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Martin Lewis

Who is Martin Lewis? The Journey of Britain’s Top Money-Saving Expert

Looking for the scoop on who is Martin Lewis? He’s the go-to guy for personal finance in the UK, the mind behind the immensely popular MoneySavingExpert.com, and an unwavering advocate for consumer rights.

In this guide, we’ll explore his origins, his career, and why his advice is trusted by so many, highlighting his significant role in shaping the financial landscape.

Early Life and Education

Martin Lewis started his higher education at the London School of Economics, studying government and law. This gave him a strong base in understanding how money works in society.

He then went on to Cardiff University for postgraduate studies in broadcast journalism. This step was crucial for his future, as it helped him share his financial knowledge with a broader audience through media.

A Career in Broadcast Journalism

Armed with a postgraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Cardiff, Martin Lewis took his first steps into the world of media at Simply Money. Here, he worked alongside Angela Rippon, crafting the ‘Money Saving Expert’ persona that we know and trust today. He further developed his media presence as a radio producer and editor for BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

His creative and unique financial reporting styles saw him writing a ‘Deal of the Week’ column and making TV appearances with memorable characters like Dracula to better engage his audience. His prominent roles on television included reporting for BBC One Breakfast News, and presenting ‘Make Me Rich’ on ITV and ‘It Pays to Watch!’ on Channel 5. His frequent appearances on ITV’s This Morning and other programs solidified his status as a leading voice in financial journalism.

Honours and Recognition

Martin Lewis’s dedication to consumer rights, broadcasting, and charitable services didn’t go unnoticed. In the 2014 Birthday Honours, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and later promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours. These recognitions acknowledged his relentless efforts towards consumer rights and charitable services.

His media recognitions include:

  • Best Personal Finance Broadcast Journalist awarded by ADVFN in 2020
  • National Television Award for Best TV Expert in 2022
  • RTS Special Award at the Royal Television Society Television Journalism Awards 2024
  • Accolades as possibly Britain’s most influential journalist by BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show

These recognitions underscore his success and influence as a personal finance reporter in the field of personal finance and consumer rights.

Martin Lewis’s Impact

Martin Lewis is not just a financial expert; he’s a game-changer in personal finance in the UK. His Money Saving Expert website is frequented by eight million users a month, underlining his significant reach and influence. His regular media appearances and accessible language have played a key role in demystifying financial products for consumers, making him synonymous with savvy economic decision-making.

Offering advice on a variety of topics from energy bills to shopping tricks, Martin Lewis has helped countless individuals navigate the often confusing world of finance. His guidance includes tackling complex issues like student loan repayments, illustrating his broad range of expertise.

Through his various campaigns, he has empowered consumers to claim back millions of pounds, solidifying his position as a trusted money-saving guru.

Creation of MoneySavingExpert.com

When Simply Money shut down, Martin Lewis saw an opportunity and seized it. In 2003, he launched MoneySavingExpert.com, capitalizing on his ‘Money Saving Expert’ persona. The initial cost of setting up the website was a mere £100 invested in web design. This modest investment would later grow into a major platform for consumer rights advocacy, attracting over 15 million monthly users and accruing 12 million subscribers who decided to sign up for its weekly Money Tips email.

MoneySavingExpert.com has empowered consumers with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed financial decisions. It’s more than just a website; it’s a movement that has transformed personal finance in the UK and beyond.

The Martin Lewis Money Show and Other Appearances

In 2012, The Martin Lewis Money Show hit the airwaves, becoming a prime-time hit. It regularly drew high ratings, with between 2 million and 3 million overnight viewers, earning Martin Lewis recognition as a major figure in British TV, especially during the cost-of-living crisis. The show adapted its format to an extended one-hour, live broadcast during the Coronavirus pandemic, featuring significant interviews, including a notable one with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

In addition to his own show, Martin Lewis has extended his influence into daytime television as a regular presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, where his engagement skills and financial expertise continue to resonate with viewers. His ability to distil complex financial information into accessible terms through detailed monologues and conversations with the audience, has enhanced his reputation as a skilled live broadcaster.

Martin Lewis Net Worth: A Financial Snapshot

Martin Lewis’s financial acumen hasn’t just helped others; it has also contributed to his own financial success. His net worth, highlighted in the Sunday Times Rich List, is estimated to be £123 million. This substantial net worth reflects his savvy business acumen and the successful investments he has made.

Martin’s journey from a student of Economics to a millionaire is an inspiring story of hard work, diligence, and the power of financial literacy. Let’s delve deeper into his journey from a website founder to an executive chair and his philanthropic activities.

From Website Founder to Executive Chair

After selling MoneySavingExpert.com, Martin Lewis continued his involvement with the company by assuming the role of Executive Chair. This role signalled a shift from his operational role as founder and editor-in-chief to a more strategic position, possibly positively affecting his net worth.

His decision to stay with MoneySavingExpert.com as Executive Chair demonstrates a commitment to the company’s mission beyond pure financial gain. It’s a testament to his dedication to empowering consumers and advocating for their rights.

