In the interest of not falling into the same trap that frugal newspaper articles seem to, I'm going to outline what I have working for me and against me here. So you know where I am coming from, and can take my musings with a grain of salt if needed. That being said, let me know if I start to slip!
I have a Master's degree, and a husband. Two things which help contribute to our income. I work, actually using said-Master's degree [*whew!], at a state university, in administration. So, while my salary isn't huge, I do have some really nice benefits, including health insurance, and a uni-funded retirement plan, in addition to a self-funded one. I also have a large extended family, who love to host a visiting niece and nephew, including at least one aunt who loves to spoil said niece and nephew. Things could certainly be worse.
Point is, I know that my belt has some slack in it, too. However, it doesn't often feel that way, because we are aggressively paying down debt.
Yeah, nasty credit card buggers. Credit cards, in of themselves, are not bad and inherently evil. At least, the idea isn't. We just enjoyed life while I was a lowly grad student, not pulling in much income, and buying expensive books. We've had several half-way-across-the-country moves. And at least one snapped timing belt.
Credit cards + student loans + car payments = disposable income. Outside, looking in, we may appear to be livin' high on the hog. Inside looking out, reality smacks us around from time to time.
So, now you know a bit more about me. What about you?