MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Have you recently purchased something with cash? We want to hear your story!

As you know, I am passionate about staying out of debt and living within your means and I think it’s especially encouraging to hear personal stories from people who are choosing to be counter-cultural and pay cash, instead of credit.

I’d like to start highlighting stories from you, my readers, right here on Money Saving Mom®!

Have you saved up and paid cash for something recently — like an appliance, furniture or a car? I’d love to hear your story! And your story might just end up as part of the new “We Paid Cash” feature we’ re rolling out in the next few weeks.

Would you like to submit your story for possible publication? Just follow the details outlined here.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

126 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    We paid cash for my son’s next year of Christian school. We got two discounts. We got a 5% discount for paying the whole year’s tuition by a certain date, instead of paying monthly. Tuition rates went up this year and by paying even earlier, we got last year’s tuition rates. I think we saved around $400 or $450.

  • Heather says:

    When I was pregnant with #4 we knew that a Chevy Impala would no longer hold all of us. I told my husband I wanted a 8 seat Suburban. Then I prayed and alot. I knew that if we were patient and looked around we would find that car. Yes we paid cash and because of that the dealer took almost 3000.00 off the price of the car. Yes that is what I meant to type. We had some extra money because my husband had just changed jobs and we had known that a different car was needed. No we did not buy new in fact the car was 10 years old at the time of purchase. I did not get all the bells and whistles (who really needs to watch t.v. while you can look around at God’s beauty), but what I got was a car that fit everyone safely and had everything that worked. Plus my husband and I got the peace of mind that comes from not having to pay that bill every month. When you do buy what you need and can afford and not what you want and is well beyond your means then you have more freedom to let the blessings flow out of you and on to someone else. If we had that payment every month we would not be able to use that amount for other things that God has called us to do. There is a freedom in being able to do that.

  • Whitney says:

    We’ve recently gone to cash only for flex spending (food, clothing, etc.) and while it’s not a car or a year’s tuition, it’s a big step for us! I’m also paying for this year’s Christmas (early) with cash.

    • Deven says:

      Whitney,
      This is where it all starts!!! Good for you and keep up the good work! Next year, you will be talking about something that saved to buy with CASH!!!

  • Renee M. says:

    For the first time we paid for our summer vacation with cash! We spent a weekend at the beach and then went to Great Wolf Lodge for 4 days! I’ve only been couponing for about a year and serious couponing and stockpiling for about 6-8 months so this was awesome for us!!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’ll never go to cash for big purchases, and here’s why: my American Express card has such great protections on it I would never give them up. They double the manufacture’s warranty on all purchases (up to an additional year), they will pay for anything you’ve lost, had stolen, you can’t return to the store for whatever reason within 90 days of buying it. I’ve had my dishwasher fixed twice and they’ve paid for it both times, saving me over 400 dollars– on top of the 1.5% cash back I get. We always pay off our bills each month, so paying cash for big items that we were going to have to buy anyway is so not worth it to us.

    • BJ says:

      @Elizabeth,
      We are in the same boat. We pay with our credit card for the benefits it gets us then pay the bill in full at the end of the month. Our credit card has no annual fee, so it doesn’t cost us anything to use the card. The card does have the various insurance coverage and ability to dispute the charge if we are sold a lemon or if a product is not delivered. Plus, this process gives us 1 airline mile/$2 spent and an extra few weeks to accumulate more interest on our cash in the bank. Plus we save money on domestic travel when we take a vacation. Even if the ticket is only $200 it’s still $200 less coming out of our pocket. And if we don’t fly a year we don’t lose our miles because the account is considered active even if we obtain miles solely from a credit card purchase.

    • @Elizabeth, This is interesting. We have an American Express card, but I had no idea they had such great warranty protections and return policies for using it.

      • Jen says:

        @Jenni @ Life from the Roof, I think in part you are paying cash IF you pay your card off in full each month. I also use my credit card all the time but pay it off in full each month without problems. I can see if you have struggled with over spending with credit cards this may not be the way to go but right now it’s working great for me and my family. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathleen says:

      @Elizabeth, We also use our credit card to purchase big ticket items. We always pay it off when we get the bill. We would never even consider using the card if we didn’t alread have the cash in the bank to pay for it.

      • Julie says:

        We pay for most everything each month with our Discover card and then pay it off in full every month. It has no annual fee and it pays us “cash back” for our purchases. When the “cash back” balance gets high enough, I apply that “cash back” towards our bill.
        I’m glad to hear that others think this counts as paying cash for everything since we don’t carry a balance over from month to month.

        • Megan says:

          @Julie, Same here (I love Discover – and just wish they’d go back to a straight 1% back on all purchases). I think the issue is that some people think that merely having a credit card will encourage you to spend more than you would on a cash-only diet. I found that credit cards “pinch” more when I use them than cash does. For me, cash burns a hole in my pocket, but I’m very careful about what I’ll pull my card out for.

    • A.S. says:

      @Elizabeth, I am in 100% agreement here. AmEx is the best with warranties – we’ve used ours and had the product replaced at no charge or hassle to us. We pay our balance in full each month, so we aren’t affected by their high (on occasion) APRs.

      • Beth says:

        I’m glad that you all have had great experiences with Amex. I had a card that I had not used in over a year. Amex waited a week to notify me that they allowed $5K of fraudulent charges to my account. Eventually the amount was credited back, but I closed the account and will not use them again as their notification was too slow!

    • nancy l. says:

      @Elizabeth, We have a VISA card that we use the same way. We get a small percentage of cash back and we use it for all of our everyday purchases and larger purchases. I actually use it like a debit card – everytime I make a purchase, I write the amount out of our checkbook. Then when the bill comes, I just reconcile it with my checkbook. That way the money is always there to pay the bill in full when it comes and I’m not as tempted to overspend when I see the checkbook balance. It’s worked well for us for a lot of years. The cash back has helped pay for vacations and Christmas gifts!!

    • Lisa says:

      @Elizabeth, I also use my credit card. I love the points, I get the gift cards and combine them with sales/discounts. A study showed that CC users will purchase more than cash users because it is easier to spend more freely with a CC. I try to always be conscious of this and ask myself if I would be willing to pay cash for a purchase I am thinking of charging. I am surprised at how often my answer would be no to cash but yes to a CC. Just proves the study, I suppose.

      • Elizabeth says:

        @Lisa, I agree, it is easier to spend with the CC… so for smaller purchases, I have to be careful. But for big ones, I would never trade the protection– the cash back is just a bonus.

  • Kelly says:

    Our vacation. We saved and had to wait for the last minute to make some reservations but it was worth it. Waiting helped us save even more thanks to last minute specials.

  • Rita says:

    i agree with Elizabeth but I think if you pay it off right away you are buying it with cash.

  • Just last week, we paid cash for hardwood flooring for our house. Technically, I used my credit card, but I will pay it in full… so it actually works out better than paying cash: I get a 1.25% refund when my CC bill comes.

