7 savvy steps to escape the credit grid
Save for big-ticket purchases
If you have to plug into the credit grid every time you need to make a big-ticket purchase, you won't be off the grid for long. Instead, start a replacement fund for big-ticket items well ahead of when you'll actually need one, says Burton.
For example, once you've paid off your car loan, instead of going out and financing a new car, drive your current vehicle until the wheels fall off and instead pay the amount of your old car payment into a savings fund for a new car.
Seriously committed debt haters can even apply this logic to buying a home by putting a bigger down payment on a home, paying cash or focusing on paying off their existing mortgage, says Burton.