Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team help a young couple struggling to pay for their dream wedding.
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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've found simple advice for you to do just that
and taken it to people right across the UK.
Whatever help you need with your finances,
we are Right On The Money.
Morning, and welcome to Right On The Money,
the show that's all about saving you pots of cash
in the easiest possible way.
And we've packaged up plenty of advice and top tips for you today.
Here's a tasty teaser of what's in store.
Tasty teaser, I like it.
Prepare for some tough talking from our money expert, who's on a mission
to help one couple start married life debt-free.
The pair of you are being fleeced by the financial services industry
right now and you need to fight back.
Maybe they can learn a thing or two from this lot.
As one group of primary school children prove
you're never too young to be money savvy.
So, who has heard of a budget and when?
Starting a new life together can be a really exciting time
but it can also be a pricey one too.
Yup, especially if your other half's spending habits
are just as bad as yours.
Newly engaged Gary and Rae live together in Eastbourne
with their kitten, Jim.
It's as plain as day that this couple are made for each other.
He's everything. He's funny, he's kind, he's sweet,
he's always there for me, no matter what happens.
And the feeling is mutual,
so much so that, earlier this year, Gary popped the question.
I was in the bedroom, and as she came in,
I was down on one knee and I just said, "Will you marry me?"
And then she said "Yes," started crying.
SOBS: Sorry, I think I've got something in me eye!
But this young couple have had to face up
to more than their fair share of heartache.
It's been an awful year, I'm not going to lie.
My dad suffered a major heart attack in September.
Almost lost his life.
Last year I lost the most important person in my life,
which was my mum.
My mum was everything to me.
Everything I did, it was to make my mum happy.
The sudden death of Gary's mum Linda forced him
to look after his finances for the first time in his life.
Until then, he'd paid her rent and she'd looked after the bills.
I found it really hard, obviously,
because I was used to my mum paying for everything.
So it was a shock, a massive shock,
of how much everything is and how much everything can cost.
Gary and Rae, like many young couples,
have found that managing the household bills
has caused friction between them.
Most of our arguments that we do have are about money,
-and it's not nice to have that.
We don't want to argue, but you get to the end of the month,
you've got no money, "We can't afford this, why did we do this?"
and you start blaming each other.
Inexperience in managing their money means that,
despite working full-time, Gary and Rae have racked up
a combined debt of almost three grand.
We know where we are going wrong with our money
and we know where we waste it, but we're not doing anything about it.
We just need that...
I think we just need, like, a reality check.
With a wedding on the cards,
Gary and Rae need to start saving up and paying off their debts.
Sounds like a job for a master of money-saving,
The Financial Times money editor, Claer Barrett.
She's come from Eastbourne to give our couple some much-needed advice.
It's great to meet you.
Hopefully I can help you with some of your problems.
But she's not here for a cosy pub chat.
Claer's dug deep and she's not pulling any punches
when it comes to putting their financial house in order.
I've got a letter here which you gave me,
setting out the fact that you're in arrears with your rent.
I mean, I hate to break it to you, but if you don't meet
these rent payments and if you don't keep the council on side,
-they will evict you.
Once you've lost that right to have a council property
-you will never get it back again.
That is the reality of what is going to happen
if we don't get a grip on your finances...
-..and your spending, and paying the bills on time.
Never mind the wedding, if they don't sort their debt out,
they're in danger of being turfed out of their home.
So there's no time to waste
for Claer to start saving them some cash.
Gary and Rae love to unwind by playing computer games,
which they buy regularly.
So why on Earth is Claer taking them to a game shop
where they could be tempted to purchase even more?
I'm not a gamer myself.
Tell me how much these things will cost?
They're usually around £30-40 each when they're brand new.
Blimey. Some of them look incredibly new.
Some of them are. A mixture of old and new here.
We've got quite a few new ones, quite a few older ones.
-Still in their packaging as well.
-Some are still in their packaging.
-So you haven't even played them?
-Haven't even got round to playing some of them.
Because you've just got too many, too many toys?
Too many to play.
But Claer wants to teach them a basic lesson
about managing their money. It's all about choices.
Spending cash on one thing means they won't have any left
for something else they may really want.
OK, well, let's have a quick count,
we've got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
Let's assume £40 each.
-So that's £400 that you've spent on these games.
Something like that, yeah.
So, I mean, that could be quite a nice wedding dress
-for you, young lady.
If you think about it that way.
Claer has got an idea on how to make some cash back
on their unwanted games.
Like many games shops, this one offers an exchange service.
