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3 simple tips to start saving, from debt slayer herself, Santis O’Garro

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14th Jul 2020
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Self-confessed debt slayer Santis O’Garro cleared €15,000 of debt in just one year. In conversation with Melanie Morris for Week 4 of IMAGE Self-care Sundays, in partnership with Yoplait, she outlined how she did it.

Money is often a tricky subject to tackle, especially if you owe a large sum.

But getting a hold on your personal finances is a major step in your self-care journey.

Santis O’Garro managed to clear her own debt – a whopping €15,000 – in just one year. With mounting childcare costs and all of life’s other expenses to deal with as a single mum, Santis managed t0 slay her debt by clever budgeting.

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Here are Santis’s top tips that every one should be able to manage.

1. Talk to somebody

This is going to sound obvious, but just get it out! Get used to speaking about your money. That’s the first thing I did, I told my best friend, ‘I’m in trouble’.

2. Get a pen and paper 

Write down every single thing that you owe on a piece of paper. Go through your bank statements. The majority of the time it’s less than you actually think in your head. It’s about getting that out of your head and putting it on paper. See what’s coming in, what’s going out, what has to be cut. The best way of doing this is to get a calendar and write down where all of your expenses are going out.

It’s visual, you have the days there, highlight it, you can see where the money is coming in. When I began doing this, I started to realise ‘I didn’t know I was signed up to that app’. It was little amounts of money going out that I didn’t realise. I cut back on all my apps for the year. Remember, it’s only short term. I’m not about cutting back your life forever, but if you need to fix something right now, then it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.

Register for Week 5: Skin with Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd, for free now

3. Start a simple budget

Start with the most important: your fixed income. I call it the ‘Wall Family’ budget which is essentially what you need to live. Your mortgage, your rent, food, utilities, and I’m not talking utilities like a TV package – that’s a luxury – when you’re on a tight budget or you need to fix things you need to look at all these things that can be cut back. The next thing is transport, you need to get from A-Z. And my last one, because I’m single mother, is childcare.

People think that because you’re budgeting you can’t have any fun. But I had a ‘Fun Days Family’ budget, this is where self-care comes into the budget. I like make-up, I like to get my eyelashes done. I like to have fun, I have children. I have an envelope where I put money aside for things that my children want to do. Beauty, a TV package, Netflix, that’s all in that bracket. I cut back on both Sky and Netflix. We joined the library and we borrowed DVDs for a year instead. We’re back to normal now, but it’s only a year of your life.


Santis O’Garro was in conversation with IMAGE group contributing editor Melanie Morris as part of our eight-week wellness series, Self-care Sundays, in partnership with Yoplait. Melanie will host eight virtual events – all free to the IMAGE reader – so you can access them from the comfort of your own home. Get inspired to start your own self-care journey and spread Yoplait’s ‘You Time’ message that putting yourself first is a key component in life’s happiness and success.

Register for Week 5 Self-care Sundays: Skin with Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd, here.

For the full Self-care Sundays schedule, see here. Follow #IMAGESelfcareSundays on social.