Yes, I probably made some errors with the numbers, but the idea was to see how easy it is for the "average household" to get itself behind the 8-ball financially.
Income data are from Census Bureau report "Income in the U.S. 2003." (There was no change in median household income between 2002 and 2003.)
Expense data are from Bureau of Labor Statistics report "Consumer Expenditures in 2002."
Expenses are average for family, 25-34 years old, with pretax earnings of between $40k and $49k.
Assuming minimum payments on average household credit-card debt of $8,000.
Not much wiggle room after all that, is there?