Episode 8 Right on the Money


Episode 8

Series packed with money-saving tips, with Denise Lewis and Dom Littlewood. The team helps two sisters who want to turn their passion for food into a successful business.


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Transcript


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But now on BBC One, it's time for Right On The Money

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Whether you're a spender or a saver, we could all do with knowing how to

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make the most of our cash.

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So we've found simple advice for you to do just that and taken it to

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people right across the UK.

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Whatever help you need with your finances,

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we are right on the money.

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Hello and welcome to Right on the Money,

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the show that helps you free up extra cash by making a few simple changes to what you spend.

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And in today's programme, we've got lots of top tips and

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expert advice on how to do exactly that.

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Here's what's in store.

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These sisters face some tough talking from our expert as they desperately

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try to make some tasty savings.

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You haven't got a proper stock control system here going on, have you? No.

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Fundamentally, that's no way to run a business, is it?

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No.

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And with rent expected to rise faster than house prices in the next

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five years, we show you how to find a big property with a small price tag.

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I think you've got one of

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the best-value properties in the whole of the UK, to be honest.

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Lots of people struggle to separate their home and work life

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and if you're setting up a business from where you live, it can be twice as tough.

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Today we meet two sisters who need our help to turn their passion into profit.

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Nida and Saher Usmani live together in the family home in Streatham, South London.

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We are very tight as sisters,

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even though there's six years between us, age difference,

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but she's like my best friend.

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Yeah. And a little bit like a second mum as well.

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When she was born, going to King's College Hospital and picking her up,

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"Oh, that's my sister." Yeah.

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So we've always been very close.

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Food is Nida and Saher's passion.

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Three kilos of mutton and four kilos of chicken keema.

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Thank you.

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Also sharing the busy household are mum and dad, Iffat and Sabir.

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They look after very well.

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Every time when we need, they look after and they are very caring girls, very, very.

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We are very fortunate parents.

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We are very, very proud.

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Would you like juice? A little bit?

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A little bit.

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Our parents are our main reason why we want to stay at home

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and take care of them, especially at the age they are now,

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they are quite vulnerable and we need to take care of them.

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But Nida and Saher have been going through a tricky financial patch recently.

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Last year, they were both made redundant from their jobs with a charity.

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But instead of being down in the dumps, they decided to launch a business instead,

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selling Indian street food.

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So how much shall I cook for a quarter of this?

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Three spoon.

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It's our mum's food and we just want to show off our mum's food

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because she is extremely talented and she has a way with the food

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and we want to share that with everyone.

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What a lovely thing to say about your dear old mum!

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It has to be perfect,

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so my mum won't leave until she tastes it and it tastes just right.

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When they start a business, I said, it is very hard work and it is very physical working involved,

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but they are determined to do it.

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They are working very hard and they're trying to achieve something.

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The problem is, after a year's hard graft, they have made loads of really yummy food but no money.

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We are currently not making any income.

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We are not taking any wages.

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We're great with food, great with cooking, but when it comes to finance,

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the money, not so good.

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We really do need to work on that.

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Not only have the girls yet to figure out how to turn a profit,

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there is more. They are partial to a bit of impulse spending too -

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particularly down the cash-and-carry.

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I can't resist a bargain.

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I just get a real buzz when I see a bargain.

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I think, "Oh, wow! It's a wicked offer, I must get this."

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Sometimes we don't need it.

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And then my mother gets so annoyed because she is like,

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"Have you seen the storage?"

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To end the sisters' own personal kitchen nightmare and add some spice to their finances,

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we've dispatched personal finance expert Simon Read to pay their stall a visit.

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Hello, there. Hiya. Hi, I'm Simon.

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Nice to see you. Nice to see you.

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And Simon is so keen to do his research, he has just got to try a hearty helping.

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I've come to hopefully help you with your money, but more importantly,

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I want to try this delicious food that I understand you've been preparing.

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So, what's the verdict?

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Mm, it's delicious, isn't it? But Simon is multitasking.

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As well as eating, he's already spotted something.

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Now, your portions are very generous.

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You like to feed people, don't you?

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We do. Blimey! This is really good value.

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The sisters charge from ?4 per takeaway box,

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putting it amongst the cheapest in this London market.

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Enjoy it. But with a ?70 daily rent per stall,

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plus ?11.50 congestion charge and massive portions,

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it is easy to see where the money is going.

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There's your problem. At a stroke, all your expenses,

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it's the same as the money you're bringing in.

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So you're not making money.

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You have to make money to make this sustainable.

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This is beautiful food that you're selling.

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You enjoy selling it.

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But you've got to be paid for doing it.

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We've got a lot of work to do, haven't we?

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Yes.

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As they head home,

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Simon discovers more about another reason why Nida and Saher have been struggling with finances.

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I gather you two are slightly dyslexic.

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Yes.

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When did you find that?

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I discovered it in my last term at uni.

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And then when I found out, I told my sister and then she went and checked.

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Then she realised she was dyslexic, too.

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When the pair are very busy,

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their dyslexia can hinder their ability to process financial information

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quickly and accurately.

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Even if we have a different, you know,

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when someone gives us a different amount of money, we're like, "OK, how much is this?"

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But we do know how much it is, it's just when it throws us.

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When you stop thinking about how much money you're making,

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then can you add it up all right?

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That's fine, adding it up, but then with dyslexia, stress really affects it. Like, the thought of...

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And I think that builds up and then we're, like, "I can't do it."

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And then we just, like, "Let's do it another day."

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So what I think we need to do is find a way to help you to do your accounts better.

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To get on top of these kind of things. Yeah.

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That will reduce the stress levels.

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That would be excellent. And then reduce the problems that dyslexia can cause.

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Time to review Nida and Saher's accounts and help them reduce their outgoings.

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Simon starts at home by looking at the household bills.

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I want to talk about your energy bills.

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Yes. When I saw the size of them, I got quite a shock, to be honest.

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So I presume you do all your cooking at home.

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Yes. OK.

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So that is going to really boost up the cost you are paying.

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How much do you think it might be? Terribly high?

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Spot on, Nida.

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In fact, this household's consumption is three times above the national average.

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The average across the country,

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people use about 3,000 kilowatts of gas and around 12,000 kilowatts of electricity.

