People who are living beyond their means are going to have a harder time making ends meet than ever in history.
This remark was made by Rick Sharga, a vice-president of an online foreclosure marketplace called RealtyTrac Inc., as quoted in an article in today's New York Times headlined "Despite a Sound Economy, Many Feel the Pinch of Daily Costs."
I just had to laugh and see it as a sign of the times. To me, anyway, it would seem that "living beyond their means" and "making ends meet" are mutually exclusive things by definition. Therefore, for people who are living beyond their means, making ends meet is impossible, not just something that may be more or less difficult depending on economic conditions.
I guess you could read the comment differently, as defining "making ends meet" as "getting out of debt" or "ceasing to live beyond one's means," but it just sounded as if the living beyond means was an assumed ongoing condition within which you'd define some criteria that meant you were "making ends meet." And maybe that is how many people think-- as long as they can still make that minimum credit card payment each month, they're getting by just fine.