Do you still carry cash?
I do but more just to remind myself what it looks like these days. I have a clear mobile phone holder and I always have a note in there. But cash is very useful, particularly for homeless people, as I was homeless when I was young. Giving can make such a difference to their lives, and to ours because it feels great to do it.
Have you made money in the housing market?
I rented until I started on GMTV in 1993, after which I was able to buy a house for cash. And I loved next door so much that I made them an offer and knocked the houses together. We sold them for about five times what they cost us.
What did you learn about money from your parents?
To never take it for granted. I grew up in Jamaica with four brothers and sisters in a three-bedroom house where both the kitchen and the bathroom were outside. My father left on the Windrush ships to find work and in 1962 the rest of the family came. Our next meal was never guaranteed and that taught us to be humble.
What are your financial goals?
I don’t have any. On Saga ships, people jokingly use the term ‘SKIN’ – Spend the Kids’ Inheritance Now! But seriously, you should provide for your kids, and give them a good education and the start they need. Beyond that, you should live for the moment. Last year we lost our 12-year-old granddaughter Hadassah to meningitis, and my best friend – whom I had known for 60 years – in the space of four weeks. We should never say, ‘I’m going to do…’ we should just do it, because the only thing we can be sure of is now. Enjoy today!
What do you insure?
Only my health – and that’s with Saga!
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What has been your most extravagant holiday?
The most extravagant holiday didn’t cost me anything! The Seychelles government wanted me to go out there, and the plane was full of all these beautiful ladies. It was just me, my family and all these amazing women. When the plane landed, the red carpet was rolled out. Not for us, surely, I thought. I was right. When I got to the hotel I found out they were all Miss World contestants!
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