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You use roughly around 10,000 kilowatts of gas and around

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36,000 kilowatts of electricity.

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More than three times both the national average.

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So we need to find a way to cut the bills.

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Because you're paying an awful lot.

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We know Nida and Saher use a lot of gas cooking up their dishes,

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but three times the national average? How come?

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With our father, we have the heating on.

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So the heating is on all the time?

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Literally on all the time, the heating's on.

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Sometimes we're not good with shutting the lights.

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Setting the lights on? Or turning the TV off. Yeah. OK.

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Naughty, naughty. But they're not alone.

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According to the Energy Saving Trust,

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up to 16% of the electricity we consume is used to power appliances in stand-by mode.

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On a bill of ?500, that's 80 smackers going up in smoke for no reason.

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So, unplug those electricals, everyone.

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And hang onto your cash.

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There are some habits you can get into which will help cut your energy bills.

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Because they are really remarkably high.

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But the bigger saving - we can do all these things,

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they will save you a few pounds -

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but the biggest saving, I think, would be for you to switch energy supplier.

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You're not on a good deal at all.

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So I've had a look.

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On average, most people who do this, when they look at better deals,

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they can save up to about ?300 a year, you know, which is a massive saving.

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That's incredible. Now, because you use so much energy,

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the savings are a bit higher.

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Any idea what the best deal is that I found for you?

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No.

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I looked at one deal here and it would save you a year ?815.

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Wow! Wow! ?815.

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Yes, wow indeed.

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That's ?815 that would be better spent on their fledgling business.

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It is just worth doing, because ?800 extra is effectively,

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?800 you're just throwing away by not being on the best deal.

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But what about their other bills?

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Can money master Simon find some savings there, too?

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Your household seems to be big fans of telly.

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Tell me about that. Well, our father likes watching Pakistani dramas,

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our mother likes watching Indian dramas and my brother is a sports

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fanatic, so he likes having all the sports channels.

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This family spends a lot subscribing to the biggest TV package available,

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but they also have two further contracts for phone and broadband,

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which is a big no-no in Simon's eyes.

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Why do you have three different suppliers for the phone, telly, broadband?

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We didn't realise you could put it in one.

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We just thought you needed telephone, you need Internet and TV.

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Could you do it in one? We can put it in one.

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Bundle it all together and you will get discounts for just being in the one company.

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At the moment, you're paying a month, almost ?210.

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We can get that down to near ?120 a month.

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So that is almost ?1,000 a year.

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Bingo. That's another ?1,080

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back in Nida and Saher's pocket.

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Good going, Simon.

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You're investing a lot in this business, aren't you?

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We need the money.

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With four in ten small businesses failing in their first five years,

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they need all the help they can get if they're going to turn their hobby

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into an actual moneymaking machine.

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Having a good brand and promoting it on social media can only help.

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So Simon's off with the sisters to pick the brains of Mark Wright,

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who knows bags about building a brand.

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How you doing? Nice to meet you.

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When I look at your Facebook site, it doesn't tell me about a brand.

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It doesn't me about what you're trying to achieve.

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It looks more like a personal Facebook site than a business Facebook site.

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It doesn't tell me how great the product is.

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It doesn't make me want to go out instantly and buy that product.

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So now we know the problem, what's the solution?

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So it's about how visually you can impact someone's life.

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And almost make them want to taste it by the photographs that you're showing.

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Because people eat with their eyes. Absolutely.

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Mark thinks that by posting great pictures of the food on social media

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platforms, like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook,

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they will gain followers.

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That's not just good marketing, it can also lead to sponsorship,

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free ingredients from suppliers and other benefits too.

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It's vital that the girls up their game.

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When you think about how much time you spend preparing your delicious

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food, you need to think about spending some time on promoting the

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business, as well. I think I'm not confident enough.

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So I'm not sure what to post.

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I feel like I don't have time to take photographs.

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So I've not been posting any photos.

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And I just... I think it's the confidence as well.

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I don't know what to put and whether people will be interested in what I have to say.

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The pair could do with some practical pointers on this social media malarkey.

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Fortunately, Simon knows just the people who can help.

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Friends Nishma and Nisha

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jacked in their jobs in the financial sector four years ago

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to open a toastie stall.

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Their daily pictures of their tasty fare have a huge following online,

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which has resulted in a great sales.

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Tell me about the social media. How do you do it?

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It is all about getting a photograph that will make

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people want to eat your food.

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Nishma and Nisha ping pictures of their cheese toasties direct to their followers every day

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at lunch time, tempting them to head over immediately and buy one.

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You can kind of see, you've got melted cheese.

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It's beautiful. That's great.

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That looks good, doesn't it?

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That looks really good. So that's the picture.

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What do people want to see? People want to see our food.

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It's quite simple. You do this before you've started selling. Yeah.

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So it's five minutes or so, so it's not a big deal. No.

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And it's fun, as well, isn't it? Yeah.

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We're already getting likes coming through. Oh, right!

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We've got, like, 17,000 followers.

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Wow! So it happens pretty quickly.

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If just one out of every 1,000 followers turn up and buy a toastie

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after seeing the pictures, then that is an extra 17 customers -

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and around 100 quid in the till.

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A great return for snapping away with their smartphone.

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Social media is something our sisters will need to learn to master,

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and quickly. And if you're thinking of starting any sort of business,

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you should do the same, too.

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And this is so, easy, isn't it? Yeah.

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Once you get into the habit of it, you just do it and bang, it's done,

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and you've suddenly got this great promotional tool

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which is hardly taking any time at all.

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You guys can do this, can't you?

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Yes. Yes.

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Join Nida and Saher again as they start snapping away and learn more

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business-boosting and money-saving tips.

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Do you think that's right?

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Oh, look, it's there! Look, look, look!

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THEY LAUGH

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And we look forward to meeting Nida and Saher later to chat about the

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whole experience.

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But first, we're joined by the Financial Times money editor Claer Barrett

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and Deepak Tailor,

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who started a very successful business from his bedroom.

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More about that in a minute, Deepak. Claer, I'm going to come to you first.

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Nida and Saher, they started off by doing something they absolutely love,

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but unfortunately for them, they're not making any money.

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So, what advice would you give to anybody in that situation?

