Rosie Millard: Thrifty Living

Breakfast at the beeb. A thrift queen has her say...

I'm invited on to the BBC's Breakfast to talk about money. Why me? Well, it's the summer season, isn't it? On the way into TV Centre, I think about all the thrifty things I am going to discuss. How I now dye my own hair at home. How I only spend money on shoes, and the occasional haircut, because as every thrift queen knows, if you have classy feet and hair, what's in-between doesn't really matter. How I always cook stews for the children to come home to after a day out, so we don't need to spend £60+ at a pizzeria on food that no one actually wants. How I am, in effect, a living example of how you can beat £20,000 off your credit card bill but still look like a groomed superstar. Ha! I walk into the studio.

"And welcome to Rosie Millard, the nation's most famous spendthrift," is the introductory line from Breakfast's Bill Turnbull. All my notions about discussing how very fiscally careful I am fly out of my groomed head and I find myself turning into an imbecile gabbling about how I went to Paris for a day and came back having bought a £110,000 flat. And that I have been known to spend ever so much on my haircuts. Well, you know, Cherie and me...

I am sitting next to a man from Radio Four's Money Box, who, as if on cue, starts to roll his eyes. Mr Money Box clearly thinks that I am a sofa-ensconced example of that well-worn cliché, the female airhead who is rubbish with money. This annoys me. "Well, the Paris flat was actually a great investment," I hiss at him. Indeed, it is now worth £220,000 which after only three years isn't at all bad, although since I know nothing about remortgaging, selling or indeed French Capital Gains Tax, my 100 per cent paper gain is rather meaningless.

Back to Breakfast. The reason that I and Mr Money Box have been invited on to the show in the first place is thanks to a survey by the Skipton Building Society, which shows that joint bank accounts are yesterday's news. Married couples, it transpires, would much rather have their cash in separate accounts. This is probably because we are all in debt and want to hide it from our partners.

"What arrangement do you have?" asks Turnbull, trying to keep a straight face. I explain that Mr Millard is frightfully good with money, or at least he was before we were married, so we have a joint account for the household expenses. This means we can always pay the gas bill. We each have a separate bank account for our own expenses. Which in my case means I sometimes cannot pay the credit card bill.

"So, how much is your debt really?" says Turnbull, as if I have never been asked this humdinger of a question before. "Well, Bill, it used to start with a 5," I reply. "Then it went down to something starting with a 4. Now it starts with a 3. But do you know what, I'm easy with it." "You certainly are," he rejoins, sternly. Naturally if I hadn't been easy with it, I probably wouldn't have agreed to join him on the Breakfast sofa and chat to a watching nation about it, but I don't remind him of this.

After our chat, he reveals that he is wearing a fantastically expensive pair of shoes. The priciesthe has ever bought. "How much did they cost, Bill? Did they start with a 1? Did they start with a 2?" He gazes at me mysteriously. "My God!" I whisper as the studio manager sets up the next guest, "They start with a 3!" Respect. Clearly Bill Turnbull operates on the same policy as I do about shoes and hair. Unless the BBC pays for his footwear. "You must be joking!" he explodes. "There is no such thing as a clothing allowance for presenters!" Poor Bill.

He looks at me with interest. "I like the way you use figures. Is this the way you spendthrifts talk about debt these days?" he whispers. I nod. "Yes. Those of us in real, huge debt only talk about the first digit. We tend to leave the zeros alone."

I walk out of the studio with Mr Money Box. To my amazement, he has some words of praise. "Yours is quite the right approach. Have a joint bank account for your joint expenses and household needs. Then if you each have an income, you should each have a separate bank account." Even if mine has a negative balance which starts with a 3? "Yes, probably," says Mr Moneybox. "It's your money." That's OK then.

cashl@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
health
Sport
A view of today's Spanish papers
football
Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8 in 2005. From left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright
music New album The Endless River set to overtake boyband for most pre-ordered of all-time
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch films his performance as Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
film
News
people

Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London