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PAYING off debt is something very daunting for many – but one woman has revealed how she managed to pay off a whopping £28,889 debt, thanks to her simple steps and top tips.
After graduating from college in 2005, Becky Guiles was left with a mountain of debt.
The now-42-year-old explained that she took out nearly $25,000 [£20,635] in student loans to pay for her tuition at a New York state school, and put her room, board, and books on her credit card.
To get around campus, Becky also took out a car loan and eventually accrued nearly $35,000 [£28,889] in debt.
After years of living with it, the weight of that debt was causing Becky major anxiety.
By 2018, Becky and her husband were new parents living in New York on a single salary and they were barely bringing in enough income to afford their current bills – let alone pay off the debt she had accumulated.
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A trip to Target – in which impulse buying a $25 [£20] set of silverware would have made the difference between paying her bills on time that month or not – was her breaking point.
The couple knew that they needed to start saving money, so they decided that Becky would stay home with their baby, while her husband continued working full-time.
Whilst raising her newborn, Becky spent all of her time researching how to cut down on expenses.
She eventually devised an ambitious plan to pay off her debt in one year, using a method she dubbed the Onion System.
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Becky told Fortune: “The idea behind it was to take things one layer at a time. I started on the outside layer.”
This included “invisible” expenses like insurance premiums and from there, Becky worked layer by layer, to cut costs.
She continued: “I literally took a notepad and wrote down everything that costs us money on the outside of our house. Then once I got everything as bare minimum as I could – I went on to the next layer.”
After eight months of peeling through the onion Becky and her husband had managed to save enough to pay off the $35,000 [£28,889] debt completely.
One of the major layers for the Guiles family was their grocery budget.
Before she started taking her debt seriously, Becky’s household could easily spend $1,400 [£1,155] a month on food.
To cut costs, she started following “B.O.R.E.D,” her own acronym standing for budget, organise, reduce and reuse, extend and don’t complicate things.
According to Becky, she would set an amount for each major spending category and stick with it – with no excuses.
Additionally, she would ensure that she would stay organised, making a list before going to the shops, to stop overspending.
As well as this, she would attempt to reuse items to save money, which she claimed all adds up in the long run.
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Another of her top tips is to freeze food – she advised people to consider reviewing a freezer chart to see what items can be frozen and saved for a later date.
Finally, Becky would avoid complicated recipes to reduce costs.
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