    My wife and I are determined to stay out of debt (excluding mortgage), so we plan and save up for any large purchases (like that one).

  • kathy2579 says:

    I bought 75% of my house with cash and only have a 15 year mortgage.
    I bought my camper with cash. We used an auto auction.
    I bought my last care with cash. We used a local gas station.

    I bought my laptop with cash.
    I only pay cash for gifts and holidays.

    I have only 1 car payment (done in 3months) I have 10 years left on my House (maybe 5 if we start doing double payments)
    I have no other debt.

  • Christy says:

    We are in the process of paying cash (in a round-a-bout way) to build a sunroom onto our home. We have enough money in a savings account to pay off the sunroom in full. However, instead of writing out a check to the builder we chose to pay with our Discover card and then turn right around and pay the Discover card. That way we get to earn 2% cash back while paying for our sunroom. We always pay off our credit card balance every month so we never pay interest charges.

  • Krissy says:

    Paying cash is a philosophy we learned from Dave Ramsey (thanks Dave!). When we started his plan we were beyond struggling. We weren’t accruing anymore debt only bc everything was maxed. We blindly swiped our debit cards and paid bills with no rhyme or reason. That was 2 1/2 years ago. Now, we are debt free! We sold our car and paid cash for a used car (monthly savings $520!), we sold our house, due to a job transfer and down sized our rental payment (monthly savings $200). We had the same old furniture that we bought when we first got married. Sold it on Craigslist and paid cash for a new sofa and loveseat. When the coffee table I wanted was $300 (seriously? Who knew coffee tables were so expensive!) I found the same exact table, used, on Craigslist for $35! I know finding the same table was a lucky, once in a lifetime find. We have 2 children that are destructive at best so it only makes since to buy furniture used. That way when they spill nail polish remover on the table Momma doesn’t lose her mind, as much.
    Paying cash used to seem like a dream scenario but now I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

  • My husband and I are followers of Dave Ramsey and so we have paid cash for EVERYTHING since October of 2009. We recently paid cash to put sprinklers and do some landscaping in our yard. Every month we take out the cash needed for our envelopes ( food, personal care, car maintenance, gas ext) We also have “sinking fund” envelopes for future purchases like tires. Because of this we have paid off over $17,000 since October and will never live another way!

    • Jill says:

      @Maarja Shisler, Do you place the money in a safe. I would like to be able to take cash out for the month and place into envelopes but my husband is worried about having so much cash in the house.

  • Elizabeth says:

    We’ve paid for my husband to go to seminary with cash. We are living off savings and a very part-time job for me; we also added a third child this last year. God is gracious. We are so thankful that we’ve never been in debt and that we were able to save so much money when my husband was working.

  • Yes, unfortunately we just paid $1600 in cash to rebuild the transmission in my husband’s car. Not exactly what we were saving for, but at least we were able to get it done.

  • Monica says:

    We’ve been following Dave Ramsey’s program since October 2009, using the envelope system and on a zero-based budget. So we pay cash for everything. However, we’ve been on a cash-only program for 7 years, after losing our credit cards with the sale of our former house. We’ve saved up and paid cash for: tuition, new flooring for 1st floor, microwave, washer, dryer, pop-up camper, dental work, furniture, and more. We’ve paid off 2 cars and resolve to pay cash only for future cars.

  • Christie says:

    Just last week we paid cash for a car at a government auction. One swipe of the debit card and it was 100% paid for! We had been saving the travel reimbursement money that my husband gets for teaching at a satellite campus for the past year. That and our tax refund allowed us to pay cash and still keep our $1000 baby emergency fund intact. Still plugging away at the debt snowball, but we needed to replace his car this year and planned accordingly.

  • Michelle says:

    My husband and I are in a position where we only pay cash for everything, including cars. The only debt we have ever incurred over the last 10 years is our home mortgage which we consider “good debt.” They key to getting to this place is living frugally and socking away all the cash you can. So when you want to buy something, you just decide whether the purchase is absolutely necessary and it comes right out of the cash account. Often, we will do without something for a month or two to make up for the cash expenditure. Maybe we don’t go out to dinner that month, or we choose not to spend anything on the house.

    There have been times, other than our mortgage, where we have used again what I consider “good debt.” For instance, we put a $20,000 deck on our house, which by the way added value to our home. We paid $10,000 in cash and borrowed the other $10k interest-free. We scheduled payments over a year and a half so that it was totally paid off after that time period. The payments were made automatically from our account and incorporated into our monthly budget.

  • Lisa says:

    We just bought a 2010 Hyundai Elantra with cash. We were saving for a pricier car, but we drove this one and loved it, so we now have a headstart on our savings for the next vehicle. We did end up taking a partial loan only because it came with another $500 incentive, but we paid it off within the week (and paid about $25 in interest). What a great feeling!

  • Lindsay says:

    Two years ago I bought a beautiful antique oak dining table & chairs from a friend at work for $250 cash – it might not seem like a lot of money, but it was all saved from quarters that I consistently throw into a jar from getting change throughout the day. Lucky for my friend, I didn’t make him take the payment in rolled quarters. 🙂

    I’m still setting aside quarters; haven’t decided yet what it will buy me next time. Another opportunity will present itself!

    I have not bought anything on credit in over 7 years.

  • amy says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait for this! These types of stories are so inspiring!

  • Condo Blues says:

    We pay cash for everything with the exception of our mortgage. I have to say it’s very satisfying watching TV news reports after the New Year about how much the average person went into debt to pay for the holidays and yell back at the TV “not us! We paid cash!”

  • Marie says:

    We’ve paid $1500 on our car these last two months for various repairs and did it all in cash, without touching our emergency fund. Even though it was really depressing to pay that much in repairs, it was such a blessing to hand over the debit card. Four years ago that wasn’t possible for us.

    We’ve also bought a new fridge, new vacuum cleaner, and lawn furniture with cash these last few years.

    The toughest thing will surely be saving up money for our next car. That is going to take some serious discipline.

  • Chris says:

    We just paid for a 2010 Hyundai Sonata in cash yesterday – what a feeling! our old car is on it’s last legs and this is what we’ve been saving for – feels great to not pay a cent in interest!

  • Kassandra says:

    We currently have cash-in-hand and have been test-driving vehicles the last few days. This has been the most liberating experience EVER! I, literally walked off of a lot yesterday because the salesperson would not budge $89 on a car. Granted, it is an older, low-cost car, but my budget is my budget and we have vowed to stick with it until we find something dependable with the money we have on-hand… no borrowing a penny from any other source. We don’t have much, so we keep praying. I know God will answer our prayers when the time is right… When it is His right time. Thanks for this post and we would LOVE to be featured! 😀

  • Stephanie says:

    Does it count if you have the money saved, use a credit card for consumer protection and pay the balance off the day it posts?
    If so, then we paid cash for $1500 in car repairs and bought a new dishwasher when our old one died, and also did some home repairs without touching our emergency fund.

