9 of 10
BACK NEXT
Jack Dunstan
46, IT manager
Stafford, Va.

The Moment: After being left with about $7,000 in credit card debt after his divorce, Jack Dunstan decided he would never again pay interest to use his own money. He says it took him about two years to fully pay the debt.

In that time, he had a chance to re-examine his own spending habits. Never really a spendthrift, he decided to further curtail discretionary spending and budget more stringently. The goal, Jack says, is to provide his children and grandchildren an easier life.

The Method: Budgeting is critical. Regular bills and expenses are paid from his bank account automatically, and if he determines he really wants to purchase something, he will save his money and pay cash.

Jack says he keeps one credit card for absolute emergencies. He says he's hidden the card so well in his wallet "it would take me an hour to find it, probably." He also maintains a check card tied to his banking account.

The Glitches: At first it was difficult to curb impulsive spending. Ultimately, however, Jack says he learned the difference between needs and wants and how to make himself wait before purchasing discretionary items. "The instant gratification is short-lived - when you save up for it, it means so much more," he says.

The New Life: Jack says getting rid of credit card debt has fattened his 401(k) and enabled him to put money into his bank account that he would otherwise have spent on debt.

NEXT: The Lees

Last updated June 18 2008: 1:55 PM ET
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.