32:500:32:52

If Nickie and Graham rented out Harvey

0:32:530:32:55

for as little as two weeks every year,

0:32:550:32:57

they could earn an extra grand.

0:32:570:33:00

The other great thing about the sharing economy is that one of its

0:33:010:33:05

biggest fans is Her Majesty's government.

0:33:050:33:08

They've introduced a new sharing economy tax break,

0:33:080:33:11

so you can actually make your first ?1,000 of profit from renting out

0:33:110:33:17

your flat, your driveway, you're spare room,

0:33:170:33:19

or your camper van without having to pay any tax.

0:33:190:33:23

Great advice, Claer.

0:33:240:33:26

That's more dosh towards that much-needed extension.

0:33:260:33:29

And talking about the house,

0:33:290:33:31

it's time to tackle Graham and Nickie's mortgage.

0:33:310:33:34

So Claer, I know Graham loves his workouts,

0:33:340:33:36

but I think you should explain what you're doing here.

0:33:360:33:39

Well, my theory is you feel at home in an environment like a gym,

0:33:390:33:43

so it's a good place for us to tackle the issue of your home

0:33:430:33:48

and the debt that you've got mortgaged onto it.

0:33:480:33:50

Nickie and Graham bought their house ten years ago

0:33:510:33:54

using an interest-only mortgage.

0:33:540:33:56

Every month... Yep. ..you're just paying off this one brick

0:33:560:34:00

in interest, and every month,

0:34:000:34:02

it's being added back on.

0:34:020:34:04

So the size of your loan is never actually going down.

0:34:040:34:08

It's staying the same. All you're doing is paying off the interest.

0:34:080:34:11

Is that something that worries you?

0:34:110:34:13

So we've been worried about this for quite some time now, but obviously,

0:34:130:34:16

you know, with our circumstances as they were,

0:34:160:34:20

it's just another thing that we've neglected.

0:34:200:34:23

So the good news, Graham,

0:34:230:34:25

is I'm confident that with other savings I've identified for you

0:34:250:34:29

to make, you'll be able to cope

0:34:290:34:31

with a slightly higher mortgage repayment every month.

0:34:310:34:34

Graham is one of more than two million interest-only mortgage

0:34:360:34:40

customers in the UK.

0:34:400:34:41

If you're one, too, the advice is to switch to a repayment

0:34:410:34:44

or part-repayment mortgage if you can,

0:34:440:34:47

so you're not left with a massive financial headache

0:34:470:34:50

at the end of the loan period.

0:34:500:34:51

Graham, how does that make you feel?

0:34:560:34:58

That would be amazing to just smash down the whole loan like that.

0:34:580:35:01

So we need to replace some bicep curls with some phone picking up.

0:35:010:35:06

Yeah. You need to speak to your mortgage lender,

0:35:060:35:09

get a plan arranged.

0:35:090:35:10

You've convinced me to do it, absolutely, yeah. Great.

0:35:100:35:13

Sounds like a knockout idea to me.

0:35:140:35:17

Job done.

0:35:170:35:18

And now that Graham's financially fighting fit,

0:35:210:35:24

Claer's earned herself a nice cup of coffee with Nickie.

0:35:240:35:27

But the caffeine has spurred her on to make even more saving suggestions.

0:35:270:35:32

How often a week would you say

0:35:320:35:34

that you're treating yourself to a coffee out?

0:35:340:35:38

Is it... OK?

0:35:380:35:39

Almost everyday, and sometimes if I'm really bad,

0:35:390:35:43

it can be up to three times a day.

0:35:430:35:46

I know what you mean, Nickie.

0:35:470:35:49

I love a latte or five,

0:35:490:35:51

but constant trips to the coffee house soon add up.

0:35:510:35:54

In fact, it's costing Nickie over 50 quid a month!

0:35:540:35:58

Now, she could cut that to just a fiver if she made her own,

0:35:580:36:01

and Claer has got a couple of presents to get her started.