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They're in a food business, they associate food with the family,

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with love. They want to feed people.

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Now, that might work around the table at home with the family,

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but it's not going to cut it in the marketplace.

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They want people to spend money, make a profit,

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have a decent margin and be able to reinvest the profits back into that

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business and think about expanding it.

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It is a total different mindset than just to be a hobby cook at home.

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Deepak, you're living proof that this actually works.

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Just tell us how you got started.

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I just didn't have the funds to go and set up an office,

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so I had to just do it from home.

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I had just finished university,

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I had this great idea of setting up a website where I could aggregate

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all the best offers from the top brands into one place.

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Got myself a desk, plonked it in my bedroom and just started from there.

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Can I just expand on that? Tell me exactly what it is you do.

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What comes in, what goes out?

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How do you make any money? We connect brands to consumers.

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So we list over 700 offers from the biggest brands in the UK,

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where they're giving away a free sample or product.

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Just yesterday, we had a brand giving away 10,000 free pizzas.

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You could come to the site, claim your coupon and get the voucher,

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go down to your local supermarket and pick up a free pizza.

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He makes it sound so simple.

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We make sure that we always find the best offers before anyone else and

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that is why we have become really big.

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You actually make money by helping other people save.

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So the brands actually pay us for every sample that is ordered through our website.

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Claer, I bet you love the sound of this, don't you?

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This is very entrepreneurial, isn't it?

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It's fantastically entrepreneurial.

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And it's tapping into a key consumer need,

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which is to get something for free.

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Everyone wants something for free. So it's a really, really good idea.

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And as you say, it's creating a community.

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A powerful brand. And that's really, really important in building up a profile for your business.

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It doesn't matter whether you're selling a curry or giving away free stuff - same principles apply.

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Give us an idea of just what the turnover is like.

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So the company now turns over over half a million pounds.

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Wow! What would you say to anybody who is thinking about doing this?

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So one of the big things that I recommend people do is just to go out and do it.

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Go and test the idea, follow their passion.

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That is the only way you're going to succeed in life.

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Best of luck, Deepak and thanks, Claer.

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Over the past few years, it's become

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more and more difficult for people to get a foot or even a toe on the

0:17:130:17:16

property ladder, which has meant competition for affordable places to rent is fierce in many areas.

0:17:160:17:22

Latest figures shows that the average rental property now costs ?900 a month,

0:17:220:17:27

rising to ?1,250 in London.

0:17:270:17:30

The bad news, guys, is that experts predict rents

0:17:300:17:32

are set to go up even higher.

0:17:320:17:34

However, it seems there are ways to cut the cost

0:17:340:17:37

of keeping a roof over your head without slumming it.

0:17:370:17:40

Michael and Jeva are working hard to keep the imposing entrance to their

0:17:420:17:46

rented Sheffield property looking spick and span.

0:17:460:17:50

It's been their home for the last four months.

0:17:500:17:52

In a prime location with a grand hall,

0:17:540:17:56

you'd would imagine they'd be paying through the nose in rent.

0:17:560:17:59

Well, you'd be wrong.

0:17:590:18:01

We both pay ?220 every month.

0:18:010:18:04

And that includes all your utilities, heating and council tax.

0:18:040:18:10

So I think that's a great deal.

0:18:100:18:13

Sounds like a bargain.

0:18:140:18:16

So, how did they get it?

0:18:160:18:18

Well, Michael and Jeva have signed up to be property guardians.

0:18:180:18:22

This is where owners of vacant properties rent rooms at below market value

0:18:220:18:26

to keep the building ticking over.

0:18:260:18:28

In exchange, property guardians keep an eye on it and carry out general maintenance.

0:18:290:18:35

We clean the communal areas.

0:18:350:18:37

Clean the front of the house as well.

0:18:370:18:40

Clearing the rubbish, doing the recycling, that kind of thing.

0:18:400:18:44

And it suited Michael and Jeva,

0:18:440:18:45

who had just returned to the UK after years of working abroad.

0:18:450:18:49

So let's have a look around.

0:18:490:18:51

So this is one of our rooms here.

0:18:510:18:54

I believe it used to be the director's office for a foundry, a company.

0:18:570:19:03

I had to decorate this place to make it nice and homely.

0:19:030:19:07

And, yes, I love beautiful items at home, so I tried to make it,

0:19:070:19:12

I don't know, cosy.

0:19:120:19:14

I love having this huge office.

0:19:140:19:16

As well as the lounge, they have a bedroom on the second floor.

0:19:170:19:21

It was empty completely.

0:19:210:19:23

A beautiful space with nothing.

0:19:230:19:25

But we just bought a bed.

0:19:250:19:27

We have got some simple finishings and it feels more like home.

0:19:270:19:33

They also share a kitchen with 12 other property guardians.

0:19:330:19:37

And we have one guardian who is into woodwork

0:19:370:19:41

and he actually made this table out of pallets.

0:19:410:19:45

We have a chef. Sometimes he treats us with nice dishes.

0:19:450:19:49

So, yeah.

0:19:490:19:51

Michael and Jeva found it through a specialist agency.

0:19:510:19:55

Property guardianship costs about a third of the market rent.

0:19:550:19:59

And offers people an opportunity to maybe live in a more convenient

0:19:590:20:03

location than they could afford any other way.

0:20:030:20:06

It works for property owners,

0:20:060:20:07

it works for the people who are living in the buildings.

0:20:070:20:10

But there are some conditions that mean it is not suitable for everyone.

0:20:100:20:14

Property guardians have to be given only four weeks' notice before being

0:20:140:20:19

asked to move out.

0:20:190:20:20

So property guardians have less security of tenure than a tenant would have.

0:20:200:20:25

But the upside of it is that because their role is to look after the

0:20:250:20:29

building for the property owners, it is a really inexpensive way to live.

0:20:290:20:34

But there are often restrictions in place,

0:20:360:20:38

such as the number of visitors and potentially the length of time you can live in the property.

0:20:380:20:43

We are not looking to be here for any longer than, like, a year.

0:20:430:20:48

We have just got a feel of what it is like living here in the city.

0:20:480:20:51

We are saving to buy a place of our own.