  • MarySunshine says:

    While my husband and I have lived debt-free for nearly ten years, lately we have gotten into the habit of buying more than we need–because we put everything on the credit card (which gets paid off in full each month). After reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover last week (based on MSM’s recommendation), we decided to make a zero budget and use cash for more purchases–and today was my first cash-only trip to the grocery store. It was a different experience, having to track the cost of every item to make sure I had enough money to cover it–but what a relief that we won’t have a high credit card bill to deal with later.

  • Laura says:

    Just paid cash for a new roof on the house and soon will do the same for a new roof on the detached garage and a new overhang for the patio. Quite an expense–but it will feel great to have it all done!

  • Autumn says:

    Now I’m really inspired to stick with my Dave Ramsey snowball. I will be able to pay off one nagging car repair debt this month and a couple other credit cards by October. Paying cash takes discipline but I’m so much more aware of all those little things adding up when I have my budget for for the month. I’m ready to pay cash for the brakes my vehicle will need soon and I’m not going to touch any credit cards.

  • Jan says:

    I have been married for seven years and have three kids.The whole time my husband has made $325.00 a week and I stayed home with the kids.My house and 3 cars were paid in cash.I have never even held a credit card.Now his hours are cut and he brings home $275 and all bills are paid and food in the house still no worries.

    • kitchy says:

      @Jan, That is great…how did you guys do that?..to think that only husband is working with 3 kids and stay at home mom?…thats fantastic!! Really,,,doesn’t matter how much you make money but it is how you spend the money…i am really ecstatic…good job guys!

      • Jan says:

        @kitchy, I did everything I could think of to save us money I raised chickens for eggs and meat.We raised a pig for meat and we butchered it ourselves.I took the fat from it and cooked it down for lard.I planted a garden and learned how to can it.

  • Doreen says:

    My fiance and I are planning to live debt free! We recently bought a 1994 mobile home in fair condition with cash. We plan to renovate it little by little as we can. . . also with cash. Living with debt has it’s stresses, definitely. Living without debt also has some stresses. 🙂 But I’d much rather have the stresses of debt free living than the stresses of debt. Debt free living requires an active faith in God and I am thankful how He proves His provision again and again.

    • Angela says:

      @Doreen,

      Doreen,
      That is awesome! I did that once years ago & I loved it. I have always regretted selling my little trailer. I paid cash for it, fixed it up little by little & it became a home. After all, home is where the heart is.

  • Ellen says:

    After the birth of our third last summer, I got really serious about my need to exercise for stress relief, to combat my lingering baby blues, and to get a jump start on my post baby weight loss. But with three kids aged 3 yrs and under, it wasn’t exactly easy. Once the baby started napping more consistently, we bought a very nice treadmill so I could run while the children were napping. It has honestly made such a difference in me as a stay-at-home mom. I have a way to relieve stress while knowing that I’m not dumping my children with a babysitter to exercise, depriving myself of sleep to run in the mornings, missing family time in the evenings, or paying for a potentially pricey gym membership that I might not be able to use to its fullest potential. The day the treadmill arrived was SO exciting! And it was nice to know that the lifestyle choices we have made over the months preceding it had made that cash purchase possible.

  • Heather says:

    Check back with me very soon. We are about to FINALLY replace our couch and loveseat. In cash.

  • We paid the hospital in advance for our 3rd son’s delivery. Because we did so, we got a 20% discount! We also just got a new roof for our house and paid cash for it. It felt SO NICE to be able to do both of these things. So thankful for God’s provision for our family! He’s TRULY the reason that we were able to do so! To Him be the glory!

  • amber says:

    I purchased a new used car at the beginning of june with cash, I bought a 1999 mercury sable with 77,000 miles and only two previous owners for 3800.00

    Also I just got married on the nineteenth, and we paid for everything (included our seven day cruise for the honeymoon) in cash! The greatest feeling is knowing that our beautiful wedding and honeymoon is paid off and not causing us any headaches. We also have our 1000 emergency fund, are working on our 3-6 month savings and are putting our wedding money towards our first home.

    I am 23 and my husband is 22 and our goal is to stay out of debt. So far, so good! 🙂

    • Amy says:

      Amber,

      I had a Mercury Sable after I got married and it was a great car!! That was almost 12 years and 3 kids ago! We paid cash for it and have since upgraded to a mini van that we paid cash for! I’m ten years older than you and just wanted to encourage you as you start your married life! We started out with a budget and frugal lifestyle and haven’t looked back! We paid off my student loans in 1 year. We had a mortgage for 3 years and vowed never to have debt again! We were completely debt free at age 26! I’m 33 now and we are building a house without debt! It is a wonderful feeling! Giving has also been a priority in our life! Giving brings so much joy!

      • Amy says:

        I also just wanted to add that I’m a stay at home mom! When we got married we decided to always save the money I made so we wouldn’t have to change our lifestyle once we had kids.

  • Leah says:

    Not only did we pay off a credit card this year but we also paid cash for our upcoming vacation. We have also been saving up to buy sod for the backyard.

  • Kathleen says:

    We just bought 30 aphrodite trees for our yard and a new fenced in pool for us and our 3 children with cash. We did charge it and paid off the balance when the bill came in. We are also in the process of refinancing our mortgage. We will be getting a 1% reduction in our rate. Just by doing that we will be saving 50K. We plan on paying the same current mortgage payment that we pay now on our new mortgage payment and we should be able to pay it off in about 20 years instead of 30. Not as good as paying cash but, we are excited about saving all that money. 😉

  • Jen says:

    My husband and I have been married for 8 years. Every year for our anniversary we go back to Vegas (where we were married) to celebrate. We’ve paid for the trip with cash every single time! We save through the year cause we know we’re gonna go. It’s nice being able to go and not having a huge bill when you get back. A few years ago we started adding a 1 week family vacation (we have 3 kids) every year that we also pay cash for. The kids love it and we love it cause we don’t have a big bill to take all the fun out of it.

  • Michelle H. says:

    We paid cash for a house last December – and my husband is remodeling it himself and paying cash for the materials.

    Last week we paid cash for our son’s dental work, and got a 25% discount.

  • Michele H says:

    My husband and I have been married 5 years and we married “older” (29 and 32). We both had saved over the years and since we joined our lives together, we have paid cash for EVERYTHING! Our wedding (11K), honeymoon (4K), an international adoption last year (32K), a new van this summer (14K), vacations, and general life stuff. We have less than 40K on our mortgage with ~ 6-7 years left. My husband is a police officer and I am a homemaker, so not much income here, we just have learned how to save, save, save! The Lord has blessed us tremendously!

    • Charlotte says:

      @Michele H, Thank you for adding that you stay at home and that your husband in a police officer. It gives me so much hope that we can make it, too. Congrats on your adoption, btw.

