I don’t have a credit card.
I also have no debt, no loans, and no unpaid bills. I haven’t graduated from college yet, but my wife has, and she did so with no debt, loans, etc. I plan to do the same.
Oh yeah, we have a baby on the way too.
Needless to say, in order to stay out of debt, one has to work hard and spend smart. My job isn’t the most luxurious (because I still haven’t graduated), but it’s enough to pay the bills. Recently, however, my wife and I have discovered that our income/spending rate was not balanced enough to get us through my potential student-teaching-induced unemployment. We didn’t want to go into debt, and we don’t believe that a credit card is the way to go, so we decided to make some budget cuts.
We decided that we were going to try to live on a total of $800 a month. Rent is 550 and insurance is 50 a month. So after the automatic stuff, we were left with $200 for the month. We put $120 towards foodstuffs and $80 towards gas money.
In order to make sure that the gas money lasted all month, I’ve been biking to work. It’s not really all that much, but I’m in better shape and I feel better about my carbon footprint. I think one of the things that has changed most since I started biking to work is that any place that’s as far as my job has become a place I can bike to instead of a place I drive to. Driving less really cuts down on the money spent on gas.
So far this month, we’ve filled up the tank once, and our gasoline bill this month has come to about 63 dollars.
Let’s get to food. One of the things that we had to master was self-control. Debit cards have made it possible to buy just about anything without seeing money move at all. We withdrew the $120 for the month and split it into $30 for each week. We keep the cash on hand, knowing that we could only spend that much each week. The first week, we stayed under 30.
I’ll post again at the end of the month. I don’t think we’re going to be right at or under 120 for food this month, but I do think that we’ll at least be close.