I cleared nearly £10k of debt thanks to following Martin Lewis’ tips – I’m his biggest fan, now I’ll share my wisdom | The Sun

WHEN single mum Tracy Prees began to struggle financially, she did everything she could to try and stay afloat.

Unfortunately 48-year-old Tracy's money troubles escalated as she racked up £10,000 worth of debt from loans and credit cards – and was even unable to afford food at one point.

However, Tracy has since found Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’s advice extremely helpful, and by following the money expert's tips she says she's been able to turn her life around.

Now, Tracy, who lives in Birmingham with her daughter, 14, is now close to being debt-free, and says: "I've always taken Martin Lewis's advice, but he was amazing during lockdown in particular and that's when I really started to take on board all his tips.

"He was amazing though the lockdown and gave some great advice, which I used to choose a savings account and to find out what benefits I was entitled to.

"As a result, I've been able to start properly paying back all my debts, and for the first time in years, I'm nearly debt-free."


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Debt dilemma

Tracy's money worries began when she was in her early twenties, after a relationship broke down and she was left with credit card debts.

She says: "It started out with just credit cards, and then it just spiralled out of control.

"It caused me so much stress and worry, and I ended up getting out new loans to pay off the old ones, I just felt like I had no other option.

"When I became a mum it became even harder as I had to pay child care."

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Martin Lewis is known as the Money Saving ExpertCredit: Getty – Contributor

Invaluable advice

At the height of problem, Tracy had accrued £10,000 worth of debt, and was struggling to see a solution to her money worries.

It was then Martin's advice became invaluable.

Tracy says: "I'd signed up to Martin Lewis's newsletters and I've always watched his TV shows too, and would pick up little bits of advice on how to get the odd freebie here and there.

"I've always had the emails off Martin too, and I go on his website and follow his show really helped me a lot.

"However I really began to listen and apply it all to my own life during lockdown especially."

Shopping around

Tracy has applied Martin's financial advice to various aspects of her life – from getting the best broadband deal, finding freebies to setting up the best savings account.

She says: "I always read the Martin Lewis email newsletter, and often follow the tips included.

"For example, I shopped around for car insurance on Martin's advice, and saved £50.

"I've also saved on gas, electricity, after going on a fixed rate, and I also managed to get a cheaper broadband too.

"I also heard about the Sun Saver days out too through Martin Lewis, for two-for-one offers and free tickets.

"This meant I could afford to go on day trips to Thorpe Park and other theme parks with my daughter.

"I used his site to keep an eye out for deals on things like takeaways, and cinema tickets too.

"All of this helped free up more money to put towards my debts."

Saving savvy

It was also through Martin's website that Tracy heard about Help to Save.

A type of savings account, it allows those entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to get a bonus 50p for every £1 they save over four years, on up to £50 a month.

She says: "I set this up, and I also started transferring money from one bank account to another, specifically for bills, and then I made sure that all the payments came out on the same day to avoid any surprises.

"It really helps as I now know how much money I have left for other things."

Credit union checks

Tracy has also used Martin Lewis’ advice to sense-check her own decisions, and used his advice to check out credit unions and other responsible lenders if they need to borrow.

This included using Fair for You, a non-profit lender, who offer flexible, affordable credit for a range of household essentials like fridges, ovens and beds.

Hope for the future

Now, thankfully Tracy is in a much better place.

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She says: "I'm not completely debt free as it's hard at the moment with all the bills increasing, but so much better off than I was.

"Obviously I still have to be careful with money due to cost of living crisis, but Martin's advice has been invaluable and I've been able to turn my life around."

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