How poor do you feel right now? How worried are you about keeping it all together? If you have answered 'very' to either of those questions, then let me tell you - you are not alone.
There can only be a handful of Brits right now who are not feeling the financial 'pinch' that has a stranglehold on both our economies. We are being told that inflation is around 3.3% at the moment and it's set to rise.
But for us it already feels much worse than that. Gas prices are horrendous - filling up the car is now a painful experience, electricity and heating costs are through the roof and as for food bills - they are proving particularly hard to swallow. All of this has produced a huge black cloud of uneasiness resting menacingly overhead, and there is no sign of a fair wind to blow it away or a drop of sunshine to burn it off.
Britain has entered a period of financial doom and gloom and from what I hear it is not much better with you guys. But what if there was a bright side to all of this? What if we could learn to live within our means and stop the disgusting levels of consumerism that have, well, consumed us? Could it be possible that this 'correction' is the short sharp shock that we all need?
Just imagine a world with no credit card bills. A world where we bought things and kept them - instead of chucking them out a while later? Think about the rise of the repair shop and the nights in with friends rather than out in restaurants we simply can't afford. Are we simply entering into a new phase of humanity?
It's all down to the spiralling price of oil, and we now have to accept that world power is shifting from us to The Oil Producing Nations. They now control how we live, if we fly, drive and heat and light our homes. The only way we can become less reliant on them is to find another way of living. It won't be an easy path but as long as we walk it together, we might even enjoy the view when this cloud of gloom finally starts to shift.
By Petrie Hosken