IT’S amazing how easy it is to spend money without actually leaving the house.
I had a day off last week, and once I’d got all of the vital housework jobs done, by about 9.05am I decided to put the telly on.
The first programme I stumbled across was Jeremy Kyle with two nuggets from Manchester arguing over who was Shania’s baby’s dad.
I don’t think mum-of-eight Shania was that fussed to be honest, but the with the Child Support Agency waiting in the wings the two lads on the sofa were sweating a bit.
I was dying to find out the results of the lie detector test when the adverts came on - and that’s when I noticed how the daytime TV schedulers target our wallets.
Obviously the purpose of TV advertising is to encourage us to buy stuff, subliminally telling us that we need a new car or a holiday or a house full of carpets.
But during the day, the adverts are different.
Michael Parkinson popped up to offer me a free pen if I signed up for some pension thing, then June Whitfield had the same patter on the next advert but I think her direct debit was a bit cheaper.
Churchill, oh yes, popped up to try and tempt me into changing my car insurance then if I wanted to plan things in advance then I had my pick of a bed that lifts up and flips you out at the touch of a button, a walk-in bath or a stairlift.
As the day wore on, I became more intrigued by the adverts than I was by the actually programmes.
I even sat through four bitter and twisted middle-aged women around a table cackling about blokes just waiting to see what sort of adverts were coming up.
Some window cleaner fell off a ladder to show me how easy it would be to get a claim in should I suffer the misfortune of an accident at work, and I lost count of the number of times I was offered the chance to get out of debt simply by taking out an affordable loan and paying back three times as much over the next six months.
I then picked up on the ads that pull at the heart-strings, and for just two pound a month on a direct debit I could provide water for a family of 16 in the Third World.
I already pay over 30 quid a month for my own water - and I live on my own - so I dodged that one but I was tempted to adopt a snow leopard for just three quid a month.
Three quid a month for a snow leopard is a right bargain, but where would I keep it?