RAL students Carli Osgood, Daniel Harmon, Nick Brill, and Justin Lapham carpool to school to save money. Rising gas prices during the recession have forced students to reduce spending. Courtesy photo

Many people didn't think they would live to witness another recession. But with the Great Depression in their memories, they fear a repeat.

Fortunately, there seems to be a significant difference between the current economic downturn and the Depression.

Although researchers say this recession is nowhere near what the country experienced in the 1930s, people of all ages have had to change their habits in order to survive the economy. One of those trying to keep from drowning is Shannon Walker of Longview.

"I have learned to budget better and spend less" said Walker. "My family doesn't have as much money to do the things we're used to. My husband works less and that means less money and more stress."

A few ways to stay on top include planning ahead even if a job feels safe, keeping a current resume on hand and knowing the first place to apply if things turn out badly.

Beyond that you can look for ways to cut back spending. Instead of getting a manicure or buying snacks and fast food, put that money in an emergency fund account.

Carli Osgood, grade 12, said "I keep snacks with me in my purse so I'm less likely to spend my money going out to eat."

Saving money doesn't always have to be difficult. Try some of these ideas:

  • Taking shorter showers can decrease your water bill by $100 dollars a year.
  • Instead of throwing away your old things, sell them online or in the newspaper want ads.
  • When you get a new cell phone or computer, trade in the old ones for gift cards at select stores.
  • While shopping for clothes, check out nearly new shops first to see if they have what you're looking for.
  • To save on gas, turn off your engine: Two minutes of idling uses enough gas to drive a mile.
  • Carpool. "I get rides with friends to school and back," said Jessica Johnston, grade 11. "It's good for the environment and it helps save money".

Little things you do to save money help a lot in the end. The extra effort will be rewarding.