Like many another Mrs. Smith, tall, brunette Lillian Smith* of Arlington, Va., is the budget director of her family. A few weeks ago, she went to her husband with a sheaf of bills and a realization that had her close to tears: the Smith family could not make ends meet much longer. There was the big insurance premium, and the mortgage payment. Everything was so high, and now that the four children were older, expenses would be higher than ever.

Lawrence would be off to college in September and Mary would be ready for...

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