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March 05, 2008 09:26 PM

KELO News Poll: Family Finances


From rising gas prices to paying more for groceries to a slumping stock market, many families are pinching pennies just to make ends meet.
Just today, a federal reserve report confirmed the economy has weakened since the start of the year, as shoppers cut back on spending because of the housing slump and painful credit crunch.

It's a situation backed up by numbers from our KELOLAND News economic online survey, in which 43% of you say you are worse off than a one year ago. 

Like a lot of families, Tonya Hartje is feeling the financial pain of trying to raise children during uncertain times.
She's had to adjust her family budget, balancing wants with needs. 

"Probably not going out to eat as often as we use too," said Hartje. 

"We don't go to movies!," said her daughter. 

"And like she said, maybe not as many movies, we are staying home more and watching movies at home," said Prins. 

The same goes for Amy Prins and her husband who are raising five children. 

"We definitely don't go out as a family very often, that's pretty expensive, you just kind of pick and choose what you want to get rid of and keep," said Prins.

According to our survey, many people are cutting back to make up for rising costs.
47% say they're making fewer impulse purchases, 46% are eating out less, 39% are driving less,

34% are cutting back on entertainment, and 33% are saving less.
This spring, families can look forward to getting a tax rebate from the government. It was designed to stimulate the economy, but these two women don't plan on spending it. 

"Probably just pay down some debt, some student loans things like that, said Hartje. 

According to our survey, 45% plan on paying bills with it, compared to 19%  who will save it and 15% who plan to spend it. 

"I'm sure we'll just get it and pay bills, I doubt we'll go on a luxury trip of any kind," said Prins.
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