KELLY BROWN Mum’s the Word...Someone really should tell the banks the cost of food has gone up

I absolutely hate going into the bank for a meeting about your accounts.

You feel like a naughty child being told off, while at the same time you are offered money left right and centre.

We have managed to avoid the scenario for two years thanks to the wonder which is internet banking.

Mind you that did not stop our bank bombarding us with letters inviting us in for an account review, and being asked every time I popped into the bank if I would like one.

There seems to be the standard list of questions from staff wherever you go – ‘do you have a mortgage’, ‘when is your house insurance due’ and the old favourite, ‘do you have a credit card?’

Basically a list with the sole purpose of selling you products.

Regardless of your answer, their answer to you is always: ‘we may be able to save you some money – would you like a chat with one of advisors?’

Erm, no thank you – LEAVE ME ALONE!

But with our mortgage deal coming to an end, and our need for a new kitchen, my husband and I had to endure the painful ordeal of sitting there while being asked patronising questions about our finances.

I’m quite a calm person but even I had to take a deep breath when the topic of food shopping and petrol was brought up. We spend between £40 and £100 a week on food shopping – which in the current climate I think is pretty good – but I was still asked if I think about what I put in my trolley.

Yes, I flipping well do thank you very much. I go with a list! The problem is the fact food costs more, in case no one at the bank had noticed. Perhaps I should forgo such luxuries as toilet roll, washing powder, nappies and fruit and veg.

Yes, I could save some money if I fed my two-year-old beans on toast every day but for some strange reason I keep insisting he eats well. Silly me!

And why has our petrol bill so high? Erm, because the cost of petrol has gone up.

After a cringe-worthy hour and a half we were given a clean bill of health and given the green light for our DIY plans. Job done. But the experience certainly doesn’t make you want to rush back for a repeat.

I’m sure there are people out there who do need the bank to hand-hold them through their finances, especially in the current climate. But does every customer really need this potentially patronising brand of treatment?

* Shopping has been a Christmas miracle

Christmas shopping update. Miraculously I am almost finished.

It was a complete accident, and I still don’t know how I managed it.

But two mornings of popping into the shops and exchanging text messages with friends and family seem to have yielded results.

When I look at my haul I realise I only have a few pressies left to buy.

And I have bought my cards. Now if only I could find someone to write them!

kelly.brown@chiobserver.co.uk