Ricky and Naomi Willis, creators of the Skint Dad blog, have shared tips to help others save money.

This comes after the couple found themselves in more than £43,000 of debt and owing money to 25 credit card companies just over 10 years ago.

They met in 2008 and had a child each and went onto have a child together (three children in total) and when childcare costs and commuting to London got too expensive, Ricky gave up his full-time job at a printer’s to look after the youngest.

Naomi carried on working locally and in 2014, they founded the Skint Dad blog which is now one of the largest money blogs in the UK.

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She said at one point the couple had £6.20 in their bank account a week before payday with only enough food in the cupboard to feed the family for three days and only four nappies left for the one-year-old.

They struggled through that week with super economy pasta and sauce, frozen sausages and own-brand cheap nappies.

In his earliest blog post, Ricky wrote about their situation and it attracted hundreds of messages from people sharing their own money worries and tips and then they started sorting out their finances and sharing their experiences.

In just over four years, their debt was paid off and they’ve recorded what they learned along the way in their book Make Every Penny Count, an easy-to-follow guide with budget tips on how to make, save and manage money.

With that said, here are some tips from Ricky and Naomi to help you with your own finances.

6 tips to help you sort out your finances

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Planning weekly meals and tracking your incomings and outgoings can help you take control of your financesPlanning weekly meals and tracking your incomings and outgoings can help you take control of your finances (Image: Alamy/PA)

Track your cash spends

Work out how much goes out (outgoings) and comes in (incomings) to your bank account - include your direct debits and standing orders as well as your cash spending, Naomi advises.

“If you take £20 out at the start of the week and pop to the shop, or to get yourself a coffee or pick up some sweets for the kids, those little cash spends will add up.

“It’s harder to track because at least if you’ve got a banking app, you can look at the transactions to get a grip on what you’re doing. With cash transactions, most people don’t keep receipts.”

Naomi says you should think about whether you really need to be buying that coffee when you can make it at home and whether you’re buying those sweets because you find it hard to say no to your children.

Monitor subscription offers

Naomi is warning people about subscription services - where a free trial is offered, you might forget to cancel it and be charged.

“Make sure if you’re taking that free trial, diarise when you need to cancel it, putting a reminder into your calendar on your phone as soon as you sign up with a reminder for three days before that trial comes to an end so that you get a notification to cancel it. They don’t remind you because they want you to start paying for it.”

If you do use a subscription, such as a gym membership or Netflix, Naomi says that’s fine but she suggests considering if you might get a service cheaper elsewhere or take it a level down to make it less comprehensive and cheaper, omitting the aspects of the service you don’t use.

Cut out pocket money

She said one of the first things she and Ricky did was cut their children's pocket money.

While the kids might get annoyed, you can restart it when you're financially more secure.

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Plan weekly meals

Check what you have in your cupboards, and what’s in the freezer and fridge before planning your meals for the week. It’s important to make a list, stick to it and don’t buy what you don’t need.

“Avoid the end of the aisles with the sparkly offers saying, ‘This is reduced, it will be nice’. If it’s not on the list don’t get it.

“When I make a list and work out how much we’re going to spend, I try to round everything up. If I’m going to buy onions, I’ll price them at £1 even though they might be less. So, at the end I’ve got a buffer within how much I was predicting that I was going to spend.”

She suggests making a meal plan for three or four days at a time rather than doing a whole week because it can become boring.

Look at the best offers each week and shop at the best value supermarket based on that week – this may mean you go to different supermarkets each week.

Try a 30-day no eating out challenge

Look at your bank statements and work out how much you spent on eating out in the previous month.

Put at least half of it into a savings pot and the rest you can add to your grocery shop for extra food you’ll eat at home this month, the couple advises.

You could set the scene for a special occasion at home, master some super speedy dishes if time is short or batch cook and freeze so that the takeaway urge doesn’t take over when you’re tired.

Get the family involved, discuss the meal plan and put special occasion meals in the diary so you still have something to look forward to even if you’re eating at home.

Make a sinking fund

A sinking fund can be something you use for unexpected costs - it might be used when your car breaks down or when you need to pay for a school trip.

It could also be used for things you’re likely to need each year like new glasses or school uniform.

Throughout the year, put a small amount aside for these irregular costs so that when they come around the cash is there.

It’s different to a savings account because you will need to access it for specific costs but don’t dip into it for everyday costs because it’s there for when you are sinking, Naomi explains.

Get free advice

Charities such as the National Debtline or StepChange can help you if you’re struggling with debt.

“They can help you work through it and put a plan in place so you can look at how to pay off the debt and potentially help contact creditors to ask for some breathing space on the debt or work out a way a repayment can be done in an effective way,” Naomi says.

Recommended reading:

“The worse thing we did when we were in debt was that we didn’t do anything. We just stopped opening our letters because we knew we couldn’t afford it. We ignored it. It was the most stupid thing we did.

“Just open the letter, contact the creditor and say, ‘I’m struggling’. Things have changed a lot in the past 10 years. Now, you can ask for breathing space or a break in your payments to help you get going again and creditors have to help you more than they did previously.”

Ricky and Naomi Willis’ book Make Every Penny Count is published by Piatkus and is available to buy now for £12.99.