A couple has revealed how they managed to clear their £43,000 debt after both losing their jobs.
Ricky and Naomi Willis, from Hull, struggled to afford food and only lived on less than £1-a-day.
With no money coming in, the pair accumulated an eye-watering £43,000 in payday loans, credit cards and catalogue debt.
Their remaining savings were completely wiped out when their car and fridge freezer broke down in the same week.
And in that moment the family-of-four felt like they truly hit rock bottom.
But now since turning their lives around, the couple hope to teach their money-saving tips to help others in similar struggles.
Ricky, 42, said: “We knew the repayments would eat up everything, but had no choice. It just kept spiralling from there.
“We drew up a list and feeding our two daughters Daniella and Chloe was top, then nappies as Chloe was still a baby.
“Us eating came third. I felt like I had let my family down.”
The couple started by cutting back on all non-essential spending, with their car insurance costing £162 and £84 on pet insurance.
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They set up individual payment plans, used money-saving apps like Freecycle, sold belongings and stuck to cheap meal plans.
And thanks to their frugal lifestyle, they became debt free in just four years.
Ricky and Naomi set up the Skint Dad blog in 2013 to help other people get their finances back on track.
So here are their top 12 money-saving tips:
Be energy smart: Even simple measures can save money. Block drafts from doors, windows and even an unused chimney.
Make sure you switch off appliances and lights when not in use.
Broadband: The couple also advise to choose the right broadband supplier.
Check your bank account: Keep an eye on direct debits, as well as standing orders you don’t need.
Get cashback: When shopping online, you can use TopCashback or Quidco. Airtime Rewards lets you double your cashback.
TV subscriptions: Ricky said: “Do you watch many of the series or films on every service? If not, cancel and save.”
Save on fuel: Check local fuel station prices online before filling up, or use loyalty schemes.
Meal plan: Planning weekly meals for your family will reduce the money you spend at the supermarket and lower food waste.
Use a slow cooker: This makes cheaper cuts of meat delicious and tender all while using less energy than an oven.
Claim all tax benefits: Website Turn2us.org.uk lets you check you are claiming all state benefits available to you.
Select the right mobile phone provider: You will pay as little as £7 a month on a SIM-only deal, and often keep your old number.
Consider a side hustle: From online tutoring to party planning to ridesharing, this could be a great way to make extra cash.
Tackle any debts: Contact StepChange Debt Charity or National Debtline for free and impartial debt advice.
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