Teens, like adults, must adjust to the downturn

Katy Sword traded her newer Dodge Stratus and car payments for a beat-up Mazda pickup she owns outright.

And still the Borah High School senior - who works two jobs to pay for gas, insurance, food and clothes - said it's difficult to find money for band trips and extra school expenses.

She's already written off a graduation event at a local amusement center that costs students $50 apiece.

"I don't have $50. I can't go," she said. "In order to just get by, I cut just about everything."

The economic crisis has hit teenagers just as hard as their parents — from work and spending to education choices.

They've lost jobs or had hours cut. They're finding adults competing with them for the jobs in retail and fast food that they used to dominate. They say they are driving less, carpooling or biking, eating out less often and at cheaper places, and hanging out at friends' homes or parks instead of going out.

"I got the overall feeling that kids aren't doing anything anymore," said Sword, who wrote an editorial on the issue for her school newspaper. "They don't leave to go to lunch, no movies. The majority of the student body is feeling the pinch."

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