  • Charlotte says:

    We replaced/updated our car and finally got a 2nd car… all with cash… in the same month. No one in my family could believe it.

    Our goal is to pay off our student loans ASAP and to never borrow another penny again. Wish us luck.

  • Reagan says:

    We are saving up right now to pay cash for a second car. We opened up an acount with our local credit union yesterday and the woman asked if we wanted to sign up for something that would cover you if you went over on your debit card, we told her we use cash for everything and that wouldn’t be an issue for us. She was shocked and siad I didn’t know people still did that!!

  • sara says:

    Cash for our 2008 minivan. It is a new way of thinking to not take out a loan on a car. I’m so glad we did.

  • Stacy says:

    I am very proud of my family! A little over a year ago my husband and I both lost our jobs. We had very little savings at the time and what we did have was quickly wiped out. Luckily, we were able to both find jobs within a couple of months and we vowed to never be that strapped for cash again. We set a very strick budget for ourselves and through couponing and budgeting we have been able to save a LOT of money. Just this past year, we were able to save enough to pay off our car (so now we have two cars that are totally paid for) and we were able to get 6 months living expense saved.

    However, the nicest part of living debt free, is that when unexpected expenses come up, we are able to handle them. Just this past week the fiberglass enclosure in our shower developed a hairline crack (without us realizing) and we discovered this when it started “raining” in our family room. Unfortunatley, the problem wasn’t an easy diagnosis and it took the plumber a lot of trial and error until we figured out where the water was coming from(= expensive). Although no one likes forking over hard earned money for repairs, we were very proud of ourselves that we had cash to pay the plumber, drywaller and tile man…whew!

  • staceypunk says:

    We started to follow Dave Ramsey in towards the end of March and have switched to using cash since then. One example is paying for the vet bills in cash. I have 4 cats, 1 dog, and fish (they actually wind up costing some money too). Somehow, the vet bills always were paid with a credit card becasue they were “emergencies”. So I am very proud that we have not made ANY new charges since late March.

  • Kelly says:

    What an inspiring post…so many people are paying cash for things and are debt free! Awesome!! We also use our credit cards for everything so we get the benefits, but they’re paid off each month. We pay cash for any vehicle we purchase, always used cars. Hubs is a bit of a car nut so we turn around vehicles frequently. Vacation to Disneyland this year was paid for in cash with rebates, cash rewards from credit cards, etc., not a penny came out of our regular budget. It was so much more fun knowing that, and we even came in under budget on the trip so when we got back we purchased a Wii with the rest!!

  • kitchy says:

    MSM thank you for posting this…just reading all the messages inspired me to do more, to be more courageous, to be hopeful….this is wonderful.

    I am also a stay at home mom with 2- year old daughter and my husband is working as self- employed,sometimes budget is tough but i gotta learn how to stay in debt free,thankful to learned the magic of couponings , so far so good and pay everything in cash too.We bought a 100-yr old house which is 21K for cash ( its not the best house around but hey! we owned it and no mortgage payment) ,my husband still fixing it until now,got a second hand van paid cash,went to a weekend vacation paid cash too.

  • My 93′ honda just went into the shop for a new head, water pump, and timing belt. I had my emergency fund, thanks to Dave Ramsey, and paid cash for all the repairs. Time to rebuild the funds.

  • jenica says:

    I found out about Dave Ramsey through this website. My husband and I attended Financial Peace University this winter and have already paid of most of our consumer debt. I am so thankful I started following your blog, I never realized how much I could be saving just by using coupons and following a budget. I have shared these lessons with many of my friends and they to are making changes toward Financial Peace! We pay cash for everything now! If we don’t have the cash we save up for the purchase.

  • Wendy says:

    I hardly ever carry cash – I put everything on my credit card – BUT:

    – we have it automatically set to debit from our checking account every month
    – we get 1-3% back on everything we put on the card, so we get checks for about $15/month
    – I can do all my banking online. I open Quicken (an old version, but that doesn’t matter) and can automatically get my bank transactions and my credit card transactions all downloaded into my budget spreadsheet so I can keep an eye on them
    – we always keep enough money in the checking account to have a “cushion” – enough to pay off whatever is currently on the credit card, plus a bit extra. If we had a problem where my husband missed a paycheck or something, we’d still be covered.

    I know that credit cards cost the merchants money, but I really like getting the cash back and I like the convenience of being able to dispute a charge and get my money back!

  • Laura says:

    My husband and I are saving cash to be able to transition out of the military. We are saving to support both of us for 5 months of no (or barely any) income after he gets out before I graduate and start work as a nurse. We are 20 and 22.

  • Ellen says:

    We just bought a new used Honda Odyssey (2007) model with cash…okay, a bank check… it felt very good!

  • Prathee Selvam says:

    What I’m going to say may not be a true cash-purchase story. My parents were spendthrift and innocent. They almost lost all our money by lending it to relatives and due to high spending. Even in my young age, I learned this lesson by seeing my parents’ pain. From then on, I never borrowed any money from anyone. My husband bought a house even before our marriage and he paid 100% of it. The current value of our house is 400% higher than what he paid. Currently I’m enrolling to an MBA program – one of my goals. I’ve got more than 50% scholarship and I can earn through part time and internship. We’re planning to pay the remaining money through cash. I always have itchiness in my heart if I have to give even a dollar to someone. This is really helping me to stay on track and debt-free. I can’t tell you a single story of cash-purchase. In almost all my life, I ONLY do cash-purchase.

  • Patti says:

    I always use cash. The day places stop taking cash is the day I stop shopping!

    • Stephanie says:

      @Patti,

      I actually had a place say they didn’t take cash. My jaw dropped. Luckily I had a check or card on me. I couldn’t believe it.

  • katie says:

    We use cash for everything (well our check card). Our latest last purchase – my son’s Christian education ($5000). You get an extra discount when you pay in full- so we save all year to pay in full!

  • Kimberly says:

    We don’t have a single credit card any longer and we have paid cash for everything for the past 5 years. Our most recent purchase was a new washer, dryer and fridge. We got a great deal plus an extra discount because we were paying cash.

  • Sherri says:

    We’re paying cash for my graduate school tuition. I quit my job in January to go to graduate school full-time. We have been and will continue to pay cash for it all. So far we’ve paid $8000 and we’re expecting to pay another $8000. We have the money already, so in the end, we will have paid $16,000 for my masters degree…IN CASH! No student loans for us!!

  • Lorrie says:

    Well, we have been able to/will be able to pay cash for car repairs that we have had recently and will be having shortly. We drive old cars but hate the idea of buying another car. We are saving for a newer used one, but the process is slow. Also, we are going on a week vacation with our kids and will be able to pay cash for it all. My husband and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary next week and plan a weekend get-away to a VERY nice B & B in September, all paid for with cash. It is so much nicer to go on vacation when paying with cash. Yes, we could use the money towards a newer car but think 25 years together is special so want to celebrate it in a special way. Also, our kids are almost out of the house and want to have some special memories together before they leave our home. Sometimes time with family and making memories is much more important than newer cars and “things”.

