I want to join you. Dh and I have a lot of debt from student loans (he went to grad school . . .twice!), credit cards (grad school expenses plus some sins early in our marriage plus treatment for dog with cancer), and a home equity line of credit that absorbed one of our car loans and some renovation work that was necessary on our house. The work isn't finished yet, but we are focusing on keeping the costs down and paying for the rest of it in cash.
The whole debt load is about $75k, not including the first mortgage on the house. When I talk about getting out of debt, I am not really including that number. Right now dh is an architect, but not making a lot of money. It is not possible right now to make the minimum payments on everything, buy food, pay utilities and deal with other non-reducible expenses on his salary alone, so I am working as a doula. I also work as an apprentice midwife, though that is much more part-time. Both bring a new expense -- child care, which is about $600-$700 per month for my two kids, part-time.
We are on strict budgets now and pay for nearly everything with cash. I have a grocery/spending money budget and spend about $320 per month on food and my personal expenses (like haircuts, yarn from the yarn store, lunches/coffee out, etc.) Dh gets a $20 per week allowance for similar things. I would say that those allowances are our only reducible expense, but I am pretty attached to them and don't want to give them up.
Our goal -- to get rid of the credit card portion of the debt within two years without letting the others go higher. I have been thinking about a lot of radical and not so radical solutions, including moving the cc debt to another kind of loan, pulling money out of my 401k to pay it, moving it to a low-interest credit card, selling one of my cars to help pay for it (though that could cause more problems than it solved), etc.
What I want -- some ideas on how to lower monthly payments without paying more interest in the long run, some ideas on how to generate more income, and just a general I-am-going-through-the-same-thing support.
Oh, to comment on a pp's situation, dh and I have struggled for a long time with how to keep the checking account organized. What it took was taking a set amount of money out every paycheck and then not taking out any more without telling the other partner. So, we take our allowances out on Monday and don't go to the atm again for two more weeks.