0:20:510:20:54

You could find yourself living in some unusual addresses,

0:20:540:20:57

including a mansion in Durham or a Regency villa in Wisbech.

0:20:570:21:02

Basically, making a saving here, say, ?500 a month.

0:21:020:21:07

I think we've got one of

0:21:070:21:09

the best-value properties in the whole of the UK, to be honest.

0:21:090:21:13

If you're thinking about becoming a property guardian,

0:21:130:21:15

do your research to find a reputable agency.

0:21:150:21:18

Also check the rental terms,

0:21:180:21:20

which differ from those of a regular tenancy agreement,

0:21:200:21:23

to make sure it works for you.

0:21:230:21:25

But if you fancy something more homely,

0:21:280:21:30

than this next scheme might appeal.

0:21:300:21:32

They may not look like typical housemates, but Doreen,

0:21:320:21:35

who is in her 70s and Anouck from France, who is in her 20s,

0:21:350:21:39

are part of a programme called Homeshare,

0:21:390:21:41

as Alex Fox from the charity Shared Lives, which works with Homeshare, explains.

0:21:410:21:46

Often, it's an older person who maybe just wants a bit of companionship

0:21:480:21:52

or some help from time to time,

0:21:520:21:54

who is matched with a younger person who can't afford to live where they

0:21:540:21:58

want to live and is happy to help out a bit and be somebody who is about the house.

0:21:580:22:04

After breaking her shoulder,

0:22:040:22:05

Doreen went to a care home to recuperate, but didn't enjoy it.

0:22:050:22:10

I'd rather be at home.

0:22:100:22:12

I mean, in the home, they were all older than me

0:22:130:22:19

and they were all asleep.

0:22:190:22:21

I'm sat there, nobody to talk to.

0:22:210:22:24

That is when Homeshare stepped in,

0:22:260:22:28

helping her to move back home by bringing Doreen and Anouck together.

0:22:280:22:32

Anouck pays ?150 a month to Homeshare and agrees to give ten hours a week of support to Doreen.

0:22:320:22:38

Doreen also pays ?100 a month to the scheme.

0:22:380:22:41

If it wasn't in a home share, I should pay ?400 per month.

0:22:430:22:51

I wanted to be with someone, I wanted to learn English.

0:22:510:22:54

It is just a win-win situation.

0:22:540:22:58

And after just a few months together,

0:22:580:23:00

Anouck and Doreen have become firm friends.

0:23:000:23:04

I like being in the kitchen with Anouck.

0:23:040:23:08

What do you like, in that? I like it when we're making cakes.

0:23:080:23:14

And when she's making... cutting all the vegetables up!

0:23:140:23:19

Doreen is sharpening up Anouck's English.

0:23:190:23:23

Is it flour? Flour.

0:23:230:23:25

The flour. Flour. Yes. We need to put the yellow on the sugar.

0:23:260:23:32

The egg.

0:23:320:23:33

Yeah, and the egg, yeah.

0:23:330:23:35

SHE LAUGHS

0:23:350:23:37

Today, we are making a cake because we like it.

0:23:370:23:42

And Anouck has revolutionised Doreen's diet.

0:23:420:23:46

Before Anouck came, it was always tinned food.

0:23:460:23:49

And when Anouck came, you see,

0:23:490:23:52

she did the cooking,

0:23:520:23:55

so I had all fresh food.

0:23:550:23:58

And one day, she did, um,

0:24:000:24:03

grapes, strawberries.

0:24:030:24:06

I've never had avocado before.

0:24:060:24:10

And it was good.

0:24:100:24:12

It's delicious!

0:24:120:24:14

Both Anouck and Doreen certainly seemed to be benefiting

0:24:140:24:17

from the arrangement.

0:24:170:24:18

Companionship is a really big part of it.

0:24:180:24:20

So Homeshare is also about tackling loneliness for both the younger people and for the older people.

0:24:200:24:26

This is good.

0:24:280:24:30

Anouck being here, I am not on my own.

0:24:310:24:35

I have someone to talk to...

0:24:350:24:37

..where I hadn't before.

0:24:390:24:40

Homeshare operates around the UK, but as always, do your research.

0:24:440:24:48

So if you're looking to rent,

0:24:480:24:49

it seems there are other options out there to consider that could end up saving you some cash.

0:24:490:24:55

It's long been said that we live in a throwaway society,

0:24:590:25:03

where people would rather put something in the bin than get it repaired.

0:25:030:25:06

But that's all changing.

0:25:060:25:08

People are now taking the time to learn how to fix things.

0:25:080:25:11

Joining me for a chat is our finance guru Claer,

0:25:110:25:13

and Dave Lukes who shows people how to repair things.

0:25:130:25:17

Dave, tell me about this restart group,

0:25:170:25:19

what sort of people can come along, what sort of things are you repairing?

0:25:190:25:23

What happens is, when you turn up with something broken,

0:25:230:25:26

we will pair you with somebody like me who knows how to repair things.

0:25:260:25:29

And you'll learn how to repair it.

0:25:290:25:31

You're actually teaching people about, you know, how to take it apart,

0:25:310:25:34

how to fix it, learning how it works, that sort of thing -

0:25:340:25:36

which I like the sound of - don't you, Claer?

0:25:360:25:38

Absolutely. I mean, it's a real push back against the disposable consumer

0:25:380:25:41

culture, frankly, that we have in this country of buying something,

0:25:410:25:44

it goes wrong, you chuck it away and just go out and buy a new one.

0:25:440:25:47

Because it's not just good for your wallet to repair things,

0:25:470:25:49

it's also - crucially - really good for the environment.

0:25:490:25:52

What sort of people are coming along to these groups?

0:25:520:25:55

Oh, we get everybody from teenagers with their games consoles,

0:25:550:25:59

to OAPs with their vintage radios that they want to get repaired,

0:25:590:26:02

and everything in-between.

0:26:020:26:04

Do people have to pay to come to these groups?

0:26:040:26:05

No, we encourage donations, obviously,

0:26:050:26:07

because we've got to pay for things like hiring the venue and so on,

0:26:070:26:10

but no, in principle, it's a free service.

0:26:100:26:13

I volunteer my time freely because I enjoy it.

0:26:130:26:15

Other people do it out of a sense of social justice or because they enjoy

0:26:150:26:20

the detective work, like I do.

