Associated Press
April 7, 2008

The gloomiest outlook for the economy in 35 years may be forcing Americans to live with what they have and save up for what they want.

Lynda Nicely has been living in a sparsely furnished rental apartment in a Milwaukee suburb since October while she saves enough money for furniture at a second-hand store. And when temperatures soar this summer, she plans to buy a fan, not an air-conditioner.

“I am a little rattled, ” said the 28-year-old resident of West Allis, who took a second job as a waitress and plans to hoard three months worth of emergency cash just in case she loses her primary job in public relations.

A growing number of anxious people across all income segments are shopping at less-expensive stores, reacquainting themselves with the library, paying down credit-card debt and cutting back on new clothes and cars, vacations and meals out.

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