Jasmine Birtles is an exceptionally versatile and talented lady who combines her financial knowledge of business and personal finance with her comedy skills, making a usually dull and difficult subject more accessible.
Christmas is a notoriously expensive time of year, but it does not need to cost a fortune to entertain family and friends over the festive season.
“Street markets are always one of my shopping favourites,” says Jasmine. “You can buy food, gifts, in fact almost everything at a fraction of the cost of some high street stores. Markets are often around 30% cheaper than the main high street supermarkets. I regularly shop at my local street market – Portobello – because it’s fun and, most importantly, there are always bargains.
“Discount supermarket like Aldi, the German-owned chain, operates out of no-frills shops. This year Aldi, in particular, are targeting affluent shoppers and wine buffs with the launch of super-premium drinks range offering Grand Cru Champagne and Margaux-region Bordeaux wine at up to half the price of upmarket wine merchants.
“As well as Champagne and wine, Aldi will sell high-end spirits and many food lines at lower prices too.
“When it comes to dressing the part in the festive season, there are numerous ways to spruce up an old favourite. An ideal solution is to get hold of some dye and turn boring old clothes a fab new colour. So many of us have that special little black dress, which we can’t bear to part with. But if yours is faded or looking a little drab, dyeing it will give it a whole new lease of life. Dylon has dyes in black, brown and navy blue, all of which give the perfect lift to faded clothes.
“Ever since my stint at Cambridge University studying English where funds were extremely tight I have excelled in the art of making and saving money. At Uni I would happily turn my hand to all manner of money-spinning ideas and these natural instincts led me into launching my Website Moneymagpie.com in 2007, offering a fun, easy-to-follow guide to managing your money, making more of it and living a richer life all round.”
As well as money-saving skills Jasmine has a huge list of other credentials.
Having always been a natural entertainer, whilst at University Jasmine joined the world-famous Footlights and performed with Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society. “I must take after my mother,” says Jasmine “she had a great sense of humour, however, it was my father that introduced me to black and white comedy. I enjoy stand up comedy and once ran the hugely successful London comedy club The Giggling Elk.”
Her broadcasting career started in Yorkshire, as a news reporter for BBC Radio Sheffield. In 1992 she relocated to London and worked freelance as an assistant producer at BBC Breakfast news as well as being a news reporter for Sky News, London Weekend Television (LWT), Thames Television and the Today newspaper.
In 1998 Jasmine was invited to do shifts in the BBC Business Unit. She had to read articles on money management and how credit and investments worked and took to the subject from day one, surprising herself with the revelation that money management wasn’t “boring or difficult” but “straightforward and based on common sense.
This inspired her to specialise in financial reporting and personal finance and to write financial management articles and columns for British national newspapers such as The Independent on Sunday and women’s magazines including Cosmopolitan, Red and Glamour.
As well as being a familiar voice on radio and appearing on television Jasmine is also an accomplished voice-over artist, featuring on a Sony Playstation TV advert as Bugs Bunny’s mother. She can do character voices and impressions, as well as straight reads, which is why she is in constant demand by government organisations and companies for speaking events promoting key money-saving and money-making messages.
Not one to relax for too long Jasmine is also the author of 38 books, a mix of humorous and financial titles.
Her most recent venture was to set up Clever Videos, to produce creative and interesting video content for company websites.