Conn. residents pinch pennies in hard times

The economic crisis is getting so severe that Gov. Jodi Rell has announced she will cancel new orders for pens and paper for state workers,

BRIDGEPORT - The economic crisis is getting so severe that Gov. Jodi Rell has announced she will cancel new orders for pens and paper for state workers, claiming the cuts could save millions.

Rell is not the only one trimming the fat; many consumers say they are also cutting their spending. Customers at the Stop & Shop in Norwalk say they are spending less on clothing and entertainment, and choosing cheaper store brands over name brands.

Gloria Vine and her niece Pamela Armstrong, both of Bridgeport, carpooled to save gas Wednesday. Vine and Armstrong say this economy makes them a little nervous.

"I have to pay my utilities and my rent, and it's not easy for me. That's why I'm cutting back," Vine says.

Eric Tyson, author of "Personal Finance for Dummies," says penny-pinching techniques used by these women and Rell at the state level can add up over time.

"If they can reduce their spending by 3 or 4 percent, then you can actually direct that money into an account that gives them a tax benefit," Tyson says. "They'll actually save on their taxes as well, so that 3 or 4 percent becomes maybe 5 or 6 percent."

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