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24 September 2014

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Latest Programme - Ghent Wakefield

Ghent with mum Linda and dad DavidName: Ghent Wakefield

Live: Stoke-on-Trent

Occupation: Male stripper

Financial Situation: In debt to the tune of over £20,000 and with a credit rating of 0

Biggest Money Wasters: Living it large in London's fashionable clubs and casinos

Watch Lawrence's summary of Ghent's situation

Pump up the spending
For 24 year old dreamboy Ghent, image was everything. But it wasn't just the make up, hair styling and fake tan that was costing him a fortune, Ghent also spent thousands of pounds feeding himself up to Schwarzenegger size proportions during his seven meals a day. He'd been living the high life in London and all the fast cars, casinos and clubbing had taken their toll, oh and those bottles of £200 champagne didn't help.

To make matters worse Ghent's lucrative stripping work was drying up. His solution was to move out of London and in with girlfriend of three months, Charlotte, who had a credit card Ghent couldn't help eyeing up, not to mention a house he could stay at - rent free.

Flexing some financial muscle
Mum Linda couldn't understand her son's reckless spending habits but she hoped by moving in for a week she would get Ghent back on track. After discovering Ghent's debts ran to over £25,000 Linda decided it was time for action and the wallet and phone were confiscated. His rent free existence was also under review when Linda decided her son could pay Charlotte 'in kind' by using some of that extra muscle to fix up her back yard.

Lawrence Gold arrived in time to help Linda get a grip on her son's spending and was shocked to find out that Ghent didn't actually have a bank account or credit card. All Lawrence found was an utterly dismal credit rating of 0, which was the worst rating he had ever come across.

After working through the figures, Lawrence worked out that Ghent had earned around £75,000 in the previous 18 months, yet he had nothing but a £25,000 debt to show for it. He had council tax debt, personal loans and money owing to friends and family. His monthly overspend was around £750, with fake tan alone costing £150 per month.

Stripping the spending
Linda's suggestion of giving up the tanning products for a week fell on deaf ears and emotions were running high. Linda called for some back-up in the form of dad David and two of Ghent's friends who he owed money to. The friends called in the debts but Ghent's reaction wasn't good and once again communications broke down. Lawrence joined in the strained conversation with a strict budget to try help Ghent get out of trouble. He calculated that Ghent needed to get a regular job earning around £18,500 per year, which would enable him to clear his debts within four to five years.

Getting Ghent into a more healthy fitness regime, and off the steroids he had been using for years, was something David wanted to address so a call was made to world body building champion Anita Bean. Anita took Ghent shopping at a local market and showed him how he could keep building up bulk without the expensive and harmful additives. Next on the agenda was a session with a drama therapist who tried to work on Ghent's obsession with body image. It was a draining time for Ghent but for the first time he discussed how he felt with his parents.

As a final attempt to get Ghent back on track, David organised a day's work experience as a fireman. After a good start Ghent couldn't handle his mum and Charlotte watching him so he walked off the job. It was a poor end to the Bank of Mum & Dad week.

One month on and Ghent has started putting his muscles to good use working as a labourer to get some much needed extra cash. He is still working part time as a stripper but has now put his application in as a trainee fireman at three different fire stations. Unfortunately he hasn't kicked the steroid habit but Charlotte is hopeful it will be a step he can take in the future.

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