I'm motivated by all your success stories, so let me tell you mine. We are a one income family. DH is a mid-level manager in a government job. He doesn't get paid a lot, but it's union. DH has always been a stickler for not going into debt other than the mortgage, so we've never had debt. But we've never been able to save money either. It just trickles through our fingers.
Last year I discovered Gail Vaz-Oxlade's "Till Debt Do Us Part" and realized our real problems were attitude and no goals. So I sat DH down and we started to get a bit more structured about how we handled money.
Then, in August I discovered Dave Ramsey. WELL! That was an experience! I looked at his baby steps and said "What?! At 48 years old I only have four steps covered?!" I decided to get serious. After DH and I listened to the CDs, we set up a zero-based budget and have watched our savings increase by another $600/mth. Meaning we are saving over $1000/mth. now.
Our emergency fund, which sat at a measly $1000 at the beginning of the year, is now at $10,000. We have a cushion of $1000 in our savings account. We have $2000 saved for our daughter's university expenses. We were able to deal with a minor crisis due to a storm this summer...for another $1000. And we still managed two vacations.
We are very happy campers. Next up will be adjusting what we are putting aside for retirement, and how we deal with the children's ongoing university costs.