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How do you make it without credit cards?

If I didnt freecycle and yard sale my kids clothes (5 yrs, 4 yrs, & 7 mths) my kids would be naked.

We dont have any credit cards, and we dont go out to movies, we are middle class I guess since we live paycheck to paycheck (streeeeethin it) and we dont get food stamps or help with medical expenses.

The way we live now, if there was not freecycling, or yard sales, we would not be able to buy clothes, even at walmart, how do you mamas who make even less than we do, buy new clothes, new furniture, car payments, money to go out every once in awhile. I sit at home days on end with dreams of going somewhere, (its been 5 years since we had a vacation) I cant even get one night away from my kids (no sitter but thats a different story lol) but I wouldnt have anywhere to go if I did because everything costs so much. I was grateful to go the 12 miles to walmart tonight to get a bag of diapers, first time I'd been anywhere for two weeks.

I stood in my kitchen yesterday and looked up at God and said, "This is not funny at all. I'm not laughing. I'm about to walk away from my family and trying. The monotonous roundelay of housework and children is wearing on me. I know now, I KNOW, how/why people have mental breakdowns. I'm coming to mine.

How do you not go to pay day loan advance places and get enough to pay this bill so you can put food on the table? We are just at the border of making too much, but not making enough to do it confidentally. I havent had a new shirt in 2 years! I have three children. They each have two gifts for Christmas this year (better than the last two years) and Im excited we get to wrap something we paid for in advance. We went to the Goodwill store and found an acoustic guitar childsize (they are $60 in walmart!!) for only $10. Found all 6 new strings for .99c on ebay. We freecycled a real REAL drumset (child size) that someone was throwing out,we bought a second hand keyboard for $10, got a much wanted PILLOW PET and Fushigi ball and the baby got two bathtub toys to open. We will do stocking stuffers fromthe dollar tree, no prob, christmas is in the bag! yay, but ....

How do you (if this applies to you) not use credit cards and still get EVERYTHING you need? I have to tell my kids no to: yogurt, fruit gushers, cheeses, chips, ice creams, etc, it breaks my heart I cant buy when they ask, beg, for a new shirt with a transformer on it, or cookies, or the latest gadgetry.

They dont have family on either hubby or my side, so there are no hand me down toys or clothes. I'm tired of telling them no constantly. My friends make it seem so easy, they are buying and selling stuffs all the time. I just dont get it.


Asked by tsjpop at 2:58 AM on Nov. 22, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 6 (133 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • Hang in there. It would be worse if you overspent. Look at your budget. Write down everything you spend. Evaluate. You need to set goals.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 6:15 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • we live within our means , we carry no debt. and we budget, frugally shop and use coupons you name it. we dont live where we cant afford it, we dont have a car we cant afford. its just a matter of being scaled down to within our means. we NEVER use credit unless we can pay it off right away

    Answer by katiPeas at 3:02 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • We don't live on credit cards, either. Neither of us have had a credit card in over 10 years. We JUST got one a few months ago, and we pay it off every month (we just need to build credit for buying a house later).
    We live below our means. We had 2 10 year old cars until DH inherited a new one from his grandparents. So we don't have car payments. We live in a smaller house so we don't pay for a lot of rent. We are right in between the poverty line and middle class.
    Freecycle and thrift stores are AWESOME ways to stretch your dollar. Have you guys written out a budget and looked at other homes out there? See if maybe that can be an expense that can be lowered.
    Stay away from those credit cards. Buying yourself in debt will feel even worse than having to say no now to your kids.
    Are you sure your friends are living within their means? Have you talked about money at all with them? You might be surprised.

    Answer by musicpisces at 3:04 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • You can do BJ or Costco. Do you coupon? If you do that, you can get food little to nothing and that gives little leeway to buy clothes. Kids don't need new nice clothes. I can afford nice, new beautiful clothes for my daughter, but I do no buy them for her. I do pay a bit for shoes because they are shoes and I want her to be comfy but when it comes to clothes, I buy clearance and Target clothes.

    Answer by LiloViet at 4:41 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • My husband and I downscaled majorly when he was laid off three years ago. He went back to school, we moved into the cheapest apartment we could find, and have stayed here since, even though he is now working part time and doing a paid internship and making just as much as I do. Both of our vehicles are paid off and we are now putting all our extra monthly income towards my old student loan.
    We lived without for a very long time - no internet, no cable, no cell phones, just basic landline and a library card.
    It's tough but if you want help with your budget, check out the Dave Ramsey Fans group here on CM and we can help you find extra money every month.

    Answer by MommaofH2 at 7:02 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • credit is a HUGE end up paying MORE for your puirchases, you risk falling further and further behind. its is serioulsy better to SKIP a sale rather than run up crdit you cannot pay.

    Answer by katiPeas at 3:13 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • I made the mistake once of getting a credit card. It took me 5 years to pay it off. I just don't get more than what we have to have. I use coupons and look for sales. You can say I live from paycheck to paycheck also. The feel of being debt free is worth it though.

    Answer by arenad at 7:06 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • My husband and I are in the same boat. although we only have one child, we are still living paycheck to paycheck because of credit cards from the past and student loans.
    We joined BJ's and got a basic membership. The only thing we buy there are diapers and baby wipes. We shop at ALDI's which is the cheapest grocery store known to man. If there is one in your area i suggest you go there even if its across town. We do have family, but they dont really do much to help out since most of them are struggling as well. When we need time to ourselves we put the baby to bed and stay up late and pop our own popcorn, and watch a netflix movie. If you are rally itching to get out of the house, has babysitters you can hire, for pretty cheap. and you can go to a wine tasting. they are only about 5 dollars a person and you get to taste up to 6 different wines.

    we found this to be a pretty inexpensive date.

    Answer by Eriwinston at 3:18 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • We don't use credit cards. We only buy what we need. We both work.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:17 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • We donate plasma with both of us doing it twice a week it's an extra 400 a month. We chose a debt and are putting that extra 400 towards that debt we should have everything including our house paid off by the time I'm 30. It's a pain and the needle is no fun but maybe you guys can do plasma for the things your kids want/need

    Answer by Heidikans at 7:18 AM on Nov. 22, 2010