Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team help a hard-working nurse who has to rely on the bank of mum and dad.
Browse content similar to Episode 5. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Whether you're a spender or a saver,
we could all do with making 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.
Hello and welcome to Right On The Money,
the show that tells you exactly how you can make
your hard-earned cash go further.
We certainly do, Dom, and the great thing about it is boosting your
piggy bank couldn't be easier - so let's get on with it.
Here's what's in store for you on today's show.
With the cost of groceries on the rise, our money expert has a
meltdown over one family's forgotten freezer stash.
The freezer is just full of ice, it's absolutely bursting with food.
It's going to have to be thrown away.
That's the kind of stuff that almost makes me cry real tears,
I have to say.
And welcome to the world of social pet-working.
We meet the furry friends that are earning their own keep.
I'm really amazed how by taking a few photos of my dog,
it's turned into saving thousands of pounds every year.
Now, when money's tight,
more and more people turn to the bank of Mum and Dad
to provide them with some extra help.
But for one hard-working nurse, that cash has become a regular lifeline.
Dionne from London has a demanding job as a community matron
for the NHS, but when it comes to caring for her own finances,
she's no pro.
I do earn a couple of thousand a month, which is a good salary,
but, yeah, I never seem to have enough.
Sometimes I hand over my debit card and I'm like, "Please, just work,
"just work. Don't say "been declined"."
This hard-working mum lives with 13-year-old son Aidan.
Despite being constantly in the red, Dionne is struggling
to keep her charity shop spending habit under control.
I'm systematically looking at every single item.
I hope she'll be able to save a lot of money
and not buy lots of jackets and clothes.
Then we can have money to save for important things.
Some months, Dionne's debts are so difficult to manage that,
like so many people, she has to rely on her parents to see her through.
My dad has dug me out of many a hole, financially,
so he is a good support and he doesn't ask any questions.
He will just say, "How much do you need?" and doesn't ask for it back.
Still having to do that at the age of 38 has taken its toll on Dionne.
I don't want to have to take their money, you know?
They've looked after me my entire life and...
..I do think it's unfair, and I would like to get out of debt,
so then I wouldn't have to rely on them.
Don't you worry, Dionne, it's never too late to put things right,
and the person who can help with that is money expert Sarah Pennells.
You're obviously really busy -
you're doing this job you love and you're also raising your son, Aidan.
But tell me about how you spend the money you have.
I mean, I've never been particularly good with managing money.
I mean, I pay my bills, but then after that,
I don't really keep a check of whether I'll have enough
to last me the rest of the month, which is a worry.
Some months, I just, you know, counting the hours,
keep looking on the calendar.
How many more days have I got? How much more money have I got?
Am I going to get through till I get paid again,
or will I have to borrow some money?
But, fortunately, there is one member of the household
who's got his financial head screwed on - our Aidan.
When I want to buy something, I save up.
I don't buy anything else, unless I really, really want it right then.
And then when I have enough money, I buy something I was saving up for.
-He's got it sussed, hasn't he?
With two savvy spenders on her case, Dionne will soon be back on track.
At the moment, we've got your money coming in,
which is great, at the start of the month.
And then we've got a bit of money going out.
-Charity shop trip, perhaps.
We've got the bills going out, and your food and your petrol.
And see what happens?
So, all we're going to try and do is just to show you some easy ways
that you can spend a bit less,
still feel like you're doing the things you want,
bring your money back into balance.
That would be really good.
And Sarah is straight off the blocks, as she targets Dionne's
phone and broadband package.
You spend quite a lot at the moment.
-About £50 a month or so, isn't it?
Yes, it is.
Do you shop around regularly and do you look at whether
you're using everything you're currently paying for?
No and no.
No and no.
I admire your honesty.
I've just had a quick scoot around a couple of the comparison sites
and I found for a similar package,
one that's just a little less than £25 a month.
Oh, gosh, that's half the price.
Half the price - that's going to save your around £300 a year.
-How does that sound?
-That sounds really good.
Yeah, that's a good start.
-A good start.
300 smackeroonies saved -
money that could go straight to paying off her debt.
You, too, could have more money in your pocket just by shopping around
for better deals.
And while Sarah's got Dionne's full attention,
she presses on with another money-saving nugget.
One of the things that you said is that you don't quite know
-where your money goes...
..as you're getting to the end of the month.
