The Patten family need help from the Secret Spenders team
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Secret Spenders helps cash-trapped families to get a makeover for their finances, after looking into their overspending habits. The latest episode of the Channel 4 programme saw a wife keen to curb her husband’s constant deliveries, which saw them lose out on cash. Many people are all too familiar with the rush online shopping can provide, and with lockdown closing many shops, it is likely more and more people are falling into spending traps.
Couple Helen and Andy Patten live comfortably in Southampton, but Helen had become frustrated by her husband’s spending, namely on expensive movie-related collectibles.
While the couple had a decent income of approximately £4,500 monthly, they often found they would have nothing left when it came to taking stock of their finances.
Helen immediately described the family as “impulsive and reckless”, with no money for emergencies, but said they were keen to make their salaries work for them.
Last month alone, the family spent £1,200 on online purchases, and previously, they took out a £20,000 loan for a camper van they have barely used since.
Money saving tips: Secret Spender uncovered the ways families can save money (Image: Channel 4)
Covertly monitoring the situation, the Secret Spenders team looked into how the family was spending.
Lavish shopping trips, pricey takeaways, and a stack of collectibles were just some of the spending habits the family had garnered over time.
Thankfully, Anita had a crack team on hand to help out the couple, in the form of financial advisor Emmanuel Asuquo and lifestyle expert Anna Whitehouse.
The pair immediately got stuck in to confront some of the poor financial habits many Britons can find themselves in.
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Mr Asuquo said: “You work so hard for your money, you want to turn that around and make that money work for you.”
He found that while the family had £4,900 come in last month, £5,700 were recorded in their outgoings.
The Patten family spent a staggering £1,000 a month on food, with Andy’s collectible habit costing them hundreds, but although Helen pointed the finger at her husband, she also had a significant spend.
With mum Helen spending £100 a month on fast fashion, Ms Whitehouse recommended selling secondhand items online to make some extra cash.
Money saving tips: The family was shown ways they could cut down (Image: Channel 4)
The family also scrapped their £205 per month food subscription box and limited takeaways to once a week, while shaving £100 off their grocery bill through simple swaps – meaning a save of £4,800 per year on food alone.
The Pattens had built up £18,000 worth of debt, with £8,760 on interest – and Mr Asuquo recommended another zero percent credit card, as long as the family had the discipline to maintain payments.
Selling the unused camper van could secure the family over £15,000, but if they wished to hold on a bit longer, they could also rent it out for £500.
When crunching all of the numbers, it was found the Patten family could end up saving £11,597 per year, simply by taking the advice of Mr Asuquo and Ms Whitehouse.
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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.”
While a shocked Helen added: “We can really start to take the pressure off ourselves financially, and we’ll be able to save for the children’s future.”
Many Britons could be able to apply similar advice to their own lives in order to make savings on a day to day basis.
Budgeting is usually considered to be the first step in the right direction to removing unnecessary costs.