Poor souls http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/LearnToBudget/ScrapingByOn150000AYear.aspx If she thought it would really fix her family's finances, Amy Schuett would make it her New Year's resolution to squeeze every bit of extra spending from the family budget. But she's already slashed so many little luxuries -- the gourmet coffee, the restaurant lunches, the weekly dates with husband Brian -- that she's fresh out of ideas. Cable TV? Unplugged. Pool membership? Down the drain. They've even considered giving up their unlisted phone number. At a cost of $3 a month, this move wouldn't save much -- even over, say, 150 years -- but it shows how desperate the couple feel about easing their financial strain. "We're struggling week to week to get by," says Brian, 42. "Any money that comes in gets chewed up right away." Digesting that fact becomes harder when you consider that the Schuetts earn a comfortable living, with Amy, 39, pulling in $150,000 a year as a hospital psychiatrist. True, their income did take a big hit last summer when Brian got laid off from his job as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical firm (he'd been making a base salary of $82,000 a year, plus commissions as high as $24,000). And they do have four daughters to raise, ages 4 to 9. But still. The Schuetts don't have any child-care bills (Brian is now a stay-at-home dad). They don't have credit card debt. They don't splurge on fancy vacations. And they live in a nice but definitely not luxurious home on a three-acre plot in Elkhorn, Neb., just west of Omaha, where the cost of living is, well, livable. Yet, says Amy, "We live from one paycheck to the next, we're struggling to save, and we never seem to have enough money to do anything fun." It's a statement that an awful lot of Americans can make these days. About two-thirds of families need their next paycheck to meet their living expenses, according to a recent survey by the American Payroll Association. While many claim to be clueless about where all their money is going, it's often easy enough for an objective observer to figure out. After all, easy credit makes blowing bucks at the mall (or anywhere else) painless -- at least until you find yourself mired in high-interest debt. And once your lifestyle has been lifted, it becomes utterly unthinkable to live without satellite radio, TiVo, iTunes and Netflix. And is any suburban clan complete without a monstrous SUV in the driveway? (It can't fit in the garage.) If, like the Schuetts, you're determined to stop living for every payday and start saving, these strategies should help THERE IS MORE ARTICLE ON THE LINK IF YOU CARE TO READ IT. Perhaps someone from the board could help these poor souls get a grip on their finances?????