0:26:200:26:21

OK. You've sold it to me, but where do people find out about them?

0:26:210:26:24

OK, get on the Internet and look up "repair cafe" -

0:26:240:26:28

there are quite a few of those around the country.

0:26:280:26:30

Also, the organisation I volunteer with, the Restart Project,

0:26:300:26:33

go look at their website - they have a lovely calendar of events.

0:26:330:26:36

And also, if there isn't an event in your area,

0:26:360:26:39

why don't you think about starting one?

0:26:390:26:41

Thanks, Dave. Thanks, Claer. No problem.

0:26:410:26:43

Sounds good to me, Dom.

0:26:430:26:45

Now, I want to find out exactly how handy the people here at Stockport

0:26:450:26:49

market are. When something goes wrong, do they fix it, or bin it?

0:26:490:26:53

We call him Mr Fix It.

0:26:540:26:56

Well, Mr Fix It... Yeah.

0:26:560:26:57

..there's no items in your house that could do with a little mend?

0:26:570:27:01

No. Not at the minute, no.

0:27:010:27:02

Not at the minute? Are you straight on it?

0:27:020:27:05

Definitely. If something needs doing, get on with it.

0:27:050:27:09

I used to do repairs on my car,

0:27:090:27:12

which you can't possibly do now because my new car is so full of

0:27:120:27:16

electronics, you daren't touch it.

0:27:160:27:19

It's too complicated, isn't it? Yeah.

0:27:190:27:22

Actually I like to do reupholstery and painting and those sort of

0:27:220:27:25

things. I don't like throwing things.

0:27:250:27:27

It's just, I like the challenge of taking something and turning it into

0:27:270:27:32

something else.

0:27:320:27:33

Things are not made to last any more.

0:27:330:27:35

So the modern way - things go "bang" quite a bit.

0:27:350:27:38

Yeah. And it's easier just to go and buy something new, really.

0:27:380:27:43

Yeah, I fix everything. I'm a cheapskate, so...

0:27:430:27:46

I love that! Anywhere I can save money.

0:27:460:27:48

Anything to save money.

0:27:480:27:49

Honestly. Yeah... I'm thrifty. It's my middle name.

0:27:490:27:52

That's brilliant! Listen, have a great day. Thank you. Bye.

0:27:520:27:55

Earlier on we met Nida and Saher,

0:27:580:28:00

who were struggling to make any money from the business they'd set up from home.

0:28:000:28:04

So has Simon Read managed to turn them into high-flyers?

0:28:040:28:08

Streatham sisters Nida and Saher Usmani have been cooking

0:28:100:28:14

their favourite family recipes for the last 25 years.

0:28:140:28:18

We do love cooking - I mean,

0:28:180:28:19

I would wake up four in the morning and start peeling the potatoes,

0:28:190:28:23

and I'm happy to do that.

0:28:230:28:25

Because I really enjoy it,

0:28:250:28:27

putting the spices together and once the tastes come together, it's like,

0:28:270:28:30

"Oh, wow!" It's good.

0:28:300:28:31

It's just right, you know.

0:28:310:28:34

It's so nice.

0:28:340:28:35

And especially it's lovely when people come back and go, "The food's amazing."

0:28:350:28:39

A year ago, after being made redundant,

0:28:390:28:41

they decided to change their hobby into a way of life,

0:28:410:28:44

by launching a street food stall selling their home-cooked dishes.

0:28:440:28:48

But they're struggling.

0:28:480:28:50

We're good with food, but we're not good with money.

0:28:500:28:52

12 months on, while the venture has not exactly gone to pot,

0:28:520:28:56

they've failed to get a handle on it.

0:28:560:28:58

They're still working long hours for no wage,

0:28:580:29:01

and have yet to get to grips with running a business.

0:29:010:29:04

Personal finance expert Simon Read has already lowered their monthly

0:29:040:29:08

outgoings, and kick-started their marketing on social media.

0:29:080:29:12

Do you think that's right?

0:29:120:29:14

Shall we try and get you an artistic shot?

0:29:140:29:15

Oh, look, it's there! Look, look, look!

0:29:170:29:20

Nice work, girls.

0:29:200:29:21

Now Simon's back for seconds - and first,

0:29:210:29:24

he doing a little market research of his own.

0:29:240:29:27

Have you tried here before?

0:29:270:29:28

No. You haven't. I mean, I'll tell you what,

0:29:280:29:30

you're in for a treat because they're absolutely delicious.

0:29:300:29:32

What did you think of the prices?

0:29:320:29:34

It's about what I expected.

0:29:340:29:36

It is? I think once you've tried it you'll think "That's a bargain",

0:29:360:29:38

because it really is. So have you eaten here before?

0:29:380:29:41

I have, yeah. I enjoyed it quite a lot, plus it's halal as well,

0:29:410:29:44

which I enjoyed as well.

0:29:440:29:45

All right, brilliant.

0:29:450:29:46

Good price, good food.

0:29:460:29:48

Made with love, isn't it? Yeah.

0:29:480:29:51

Turns out Simon's a master of the sales patter.

0:29:510:29:54

Thank you. Enjoy.

0:29:540:29:56

But as lunch comes to an end, he gets down to business.

0:29:560:29:59

So how do you monitor how many meals you've sold?

0:30:000:30:03

So, we do write them down.

0:30:030:30:06

But as long as there's not a massive queue,

0:30:070:30:09

and then we are able to remember...

0:30:090:30:12

Oops. What will Simon have to say about that?

0:30:120:30:15

This isn't very scientific at all, is it?

0:30:150:30:17

So the truth is, you don't know how many meals you've sold of each kind.

0:30:170:30:21

No. You haven't got a proper stock control system here going on, have you?

0:30:210:30:24

No. No, we don't. No.

0:30:240:30:27

If the sisters don't know what they've sold, it'll be impossible to

0:30:270:30:31

work out if they are in the red or black.

0:30:310:30:33

So we've always been told that we give loads of food...

0:30:330:30:36

Yeah. Sometimes I think I give too much...

0:30:360:30:38

Yes. ..and I don't know when to stop.

0:30:380:30:39

If their portions are too big,

0:30:390:30:41

then they might as well be giving money away.