So the price for all of those games for store credit would be £58.20.
-The cash would be £38.90.
So, guys, what do you want to do?
I think, on this occasion, we'll take the money to help us out,
but in the future, definitely we'll be trading them in
a lot more to help towards the games.
OK, so we'll take the money.
That's the spirit.
But while the couple have made a handy bit of cash on games
gathering dust in their games library,
Claer takes her advice to the next level.
Maybe you could implement a policy - I'm looking at you Rae -
one in, one out. Yeah. Gary wants a new game,
-he has to bring at least one game back for exchange.
Yeah, OK, that's a good one.
If Gary can curb his spending on new games and exchanges some of the ones
he already has, we calculate they could save at least £200 a year.
Leaving Gary with strict instructions not to buy anything,
Claer takes Rae for a cuppa and a quiet word.
So, I've heard on the grapevine that you're very generous.
When it comes to family,
everyone gets four or five Christmas presents or birthday presents,
they don't just get one.
I hear that Gary had quite a good Christmas as well.
-Gary got so much stuff.
-He got three pairs of trainers.
Why the excess?
Why not one really nice present? Why does it have to be five or six?
Truthfully, it's for the attention.
I'll be honest, I like the attention when they sit there and they cry
and they go, "Oh, my God, thank you so much."
-You're showing them your love...
..by the amount of money that you're spending on them,
-but that's not how love is...
Just as it makes you happy to give him so much,
-you've got to look at your happiness in the wider aspect...
..and say, well, actually,
I might be giving him happiness for that moment by giving him this gift,
-but at the end of the month...
-I'm going to be skint.
-..I'm going to be giving myself more sadness.
-Yeah, I know.
I do, yeah.
You are such a lovely girl.
Your motivation is good, because you want everyone to have a good time...
-..but you've got to remember you at the end of the day.
I'm not saying you can't be generous,
but you've got to be able to know when to stop.
That's a great piece of advice for everyone.
Now, if Rae sticks to buying one present per person
she would save £389 a year.
Don't say it with flowers - or diamonds! -
in fact, don't say it with computer games, just say it, Rae.
Even though we've engaged and I do love him and he loves me,
It's still a new thing that we still have to get used to,
so I need to learn how to do that one.
And, obviously, he responds well and he likes it.
-And it's free.
Yes! Yeah, definitely.
The next thing on Claer's agenda is not as nice and romantic,
but it can't be put off any longer -
Because the couple are in the red,
their direct debits are bounced back by their bank
with an additional surcharge added on, and it's all mounting up.
Do you know how much your bank is charging you
-when you miss a bill payment?
-I'm not sure, no.
Every time one of those is not being paid,
-that's adding £10 onto your bank charges for the month after.
So, I looked through your bank statements for January,
and how many missed direct debit payments do you think you had in that month?
I think I had three or four in that month, maybe more.
More? Five? Six?
How did I have nine?
90 quid you're going to get charged this month now.
-I think I did, probably...
For what? You're paying a penalty for being disorganised.
-You've got to think of it like a lazy tax.
If you don't get yourselves in order,
then the banks and the finance institutions
are going to take a pound of flesh.
Gary has paid dear for being disorganised.
If he made an effort to be more disciplined
and pay his bills on time,
he would save a massive £1,080 a year.
Now, if that's not an incentive, Gary...?
And Rae is just as guilty.
Last month, she was charged 160 smackers by her bank,
and Claer's not impressed.
Every day that you're overdrawn,
when you haven't arranged the overdraft with the bank,
you're getting charged £6 a day.
So, a week, that's £42 a week.
-And that's not all.
Every time you use your card when you are that overdrawn,
with an unauthorised overdraft,
they're going to charge an extra £10 every time you use your card.
So that's how you can get to £160 worth of charges,
plus still have the debt to pay back.
I didn't look into that. I didn't know anything about it.
Do you want to be giving all of this money to the boring bank?
-Or do you want it to be...
-Save it for our wedding.
-..going towards your big day?
It's estimated a whopping 16.8 million Brits
have slipped into an unauthorised overdraft.
So, if you're in that position,
making a call to your bank could save you a tonne of cash.
The pair of you are being fleeced
-by the financial services industry right now.
And you need to fight back.
If Rae agrees an overdraft with her bank,
she could save a massive £1,920 a year.
And there are more savings to be had,
as Claer tackles one of Gary's biggest expenditures.
So, Gary, this is your lovely car.
-But how much of your lovely money is it costing you each month?
It's £268 a month.
And that's just for the car?