So, there are a couple of apps that you can use,
and there's one that I've loaded up, here.
So, you just pop in your income, so the money that's coming in,
and then you can add in your expenses.
And I think, not only do you have the figures, but it gives you
-a little chart, shows you what you're spending the money on.
I reckon that will act as a bit of a brake on your spending,
because spending money often doesn't really feel like it,
but, actually, having to then write down,
-"I spent this much and I spent it on this..."
I reckon that will make you think a bit more before you start to spend.
It'll definitely give me pause for thought, especially if I have to
keep documenting each expenditure, definitely.
Your smartphones and tablets aren't just for taking selfies -
they can help you save some serious money, too.
Look out for free downloadable money-saving apps
to help you keep track of your dosh.
So, Aidan, what do you reckon to this?
Something to stop her spending money on shoes.
-If it gets the vote from Aidan,
then that's good enough for me, frankly.
Don't you worry, Aidan, we'll tackle Mum's shopping habits later!
But, for now, Sarah wants to talk about her food bills.
As well as her groceries,
Dionne sometimes buys takeaways for herself and Aidan,
but has no idea what it all adds up to.
Go on, Pennells, spill the beans.
Over the last couple of months,
you've been spending an average of around £300 a month on food.
-Now, that does include sort of trips to the bakery
and those kind of things, pizza, but that is almost twice as much
as the average family of two would spend.
So, I want to have a bit of a look your kitchen cupboards,
see what you have and see if we can find you a better way of planning.
-And saving money, paying off those debts.
I think she's still in shock, Sarah.
What have we got here, then?
We've got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven...
You've got eight different kinds of cereal.
-So, you're all right for breakfast, aren't you?
And do you generally have breakfast before you go to work?
Gordon Bennett, eight packs of cereals?!
Impulse supermarket shopping -
that's a classic way to rack up the bills, buying what looks good
and not what you actually need.
I kind of buy things when I need them. I don't really plan ahead of,
what am I going to eat for the rest of the week?
And if I do make a list, I usually leave it at home
and then, when I go to the supermarket, I'm like,
"What did I want to buy?"
Then I just buy whatever's on special offer.
If you think eight packets of cereals is over the top,
just take a look at this.
-The freezer's just full of ice.
So, you have a freezer that you've stocked up.
-I mean, it's absolutely bursting...
..and I can't get in it.
So, what's going to happen to this food?
It's going to have to be thrown away.
That's the kind of stuff that almost makes me cry real tears,
I have to say.
I mean, that's a whole freezer-full that's going to be wasted.
-I mean, this is literally chucking money away.
-And if I gave you £40, you wouldn't just chuck it away.
You'd probably be quite pleased, but that's what you're doing there.
You can't afford to chuck that away, that could be paying off your debt.
Good point well made, Sarah.
We could all do with keeping track of what's lurking in our freezers.
Time for Dionne to have a quick lesson in the art of shopping smart.
So, now it's over to you two.
I want you to just have a look at some of the things that you would
like to use as ingredients, and fill up the week,
so that, every week, you're going to know what you're buying.
Have a good old rummage.
What do you think, Aidan?
This is fun.
And if you started planning your meals like Dionne and Aidan,
you could save a wad of cash.
With the family's menu for next week now sorted, all that's left to do is
to write up a list and do one single supermarket shop.
One of the things that you were saying earlier is that
if you have a list, you often leave it at home.
So, take a photo on your mobile phone,
so you've always got it with you.
The whole point is to try and get you back down
to that kind of average figure of under £50 a week.
And if we do, you'll save about £100 a month.
-That's a lot of money.
-That's £1,200 a year.
That's a lot of savings.
Wow! A chunky £1,200 back in her pocket,
just by planning her shopping.
Next, Dionne takes Sarah along to meet her parents, Maudlin and James,
for a financial heart-to-heart.
You help her financially, you help with some money, don't you?
Yeah. Yes, we do, yes.
That's what we are here for.
Mum and Dad regularly lend a financial hand,
but have no idea just how much debt Dionne's racked up.
Before things can change for her,
she has to confront some uncomfortable facts,
and Sarah's suggested she shares the knowledge with the two people who
know her best, as they'll be able to support her emotionally
as she turns her financial life around.
Will I be shocked?
If you can read out this figure.
That's the amount that Dionne owes on credit cards and store cards.
Does that surprise you?
Yes, it surprises me, yes.
