Savings tales: Life without credit or debt
Do your research and save
"We budget and save for things. When my husband was laid off for 15 months, we had our emergency fund in place, and we still added to our home improvement fund and our car fund. We have different savings accounts for our funds. In my husband's unemployed period, we never touched our emergency fund. We held onto our car fund savings, but we used our home improvement fund for a new roof and a new backyard fence.
"How could we afford to pay cash? In addition to saving, my husband gets several estimates to get the best deal on home improvements. And, my husband works along with the contractors to save money on labor.
"As for our cars, we never buy new. We buy used cars. As with any big-ticket items, I always start with Consumer Reports to research quality or 'best buys.' Then, I research private sales. I check values on sites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds. When I see a good private sale prospect in the online classifieds, I check with Carfax so I know I am getting a well-maintained vehicle.
"This is how we live. We save for our goals, and we research good values."
-- Phebe, Lynnwood, Wash.