Mum of six erases debt worth $85,000 in six months

February 19, 2013, 10:27 amYahoo!7

An extraordinary display of dedication and incredible penny-pinching.


A mum of six in the US has managed to erase $85,000 worth of debt in just six months.

In an extraordinary display of dedication and incredible penny-pinching, Angela Coffman of Kansas city got rid of the crippling debt in a record time.

Employing measures that some might call extreme when it comes to avoiding spending, Angela now makes leather shoes out of old skirts and reusable toilet paper out of old T-shirts.

Related: Top tips to escape a credit card debt

In an interview published on LearnVest, Angela says she got motivated seven years ago after listening to radio talk host Dave Ramsey offering a free Bahamas vacation to listeners who could slash the most debt.

She got her husband Darren in on her plan and together they embarked on the astonishing debt-killing journey.

"You had to be one of the top ten families in the nation who paid off the most debt or saved the most money in a six-month period. About that time Darren got a new job, and I figured, even if we lose the contest but we give it our all, we’ll end up winners. We won—and got to go on the trip," she tells LearnVest.

However, it was no mean feat.

Related: The biggest money mistakes you are making right now

The family resorted to extreme measures in order to curtail their collective spending. They slashed grocery bills by growing their own produce and eating food "picked from our yard".

They reduced their gas bill by turning off the heat and using their fireplace and Angela began recycling everything from diapers, cloth napkins and even toilet paper.

"We were using cloth diapers at the time, so we would just pour it all in the wash together. There were people who said, ‘Cloth toilet paper, that’s disgusting!’ I’ve seen disgusting, though, and this isn’t it," Angela says.

Check out more ridiculous tricks of world's biggest penny-pinchers in our gallery below

The family got rid of their mortgage when Darren’s work forced them to move out of town, enabling them to sell their house.

The tactics finally paid off when the family was able to get rid of debt in six months, winning the contest.

Photos: Lifetime costs of bad habits

Angela hasn’t given up her money-saving techniques. “We have six kids now—ages 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 10 months—so our monthly food budget for the eight of us is $400 total, $50 per person. We save $400 per month by shopping all at one time,” she says.

But the family does make it a point to indulge every once in a while.

Angela says the couple took their three older children on a cruise to Mexico, thanks to a deal that let them spend a week on a cruise ship, food and drinks included. And it cost them just $950.

Check out more ridiculous tricks of world's biggest penny-pinchers in our gallery below

Ridiculous tricks of penny-pinchers

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