Television vet Dr Scott Miller paid £20,000 for a holiday in the Maldives last year, but was unable to go because he caught Covid. 

Miller regularly makes an appearance on ITV’s This Morning. He said the best thing about his holiday nightmare was his inability to smell any unpleasant things while performing his duties as vet. 

Miller is an Australian citizen who lives in Woking, Surrey. He serves as a veterinary ambassador for Petsure. Petsure provides coverage for pets with pre-existing medical conditions.

Paradise lost: TV vet Dr Scott Miller, who regularly appears on ITV show This Morning, paid £20,000 for a holiday in the Maldives last year, but was unable to go because he caught Covid

Paradise lost: TV vet Dr Scott Miller, who regularly appears on ITV show This Morning, paid £20,000 for a holiday in the Maldives last year, but was unable to go because he caught Covid

How did you learn about money from your parents?

Because it can’t be grown on trees. Growing up in Brisbane, Australia in an upper-middle class family was a great experience. My father worked in insurance, while my mom was a cleaner. She then moved into sales. 

The ‘Ten Pound Poms,’ who immigrated to Australia as a family in 1967. My parents saved well and, despite working in a very ordinary job, we had an amazing life that allowed us to return to the UK several times. 

I was taught that you can have a fulfilling life and not spend a lot of money.

Are you a person who has ever had to struggle just making ends meet?

Yes. While I was studying at the university to be a vet. 

Six years later, I was still paying rent and books. I also had to work in bars and on holidays as a lifeguard in a waterpark. As other vet students I was unable to afford one pair of shoes per year.

Are you a victim of shaming money?

Yes. Yes. I participated in the dog festival. I was able to chat with people and answer some vet-related questions. 

A good number of thousand pounds was my payment for one day.

Australian-born Miller, who lives near Woking in Surrey, is veterinary ambassador for Petsure, an insurer that provides cover to pets with pre-existing conditions

Miller is an Australian born vet ambassador. Petsure offers coverage to animals with pre-existing health conditions. Miller lives near Woking, Surrey.

How was it financially?

It was the year 2019. It was 2019. 

It was something my parents insisted on me saying that I should not discuss how much I earned, although it might be fair to say it was six figures.

Is there a thing that is more expensive than you paid for pleasure?

It was an all-expenses paid five-star family holiday to the Maldives for about £20,000 in October last year. 

We have 4 children, my wife and me. Our last vacation was in 2003 when our youngest child was born. This is mainly due to the pandemic. 

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Covid a week before my planned vacation and could not travel. Instead of being on an idyllic desert island, it was a rough experience sitting on the wrong side a wall my wife had constructed in our home’s hallway.

My day of testing positive turned out to be a nightmare. The day I tested positive was a nightmare. I realized I lost my senses of smell. I did lateral flow tests. She cried when she saw the test results. The trip was postponed and we plan to travel later in the year.

Do you feel fully recovered?

I’d say I’m at 90 per cent – I’m getting there. Unfortunately, my senses of smell have been restored which can be a problem for vets. When I could not smell, I actually enjoyed it.

Which is your greatest money error?

My first year as a veterinarian, I borrowed money to buy a Nissan car. It cost me more than my annual salary. It was amazing how ignorant I was. The salesman convinced me that I could pay the monthly payment.

After a year, the car was sold by me when I returned to the UK. It wasn’t my best investment.

Wrong turn: Miller's worst money decision was buying a Nissan car on credit which he sold after a year and a half at a 60% loss

Bad turn

What is the best financial decision you’ve ever made?

2005: I got on the property ladder. I bought an amazing two-bedroom, dual aspect, penthouse apartment in Shoreditch, Central London – with lots of outside space. 

Shoreditch was rather rough around the edges back then, compared to the way it is now, so I only paid £445,000 for it. This was an amazing bachelor pad.

I had saved a £95,000 deposit over the previous six years by living frugally and staying in a flat above the vet practice I worked at, so I didn’t have to pay rent. I borrowed an unbelievable amount considering the income I had as a vet.

This was pre-2008 credit crunch. Being self-employed, I could self-certify my income – and maybe I might have slightly stretched the truth. 

After making my first mortgage payment, I was living off baked beans as I had very little left. I couldn’t even move in for a year – I rented it out until I could afford to live in it, and then I got a lodger. 

When you really think about it, it’s absurd. It was almost worth twice as much when it was sold six years later.

How do you decide whether to save for retirement or invest in stocks?

Yes. I have a pension from my employer and shares in an investment company that specializes in green energy. 

Since childhood, I have been an environmentalist and care deeply about the Earth. Therefore green investments make a lot sense to me. Additionally, I am a partner in three veterinary offices. This is a type of retirement plan.

Is there any property you are interested in?

Yes. My house is located near Woking. Three and a quarter years ago, we bought a home near Woking for less than a million pounds. It was unloved. 

The house has been transformed to be a spacious home with plenty of room for the whole family. There are six bedrooms and a gymnasium. It has definitely appreciated in value since its purchase.

What would you do if you were the Chancellor?

I’d make sure multinational companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple are properly taxed. It is a shame that large companies don’t pay any tax. 

To be a Robin Hood in modern times, I’d use the money to finance government loans for small business owners who are struggling.

Don’t you give money to charities?

Yes. I give to many charities. Street Paw is one of my favorite charities. It provides free vet care for dogs that are homeless.

How do you work with Petsure insurance?

In my professional career, I’ve seen animals with long-term conditions. Their owners can’t change their pet insurance because they won’t be covered by other providers for a condition that is already present.

Their insurer may increase their premiums without them being conscious. It’s very upsetting to see owners struggling financially. This is heartbreaking and terrible for the owners. 

What Petsure is doing is allowing owners whose pets have pre-existing conditions to have a choice – stick with their insurer or move to it. They deserve this choice.

Is there a financial top priority that you are most concerned about?

My four children, who range in age from three to 12, are able to achieve their full potential and do anything they desire.

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