I use credit cards only to get discounts and in severe emergencies, like the one in January when my house needed $9,000 in repairs so it could be sold and when my real estate agent, bless her heart, failed to punch numbers correctly causing me to have to pay at my closing. My goal was to break even; instead, I went in the hole almost ten grande.
I am proud to say that seven months later (almost 8), I have paid off that debt. I took an adjunct job for the summer and also ran the summer institutes. That money went to take care of the business that needed to be taken care of.
And it's funny, too. Five years in Syracuse making hardly a cent, and I never used any of my credit cards. I depleted savings, yes, but did not have too hard a time (although I lived without and was smart about the way I lived). It is humorous to me that I paid off bills that total more than I was paid as a graduate student. This is the difference between being in a doctoral program and having a career again.
I don't believe I felt like I lacked too much while in Syracuse. I also didn't buy new things. I went with the basics and I survived. I suppose that is why there was irony in the real estate fiasco that ended my time in Central New York. But now I can say, wola! It is now behind me and gone.