Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team helps a teacher trying to build a better life for her toddler twins.
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But now on BBC One it's time for Right on the Money
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.
Hello and welcome to Right On The Money,
the series that's all about giving you simple advice to get as much
cash back into your pocket as you possibly can.
And we'll have plenty of great ideas to help you pick up a bargain,
so here's a taste of what's coming up on today's show.
As our money expert tries to help one mum
struggling to make ends meet,
she's in for a shock over just how much she's overspending.
I have a trick up my sleeve, Lizzie.
I'm going to make the invisible money suddenly appear to be visible.
And we meet the teenage business hotshots
well on their way to striking it rich.
I own two shops and I also retail a couple of other shops, as well.
Now, finding things to keep young children occupied
can be pretty hard going on the purse strings.
But for one busy mum, it's double the trouble.
36-year-old Lizzie from Kent certainly has her hands full.
When she's not looking after three-year-old twins Daisy and Zachary,
she's working as a secondary school teacher.
And as if that wasn't enough,
she's trying to get a business off the ground as a freelance copy editor.
I'm a real doer.
I'm not great at having nothing to do,
so the lifestyle does kind of suit me.
Fortunately for Lizzie, her mum, Jan,
is on hand three days a week to help out.
Mummy hold it? Wow!
I think it's important for Lizzie to work so much because,
partly that's what we instilled in her when she was younger.
I think she's very intelligent and I think she would be very bored if she
was at home all the time.
And you just put it on there, when you've ripped it.
I want to be a good role model, but I also like challenging myself,
and also, I am just trying desperately to make ends meet.
That's right. Because, despite working flat-out,
single mum Lizzie is struggling to stay afloat.
It's really hard.
Like, I really want to earn money so that we can have a nice life so that
I don't get to the end of the month and have no money for a food shop.
I'm trying to get us to a point where we are financially stable.
Although it's not quite working at the moment.
It's already in your mouth, isn't it?
With two overdrafts, childcare costs and a contactless card habit,
she's more than ?7,500 in the red.
Time for some top-dollar advice.
We've sent in Financial Times money editor Claer Barrett
to give Lizzie a spending overhaul.
So, Lizzie, you've got two jobs, you've got two small people,
but there's only of you. Yeah. How does that work?
Quite a lot of planning.
Quite a lot of organisation.
And I have to, I mean, I have to have really strict routines
with the kids cos quite often I have to work in the evenings.
Lizzie uses a child-minder two and a half days a week
while she's devoting time to her new job.
But, despite all the juggling to make things work,
it's never quite enough and, lately,
Lizzie has seen her overdraft increase at an alarming rate.
So I have two overdrafts.
One is my main current account that is ?5,000.
And the second is with a second current account.
And that overdraft is for ?1,200.
So when I get paid, I'm ?3,500 overdrawn and then, swiftly,
I'm back up to being ?5,000.
So, you're in a permanent state of being overdrawn?
And Lizzie is not alone.
Using your overdraft should only be a temporary safety net.
A survey showed over a third of us use it every month and 1% of
people like Lizzie never get out of their overdraft.
It makes me worry, obviously.
I lie awake at night worrying about it.
Yeah. I feel almost a bit powerless.
Because they're so out of control.
Mum Jan has been trying to help ease the pressure
by looking after her grandchildren.
Lizzie is a bit of a live-for-the-moment type of girl, really.
Or she was when she was younger.
With twins, you can't quite live for the moment, can you?
Live in the moment, perhaps. Yeah.
She steadied down a little bit.
She did for a little while, and then dizzy Lizzie, so...!
I don't think she'll thank you for that.
No, she won't, no.
But seeing as Gran has spilled the beans, we'll go with it.
She starts off by showing Lizzie how to save cash on expensive day trips
out with the twins by checking out what's available nearby.
Claer has made it her mission to help Dizzy Lizzie
blossom into a super savvy mum.
They've come to a local soft play centre.
The kids absolutely love it here.
So, per month, how much are you spending taking them out?
Probably about, if we include petrol, about ?200.
It's a lot of money if you are on a budget.
I've been looking into how we can still have some fun days out but
just spend less money on doing it.
What I found is that there are a lot of local businesses in your area
that do special offers. Yeah. Like this one,
they do a special offer on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
It's half price for children.
Brilliant. Which basically means, between certain times,
you can bring them here.
It's, like, bring one twin and get the other one free. Excellent.
And the great thing about this place
is that they don't charge the adults.
