How to save a grand in 24 hours: Shopoholics rent free in London

Shopaholic parents who have lived rent-free in a family-owned flat in London for 12 years but have NO savings are branded ‘shameful and irresponsible’ by How to Save a Grand in 24 hours viewers

  • Shareen Kofi, from London, appeared on How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours
  • Lived with husband Michael and their four children in a two bedroom apartment
  • Said despite not paying rent for 12 years, she and Michael didn’t have savings
  • Couple splashed out £760 each month shopping and £1260 on their food bill 
  • Experts were able to slash their spending down, saving them £1320 each month
  • But viewers slammed their spending habits and branded them ‘irresponsible’  

Viewers of How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours have slammed a pair of shopaholics who have been living rent free in London for the last 12 years and admitted they didn’t have ‘any savings’.

Shareen Kofi, from London, and her husband Michael appeared on the Channel 4 documentary last night and confessed they were routine overspenders, splashing out £1260 on food and £760 on shopping trips each month. 

The dance instructor and care home worker, who live with their four children, have never paid rent because their two-bedroom flat is owned by Michael’s mother but still struggled to save.

With the help of Channel 4’s team of chef Gary Usher, DIY expert Eve Humphreys and cleaning wonder Peachy Clean, they discovered they could be saving £1320 by cutting down their food bills and excessive shopping sprees.

However many of those watching the show were left flabbergasted over the couple’s spending habits, with one writing: ‘Rent free for 12 years and no savings to show for it? I blame the partner’s mum who owns the house. So irresponsible for these 2 lots.’

Viewers of How to Save a Grand in 24 Hours have slammed Shareen and Michael Kofi who had been living rent free in London for the last 12 years and admitted they didn’t have ‘any savings’

Another posted: ‘I’m sorry but this program is ridiculous. It’s bloody obvious what they need to do and if they need to be told they should be ashamed of themselves.’

Appearing on the programme, Shareen confessed their home could often be ‘crazy’, saying: ‘We’re falling over each other, we don’t have enough storage, we don’t have a back garden.’ 

Despite not being together anymore, the couple still lived together because they were determined to co-parent their children.   

And although they didn’t pay rent to Michael’s mother to live in her home, Shareen said they have never been able to save, confessing: ‘When we have money, we spent.’   

Many of those watching the show were left flabbergasted over the couple’s spending habits, with some branding them ‘irresponsible’

Michael agreed, admitting: ‘Our biggest problem is we don’t know how to budget.’

Shareen added: ‘All we know is, get money, spend money, then hope you get more money.’ 

The mother-of-four confessed was ‘literally shopping every day’ while Michael said he ‘couldn’t resist a bargain buy.’   

Despite splashing out hundreds each month on food shopping, Shareen revealed the couple couldn’t afford to renovate their bathroom.

The couple confessed they were both shopaholics, with Shareen revealing she would often go shopping every day to pick up new clothes, DVDs and toys for her children 

The mother-of-four said:   ‘I hate the bathroom, we don’t have a shower, we bucket bath the children which isn’t fun for them at all. Neither of us are any good at DIY.’

Anna Richardson met the couple and after studying their bank statements, she was ready to  drop some financial bombshells.

She explained: ‘You are spending £760 on shopping sprees. Of that, £260 is spent online.’

Shareen was left stunned, admitting: ‘We actually don’t have that money.’

Despite splashing out hundreds each month on food shopping, Shareen said the couple couldn’t afford to renovate their bathroom

Anna also revealed the couple spent £1260 on food each month, with £310 splashed out on takeaways and £950 in the supermarket. 

And after she said the average for a family of six would be £400, Shareen became emotional, saying: ‘To me, that sounds irresponsible. It’s not good.’ 

They began their journey by meeting chef Gary, who told them their bank statements showed they go to the supermarket 43 times a month. 

His top tip for the couple was to write a shopping list, as he revealed: ‘Don’t let the supermarkets trick you. 

