The Dave's Beer household has always operated on a fairly sophisticated economic plan:
Sometimes a little tricky, but we've been fortunate - and frugal. A million years in school will do that.
spending < income
We've also never, ever paid a nickel in finance charges on a credit card. However, it still is pretty easy to use one of these nifty cards so frequently it gets warm from the friction of swiping. So, for a couple months, aside from gas purchases (since carrying that much cash might put us in danger), we're tossing the credit aside and using cash. Means we have to plan for the grocery store, and, just about everything. Stuff isn't cheap.
Even though I lusted for and agreed to buy a Briggs and Stratton this year, shelling out $120 for a refurbished one at Como Mower has given me pause about my fantasy mower. We've been doing this a couple weeks now and it's interesting. Even though we anticipated not changing spending habits, our habits have changed. Why buy that extra $3 box of savory crackers when you can make something healthier and better when you get home? We may not stick with it permanently; it's a bit inconvenient. But, when the economy seems on the verge of a depression, it's not hurting us to think a bit more about purchases.