Oh, that's good. Which is very good.
By looking out for special offers and avoiding peak times,
the kids can still let off steam without breaking the bank of mum.
It's child's play. Literally!
So, basically, for ?5,
you can get them both in and you so that's more than half of the price
of the other place that you were going to.
But Claer reckons that Lizzie and the kids can have lots of family fun
without spending ANY money.
My top tip there is, I managed to find, when my children were younger,
I taught them how to play cards.
We'd have card nights with a green tablecloth on the table. Yeah.
Things like that when they got a bit older.
So there are always creative ways that you can entertain them.
We do do a lot of arts and crafts.
Mum does the arts and crafts,
because I hate seeing them mess up my kitchen!
OK, well, learn to let go! Yeah.
About the mess. Let go of being worried about the mess.
Worry about the money.
Yes. Shall we go and find out where the twins have got to?
Yes, I think we'd better. Brilliant, OK.
Time to move to the library to tackle more of Lizzie's spending habits.
Now, Lizzie, looking through your bank statements,
I can see that there are a lot of little payments for ?1.99 here,
?2.50 there, which are all going on Internet shopping,
What kind of things are you buying?
Quite often I will buy them either episodes of a TV programme
to keep them entertained.
Sometimes, there's, like, a desperation.
So I will see if I can placate them with a film on the television.
And it's not just the films that Lizzie spends her money on.
Claer's noticed that she forks out
up to ?50 a month on new toys for the twins.
That's a lot of plastic to trip over, Lizzie.
So, one of the reasons I've brought you here to this library
is because they have
an absolutely enormous selection of DVDs which are really cheap -
a little over ?1 a week. Amazing.
Which is good. But this library is a really special one, because,
as well as lending out DVDs and books,
it also lends out lots of toys.
And, better than that, guess how much you have to pay to lend out
the toys? I don't know.
?1 a week or something?
No, lower. 50p?
Lower. It's free. It's free! It's free!
That's really good. It's just like borrowing a book, isn't it?
You come and borrow a toy. Yes. Yeah!
It's a really good idea. I wish more places did it.
If Lizzie borrows toys and films from the library
even half of the time, she'd save a stonking ?533 a year.
Give yourself a Blue Peter badge, Claer!
Oops, sorry, wrong show!
And now it's the turn of library assistant Deb to tell Lizzie and Jan
about something else that might appeal to the twins.
We've got loads of events running at the library.
We've got baby bounce and rhyme.
Tea-time story time, pop in and play,
toddler shake and boogie and we have a Lego club as well. Oh, wow!
How old are these guys? They'll be three in April.
Oh, right, so toddler shake and boogie is probably the one for you.
Can grandparents come, too?
Yeah. We have loads of grandparents.
So, it looks like we're just in time to shake our boogie!
Amazing! Can't wait.
Yay! Come on!
Many libraries offer a great range of free activities for children.
So check out your council's website to see what's on offer in your area.
Wake up, crocodile!
# Snap, little crocodile, snap, snap, snap
If the twins continue to shake and boogie
regularly with their new mates,
as well as making use of the library's other free activities,
Lizzie could save ?1,200 a year.
# Shall we go and wake them with a merry tune? #
All this money-saving malarkey has tired out Daisy and Zachary.
But Claer is full of beans.
And, back home, she's determined to sort out one of Lizzie's trickiest
financial issues - her habit of paying by contactless card.
So, tell me about...
..how attached you are to this form of spending.
Very attached. And, partly,
it's a convenience thing because going to the cashpoint
with the twins is virtually impossible.
I can see that!
So it's really convenient, but also,
it definitely doesn't feel like real money I'm spending,
which I know is really silly.
I don't think it's silly at all.
I'm with you. And I quite regularly look at my bank statement
and I'm, like, "What was THAT that I spent the contactless on?"
and I can't even remember because it is so quick when you do it. It is.
Like invisible money.
Yeah. I have a trick up my sleeve, Lizzie.
I'm going to make the invisible money suddenly appear to be visible.
This is...how much...
..you are spending on your contactless card
on average every month.
These types of payments are booming.
?4 billion was spent in the UK
in March this year on contactless cards alone.
And I'm glad to say it wasn't all Lizzie! Promise!
Looks a bit more real, now, doesn't it? Yeah. It absolutely does.
It's actually ?214.
Wow. It's a really, really easy way of spending a lot of money.
Not feeling like you're spending money. Yeah.
And losing control.
