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Lori Brown - How long can I hold on?
Paralegal, 42
Jacksonville, Fla.

I am not better off than I was in 2001 - things are worse, much worse. At the current time, each month I fall behind to the tune of about several hundred dollars each month. I put the overage on my credit card - I have no other choice.

My child and I have no extras: we don't go anywhere. Between the two of us, all of our clothing (including the one pair of shoes he has and the one I have) can fit in one brown paper grocery bag.

I have to take medicine every day and at the end of this month, I have nothing left and with no way to get refills. We live in a one-bedroom apartment. My child has the bedroom and I sleep in what should be the dining room.

There is no dream of a house one day. We can't even afford the one-bedroom apartment we have now. We don't even own cell phones - like I said we have no extras.

NEXT: Rasheed Kazmi - On to his next business venture

Last updated August 28 2008: 4:39 PM ET
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