TV Andrea McLean is talking to Me and My MONEY

TV presenter Andrea Makin has sold her house for £ 1 million to be able to invest in her business This Girl Is On Fire – an online gym for the mind – and the 52-year-old girl has no regrets about the bold decision.

Makin, who recently returned to the TV chat show Loose Women as a guest after quitting in 2020, is the author of “You Just Need to Believe: 10 Ways to Unlock Your Courage and Regain Your Strength in 10 Days”.

Married to businessman Nick Feeney, McLean spoke to Donna Ferguson.

A smart move: Andrea McLean has invested in a “gym for the mind”

What did your parents teach you about money?

Not to spend more than you earn. My parents were working class people. My mom was a barber and my dad an engineer. He left school without qualifications, became an apprentice engineer and eventually traveled to Trinidad to install equipment at the plant.

I spent most of my upbringing in Trinidad. It was like being in the army. We lived in a furnished house of the company where my dad worked.

We didn’t have a good one and the money was a bit, but I didn’t notice it until we came back to the UK when I was a teenager.

My parents wanted to buy real estate and I think they felt the difficulty. I even remember my mom quitting because she could no longer afford it.

Have you ever had a hard time making ends meet?

When I was 24 and studying for a postgraduate degree in journalism in London, I only had a student loan to live on.

I slept on a friend’s floor until I could take a bed that was so small that there wasn’t enough room in it even for a bed.

I slept on a mattress in the closet and I had to put 50 pence a meter to get warmth and light.

Have you ever been paid stupid money?

Yes, most recently at the awards ceremony. All I had to do was come up and read the script. I finished in 20 minutes and I was paid crazy money: a few thousand pounds.

It was so ridiculous to earn so much in 20 minutes that I stayed up all evening to justify the fee.

What year was the best in your financial life?

It was 2012. I hosted Loose Women, published my first book, and I had a successful range of jewelry for sale on the QVC shopping channel.

I won’t say exactly how much I earned, but it was a six-figure sum.

What is the most expensive thing you bought for fun?

A black floor-length sheepskin coat from fashion retailer Joseph for £ 1,000 in 2000. I bought it when my son was a newborn because it felt so awful.

I decided I needed something beautiful. It was beautiful and warm, but I wore it so often that it started to look like a wild animal.

Eventually I had to give it to charity before it crawled on its own.

What is your biggest money mistake?

Investing in retirement with Equitable Life in the 1990s. Most of it was lost in 2000, when the insurer was on the verge of bankruptcy – probably a six-figure sum. It made me sick.

But now I have taken it as an extraordinary failure. That didn’t stop me from postponing retirement. I took the advice of a financial advisor who said I should continue to save on a different scheme.

I think it makes sense for tax reasons, and I like the fact that my savings are scattered, so there’s no temptation to dive into them.

I compare my experience with Equitable Life with my experience with men. I have been married three times. This is not to say that I do not trust love or believe that all men are horrible. I was just unlucky. You live, study, take matters into your own hands and start again.

The best money decision you made?

He sold his house last year to invest half a million pounds in his business, This Girl Is On Fire.

This is an online gym for the mind, a private club for women where we teach them to think differently.

The idea is that when you train your mental muscles, it keeps you mentally strong.

When I left Loose Women in December 2020, I took a step of faith and put all my heart and soul into This Girl Is On Fire.

My salary immediately went to zero. I was very scared – and my biggest fear was that if I had to sell my house? It was this big shadow that hung over me.

In good company: Andrea McLean recently returned to the TV chat show Loose Women as a guest after quitting in 2020

In good company: Andrea McLean recently returned to the TV chat show Loose Women as a guest after quitting in 2020

About nine months later I realized I needed more money to invest in the business because we were building the app and it took longer than we thought.

So I had to sell my house – for £ 1 million – and started renting a lovely six-bedroom house in Surrey.

Do you invest directly in the stock market?

Yes. I took some of the money I got from selling my house and put it on the stock market.

What is this little luxury that you will treat yourself to?

I have acupuncture with Sarah Bradden every six to eight weeks. It costs £ 200. I come exhausted.

She makes acupuncture on my face, feet, hands … I look like a pillow.

When I go out, I feel all floating as if I’m upside down and she has balanced me again.

If you were Chancellor, what would you do in the first place?

I would stop levying income tax on those who earn below the subsistence level so they can keep all their income.

I would then lower the top income tax rate to 20 percent and would remove the tax evasion schemes so that everyone would pay that rate. The Treasury will end up getting more money.

Do you donate money to charity?

I donate to various charities, but the main thing I do are the foster dogs from Battersea Dogs Home.

I take dogs and love them until they find a home forever. So far, we’ve raised ten and saved one – Teddy Kawapa – because we just couldn’t get it back.

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TV Andrea McLean is talking to Me and My MONEY

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