0:36:010:36:04

What a diamond!

0:36:040:36:06

It's a lot better than 50 quid a month on drive-thru coffees.

0:36:060:36:10

Exactly. And I think you'll find that this might even be nicer.

0:36:100:36:14

Cutting down on those posh coffees could boost the coffers

0:36:160:36:20

by ?540 a year! Ouch!

0:36:200:36:22

Have you got any of those cups spare, Claer?

0:36:220:36:25

It seems that no-one in the house escapes Claer's money-saving marathon.

0:36:250:36:29

Animal-loving Bethany is mad on horses,

0:36:290:36:32

and doting Mum and Dad shell out one and a half grand a year on riding

0:36:320:36:36

lessons. But Claer wants to rein that in.

0:36:360:36:39

So they've all trotted down to their local stables to meet owner Kimberly

0:36:390:36:42

to chat about volunteering.

0:36:420:36:45

What sort of stuff would you get up to on a day-to-day basis here?

0:36:450:36:48

When you come in, the first and most important thing we do is we groom

0:36:480:36:51

and we get the horses ready for lessons.

0:36:510:36:54

Making feeds, doing hay nets,

0:36:540:36:57

sweeping the yard, and sweeping the yard, and sweeping the yard again.

0:36:570:37:01

And having a good time.

0:37:010:37:04

All right, it sounds very good.

0:37:040:37:06

But Kimberly saved the best bits till last.

0:37:060:37:09

After every sixth time that you've come down and you've helped,

0:37:090:37:13

you'll get a free riding lesson.

0:37:130:37:15

That sounds a lot of fun.

0:37:150:37:17

It's more involved with the horses

0:37:170:37:18

and it sounds like something I'd like to do, yeah.

0:37:180:37:21

It's a win-win.

0:37:220:37:24

By volunteering,

0:37:240:37:25

Bethany gets to hang out with her favourite animals more often,

0:37:250:37:28

and Mum and Dad can say goodbye to spending ?28 a pop on lessons,

0:37:280:37:32

saving them

0:37:320:37:34

a total of ?1,456 a year.

0:37:340:37:37

Let's have a quick look around the yard, and then let's get you up

0:37:370:37:40

on a horse and see if you like one.

0:37:400:37:41

Thank you.

0:37:410:37:43

Many riding schools offer similar schemes.

0:37:440:37:47

You can find a list of approved ones

0:37:470:37:49

on the British Horse Society website.

0:37:490:37:51

Kick, full, there we go, yes!

0:37:510:37:54

Back at the house, it's time for a final reassuring pep talk

0:37:540:37:58

from Claer about how best to move forward and make that dream extension a reality.

0:37:580:38:03

It's absolutely normal to feel scared about these big decisions.

0:38:030:38:07

The key thing is to have the courage to pick up the phone and make those

0:38:070:38:11

calls, and you'll find out that it's probably not as scary

0:38:110:38:16

as you were thinking.

0:38:160:38:17

And it's just reaffirming your goals by making that

0:38:170:38:20

decision, saying, "I'm not going to spend the money on that,

0:38:200:38:23

"I'm going to save it instead."

0:38:230:38:25

You're moving a step nearer towards the bigger goal.

0:38:250:38:28

So let's talk turkey.

0:38:300:38:31

How much could the family save in a year?

0:38:310:38:34

?683 of the mobile bills,

0:38:340:38:37

?416 on Graham's credit card,

0:38:370:38:39

?2,340 on groceries,

0:38:390:38:42

?540 on posh coffees,

0:38:420:38:45

1,300 on online shopping,

0:38:450:38:47

and ?1,456 on horse riding lessons.

0:38:470:38:51

Making a grand total saving of ?6,744.

0:38:510:38:57

Plus, if they rent out Harvey the RV,

0:38:570:38:59

and Nickie starts a nail business,

0:38:590:39:01

the family's income will get a healthy boost, as well.

