JAMES O'Donovan and his family have taken a hit of close to €13,000 a year in their disposable income since the recession hit.
While they're lucky to both be working, Corkman James and his wife Rosaleen have been hit by the tax rises and pay cuts which have reached every family in the country.
As a teacher, Rosaleen has been hit by the public service pay cuts and pension levy, cutting her income by €330 a fortnight.
James is self-employed in the IT sector and travels to Dublin several days a week for work. He is also down on earnings and is paying higher tax.
The couple have a son, Daniel (8). The squeeze on their household income came at the same time as the cost of raising their child was increasing.
James said he expected the upcoming Budget to cause further pain.
"It's been remorseless already, €2,000 to €3,000 less every year, so you get this cumulative effect on your budget," said James.
The only way his family has coped is by constant vigilance on costs to reduce spending, he said.
By relentlessly shopping around for everything from groceries to gas, he has managed to save over €7,000 a year on outgoings, while maintaining the family's standard of living.
James has become so passionate about helping families economise that he set up his own website, www.howtosave5000.ie, and has published a book on the topic.
Another is due out shortly on how to cut your motoring bills.
"I do get annoyed by everything that's happened, but that's not going to change what the Government does, so I take the view that the only thing you can control is your own spending," he said.
"I know we're lucky that we both still have jobs, but we have still taken a huge cut to our income and I was just determined that wasn't going to result in a worse standard of living."