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Spendaholics is a series that was made for the BBC but is now showing repeated episodes on Really (channel 248 on sky). The time it is showed varies but can often be found on at about 12:30pm on weekdays.
What is it?
Spendaholics is exactly what it says on the tin – a programme focusing on people who cant stop spending money and as a result of this are creeping further and further into debt.The programme focuses on a new spendaholic each episode and coaches Jay Hunt and Benjamin Fry give the spendaholic various training and advice with Jay focusing on the financial side of things (eg. how much debt you will be in if you carry on, how you can save money, when your debts will be paid off, budgeting etc) and Benjamin focusing on the psychological reasons behind their expensive habits (eg. talking to family and friends, talking about their childhood etc).
Layout of the programme
The programme begins by introducing the spendaholic and shows the coaches looking round their home in order to discover where the spending problem lies. Then the coaches meet the spendaholic and discuss their spending and debt. They then give the spendaholic an opportunity to decide how much money they think they get through per week, in pretty much all the episodes I have seen the spendaholic guesses about half of what they are actually spending!
A shock tactic is then given – Jay and Benjamin give the spendaholic a limited budget which they must stick to for the next week, really thinking about where their money usually goes. The amount is usually between £25 and £60. They are then followed on their ‘Cold Turkey’ week to see how they get on and what they spend their budget on. Some spendaholics really embrace this challenge and do very well but others don’t do quite so well, borrowing money from family or friends etc.
Following this, various activities are employed by the coaches to allow the spendaholic to understand why they spend the way they do eg. focusing on when the problem started and any reasons why it could have began, when they tend to spend the most, alternatives to spending money and then eventually a new long term budget.
The coaches then meet up with the spendaholic a month or two later to discuss how they are getting on and what changes have been made.
I really enjoy this programme. As with the majority of the country at the moment I am trying to cut my spending and this programme gives me both motivation and also a few tips on how to save. The programme isn’t bursting with tips like Channel 4’s Superscrimpers but it does give a few decent ideas which are focused around the spendaholics spending habits eg. for someone who loves fashion – swapping their clothes online rather than constantly buying new.I find each episode interesting and look forward to watching it. My favourite part of the programme is the Cold Turkey week as I like to see how the spendaholics budget with their small allowance. As I am currently giving myself a bare minimum weekly spending budget I like to see how others get on!
The way the show is divided up into small sections keeps it fresh and interesting and it doesn’t begin to start to feel a bit repetitive.
One slight negative is that the episodes are a few years old now – I think that in these current economic times then new episodes would do very well.
I really enjoy this programme and look forward to watching it. Recommended for anyone with an interest in cutting back.