1. Is LJ going super slow, or is it me?
2. I have a Visa, and an American Express credit card, but I’ve never, ever allowed myself to (owe my soul to the devil) become a victim of these plastic traps.
The only times I use a credit card is for travel (plane fare, car rental, hotel expenses); internet business needs, and for causes such as sponsoring World Vision, and ASPC. When I use my card, I know I will be able to pay the entire amount by the due date. I can travel once a year, and because I save for the entire year so I can pay the entire balance by the due date.
When I bought my car, I paid cash from the money I had saved for it, and since I paid the entire amount, I buy only buy liability insurance. I have never bought a brand new car because I've never desired a brand new car which will depreciate as time goes by.
I always buy with cash, because I can see the dollar bills, nickels, dimes and pennies dwindling a way when I use them, unlike, checks or credit cards. I buy my clothes (underwear, electronic, and firearms excluded); nick knacks, dishes, and blankets (EVERYTHING) 2nd hand. I sometimes buy stuff like President Obama, etc., paraphernalia, but if I don't have the money, I do without. The only times I go out to eat is when I'm invited, and it's known the person who invited me will pay, heh heh. I do sometimes go crazy (I am human after all), just like the extremely expensive pistol I purchased a few months ago. When I realized I would have to may quite a few monthly payments for it, I returned it.
I have an $8,000.00 Thomasville bedroom set, with a California size bed that I bought 2nd hand for $700.00. I did buy an expensive new mattress, but it will will last me for the rest of my life. I a large collection of cookbooks (at least 400) that I paid a dollar for each, and fine Yugoslavia, and Austrian crystal stemware sets, etc., which cost me a few bucks at my favorite 2nd hand store.
I buy groceries in bulk from Sam's, and divide it three ways $$$ with my best friends. When shopping at a regular grocery store, I buy what's on sale, and make from scratch inexpensive meals that will last the whole week. When it comes to my animals, I don't scrimp at all when it comes to their food, the pet groomer, or the vet.
When it comes to holidays, I totally keep myself away from the mad mall rush by giving gifts I bake myself. When I make some kind of a party, or gathering, I tell everyone to bring a dish, and their drinks. When it comes to my grooming stuff, I buy them dirt cheap with zero tax at the swap. I use cheap petroleum jelly as a moisturizer, and have only gone to the beauty salon only once, and that was for the prom.
Conclusion: Credit cards are deadly. Buying 2nd hand whenever possible isn't shameful; not only does it save money, but also Mother Earth. If you don't have the cash to buy whatever, don't buy it. You're not gonna die if you don't. Donate to some worthwhile cause (animals, children). The Lord somehow sees this, and makes sure you'll never want.
In these hard times, have you discovered new frugality tips to share?