Technically it’s been longer, as said credit cards spent a couple of years maxed out, but three years ago this month I paid off and closed down my last credit card.
And I was on unemployment from March to October of 2007.
How did I do it? I cut my expenses to the bone. I lived with roommates. I ate rice and beans and never went out. My entertainment was reading personal finance blogs such as Get Rich Slowly.
One my credit cards were paid off, I did increase my luxury spending a little bit. Which means:
- I paid for my week long trip to Arizona last year in cash, as well as my wild weekend at PAX.
- I paid for my ukuleles in cash.
- I paid for three computers over the last three years in cash.
- Every item of clothing, every beer at a brewfest, every comic book and Nintendo game and brunch and bicycle tire and movie ticket, I paid for in cash.
My interest rate on those credit cards I paid off in 2007 was 22%. Because they’ve been paid off, I’ve basically had 22% more spending power.
Funny. 22% is about what I’m putting in my long-term savings these days.