Martin Steven Lewis (born 9 May 1972 in Withington, Manchester, United Kingdom) is journalist, television presenter, website entrepreneur and author in the United Kingdom, who specialises in ways to save money. He is often referred to in the media as a “consumer campaigner” or “consumer champion” and goes by the (trademarked) title of “Money Saving Expert”.
TV and radio career
He had a peak time programme on Channel 5 called It Pays to Watch! as well as presenting money special editions for ITV’s Tonight, and is regular “Money Saving Expert” on several others (including a weekly slot on Daybreak and Lorraine). He also appears on ITV’s This Morning, Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff and often appears as a guest expert on many news and other programmes.
He has a regular phone-in on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show and BBC Radio 1’s Jo Whiley. He had his own daytime television series on ITV during December 2005 called Make Me Rich.
He has a fortnightly column in the Sunday Post and a monthly regional syndicated column in the Manchester Evening News and the Express & Star amongst others. He has been a past columnist for the Sunday Times, News of the World, The Guardian and the Sunday Express. All his columns are on the theme of saving money.
He is the author of two bestselling books, “The Money Diet” and “The Three Most Important Lessons You’ve Never Been Taught” and edited another, “Thrifty Ways for Modern Days”, which was based on contributions to a forum on his website.
Lewis created, runs and 100% owns (both personally and through his company Moneysavingexpert.com) the website MoneySavingExpert.com.
As of April 2008 it was ranked the biggest consumer and personal finance site in the UK with over 7 million users each month and over 3 million receiving the Martin’s Money Tips weekly e-mail.
The website was designed for Lewis for a cost of £100 in February 2003. There is a team of 23 full time members of staff at “MoneySaving Towers” in Shepherd’s Bush, west London. The website carries no advertisements, but rather affiliate links to other websites and thereby receives commission for purchases made and/or clicks through.
In August 2008, the company via which Lewis owns the website changed from being a limited company Martin S Lewis Ltd to an unlimited company Moneysavingexpert.com. This form of company is relatively rare, and means Lewis has unlimited personal liability for the company; the advantage to him is that the company no longer needs to submit its accounts to Companies House. The last published accounts, for the year ended 31 October 2006, showed assets of £1.14m, a level at which abbreviated accounts (only including a balance sheet) need be filed.
The site’s profit isn’t known, but the 2006 accounts showed payments due (including company taxes and any other current debts) within 1 year of £1.15 million. It is thought to generate substantial turnover as the completion of the purchase of a few financial products, via affiliate links, can be £100 or more.
The site makes strong claims about its ethical status, defined as only ever writing about the best products, without allowing revenue to impact that. These are boosted by its publicised donation of almost £500,000 to date to the MSE Charity Fund. This money is in turn distributed: two thirds to the MSE Charity and the rest to five other charities nominated by site users.
Lewis married long-time partner, former 5 News weather presenter Lara Lewington, on 31 May 2009.
Other than money saving, Lewis declares his interests as playing Scrabble and golf, supporting Manchester City and reading historic novels.