We are almost debt-free except for our mortgage. (We have a few hundred dollars in medical debt.) We don't use or have credit cards anymore.
Our cars are paid off, and are both about 10 years old. Both check engine lights are on, and our AC stopped cooling in the car with the best gas mileage. So I've been using the lower gas mileage car. And now it has an oil leak. (Bah!) My husband has a work vehicle, so we only use the second car at night and on weekends when we both need to be somewhere. (He can't use the work vehicle for personal use.) But both cars have problems now, and since we don't save, we don't have the money to fix either one.
We had $700 in unexpected vet bills last month, and will need another $160 by the middle of this month for blood work and shots for our dog. She's always been healthy, but she's almost 10, so we need to start saving for vet bills.
We moved into a new house in January. It's new construction. Our mortgage payment is now almost $200 a month more than our old mortgage payment was. Our new house is about 15 minutes away from town, so we spend more on gas now too. And we pay for rural trash pick up.
We used to have about $75 left over each week ($300 a month) after our expenses were paid. Now we sometimes run out of money before the end of the week. We're not used to not having extra money. So we still eat fast food and get drinks from the gas station, etc. And we ignore the fact that we don't have any savings until something comes up that makes us have to deal with it.
We need to start saving. How do you make it a habit? Also, what's the benefit of having a cash system?