So, baby step one in Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is to get a $1000 emergency fund set up. After two weeks, Eric and I did it! We did have some unexpected funds via a deposit refund for our previous apartment and some leftover funds from last month. However, we wrote a budget out (including putting $1000 into the emergency fund) and worked really hard to stay under that budget.
Our main expenses are food and rent, since we can't change rent we focus on keeping our food costs VERY low. We plan out some meals ahead and between Hy-vee, Walmart, Walgreen's and Sam's club try to figure out where we're going to get the most bang for our buck. We check the coupons each week and like I said in a previous post we make a lot of our own things to save costs. We also NEVER buy brand name unless there's some ridiculous coupon/sale.
Everyone has their own areas where they can cut things out and areas where they can't make a cut whatsoever. For us, cable and food where areas where we could downgrade. Especially since we have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. We stopped going out to eat all of the time, and when we do go out we have a coupon or there's a special at the restaurant. Eric used to buy a 99 cent tea almost every day and I found the same tea 15 cans for 12 dollars at Sam's club (also, Arizona Tea is 2 for a dollar this week at Walgreen's so I will be making a stop there to go stock up!).
I believe that most people can scrape together some money to more quickly eliminate the debts that they've accumulated. You just have to make some cuts and downgrade a little bit for a while, but if you're willing to live like no one else, later you can live like no one else! I'll keep you guys updated and let me know if you'd like to see any recipes I use or if you'd like some help with a Total Money Makeover to eliminate your debts and build wealth.