She shouldn't owe this money.
And then we've got this...
The next box contains Dionne's outstanding personal loans.
-It's very high.
Why don't you ask her what she do with that money?
How are you able to owe this money?
And to who?
So, one of the loans was from when Dionne was studying,
and then there's another loan, which you're repaying at the moment.
And I think as Dionne's bringing up Aidan on her own,
I think a lot of families do find themselves borrowing,
and once you start borrowing, it's quite hard to claw your way back.
Yeah. I always say to Dionne, I don't like borrowing money.
I don't borrow money from people.
I do with what I have.
How do you feel now that,
you know, we've told your parents this?
Mmm, not that great.
-Dionne, don't cry.
It's very brave of the family to discuss Dionne's debt.
We all know how raw and difficult this whole subject can be.
Are you OK to carry on?
And there's still a third box to open.
We've got one more figure to come.
So, Dionne, can you read this one out?
It's actually the amount of money that your parents
have given you in the last year.
It's a lot of money.
You're right, it is a lot of money,
but Sarah has a plan that she thinks will help Dionne pay off her debts
and she wants to explain it to James and Maudlin.
-We're not asking you to give Dionne more money.
What we're going to do is just take a bit of the money that you
currently give Dionne and use that to pay down Dionne's debts.
Would you be happy with that?
Yes, we can't let her down.
What a lovely dad.
This hasn't been easy for anyone,
but by opening up to her nearest and dearest,
Dionne has taken the first steps towards a better financial future.
It's hard to get out of debt,
but it's easier if you've got your family behind you.
It is going to get easier.
I hope so.
I promise you.
With Dionne's parents' money now earmarked for paying off
her store cards and other loans, it's up to Sarah to help Dionne
to really get her spending under control moving forward.
Join us again, as Sarah tackles Dionne's impulse spending head-on.
Give away, sell or keep?
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
And we'll be catching up with Dionne later to see how she's got on.
But first, personal finance expert Simon Read is here along with
Sophie Kearns, who is a regular customer of the bank of Mum and Dad.
I'm going to start with you, Simon.
How important is it for families to talk about their debts?
Well, you know, the first thing to do to solve the problem
is to admit to it, and telling the family about it is the first step
I'd suggest to anyone, because your family's going to support you
whatever, and they can help you get over the problem.
They can help you financially, perhaps, or, more importantly,
just with support and guidance.
Sophie, you borrow from Mum and Dad, tell us about that.
There's been a few occasions when I've borrowed from my dad, like,
hefty amounts. So, I borrowed about £800 to £1,000 from him
a couple of years ago and it was for a holiday,
so, as you can probably imagine, it's not a crisis, but he was happy,
in a financial state where he could lend it me,
and I was happy to say that I would pay him back, so I borrowed that.
I had a really good time and then when I came back,
I set up, like, a direct debit.
So you actually set up your repayments?
This is a positive example.
That's a very positive example.
You know, you're both clear about what was going on.
He knew what the money was for, you agreed to pay it back,
but it's all done in the open and all done on friendly terms,
which is what it has to be.
You don't want money to become between you.
Now, Simon, at the moment we're starting to see on the TV,
there's adverts coming out for mortgages where parents or other
family members can actually help out their son or their daughter.
Personally, I think it's a great idea. I can really see it working.
-What's your opinion on it?
-It can be a great idea.
If the parents have the money,
then why shouldn't they help their children?
But, it's a stupid idea if the parents get into financial
difficulty because they're giving the money to their child.
As much as they want to help them,
they've got to think about their own financial future, too.
Sophie, you borrow from Mum and Dad, you pay it back, no interest.
What would you say to people about doing it,
and what have you got to look out for?
It's a lovely idea and, luckily for me, it has worked out,
but for others, it depends what the parents are like, what the children
-are like, and what their bond is like together as a family.
23, and what a refreshing attitude.
Thanks very much, Sophie. Thanks, Simon.
Now, children aren't the only dependents that can prove a drain
on the household finances.
It's estimated that us Brits spend £7 billion a year on our pets.
But owners are increasingly turning to more enterprising ways
to save money and help our animal friends earn their own keep.
Morning time and it's another busy day ahead for Sinead and her
three-year-old Yorkiepoo, Murphy.
Everyone loves Murph, because he's so soft and gentle.
He's a really sweet little dog.
Murphy was spending long days in Sinead's hairdressing salon.
