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Is it age or a different generation that makes older people more trusting?

Is it age or a different generation that makes older people more trusting?

Is it age or a different generation that makes older people more trusting?

I was mulling today about my grandmother who is now in her early 90s. A few years ago, before her dementia sadly progressed so far as to make this issue redundant, she would constantly call me after a salesman had come to her door, asking me if she should switch to their product.

When I asked her why, the answer was always the same, "because the salesman told me it was cheaper". I always replied, "Grandma, you know what I do for a job, I promise I have made sure you are on the very cheapest possible tariff."

Yet, for her, the simple fact someone had told her it was cheaper meant they had to be telling the truth. She spoke of coming from a trusting world – my explaining this was just a commission-based seller using it as an opening line didn’t cut any mustard.

I hear similar tales repeated by many people about their parents as they delve further into old age. 

Now, of course there is no universality here. There are many extremely savvy people out there far older than my grandmother. Yet, it certainly does seem, anecdotally at least, that there is a trend of our older generation being more trusting.

What I am interested to know is, is this an age thing or a generational thing? 

Do we tend to become more trusting as we get older or is this about the ‘war generation’? This generation lived through a time when everyone in the country had to pull together and look after each other to enable them to survive, a better mannered time – is it because of this they have a greater belief that most people are honest and trustworthy? My suspicion is that it probably is. 

That’s not to say that younger generations aren’t trusting, but in a different way. In general I am a great believer that most people are good. 

If you ask somebody to do something for you they will generally do it well, even a stranger, without stealing your stuff or letting you down.  I’ve written before of my joy at seeing the person ahead of me in an ATM queue chase after the person in front of them as they’d walked away with their card but left the cash dangling.

However, when it comes to business and the corporate world I believe we live in an adversarial consumer society. A company’s job is to make money, our job is to stop them. Companies will tweak every possible profit-making nipple and at the sales end of it, if that includes manipulating the facts and using sales techniques to create openings, then they will.

I’d love your thoughts – are the older generation usually more trusting? And if so, why do you think that is… (and to know your age too would be interesting in this).

How would you describe Lidl? Is it really “poor food for poor people”?

How would you describe Lidl? Is it really “poor food for poor people”?

How would you describe Lidl? Is it really “poor food for poor people”?

The papers were full of it yesterday on the back of Lidl announcing sales of premium vintage and non-vintage wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. All the messages were on about posh goods next to the usual tat. The phrase that came up time and time again was that "the firm is trying to move away from its poor food for poor people image".

I found this interesting, as I think it’s perhaps a legacy of a long-gone time. It’s not close to how I would characterise Lidl (or Aldi) and so I’m interested to find out if this is a true reflection of the general perception of Lidl, both among those who shop there and those who don’t.

Certainly a basket of shopping at Lidl can be very cheap. True too is the fact that it is used by many as a place to cheaply stock up on your bog roll and necessities – with a catch-up shop for the other stuff done at the main supermarkets. Yet for me this is less about quality of food and more about the range of choice.

I would categorise both Lidl and Aldi as ‘limited brand’ supermarkets – when you shop in them, you don’t necessarily get the brands you are used to, nor do you get the great plethora of options for each food item that you do elsewhere.

Instead, you get a limited choice of own brand and other brands – far fewer options of your tinned tuna than in a large Tesco store. But this is the defining point – a limited number of choices doesn’t necessarily limit quality.

So my question, which I’d love you to feedback on below is; what is YOUR perception of Lidl and Aldi? And do say whether you shop there or not.

Come to The Martin Lewis Money Show Roadshow in Manchester and Sheffield

Come to The Martin Lewis Money Show Roadshow in Manchester and Sheffield

The Martin Lewis Money Show Roadshow

Hoorah! ITV has recommissioned a fourth series of my show. It won’t be on for a while yet, but we’re about to start filming. My aim to start with is to get out there and meet people, hear their stories and questions before we even begin to do the set pieces. So we’re starting off with a roadshow and I’d love you to come.