Philanthropy and Giving Back

Martin Lewis isn’t just about making money; he’s also about giving back. His CAF Charitable Trust manages strategic giving, allowing him to support causes he’s passionate about. His initial donation of £10 million to charity has grown to be closer to £20 million, showcasing his commitment to philanthropy.

Martin Lewis is not just a patron of Grief Encounter, supporting children dealing with bereavement, he also established the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute to address the intersection between financial problems and mental health issues through policy research and innovation.

Personal Life of a Money-Saving Icon

Behind the public persona of the ‘Money Saving Expert’, Martin Lewis is a family man. He is married to Lara Lewington, a former weather presenter on 5 News, and together they have a daughter. His life is a blend of professional achievements and personal joy, with family values playing a significant role.

Martin’s personal life has had its share of ups and downs. The tragic loss of his mother in a horse riding accident had a profound impact on him. Yet, he has used these experiences to build a life of resilience, compassion, and success.

Now, let’s explore his marriage and fatherhood in detail.

Marriage to Lara Lewington

Martin Lewis’s wife Lara, Lara Lewington, is a television presenter on the BBC’s technology program, Click. She attended Surbiton High School and went on to study at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. She had a successful career as a weather presenter and showbiz correspondent for Five News and Sky News before joining the BBC’s Click in 2011. She has contributed to various shows and has also appeared as a technology columnist for Woman magazine, among other achievements.

The couple tied the knot on May 31, 2009, and have been happily married ever since. They have managed to build successful careers while nurturing their relationship and raising a family together.

Fatherhood and Family Values

For Martin Lewis, fatherhood has been a source of immense joy. He has one daughter, whom he affectionately describes as his ‘mini MSE’. Making her happy counts as one of his greatest joys, a testament to the importance he places on fatherhood.

The Lewis family, including mother Susan Lewis, is grounded in strong values. After becoming parents, Martin and his wife made lifestyle changes to ensure their family’s safety and wellbeing. These changes highlight the importance of family in Martin’s life and the lengths he would go to protect them.

Martin Lewis’s Advocacy and Consumer Advice

Martin Lewis’s advocacy and consumer advice extend well beyond personal finance. As a consumer champion, Martin Lewis has consistently championed consumer rights and promoted financial education, thereby transforming the landscape of personal finance in the UK. His contributions include:

  • Championing consumer rights
  • Promoting financial education
  • Presenting all companies as potential adversaries to consumers
  • Encouraging individuals to make better financial choices

As Executive Chair, Martin ensures that MoneySavingExpert.com continues to empower consumers and advocate for their rights. His commitment to consumer rights has been acknowledged by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), who have lauded him as a trusted source and community stalwart in the realm of consumer protection.

Championing Consumer Rights

Martin Lewis’s confrontational approach to financial journalism has empowered consumers to make better financial choices. He presents all companies as potential adversaries to consumers, encouraging individuals to stay informed and make savvy decisions. As Executive Chair, Martin ensures that MoneySavingExpert.com maintains its focus on empowering consumers and advocating for their rights, acting as a financial communications consultancy.

His commitment to consumer rights has been acknowledged by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), who have lauded him as a trusted source and community stalwart in the realm of consumer protection. This recognition bears testament to his relentless efforts to safeguard the interests of consumers.

Educational Efforts and Resources

Martin Lewis is a firm believer in the power of financial education. He has actively promoted it, particularly advocating for it to be included in school curricula. His website, MoneySavingExpert.com, offers extensive resources that help consumers understand and reclaim financial products like bank charges and PPI.

His efforts have been instrumental in assisting individuals to reclaim bank charges and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), providing a public service and financial relief to many. Through his educational efforts, Martin Lewis has been able to equip consumers with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the financial landscape confidently.

Final Thoughts

Martin Lewis has truly transformed the face of personal finance in the UK. From his humble beginnings to his rise as a money-saving expert, his journey is a testament to resilience, dedication, and the power of financial literacy.

His tireless advocacy for consumer rights, educational efforts, and philanthropy have made a lasting impact. His story serves as an inspiring example of how personal growth, community spirit, and savvy decision-making can lead to significant achievements, both personally and professionally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Martin Lewis have a wife?

Yes, Martin Lewis is married to TV presenter Lara Lewington, who hosts BBC’s technology programme Click, and they have one daughter together.

How does Money Saving Expert website make money?

Money Saving Expert website makes money through blagged deals, which are exclusive deals arranged by MSE and are based on editorial merit. MSE shares the revenue from these deals to support their staff and operate the website.

Has Martin Lewis sold his company?

Yes, Martin Lewis sold his website Money Saving Expert to MoneySupermarket for £87 million in September 2012. He established the website in 2003 with a mere £100 investment.

Where did Martin Lewis go to university?

Martin Lewis studied broadcast journalism at Cardiff University.

Does Martin Lewis have a child?

Yes, Martin Lewis has a 10-year-old daughter named Sapphire with his wife Lara. The couple prefers to keep their daughter out of the public eye.