An average day starts at 10.00 and finishes at around 9.00-10.00 in the evening.
What we did find with Murphy being in the salon all the time,
he started to get anxiety.
And with professional dog-walkers charging around £15 an hour,
Sinead was struggling to find an acceptable affordable alternative.
Enter Caroline and daughter Isabelle.
They've got time on their hands and love dogs.
He literally smiles when you come in, like,
you can see he's like grinning.
Oh, sweetie pie.
OK, we'll see you later.
So they signed up with a dog-borrowing website that matches
people with dogs with people who want to borrow them for a small fee.
Membership costs Caroline £12.99 a year.
And Murphy's owner, Sinead, £44.99.
-Yay, come on, doggie.
I know that to buy a little baby Murphy would cost me
quite a few hundred.
So, we're not spending that, so there's no outlay.
The thing that I liked the most is the fact that we're not committed,
so we've got much more flexibility.
Well, it doesn't actually feel like we're a full family
when he's not there now,
which is pretty amazing.
It feels like he's part of the family now.
The website was the idea of Rikke Rosenlund.
I borrowed a very cute brown Labrador about four years ago,
and I just remember thinking, "Why are people spending so much money
on dog-walkers or kennels - or leaving their dog home alone -
when I would love to take care of a dog for free
and it would make me so happy?
What started as a brainwave has grown into a successful business
with around 600,000 members.
I set up a landing page and then in the space of three days,
we had 85 people who signed up and it was literally everything from
an old man down in Cornwall, who'd just had an operation,
needing help with walking his dog, to...there was a family with
a little kid who was begging for a dog in London.
And it's not just the humans who are happy with the way things
have turned out.
Sinead, who's his owner, said Murphy's been a lot happier since
we came, so making it happy for Murphy and, as I said,
I've always wanted a dog, so it's just how I imagined, really.
And after work in the salon, Sinead is back to retrieve Murphy.
It really is a dog's life!
-See you tomorrow.
Murphy is one of 154 million pets in the UK.
It's estimated that dogs can cost up to £31,000 over their lifetime,
and cats £17,000.
Even a rabbit can in cost an astonishing £9,000.
So it's not surprising some owners are looking for new ways
to use their pets' talents to actually make money.
This is Jude, the French bulldog, and his owner, Leah.
So when I first got Jude, all of our friends were getting really annoyed,
because on my Instagram, it was just Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude -
and everyone was like, "Your dog's cute, but can you, like,
"stop posting so many pictures of him?"
Leah's solution? To set up his own account on the social media
platform, Instagram - and Jude The French had arrived.
First of all, we hit 1,000 followers and then we got really excited,
and then, it was 5,000 followers and then, it was like,
oh, that's ridiculous, and then he hit 10,000 followers.
Because Jude had so many social media followers,
many of whom also had pets, animal accessory companies saw Jude as
the ideal model to showcase their wares.
In no time at all, they were sending him piles of free stuff.
We got companies contacting us, telling us,
"Oh, he's really cute, can we send you a jumper?",
or "Can we send you a toy or a treat?"
So all we have to do is take a picture of him with the product,
put it up on his Instagram or send it to them,
and they're happy with that.
Now that Jude's got around 28,000 followers,
he's become what's known in the business as an influencer.
And an influencer literally does just that - influences others.
So, in the case of Jude, his followers may end up buying
the items he's photographed with for their pets.
So this is the kind of things that we get sent.
Leah no longer has to buy things like clothes, bedding,
toys and dog food.
Poo bags, because you can never get enough poo bags.
And, in return, companies get their products seen by a captive audience
of thousands and Jude is so popular with firms
that Leah's problem is where to store it all.
So, I'm really amazed how, by taking a few photos of my dog,
it's turned into saving thousands of pounds every year.
And if you think your pooch, parrot, pig,
or whatever has got what it takes to make it big in social media,
Leah's got some top tips to get you started.
I've changed my camera, so I've now got, like, a professional camera.
I use lighting.
Also, like, if it's Easter, we take Easter pictures,
or if it's Christmas, we do the whole Christmas thing.
I find that, some pictures,
it would just be him outside and he'll get 1,000 likes,
or if we come inside, exactly the same photo, I don't know,
he'll get, like, half of it.
And, in the online pet world, surprisingly,
Jude's not even an A-lister.
