My husband and I started our lives together pretty young and with a very limited income, but we were still able to afford many nice things. We built our house when I was 20, could successfully afford raising two children at 23, built a 600 sq foot addition onto our house at 25 and enjoyed many luxuries in our lives like vacations, new technology, nice cars- all while living off of one income (of about 40k a year, sometimes a little more and certainly a little less in the very beginning). And get this, we have always lived this way without having credit card debt.
Many people would ask how we could afford such things, and even more thought we lived in debt (or that our family helped us pay for things)- but they couldn’t be further from the truth! The only “debt” we have ever had is our mortgage and car payments. Anything else we buy is completely paid for. How?
The answer is so simple, it may scare you.
Like, literally scare you- so hold on to your seats…
I told you it was simple.
My husband has always been very skilled at managing his money. I am very lucky. He has his own management system that still confuses the heck out of me, but it’s something that works like crazy! Maybe I’ll have to get him to “guest blog” on here one time to try and explain it to all of you (;
Even though my husband seems to be a financial genius (well, in my book anyway lol), it was something my Popa told us years ago that stuck in my head,
“If you can’t afford it- don’t buy it.”
And what he later elaborated on was that if you cannot pay for it upfront, wait until you can. Save your money until you have the cash in hand and THEN buy what you want.
So, we unknowingly, adopted that motto (I say unknowingly because I am pretty sure when he told us that we rolled our eyes and drove home talking about how old-school that idea was).
But, it’s how we started to live and still live until this day:
If we want to buy new furniture, we save our money until we can go pay outright for it. If my husband wants a new tattoo (which he has MANY of and I swear he wont be satisfied until every inch of his limbs are covered), he saves his money to afford it. If we want a bigger TV, we save our money and pay upfront. See the pattern?
We never buy anything if we cannot afford to pay it off.
We do the same for holidays. When Christmas begins to draw near, we begin saving to buy gifts for our children, family, and each other. When birthdays roll around the corner, we save money to afford the parties and gifts.
It’s really so simple, but it’s not something many people do. <–This part shocked me; I just thought everyone knew to do this.
Easier said than done, right?
I know the time between wanting something and being able to save up for it may seem unbearable for many, but it’s so worth it. After you have your bills paid and all your necessities taken care of, SAVE the rest. Trust me, if we can do it with two kids living off of one income- so can you!
We don’t have to pay interest on big items that we want- in the end this saves us money.
Then you may be thinking, well how do you earn good credit? We have all heard the saying “no credit is worse than bad credit.”
Surprisingly, we have pretty amazing credit.
We do have credit cards and we do occasionally use them- but ONLY if we already have the money saved to pay them off after a month (before any interest begins to accrue). Therefore, it builds our credit but we don’t end up paying any interest and the item gets paid completely off.
We have also gone into the big furniture stores when they offer deals of “so many months interest free.” So, we will again (after having the money already saved up, or at least most of it) buy the item using their line of credit and then pay it off before it gets close to that interest earning mark- usually within a month or two. Even if it’s 2 years interest free, don’t ever put it off until the last minute. Pay it off as soon as you can!
Having little to no debt allows you to live a luxurious life just like those “credit card rich” families, but it’s a lot less stressful!
We don’t have the “best” things. Our house is not ginormous, nor is it my dream home (I’m still holding out for that one day!), but it is our home and it’s a blessing that many do not have. We don’t have the newest cars, but we do have very nice ones. My closet is not filled with the latest LuLaRoe fashion (at 8 months pregnant, I am currently obsessed with leggings), but I do not wear rags by any means.
We are not rich, but we are blessed.
AND, we do not have any type of credit card debt!!!
That’s pretty amazing to say in today’s world. It’s not something that is common and it’s not something that people can easily change, but the way to avoid it is simple:
Do not buy something unless you can afford it.
(without relying on credit cards or other forms of loans)
It may be an idea we initially roll our eyes at and a mantra that has been outlived, but it does hold a lot of truth.
Now, it’s your turn! Is there a certain way that you are able to live without credit card debt? Do you have any questions? Whatever it may be, I would love to hear from you! Comment below (: