Money for Jam

m4j2Things I learned from Money for Jam:

– If your workmates all make lunch for the boys instead of buying take away you’ll save enough money in a year to fly to Disneyland.

– If you fill out online surveys you can get paid quick cash on the side.

– Scott Cam has to appear in just about every show that Shelley Craft is in.

– The National Australia Bank has stitched up a nice little branding deal with the Nine Network.

– Anything’s got to be better than another week of Australia’s Perfect Couple.

Ok, I might have learned a few helpful bits along the way too, but I’m not sure they were particularly insightful or any more informed than a quick segment on any current affairs show. Still that hasn’t stopped Better Homes and Gardens from booming week after week either.

Money for Jam is Nine’s latest infotainment show designed to give viewers recession-busting tips and uncover some unique small business ideas that have separated themselves from the pack. It’s headed up by former Money host Paul Clitheroe, Deputy Editor of PBL’s ‘Money’ magazine Effie Zahos, and Nine resident personalities Shelley Craft and Shane Crawford.

The format of the show moves swiftly through several stories of varying length, with one of the four presenters on hand to brighten up our gloomy world in crisis. Segments also vary in terms of their financial benefit from saving a few bucks in your week to creating home business ideas.

Former AFL champ Shane Crawford tells us he has ‘bounced back’ plenty of times, which presumably is the extent of his financial knowhow given he didn’t allude to anything else (would he therefore have fallen flat on his face a few times too?). Thankfully his story on a guy who has created a range of clothing with inbuilt stubby holders and bottle openers had an original idea -even if it was rather flippantly packaged. Again this is something we’d see in 4 minutes on current affairs footnoted with a clever pub crawling pun by the host.

It was at least more inspiring than the ridiculous “lunchbox challenge” proposed by Shelley Craft who took a bunch of tradies -one of whom just happened to be Scott Cam- and got them to each make lunch for their mates one day a week instead of all buying take away. Well bugger me. After several supposedly comic minutes of twisties on a bun and salad sandwiches the gang realised they had apparently saved a few bucks. A pity the segment producer hadn’t realised if you’re going to make the guys look like they’ve lived through a week try not to film them wearing the same dusty shirt with the same dusty marks?

Effie Zahos’ segment on a booming cupcake business was better. The stories of real people building something from imagination and determination is where this show works best. Lightweight hints enacted by presenters with slight financial cred are a bit of a worry….

Clitheroe also doesn’t do enough in the premiere episode. He doles out a few tips on tax and savings but it just doesn’t feel like much meat and bones when he clearly has the ability to carry it off. This is the Getaway of financial advice, with sexy music and bite size hints supered on the bottom of the screen.

Ironically this show goes to air in the same climate that sees Nine pushing to meet its debt payments, but Clitheroe didn’t seem to have any hot tips for David Gyngell this week. Probably a lot more jam required than selling a few cupcakes there….

The National Australia Bank is also heavily embedded into this show, with an advertiser offer to viewers to switch banks and get a low credit rate that expires at midnight on the night of the show, and a NAB expert online after the show for viewer advice.

In the closing credits it says, “Thanks to NAB for their services provided under commercial arrangement.”

It also said, “This programme is produced as an information service. It contains general information and has been produced without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. This program should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific financial advice.”

Especially when it involves Scott Cam making twisties on a roll?

3_starsMoney for Jam premieres 8pm Wednesday on Nine.


  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I notice on last night program there is the possibility of jobs for those with a motor cycle license.

    I have been riding motor bikes/scooter since 1980 (
    Sydney) and last year purchased another motor scooter. My license is current and update (I checked with the police prior to purchase) and have re-read all the books and road rules yet again (2008).

    I would like to link to that job of going around in a group of (3) around. They show that the scooter (red) were pulling advertising behind them.

    Thanking you in advance.

    By the way – I love the program and as you can see I am paying attention.

  2. Thought Paul Clitheroe had retired? Ohhh yeah… the GFC must have reduced the earnings he made as a financial planner so he’s trying to make a million again! I watched the ‘Money’ special he did in 2006, and have repeatedly asked why he couldn’t run that again. I got lots of help from that show – even tracked down one of the reporters (Carmel ) who runs a budgeting company. She got me out of trouble big time and taught me how to get in front. I’ll watch the show but I think your review has told me that I’ll be wasting my time

  3. frankie

    can’t post links (comments policy)

    google rewards central, pureprofile, valued opinions

    As Andrew says you’ll only make $50 a year


  4. Straight Shooter

    Great review … sounds like a total commercial sell out of a subject matter that should be treated with more depth, sensitvity and far less commercial hype.

    I take my money very seriously … and given Nine’s current fiscal position, it’s obvious they don’t.

    I would have expected much more from those involved on the credibility front too … especially if they have devised some poorly thought out segment that is a blatant attempt to flog people more credit card debt.

    Shame Channel Nine … Shame.

  5. “Money For Jam”. Now I have heard some incredibly bad names for tv show but this takes the (jam) cake. Whoever is making decisions at 9 must be on some serious pharmacuticals.

  6. wow that’s amazing, make your lunches at home to save bucks… had never thought of that… perhaps they should call the show Money For Dummies??

    And online surveys… yeah been there, done that… not really the sort of stuff you could fund your mortgage repayments from! You’d only get a couple of dollars here and there and even those sites are feeling the financial bite themselves and cutting back on their payouts…

    How many episodes are they going to make of this ‘entertainment’?

  7. Loved the review David !
    Didn’t watch the show and certainly won’t be watching now. Methinks Ch Nine thinks we are all idiots who must be re-educated.

    Re: Online Surveys for extra pocket money. I have been doing these online for several years and if you choose carfully there are several good ones. However you are lucky to make $50.00 a year. ……not really worth the time as Matthew has already commented.

  8. If Channel 9 stopped paying ridiculous salaries to “talentless folk”
    If Channel 9 stopped warehousing “talent”
    If Channel 9 actually had a person in programming department with commonsense…then Channel 9 might have some viewers.
    Do I win ??

  9. Yea you do get paid for online surveys but you get $2-$4 for 30 minutes of your time.

    So your looking at $4-$8\ hour and its a intense hour, So you have to weight up do i spend 1 hour doing a leisure activity or doing i earn peanuts answering online surveys


  10. Why do some celebrities insist on being an ‘everyman type’. I had to laugh about the “Former AFL champ Shane Crawford tells us he has ‘bounced back’ plenty of times” What? A former footballer who was making nearly $1 Million a year from football, isn’t this the same Shane Crawford who had a writeup in this past week’s Sunday Herald Sun about expecting to get $1.6 Million from the sale of his St Kilda Apartment? Geez, I’d love to be able to bounce back from even half that!… gimme a break.

    Hey Shane, try earning less than $50,000 (a year not a week/fortnight) like the other 90% of the population, trying to break into a housing market, driving a crappy Korean car and having to save for a rainy day just in case you lose your job in the current ecomonic environment on top of the other usual expenses that the rest of us in the real world have to battle.

    With any luck people will see through this lame attempt, its bad enough we have a Rich Labor PM patronising us using terms like “mate” and “fair shake of the sauce bottle” trying to appear like an everyman whilst the wife is out there adding to her $200 million empire. I’m not against anyone being succesful, just don’t try to then patronize everyone with crap like that.

  11. Nice crit – so good in fact that I won’t be watching… There’s already enough shows with short, snipped together segmenets with questionable ‘new’ infomation on TV as it is…

  12. Make a sound decision by changing banks in the middle of the night after a long day at work. There is never a shortage of sharks targetting those who may be vulnerable is there.

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