Got into a discussion with The Rabbi about this, he thinks a credit card of $3500 is still living within your means. That is apparently the average these days; I say it depends on your ability to pay it off. If you have an average income X, and you spend on average X, then you are living within your means. Some months you go over, some months you don't, it evens out over time. But if you're exceeding X in spending on a regular basis and your debt is growing, then you are not living within your means.