Having been on hols last week I missed the Tonight with Trevor programme about Rosie Millard. Yet I finally watched the tape tonight. It’s always difficult watching a programme that you’ve played a major part in, but had no control over.
As I watched it quickly occured to me the prog was a social look at middle class debt. Nowt wrong with that, but it meant my day doing a money makeover with Rosie was put in that context.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was an enjoyable programme, and the exposure is great. Yet sometimes when you’ve spent a detailed day crunching financial issues and it’s condensed into five minutes of social commentary, there’s a level of frustration and you want to shout “I said so much more than that, what about……..”
In fact having met Rosie, I drafted her a ten point plan of action and really hit through the finances. It was very different to my normal makeover, but I don’t consider MoneySaving is just for those with debt crisis. Actually, its about trying to make everyone more financially literate, consumer savvy and personally responsible, and in many ways Rosie’s the perfect example.
Interestingly the main fuss had been over credit cards, yet actually Rosie’s cards were only about £20k and all consistently at 0%, not a problem, she’d played it well. There was no ‘cut them up’ from me. Her overdraft and property issues were much more pressing.
She did mention at the end that I was shifting her debts to a long term life of balance deal. Actually (and I hope she doesn’t mind me writing this) that was her overdraft we were shifting, which was in much worse state than her credit cards.
Plus, rather than ‘manage your money every day’ I of course explained more about setting up the systemised piggybank series of banking. I also advised that she sell a house if possible, and start treating her property portfolio as a profession rather than a hobby. After all, at a couple of million quid, and some losing money, it’s almost a full time job.
Now let me be honest. I like Rosie, she’s entertaining. I’ve read the feedback in the Chat Forum about the programme and I know many people found her a little annoying and not taking it seriously enough. Having spoken to her in person, I know that actually she does take it seriously, wasn’t asking for sympathy, and was responsive to help.
Perhaps her slightly ‘jolly hockey sticks’ style makes it look like this wasn’t something she really cared about, yet actually she’s just a ‘glass half full’ person. Hopefully she’ll take it seriously.
For me it’s not about how much money someone’s got, but about making the best of what you have. Fail to do that, fail to act, allow companies to rip your cash from your pocket, mis-manage and be careless – these are all MoneySaving sins. Being rich isn’t (after all the aim of this site is to put money in people’s pockets not take it away).