They cut out their credit cards

10 families decided it was time to break their bad plastic habits. Here's how they did it.

1 of 10
BACK NEXT
The Tollivers
Suzi, 31, Infection-control specialist
Terry, 33, Lawyer
Indianapolis

The Moment: At one time Suzi and Terry Tolliver charged everything: gas, dinners, wedding expenses. And they had a $70,000 credit-card bill to show for it. With an income of $150,000, they could handle the minimum payments of nearly $2,000 a month.

But the debt was weighing them down. "We were still paying interest on gas we charged three years ago," says Suzi. In 2002 they stumbled across a book by debt guru Dave Ramsey: "The Total Money Makeover." They bought it - and applied his cold-turkey method.

The Method: They closed their accounts, drew up their first budget and spent the next four years erasing the debt. "If we want something, we pay for it in cash," says Suzi. "If we can't afford it, we do without or wait."

Best Tip: They update their budget regularly to fit in their next savings goal, be it Christmas gifts or a trip. "We no longer have to dread our bills in January," says Suzi.

New Life: They're becoming parents for the first time, adopting twin boys from Vietnam. The adoption is expensive, $25,000, but they're paying for it in cash.


NEXT: The Hutters
Last updated June 18 2008: 1:55 PM ET
More Galleries
My part-time job is a dead end, but it's all I can find CNNMoney profiles 4 of America's 7 million part-time workers unable to find full-time jobs. More
Cool cars from the LA Auto Show There are some of the standout vehicles on display this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. More
American Dream homes: Prices in 10 cities How much does the American Dream home cost? From $2 million in Los Altos, Calif., to $65,000 in Cleveland, here's what you'll pay for a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house, according to Coldwell Banker's annual survey. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.