Four years ago we were forced to declare bankruptcy due to ridiculous amounts of medical bills. One of the results of the bankruptcy was wiping out all of our credit cards. We vowed never to use them again. See where this is going?
We have managed to re-accumulate credit card debt. It has driven/drives Joey crazy. I (being the purchaser) simply look at it as, Logan needs new shoes (for example), we don't have the extra dollars in the checking account, they go on the credit card.
Today that changes. No more credit cards. We took out a loan against our car and are paying off the credit cards. The loan is for 36 months, so in three years that debt will be gone.
Our van will be paid off in two years, and Grace starts school
So what does this all mean? In about 3 years, we'll have extra income of over $1,000 per month. Yowza! Having an end date and knowing we can make it there has really helped me as I consider new purchases (even in the few days that this has been the plan). I'm more dedicated to it now that I've ever been, and the reward for the frugalness will be a new house, which definitely helps keep me on track.