0:30:410:30:44

And Simon's having none of it.

0:30:440:30:45

Yeah, it sounds like you're being overgenerous.

0:30:450:30:48

So, rather than having two scoops of mash,

0:30:480:30:50

do you want to try one scoop of mash?

0:30:500:30:52

That looks too little.

0:30:520:30:53

That looks a bit tight. Can you do one and a half?

0:30:530:30:57

This is really good value.

0:30:570:30:58

Too good value, I'd say!

0:30:580:31:01

Simon's rule of thumb is simple - reducing portions increases profit.

0:31:010:31:06

And on top of that, unless the sisters know how much their dishes cost to make,

0:31:060:31:11

how can they set a price for them?

0:31:110:31:12

You know, in order to make money, you need to know how much that portion size is costing you,

0:31:140:31:19

and you need to know that so you can then set the fair price.

0:31:190:31:22

You've got no portion control, have you?

0:31:220:31:24

No. You just spoon it into the...

0:31:240:31:26

Yeah. For the kind of portion sizes you're giving,

0:31:260:31:29

you might be giving away a fiver's worth of food and only selling it for four quid, for all you know.

0:31:290:31:33

Yeah. And fundamentally, that's no way to run a business, is it?

0:31:330:31:37

No.

0:31:370:31:38

But don't worry -

0:31:390:31:41

Simon knows the ingredients needed to turn these talented sisters'

0:31:410:31:44

fortunes around,

0:31:440:31:46

and where better than a local cash-and-carry to see how they shop and help them control their costs?

0:31:460:31:52

I've brought you to a shop, because, Nida,

0:31:520:31:55

I know you're a bargain-hunter.

0:31:550:31:57

I love a bargain. You love your bargains,

0:31:570:31:58

and there are tonnes of bargains. Yes.

0:31:580:32:01

It's an Aladdin's cave of bargains.

0:32:010:32:03

Feel free to buy what you'd normally buy here... OK.

0:32:030:32:05

..and let's have a look at whether you're going to spend wisely. Uh-huh.

0:32:050:32:10

Or foolishly. OK, cool. Let's go.

0:32:100:32:12

Don't worry - they haven't all shrunk -

0:32:120:32:15

it's just a super-sized trolley.

0:32:150:32:16

Look.

0:32:180:32:19

Nida, you weren't kidding when you said you liked a bargain!

0:32:240:32:27

The bigger the better, it seems.

0:32:290:32:31

Oh, look, they're giving a free sample of coffee.

0:32:310:32:33

No, we don't need coffee.

0:32:340:32:36

But it's a free sample of coffee!

0:32:360:32:37

Good job, Saher.

0:32:370:32:38

Keep steering that trolley away from temptation.

0:32:380:32:41

This is a good bargain. That is a good offer.

0:32:410:32:44

It's taken the girls less than ten minutes to fill up their massive trolley.

0:32:440:32:48

Time for Simon to check out what's caught their eye.

0:32:480:32:51

What I want to talk to you about is the amount of stuff that you

0:32:520:32:54

bought, so you bought this rice.

0:32:540:32:57

I can't even tell. I'm going to try and lift it up,

0:32:570:32:59

but it looks really heavy to me. It is heavy, it's 20 kilos.

0:32:590:33:01

Oh! So, 20 kilos, how many meals is that for?

0:33:010:33:05

Mother says that one cup serves eight people.

0:33:050:33:09

One cup serves eight people?

0:33:090:33:10

Yeah. So how many cups in 20 kilograms?

0:33:100:33:13

I've no idea.

0:33:130:33:14

You've no idea? You need to know how much you're buying for and what for.

0:33:140:33:18

You should know that, "Great, that'll be 100,000,"

0:33:180:33:22

however many portions, so that as soon as you're buying this,

0:33:220:33:26

you know that works out, per portion, a penny, 10p, whatever it is,

0:33:260:33:30

then you're doing the maths in your head as you're buying this stuff

0:33:300:33:33

knowing how much profit you can make.

0:33:330:33:34

Working out how much they need to buy in order to prepare their food

0:33:360:33:40

is essential to decide what they should charge for it.

0:33:400:33:43

If Nida and Saher knew how much they were selling,

0:33:430:33:46

they could buy to order and not have money tied up in provisions.

0:33:460:33:49

Planning a shop is something that we should all be doing,

0:33:490:33:52

whether we've got a budding business or not.

0:33:520:33:56

It goes back to the basics of thinking,

0:33:560:33:58

how many portions are we going to be selling in, say, the next month?

0:33:580:34:02

Can we do our shopping for the next month?

0:34:020:34:04

How much do we need and what's the best price for it?

0:34:040:34:07

Rather than thinking, "Great, here's a hundredweight of rice, let's just buy that."

0:34:070:34:12

For your business, you've got to plan every expense.

0:34:120:34:15

You've got to know the quantities before you go and you just find the right prices.

0:34:150:34:19

You've got to do this properly

0:34:190:34:20

to make the business work, so you can make money and pay yourselves.

0:34:200:34:23

You have to do this.

0:34:230:34:25

Yes. It's not just a recommendation. I'm telling you, you must do it.

0:34:250:34:28

Yeah. We have to try and make a profit.

0:34:280:34:32

That's what we've learnt. If you can't make a profit, what will happen?

0:34:320:34:35

We won't be able to carry on.

0:34:350:34:36

You WON'T be able to carry on.

0:34:360:34:38

Simon thinks with a bit more planning,

0:34:390:34:41

the girls could save ?1,200 a year

0:34:410:34:44

and if they really do find doing

0:34:440:34:46

the books too much at this stage,

0:34:460:34:49

Simon's got a genius idea for them to consider -

0:34:490:34:52

let someone else do it!

0:34:520:34:53

Can he?

0:34:530:34:55

We've had lots of great ideas about how to manage your business and now

0:34:550:34:59

I think it's time to think about how to manage your accounts,

0:34:590:35:02

so I'd like you to meet David Gibb.

0:35:020:35:04

He's a business adviser.

0:35:040:35:05

He's got lots of great ideas and he's got lots of clients in the food

0:35:050:35:09

and restaurant business, don't you, David?

0:35:090:35:11

Yes, indeed. Good to see you both.

