Okay-- We are tithing kind of people--totally give $$ to our church. Well, we upped our contribution 2 months ago and were "rewarded" with a nice pay raise for hubby. Needless to say--we have done so much this year that we have reached our breaking point. I am a stay at home homeschooling mom. Husband is a software engineer. We just did a home equity loan in the spring and put in a pool, redid, our floors, and remodeled our kitchen. The return on our "investment" is that we are double what we put in. Mostly due to land value of our home. So those decisions, though expensive--were good ones. Unfortunatley--it's the non-house decision that bring us to where we are. Now here is where we just plain stink. We have been overspending for a couple of months in various categories on our budget. So much so that we are now $1200 in credit card debt. Additionally, hubby bought a laptap pc b/c he was working on his thesis. And computer thesis' work sometimes a bit better if you can bring your computer to your prof--so the story goes. PC is non-returnable and hubby switched options on his masters and will no longer require the thesis. The PC is on a non-interest for 12 months cc. I was actually considering looking for jobs which is not easy to do as I would have to coordinate with husband's schedule and it is just not going to be worth the effort (in other words, 15 hours of min. wage work--will not have enough value in our budget--in other words--barely make a dent). So my budget thoughts--and I would especially love to hear from those who have been in similar budget bust situations...I am not pleading a sob story--we are a family with 2 small children and have our hands in too many places at the moment. And I am solely looking for assistance in grasping the concept of living within my means... So I am thinking of temporarily removing the tithe, vacation savings, and other superfluous and temporarily unnecessary categories. That gives me between $500 and $600 per month that could have our situation "cleaned up" by years end. (For comparsion--I would bring home about half this amount after taxes.) To avoid the same situation from re-occuring, if anyone has any thoughts on how you and your spouse AGREED on handling purchase (do you have a maximum--no permission needed amount, how long do you wait for big ticket purchases, et cetera). If anyone has heard of Crown Ministries--we have participated in that program 2 years ago...While we used some concepts we haven't used all which I believe is how we got into our tempest in a teapot. Thank you for hearing me out--please no flames--helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!