0:39:010:39:04

Actually tackling your money issues is not as daunting

0:39:040:39:08

as we had believed that it was.

0:39:080:39:11

For me to be able to get back to work is going to mean a lot to me.

0:39:110:39:15

I spent the last couple of years kind of festering,

0:39:150:39:19

so to get my brain active and up and out again,

0:39:190:39:23

it's just going to be amazing.

0:39:230:39:26

Well, Nickie and Graham are here, along with Harvey the RV.

0:39:350:39:39

You've learned a lot, haven't you, on this whole experience for you?

0:39:390:39:42

It's been eye-opening, honestly.

0:39:420:39:44

Was it just a case of you just needed someone to come in

0:39:440:39:48

and just sit you down and say, "Look, hang on a second,

0:39:480:39:50

"let's have a look at what you're doing here."

0:39:500:39:52

I think we're both intelligent people.

0:39:520:39:54

We know finances are so important,

0:39:540:39:56

but we'd got bogged down with medical issues

0:39:560:39:59

and things going on in our lives,

0:39:590:40:02

that really, we just ignored the important things.

0:40:020:40:05

I know that sorting out your finances hasn't been top priority,

0:40:050:40:10

but I think that's going to change after your visit from Claer.

0:40:100:40:13

The things that Claer has suggested has just been amazing.

0:40:130:40:17

So from here on out, I am on it like a car bonnet.

0:40:170:40:22

Talk about Claer's advice.

0:40:220:40:23

Now, Nickie, you're a little bit like me, you love a latte, don't you?

0:40:230:40:26

Um, guilty as charged.

0:40:260:40:28

Yes, and you're cutting it down now?

0:40:280:40:31

Um, I've calculated that I have saved this month ?33.50.

0:40:310:40:37

That's very good. Very good for me.

0:40:370:40:39

It's marked improvement on that one.

0:40:390:40:41

This is my new best friend, a little gift from Claer.

0:40:410:40:45

So, yeah, I think I'm doing really well on that one.

0:40:450:40:47

Nickie, while we're on the subject of saving money,

0:40:470:40:49

I know it's particularly important for you because you're trying

0:40:490:40:52

to save up enough to make some modifications to your house, aren't you?

0:40:520:40:55

Yeah, I think that's the goal

0:40:550:40:58

that we mustn't forget whilst we're on this, sort of, money subject.

0:40:580:41:04

There are times I just cannot physically get up to bed.

0:41:040:41:07

I mean, if things were different,

0:41:070:41:10

ideally I'd love to move to a bungalow.

0:41:100:41:13

That's the goal, yeah? Yeah, definitely.

0:41:130:41:15

But it is exciting times ahead for you guys if you stick to the advice

0:41:150:41:19

Claer has given you.

0:41:190:41:21

Yes, definitely given me a lift that I've need.

0:41:210:41:25

Because, you know, I used to be such a fit and active person.

0:41:250:41:30

Not quite as fit as you, but you know, almost.

0:41:300:41:33

And to be left...

0:41:340:41:35

..unfit and not being able to do as much as I want to,

0:41:380:41:43

it's given me a focus that I need.

0:41:430:41:48

Nickie, can I just say, I mean we were chatting earlier,

0:41:480:41:50

and I realised how bad your condition is,

0:41:500:41:53

you're in constant pain.

0:41:530:41:55

And you've got a smile on your face all the time, you're jolly,

0:41:550:41:58

and you are an inspiration, I think, to all of us.

0:41:580:42:01

You know, good luck to you, and thanks for coming on,

0:42:010:42:03

we really appreciate it. Thank you, both of you.

0:42:030:42:05

No, thank you. That means so much, thank you.

0:42:050:42:08

Yeah. Well, let us know if you'd be interested in having one of our

0:42:080:42:11

experts come round to sort out your finances.

0:42:110:42:14

You can e-mail us at...

0:42:140:42:15

Now we can't promise to get to everyone who gets in touch,

0:42:190:42:21

but if it's money-saving tips you're after, here's a good place to start.

