It's Lynn Neary filling in for Michel Martin while she takes some much-needed time off. I'll be blogging here throughout the week, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
So I am not crazy, after all.
Like a lot of people, I've been feeling like I have less money than I used to.
Turns out I'm not imagining things.
Even aside from the stock market tanking and house prices sinking, there's the pesky little fact that, while the cost of living is marching every upward, wages are not heading in the same direction. And as William Spriggs, chairman of the Howard University Department of Economics explained on today's show, even economists are surprised by the economy these days.
But our "Money Coach" Alvin Hall had some good advice for those of us who thinking the time has come to live within a budget. Hall says there is nothing to fear about living on a budget. ... Don't approach it like you are going on a diet and will be deprived of your favorite foods. Instead, make a budget that makes sense for you and your life style. If you like movies, don't cutback on cable. Otherwise you might find you are spending more on going to a movie theatre and, God forbid, buying a bag of popcorn and a coke.
And by all means, Hall says write your budget down. Apparently, there's something about seeing it in black and white that makes it more real and makes you less likely to cheat.