The mother-of-four couldn’t help but become emotional when Anna revealed how much she and Michael were spending, calling it ‘irresponsible’

‘They put the chocolate next to the till. They put the milk and bread far away. Without the list, you get everything you don’t need.’

The chef suggested the family try out the thrifty art of bulk buying and start shopping at  a wholesalers – which could save them up to 25 per cent. 

After meeting with Gary, Peachy arrived at their home for a cash-saving clear-out, saying she thought the house was ‘stuffed to the brim.’

She called their mess ‘overwhelming’, explaining: ‘There was way too many books, so many toys…it was way too overcrowded. I’ve never seen so many hair products in all of my life.’ 

Anna also revealed the couple spent £1260 on food each month, with £310 splashed out on takeaways and £950 in the supermarket 

Peachy said the couple should be ‘ruthless’ with their belongings before she spent 6 hours and  2 minutes tidying and reorganising the lounge.

The couple also saved cash by switching their electric metre from top up to direct debit and got to grips with spending by going online.

After Peachy reoganised their lounge into a comfortable and relaxing space, DIY expert Eve sought to replace their bucket baths with a new shower.

Thrifty Eve upcycled an old shower from another job, and recommended Shareen search for similar pieces on sites like Freecycle in the future.

Thrifty Eve upcycled an old shower from another job, and recommended Shareen search for similar pieces on sites like Freecycle in the future 

She also rejuvenated the space by painting the dingy white walls into a bright yellow colour. 

The couple confessed they were blown away by the changes to the space, with Michael calling it ‘special’.

Thanks to Eve’s ingenuity, the couple spent just £180 for a job that could have cost them £1,000. 

After visits from the experts, the couple started household spreadsheets and Michael began regularly checking his bills, rather than hiding them in drawers. 

Meanwhile Peachy Clean tackled the couple’s messy and overflowing lounge, which they confessed they found ‘overwhelming’

After Peachy unveiled the results of her cleaning spree, Shareen admitted the messy lounge had been one of the reasons she had often wanted to ‘escape to the shops’  (pictured, after the clean up)

Meanwhile Shareen admitted the new bathroom and tidy lounge made her feel ‘much clearer and more peaceful’, continuing: ‘Before I think I was just trying to escape to the shops.’ 

At the end of their time with the team, the couple sat down with Anna to discuss the savings they had made. 

Shareen said: ‘After following Gary’s advice, we’ve actually signed up to a cash and carry which is going to give us huge savings.

‘And because the house is nicer, we don’t want to pop out to the shops, so it all works together.’

Using the lessons they learned in 24 hours, Anna revealed the couple had saved £630 on supermarket bills, £310 on takeaways and £380 on shopping sprees (pictured) 

Using the lessons they learned in 24 hours, Anna revealed they had saved £630 on supermarket bills, £310 on takeaways and £380 on shopping sprees.

The savings would leave them with an extra £1320 in their pockets at the end of the month. If they continued to do that for four years, Anna said they could save over £50,000.  

Shareen was left in tears over the revelation, confessing: ‘We want our children to know better, so we knew we had to learn.’

However many of those watching were left stunned by the couple, with one person asking:  ‘How it possible to live rent free for 12 years and not have any savings?’

A second added: ‘These two will never move out from tiny flat even if they had 6 kids. The shock of paying mortgage or rent and they know it, hence why even after they split up, still stayed together!’

‘Minutes into #HowToSaveAGrand and they already annoy me,’ another commented. ‘Living somewhere rent free for years but no savings? Live in a small flat, complaining no space but can’t stop buying stuff? Saving these people money is a no brainer. Definitely turning off.’

Budget before  

Food shopping – £950

Takeaways – £310 

Shopping – £760  

 

Budget after  

Food shopping – £320

Takeaways – 0 

Shopping – £380 

Savings = £1320  

 

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