Pete (the hubby) and I are not natural risk takers. We don't buy lottery tickets, we went to Vegas and didn't gamble and we've always taken out fixed rate mortgages. Debt makes us both uncomfortable. We are lucky, Pete earns a good wage and we can afford for me to stay home to look after the boys, for now. This does mean that we have to be careful with our money though. You won't find us holidaying in Jamaica (one day maybe!) and we don't drive a fancy car. That's not to say we don't have holidays or a good car, we do, but we do it within our budget. Holidays are UK or France. The car is a family run around and Pete rides his bike to work meaning that it doesn't get used often anyway!
Sometimes, we have had to make large purchases. We have always tried to save up before buying very expensive items but we've found that is much harder now we are on one income and have two boys. When it comes to things like sofas or mattresses, we have used store finance schemes. Pete is much more uncomfortable with schemes like this than I am (sensible person!!) but I always think that as long as you use these things to your advantage then it's OK. The key is to look for 0% finance or credit cards. You do NOT want to be paying interest.
We bought a new mattress recently and we wanted to make sure it was an excellent one that will last us 15 years or more. This meant that it was VERY pricey!! So, we used the stores credit scheme and we are paying it off in monthly installments over 6 months. That way we could have the mattress when we needed it (and we did really need it, our old one was grim!) but pay it off without putting ourselves out of pocket and crucially without paying more than the actual cost of the mattress.
There is a very handy site online which can offer you all sorts information on companies that offer credit schemes for products from clothing to furniture, it's worth a look if you're thinking about making a purchase using credit. Click here for more info!