0:35:110:35:13

So how do we make the transition from -

0:35:130:35:14

this is basically a lifestyle business, they love doing it.

0:35:140:35:17

How do they transition from that to a profitable going concern?

0:35:170:35:21

Well, I think it really is important to understand the accounts and the

0:35:210:35:26

book-keeping. I think you'd find it quite enlightening to get some

0:35:260:35:29

proper detailed accounts, which told you exactly what you are spending on

0:35:290:35:33

what ingredients and exactly how much a portion of food was costing.

0:35:330:35:37

Then, I think, you can start having a look at how many portions you need

0:35:370:35:40

to sell to make money.

0:35:400:35:43

The girls are dyslexic, so they have a few problems with numbers and

0:35:430:35:46

figures and so forth, but it shouldn't be a problem, should it,

0:35:460:35:48

to them running the business properly?

0:35:480:35:50

What I would say is, if you really are struggling,

0:35:500:35:53

there is help out there, there are people that do book-keeping services,

0:35:530:35:56

there are people where you can give your invoices to.

0:35:560:36:00

We just thought it was expensive and, at the moment,

0:36:000:36:03

we're not even taking in wages ourselves.

0:36:030:36:05

We thought, "Can we afford it?"

0:36:050:36:06

Maybe it's an expense you need to make.

0:36:060:36:08

You do need to get an understanding of,

0:36:080:36:11

"What's the money in the business now?

0:36:110:36:12

"What are we making, what are we spending?"

0:36:120:36:14

The sisters have enthusiasm to spare, but, sadly,

0:36:140:36:17

businesses can't be run on that alone,

0:36:170:36:20

but if they get help with the bits they find difficult,

0:36:200:36:23

it will enable them to concentrate on what they're good at - cooking.

0:36:230:36:27

I'd say, have a go - you know,

0:36:270:36:30

put your receipts in a box, have a go, but, realistically,

0:36:300:36:33

if you are struggling, there are book-keeping services.

0:36:330:36:37

People that will do it online for you.

0:36:370:36:38

You send stuff off to them and they'll send you accounts.

0:36:380:36:42

Definitely. Thank you.

0:36:420:36:43

Thank you so much, that was really useful advice.

0:36:430:36:45

Thank you. Thank you.

0:36:450:36:46

It seems like the girls will have to spend money to help make money,

0:36:470:36:51

but that's OK, because if they followed Simon's advice,

0:36:510:36:54

they can save ?815 a year on their energy bills,

0:36:540:36:59

?1,080 on their broadband and TV package, and ?1,200 on food shopping,

0:36:590:37:05

which makes a grand total of 3,095 smackers,

0:37:050:37:10

and if the sisters follow Simon's advice on stocktaking, pricing,

0:37:100:37:14

portion control, marketing and book-keeping, from now on

0:37:140:37:18

their stall should really be cooking on gas.

0:37:180:37:21

Having this experience, having

0:37:210:37:25

this great advice and experts come in, it was brilliant,

0:37:250:37:28

it was perfect timing for us. The right time. Because we did all the execution, we know,

0:37:280:37:33

like, our customers and our store, but we needed to move into next level.

0:37:330:37:37

We needed the social media and we need to work on our finance,

0:37:370:37:40

and I think this came at the perfect timing because it has pushed us to do this now

0:37:400:37:44

and that's our next step.

0:37:440:37:45

Yeah. And that's where we focus on.

0:37:450:37:47

Thank you very much. Hope you enjoy.

0:37:490:37:51

And Saher and Nida are with us now, along with Claer Barrett,

0:37:550:37:58

our finance expert.

0:37:580:37:59

Thanks for coming, ladies. Thank you for having us. Thank you.

0:37:590:38:02

Food has been a real passion of the family.

0:38:020:38:04

Yes, we love eating, and we've always loved eating.

0:38:040:38:07

We love feeding as well,

0:38:070:38:08

we grew up in a family when my mum used to always do dinner parties and

0:38:080:38:12

everyone loved our mum's food.

0:38:120:38:13

We were both made redundant around the same time, and we thought,

0:38:130:38:16

"It's a sign, it's meant to be."

0:38:160:38:17

We thought we'd do something different. So for us, it was like,

0:38:170:38:20

"Let's do something that we really enjoy doing," and we love

0:38:200:38:23

feeding and we love food, so we thought, "Let's go with that."

0:38:230:38:26

This is all about gaining confidence.

0:38:260:38:27

It's an area that you're not familiar with and I guess that's all it is,

0:38:270:38:31

it's about getting involved, giving it a whirl and seeing how you go.

0:38:310:38:34

Absolutely, and learning about how to do business is like learning another language

0:38:340:38:39

because you've got to think about profit margins,

0:38:390:38:41

you've got to think about cashflow,

0:38:410:38:43

and if you haven't had to think about those things before,

0:38:430:38:46

it can be very overwhelming to do it all at once,

0:38:460:38:48

but you need all the right ingredients to make the business work.

0:38:480:38:51

And Claer, social media can make a huge difference to someone's business.

0:38:510:38:55

Absolutely, it gives you the opportunity to tell the story behind your brand

0:38:550:38:59

and you've got such a fantastic story - two sisters, the family,

0:38:590:39:03

the food, love, it's all in there,

0:39:030:39:06

so it's the perfect way of expressing your values,

0:39:060:39:09

getting customers and also getting people to share the love and spread the news

0:39:090:39:14

about what they can get on your stall.

0:39:140:39:16

It was so important to tell our story and that's why we're on the

0:39:160:39:20

Instagram and social media now.

0:39:200:39:22

One thing which has caused you a problem is dyslexia.

0:39:220:39:24

You're both dyslexic, aren't you?

0:39:240:39:25

Yeah. I think when we spoke to the accountant,

0:39:250:39:28

we realised it's truly important,

0:39:280:39:30

it's a priority that we need to make sure we do, and we can't just do it,

0:39:300:39:33

we have to deal with it and face it.

0:39:330:39:35

Yeah. Because you can't put it off, you've just got to deal with it,

0:39:350:39:37

so you just deal with it.

0:39:370:39:39

Don't forget that some of the most successful business people in the world

0:39:390:39:43

have had dyslexia. Richard Branson is a famous dyslexic.

