Glamorous banker and her property manager husband who spend £1,000 a month on activities for their children are shocked at how much fun they can have on a budget when they switch lives with a family-of-seven who live on £145 a week on Rich House Poor House
- Banker turned entrepreneur Marina and her property business manager husband Przemek have two children, eight-year-old Ava and five-year old Alec
- They ditched their life of luxury to swap homes and schedules with part-time accounts assistant Jade, her husband Dean, and their five kids aged two to 14
- Marina admitted she was shocked at how much fun she could have when she ditched her children’s expensive activities in favour of free days out
A wealthy family who spend £1,000 a month on their children’s extra-curricular activities were left ‘thrilled and extremely grateful’ for their new friendship with a struggling family-of-seven after swapping lives for a TV experiment.
Banker turned entrepreneur Marina and her property business manager husband Przemek have two children, eight-year-old Ava and five-year-old Alec.
They live in a five bedroom luxury home in Surrey, which is complete with a gym room, three bathrooms, two family rooms, a heated pool, a zip wire, and a walk-in wardrobe.
But they ditched their life of luxury to swap homes and schedules with part-time accounts assistant Jade, and her husband Dean, a HGV driver, for this week’s episode of Rich House Poor House, which airs on Sunday on Channel 5.
And Marina admitted she was shocked at how much fun she could have when she ditched her children’s expensive activities in favour of free days out including mud-sledging and walks in the woods.
A wealthy family who spend £1,000 a month on their children’s extra-curricular activities were left ‘thrilled and extremely grateful’ for their new friendship with a struggling family of seven after swapping lives for a TV experiment. Banker turned entrepreneur Marina and her property business manager husband Przemek (pictured) have two children, eight-year-old Ava and five-year old Alec.
Jade and Dean, from Basildon, Essex, have five sons, Zachary, 10, Farrell, five, Dean Jr, three, Jason, two, and Joshua, 14, who was born when Jade was only 15.
Jade, who says her dream is to become an accountant, recently put on hold her prospects of a financial career to concentrate on bringing up her children and have more family time.
The tight knit clan of seven have around £145 a week spare after bills and rent to cover food, clothing and anything for emergencies.
‘The only time we ever see any money is when we’re scraping on the food shop to try and save for birthdays,’ Dean explains in the show.
‘I think having money would take away a little of the stress in life,’ Jade added.
‘We’d wouldn’t have to tell children to make their school shoes last for another week because you don’t want to buy them before half term’.
Meanwhile, Marina and Poland-born Przemek spend £300 a week on healthy food shopping – including nuts, seeds and goja berries – for their very active children, who list ballet, singing, guitar, drama, swimming, and hockey lessons among their busy schedules.
While Jade put her dreams of becoming an accountant on hold in order to spend more time with her children, ex-accountant Marina runs her own business selling protein bars for children two years ago in order to work around her little ones busy schedules.
Jade and Dean (pictured), from Basildon, Essex, have five sons, Zachary, 10, Farrell, five, Dean Jr, three, Jason, two, and Joshua, 14, who was born when Jade was only 15.
But the experiment taught her how while she often is ‘physically present’ for her children, by taking her laptop to work poolside to help out in her kids swimming lessons, she’s often not there ‘mentally present’.
‘All the activities in their life makes you learn about success and failure,’ Marina explains. ‘There is no stopping, but you keep operating hoping the future will be brighter,’
‘She spends a lot of time in the office, sometimes she’ll eat in the office,’ daughter Ava added.
Marina learned a strong work ethic at a young age. Born into wealth in Sri Lanka, her father lost his business during the country’s civil war and had to rebuild it all with four daughters to support.
She says her Dad is her biggest ‘role model’.
Marina and Przemek spend £300 a week on healthy food shopping – including nuts, seeds and goja berries – for their very active children, who list ballet, singing, guitar, drama, swimming, and hockey lessons among their busy schedules. The family are pictured
Embarking on the experiment, Marina says the idea of losing everything, including her income and livelihood is ‘beyond terrifying’.
Upon arriving at Jade and Dean’s home – just over an hour away form their Surrey abode – Marina immediately starts questioning things.
‘I don’t know whether it’s a house or a flat,’ Marina says, before heading inside and crying over the family’s empty fridge.
‘It really makes me upset, our fridge is always full, and they’ve got five kids,’ she says.
They also discover the Essex home’s oven is without any hobs, with the family having to use a pair of scissors to get it working.
Jade and Dean are pictured with their five sons after swapping lives with Marina and Przemek
Like Marina, Jade also knows the value of hard work. After becoming a teen mum she kept studying and got all her GCSEs before going to work in finance but she still struggles to make ends meet.
With their new £1200 budget the family quickly get excited and decide to splash out on toys for the family going to a farm shop.
But Dean is shocked by the price of everything, gasping at the £7.15 for a slice of cake, but decides to pick up a £22 jar of chocolate buttons for Jade, with the final shop coming to £186.
‘We’ve got so used to saving every penny and living months by month, when someone gives you this money, it;s against everything we know,’ Jade adds.
Meanwhile, Przemek heads to a budget frozen supermarket to get try and feed his family on his new budget.
After going to a farm shop Dean (left) is shocked by the price of everything, gasping at the £7.15 for a slice of cake, but splashes out of a £22 jar of chocolate buttons for Jade, with the final shop coming to £186.
He manages to pick up all the essentials under his £60 budget, but Marina isn’t pleased as the frozen food is coated in breadcrumbs – which she deems unhealthy.
Marina later cooks up spaghetti and meatballs for her children – the first time they tried the dish – but says she ‘wonders how their stomachs are going to cope’ with the new food.
The families also meet each other’s friends and colleagues, with Marina again tearing up after hearing that Dean was abandoned and brought up by his grandparents, while Jade has only just got back on good terms with her mother and uncle, who she was estranged from.
Meanwhile, Jade meets Marina’s business manager where she learns how she set up a new company this year.
‘I think we’re really at different stages in life, but I really look up to her, I look up to her drive, her ambition, and how she uses her children and their life and the situation their in to better their quality of life,’ Jade says.
Jade and Dean are pictured while meeting Marina and Przemek at the end of the week
Before even meeting, the women are clearly in awe of each other, with Marina adding: ‘The more I keep hearing about them, I have a huge admiration for what they’re achieving right now.
Elsewhere, the Essex children discover lots of new activities including swimming and guitar lessons, but say that it’s too much and there’s a lack of freedom int their new tight schedules.
However, the Surrey family discover how much fun the family can have without spending money, and go for a nature walk, even trying mud-sledging.
‘It’s so easy to forget that nature can bring so much closeness as a family when you get into your routine of a busy life’ Marina says. ‘I’m going to go back home and make sure we make this a part of our routine,’ she adds.
At the end of the week, the two families meet and Marina offers to become Jade’s mentor, adding that she’s going to help them get on the property ladder. The couple also buy Dean and Jade a new oven, and pay for it to be installed.
Marina adds that she’s also learned from the experience and wants to follow in Jade’s footsteps and have more family time.
‘While I’m physically present, I’m often not mentally present, I want to stop to make sure I’m physically present as well,’ she explains.
‘I’m so thrilled and grateful for this new friendship, we’re looking forward to seeing more of Jade and Dean in the future,’ she adds.
Rich House Poor House, 9pm, Sunday, Channel 5
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