Secret Spenders: Couple learn how they can save £15,000 a year
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Secret Spenders aims to help Britons whose spending has got out of hand to take back control of their finances and achieve their goals by analysing where they have gone wrong. Yvonne and Steve from Edinburgh want to buy their dream home for them and their two children, but their debilitating spending problems have stopped them in their tracks. Despite bringing in around £5,000 per month in combined salary, the pair had perpetually found themselves with nothing left by month’s end.
Yvonne called in the Secret Spenders team because she was concerned that Steve’s spending may be the root of the issue, but when Rani and her team got to work, it became clear that the blame should be shared equally.
Yvonne had been worried about Steve’s weakness for giving in to whatever their two children asked for, including regular trips to the shop for treats, but this appeared to be the least of their worries, with so many areas in which the family was overspending.
Presenter Anita said that the couple’s “spending is astronomical”, and the reasons for this soon revealed themselves. As Anna Whitehouse rummaged through their home, she found that Yvonne had been hoarding a mountain of expensive beauty products, many of which were still in their packaging.
Yvonne estimated that she spends around £400 per month on beauty, and there were problems on Steve’s end as well.
Secret Spenders: The couple were in shock as they found out how much they could save (Image: CHANNEL 4)
Emmanuel Asuquo discovered that Steve’s personal loan carried a “crazy” interest rate of over 20 percent, and suggested that by switching, he could save a whopping £2,000. The family was also paying three times more for broadband than the national average, and by changing providers could save over £700 a year.
After secretly filming the couple for two weeks, some other disturbing spending habits came to light.
The doorbell would ring several times a day with various deliveries, and the couple were revealed to be spending £400 on subscriptions each month, including pricey packages for gin, coffee and razor blades.
A key culprit was the pre-packaged food delivery service which Yvonne and Steve paid £228 a month for, with Whitehouse estimating that the service was costing them 40 percent more than if they had made the exact same meal themselves.
The busy family of four had often turned to the convenience of takeaway food for their evening meals, meaning they were spending around £900 on takeaways and groceries each month.
Yvonne had also booked four trips in the subsequent six months, which in total would cost almost £2,500, adding to the family’s financial woes.
She had said that the couple were not financially organised, but after being shown the scale of their spending, the two were spurred into action.
Emmanuel noted that Steve in particular had “completely changed” after seeing the simple changes he could make to improve their finances.
The couple described the process of being confronted with their spending problems as “eye-opening”, and were shocked when presented with a final figure of how much they could save each year by taking the suggestions from Anita and her team.
Yvonne’s jaw dropped as they were told that they could save £15,200 a year by making the recommended changes, and Steve described it as a “truly ridiculous sum”.
The Scottish family could save for the deposit on their dream home in just two years by making the necessary adjustments to their spending habits, and left the show determined to become more frugal going forward.
Secret Spenders: The couple were delighted they could buy their dream home in a matter of years (Image: CHANNEL 4)
Couple Helen and Andy Patten explained they had a monthly income of around £4,500, but often found they would have nothing left at the end of the month. In the last month, the family had spent £1,200 on online purchases, and they had previously taken out a £20,000 loan for a camper van they have barely used since.
They later learned they could end up saving £11,597 per year, by taking on board the ideas put forward by the Secret Spenders team.
Andy said: “That’s insane. That’s absolutely ridiculous. The amount of money that Anita has just told us about is life-changing. I feel super lucky to have met Helen, and to take that final bit of friction out for her is going to make our marriage go from strength to strength.”
Meanwhile, Helen commented: “We can really start to take the pressure off ourselves financially, and we’ll be able to save for the children’s future.”