The Thrifty Couple started their blog to share tips and tricks on saving money on family expenses.

But there was a backstory with that chatter, and it was the fact they were in the process of using their frugal and financial hacks to pay off massive consumer debt.

One of the articles I just came across from their archives is It’s here: Our personal, secret 2 by 2 formula we used to pay off over $100k in consumer debt.

The first two steps are incredibly important:

  1. Track your expenses and earnings over a period of 1-3 months

  2. Create your baseline budget based off of reality (the results you found in #1)

If you are setting up a budget for the first time, or an existing one needs an update, I will tell you that the most realistic percentages I’ve seen for family budgets are in the Crown Financial Ministries program. But you cannot get too far into any budget plan until you know what your actual expenses are.

Now back to the step by step plan.

The other lesson that Alex and Cassie have learned is to expect that expenses will drop gradually. The “crash diet” theory didn’t hold up. The approach that worked for them was to set a goal that expenses would drop by 2 percent each month; while they also tried to increase income by 2 percent a month.

Don’t panic on how to cut expenses even further each month. You can see how this works in my archived post: There’s no quick fix for a downsized income. In that article, I explain how long it takes to see results in cash flow from specific steps such as learning how to use grocery coupons or buying some of your clothing at a thrift shop. The point is: make the effort, and you will see results later.


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