Doug The Pug, from Nashville, is one of the world's biggest canine
influencers, with over eight million social media followers.
Doug earns a fortune in endorsements and appearance fees
and travels the globe to meet his fans.
Dog stardom is a very serious business, as another pug and
fellow influencer, Mr Gizmo, can confirm.
He got his big break on this glossy Christmas TV advert
after an agent spotted him on Instagram.
They contacted me to say that they've got a commercial,
erm, and they would like to put Gizmo forward.
I was flabbergasted. I just couldn't believe it.
I thought someone's having a prank.
This is Gizmo's audition video.
Gizmo, wearing glasses, red towel over his head,
running up and down stairs.
But this actually was between three or four pugs
and Gizmo actually got chosen, because of this video.
I think we nailed it.
Yeah, it's been quite a journey.
Not bad, Giz, not bad at all.
Not bad indeed!
Gizmo's earned around £10,000 since his big break three years ago.
As well as his TV work,
Gizmo's got around 15,000 social media fans and, without being rude,
Gizmo's career proves you don't have to have superstar looks
to be a superstar.
So, the types of work that Gizmo's got offered
has been photoshoots and commercials.
So, his vet fees, pet plan, his food, he earns his own money
and we spend it on him.
Arti and Jaisal also donate around 10% of his earnings to charity.
Good boy, Gizmo.
This definitely has to be his favourite look.
A very distinguished pug, aren't you?
If you have a pet who you would like to put up on modelling or
social media, I would say go for it.
We are a prime example of Gizmo doing absolutely amazing.
So, yeah, try your luck.
No doubt about it, Gizmo is a leading player
with a great future ahead of him and, after all that hard work,
he's certainly earned a dog-nap!
Jude and Mr Gizmo both had social media profiles, but platforms like
Instagram don't just work for pets.
Lots of people are making money by racking up their followers.
Joining me now are Dominique Davis
and social media expert James Halaby.
Dominique, tell me about your social media story,
cos it's a really nice one. It's from the roots up, isn't it?
Yeah, yeah. So, I was on maternity with my youngest, Penny,
I had more time on my hands,
and I noticed that people were out there taking really good photos and
making money from them.
So, I started myself.
And now you've got a massive following, haven't you?
-Yes. At the moment, I have 147,000 followers.
Yeah. So it's grown quite quickly over the last six months.
James, in Dominique's case, she's got a lot of followers now
in a fairly short space of time.
What is it about Dominique that brands like?
So, I mean, firstly, it's quite a big industry for mummy influencers,
so having kids and being able to promote kids products is really,
really appealing for many brands.
Dominique, can I be really nosy and ask what sort of fees you might get
out of a single photo? A bit nosy, you could say.
Well, my photos are quite well received,
so they do get quite a lot of likes and engagement's really high,
so anything from £1,000-2,000,
depending on the campaign and how many photos they want.
But, for a decent photo, you stick it on there,
-you can earn a couple of grand?
-Wow! It can certainly pay dividends, can't it?
Are big brands moving away from big, glossy magazines and tending to
start to steer towards what Dominique's doing now?
Having the chance to be able to work with an influencer
who has a passionate, engaged audience and people that follow them
and really respect their opinions, it's extremely powerful.
Dominique, for you, it got to such a point you were able to give up the
job that you were in and start doing this full-time,
but you're obviously sticking photos of you and your daughters
-and the family at home.
Do you not find it all a little bit intrusive?
No, not really. I think the way society is at the moment
is the majority of people share their lives on social media -
whether that be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter -
and I'm doing exactly that,
but mine's just a little bit more styled than everybody else's.
The girls find it a lot of fun and I think it's just part and parcel.
They understand that's my job.
Can I ask, are the girls on the payroll?
They do enjoy the clothes that they get or the free toys and things
like that and we are going away in July thanks to it,
so they'll be enjoying that.
It's been an absolute pleasure to meet both of you.
Good luck for the future.
DENISE: While Dom is busy counting his friends on social media,
I want to get to the bottom of a recent survey.
Apparently, three-quarters of us have lent money to friends or family
in the past year.
So, have the folks in Halifax market got deep pockets
when it comes to their nearest and dearest?
Are you happy to lend money to people?
What if it's family?
Well, that may be a different matter, but I would need to know
what it was for and when I was going to get it repaid.
I think it's one of the biggest things that people
fall out over, money.
