The Money Shot – April 20th, 2012

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

YOU GOTTA £10-A-ROLL WITH IT

As you’re doubtless aware, saving cash is the Money Shot’s M.O. Well, that and woeful stabs at weaving in ‘humour’ and ‘mirth’ into the generally prosaic world of personal finance news every week. But we know as well as anyone that some things just aren’t worth skimping on. In fact, Gocompare.com News published this very handy article not so long ago with a few suggestions on when to scrounge and when to splurge – The Money Shot felt that the advice on opting for a premium stain remover was particularly sound.

Bog roll is one of those sundry items for which it’s worth splashing the cash. The Money Shot reckons that we’re not alone when we say that barely a night goes by where we don’t suffer a harrowing flashback to the dark days of wincing at the rough, non-absorbent  touch of the tracing paper-esque material that was provided in the facilities of school. We never want to go back there, and unless you’re a masochist, neither should you.

So, while we’re happy to loosen the purse strings for some quilted luxury aloe vera-bolstered three-ply, we’d probably draw the line at the expense that pop ‘Svengali’ Simon Cowell goes to when making arrangements for his commodes at his gaff. In an ‘explosive exposé' from an ex ‘lover’, it has been revealed that the lofty-trousered Syco mogul insists on a £10-a-roll black loo roll in all the facilities at his residences.

While we could hardly begrudge a man to spend his well-earned millions on whatever he wants, the very concept of black loo roll raises a few uncomfortable questions – namely, how does one tell when they're, er, done? It can’t be easy. While Mr Cowell always seems to be a well-turned out gentleman with excellent teeth and a neat ‘buzz-cut’, we fear for the hygiene of  the man who masterminded the chart success of such hits as Sinnita’s ‘So Macho’. Still, if the ongoing success of his latest tween-baiting protégés One Direction is anything to go by, he’s still very much a man who's down with the skids.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Right off to do some Watchdogging with Anne Robinson”

Oh, phew. He said ‘WATCHDogging.’ Martin Lewis - the notoriously private and reclusive money saving expert - very nearly puts a truly nightmarish image in our minds.

IT AIN’T EASY BEIN’ TWIZY

Renault Twizy

The electrically powered Renault Twizy ‘quadricycle’ looks a bit like a cross between a Sinclair C5 and a moon buggy. It’s certain to turn heads, starts at a shade over £6,000 and delivers a 50 mile range from its electric battery, which you must lease for £45 a month. But despite its decidedly snail-like pace, low on-the-road price and dinky powerplant, some potential buyers are reporting annual insurance costs for well over £800, sort of eliminating those ‘cheap running cost’ benefits. Its rip-snorting 17bhp lithium-ion battery can propel the Twizy to a positively face-melting 50mph (maybe more with a tailwind and a downhill slope).

But despite this, the car still falls into the relatively high insurance group 10 – the same as a Seat Leon 1.9 turbo diesel, which has about five times as much power. Gocompare.com’s resident car insurance expert, Scott Kelly pondered: “It does make one wonder what the brainiacs at Renault were doing when they designed a car that carries the same insurance classification as cars which have far more power. In a Twizy, you may increase the life expectancy of the planet, but expect to pay the insurance cost of a gas guzzler for the privilege.”

We rang the Association of British Insurers for a few more answers. A spokesman told us: "When insurers look at group ratings, speed and performance is taken into account, but they also look at the availability of spare parts, safety and security too," which might go some way to explaining the Twizy's relatively high cost to cover.

NEWS IN BRIEF

What’s silent, unpleasant, and happens at the most inappropriate of moments? No, it’s not that. It’s actually ‘nuisance’ calls from Homeserve, which the company has been fined £750,000 for making.

Soap is something you expect to eventually shrink and wither in size, but only if it’s been exposed to water and used in a vigorous daily scrubbing routine. However, a bar of Imperial Leather sudmaker has shrunk 20 per cent in the past two years, despite going up in price.

Petrol has hit a 142.8p per litre high.

The Daily Mail has reported a MAJOR HEALTH RISK on new 5 and 10p coins.

The Money Shot gets a bit jumpy when its slate down the Dog & Duck rises to above £20. But according to research from The Money Advice Trust, Britons only get worried about debt when they get past the £14,500 mark.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that having a cleaner is the preserve of the upper crust. But apparently, ‘one in four’ British households now calls upon the services of a cleaning services operative, nanny or indeed a gardener, according to research from LV, who polled 2,000 people to achieve the result.

On Gocompare.com News this week…

Mild-mannered milksop Kristian Dando isn’t a natural motorcyclist, to say the least. See how he fared when he saddled up for the first time.

Weed all about it! Get the skinny on a rampant horticultural blight on homes courtesy of Dave Jenkins.

Money talks in Hollywood. Here, Rachel England rounds up here favourite films about cold, hard cash. ISAs – it’s never been a better time to hook yourself up with one, reckons Felicity Hannah.

And finally…

A council in Northern Ireland decision to feature a large, inflatable rubber slide in the image of the Titanic sinking as part of its centenary celebrations has been branded as “in poor taste” by critics. The inflatable slide was among a number of fun-packed attractions provided to entertain children in Lough Shore park last Sunday. UUP councillor Adrian Watson said: "They thought it was a wee bit in bad taste. It was fair criticism."