We've all had to get a bit better at cutting our cloth over the past few years as the weekly shop gets more expensive and those bills and direct debits keep coming in.
Sometimes we have to cut back on a few things just like County councils have to do.
But when they're deciding where to spend our council tax and when they make cuts to their services, it can really have a big impact on people's lives.
Today the people of Somerset have been having a go at balancing a council budget themselves.
Each bag on the scales represents a different council service and they've been deciding what to protect and what gets left behind.
Bob Cruwys reports.
One lucky grandmother from Wedmore in Somerset has scooped a life-changing £443,377 jackpot prize.Read the full story ›
The new Business Secretary Sajid Javid came to Bristol today to make his first speech since being appointed to the role.
He was there to outline his Enterprise Bill, which aims to support entrepreneurs and boost jobs.
Mr Javid grew up in Easton and went to school in Downend.
Robert Murphy reports.
75% of people in the South West who quit their job to start their own business say they are happier now than when they worked for someone else. 1,000 entrepreneurs were surveyed by an accounting software company.
One Bristol mum, Kate Edmunds, left her job to set up a greetings card company Eggnogg Ltd.
An estimated 220,000 people volunteer in some way in the West of England every month. If these volunteers were paid - it would have cost authorities £254 million.
Lou Kirby runs a cafe in Bristol, not to make money, she runs it seven days a week as a community resource.
She also cooks and delivers meals for people living at home who can't get out.
Tonight's programme is a special report on how the state of the economy has impacted our lives. Tune in at 6pm.
Have you started volunteering in the past 5 years? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org
This evening's programme will be a special programme looking at what the state of the economy means to you.
In our region over £600 million has been cut from Council budgets and we will be analysing what that means for communities and businesses across the West.
Ben Barry from Bristol earns £8 an hour, which is above the minimum wage, but a delay in a tax credit claims meant he went for months without benefits money.
Ben was referred to a foodbank which he never thought he would have to use.
Tune in this evening at 6pm for our ITV West Country special.
A deckchair from the Titanic has sold at auction in Wiltshire today for just over 100,000 pounds.
The chair was from a first-class promenade deck of the ship. It was salvaged from the ocean by a team sent to recover bodies after the Titanic sank. The chair was sold at the Devizes auction house Henry Aldridge and Son to a UK-based collector.
Labour's Ed Balls said today his new policy of cutting business rates for small firms would save each business an average of £400 a year.
In an interview with Ian Axton of ITV News he was asked if those same businesses could afford the £3000 per employee cost of increasing the Mimimum Wage to £8 an hour.
Labour's Ed Balls has refused to rule out changing income tax threshold rates if he becomes Chancellor.
In an interview with ITV News, presenter Ian Axton asked him if he had any plans to change the thresholds.
Kingswood in South Gloucestershire has the highest number of people earning below the living wage in the South West.
More than half of its population are paid less than the amount deemed necessary to live on - which is currently set at £7.85 an hour.
According to the Trades Union Congress, more than a third of jobs in the region pay a lower wage than this.