Given the current state of the economy and the fact many families are struggling to make ends meet, it’s no wonder there’s a demand for TV shows offering money saving advice. However are all these personal finance programmes created equal?
There are two main shows of this type currently on UK television, first is Channel 4’s SuperScrimpers and second is ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show.
For anyone in a genuinely bad financial situation who is looking for some useful advice to save some serious cash, don’t expect to find too many solutions while watching SuperScrimpers. The shows resident money expert Mrs Moneypenny does occasionally offer the odd nugget of wisdom that could potentially net you a decent saving, but for the most part the programmes advice verges on the insulting.
For example, on a recent episode one of the Scrimpers showed viewers how they can avoid the cost of buying a new pair of shoes by decorating an old pair instead of throwing them out. Granted after a number of sparkly bits and pieces were fixed to the footwear they did look like new, but that’s because they looked new to start with. The shoes clearly wouldn’t have been thrown out in the first place and if they had tried the same ‘trick’ with a genuinely worn out pair, they’d have still looked worn out after but now worn out with some sparkles stuck on.
Unfortunately the tips offered up by the Scrimpers generally follow along the same lines. Rather than paying a pound or two for something, why not spend a few hours making a second rate version of it yourself. This may be great for people who enjoy making things or have plenty of time on their hands but it’s hardly going to save someone from financial ruin.
Now over on ITV1 you’ll find The Martin Lewis Money Show, basically what viewers always wanted SuperScrimpers to be. The show which is hosted by Martin Lewis and Saira Khan, manages to cram about as much practical and beneficial financial advice into 30 minutes as is possible.
You can tell from watching Mr Lewis on screen for just a few seconds that he is genuinely passionate about both reducing peoples expenditure and maximizing the interest on their savings. Despite him now being an extremely wealthy guy from the sale of his website moneysavingexpert.com, you get the impression he still practices what he preaches.
The advice offered on TMLMS is often far from obvious stuff. For example, during his segment on car insurance he shows us the usual stuff like using comparison sites but also adds in a couple of extra tricks to save even more money. Martin demonstrated how selecting different variations of the same job title when filling out your details, can bizarrely save you a decent chunk of cash. All from something which takes a few seconds to do. But that wasn’t it, after getting the final quote he then used a cashback website to save even more.
Much of the stuff Martin and Saira talk about on the show you may never have thought of yourself, plus they keep you up to date on all the latest offers to take advantage of. Following all the tips mentioned throughout the series could truly save you thousands of pounds and all without any sewing or craftwork.
SuperScrimpers does have its place and they do offer some interesting product comparison tests. But for those of you looking to get out of debt or for some clever insider information, your cash should be on the original money saving expert.