For everything. It's insurance, car, I just add fuel.
It's called the Just Add Fuel policy.
OK, so with the petrol, probably about £300?
-Probably about £300 a month, with petrol.
-Do you both drive?
No, I'm the only driver.
-No, I don't drive.
So you're not getting any benefit out of this £300 cost
-to your relationship.
-Not at all.
It's handy to have, but no, I don't drive it, unfortunately.
Gary doesn't actually own this car,
he's just leasing it,
which means, after three years,
he'll either have to pay a lump sum or give it back.
Leasing cars like this has become incredibly popular.
Last year, nine out of ten private car buyers
bought their cars in this way.
That's more than 1 million cars.
But Gary's annual mileage is very low and for most of the time,
his motor is standing outside the house, losing value.
Claer reckons that he's miles away from getting his money's worth.
If I was to say to you, how would you feel
if we could hand this car back to the finance company,
so that you wouldn't have to pay for it every month?
I would happily get out of it. It's a massive expense that I don't need.
Car finance agreements are very easy to get into
but very difficult to get out of, so we are going to look into this.
We're going to speak to the car company together to see
if there's any way that we can actually end your agreement early.
Cutting loose from the car lease agreement
would free up thousands of pounds for this couple.
So it's time for Claer to look at the small print.
Join us again to see if our money maestro
can get Gary and Rae's finances in tune for their big day.
Gary and Rae will be here a little bit later to tell us
if that dream wedding is any closer to becoming a reality.
-You're such a hopeless romantic.
-I can't help it!
Joining us now is personal finance expert Simon Read
and also consumer psychologist Dimitrios Tsivrikos.
I'm going to start with you, Simon.
Because, in that film, we saw Gary and Rae, and they were struggling
to pay their bills since moving in together, and that's quite a common problem, isn't it?
It's a very common problem amongst young people.
There was a survey by the Money Advice Trust recently.
They talked to 18-24-year-olds,
around half of them said they worry about money regularly.
Almost a third say that it's a deep burden on them.
So what's the answer there, Simon,
if it's so prevalent in that age group? What can they do?
I think it's all about education.
People need to learn from a young age how to manage money.
The House of Lords recently called
for people in the primary school to be taught.
We know that, actually, children from the age of seven
already have an ingrained feeling about money.
So, by then, we need to teach them to respect money
and understand its value.
Dimitrios, what age do children actually become consumers?
As young as five years old.
-Give us an idea, what are you talking about?
When kids go into what sort of shops are they starting to be influenced?
Say, for instance, when we are going to a massive retail supermarket.
We normally have, on a shopping trolley,
-you will actually see a kid's seat.
So most of us, as consumers, we feel that's a very considerate act,
being allowed to place your young child into a trolley.
In reality, what happens is these positions are there to train you
to recognise brands and products, and there are two dangers there.
One of them is that a child can really dictate what you're buying.
Crying their eyes out,
"Mummy or Daddy, could I have this or that?"
And of course, poor parents, to keep them quiet, they do buy them.
And the second thing is that the associations that we build
from such a young age, stay with us at a later stage.
So, what you're saying, these retailers,
they'll put certain products at the right height so that kids sitting in
those chairs in the baskets are going,
"I want that, I want that, I want that, I want that one."
So, the colours, the shapes,
the logos of them are there to attract that level of attention.
How do you get around that one?
Walk with my trolley...
"No. Put that back. You're not having that today. No."
"Wahh!" And then the tantrums kick in, but you've got to be strong.
You've got to have, you know,
that willpower not to give into your children all the time.
-Thanks Dimitrios, thanks Simon.
Now, in my eyes, it's never too early
-to start teaching kids the value of money.
-I couldn't agree more, Dom.
So, what is the best way of getting that message across?
Kids at this Lancashire primary school are getting a lesson
with a difference today.
750 from Henry.
It's all about money.
-1,000 from Caitlin! Going up and up and up.
Former teacher Brian works for a debt charity.
It's one of a number of organizations running
money management education programmes
for children as young as nine,
long before it's on the secondary school curriculum.
Course it is, surplus.
Our view is, that when the people get to high school
and get to 14 or 15, you're looking to maybe change habits.
Here in primary schools, you're developing them.
And children could start learning about money even earlier.
A recent report recommended kids as young as five
should be taught about personal finance
to boost understanding of money later in life.
-Help me, help me, help...
-That was very, very good.
Brian's programme introduces children to essential life skills,
like budgeting and debt.
We give children the knowledge, understanding and skills.
