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Everyday Cheapskate: 25 Ways to Save $1,000 on Monthly Expenses

Mary Hunt on

A number of years ago, I met Kathryn and Galen. They'd won a contest sponsored by Woman's Day magazine. The prize? A money makeover and financial coaching with ... me! From our first meeting, we became fast friends. Not only were they drowning in debt but Galen was also dealing with a protracted season of unemployment. Their financial situation was grim.

Kathryn and Galen were totally committed to working with me as I created a plan that, if followed diligently, would get them out of debt and on their way to financial freedom.

The problem was that even with their new scaled-back lifestyle, my students were $1,000 short every month -- an amount they would have to find somewhere, somehow, if this plan were to work.

Never have I seen a couple so committed to getting out of debt. They didn't complain or seek pity. They didn't whine or make excuses. Instead, they adopted a "scorched earth" attitude as they committed to doing anything possible to reach their goal.

Here's Kathryn's list of the 25 things they did to cut expenses and find the $1,000 they needed every month to stay on track with getting out of debt:

1. Joined The Grocery Game (an online program that is no longer in business; an excellent alternative is Grocery Budget Makeover) to slash our grocery bill.


2. Accepted help from community food distribution ministries and ended up working as volunteers once we were back on our feet.

3. When our oven failed and sofa wore out, we replaced them with cheap yet gently used items we found on Craigslist.

4. Made our own laundry detergent (instructions at plus anything else we could.

5. Our daughter withdrew from private college and moved home to attend local community college for a fraction of the cost.


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