Alison
Level 3

Debt management

These suggestions work better the younger a person is and the more gainfully employed a person is. Personally, for a senior living on a fixed, limited income who barely makes ends meet, I do not find most of these suggestions especially pertinent. For example, here are my specific reactions to your suggestions:
1. Save a mini emergency fund of $1,000. HOW CAN WE DO THAT?
These days $1,000. might as well be a million dollars. There are constant emergencies i.e. car repairs on our 2003 vehicle. We have to come up with loans for that. A new A/C unit was needed when we moved from a studio apt to a one bedroom. We actually had to seek assistance from a nonprofit community organization for that.
2. Fortunately, we do not have any debt that is official. We have an informal payment plan for services and purchases that we pay down monthly. So there is no need for us to refinance credit card debt.
3. Focus on  Saving
How can we save when we barely make ends meet on a monthly basis? I admit that we do make self-indulgent purchases. But they are small and one of the few pleasures we have in life. Even though it would be a good habit to save even $5-10/month, that will not take us very far. So we've opted for the short term pleasure of small purchases rather than the long term goal like investing in a hobby or taking a vacation.
4. Create A Debt Payoff Plan
As I mentioned in #2, we have our informal arrangement for a debt payoff plan. Although we have been diligent with it, I find that the suggestions your article makes are clearly for much younger people.
In conclusion, we were Middle Class, gainfully employed, living in a house, owning two cars free and clear, and having investments. Then 2008 came. We lost just about everything. As a result, we went 'from Middle Class to One Day From Homeless'. To find out more, go to our story in a a three eBook Amazon Kindle series, The Former Middle Class eBook Series.