City holds economic summit for financial Q&A

CHICAGO The Silvas own a carwash on West Cermak and are worried about paying their bills and taxes.

"We're just trying to make it through during these rough times," said Christian Silva, The Hot Spot Hand Car Wash.

There are tough issues during a tough economy.

"I am trying to get people to take a deep breath and just go back to financial basics. Make sure you know where your money is going, set goals and stop spending," said Stephanie Neely, Chicago treasurer.

"Even though it may not measure in magnitude to a depression or recession, like in the '80s, this will feel like the worst in most people's lifetimes, and that means we should be cautious," said Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial.

Be cautious. What does that mean? Experts say live within your means. Save money now. Make sure you have enough money to survive two to nine months without a paycheck.

And Chicago's treasurer added this tip: be able to say, "I can't afford it," especially right now, with the holidays approaching.

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