If Claer can make Lizzie really think about what she's doing when
she flashes her contactless card,
she believes Lizzie won't get so worried
and will regain the financial control she wants.
And she's come up with one simple trick to help her do just that.
With the bank that you're currently with,
you can actually personalise your debit card, your contactless card.
Right. And I thought what we could do is we could get your card remade
with a really, really nice picture of you and the children on it,
because you're doing this for them.
Yeah. And for you.
And for your happiness. And what they want is a happy mummy.
Yeah. They don't need a toy.
They don't want you to be worrying about your overdraft at night.
Wise words, Claer.
And there are plenty more ways for Lizzie to cut her spending.
In part two, Claer reveals the staggering amount of money
she could save on her mortgage.
The theoretical calculation could save you...
..in interest payments...
..around that figure. Wow.
And lovely Lizzie will be joining us later
to chat about the whole experience.
Personal finance expert Simon Read is here along with Janette and Brian
who will be telling us how they manage the holiday for free.
First off, Simon, we're in Southport.
Lots of fun things to do for the family but it can be
a bit of a struggle for parents to keep the cost down, can't it?
Of course it's expensive.
You want to have great fun, you're going to spend money.
But you should think about ways of cutting the cost.
That means planning ahead. Now, you come to a place like this,
there's lots of great things to do. It's free entry.
So that's one way to not spend on massive entry charges.
Another way is to look for vouchers or for two-for-one offers.
They're available all year round.
You can get family entries to some places.
Some even have annual passes
which means if you go regularly, eventually,
by the third trip, it's a free day out.
Holidays and breaks are an expense for everyone,
no matter where you're going.
But, Brian and Janette,
you've managed to find a way to do it for free.
Share that with us.
So, we do house-sitting.
So, we look after people's homes and pets
while they go off on their holidays,
so that it means that we don't have to pay for our accommodation.
We've just come back from two weeks in Dubai,
where we had a stressful house-sit, looking after two guinea pigs!
Can you imagine? In Dubai?! Yeah, it was beautiful.
Fabulous. Yeah, absolutely beautiful.
Gorgeous accommodation and very easy, like I say,
looking after the guinea pigs
and then the rest of the time is your own.
This sounds too good to be true.
When did it all start and how did you get involved?
Did you just say, "You know what? I'm tired of paying for holidays."
Originally, when Brian retired five years ago,
he saw an article in a magazine
about somebody else that had done house-sitting.
"We'll try it for 12 months, and see what happens."
And five years later, we're still doing it.
Presumably it's not 100% free.
You get the accommodation free
but you have to pay your own flight, surely? Yes, we do.
In fact, we calculated, over the last five years,
we think we've saved in the region of ?21,000 on accommodation costs.
How much effort have you had to put in
to get the best out of these three experiences?
It's sort of idiot-proof.
Just a normal website. All your details on there.
They do ask for a police check to be done.
You set up your own profile.
There is a fee. You've got to pay a yearly fee.
The website we're on charges less than ?100 a year.
Obviously, which is every year
but that's two nights in a medium-sized hotel.
So what would your top tips be
for someone who is thinking of doing this?
Um, obviously, do a bit of research, have a look at the website.
Your profile needs to be good.
Get some character references.
If you've looked after pets for neighbours,
you can use them as a character reference.
And always, always try and at least Skype or a telephone call.
Don't go to somebody
if they're not willing to communicate with you before you go.
And it is worth checking your insurance
before doing anything like this to see what cover you have.
And you can buy actual policies quite cheaply,
which give you liability cover.
It's the pets, without the expense, isn't it?
Yes. In theory, you could do with this all year around, presumably.
Yes, you could. Yes, some people do.
House sitters do. They just go from one to another,
and don't own a house. Rent out your own home
or don't own a house at all?
And then just travel all year. That sounds fantastic.
That's what we're doing next year. We're renting our house out.
At the moment, we've got two house sits booked - China, and then,
Christmas and New Year, we're in Australia in Adelaide.
And then, hopefully, we'll pick up some in between
and it all just helps keep the cost down.
Jeanette and Brian, thank you very much.
Suitably jealous. Good luck to you.
Now, contrary to what you hear,
not all youngsters spend their time frittering away their parents' cash.
Some of them are more interested in making their first million before
they're old enough to cast their first vote.
These three teenagers all have something in common.
They're all entrepreneurs
running successful and growing business empires.
Now, we first met Harvey on Right On The Money two years ago
when the then 13-year-old made this confident prediction to Dom.
