Knoxville (WVLT) - Times are tough for many East Tennesseans, struggling to make ends meet with a tanking economy.
With the rise in gas prices and food costs, folks who were struggling before are barely making it now.
Volunteer TV spoke with one family who's looking to sell all their furniture to pay their bills.
Don and Patricia O'Donnell have been married for 13 years. The Jefferson City couple had tough financial times before, but recently it's taken a turn for the worse.
"It just all caught up with us 3 months ago and it's just getting progressively worse," Don said.
Three months ago they got stuck with a 600 dollar tax fine, plus their dog got sick and they got behind on their bills. About five years ago they filed for bankruptcy, and all of Don's paycheck goes to his debts, but he's on social security disability and his wife works in Gatlinburg. However, with tough economic times, Pat says they're struggling.
"It's easy to get into and hard to get out of. I hope nobody ever gets in this situation it's very stressful," Pat said.
Adding to the stress, they together drive 120 miles round-trip a week to and from work. With the price of gas going up, it's making it hard for them to drive to their job.
"We understand gas prices are up but I feel our pay should go up also," Pat said.
Since their wages haven't gone up, they're turning to the internet for help. They've listed household furniture and electronics in the classifieds.
"We're looking to sell everything to just get out of this mess and get caught up so we can at least have some kinda life," Don said.
Some kind of a life without the financial burden they're carrying right now.
Financial planners remind everyone during these tough economic times to budget carefully and spend wisely. They say it's imperative to stay financially stable.