So if you've lent some money and they don't pay you back,
it can spoil your friendship.
Yeah, so you don't want to ruin your friendships?
No. It wouldn't be worth it, would it?
So, I have very loyal friends who would lend money,
so I would do the same for them.
Would you write it down? Would you make contact?
No. Trust has got to be an important factor.
Obviously, if there's no trust there, then they're not friends.
-I wish you were my friend!
-I wish you were mine!
Earlier on, we met hard-working nurse Dionne,
who was struggling to get on top of the debts.
So, let's see if our money expert Sarah Pennells
has managed to work her magic.
Come on, let's go and see if we can find any bargains.
Dionne David from London needs to tackle her finances,
but she's finding it hard to know where to start.
I don't feel in control of my finances.
I feel that they rule me rather than me ruling them.
-Shall we have a look inside, then?
I'd love to clear all my debt.
That's kind of my goal, but I seem to be sort of stuck in a rut
of never quite having enough to clear and then the price of living
goes up all the time.
Our NHS community nurse is working flat out to make a better life for
herself and Aidan, her 13-year-old son, but her spending outstrips
her earning and we all know where that ends.
In terms of having money for a rainy day, there isn't any.
So if there was, like, a dire emergency,
I would have to take it from that month's salary,
and then suffer the rest of the month.
Suffer? Not on our watch!
Not when super-savvy money expert Sarah Pennells is in town.
She's on a mission to get Dionne to take control of her finances
and to help her start repaying the debt.
It is going to get easier.
I hope so.
So far, she's found ways that she could save £1,500 a year
just by cutting down on her massive food bills
and switching her energy provider.
Now Sarah's back and, with Aidan at school,
she wants to iron out Dionne's second-hand clothes bill.
This is your little Aladdin's Cave, isn't it?
It is, yes.
The majority I've bought from the charity shop.
And all of these bags as well?
You've bought too many clothes, I can tell.
But it's quite a lot of impulse buying, I'm guessing?
Yeah. I normally go to the charity shops in my lunch breaks,
and so I just kind of look and think, "Ooh, ooh, ooh!"
And then I just buy them,
cos it's only £3 here, £4 there.
As we all know, three quid here, a fiver there soon adds up.
Go on, Sarah. What's the damage?
-On average, it's about what, £50 a month, isn't it?
That's a lot of bargains.
And it's also... It's £600 a year.
To understand how Dionne's ended up with a bedroom full of clothes,
Sarah has sent her back to the charity shop
to check out her shopping habits.
That's quite a nice jumper.
Don't know whether Aidan will think the same thing.
I like the look of the cover.
So, I might get the book as well - and then that's it.
It looks like Dionne just can't resist a bargain.
It's only £6 and it's for a good cause.
And she's not the only one.
The charity shop industry contributes around £846 million to
the UK economy, with around 7,000 stores on the high street.
And back home, time for Sarah to cast her expert eye
over Dionne's latest shopping trip.
So, what do you notice about the way you're looking at these rails here?
That I have to look at everything.
I can't walk past and think, "Oh, well, I don't need another scarf,"
or "I don't need another pair of shoes,"
or "I don't need another handbag."
I love a bargain as much as anyone else and the idea of picking up some
great gear at knock-down prices is my idea of fun, but with her house
chocka full with stuff and her bank account in the red,
Sarah thinks Dionne needs to stitch up her purse once in a while.
If you go into a charity shop, which is the thing that you love to do,
and you feel you're getting a bargain, and the next time you want
that kind of rush again, you want that high of
getting a fantastic bargain, there's a couple of things you want to do.
First is to get you to kind of break that habit,
that addiction to spending and that rush you get from getting a bargain
at the moment.
And the other is, with those bags of clothes we've seen in your bedroom,
is to actually get some money for those clothes.
Bring in some cash. How would that sound?
That would sound really good, if I can make some money.
I thought so!
Sarah reckons Dionne can make a tidy sum by selling off her unwanted
clothes, so she's summoned her best friend Rachel to decide
what to keep and what to sell.
So, we've got a dress.
I think that could be sold.
What about this now? Cos we know you love blue.
I do love blue.
Sell, give away, or keep?
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
They're not mucking about.
-She hasn't noticed.
-I can't decide!
We're doing well.
A few snaps later, nearly half of Dionne's range is ready to sell.
If this doesn't sell it, Dionne, I don't know what will!
