The financial crisis gripping the country came as no surprise to Judite Silva who, as a Citibank worker, could sense the direction the economy was going. But it still didn't prepare her for the hardship she's facing now.

Talk to us: Seventy percent of families in the United States say they live paycheck to paycheck. It's your neighbor; it's us. Times photographer John Pendygraft seeks stories that put a face behind the phenomenon. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Or have you? E-mail your story.


  • Prayer, patience never waver
    Laura Poirier, 39, lost her life's savings when her coffeehouse closed, but she has never lost her faith as financial troubles mount. Video (Oct. 5, 2008)
  • Uprooting her dreams
    Maria Juhasz, 46, is selling her garden, plant by plant, before the bank forecloses on her home. Video (Aug. 24, 2008)
  • Serious about saving
    Collin Pompilio, 11, is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind — and especially thrifty. Video (July 27, 2008)
  • Musician gets creative
    Brandon Beck, 26, travels up to 600 miles a week as the principal French horn player in the Florida Orchestra. So he brews his own fuel. Video (June 15, 2008)
  • One year later
    Economic strains have only intensified, but there's hope for a once-struggling dad, a budgeting retiree and a resourceful mom. Video (May 11, 2008)
  • Torn between duties
    Charlie Klosner, 28, tries to balance his roles as dad and earner. Working two shifts alone in a New York truck cab gives him plenty of time to think. (March 3, 2008)
  • Hire me, anyone, please
    Three jolts in unstable times send Brandie McGowan-Fitzgerald to the streets to try to provide for her family. "The clock is running," she says. (Feb. 7, 2008)
  • A clean break from credit
    Balances out of control, Ruben Masas fell into the trap of fees and higher rates. Now his life is weekends working doubles and full-time school. (Dec. 28, 2007)
  • She dreams of a normal life
    "Renee Holly," a former streetwalker nearing 50, takes stock of her life and wants to fill the emptiness. She now works online. (Nov. 19, 2007)
  • They're clinging to the vine
    This year's paltry tomato crop is putting added stress on the Spartan existences of migrant farm workers' families. (Nov. 5, 2007)
  • A lonely road to a dream
    Cory Patton dreams of playing under the bright lights of Major League Baseball. But the chase comes with great sacrifice. (Sept. 15, 2007)
  • Losing everything
    Diane Ryder never dreamed she would be facing foreclosure. Then came knee surgery and cancer. It could happen to almost anyone. (Aug. 13, 2007)
  • When life brings surprises
    Allison Haworth never imagined she would be celebrating her 21st birthday as a single mother. But sometimes things don't go according to plan. (July 21, 2007)
  • Family matters
    Melanie Rodriguez, a mom with more chores than time, finds that it's not too costly to pack up her family for a weekend of campfires and ghost stories. (July 2, 2007)

    Update: May 11, 2008
  • Keeping the tax man at bay
    Rising property taxes and insurance on her little St. Petersburg home means Kitt Burt has to work a second job to keep it. (June 4, 2007)
  • Her morning pick-me-up
    Bertha Noack, a former nun, takes on each day with a simple breakfast and a mission at AARP to help other senior citizens make ends meet. (May 17, 2007)

    Update: May 11, 2008
  • Living on prayers, dreams
    Javontae Wright, a single father, tries to make the day-to-day math of his current life add up while he works on a business administration degree. (May 6, 2007)

    Update: May 11, 2008
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