A Millionaire Who Switched Lives With A Poor Couple Came To A Surprising Realisation

The multimillionaire entrepreneur came to a startling realization about the struggles that many families endure.

Brad and Heather From Rich House Poor House

When a millionaire mother on a TV show switched homes with a much poorer spouse, she came to a startling realization about the cost of life.

Rich House Poor House, a Channel 5 series that debuted in 2017, has given families from vastly disparate backgrounds the chance to experience life "on the other side" by exchanging homes and financial fortunes for an extended length of time.

The shows usually conclude with the millionaire participant saying they had no idea how much other families struggle financially and pledging to be more generous with their wealth.

Viewers have long criticized this, with many labeling the format as "poverty porn" and "exploitative" of the working class.

Rich real estate investor Abi Hookway was one of the participants in the series; during her experiment in 2023, she found it very difficult to live on the breadline.

In the episode, Hookway, 38, welcomed struggling parents Brad, 22, and Heather, 24, into her opulent Doncaster, Yorkshire home before they moved into a rented Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, property.

Hookway and the couple also switched weekly budgets; as a result, Hookway and her two kids had to make do with just £12 per day, while Heather and Brad were able to indulge themselves with her extravagant £172 daily budget.

Hookway came to numerous grim realizations after learning to live on less than 10% of her usual daily expenditure. She acknowledged that she had no idea how to create a budget.

Millionaire Abi Hookway
Millionaire Abi Hookway

In one video, the mother of two expressed her shock at the expense of essentials at the store before admitting she had no idea how much even the most basic foods might cost.

"At the supermarket I was shocked at how much milk costs. I never go grocery shopping, I have a housekeeper who does that for me," she said.

"I was genuinely shocked at the price of food. My housekeeper buys our food and cooks our meals, typically I wouldn’t even look at prices."

Hookway continued to confess that she had no idea how families were able to "survive like this" after being compelled to spend the week eating premade dinners in order to save money.

Abi Hookway From Rich House Poor House
Abi Hookway From Rich House Poor House

"I was gobsmacked at the cost of basic items, I assumed I could get egg, milk, bread and cheese for a fiver," she remarked, adding that the experience had made her more appreciative of the business triumphs she had attained.

The self-made millionaire, who had risen from £24,000 in debt to an impressive property portfolio, said she was frustrated by the lack of access to financial literacy and money management information.

"Schools need to provide basic budgeting, money management and investing lessons from primary school," she stated.

"I found it incredibly challenging and confronting. It made me want to help more people."