  • Samantha says:

    We just paid cash to replace one of the flat roofs on our home- $6000.00. We were proud we were able to hand it over in cash.

  • Jamie says:

    We just paid for a $900.00 car repair with cash. We were hoping to put that money toward paying down my student loans but at least we had the money and didn’t have to rely on the credit card. Feels good that it is done and over, don’t have to think about it again!

  • Maggie says:

    Everything (except our house)!

    We bought small SUV for $8500 a few years ago and the seller actually asked us if we were drug dealers when we pulled out a bank envelope full of $100’s. (He was mid-20s like us and had never heard of the concept of saving up to pay for things!)

  • I always try not to pay cash for everyday expenses including utility bills, and use a credit card that offers either points or cash back. For example, discover card more often gives 5% cash back to most of the stores, and if you pay the balance in full at the end of the month, it’s like you invested your money with 5% savings.

    All my autocare and gas is paid with Driver’s Edge card, and again pay in full at the end of the month. When you accumulate points, you can redeem it for auto care expenses, so it’s like getting the service done FREE.

    However, if you cannot afford to pay the balance in full at the end of the month, you will actually pay more in interest, and it’s not going to be a good deal : )
    I project my expenses and set up a recurring bill pay plan to pay the credit cards once per month, so, I won’t forget.

  • Angela says:

    I don’t have quite an inspiring story as many of these other ladies have but I’ll share mine just the same. My husband & I don’t have fancy jobs nor fancy homes and cars. But, we were caught up in the trap of having car payments. We finally decided to rid ourselves of this constant stress. We sold our motorcycle to get rid of that payment. We let someone take over our other 2 vehicles so that took care of those 2 payments & insurance on all 3. We then searched craigslist & prayed God would send us in the right direction of a good, dependable affordable car. And, he did. I am not ashamed to say we paid less than $2,000 for my 98 Pontiac Sunfire with new tires & tune up. I have had it more than a year now & we have had to do less than $500 of work to it. That’s less than 1 month of car payments. It drives good, excellent on gas & saves me tons of stress! I discovered that I really love my car & I don’t need a newer car to have that feeling. We went with only 1 car for a while & then we searched craigslist again & bought my husbands 4 wheel drive truck, again less than $2,000. It hasn’t given us a moment of trouble. We prayed for dependable cars & that’s what we got. Now, it sometimes feels embarrassing or uncomfortable for some people to see you in an older car & I own it & wouldn’t trade it for a new one at all. All the money we have saved on gas, car payments, full coverage insurance, etc. we have been able to send $$ to my husband’s country of Honduras to work on the house we are building there, our dream of owning a home with no payments. Although I don’t believe it is possible for our family do that here, it is possible for us there. The exchange rate makes it easy for us to build there. We are nearly done with it & won’t owe a penny! I cannot even imagine the thrill of sitting in a home & looking around @ my walls & thinking “Wow, no one can ever make me leave”. I dream of a No Rent kinda life! Congrats to you! I cannot imagine the feeling you have & I hope one day to feel the same!
    P.S
    You would be surprised how much less people will take for a used car than they have ask for. People are desperate to sell & are willing to make deals.

    • Dani says:

      @Angela, I just wanted to comment and let you know, your story is inspiring too! No car payments and building a house without the debt! That is awesome. You should be proud! Congrats!

  • Dina says:

    We recently paid all six months of our car insurance in one payment thus saving a little extra with the discount and no monthly payment for our cars other than gasoline and repairs. We also paid cash for both vans tires new ones. Yes we have bought all our cars used but with cash. Out most recent our 2004 Honda Odyssey (kept looking for a better price and one that could be in our price range when this one showed up, and I was actually looking for something older because I taught that is all we could afford without a car payment). We are saving up to put some hardwood floors in this month and paying with cash as well. We have also remodeled our bathroom paying cash. Patience is key and we don’t always pay everything with cash but I can’t wait for the day to say I’m debt free!

  • Stacey Carter says:

    Yes, Yes and yes. We have paid cash for cars, appliances, home remodel, furniture etc. (We do not have a mortgage or carry any debt.) When we bought our house, it came with no appliances. Since we were living in it (renting it) before we closed we did not want to purchase any appliances until we closed. So my husband and I (both working) and our 17 month old son lived in the house for 2 months without a refrigerator, stove or dishwaher. We did own a grill, old microwave and a small bar refrigerator that my husband had used in college 10 years before that. We paid cash for our appliances after we closed but waited 1 more month to buy a washer and dryer so that we could use cash. (My grandparents thought we were nuts going back and forth to the laundry mat). Now 20 years later we are able to pay cash for our kids college education and make sure that they do not take out any student loans like we had to.

    Love hearing your series. We were following the Dave Ramsey way before there was a Dave Ramsey way!

  • Samantha R says:

    We have been married for 6 years and were both going to school for the first 4 years getting our Bachelors and Master’s degrees (we had trouble getting pregnant but I ended up having our son 4 days after graduating with my Master’s degree – funny how God works!). We paid cash for ALL of our schooling. No student loans for us – yay! The only debt either of us have ever had is our mortgage for the home we bought last year (I am 25, my husband 29). We are paying extra on our mortgage and will hopefully get it paid off early! I am lucky enough to stay at home with our son, so we just put whatever we can from my husband’s paycheck in savings. We will pay for our new baby in January with cash that we have been putting in our health savings account. We are working on our landscaping this summer (we bought a new house) but when the money we have budgeted for it runs out, we will stop and start again next summer when we have more saved up – so we are doing all of the work we can ourselves. Since my husband started working full-time 15 months ago, we have been able to put 3 months of expenses in a savings account which we do not touch and are working on getting at least 6 months. It feels sooo nice being able to pay cash for everything except our house! (I am jealous that you paid cash for your home crystal! – we hadn’t ever thought about doing that!!!)

  • Gina says:

    We pay cash for everything, thanks to God and Dave Ramsey! 🙂 I used to think that using a credit card and getting the benefits of having a card was great, but the longer we had them the more temptation there was to buy things we didn’t need or pay to much for. When I have cash in hand, I seem to want to get a better deal because it is my hard earned money! Since going to cash, we not only payed off all of our debt, but I am now able to stay home with our two children living on $28000 a year. In the past year we have paid for a $1000 vacation in cash and a $700 computer in cash too. We are now getting ready to pay for a coast to coast move in cash, I count that to knowing what I have to spend and shopping around till I find what we can afford. It is amazing how that alone can really cut down on expenses. Cutting up the credit card and going cash was one of the best things I ever did.

  • Rachael Pate says:

    I am getting ready to start up another business-making diaper cakes. It is not that costly to get started with the basic supplies. I am going to have a garage sale in the next few weeks to make some money to start the business with!