0:42:210:42:24

Our website has everything you need to sort out your spending.

0:42:260:42:30

We've teamed up with the Money Advice Service

0:42:300:42:33

to bring you easy to use money-saving tools

0:42:330:42:36

to plan your budget,

0:42:360:42:37

calculate the cost of your car or credit cards,

0:42:370:42:40

and give your money a complete health check.

0:42:400:42:43

Download them at...

0:42:430:42:44

Well, personal finance expert Andy Webb is with us to answer some

0:42:520:42:55

questions from the people we've met today.

0:42:550:42:57

Henry wants to know how he can save on running his car.

0:42:570:43:01

Oh, God, it all adds up, doesn't it?

0:43:010:43:02

Every time you move the car, it's going to cost you more money.

0:43:020:43:05

Biggest running cost you've got is your insurance, so don't auto-renew.

0:43:050:43:08

Shop around, and maybe try little things that might bring down the

0:43:080:43:10

price and maybe you can add someone to the insurance,

0:43:100:43:13

or even try different titles for your job.

0:43:130:43:15

That might reduce the price. Just make sure it's an accurate job.

0:43:150:43:17

And be honest. Be honest, you've got to be honest.

0:43:170:43:19

And, of course, petrol, that's ongoing cost all the time.

0:43:190:43:22

You know, see if you can find the cheapest pumps near you.

0:43:220:43:25

There are websites that will tell you the different prices

0:43:250:43:27

in your area. And I guess it's also how you drive.

0:43:270:43:30

So if you speed, if you have the air conditioning on,

0:43:300:43:34

if you have a roof rack, you know, they can all, you know, damage...

0:43:340:43:37

Well, not damage, it can make your fuel consumption go faster.

0:43:370:43:40

So better driving, less money spent on fuel.

0:43:400:43:43

Even don't have a full tank, have half a tank.

0:43:430:43:45

Yeah, save all that weight.

0:43:450:43:47

Clive says, "My builder has done a bodge job,

0:43:470:43:50

"and I can't get hold of him. What can I do?"

0:43:500:43:52

OK, he's tried to get in touch with him, he can't.

0:43:520:43:55

So the next step is see if this builder's part of any kind of trade

0:43:550:43:58

organisation. They might be able to help, get 'em involved.

0:43:580:44:01

If not, then you've got consumer ombudsman.

0:44:010:44:03

Again, maybe try and bring you guys together and get a solution.

0:44:030:44:07

If none of that is working, then you can go to the courts.

0:44:070:44:10

But that really should be, you know, the last thing you go for,

0:44:100:44:13

because there are costs involved, and you might not win the end.

0:44:130:44:15

And also Trading Standards, they're there to help you.

0:44:150:44:18

Report them, because they might know about it.

0:44:180:44:20

Yeah. Some great advice there, Andy, thank you.

0:44:200:44:23

And thanks to all our guests today and to you at home for watching.

0:44:230:44:26

We hope you've found all the advice you heard on the programme helpful,

0:44:260:44:29

but until next time, cheerio. Bye-bye.

0:44:290:44:31

PERCUSSIVE CLICKING

0:45:070:45:09

WHISTLE

0:45:090:45:10

6 Music... Recommends.

0:45:100:45:12

We pick...

0:45:120:45:14

..new music.

0:45:140:45:15

No-one... ..tells us... ..what to choose.

0:45:170:45:20

Whoo!

0:45:200:45:21

Denise Lewis and Dominic Littlewood present more simple, practical ways to make money go further. The team help a family desperate to save enough cash to adapt their home for a wheelchair. But can the expert curb the family's out-of-control impulse spending habits? And if a contactless card is causing you to overspend, there are some top tips on how to be more savvy with the plastic. Plus Dom and Denise are in for a big shock over their own spending habits.

For more top dollar advice, go to bbc.co.uk/rightonthemoney.