Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 10
BACK NEXT
The Hutters
Matt, 36, Engineer
Gina, 36, Teacher
Cleveland

The Moment: Matt Hutter tracks his spending to the penny, has read "The Millionaire Next Door" three times and keeps five copies of the book at home for gifts. So it's no surprise that Matt and Gina always lived below their means.

But when their third child arrived two years ago, Gina wanted to stay home. To help them get by on half their income, they ditched the cards. Though they never had a balance of more than $500, Matt felt they tempted them to spend money they didn't have. "Even if you pay your card off, you're still flirting with disaster," he says.

The Method: They canceled their low-rate USAA credit card as well as their Macy's and Target store cards, even though they never used them. They still have Kohl's charge card - Gina likes the card's discounts - but Matt wants that to go as well.

The Glitches: When Matt tried to buy a $5,700 PC online with a debit card, he ran into his $2,000-a-day spending limit. Because he has good credit, his bank lifted it.

The New Life: "We knew when Gina quit that if we ever got in over our heads, we could be in trouble," says Matt. "Getting rid of the credit cards gave us more control."

NEXT: The Sangls

Last updated June 18 2008: 1:55 PM ET
More Galleries
Banned! 10 things you won't find in China China says it wants to open its economy more to the rest of the world, but Beijing keeps a tight grip on technology and access to media. These 10 items are still off limits. More
A morning at the AltSchool, an education startup that Silicon Valley is crazy about The AltSchool is a system of "micro schools" and an education software maker that has raised about $133 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's philanthropic fund. More
Coolest cars for $18,000 These are the best budget cars, according to the experts at Kelley Blue Book. More

Special Offer