Sarah's decided to use a community-based website instead of
an online auction service to increase Dionne's chance of selling.
One of the great things about this site is people can look for things
-that are near to them.
So you're reaching that market that...
Yeah, OK. Local.
-Well, lives locally.
Look out for similar selling sites in your area.
With a bit of luck, Dionne will get rid of her unwanted clothes
and make a few quid.
And by drastically cutting back on her trips to the charity shops,
Dionne will save up to £600 a year.
It'll mean less clutter in your home and more cash in your pocket.
I can always do with that.
On the next leg of Sarah's money-saving journey, it's time to
visit a place where a lot of Dionne's cash simply disappears.
Well, I've had the allotment for about three years and I did have
this illusion of living the good life, but, actually,
it's a lot harder to make happen,
because allotments are real hard work.
At the moment, do you find that you save a lot of money with
your allotment or do you find it's its own tiny money pit?
I think it's a money pit, cos each year, there always seems to be
something more I need to buy - more plants, more plants, more seeds,
more weed suppressor - and it is starting to get on top of me.
It seems that when it comes to the allotment, Dionne's better at making
her debt grow than her produce.
It's time to call in expert gardener Jeremy Wright to give Dionne a few
pointers on how to reap the rewards of her allotment.
Jeremy, what are the kind of things that you have found that might be
really good tips for Dionne to help cutting those costs?
I think the problem is that you can find yourself spending a fortune on
-buying plants and you do it every year.
And there's a very, very simple way to overcome that, so my first tip...
-..is to go for perennials.
-You buy them once and, not only do you have them for next year,
-but they begin to multiply.
-So, my second tip...
..is actually around how you can get more plants without spending money.
Which is, as these plants multiply,
you have spare plants and you can swap them with other people.
What kind of perennials do you recommend?
I mean, here, I've got a couple of examples.
One is a orange daylily.
The other one is a phlomis - Jerusalem sage is the common name.
Both these I dug up yesterday from clumps of about 100 plants each.
-Now that, if you went out and bought those plants, at £5-7
a time, what I'm talking about is over £1,000 worth of plants that
have grown on their own.
So, you've actually got your own little bank of plants that you can
exchange with the people and get some variety.
And that's something we can all do,
because Jeremy actually runs a plant-swap website that connects
gardeners all over the country with green-fingered people in their area.
So they can exchange plants and save pots of cash -
and Sarah can smell another bargain a mile off.
One thing you're going to need for your allotment is some compost or
manure and I've done a little bit of checking online and there are a
couple of sort of livery and riding stables nearby.
They will sell manure for about £1 for bag.
In terms of size of this plot,
if you were to buy this from the garden centre,
it would cost you about £120.
-If you were to buy it from the riding stables that we found,
we reckon no more than £40.
-That's a big saving.
-That's saved you £80 straightaway.
-That's going in your holiday fund.
Money doesn't grow on trees, but if Dionne took the advice,
she could soon be harvesting some healthy financial rewards,
saving £250 a year.
So far, Sarah has been showing Dionne how to save thousands
by making better financial decisions.
Now it's time to put those savings to good use
by realising Dionne's dream of becoming debt-free.
You might be wondering why there are three sugar bowls in front of you.
This is really to illustrate what most people do with their debts.
This is your store card debt, here.
This is your credit card and this stands for your loans.
At the moment, Dionne owes £294 on her store card,
£1,916 on her credit card
and £6,728 on personal loans.
I think what a lot of people do in this kind of situation is pay a bit
off each, so they'll think,
"Oh, I'll pay a little bit off my store card.
"Pay a bit off my credit card, pay a bit off my loans as well."
As things stand, with you just paying a bit off each,
I've worked out that you are not going to be debt-free
for four years.
It's a long time.
But don't you worry, Dionne,
Sarah has a cunning plan to fast-track your financial recovery.
If you're in a similar situation, you might want to listen carefully.
Different lenders charge different rates of interest,
so the key is to prioritise which debt to pay off first.
So what I would recommend you do is pay as much as you can to the store
card to get rid of that debt as quickly as you possibly can.
There - right, bam, gone.
And then what you can do,
the money that you were paying to your store card,
you use to clear your credit card debt. So, there we go,
we're clearing the credit card debt as quickly as we can.
That one's paid off.
So, now you can pay off your loans.
