In an interview with Donna Ferguson, Financial Mail on Sunday, JLS’s JB Gill is speaking all about finances! Though at times he still gathers with his JLS bandmates, the 34 year old works as a presenter for BBC’s Songs Of Praise and runs a Turkey Farm business with his wife. Living in a £1.7 million farmhouse, the couple have two children together.
“From a young age, I used to save a little bit of pocket and birthday money. I was always encouraged to spend some and save the rest. That’s stuck with me,” he said.
“Both my parents were self-employed. My mother was a freelance nurse counsellor. She advised the NHS on blood disorders and was in charge of the sickle cell and thalassaemia [blood disorder] screening programme. My dad is a carpenter and was involved in building construction. I had a typical middle-class upbringing. My parents invested well and bought property, so we owned our own home. I went to a state primary school but a private secondary. Education was important to my mother and she worked hard to be able to afford my private school fees. It wasn’t easy but she managed.”
Though the singer would make five-figure and six-figure sums for doing private gigs with his JLS bandmates, he still went through his own share of financial struggles: “About two years after I left JLS, my wife and I were looking at expanding our food production business – we sell turkeys – and acquiring a new farm. We had an 18-month discussion about the purchase with the vendor and costs mounted. All sorts of advisers and architects were involved, which cost us a six-figure sum. In the end we decided not to go ahead and walked away, but the process left a massive dent in our personal savings. “
Opening up about his christianity: “At the time, I was making the transition from pop star to a career based around farming and television, which was tough. For about 18 months, it was a challenge to meet all our bills, including my son’s school fees. I don’t know how we did it. I’m a Christian, I pray and I put it down to divine intervention. We made cutbacks and worked hard. We also released equity from our investment properties – and that was our saving grace.”
JB said the best money decision he ever made was buying investment property.
“I bought my first buy-to-let house in Croydon, South London, in 2009 for £172,500 and sold it two years ago for £290,000. I bought a second one in 2011 for £182,500 and still own it. It’s probably worth around £320,000. My parents always encouraged me to invest in property and it’s something I will encourage my children to do.”
Speaking about saving into a pension: “I wish someone had told me to save into a pension when I was in JLS. I’ve come to realise late in the day that as a self-employed person I have to save into my own pension. I am planning to start one soon. I think that when you’re young, you assume you’ll always be able to earn money. You don’t necessarily think about what will happen when you can no longer do that. “
“I own a four-bedroom farmhouse in Kent that I bought in 2010 for £1.2 million. We have 15 acres. It’s probably worth around £1.7 million now, and I’ve paid off most of the mortgage.
JB spoke about what he would do if he was Chancellor, “Pray, for sure. That aside, I would invest in renewable energy such as solar and wind power and build more infrastructure for electric cars. I think that renewable energy is the future and it is what we as consumers should be using.
Speaking about his number one financial priority he said, “To try to make money while I sleep and reduce my liabilities. I want to own my properties outright and have the financial security to know I don’t need to worry about working to pay the bills.”