4 Powerful Lessons From ShopWellForLess
A program that focuses on budgeting and saving? Yes please! Some people can’t take their eyes off X-Factor, but for me? Well let’s just say ShopWellForLess is definitely my guilty pleasure.
Last week’s episode the couple had cut back on their working hours to spend quality time with their two kids and also wanted to rein in their expenses to match or be lower than their reduced incomes. Nice, and relatable right? Everyone would love them right? Wrong. Within minutes it was unveiled that the cash strapped couple had spent over £40,000 on clothes and accessories over the last 24 months!
Well, presenters Steph and Alex (I feel like we’re on a first name basis now), went through their usual practice of combing through household spending, and turns out designer clothes, shoes and other branded items were the worst culprits.
As one might imagine the show has caused a moderate twitter storm.
“I love this show but I had to turn it off. That couple have so got their heads stuck up their you know what.”
“To be honest I think that was a really tasteless programme in this day and age. There are people struggling to make ends meet and here we are with a spoilt pair of bozos helping them save £13grand. Sort it out, I’m cringing @BBCOne #shopwellforless”
As is always the case with shows like this, the annoyed reactions have been quite widespread. We could spend hours scrolling through these (and probably will) but first let’s have a look at the lessons we can learn from my new favourite Wednesday wonder:
ShopWellForLess Lesson #1 - Budget is Best
Your level of income really doesn’t matter. You HAVE to budget. This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself, and splurge now and then, it just means live within your means.
ShopWellForLess Lesson #2 - Eyes on the target
Goals are powerful. You have to set objectives across all facets of life especially when it comes to finances. Work to come up with meaningful goals then save and invest towards them. For the couple and their kids it could be saving towards an extended holiday or parents affording to take time off work to have quality family time. The couple actually summarised it perfectly by saying they were motivated by targets.
ShopWellForLess Lesson #3 - Pay you First!
Treat savings as another expense or bill and set up standing orders to pay yourself or technically your future self first. This cultivates a behaviour of saving. Steph and Alex suggested 20% of disposable income should be saved, but if this is out of reach start smaller.
ShopWellForLess Lesson #4 - Get APPy
Look for financial tools and apps to help you with your financial goals. For the family they had no control over finances and just used their cards when they needed something. One option could be to use a card like Monzo which helps to set a specific spending budget and hopefully keep to it.
MoneyNotes says - Whilst the tips given by the presenters were fantastic, this couple especially are in a really positive position to generate wealth. At least some of the £13,500 savings that the presenters helped them to find could be invested and then let the power of compounding help grow their wealth.
Finally the programme has a huge following, and should be used as a platform to talk about investing for the future, or even how lack of budgeting could lead to debt and may spiral to bad debt and dealing with payday loan companies.
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