At what age are you hoping to be a millionaire?
15 or 16.
OK, well, good luck with that one.
And it seems that Harvey didn't need any luck.
Because, at 15, he's done just that.
So, how did he do it?
Back in 2015, Harvey was washing his dad's car, when he had a brainwave.
It was just after paper tax discs had been abolished and he noticed
his dad's was no longer valid.
So I asked him about it and he explained why,
that it was like, it was out of date and why he hadn't removed it.
So I thought, like, can't we just reinvent it?
The idea is, you have a tax disc
which was very similar to the old tax disc
but, this way, you can just look at your car and see quite clearly when
your tax and MOT is due.
And there's a ready market of people who need a gentle reminder
that their tax is up for renewal.
Over half a million vehicles aren't taxed correctly
and some are fined up to ?800.
Harvey's dad, Howard, helped out with start-up funding.
I actually thought, "What a stupid idea".
I thought, it will never work.
But, actually, if we give him a little bit of money to start up,
it'll be a good lesson in business, that it's not easy going.
How wrong was I?
In the first year, Harvey sold 20,000 reminder discs, costing ?4 each.
And, today, business is still booming.
Do the sums, Harvey.
Last year, we turned over ?80,000.
And this year, we've tripled our turnover.
For many of us, that would be enough.
But Harvey had spotted another potential money-spinner -
buying a field.
I wanted to invest it
so that I could make more money instead of wasting it.
The field is three acres and it's next to a river.
It cost me ?40,000 and it was intended for glamping.
Once again, Harvey struck gold.
A developer knocked on the door
and offered us ?2.1 million for the field.
I was very pleased and excited.
He was showing me all the cars he'd like to buy and,
after about two days, he'd come back down to earth and realised that cars
aren't the way forward.
So his prediction came true.
But, despite everything, for this amazing young entrepreneur,
life goes on as normal.
I was thinking of joining the police force,
which my family think I should do as well.
But before he starts pounding the beat,
Harvey has a business to run.
Right, I'll go and post these.
That's all the orders for today. I can go back and relax now.
My advice for a kid who wants to be an entrepreneur is
don't let anyone tell you you can't do it.
Ask for advice from people.
So, you know, it's worth talking to your mates,
see what they think of the idea.
Think about who you want to sell this product or service to
and then go and ask them about it.
So, basically, do a bit of market research.
So ask people for advice but don't let people hold you back.
If you think it's a really good idea then push it as far as you can and,
if it doesn't work, don't be mad at yourself.
Just be like, "Right, what's my next idea?"
Great advice, Steph.
And another youngster with that entrepreneurial spirit
is 14-year-old Angel from Liverpool,
who is busy kitting out her stall with some new stock.
She started her animal accessory label at the ripe old age of ten
and it's gone from strength to strength.
At first, I was just selling them from at home,
to people like my neighbours and stuff like that.
But then I did, like, progress quite a lot.
So I have, like, different ranges.
I've got dog coats and accessories and stuff like that,
then I also make dog beds as well.
And, like, this one's handmade.
These ones are, like, some of my favourite ones.
These are the Harris Tweed ones that I've handmade.
As you can see, they're really well made.
They've got, like, buttons, on them, as well.
Then I've also got, like, raincoat ones.
This one is also for a cat.
So how did Angel become such an expert with a needle and thread?
My mum taught me a few bits.
And I learned quite a lot off YouTube.
And so I kept on practising until I got really good.
Great stuff! And who's your furry friend?
This is Princess. She's three years old.
Good girl! She tends to have, like, quite a large wardrobe.
She's got more clothes than me.
And, of course, Princess is a great model
for Angel's newest doggie fashion range.
Well, Princess certainly looks impressed!
Angel wants to become a vet, so the money she earns now
is going towards that dream.
I own two shops.
And then I also retail out of a couple of other shops, as well.
I'm hoping that it can be worldwide.
And that I've also raised enough money so I can go to university.
It's, like, yeah, we're trying to expand as much as we can.
And she's learnt a lot along the way.
Even though I'm only 14, I do know quite a lot about business.
And so, any spare time I get, like, it's like I usually spend, like,
researching and finding different ways I can grow my business
and make it bigger and better.
In Milton Keynes, an important board meeting is taking place,
headed up by creative director, 13-year-old Henry.
So, my business, it's kind of a children's lifestyle/travel company.
We sell things from wash bags to nappy pouches
to changing bags, backpacks.