  • WilliamB says:

    In effect I paid for my car with cash: as much as the dealer would allow on my cash-back credit card (paid off in full at the next bill) and a check for the rest. Boy did that represent a lot of work, putting that money away.

    The funny story is several years ago when I paid cash for a car tire. Apparently it’d been a long time because the guy couldn’t remember how to open the cash drawer. This still cracks me up.

  • Maya says:

    Mine aren’t real biggies but, I paid cash for a GPS and new ceiling fans. I clean a house once a week (while my boys take their nap) and I figured out how many weeks it would take to buy my husband a GPS (ours had been stolen while we grocery shopping, with coupon of course) and 2 ceiling fans. The GPS has been very helpful and my husband LOVES it; the ceiling fans are wonderful as we are going through a heat wave right now.

  • Kim says:

    Unfortunately we have a 15 year mortgage (I am jealous of you Crystal!) The median 3 bed, 2 bath here is over $380,000 and homes that are $290,00 are called “contractor’s or handiman specials”. We did however pay $76,000 cash to remodel our home when we purchased it and bought our camper for cash. I do love my american express for the double warranty and I buy all my appliances and furniture on credit so that I can take advantage of using someone else’s money for free! (o% interest for 4 years on the furniture and 0% for 2 years on the appliances) My finance degrees push me to take advantage of 0% interest and keeping my own money earning interest as long as possible.

  • Mary says:

    Just bought a treadmill that I had been saving for for 6 months with cash! Harder to part with cash is true especially after saving it for 6 months. I lowered my standards to get a used unit at 20% cost of new! It still looks new…I’m thrilled!

  • Ang says:

    We only have a mortgage payment. We own 2 additional pieces of land (we consider them our kids college accounts), 2 cars and a boat. I am a stay at home and in May we paid cash for a heat pump…It’s 92 degrees here (@ 8pm!) and we are so thankful for the cool house and every other gracious gift God has chosen to bestow on us! I have more than I ever deserved…

  • irma says:

    I have not bought anything big that I could afford to pay cash with but we are saving to do so. My 19 year old daughter just bought her 1st car and paid cash for it. The couple that sold her the car were very impress and so are we as parents. My son is saving for his 1st car and wanting to pay cash for it also.

    Crystal-So happy for you on your debt free home.

  • Loan (ironic, I know) says:

    Coming from a single-parent household where my mom worked multiple jobs and had to have multiple cosigners just to buy a $26,000 house, I thought some debt was unavoidable. But when I graduated college my mom gifted me a car. Along with the car loan. And that loan felt like the worst kind of shackle in the worst kind of prison. But God provided and somehow, within the year, I had paid off the car along with my student loans. That was the last debt I have ever had.

    I have paid cash for: graduate school, my first home, a second investment home, my 2nd car ever (just last Christmas Eve), a year-long sabbatical to volunteer, vacations, friends in need, and everything else large and small.

    By no means have I ever made an exhorbitant amount of money ~ until last year when I sold an investment house I’ve never made over $45k/year (sometimes half that, or less), at one point I was a schoolteacher, and now I work part-time. Being single without children has made my financial life much simpler, but many don’t realize that living by cash can be much easier than living by credit. And that it’s not so much about how you pay but what you’re paying for – The best thing I’ve bought with cash? My peace of mind.

    P.S….. @Maggie – I love that someone thought you were a drug dealer just for using cash! What a fun story 🙂

  • Rory says:

    @Rory,

    Oh, and per the actual reason for the post…. We are paying cash for my wife’s $17,000 school loans from Purdue in a few months!!! Saves us $23,000 in interest!

  • Kim says:

    Sorry, but putting it on a credit card and paying the balance in full at payment time is not paying cash. We used to do the same thing but gave the cash-only idea a try (Yes gave up the cash back bonuses) and haven’t gone back to the cards. Give it a try.

    • Rory says:

      @Kim,

      There is no point when your getting paid to spend money and not paying interest, sorry! We don’t spend any more than we have to. I track EVERY purchase and we make money for doing it. I’ve tripled our net worth in 2 years, but credit isn’t the only reason!

      • Kim says:

        @Rory, My main point here was that the question asked was have your recently purchased something with cash? That’s great if what you do works. You have to do what works for you. We don’t spend a lot so “cash back” isn’t worth it.

    • Rory says:

      @Kim,

      Why would you give up cash back when you already have the money?

    • Patrice says:

      @Kim,

      I am SOOO with you Kim!!! I know that before you actually bite the bullet and do it that it sounds rediculous to “give up” all those rewards, but when we started paying cash for everything, we realized that we were spending 50% less on groceries, incidentals, and, well…junk than when we used the card. It was just MUCH easier to stick to the budget when you use the “when it’s gone, it’s gone” principle.

  • Amanda says:

    We do a little of both…put stuff on cards and pay it off each month and pay for things with cash.

    With our credit card points we have got a riding lawn mower, elliptical, and a flash for a camera.

    We paid cash for my husbands honda civic, my honda element, and my masters degree!

    AND we are both teachers!!

  • Rachel says:

    I save loose change in a BIG jar. I have paid for a new camera, a new refrigerator, a new stove, and a new sink with CHANGE!! You never miss it…it is change. Most recently my husband and I rolled over $1,500.00 to use for a special project for our family. By the way, it took less than 3 years to save the $1,500 in change. It really adds up fast.

  • Reba says:

    Well, I know it is not completely cash – but a while back when student loans interest rates dropped dramatically – I was able to get a fixed rate of about 1.2% on my student loans by consolidating (I know not typically the best plan…). Because I have always payed on time and a federal decrease about 2 years ago, my student loan is now fixed at .96%. I am very proud of that and because of it’s low intrest rate it has gone on the back burner to any other large financial purchases – our car and our home mortgage – which both have higher interest rates. Neither of us came from any amount of money – we have taken care of my husbands parents since we were married – including trying to climb out of THEIR enormous debt crisis. So unfortunately we haven’t been able to pay for much in cash. We do pay for our appliances via a cash payment plan from our local store – they work off the old ways – and if they know the family and you keep a good pay record with them – they will set up a cash payment plan for you! That has always been a blessing.

  • Patrice says:

    We are about to make our first major “purchase” with cash! YAY…sort of. “Sort of” that we have to spend the money, but “YAY” that we finally have the cash saved up to do it. We are about to spend several thousand dollars to have some major foundation repairs made to our 1930’s home. If this crisis had happened just 1 year ago, we would have had no way to pay for it, but we have been working during the last several months to get control of our debt and finances, so we are able to pay cash for this emergency repair. I am SO VERY relieved that we had an emergency fund in place by the time we needed it!!!

