FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are afraid of where our economy is headed - and it shows.
A new study on financial security shows that 40% of consumers have cut their spending in the past two months.
The Bankrate.com survey shows this applies to Americans in all income groups - from the rich to the poor.
Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, so if the cutback in spending continues, we could be headed for another recession.
The study also shows people across all education levels say their net worth is lower today than it was last year.
Job security is a big worry too: Only 23% of those under 30 say they feel more secure in their jobs now than they did a year ago. That number drops to a measly 10% for those between the ages of 50 and 64.
It's easy to understand why people are concerned when unemployment remains stubbornly above 9% and is expected to stay there through the end of 2012.
For those who are lucky enough to have a job, median incomes are on the decline. Meanwhile, there are 46.2 million people in the U.S. living in poverty - the highest level in almost 20 years.
As if people didn't have reason enough to worry - the international monetary fund is out with a stark warning today, saying the global economy has entered "a dangerous new phase" with the recovery weakening considerably.
If the U.S. can't find a way to deal with its ballooning national debt, the IMF says the result could be a "lost decade for growth." Decade. 10 years.
And Americans get it. A new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows six in 10 people don't expect the economy to recover any time soon, while 80% think the country is still in a recession.
Here’s my question to you: How are economic fears changing your life?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
It makes me sad, Jack, that in a country as great as ours we have to worry about the skyrocketing price of food, medicine and other essentials. I'm just a little bit scared to tell you the truth, and I have never felt that way in my life. I fear for the young people in the country, like my daughter who is in college just starting her life. What a mess we have left for hers and future generations.
Noe in Nevada:
I deal blackjack in Nevada. Times are horrible. When the economy is good, we have customers that tip the dealers. If you don't know, blackjack dealers live off of their tips. We have very little business and the customers we do have hardly tip anymore.
Robert in Raleigh, North Carolina:
Jack, I haven't made a major purchase in quite a while. My old truck needs to go to the junkyard but I am keeping it on life support. When I am not trying to save money, I am pleading with my children to be more frugal. Things may get worse so I am living on the cheap like many others. My greatest joy in life is eating off the dollar menu!
David in Herndon, Virginia:
I try not to worry about it too much. If I lose my job, I'd lose my home and health insurance too. So it's not like saving 10 cents by buying store brand green beans instead of the real ones is going to make any difference. The middle class isn't facing incremental impoverishment. Either you're doing fine or you face some bad luck - illness or job loss. In that case, you're screwed.
I am taking early retirement, selling everything, and moving to an undisclosed location to bury my precious metals under my stash of ammunition and c-rations. Not out of fear, but in anticipation of a chaotic economic disaster.
Robert on Facebook:
I've stopped spending money on new things, I buy almost everything used, I stay home a lot more to save gasoline and if I do buy something new I try to avoid foreign-made products... This economy has taught me a very hard lesson.
Tom in New York:
If the economy wasn't so bad, I'd be able to bail out of my horrible marriage.