01/05/2012 04:27 EST | Updated 03/06/2012 05:12 EST

The Bottom Line

The holidays have wrapped up for another year and, for many, it’s time to get back to financial reality.

Recent increases in taxes and the cost of living has left many Montrealers wondering how to keep their head above water.

After Jan. 1, the provincial sales tax rose to 9.5 per cent. Transit fares jumped. Gas prices spiked.

In a series of reports, CBC Montreal takes a look at the rising cost of just about everything and what you can do to make every penny count.