Super Savers' Tips to Free You From Your Debt

Tiffany Aliche, aka "The Budgetnista,” shares how she got out of $300,000 debt.

ByABC News
January 25, 2016, 8:36 AM

— -- If you’ve ever wondered what a "Shark" would say is the best way for you to build wealth right now, look no further.

"Saving money is the key to long term success," Kevin O’Leary, a "Shark Tank" investor, told ABC News. "If I was in debt, I would do whatever it takes. Squeeze ketchup and put it into a bottle. Save all my napkins when I went to a fast food restaurant so I didn't have to buy them. It's extreme, but it's important. Debt is a killer."

One in three American households lives paycheck to paycheck with the average home carrying $130,000 in debt.

Tiffany Aliche, otherwise known as "The Budgetnista," says she began her climb out of deep debt when she had no job.

"I was a preschool teacher and then I lost my job," she explained.

She owed almost $300,000 at the time.

But Aliche says the key to getting rid of that large debt was cutting back on housing costs. She moved in with her parents and then with friends.

"A lot of my friends thought I was crazy when I moved into a house full of my other friends," she said. "Like, literally renting a room, but I saved money."

She also used the website Magnify Money to identify zero interest credit cards to transfer her existing card balances to that involved no fees. That enabled her to pay down her credit card considerably faster.

Aliche also made practical decisions, skipping brunch with friends and hanging on to her used car for years.

"It’s got almost 158,000 miles and it’s all paid off," she proudly said.

Today, Aliche is out of her economic hole. She's the owner of a successful financial advising business and uses her hard-earned savings to travel the world.

"If I can do it and dig my way out, then honestly, anyone can do it," she said.

Super Savers' Tips

Three super saving all-stars also appeared on “Good Morning America” to provide their best tips for making your dollar go farther.

Joanie Demer, a savings blogger known as the “Krazy Coupon Lady,” Mark Ellwood, a consumer reporter and author of “Bargain Fever” and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, “The Money Coach” personal finance expert, all revealed their best secrets for these categories:


Joanie’s tip: Buy snacks at, a new online retailer. Five multi-packs of lunch box staples would cost $150 at the grocery store. On, and with the first-time user discount, it came to $59.46. That's a savings of 60 percent.

Mark’s tip: Make your smartphone your coupon clipper. Apps like Pushpins find coupons for anything on your grocery list, cross-referencing it right off your phone. Mark found three kids' staples - peanut butter, mac ‘n cheese and cereal. Regular price: $15.30. With Pushpin online coupons it was $11.56, which is a savings of 24 percent.

Lynnette’s tip: Buy your dairy at the drug store and join their loyalty program to get the discount. They often discount these items as a way to get people in the door. The national average to buy milk, ice cream and a block of cheese is $8.16. Buy at the drug store, and it's as low as $4. That's a savings of 51 percent.


Joanie’s tip: Book a repo cruise and sail away to savings! Ships re-position for the season in April and November and need passengers to ride along. For example, for a 6-day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, the regular price is $135 a night. Book a repo cruise in April and the price drops to $83 a night. That's a 39 percent discount! Plus they often give you additional credit to use on board as an added incentive.

Joanie’s tip:Stack your coupons to fill your closet. Many major stores allow you to combine coupon codes with in-store promotions with direct mail offers. This can add up to major savings. For example, at Kohl's, Joanie bought two workout tee-shirts, regular price of $54. After stacking two coupons, she paid only $23.

Mark’s tip:Use the web browser Honey to find sweet deals on hidden coupons. Honey is like a discount ray gun for online shopping. Install it in your browser for free, and then click the button before you check out of any online store. If there's a coupon available anywhere on the internet, Honey will find it. Mark found a Gap trench coat for $138, but after he hit the Honey button, it found a coupon for $40 off.

Lynnette’s tip: Shop for kids clothes at the daily deal site Each day, they feature one incredible deal until it sells out. Lynnette recently got four winter items including a new jacket for her 10-year-old daughter. The retail price was $105, but on it was only $42.