  • Jennifer says:

    We had to gut our kitchen to replace the plumbing when we bought it 4 years ago. I had a plywood floor, dresser for cabinets and my MIL old sink base from her doublewide repainted. The walls were part ugly old plaster, and part newly unpainted drywall. However, it was what I had so I still hung up pictures and tried to make it look the best I could. My husband always laughed at me for this. This past winter my uncle was remodeling his kitchen and I asked what he was doing with his old but nice oak cabinets. He said he guesses they will be thrown away. I asked if my husband took them down (which saved uncle money) if we could have them. He said YES ! We were able to completely do our kitchen, including buying a nice used front load washer/dryer with pedestals off of Craigslist for a little under $1400 (my husband is a wonderful handy man). I love my “new” kitchen and get tons of compliments from people!Best of all we paid cash for everything which was our biggest cash buy since getting married. Next is the bathroom, in cash of course!

  • Kimberly says:

    Our credit situation was dire before we found Dave Ramsey and Money Saving Mom. Over $30,000 in debt on credit cards and saddled with a mortgage and two huge car payments every month we were living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make minimum payments. Our habits were out of control – if we wanted something new, it was purchased on credit. I had an epiphany that life did not have to be like this for us anymore. Slowly, I began saving my clipping coupons and reducing my grocery bill. Once we began to see our frugal efforts pay off we took drastic measures to reduce our debt and my husband liquidated his 401k to payoff a large purchase he made. Unfortunately, he and our financial advisor decided not to withhold taxes and penalties. This meant that, come April, we owed over $9,000 to the IRS. I think our true journey began here! By the grace of God we received a bonus which, along with every penny in our savings account, covered the amount owed to the IRS. Faced with a zero balance in our savings account and maxed out credit cards we have done the following to correct our spending nightmare:

    – liquidated my 401k to payoff $26,000 in credit card debt (this is not for everyone, but after praying a lot we decided it was the best decision for our family. This time, taxes were withheld.)

    – called every single debtor to ask for a reduction. Our credit cards waived small finance charges ($50 or less) that were left after we made lump payments. One medical bill offered a 20% discount to send in a last payment.

    – changed cell phone plan to the basics

    – bundled phone, internet, and tv service and asked for as many discounts as they could offer

    – set a bi-weekly budget that outlines where every dollar is spent

    – when our paychecks hit the bank we immediately remove a small amount of spending money and $100 cash for eating out over 2 weeks and transfer $200 into our general savings account

    – set up EFTs for $200 bi-weekly to go to my husband’s company match 401k and my new Roth IRA

    – cut coupons and reduce grocery bill by pairing MQs and SQs with store sales

    We now pay cash for everything and I know that God is good. Since we began this journey in January we have been tested with many things in our home – the air conditioner needed a new evaporator coil ($731), the hot water heater had to be replaced ($625), and we found squirrels nesting in our attic ($730). Each time we have had just enough cash to pay for these items, but still have money to put food on the table. It is only by His grace that we are able to handle these situations.

    I am a 32-year-old Mom with three beautiful children and I work part-time at a Christian preschool. I just want to thank you, Crystal, for MoneySavingMom as it has truly helped change our lives!

  • cjlampley@aol.com says:

    After limping along with my 13 year old car, last October I decided it was finally time for a new one. When the gas tank is about to fall off (along with a bunch of other issues) it’s just time! I paid cash for my new 2009 Cobalt and am so happy with it. I had paid off my old car in the first 2 1/12 years I had it so I’m used to being without a car payment and I wanted to continue that. I’m less than 5 years away from being debt free on my mortgage. I pay my credit card bills in full every month and have no other loans or debt.

  • Sue says:

    We wanted to buy a pop up camper… we want to see our country and take our girls. We started looking about a a year ago for something.. We looked every where and every where. It seemed every time we would find something, there was a stumping block in our way. We would make an appointment to see a camper at 5pm and we would get there only to have the seller say.. Oh I sold it a couple of hours ago. We were getting very frustrated.. Something or someone kept stopping us, like telling us there is something better down the road.. So one day my husband at work was talking to someone to get directions to a dealership we wanted to go to that weekend, when the VP admin over heard him. Well turns out she and her husband wanted to sell their pop up they had not used in 2 years.. Well we bought it. It is excellent shape. The price was amazing.. and they even taught us every thing about it.
    I just have to keep reminding my self to surender to his will, and he will always take care of you.
    sue in NJ

  • Robyn says:

    If we don’t have the cash, we don’t buy it. Our house is about 25 years old, which means it has its fair share of problems that crop up from time to time. One of those was that the (original) gas range would sometimes have a slow gas leak due to the pilot lights going out. The first time I came home from running errands with our brand new baby and the house smelled like gas, I told my husband we needed to do something about that stove. We looked at the appliance budget and saw that we could afford to spend about $250. I started shopping and of course learned very quickly that you can’t buy a new stove for $250, let alone get it delivered and installed. I even tried asking about floor models or cash discounts — no dice. I found one really ugly floor model that, before tax, was $250, and then we still would have had to get it home and install it. I started looking on Craigslist, but most people were asking ridiculous prices. I finally ran across an ad for a scratch-and-dent place in a kind of sketchy area of town. When I called they said they had stoves in my price range, so I packed up the baby and off we went to check it out. Only one of the employees there spoke English, and it was a pretty interesting place. I remember having to step over a fat old dog asleep in one of the “aisles” and thinking it sure was different from Lowes. But the prices were also very different! In the end, I chose a 5-year-old Whirlpool for $150, including delivery, installation, removal of the old stove, and a one-year warranty. I admit I was skeptical about the warranty, but I called them twice before it was up and both times I got much better service than my friend have had from well-known appliance retailers. We’re going on two years with the stove and I’m still very happy with it, especially because we not only paid cash, but came in almost $100 under an “impossible” budget (once we added in tax). I also got a few dollars knocked off the price because they didn’t feel like making change.

    At the same time, my next-door neighbors upgraded all of their kitchen appliances to brand new ones and I confess I was just a little jealous. Her husband got laid off a few weeks later and we found out they’d bought the appliances on credit, so not only were they having to live with no income, they were also having to pay off their kitchen appliances. Suddenly I was even more grateful for my $150 stove!

  • Robyn says:

    I’m commenting a second time with another story. 🙂

    Almost two years ago we decided we wanted to facilitate Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in our home through our church. The only hitch was that we didn’t own a TV on which to show the DVDs. We had some room in the budget, so I started Craigslist shopping for a TV. I found what we wanted for $95, including a DVD/VHS player, a stereo, and a couple of speakers. We hosted FPU and really enjoyed it. But I hated the look of a TV we sitting right there in the open in the living room. We’re not TV people and we don’t have cable or satellite or even rabbit ears. We do enjoy having it for watching DVDs, but it just felt like an eyesore.