So just kind of all accessories for travel
and for going on adventures and having fun.
Henry has always had a brain for business.
At the tender age of four, he started selling manure.
And when he was ten he wrote his first children's book.
I've always loved writing.
And I've always loved animals.
I wanted to put all my favourite things together.
The book was a roaring success and the spin-off accessory business
using the characters he created has taken Henry into the big time.
So, my role in the business is the ideas behind it,
but it's kind of important that I have a team
or else the whole business
would just be ideas and we'd get nothing done.
And one of the key members of Henry's team is his mum, Becky.
So, Henry comes up with a million ideas.
Usually over a milkshake.
My role is taking those ideas,
I think, saying, "Actually, we'll scrap those
"because they're crazy and these ones, let's go for it,"
and then turning them into reality.
At work, they're colleagues but at home,
it's Becky who still calls the shots.
She still tells me to go and clean my room.
I still have to do my homework.
I still have a bedtime.
Like, it's no any different to any other parent relationship out there.
And of course, Henry has to balance business, school,
work and his other hobbies.
So, when I'm not doing the business,
I love to go and play with Martha outside.
I also love to sing.
I'm obsessed with musical theatre.
So, yeah, I get up to a whole range of things.
Martha is my dog.
She's the first thing I bought with the profits I made.
So, what's next for Henry?
Mum Becky has her own prediction.
So, Henry, when he's older, he wants to write a musical.
I think he will end up doing something musically-stagey...ish.
And Henry has one bit of advice
for all those budding entrepreneurs out there.
You're always going to have these times when you're feeling so bad.
And times when you're feeling so good.
But don't stop until you achieve your goal.
Parents should definitely take it seriously
if their kids are entrepreneurial.
And I think if parents are encouraging people like that,
it's only going to make them better at everything in life,
because it teaches them so many great life skills.
Not just about being a businessperson
but how to deal with rejection,
how to deal with challenges, but also how to interact with people,
how to communicate, how to market.
And all of that is crucial in your life.
Our young entrepreneurs clearly have plenty of time
to enjoy fun things, too.
And that's exactly what people here in Southport are doing.
So I want to chat with them about how much they spend on their days out.
There's a nice big family here.
How much do you think you will have spent today?
Roughly about ?60-?70.
A day out, these days, for a family, it's pretty pricey, isn't it?
We've got more to spend, on our tea.
Yeah, so, the day hasn't finished yet. No. Have you had a good day?
We've had a lovely day. Yeah, we've had a brilliant day, thank you.
How do you keep the costs down?
Bring food, picnic. Good, good. So, a picnic...
In the arcades, two penny machines, things like that.
Sounds like you've got a savvy mum and dad, haven't you?
I know you're trying to run, but I can run faster! Can't!
OK. Well, I used to be able to.
We're just looking at how much it costs to do fun days out these days.
We've been to the botanic gardens and we've been around the front,
so we really haven't spent that much, so, honestly,
you don't have to spend much to have a good day out, I wouldn't say.
Now, this takes me back. Have you had a good day? Has it been busy?
It's been nice. Had lots of families coming through?
Yeah, lots of children.
They all want everything. They do want everything, don't they?
It's expensive for children, as well, and families.
Well, I'm going to leave now,
because I've got my eye on a couple of those ice creams.
You can have one, if you want. Do you want one? Cut the cameras!
While Denise enjoys her ice cream,
I'm hanging out with two people who have turned their favoured leisure
activities into cash in the bank.
Welcome to Mohammed and Ashley.
Mohammed, you're 17, still a teenager.
But you're already making money doing something that you love doing.
Tell us about it. When I was 12, I set up my own company.
It was a website development agency which developed website and software
for businesses that needed to advertise their services.
When I was four, I had to beg my parents to get a computer.
I knew computers was just my thing, it was my passion.
And you are totally self-taught.
I'm self-taught - everything that I've learned,
I've just read books and used YouTube.
Ashley, you're going to like this bit now, because bear in mind,
Mohammed, he's 17, still at school... Yeah.
But some big technology company, presumably in California, yeah...?
Yeah. ..made you an offer, to buy his technology and his algorithm.
Give us a figure. What did they offer you?
It was in the region of more than ?5 million.
Please tell me you said yes.
Unfortunately not yet, but there has been...
We are still talking, and in a few months' time along the road,
it will be final. Oh, my goodness.
When that offer came through, what did your mum and dad say to you?
Well, they were shocked in a sense,
because obviously, millions to them isn't some kind of joke.
