On the train home from Milton Keynes. Feeling a warm glow tonight. Today the family were Jo and Paul Norris, the type of people you immediately warm to as soon as you meet. In a way that makes things even more stressful for me as you want to help so much.
An interesting financial situation, they’re good with cash, good with products in many ways, good MoneySavers. The problem is Jo is on maternity leave and isn’t keen to go back to work, yet they’re eating into their savings at too quick a rate. Today’s challenge was to stem the flow and also get Jo the laser eye surgery she wants.
Now it’s called skating on thin ice as the producers set up a great stunt to demonstrate the couple’s finances. It involved an ice rink, 26 skaters aged from five to twenty, and a figure skater. Now for me Vicky, the beautiful twenty one year old former competitive figure skater who did the showpiece central spin was worth the price of entry alone (for her skating prowess of course!). Yet the whole thing worked very well, and I hope will make powerful and interesting telly.
With the money makeover itself, this was a really tight one. The problem for me is when people are good with their finances it leaves little room to manoeuvre. So here it was a tweaky tweaky catchee monkey type solution rather than any big fix. Things like the refer a friend £100 from Alliance and Leicester, stoozing (yes I’ve done a full stoozing explanation on the TV), changing DVD rental provider to the Net (article to come soon on that one) and all to try and get the total as high as possible.
Then some interesting pain-full stuff; putting the child benefit away for the children, when they need the money. This is a classic example of guilt finances. The money is there to provide a home and life for children. If squirreling it away causes financial problems for you – then you’re not helping them.