And from that, therefore,
we hope that they will develop an attitude towards money that's very
sensible, it's very safe, it's based on a correct body of knowledge.
He actually didn't make a budget.
And if he had, things would've been different.
And there are plenty of chances for children to get involved.
So, who has heard of a budget and where?
Hmm, sounds good!
But what do the most important people
think they've learned from the lessons?
I think it's important for when people grow up,
because if they don't know how to manage their money properly,
they could go to a lot of debt.
Only get into debt if you can pay it back.
And also it's better to have a surplus.
At home, I've got about £60.
And I've got about £7.50!
Today's session features the difference between wants and needs.
That's a valuable lesson for us all to learn.
If I got a lot of money I'd spend it on needs first
and if I still had some saved up, I'd buy some wants.
Needs are like water and food, that we always have.
And wants are like things that you want but you don't really need.
I spend most of my pocket money on clothes.
I spend most of mine on sweets.
Well, they sound like needs to me.
The children have responded really well to it,
because I think it's the way it's presented.
It's the real world, isn't it? It's real life.
I think money can be a sensitive subject for some people.
If they're struggling financially,
perhaps they want to protect their children.
But I think if children can help their families
by doing simple little things to save a little bit of money,
I think that can only be a good thing.
So, we've come up with a Right On The Money challenge
to see if and how these lessons can influence the decisions children
make about spending money.
Our two teams are Emilia and Olivia,
and Natalie and Ava.
Natalie and Ava have been taking the money lessons.
While Emilia and Olivia, like most children their age, haven't.
We've asked them all to plan a day out for a family of four,
including activities and food.
Moira O'Neill, the editor of Moneywise magazine,
is on hand to see what happens.
Right, girls, you can see on the board
there's lots of different options about what you might want to do.
Off you go.
Grown-ups, look away now. It's not going to be cheap.
So, how about we have an ice cream?
And that's £10 per person, so £40.
You've gone swimming, bowling,
ice cream, cinema and the zoo.
How much have you spent, girls?
£375. Very expensive day out.
It is, yeah.
Wow. So, it seems the girls know how to spend money
when there's no restrictions.
But how will they get on when they have a budget of £50?
Will Natalie and Ava be more savvy spenders than Emilia and Olivia?
And just to mix it up a bit,
both teams have money-saving vouchers which they can use as well.
Natalie and Ava get stuck in straightaway.
-So, that'd be £7 per person.
-We should be £28?
And you could do half, with 50% off.
Why are you using that voucher? Can you tell me?
You're saving half.
You're saving half the price you should've paid.
But Olivia and Emilia, who, like most primary school children,
have not had lessons, take longer to get to grips with how vouchers
can help stretch their budget.
But we're only getting one.
Now, you've had a good look at those vouchers.
Do you want to come back and look at the things that you wanted to do
on your special family day out and see if you can use
any of those vouchers to make it cheaper?
Could you use any vouchers on the swimming?
Both teams have planned fantastic days out
and kept pretty much on-budget.
So, what does Moira think?
I was expecting the two groups to perform the task differently.
And I was expecting the personal finance lessons
to translate into a more confident approach to doing the tasks.
But I was surprised at how big the difference was.
Great job, girls!
All four of you can plan my family's next day out.
Brian's a firm believer in the benefit of talking to children
about cash and spending.
I think parents, it's very important
they do talk to children about money.
So that children do know how much it costs for the rent,
for the mortgage or for the car. They'll have to do that one day.
And he's got one top tip for parents to consider.
When children become 11, they can have a debit card.
So they're given the money once a month,
there's your money, there's your card.
If you spend it all this week, you've three weeks with no money.
So they're very early on realising,
when it comes, to plan your money over time.
And for the kids, it's clearly teaching them lessons for life.
It definitely gives me practical skills, definitely.
I'm not wasting my money on some sweets.
And to be honest, I don't really like sweets.
So I'm all right with that.
I think they help at home with money,
because I know not to spend it all when I do get money.
I try to save my pocket money.
I DO save my pocket money.
And well done to those super-savvy children.
Now, when I was a kid I remember wanting to get my hands
on the very latest Action Man.
The one with the eagle eyes.
Nothing's really changed,
except nowadays it's also about gadgets and trendy trainers.
But what happens when all those must-haves are left
to collect dust in the attic?
Well, joining me today is antiques and collectibles specialists
Kathy Taylor and Richard Beale.
Kathy, I'm going to start with you.
Early Star Wars figures, give me an idea, how much are they worth?
