Savings tales: Life without credit or debt
Live under your means -- not within them
"After my divorce, I had to crack down on spending and make an about-face on the reckless spending patterns of the previous 30 years. At the time of my divorce, my credit score was 485.
"Within the past five years, I was able to boost my income, cut back my expenses, and with a single refinance, pay off all my debt. Today my credit score is 710, and other than my mortgage, I have no debt!
"I pay cash for everything. My new motto is: Live under my means -- not within them.
"I'm actually managing my finances with the same basic expenses as when we were a two-income family, only now it's just me. And I'm covering everything and able to save as well.
"My life is simpler, less stressful and more fulfilling when not tied to debt or the pressure to have more, more -- and did I mention -- more?"
-- Giovanna, El Cajon, Calif.