So it was quite a lot of money.
Ashley. Yes. I've got to come to you now.
Absolutely. You are involved in insurance.
Mm-hm. But you also like taking photographs, which earn you money.
Mm-hm. So explain what's happened to you.
OK, so the way that I earn a bit of extra money on the side on top of my
job is through selling my photographs.
So for example, if I go on holiday or just a day off,
I'll always take my camera with me.
And there are a couple of ways that I can turn that into money.
So the most obvious one is by,
for example, taking a beautiful landscape,
turning it into a print and selling it online.
But another way is through selling licenses to images.
When somebody buys a licence to my photo,
I'm giving them permission to use it in a capacity
that's been agreed by both parties.
And that means that you can generate income from your photos
long after you've taken them.
If you're wanting people to buy prints of your photos,
you can set up an online shop for free -
it's going to cost you nothing,
but whenever you upload a photo online,
make sure in the description you are saying, "This is available to buy for print,"
and link them to your shop. So that's the key.
Eight months ago, I launched a small insurance business.
I was able to use ?10,000 that I'd earned doing photography to get my
business off the ground. So I feel like it has served its purpose.
It's a sunny day in Southport.
What photograph would you take round here, and where would you put it?
I'd get a nice sunset of the promenade,
and I would share it everywhere I could, that's the key.
Put it on your blog, put it on Instagram, put it on Facebook,
put it on Twitter, get it as many places as possible,
in front of as many eyes as possible, and that increases
your chance of earning a bit of money on the side.
And that's with everything - I mean, if you don't...
It's all about word of mouth,
if you have a passion and you want to get out there,
you need to tell people about it.
Mohammed, Ashley, it's been an absolute pleasure
to meet both of you, and good luck for the future.
Thank you. Thank you.
Earlier on, we met busy mum Lizzie,
who was relying on a hefty overdraft to stay afloat.
So has money editor Claer Barrett managed to sort her finances out?
36-year-old Lizzie has her hands full with twins Daisy and Zachary.
As well as working part-time as a schoolteacher,
Lizzie is putting in extra hours
to build up her business as a copy editor.
I come home and I get to spend an hour,
an hour and a half with the kids before they go to bed.
And then I might have freelance copy editing work once they're in bed.
But so far, Lizzie's been unable to reap the rewards of her hard work.
As well as depending on mum Jan for childcare, she's relying on not one,
but two hefty overdrafts.
I am trying to get us to a point where we are financially stable.
Although it's not quite working at the moment!
One thing at a time! Can you find us?
I'm going to look for you.
Sometimes, if she's really short, I will buy her weekly shop.
Sort of things like that. When the children need shoes,
she buys one pair, I buy the other.
Like, car seats, she bought one, I bought the other.
FT money editor Claer Barrett has already come up with some great ways
Lizzie can save money on one of her biggest outgoings -
looking after the twins.
?5 every week over the course of a year - ?250.
Now Claer's back,
with some more good news for Lizzie on those childcare costs.
So, Lizzie. As a single parent who also works,
obviously you are entitled to some help from the Government,
in the form of tax credits.
So I've been looking into how your benefits are calculated.
Now, the next milestone is when they turn three.
Because when they turn three,
you'll be entitled to quite a lot of free childcare.
Up to 30 hours per week, per child.
Yeah. Which is going to make a massive difference
to your individual situation.
From September, eligible parents in England
with children aged between three and four
could claim up to 30 hours of free childcare a week during term time.
This scheme means Lizzie could potentially save up to ?1,080
a month. The amount and hours of childcare help offered in Wales,
Scotland and Northern Ireland varies,
but there are similar schemes available to eligible parents.
Next up, Claer sends Lizzie for a pep talk
from entrepreneur Michelle Lamb.
She also started her successful events company from home.
Hello. Nice to meet you.
So I've got lots of questions for you...
Go for it. ..about getting more...
Well, building my copy-editing business.
The main thing that I'm wondering about
and I know absolutely nothing about is,
I'm literally just registered self-employed, as Lizzie Sarchet
but I don't know about building a brand.
Because I've just got a second customer
and they asked me what my company name was.
And I was a bit, like, "I don't have one."
I don't necessarily think that you have to have a brand name.
I would probably advise having a website, something really,
really simple with your contact details on it.
OK. How are you finding the work/life balance - being a mum,
working and building a business?
Er... Well, yeah, it's hard.
So quite a lot of it gets done in the evening
once the children have gone to bed.