They can be worth a lot of money,
particularly the 3.75" figures that you see here.
Even loose, they can be worth a lot of money.
Yeah, but a lot doesn't mean much. Give me some figures.
-How much are we talking about?
-20 quid, 50 quid?
-This fellow here...
-..250 to 350.
-Yeah, he's a Blue Snaggletooth.
And he was only produced for a short period of time in America.
But if it's a rare figure,
they still can command quite a good value, because everybody wants them.
And that probably cost back in its day, what? Two or three quid?
Yeah, if you could've got him on a card
that would have been probably about a pound.
-And then they went up to about £1.49.
So, that's a really good investment if you get it right.
Yeah, people when they get into their 40s, 50s, 60s,
they might've paid off the mortgage, their kids have left home,
and all of a sudden they've got money in their pocket.
And often people will think,
"Well, OK, I mean, I've got a bit of money now,
"I'll buy something that I remember from my youth."
Presumably, there's someone probably in the Far East somewhere
that's making these as fakes though, isn't there?
Particularly the weapons, yeah.
But I'll show you an little tip here.
Right. What do you notice?
-Well, it's got wet.
-Oh, yeah, and it floats, yeah.
The fakes that are on the market, sink.
But you need to know what you're looking at.
-So, if it sinks, it's a fake?
There's probably loads of people right now who've got a box like this
in the attic or even got a doll like that
or a whole load of them in the attic.
What is going to be the best way for somebody to make sure
they're getting the best price and not 50p at car-boot sale?
The key is to go to people who know.
Don't have a guess. You put it on eBay, you might end up with nothing
for something that's worth quite a lot of money.
And you need to show it to people who know, basically.
What happens if there isn't an expert like you on their doorstep?
You can do it remotely.
With a series of photographs.
Lay it out on a table, nice white background.
We're able to look at things remotely.
There's an awful lot of people right now,
-probably sitting on a small fortune.
And I mean, don't think just because it's from the '70s,
'80s or even the 1990s, it's worthless and too modern.
Because that sort of era, now,
anything that's TV and film related, through the roof.
There you have it, get off the settee,
get upstairs and have a rummage through the attic.
Let's leave Dom to relive his childhood
while I chat to the good people at Stockport market
about when they think it's the right time to teach kids
about the value of money.
What age would you start talking to your children about money
and how to handle it?
Maybe about 12 years old, you know when they start high school,
maybe around that time.
But do you know some people actually think
-it's a good time to start when they're five?
-That's too young?
-Yeah, yeah, that's too young.
Tell me, do you give your son pocket money?
Yes I do, yeah. He has to help around the house though,
to learn how to make the money
because it doesn't grow on trees nowadays, does it?
That's right, exactly.
So, you give him chores and he gets rewarded for that?
That's right, that's right.
When is a good time to start talking about money?
Some people say as young as five is acceptable.
What's your opinion?
I didn't learn the values of money when I was that young.
It was only when I first started work
before I learned the values of money.
You always have to learn how to cope with money, you know,
and deal with it, don't you?
So, it's always a learning process, whatever age you are.
-Even at my age.
-Your tender age.
Yeah, yes, yeah.
-Lorraine, thanks ever so much.
-You're more than welcome.
Earlier on, we met Gary and Rae
who were struggling to manage their debts and save up for their wedding.
So has personal-finance expert Claer Barrett managed
to squirrel away enough money for the big day?
Newly engaged Rae and Gary from Eastbourne
desperately want to splash out on the wedding of their dreams.
But their spending habits and lack of financial know-how
have landed them almost three grand into debt.
-Our spending is shocking.
We're like, as soon as we get paid, we're like, "Ooh, we've got money."
Let's go have a meal, let's go and...
-..have some drinks with mates.
We don't seem to think we need to put that aside
and need to save that. We need to calm down.
Earlier on, the Financial Times money editor Claer Barrett
was busy teaching this young couple
how to put their financial house in order.
She saved them hundreds of pounds on their overdraft fees
and even showed them how they can make money
from selling their unwanted computer games.
-OK, so we'll take the money.
-Yeah, cool beans.
Now Claer's back to take them on the next leg
of their money-saving journey.
One of Gary's biggest expenses is his leased car.
He's paying over £268 a month for it, despite rarely using it.
But Claer has been studying the paperwork
and reckons that there may be room for manoeuvre
when it comes to reversing out of the agreement early.
So, I've got the terms and conditions here that you gave me.
Seven pages of A4 and even a financial black belt like me,
I have to say it took several cups of coffee
and looking through the small print.