    My husband gave me the go-ahead to start checking out TV armoires, of course on Craigslist (I tell people our house is decorated in Craigslist). After a week or so of watching the listings, we had a good idea of what we both wanted and thought it would run about $200-300. It was going to take us another month or two to save that amount in the furniture budget, but we figured we’d just watch and wait. We’re choosy and wanted a nice wood armoire, preferably oak, in a particular style, to fit in the spot we had chosen for it in the living room. After a little more watching I found “the one,” but we were still short a good $100 or so of the asking price so I just kept watching, ignoring the growing fear that someone else would buy “my” armoire while we were still saving. About a week after I first spotted it, they reduced the asking price to $100 (from about $300) and mentioned they had a truck and could help with moving it. I called my husband and told him they’d dropped the price, and he told me to go for it. We wound up getting our armoire for $100, delivered and all. They had even added some nice pull-out shelving for DVDs, and there was plenty of room in the bottom cabinet for our (extensive collection of) board games. They said it was about 20 years old (it doesn’t look it), and on the back I found the original price: $800.

    I felt a little silly paying $100 for a piece of furniture to hide the $95 TV, but it really is a beautiful piece and it provided us with storage for our DVDs and board games. It also really makes a big difference to me not to have a TV sitting out in the living room on a cabinet, because that’s just not the feel I want for our living area.

  • Tyree says:

    We haven’t had credit cards for our ten years of marriage (unless you count my old navy card I pay off immediatly and use like a check to get extra discounts on clothes–we’ve never had a balance above $0 on it.) If we buy it we pay cash for it including cars. The one exception is our house which we have half equity in. It is 2600sq ft four bedrooms up w/ laudry and two bathrooms on the same floor, kitchen dining front room and family and half bath on main floor, bedroom bathroom and req room and storage in the basement. We have a covered porch and a huge back yard. I designed the house and my husband and father helped me build it as I was the general contractor. We made money building our house. It may not be paid off but our mortgage is less than most rentals and we pay extra every month. We will someday sell and build again and put more sweat equity into that home and someday soon have no mortgage. (if that doesn’t happen for some reason we will be happy in this home for the long run and pay it off long before 30yrs.) I honestly don’t know how people pay the mortgage on the full 80-100% our mortgage is on 50% of the value of our home and that is great for us and the $ we make (which is a lot less than lawyers 🙂 ) I think its awsome you could do 100% it just wasn’t the right way for us and our income.

  • cwaltz says:

    I’m learning to add parts to our budget so that we can pay cash after success in paying in cash for Christmas.

    Next year I’ll be setting aside $30 a payday($720 for the year) for vacation fun. Our goal is to buy annual passes to Carowinds, since our kids have been huge fans of the Salem Fair and maybe get an annual pass to a nice zoo(since this year we have been working on an annual pass to the aquarium in SC).

  • Megan says:

    My husband and I did not transition well to the loss in income after I pared down work hours to stay home with our son. We have consistently been spending more than we were making. HOWEVER, we have just started using cash only and have put away the credit cards, and we have just had one successful month of not spending more than the money in our checking account and our wallets! This is not much compared to what most of you are doing, but was a challenge and a major accomplishment for us! I look forward to making bigger cash purchases (without the debt!) in the near future.

    • Kim says:

      @Megan, Good job!

    • Loan (ironic, I know) says:

      @Megan, I think that’s a GREAT start! Nobody starts out with a house as their first cash-only purchase, but you will be amazed how quickly your small steps will snowball!

      For the record, your successful month of living within budget really is a big deal. Many people I know falter for a several months first – it takes a lot of discipline to adjust to such dramatic change in the way you think & act. You have a lot to be proud of.

  • tonya says:

    My husband is a pastor and he wanted to attend the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando Florida last month. We are committed every year to taking our family on a vacation to make priceless memories with them. We thought that since he was going to florida we would make a family vacation out of it and spend a week in Disney World and go to the beach. We are in the process of following Dave Ramsey’s steps to financial freedom. We knew that we would need to finish our goal of getting 6months of expenses in savings before we could start saving for our disney world vacation. We worked really hard and became even more frugal than before. I am proud to say we reached our goal of having 6month of expenses in savings and paid for at 2 1/2 week vacation. Our vacation did not follow us home! Thank you God for the blessings!It is amazing what can happen when you are faithful to God and you and your spouse work together to complete goals!

  • Krista says:

    For the past 12+ months we have been a cash only family. Although, we also always paid off our cc every month we had no idea until we began a zero budget and envelopes that we now have more money than we ever did before. In the past month, we have bought a “new” used car that was an unexpected opportunity that God blessed us with. The fan on our AC went out and we paid the $417 cash for that repair. Life happens and expenses occur, so we set aside money each month for our “sinking funds”. Here is a list of just some of the things we have paid cash for (not on the cc first, but actual cash): deck stairs (safety hazard before), attorney fees for our estate planning, our son moved into his big boy room and we saved cash to buy everything from furniture, mattress, paint, decorations etc.

    When I right it all down it sounds like we probably have a lot of extra money, but we don’t. We budget, plan and save. My husband works in television and I stay at home with our two kids. I do work part time on my husbands days off. We went from living paycheck to paycheck and not sure where our money had been spent to living debt free (minus our house), improving our life insurance policies, establishing a sound future for our kids should something happen to us and are now trying to build up our savings to 6 months expenses. We hope to have our house paid off in the next 7 years.

    I feel it is crucial to say that we have continued to faithfully tithe & give through this entire journey. When you see all that God has blessed you with, it’s difficult not to bless others when you have the opportunity.

  • Kim says:

    We have been on a zero based budget since October 2007. Our most recent cash purchase was a swingset/playset for the kids. Found on craiglist for a fourth of the original price. Lots of fun to be had yet with this set for my 4 kids. We are on baby step 4. I’m looking forward to the day when we are giving like no one else 🙂

  • Loan (ironic, I know) says:

    This may be a dumb question, but I have to ask because I don’t know ~ What is a “zero budget”?

    • Kim says:

      @Loan (ironic, I know), It’s not a dumb question. It’s a term used by Dave Ramsey. It means we take our income for the month and give every dollar a place in the budget. Here’s a simple example. Say your income is $XXXX. You take out all expenditures, mortgage/rent, utilities, car expenses, medical, giving, groceries, entertainment (you get the idea). If after all of this there’s money still left over it has to have a place in the budget. Savings, paying off debt, etc. If you have more bills than money then you have to get rid of something or make more money until you are at zero. Dave’s idea is that you have to tell your money what to do. Give it a name in the budget. Or as many of us know it will mysteriously disappear. Hopefully I didn’t confuse you. Anyone else what to help me out feel free. Hard to keep my thoughts straight with kids in the room 🙂

      The zero based budget has been a great help to us in the past year as my husband’s work days/hours were reduced during all of 2009 and we didn’t even know month to month how much he would be working. So when the paycheck arrived we took out all the necessities and survived. If we would have been going through this a couple years earlier before we started budgeting we would have probably had a very difficult year. But even during this difficult time we continued to give and save.

      Hope this helps.

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *