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by John G. Merna

School starts in a couple of weeks, so of course I want to squeeze a little quality time with the kids in a cramped car driving long distances on something we call a vacation.  I can tell you the cramped car part is not the vacation.  And it certainly doesn’t seem like a vacation when you look at the gas prices.

No matter how thrifty you try to be on getting the cheapest, best discount, lowest fare, most inexpensive this or that, I realized I had little control over the price of gas.  Cell phone advances have not only brought us GPS navigation which can be used in a car but it has also brought Apps that will guide you to the cheapest gas depending on where you are.  And your phone knows exactly where you are.

Scary.

But regardless, gas prices are high at least compared to the 1970’s. Yes, I am that old. And no matter how much we say “abracadabra”, the prices do not go down. Oh, I am sure you have noticed like me, they go up a lot when a sheik sneezed in the Middle East then down a little when we say “Bless you”.  Then up a lot more and down a little less and so on.  It is a conspiracy.  A conspiracy that has made us used to — or even expecting — ever increasing prices.  But worse of all, we no longer say or do anything about them.

Gas in my example is a metaphor for the necessities in everyone’s lives. The cost of food goes up and we can do nothing about it.  Our salary stays the same.  We get sick and have medical bills not covered by insurance but our salary is still the same.

The only way we can battle this “price creep” is to have a built-in surplus or a regularly increasing income.  Most of us have neither. So the other option is to reduce expenses.  Some will try to shop more frugally or cut back on essentials.  But unfortunately, for most the best decision is to reduce their debt load.  And that is why bankruptcy is so common.  Paycheck-to-paycheck is the norm — not the exception.  To give your finances a little gas you have to build in a surplus. Start saving a little extra. Pick up some extra income and definitely get rid of the draining debt load.

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REQUIRED BAR NOTICE: THESE TESTIMONIALS DO NOT GUARANTEE SIMILAR RESULTS.

 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …kind and friendly from the start!5 Stars! “Everyone there was kind and friendly from the start and helped us with everything in a timely manner. They were never rude no matter how much we called or asked questions.” Reviewed by B.P. of Virginia Beach on Feb 20 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. Didn’t have to worry about anything!5 Stars! “Just keep providing the type of service you do. You business values are based off reliability and service. Today’s Law Offices just don’t offer that kind of experience. Didn’t have to worry about anything!!! Just being able to go on with my normal life and know that all my issues are well taken care of is a relief in itself.” Reviewed by A.P. of Virginia Beach on Mar 4 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …overall experience was outstanding!5 Stars! “My husband and I were very happy with The Merna Law Firm. They are well organized, time manageable, and friendly. I was even able to bring my children with me if I needed to. In court, they stayed right there beside us and answered all questions we had. Our overall experience was outstanding and I am glad we were represented by the Merna Law Group.” Reviewed by A.M. of Suffolk on Mar 5 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …debt free!5 Stars! “A friendly staff and outstanding attorney who helped me through a difficult time in my life. Thanks to everyone at the Merna Law Group who helped me move on to and new chapter in my life debt free!” Reviewed by M.F. of Norfolk on Mar 8 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …very helpful and friendly!5 Stars! “Everyone at the office was very helpful and friendly. The attorney answered all of our questions and helped us through the entire process. He was also very helpful answering concerns that we had after the process was completed/over. Highly recommended!” Reviewed by M.E. of Virginia Beach on Mar 11 .