By my calculations, it may be possible for you
to hand back this car for as little as 200-300 quid.
Oh, wow, wow, OK, yeah.
That is a lot, lot cheaper than I thought it would be.
That's fantastic news.
For a very small fee,
Gary could terminate the lease agreement and hand his car back,
saving a gigantic £6,432.
For the amount of miles he does,
Gary could look at joining a car-pool club
or hiring a car for longer journeys.
OK, brilliant. Thank you for that.
As they continue with their money-saving,
it's crunch time for Claer,
as she tackles Gary and Rae's biggest expense - food.
It turns out that almost half of this couple's monthly income
goes on groceries, eating out, and takeaways.
It's time for some home truths.
Seems like the chickens could be coming home to roost.
Based on the bank statements that you've given me,
this is how much money you guys spent in the supermarket last month.
Just over £400.
Just on supermarket shopping?
Thing is, though, we've thrown probably £200 of that away, easy.
Gary and Rae need to get a grip on their wasteful habits.
Despite stocking up at the supermarket,
they often pick up a takeaway on the way home.
If I asked you to burn £200 of this money with a lighter right now,
-how would you feel?
-I don't know.
-No way, no.
-I don't know.
-That's what we're pretty much doing.
-You've got to remember this feeling
every time you're opening your bin and throwing food in it.
It's like you're literally throwing money down the drain.
-Throwing away money, yeah.
Gary and Rae are not alone.
We are a nation of food wasters.
Throwing away good grub costs the average home £700 a year.
As they head home, Claer unearths the next candidates for the food bin
rather than the cooking pot.
What's this? Oh, dear, lurking in the back here.
Some pork and leek sausages.
Rather sad-looking sausage.
Yeah, they've been in there for, like, four or five days.
Right, OK, so they may have...
-Gone out of date, definitely.
-What's up here?
We've got one...
..two open packs of carrots.
Ugh, there's some...
-Bit squidgy, carrots.
-Yeah, bit squidgy.
OK, so they are about two weeks out of date.
But Rae's got an excuse and, let's be honest, it's one we've all used.
By the time that I get in from work at night,
I'm too knackered to want to cook,
I'm too knackered to want to make a big meal.
But with a little effort,
Claer reckons they could turn their supermarket stash
into a tastier version of their favourite takeaways.
She thinks the answer is for them to plan their menus for the week,
which would save them a wad of cash.
So she's arranged for Gary and Rae to meet Chef Miguel Barclay,
who specializes in making meals for a pound or less
by having a larder of basic ingredients,
shopping savvy and batch cooking.
I hear that you're quite big into takeaways?
-Yes, we are, yeah.
And, basically, I'm going to teach you one of your favourite takeaways,
chicken tikka masala.
Miguel's version comes at a fraction of the cost, and it's tasty too.
So, I specialize in doing meals for under a pound.
But if you want to get this one under a pound, then you're going to
-have to take the bone out yourself.
-No, that's fine.
Miguel's tips include buying less expensive ingredients in bulk
and freezing the results.
If they do this, they can knock up a delicious meal in minutes,
as well as putting more cash into their wedding pot.
If you want to start cooking meals for a pound,
you're going to have to start overlapping your dishes.
-So once you've cooked this dish, you know that your next dish
-is going to have to involve chicken thighs.
I don't know, imagine you were going to do a nice chicken pie.
Then you're probably going to have mushrooms left over and you're
probably going to have puff pastry left over.
So then you could probably do like a mushroom tart the next day.
And it's like a never-ending cycle of just overlapping ingredients,
-meal by meal by meal.
-All right, brilliant.
So, has Miguel convinced our couple to chuck out their takeaway menu
and get spicy in the kitchen?
-You could do this.
-Yes, I definitely could, I definitely could.
Be quite easy.
Gary and Rae may be on first name terms with the takeaway shop owner,
but have we now got two cooking-from-scratch converts on our hands?
-That's actually really good.
-That's really good.
-So soft but crunchy as well.
Do think you're going to be able to make me this?
No, I think I'm going to make myself this.
Yeah definitely, it's really good. I really like it.
If Gary and Rae planned their meals more carefully and reined in their
takeaway habit, they could save an incredible five grand a year.
As Claer joins them for a drink with Rae's mum and dad,
she's about to learn how much they spend on socializing
with their nearest and dearest.
I know that you like to have a drink
with your family and your friends, especially.
And I know that you're a very generous couple.
-Very generous, aren't they?
-Generous. Yeah, most definitely.
