Meet the Team – James

James Perkins

Money Saving Movement started with the idea that more could be done to help people with the cost of living. I worked in a Housing Association at the time, which strangely was the same one who managed my parents’ house – the same one that I grew up in. I guess because we didn’t have a lot of money when we grew up I was always interested in getting more for less. This after a career working with big retailers in product marketing and buying gave me more than a bit of a healthy interest in buying at the right price.

Like many, my parents kind of struggled by. They weren’t in any way on the “bread line” but certainly life was always a bit hard when it came to the cost of living. I would always try to advise my parents about ways to save money, and often thought that many people would benefit from information that would guide them to find ways to make life a little easier.

I knew that more and more people were struggling financially. I mean you really couldn’t escape from the stories that were repeated day after day about the financial crises and the credit crunch. There had to be a way of getting more money saving information to people. So I was really pleased when I saw an advert asking for people who had ideas about way public services could be improved. At the time I thought my Housing Association could do more, and wanted to talk to people about how that idea could be developed.

That is where we started this little adventure. My ambition is to develop a social enterprise that helps people with the cost of living and more importantly helps them to live more enjoyable lives. After all, money worries are something that none of us need – so let’s create something to get rid of them.

Who holds the key?

Working in social housing has given me a powerful insight into the efforts made by social landlords to support their residents in this difficult time. Landlords are specifically concerned over the implications of welfare reform and the effect an increase in rent arrears will have on their business models. This has prompted them to up the level of resident financial support activity. This includes the employment of welfare benefits /financial inclusion officers and increased debt advice sign posting.

It is evident to me that social landlords (1200 in the UK) hold the key to reaching many of the people who are in need of financial advice and support. However their activity is limited, more could be done and should be.