Resident pinches pennies

Staff writer

Lucy Mester of Marion filled up her gas tank Thursday, knowing that she was using every penny left in her checking account.

“With the gas prices this high, it’s hard to make ends meet,” she said. “I’ve got to pinch every penny so I can get where I need to go. Being on a fixed income isn’t fun, but you do what you’ve got to do in order to get by.”

Mester is one of the millions of Americans currently facing financial issues due to the poor economy and high gas and food prices.

She said, when her bank accounts get low, she usually reprioritizes her needs and then purchases items accordingly. So far this month, she has had to limit her grocery spending in order to put enough gas in her tank to make it to work.

Usually, she said, there is enough money in her account to purchase what she needs, but said it’s been difficult lately with unexpected doctor appointments and car repairs.

However, she said, she is staying positive, knowing that her tax refund is on its way.

“It gives me that little extra I need to breathe a little easier,” she said. “Everything seems to cost so much nowadays. I remember bring able to fill up my gas tank with just a $20 bill. Now, it costs me almost $50.”

Mester said sometimes she gets depressed with how much comes out of her paycheck each week, but says she is proud to be able to earn enough money to be able to pay her taxes.

“Paying taxes is the duty of every American,” she said. “I’m glad that I can do it. I might not have all the money in the world, but I’m happy just doing my part.”

Mester said there is a lot she could spend the money on, but plans to use the majority of it to pay her rent and utilities for the next couple of months.

“There are some things in life that are your main priorities,” she said. “You just got to pay up, otherwise you’ll be out in the cold. No one wants that.”

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