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28 October 2014

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Programme 5 - Ed & Paula

Geoff and Deirdre with son Ed and his wife PaulaName: Ed & Paula

Live: Newbury

Occupation: Ed is a laundry worker and Paula a part time security guard

Financial Situation: Over £34,500 in debt

Biggest Money Wasters: Treating themselves and their three children to every gadget and luxury they want

Watch Lawrence's summary of Ed & Paula's situation

Anything goes
Ed and Paula, a married couple from Newbury, were no strangers to the latest technology. They loved spending all their cash on unnecessary goodies like DVDs, soft toys, gifts for the kids and the latest electronic gadgets. But their combined income of £21,500 just couldn't cover their frivolous spending sprees. The increasing bills were putting a strain on Ed and Paula's relationship, so it was time for action.

After discovering their son and his wife were in debt to the tune of around £34,500, mum Deirdre and dad Geoff decided enough was enough. All the cash and cards were confiscated along with the mobile phones, then it was time for Bank of Mum & Dad's Lawrence Gold to break down the finances. After finding mobile phone bills of over £600, county court judgments for unpaid bills and a monthly overspend of £600, even Lawrence was shocked.

Action stations
Deirdre called in a house clearer to see how much cash Ed and Paula could make if they sold some of their unnecessary items. The idea fell on deaf ears, so the next step was to bring in the cavalry. Lawrence warned Ed and Paula they were dangerously close to bankruptcy so a tight budget was drawn up. Lawrence also suggested the pair had to get a joint bank account set up, instead of them both dealing with their own money ineffectively.

Because Ed and Paula couldn't afford to pay back their debts Lawrence advised the pair to write to their creditors requesting help with their repayments. As Lawrence's words continued to sink in there was another shock in store when Deirdre called in a bailiff to show Paula what will happen if her bills don't get paid. It was a somber day for Ed and Paula.

Dance out of debt
To try get Ed and Paula working more as a team Deirdre organised dancing lessons for the two reluctant participants. It ended up being smiles all round and Deirdre hoped it was the start of them working together as more of a partnership.

A major step was achieved a day later when Ed and Paula went to open a joint account. Feeling she was on a role Deirdre decided to push for action and the some of the videos and household items were finally sold.

Two months on and things are slowly looking up. Ed is making some extra cash gardening in his spare time and the pair are still working together to deal with their bills as they come in, instead of ignoring them. They are managing to stick to the budget and are determined to keep at it until they are back in the black.

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