That's how actually I operate my day, generally.
In this day and age, people are so open to flexible working hours.
You don't have to think, "Right, I need to work between nine and five."
And ultimately, you are creating a way
of having a better work/life balance - earning some money
as well as being able to spend time with your family. Yeah.
And it's clear that Lizzie's been inspired by the meeting.
The whole business world just seems really mysterious to me
and something I know nothing about,
and a bit scary, but having spoken to Michelle,
she's made me realise that actually it's not at all,
and that I just need to use the resources I have.
And talking about working hard, Claer's been a busy bee too.
Along with mortgage expert David Hollingsworth,
they've been looking at Lizzie's mortgage.
She is paying 3.44% interest,
and unless Lizzie takes action when the deal expires,
she'll be put on a standard variable rate.
Time to look for a new deal fast, Lizzie!
They give them a nice, friendly-sounding name,
the standard variable rate,
but what it really means is a massive increase in costs.
If you switch on to the standard variable rate,
you basically may as well just throw money away.
Really what you need to do is shop around.
See what your existing lender might offer you,
and then compare it with what you could get from elsewhere in the market.
If you are thinking of changing your mortgage arrangement,
check there are no penalty charges.
But if your special rate is coming to an end,
start looking around in advance
to avoid being plonked on a higher interest plan by your lender.
Well, I think in the past that has happened to me,
due to a lack of preparation!
But pay attention,
because here comes an absolute belting bit of advice.
So, me and Dave have noticed in your paperwork that you also have
the option to overpay your mortgage, by up to 10% each year.
Now, overpaying your mortgage you might think,
"Oh, where am I going to find the money from?"
But don't forget, in September,
you'll have a bit more money coming through
with the childcare costs going down.
Yeah. Just ?50 a month every month
for the remaining term of the mortgage, which is 29 years -
so this is a theoretical calculation -
could save you...
..in interest payments...
..around that figure. Wow. ?10,000.
Yeah. ?50 a month.
Amazing. And, what's more, you pay the mortgage back sooner.
Right. So if you were overpaying ?50 a month,
based on all of this paperwork,
you would actually repay your mortgage nearly four years sooner...
Right. ..than you would do otherwise.
So even little overpayments...
Yeah. ..can make a big difference in the future.
Told you that was a corker!
It's amazing to think that just ?50 extra a month could end up saving
Lizzie ten grand.
Back home, and Claer thinks she's found a solution to the problem
that's causing Lizzie countless sleepless nights -
her ?5,000 overdraft.
I can see psychologically that it's not a good state of mind
for you to be in, so...
Well, anyway, the good news is that I've come up with what could be a
solution for you. It's a bit of an unusual solution,
and it's probably something that you wouldn't have ever thought of yet.
And one answer could be to look into converting some of that overdraft
into a personal loan.
Right. "Right," she says!
You're giving me that schoolteacher look.
Somebody who's earning what you're earning and has got a good credit
rating, like you have,
should be able to get ?5,000 personal loan over five years,
at a much, much lower interest rate than an overdraft.
Right. So, in actual fact,
the amount of fees that you would be paying a year,
instead of being ?1,560, would be ?320 in interest...
That's so much better. ..because the interest is so much lower.
Yeah. And even better news - the monthly repayment of ?111.
That's a saving of ?1,620 a year.
Clearing your overdrafts with a personal loan
may not be right for everyone. And if you do take out a loan,
you should avoid just running up another overdraft.
If you are struggling, seek help from debt charities or organisations
like Citizens Advice.
It is in effect replacing a very expensive debt
with a cheaper form of debt. But it is still a debt.
I think that you can handle this,
because it will make your repayments lower.
It is the end of Claer's money-saving marathon.
So, how much difference has she made to Lizzie's finances?
As well as that ?1,620 in overdraft fees,
add ?1,200 on days out for the twins by using free activities.
And a further ?533, using her local toy library.
But the biggest and most amazing saving of all -
10,000 smackers on her mortgage!
Which makes a grand savings total of ?13,353.
Claer has made a massive difference to Lizzie's budget and given her
lots of things to think about.
I definitely think I'm going to be changing some of my spending habits.
Claer's been so helpful,
and has made me feel like I can actually manage my money and
I can sort out the overdraft, so it's been brilliant.
And I'm delighted to say that Lizzie's here,
along with money man Simon Read.
Lizzie, I loved your film,
and I think you're a super mum doing a great job.
But it is difficult keeping those costs down.
