TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Most Americans have probably heard these two words a lot in recent weeks: fiscal cliff.
But what does it mean?
More importantly, what does it mean for Mississippians?
"Panic. Change of life. Not too good for my children," Tupelo resident Sheree Lence said. "[It makes me think about being] scared of losing my job and everyday things, [having to cut] back.
But is that concern misplaced, considering many economic experts say the country's in uncharted waters?
Not really, according to Booneville accountant Jeremy Jones.
"There is a real-world effect for everyone, even in this area, that if we go over the cliff, that they could be impacted immediately through just their regular wages," Jones said.
"Right now, with stuff like that, the poor man doesn't have a chance. All we're doing, we're just working to eat right now," Tupelo resident B.T. Windham said.
Just what kind of impact could Mississippians experience?
The Payroll Tax Cut expires Dec. 31, which means the rate will increase from 4.2 to 6.2 percent.
For the average Mississippian, that means $50-60 taken out of one's salary every month.
"That's a large amount of money," Tupelo resident Tremaine Mitchell. "I mean, I have bills I have to pay, a car payment, rent, lights, water and everything's so expensive. To take an extra $50 out of my check, I know I couldn't make it. I'd have to get another job."
According to figures from CNBC, Mississippians also face paying an extra $1,310 per year in terms of tax liability for 2013 if the Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire completely.
But the truth is, experts don't know exactly what will happen, according to Jones.
"We don't know the ultimate impact of all this. Things have been implemented that we're still seeing the benefits of over several years and things will still be implemented every year by Congress," Jones said.
"I really, really wish [lawmakers] would come up with something, because we need it. We're hurting. We're hurting in Mississippi," Tupelo resident Thomas Roberts said.
Experts say saving money now might also help many prepare if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff.
However, many of those interviewed say that's not exactly easy during the Christmas season.