Image by Kayak The Rockies via FlickrIt's funny how your perspective on things change after you go through trials and hardships. When Greg & I first got married 14 years ago we lived paycheck to paycheck and relied on credit cards and loans to help get through really lean times. If we had a major appliance to purchase, like a refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc there was no way we could pay for it outright so we would buy things like that from one of those rent-to-own places...and pay a fortune in interest.
Because of that lifestyle we were not prepared for when Greg lost his job eight years ago and we fell into financial ruins. Through the last seven years we chose to get rid of everything, live with relatives and pay back our debts instead of declaring bankruptcy and we were able to purchase our first home last August.
I have learned so much through this whole process. When I look back I can't believe some of the really stupid choices/decisions I made. Now if I want something...a big-ticket item (like, my convertible I'm saving for!) then I know I just have to put a little money away every month and the money will be there before I know it. There's nothing like walking into a business with a bunch of cash and saying "I've got cash, let's talk!" You can get some great deals because, money DOES talk!