His wife kicked him out for 9 months for overspending. Now W. Hodding Carter is helping his family try the unthinkable: living within their means. Saddled with credit-card debt after years of pricey counter tops and dreams of wealth, Carter’s family of six plans to make do with their average combined income over the past decade—$41,000. Carter writes about their preparation for the frugal life in Gourmet.
So far the family has turned off their home’s oil furnace and installed an unused wood stove. They’ve cut out restaurants and started shopping at a liquidation grocery store. They even bought chicks for the free eggs and plan to sell the extras. Carter calls it a “take-no-prisoners battle with measures of extreme frugality that will change our lives forever." (Read more financial crisis stories.)