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Pinching pennies

Piggy BankTimes are tough for Americans as their wallets take multiple blows from the housing slump, rising oil and food prices, growing unemployment, inflation fears and recession talk. Many homeowners are facing negative equity, with mortgages bigger than their property’s value.

Even as recently as November, households were going into debt to maintain spending, but new numbers show that Americans are saving at the highest rate since March 1995.

A vendor sells candy to fans attending the MLB interleague baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs in Chicago June 27, 2008. In an economic downturn, U.S. fans still go to sports games, partly as an escape from financial woes, but they are saving on the extras, like hot dogs and beer.With gasoline prices topping $4 per gallon, fewer Americans will be hitting the road for holidays. Die-hard sports fans are making sacrifices even as they refuse to give up the luxury of going to the game.

What are you sacrificing to make ends meet?

Caption: A vendor sells candy to fans attending the MLB interleague baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs in Chicago June 27, 2008. REUTERS/Frank Polich

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