Mom is afraid to leave the house because she’s in debt, and the bailiff threat pays off every penny
Rosie Forshaw, 33, was in tears as she received a District Court ruling ordering her to pay £2,500 after falling into debt – but after adopting a frugal lifestyle she managed to pay it all off
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A new mom who got into so much debt that bailiffs are knocking on her door shares her top tips for living frugally after paying it all off.
Rosie Forshaw, 33, began struggling to make ends meet in 2012 while working on a zero-hour contract at a music venue.
Unable to pay her bills or buy basic necessities, she “drowned” in nearly £3,000 worth of debt, seriously affecting her mental health.
She said: “The debt has inhibited every aspect of my life. I was afraid that some call or someone at the door would come for money.
“I couldn’t enjoy anything. I tried to come to terms with the creditor and they didn’t accept my refund offers.
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“I was already scared and it only made things worse. There were times when I had trouble getting out of the house.”
In 2013 her worst fears were confirmed when she received a District Court judgment ordering her to repay £2,500.
“I remember crying when I opened the letter,” Rosie recalled. “It was the saddest day. It definitely made me realize that I need help.”
After a visit to Citizens Advice, Rosie agreed to pay the money back and spent the next year saving money in any way she could.
She said: “Initially I had the opportunity to move to a more affordable area. That was a huge saving.
“Then it was just about being more thoughtful in terms of saving, paying attention to meal planning, prepping and preserving, packing lunches and things like that.
“I’ve always been someone who likes second-hand clothes anyway. But I made it a point to always find the best possible prices.”
Now she’s fought her way back into black Rosie, who lives in Cheshire with her husband and 10-month-old son, and is sharing her tips on living frugally with others in need.
She said: “I cook as much as I can. I also go into stores when I know things are going to be devalued.
“Don’t be afraid to politely ask the staff at your supermarket when they’re making notes.
“And if something isn’t on sale but I need it and can find one close to its expiration date, I often ask staff if it’s the cheapest on that day.
“I just got a two pound steak this way this week.”
She is also adept at preserving food she bought cheap because it will soon spoil.
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“I once bought six avocados. I looked online and saw that if I put them in a glass of water they would last a month — and they did,” she said.
She spends much of her time at the supermarket scouring the yellow-stickered aisles for bargains, and says independent business owners can also be very helpful in saving money.
She said, “I would recommend speaking to your local greengrocer or butcher and asking what the cheapest cuts are, how they can be stretched and if they can customize the portions.”
Overall, she reckons cutting down on things like meat and swapping it out for lentils and mushrooms can save you big bucks over time.
She’s also sticking to some leftovers that most people would throw away — rather than freezing them and finding other uses for them.
Rosie suggests teaming up with friends and family to buy and share items in bulk, like rice.
She added: “You could do things like clubbing with work colleagues and cook five of the same meal each batch.
“Swap them and you each have a different meal for each night of the week, but you only paid for one.”
Mom also recommends checking out apps like Vinted, Olio, and Shopmium, where you can find second-hand clothes, surplus groceries, and discounted deals.
She said: “We all have less to be ashamed of. I lived through the last recession. It was such an isolating experience.
“If we’re all more open and willing to share savings, then we can do this together.”
As well as finding discounts, Rosie uses loyalty point systems like Nectar to get things as cheaply as possible.
“I paid for furniture and an entire Christmas dinner with these points,” she said.
When it comes to planning for Christmas, Rosie’s best advice is to shop off-season and keep an eye on the best deals year-round.
“I’m already looking for Christmas presents. Superdrug, for example, often has Christmas kits on sale for 50p during the summer,” she said.
While keeping tabs on her monthly expenses, Rosie also threatens to cancel various subscriptions in order to get cheaper deals that will convince her to stay.
As the cost of living in the UK rises and more people struggle to make ends meet, Rosie uses her Instagram account @moneysavingrosie to share her tips – and she claims to be contacted regularly by those in need.
She said: “I’ve had people who live enviable lives on social media but text me quietly asking how to shed a few pounds or asking when a food waste center will open.
“Some have not paid or earned anything for months. It is totally at odds with this lifestyle that they portray.”
She wants to dispel myths about frugal living and saving money in hopes that she can help others get through difficult times.
She said: “Things are bad and getting worse. I just want to do what I can to help people.
“The most important thing I want to convey is that one can live frugally and with dignity.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/mum-scared-leave-house-due-27063835 Mom is afraid to leave the house because she's in debt, and the bailiff threat pays off every penny