0:39:430:39:46

It's like anything in life, you've got to work on it,

0:39:460:39:49

find a way around it, not avoid the problem. Deal with it. Tackle it head on.

0:39:490:39:53

Share what you've learned from this experience with

0:39:530:39:56

anybody else who might be in a similar situation,

0:39:560:39:57

who might be thinking about starting up their own business. Do your research.

0:39:570:40:00

Yeah, definitely. Research is so important.

0:40:000:40:03

Speak to other people in the same business.

0:40:030:40:05

Realise first - don't go headstrong, just do it slowly.

0:40:050:40:09

You obviously love what you're doing, so good luck to you.

0:40:090:40:12

Thank you. Thank you.

0:40:120:40:14

Now, if you'd like Claer or another one of our money-saving experts

0:40:140:40:17

to help transform your finances, get in touch by e-mailing us at:

0:40:170:40:23

Or if you're after some quick ways to save some cash,

0:40:230:40:26

here's a good place to start.

0:40:260:40:27

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

0:40:290:40:34

We've teamed up with the money advice service to bring you easy-to-use

0:40:340:40:37

money-saving tools to plan your budget,

0:40:370:40:40

calculate the cost of your car or credit cards and give your money

0:40:400:40:44

a complete health check.

0:40:440:40:46

Download them at:

0:40:460:40:50

Claer is still with us to answer some of your questions.

0:40:550:40:58

Jan wants to know, how does she get a good deal on her pet insurance?

0:40:580:41:03

Well, pet insurance is actually a very complicated product to buy.

0:41:030:41:06

There are many different layers and levels of cover that you can get.

0:41:060:41:09

The most expensive of which is called lifetime -

0:41:090:41:12

covers everything that could happen to your pet during its lifetime,

0:41:120:41:16

but you can also take out cover just for things like accidents,

0:41:160:41:18

so I did a bit of research into this.

0:41:180:41:20

According to Which?, 70% of claims are for illnesses in pets rather than accidents that happen to them,

0:41:200:41:27

but obviously the older your pet gets,

0:41:270:41:30

you've got to renew the policy every year, and every year it's going to get more expensive

0:41:300:41:34

so like everything in life, you need to shop around.

0:41:340:41:37

Another Claer is buying a house and she wants to know -

0:41:370:41:40

how will she know which is the next up-and-coming area?

0:41:400:41:43

Well, transport and infrastructure projects are a really,

0:41:430:41:46

really good way of knowing what's going to happen,

0:41:460:41:48

so you've got things like Crossrail, High Speed Two, city centre tram links that have happened

0:41:480:41:52

in different cities all around the country,

0:41:520:41:54

and as soon as they're announced and they go in,

0:41:540:41:57

then prices along the route in the future will start to rise because it

0:41:570:42:00

will become quicker to commute into those cities and towns,

0:42:000:42:04

and make them more vibrant places to live,

0:42:040:42:05

so that's happened a lot in London with big regeneration projects like

0:42:050:42:09

the Olympics that happened in the area that I've lived and it has lifted up

0:42:090:42:13

the whole area, but also around the country, follow the artists.

0:42:130:42:17

They call it the creative paradox.

0:42:170:42:19

If an area is cheap and a bit run down, the artists, the creatives,

0:42:190:42:23

the web designers, the media people, IT consultants,

0:42:230:42:26

they'll be the ones who go into that area because it's cheap for them to operate in,

0:42:260:42:31

but that will bring it up, make it fashionable, hip, trendy.

0:42:310:42:34

The paradox is that once they've done that,

0:42:340:42:37

more and more people move in and then they can't afford to live there any more,

0:42:370:42:40

so they have to go off to the next place.

0:42:400:42:41

Doesn't that mean all the cafes start selling tea made out of nettle

0:42:410:42:44

leaves and things like that? Well, maybe a sign to spot,

0:42:440:42:47

which is the next up-and-coming property area could be to see whether the

0:42:470:42:50

local cafe has got avocado on toast on the menu or not.

0:42:500:42:53

That's when you know you've arrived, isn't it? Exactly. Jonathan wants to know,

0:42:530:42:57

"What do I do with leftover old ?5 notes and ?1 coins?"

0:42:570:43:00

Good question. The new ?5 notes - not so new any more - I've got one here,

0:43:000:43:04

if you've got any of the old ones that aren't so whizzy as this,

0:43:040:43:07

you can take them to your local bank branch or Post Office and they will

0:43:070:43:10

be able to pay them into your bank for you,

0:43:100:43:12

exchange them for a new polymer note.

0:43:120:43:14

The pound coin, on the other hand,

0:43:140:43:15

the old round pound is still in circulation until the 15th of October 2017.

0:43:150:43:21

My advice would be to spend these if you can.

0:43:210:43:24

That is the easiest way to get rid of them -

0:43:240:43:26

make it somebody else's problem.

0:43:260:43:28

If you haven't spent them by the 15th of October 2017,

0:43:280:43:31

you can go to the bank or the Post Office and you will be able to

0:43:310:43:35

exchange them for the new modern pound coin, which has come in,

0:43:350:43:38

packed with security features, much harder to fake than these ones.

0:43:380:43:42

It's the first time we've told anyone to spend on this show, isn't it? It is!

0:43:420:43:46

Some great advice there, Claer.

0:43:460:43:47

Thanks to everyone we met today and to you at home, too.

0:43:470:43:50

We hope you found all the tips you've heard useful, but until the next time, bye-bye. Cheerio.

0:43:500:43:55

We know we're the last thing

0:44:310:44:32

between something disastrous...

0:44:320:44:34

..and something hopeful.

0:44:360:44:37

Just sometimes we make a difference.

0:44:370:44:40

That's why we come to work.

0:44:400:44:42

That's what this place is all about.

0:44:420:44:44

SIRENS WAIL

0:44:440:44:45

Dominic Littlewood and Denise Lewis return with some more money saving nuggets to show you how to spend savvy. Today, the team helps two sisters desperate to turn their passion for food into a successful business. Our expert dishes up some tasty tips on using social media. But will his wisdom deliver the girls the sweet taste of success? And with the cost of rents expected to rise faster than house prices over the next five years, there's advice on how to find a big property with a small price tag.


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