When we as a family are struggling with a potential budget shortfall, we don't go out and spend more
I lost my very good paying job last year, and had to go on unemployment. While I thank God EVERY day for unemployment, it doesn't pay near as well as my job did.
So . . . we had to make some financial decisions.
"Needs" vs "Wants" - We had to cut out ALOT of "wants". Then we had to prioritize our "needs".
Once this was done, we contacted all of our services . . . ie. Electric co., Gas co, Cable (phone, internet & cable) Cell phone company. And we re-negotiated our plans/rates/etc. By doing this, we saved ourselves a couple hundred dollars per month. We even re-negotiated our rent payment (temporarily) and saved ourselves another $150.
Then we started clipping coupons and watching for sales on our budget busters (toilet paper, dog food, laundry soap, grocery staples) This is now a habit I intend to follow through on even when financial times are better.
The reason I explain all of this is to say, if our local/state/federal government would follow the same principals, it is my opinion that we wouldn't be in the financial trouble we are in now.
When the check book is empty . . . you DONT WRITE MORE CHECKS. You don't consider buying a big screen t.v. , you don't plan a vacation, you don't create MORE debt. I don't know . . . It sounds pretty simple to me.