Absolutely. I mean, with two children,
double the childcare, double the food, the clothes, the entertaining,
everything, is really, really expensive.
You've got double the trouble, double the work, half the sleep -
but of course double the pleasure. Yes. All right. Definitely.
I mean, you're a very smiley lady,
you're obviously very proud of your girl and boy, aren't you?
Yes, I am, they are lovely,
and I think that is part of the issue, though,
because I feel like I want to buy them things and what have you,
because I love them and I want to spoil them.
But sometimes that's not actually possible financially.
Your mortgage was obviously a very big issue for you, wasn't it?
The biggest thing that Claer helped me with the mortgage,
is that they told me how I can release some equity
when I get my new mortgage deal,
which means I will be able to do a loft conversion in my house
which means my children will get to have a bedroom each,
which is an absolute dream for me, that that's a possibility now.
Simon, it seems that when a mortgage company offer us a mortgage,
quite often we are so excited
or perhaps in a hurry, we just accept it.
That is not always the best advice, is it?
It's not the best advice at all.
People think the lenders
are doing them a favour by granting them a loan.
It's only a loan -
they should think of it the same as buying a can of beans these days,
there is competition out there,
and you wouldn't just buy the most expensive can of beans -
you would go and find the best one.
You should do exactly the same with a mortgage.
I mean, I'd suggest go to a mortgage broker,
who can tell you what's going on
and whether there are even better deals that you're not aware of.
Having those sleepless nights wondering what it might be like
in a month's time, or by next year, is tough.
Yeah, definitely. I'm so glad I came on the programme,
because I do now feel much more confident about my finances.
So it's been brilliant coming on.
Simon, you've helped a lot of the families in this series.
What's been most interesting for you about their story?
Um, do you know what, I think for me,
it's been the fact that all of them have
reached a realisation that by adopting a few simple changes
in the way they spend and the way they think about spending,
they can get control of their money rather than BEING controlled by it.
And all the families I've worked with have got to that point -
and it is like a light bulb, it's like a flash of light-
"Wow, actually this is quite easy." And it IS -
once you get into the right routines.
Thanks, Lizzie. Simon.
Now, if like Lizzie, you'd fancy one of our experts giving YOU a money
makeover, e-mail us at:
But if it is easy money-saving tips you're after,
here's a good place to start.
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's still here to answer some of the questions
we've had from people today.
Zoe has a question. She is on a zero hours contract and wants to know,
will she be able to get a mortgage? Well, she is not alone.
There are about a million people now in the country
on zero hours contracts.
And the mainstream lenders don't like them,
because they worry that the regular income is not guaranteed.
But there are specialist lenders,
and most of the smaller building societies,
which actually lend on affordability,
ie they will sit down with Zoe and other people
and talk about how much they are earning,
how much they would like to learn and work out whether they
can lend to them. And there should be deals out there.
If she struggles to find one, go to a mortgage broker,
because they will be able to tap into someone.
Now, Mark says, "I usually have holiday insurance
"through my bank account. Is that the best way?"
It's not always the best way.
I've been caught out when I've relied on the insurance
I get with my bank account,
and I haven't been able to claim because of the exclusions.
So you need to look carefully at what the policy covers,
and whether it is right for your trip.
If it's not, get a separate policy.
Now, I have travel insurance through my bank,
and being type one diabetic, I've told them that,
and they adjusted the policy and I have to pay a little bit towards it.
But any of these insurance companies,
they will bespoke the actual agreements with the person,
depending on what illnesses you have, won't they?
Yeah, exactly right. It's a question of checking beforehand,
looking at all the small print,
seeing what's included, what's excluded and what you actually need.
And only pay for what you need.
Thanks, Simon. And indeed thanks to all our guests today,
and not forgetting you at home too.
We hope you've picked up some top money-saving tips
to make sure you are Right On The Money.
See what I did there? Oh, Lewis!
We know we're the last thing
between something disastrous...
..and something hopeful.
Just sometimes we make a difference.
That's why we come to work.
That's what this place is all about.
What's she saying? Let's get her on some O2
and get her off the street, OK?
Denise Lewis and Dominic Littlewood are in sunny Southport with plenty of advice on how to save money on holidays and days out. Today, the team helps a teacher trying to get out of the red and build a better life for her three-year-old twins. But can our expert convince the devoted mum to swap her pricey treats and day trips for cheaper alternatives? Plus we meet the teenage business hotshots who are well on the way to making their millions.