Matt and Jade Whitehouse are in desperate need of help as their costs spiral uncontrollably.
The couple, who have two young children and live in Solihull, have wracked up £7,000 in “dangerous” credit card debt but have refused to confront the problem for years.
“It’s super awkward to talk about money. I hate it, it makes me cringe,” admits Jade.
“I just want to hide away when I think about money. It’s our one flaw in the relationship. One chink in our armour.”
The husband and wife spend a whopping £400 a month on clothes and describe themselves as “best friends”, but were completely unaware they were both forking out for Amazon Prime subscriptions.
After cooking the kids’ meals they regularly get takeaway just for themselves because they’re too tired and spend a staggering £300 a month on fast food.
Matt is a football coach for Coventry City youth team, while Jade works in a restaurant and is qualified to teach baby yoga.
Unfortunately, their earnings were hit hard when they were both furloughed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Requiring urgent assistance, the How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours team rush in to help sort their finances, with presenter Anna Richardson admitting it’s “not a pretty sight”.
Anna asks how their marriage has lasted as long as it has due to Matt being a saver and wife Jade spending loads.
Confessing they are on the road to “serious trouble”, Matt explains that they have a £500 deficit each month so have found their debt piling up.
Revealing some home truths after looking through their bank statements, Anna reveals they spend 30% more than the national average on eating out and takeaways.
It’s even worse in terms of luxury spending as Jade, who confesses she has a “shopping addiction”, spends nine times more than the average person on clothes.
Digging deep into the finances, Anna discovers the couple have £7,000 debt on credit cards and are paying off £450 a month.
However, £110 of that is “dead cash” because it’s thrown away as interest, which Matt admits is “massively scary” for them.
In a bid to sort out their financial woes, the couple spend six hours with an expert in various fields so they can slash their bills, declutter and fix their home.
Jade’s wardrobe is overflowing and she admits she has a shopping addiction, often buying clothes she has never even worn.
Cleaning expert Peachy Clean comes round to help declutter and is stunned to find clothes which have still got the tags on.
Peachy tells Jade she needs to be “ruthless” and sort her items into separate piles of keep, sell or charity shop.
She explains that clothes with tags still on, rare items and bundles of clothes, especially for kids, are the best to sell.
Her next bit of advice is to rent designer clothes for special one-off events and to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last 12 months.
Peachy also says don’t hang wooden jumpers on wire hangers as you’ll get saggy shoulders, fold items with logos showing on front so you can easily find them and put a bag of bicarbonate of soda in with smelly items like shoes.
Jade is challenged to not buy any clothes for one week, but she struggles with her urges and starts browsing on her usual shopping sites.
The pair put 80 items they no longer wear on Ebay and make an amazing £360 in cash, while Jade manages to survive the week without buying anything for herself.
They also need some serious help in the kitchen, so renowned restauranteur Gary Usher shows the couple how to save a fortune on their food bill.
After making home cooked meals for the kids they often take the easy option and order a takeaway.
But Gary shows them they to save money by making a base dish for the whole family which can then be customised for the adults so they don’t have to start from scratch.
As an example, Gary makes a risotto with sausage and egg added for the children but courgette and feta for their parents.
In addition to the costly takeaways, they also spend £60 going to their favourite restaurant at least twice a month.
Rather than forking out a fortune on eating out at fancy restaurants, Gary shows the couple how to have a date night at home for under a tenner.
By following his advice they manage to save an impressive £180 a month on their food budget.
Lastly it’s time to sort out the only loo in their house, which needs urgent fixing as their wobbly sink could lead to a flood.
The only toilet in the house gets a lot of us and the door doesn’t close properly or even have a lock on it.
DIY expert Eve Humphreys creates a stylish shelving solution and toilet roll holder using copper pipes as well as a tiled splash back for the sink.
At the end of the week, Matt and Jade reveal to Anna that they have cut up their old credit card and transferred their £7,000 debt to a zero interest credit card.
They previously spent £450 a month on the card, £110 of which was purely interest, but now they are just paying off the capital at £250 a month.
They also manage to save £100 a month by cutting down on unwanted subscription services and renegotiating contracts.
In total they have saved £1,300 by using the team’s advice – with savings of £1,000 each month carrying forward into the future.
“Personally, for my wellbeing and anxiety wise it’s really helped,” explains Matt.
While Jadd adds: “I’m enthusiastic for the future and we’re both on the same page now.”
*How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours airs Mondays on Channel 4 at 8pm
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