Reporter: Bryan Seymour
They call him Mr Miser, arguably Australia's tightest man.
"Buy what you absolutely and only need."
Paul Squires, a man who has turned penny pinching into an art form and his art form into a multi-million dollar empire.
As families scrutinise their outgoings to make up the shortfall, we've invited Paul to comb through their budgets and come good on this promise.
Extreme times call for extreme measures. Meet the Begnini family. Father of two, John is a personal trainer, fitness is his business but his finances are way out of shape.
Wife, Deanna loves to spend. Her life is a string of shortblacks and long chats but these days may be shortlived.
The Begnini's have worked hard but hard times have meant they're digging into their retirement egg to make ends meet.
For the next hour, Paul casts his spend thrift radar across the Begnini's finances. John, in particular is looking worried and for good reason. Their indulged lifestyle is due for an overhaul.
To clear the mess, Paul is taking to their expenditure with a microscope.
"Cutout Foxtel... your Fox is $1188 per annum. Youv'e got a beautiful wife at home, there's so many other things you can do."
"Groceries, John, you said $150, Deanna told me the truth $400, $450 at times. Groceries, set a budget now, do it differently, set a budget, a limit, when it gets to that you cant buy anymore."
"Christmas - try it once, cut out Christmas, you'll save yourself $1000."
"Entertaining, do it every second time - with entertaining $1800 to $2000 you save."
"Deanna, flowers once a week, [$20 to $30...about that I spend]. $1044 is what I make out..cut it out, don't need them, stop."
"Wow, a TV in the kitchen as well. There's 3 of you in the home, but 4 televisions... we can sell some, or there's one for charity or sell one, you'll still get good money, get rid of them perhaps, you cant watch four at a time."
Pantry cupboards, did you know 10% of what you have in there is all you use, 90% doesn't get used. Don't buy anymore, don't add to it. If you don't add anymore to your pantry cupboard, that will add $50 a week you can save."
Paul's book, 'Wealthier than you Think' might just apply to the Begnini's after Paul's Miser makeover.
"We are one pay packet away from defaulting on the loan." Like many new mums, Chloe's young family is struggling on one wage, while she stays at home to look after baby, Remy.
"We're just finding it difficult to make mortgage repayments, we don't have any savings and we don't seem to think about how much we can spend on clothes or food we just spend without any thought."
We invited Paul to give Chloe a 1 on 1 in tight living 101.
"So, Chloe, looking through your finances now, there's a shortfall of around $10 000 per annum. Which equates to about $386 per fortnight."
"Donations, don't get me wrong, charity is so important but charity starts at home. Cut out your donations."
"Clothes and shoes, hair and beauty - not because I'm a male here changing it, we've got to chop these out."
"The gym, the gym's got to go."
"Subscriptions you mentioned you can do without."
"Gifts, these can be reigned in and brought back."
Its all about repositioning, getting Chloe's finances in order, and getting some savings in the bank. Paul says 6 to 12 months of cutbacks and her whole mindset will change.
"She can see the net result, and the money and turning a negative into a surplus is a big thing and then to build on top of that with savings, they're going to be in a fine position in a few years" adds Paul.
Pauls biggest tips to get back in the black. Forget budgets.
"Just record every amount for 3 weeks. You, yourself will see where the slippages are occurring."
Always ask for discounts.
Introduce No Spend Days.
Don't buy today what you can buy tomorrow.
"Unless you really really need it, dont buy it that day - walk out and sleep on it" adds Paul.