Gary and Rae spent an eye-watering £120 a week on nights out
and Claer's discovered they use their contactless bank cards to pay.
I just go like that and go like that and go like that
-and don't think about it.
Exactly, and this is why the numbers are adding up.
Because it's so easy to spend money on contactless and you can't really
keep track of it, especially if you've had a few drinks
and you don't often get a receipt.
-So I've got one idea for you,
which is, take out the cash that you're going to spend
on the night out, leave the cards at home.
And when it's gone, it's gone.
Then if you want to be generous and buy your friends a round
then you can, but if you need a drink,
you'll have to get them to buy you one back.
Good point, well made.
Gary and Rae could cut the cost of nights out by a third
if they followed her advice.
And it's not last orders from Claer just yet.
Now, I think your mum and dad will like this one.
Is, have nights out at friends' houses.
So, take it in turns, you can all host a different night in your home
instead of paying lots of money
to go out to a pub or a bar or a restaurant.
Everyone can bring a dish, everyone can bring a bottle.
So instead of spending £20-30 for a meal and a drink,
you could do it for, you know, less than £10 a head.
And you're with your friends and you're having a great night.
-Yeah, why not?
-Yeah, I think that's a really good idea.
It'll save you money, at least 60 quid, what you're spending.
And you get to talk to people, you haven't got to shout at people.
That's a good point.
So, that £6,000, roughly, that you're spending on socializing
and going out a year, maybe we could cut it in half...
-..to £3,000, and then that will give you
quite a sizeable chunk of money that you could spend on the wedding.
So that's got to be your motivation.
You know, when you're in the pub,
-itching to get your contactless card out...
-..think of the wedding.
And talking of weddings, they don't come cheap,
with the average one in the UK costing north of 20 grand.
Claer has got some great ideas on how to keep the price down.
When it comes to saving money on your wedding,
I've got to confess, I'm a bit of an expert.
Because when me and my husband got married,
we did it on a really tight budget.
The average couple spends nearly £1,100 on photography
and just under £800 on entertainment.
But Claer reckons that's money better spent elsewhere.
So the first couple of tips I'm going to give you
involve one of these, the humble smartphone.
What do we like to do with our phones more than anything else?
-So there are now apps that you can get,
when you send out the wedding invitations, you can tell people
about the app and your password, there are lots of different ones,
and then, as they're taking pictures throughout the day,
they can be uploading the pictures and the videos.
So that means not only do you not need to have
a professional photographer, which could cost thousands of pounds,
you can actually get some really, really nice quality pictures
that everyone's been involved in taking and
get them all made up into an album.
-Afterwards, second way that you can use your phone, music.
-Make a wedding playlist.
Then you don't need to pay to have an expensive DJ.
That's 24-carat money-saving advice.
And there's more.
When is the best time of year to get a really good deal on champagne?
-Be around Christmas and New Year's.
-Always a lot of bubbles.
Buy the champagne then, keep it - don't drink it! -
until the wedding.
So, I'll drink to that.
And the icing on the wedding cake,
get married midweek rather than Saturday
and you could cut in half the cost of hiring that dream venue.
If Gary and Rae followed Claer's advice, they could save £1,900.
So time to tot up whether we've saved them enough money
to help them clear their debts and feather their matrimonial nest.
As well as that 1,900 on their wedding,
£200 on recycling their console games,
£389 on cutting back on gifts,
a whopping three grand on bank charges,
£6,432 a year on Gary's car,
five grand on their yearly food bill,
and three grand on socializing.
That's a grand saving of £19,921.
Not forgetting all the incredible advice Claer has given
our young lovebirds, which will help set them up for life.
This whole experience has been really, really enlightening.
We are definitely looking at getting married soon.
I thought the way we were going,
it would take three, four years, maybe even more.
But with Claer's tips,
I think we can definitely achieve it within the next year or so.
-I want to get married to you as soon as I can...
..so we can get our future started as soon as we can.
So, yeah. Yeah. That's what I want.
-That's all right.
Well, I'm delighted to say that Gary and Rae are with us
along with our resident personal finance guru Simon Reid.
Hi, Gary, hi, Rae. Good to see you again, Simon.
And you, Dom.
Now, you said earlier on in that video that we just watched
since moving in together, you've been struggling with your finances.
-How has this whole experience helped you?
It's helped us a lot, it really has.
The food shopping, we've completely changed around.
I mean, we was doing 70... £60-70 a week.
-A week, yeah, we were doing that.
-We're now lucky if we do that month.