The loans are the cheapest debt that you have and although you owe more
on your loans than you do on your store card and credit card,
you'll find it's much easier to pay off, because all this extra money
that you have, you're not spending.
You're using that to just clear this debt as quickly as you possibly can.
Come on, help me empty this bowl. Come on.
We're clearing this debt.
There you go. Debt-free.
That looks lovely.
So, how much sooner will Dionne be debt-free
if she follows Sarah's advice?
If you pay off your store card, instead of that being the beginning
of 2021 when you're debt-free,
you're actually going to be debt-free by September 2019.
OK. So, two years.
Just over two years.
-Not bad, no.
Not bad at all.
It's sweet. By following Sarah's method,
Dionne will save a mammoth £1,560 in interest payments,
which she can use to pay off her most expensive debt sooner.
That would be really great if I could be out of debt
in the next two years. Really good.
-It is possible.
Let's do it.
Smashing job, Sarah, and time to tot up those savings.
That's £300 by switching broadband provider.
£1,200 by planning her grocery shop.
£600 by getting rid of her charity shop impulse buys.
£250 on allotment saving and a massive £1,560 in interest
if she follows Sarah's debt repayment plan.
That's a grand total of £3,910 and the start of a brighter financial
future for our Dionne.
It has been an enlightening experience.
I've reflected on how I spend, the way I spend.
Sarah's given me lots of hints and tips to save money, so I'm going to
implement those straight away.
And I feel that getting out of debt and having a holiday with Aidan
is now within reach, so I'm really happy about that.
And we wish Dionne the very best paying off those debts.
Now, money man Simon Read is here,
alongside psychologist Katrina Morrison.
I'd like to say to you, Simon,
there's an awful lot of people who are feeling the pinch
and overwhelmed by debt.
Basically, what should they do?
The first thing they need to do is to face up to the problem -
and it is a problem. They need to admit it to themselves, admit it to
their friends if they can, and start trying to get out of it.
There are debt charities they can turn to.
There are places like Citizens Advice,
there are a lot of online resources where people can get some basic
guidance as to what they should do.
We saw Dionne, even though she knew that money was a bit tight,
she still liked going to charity shops. Why do people do that?
Yeah, because shopping is fun.
It makes us feel better.
There is a downside,
which is that you just come down the other end of the hill and you're
feeling incredibly depressed about the fact that you really didn't need
those ten quid jeans.
Or "I'm feeling a bit down, feeling a bit sad...I know, I'll go and
"spend some money, it'll make me feel better," and for all the
reasons you say, they do feel better, but they're just spending
money and eventually, they'll feel worse, because, at the end of
the month, they get a huge bill for it.
Well, if you're struggling to get your finances back on track and
would like Simon or one of our other experts
to give you a money makeover, e-mail us...
And in the meantime,
here's where to go to find plenty of tips on how to budget.
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
to plan your budget,
calculate the cost of your car or credit cards,
and give your money a complete health check.
Download them at...
And Simon is still here to answer some of your questions.
Simon, Louise would like to know,
"What's the best way to save regularly?"
That's a good question.
My advice would be to have a plan and a scheme.
The plan is to have something to save for,
because it gives you a powerful motivation to keep on saving.
The scheme is to simply make sure that you have a direct debit or
regular money going out of your account into a good,
high-paying savings account - the best you can find on the market.
So, don't leave it down to your own willpower - make it a direct debit.
William wants to know,
how much should he have in his rainy-day fund?
I recommend three months' money.
That's how much you'll need to...
Maybe until you get another job, until you sort yourself out.
Three months' income, get that in your rainy-day fund,
and then it gives you a nice security blanket.
Now, Corrine's got quite an important question here.
She wants to know, "When is the right time to create a will?"
The right time is right now.
It doesn't matter what age you are.
If you die suddenly and, you know, it could happen to any of us,
you can leave an awful problem for your family
if you don't have a will.
Thanks for your advice, Simon.
And thanks to everyone we've spoken to today.
And not forgetting you at home, too.
We hope you've picked up some top tips along the way,
but until the next time, goodbye.
The team help a hard-working nurse who has to rely on the bank of mum and dad despite working full time. Just how will her family react when they discover the size of her debts? And if your pet is costing a packet, there is advice about how they can earn their own keep. We've all heard of networking, but it seems that social petworking is a money spinner.
There are more tips and advice on becoming more financially savvy at bbc.co.uk/rightonthemoney.