You’re more than welcome to pop along and say hello to me, Saira or just see how we film it. It’s even better still if you’ve got a question, want to tell me how much you’ve saved, or want to join one of my cashmobs. First, though, the dates…

  • Sheffield Roadshow: We’ll be based in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 July from 11am to 7pm.
  • Manchester Roadshow: We’ll be in the Manchester Arndale on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 July from 11am to 7pm.

What you can take part in…

Do come along, even if you just want to spectate, the more the merrier but there’ll be lots going on. Though be prepared to be filmed, obviously.

  • Ask a MoneySaving question: Anything, be it savings, credit cards, bills, broadband, digital TV, energy, flight delays, PPI, consumer rights, mortgages, deals – if I know about it, I’ll try to help (though it may be busy so be prepared to wait – and TV crews tend to slow things up).
  • Tell us about a big saving you’ve made. I’d also love to see people who’ve made big savings from the info on the show, or from listening to or reading the MoneySaving techniques generally and who want to inspire others or tell their story.
  • Join a cashmob: During the lunchtime and early evening you can join one of my cashmobs (a money flashmob) where I do a five-minute guide on a big MoneySaving subject, telling you how to beat the system.

You can just pop along, but if you want to tell us you’re coming in advance and what you want to talk about, then you should get to the front of the queue quicker, especially if you can only come for a short time. So please email itvmlshow@itv.com.

Special subjects we want to focus on…

There are a few areas we’re looking to major on in the series. If you want to talk about any of these, we’d love you to come along. With these it would be especially great if you emailed itvmlshow@itv.com in advance as we may want you to bring bills, etc, along.

  • Household broadband, digital TV bills.
  • Cutting overdraft or credit card costs.
  • Flight delay reclaiming.
  • Should you repay your mortgage?
  • Childcare costs and vouchers.
  • Should you get a joint account?
  • Car hire abroad.
  • Have you switched energy bills in the last few years?

Looking forward to seeing some of you there.

Dad, I’ve made it, I’m on Corrie!

Dad, I've made it, I'm on Corrie!

Dad, I've made it, I'm on Corrie!

Tough man to please, my father. If I get a "it was fine" about a programme or owt else I’m doing, that’s heady praise indeed. He considers it his mission to keep my feet on the ground (not that it’s necessary – I’m hypercritical of everything I do anyway, so my feet are firmly buried a couple of feet below).

However, as a good Northern man, what he has always said is: "You’ve only made it when you’re on Coronation Street!" So thank you to former MSE team member Natasha, who tweeted me to point out the following clip…

https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/coronation-street/29-04-2013
(Listen to the TV in the background of the Grimshaws talking in the first scene)

PS. I think the clip that’s playing is an interview I did on whether you should repay your student loan – which is from a good, long while ago. So I presume the producers buy up stock footage of GMTV/Daybreak to use in the background.

I’m writing today and I feel like I’m skiving

I'm writing today and I feel like I'm skiving

I'm writing today and I feel like I'm skiving

I’m sitting in a coffee bar, tapping away on an article on my keyboard and I feel like I’m skiving.

Today was meant to be the last filming day for my ITV show, but it’s been cancelled as we’re all done. So I’ve reclaimed the day to catch up on my articles. Yet I’m struggling to get used to the pressure burners being turned off.

We’ve now finished filming for all future shows (there’s still the script meetings, voiceover and links filming do to, which is done as close to transmission as possible, so all the deals and products I mention are bang up to date) meaning I’m getting some time back to myself.

A writing day feels like a luxury. For the whole of 2013, barring Tuesdays which are spent pounding out the weekly email, I’ve not ever had a long session to sit down and write. Everything has been bashed out at speed in breaks between meetings or filming.

What’s strange is how the mind works on such things.  My week is still full. I’ve my other regular broadcast outlets, writing, campaigning work and of course, running MoneySavingExpert – yet I’m almost feeling guilty that today is too easy.

I may actually get home by six o’clock, play with baby MSE, and then NOT turn the laptop on to start work again. Even so there’s a nagging doubt that I’m missing something and haven’t done a full week (for the first time this year, I may clock in less than 60 hours).

That’s why I’ve written this blog. It’s cathartic. I can now read it back, realise how ridiculous it sounds, and vow to enjoy the time.