We've started bulk buying. I mean, we completely blitzed the freezer,
took everything out that we wasn't going to eat.
It sounds bad, but to bin it.
And completely, completely start from scratch.
-The stuff that Miguel taught us also, so the curries, we do.
Yeah, curries, and his book's been really handy.
We do at least once a week now.
At least once a week,
-we do a proper, home-cooked, fresh, from-scratch meal.
This is great stuff, isn't it Simon? Really positive.
Well, it's fantastic stuff and it's you know,
it's quite simple when you think about it.
Bulk buying, planning what you're eating,
you know, using the freezer for stuff that you've made rather than
-for ready meals that never get eaten.
Do you know, a lot of this though, it should be common sense, shouldn't it?
And you know, in fairness, common sense is not that common.
-Do you see a lot of this, Simon?
-I see a lot of this with couples.
You know, they don't talk about money, because it's a bit boring.
You know, it can be a bit depressing to talk about it, but, you know,
when you're a couple, you've got to share the financial responsibility.
-But I think Simon's made a good point about
looking and being aware of your finances.
You were throwing money away for overdrafts, unauthorized overdrafts.
Are you looking at those bank statements more carefully?
-Yeah, definitely. Both, we both...
-The amount of money
that we've wasted on unorganised overdrafts is horrendous.
-We've now both got that sorted.
-Both got planned overdrafts.
-We've both got planned overdrafts,
we've sorted that out with the bank.
It was a big kick that we both needed.
It was the kick we needed to just...
-We knew we were doing it wrong.
-We but we were just...
We didn't want to own up to it.
There was so much denial that we both had.
-More me, I'll admit to that.
-Yeah, probably a bit more you.
There's an awful lot of people in the same situation as you.
Why do you think you got into such a bad rut? What caused that?
I think it was just naivety.
I think it was just us being naive about it.
I've never had the amount of money I had coming in.
-We were just...
-I've never, ever looked at my account and gone,
"I've got, like, four digits sitting in there, wow, this is brilliant."
I think it's a case of what do you need, versus what do you want.
-It was constantly burying our head.
-This was just the wake-up call you needed, wasn't it?
And it helped our relationship as well.
It did, it really helped our relationship a lot since.
-We're a lot happier than we was six months ago.
-Everyone's a winner.
-Everyone's a winner.
It's winner, winner, home-cooked chicken dinner!
Gary, Rae, thank you for sharing your story
-and, Simon, thanks as always.
-Yeah, good luck to you.
-Thank you very much.
If you're saving up for something big, like a wedding,
or you need some good financial advice form one of our experts,
like Simon, send us an e-mail to...
And if it's more money-saving tips you're after,
here's where to go to get some nuggets of advice.
Our website has everything you need to sort out your spending.
We've teamed up with the Money Advice Service
to bring you easy-to-use money-saving tools
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and give your money a complete health check.
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Well, Simon is still here to help answer some of the questions
we've had from people we've met today.
Susan wants to know - and I bet a lot of parents can relate to this -
how can she stop her student son going overdrawn?
That's a good question. Young people, students,
they want to have fun, they're going to spend money.
One thing I always suggest to young people is get a part-time job,
which will help their financial situation, but also help them
-learn the value of money.
-Get a job, I like that one.
Brian wants to know will he lose his pension if his company goes bust?
Simple answer, no.
-Used to be the case that pensions were at risk,
there were lots of things back in the ancient times of history where
people did lose their pensions.
Now they're all protected by a Government scheme,
so if a company goes bust, your pension scheme should be protected.
Only up to about 90% of the value, but it will be fine.
And Pat says, "How can I earn more interest on my savings?
"I've got four grand in a cash ISA, paying me almost diddly-squat."
You know, we're all worried about the lack of interest
we're getting on our savings, rates have been at record lows for years.
My only advice is really, walk down the high street a bit
and see what else someone else is offering.
-You're bound to get a better rate.
Great advice, Simon.
Well, that's it from us today, thank you to Simon and all our guests.
And thanks to you at home too.
And I hope you picked up loads of tips
that will help boost your piggy bank.
-But until next time, cheerio.
Denise Lewis and Dominic Littlewood present more simple, practical ways to make money go further. The team help a young couple struggling to pay for their dream wedding. But with a mountain of debt, can the expert save them enough money to finally make it up the aisle? Plus, with borrowing expected to reach a record high, we meet some money-savvy primary school children who are being taught how to stay out of debt.
For more tips on budgeting and managing your finances visit bbc.co.uk/rightonthemoney.