By now it is obvious to everyone that the current economic downturn is severely different. During previous recessions, most people begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel within months of recession declaration. In other words, before you know there is a recession, things begin to get better again.Those lucky to have jobs are facing higher prices for food, gas, and everything but their home prices, interest rates, and stock investments. It’s a good time to buy a home you can afford.People seeking work don’t need anyone to remind them how bad things are out there on the employment front, they feel it every day. Landing a job continues to be daunting, to say the least, and the number of people without jobs seems to grow by the day. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stated the unemployment will remain above “the pre-crisis level until at least 2013, with long-term unemployment remaining a concern.” It begs to paraphrase Bruce Springsteen; the jobs are going “and they ain’t coming back to your hometown”.So what should you do, not just to survive but, to thrive in this economy? Here are small moves that can yield monumental results:Learn To Be Handy: There is a Tim Allen (of Home Improvement TV Show) in everyone of us. Fixing a leaky faucet, continuously running toilet and other minor jobs are easy to do, you don’t have to be Bob Vila to tackle these tasks. You can save money and derive priceless satisfaction by doing these things yourself. With free workshops via the home improvement stores’, YouTube, and Internet, you can learn how to perform small repairs and save yourself tax-free money. Surprise yourself and give them a try. Don’t get over your head and chance getting hurt either. With a little do-it yourself (DIY), you can also clean your vehicle battery terminals and spray them with anti-corrosion fluid to prolong the life of your battery and minimize battery problems.Wash your car and save $8 and mow your yard and save more than $25 each time awhile getting your exercise at the same time.Are you good at mathematics, English, or piano? Offer tutorials to students and make extra money doing what you enjoy while mentoring students.Unclaimed Money Websites. Get on the website of your state comptroller where you reside to see if there there is any unclaimed money with your name on it. Do it for every state in America you have lived. While at it, search for friends and family members and let them know if you find money for them. In researching this article, I randomly entered some popular last names in my native country and found several unclaimed money. For example, one Emenike in Southern California has $1,761.02 waiting for her to claim. Also, I alerted a relative (with Elendu as last name) that he has $732 for him to reclaim. The service is free, courtesy of your state government. So don’t pay anyone to help you claim your money. Try it today; you might have money waiting for you.Barter Your Skills. Trade your skills for what you want. For example, provide HVAC or plumbing services for financial planning.Use Your Money to Make Money. Banks are paying you hardly any interest for your money these days. Use that $20K in saving to buy a $100K rental property that would cash-flow $2,400 a year (12% ROI) plus tax benefits and possible appreciation. This is feasible in Texas and other states with reasonable housing prices; California, or New York may require more money. The rental market is projected to be great for the next several years. And sub $120K rental market price range when located in good school district is virtually recession proof. You can use this method to fund your child’s college education, if you start early and stick with it.Take Your Lunch to Work 3 Days Per Week. You can save $1,250 per year or $2,500 per couple. Homemade meals may be better for your health too.Be Your Kids’ Barber: If you know how – and invest in a nice hair clipper – you can cut your son’s hair from age 2 to age 12. After the age 12, he could grows wings and start to insist on going to the barber. You can save $260 yearly or $2,600 in a decade plus hours at the barbershop. If you are blessed with daughters, you or your spouse can do your daughters’ hair and save even more.Properly inflate your tires and save…….11 cents per gallonKeep your vehicle tuned-up and save…15 cents per gallonReplace dirty air filter and save………….68 cents per gallonProper wheel alignment and save………39 cents per gallonSmooth acceleration and stopping……..68 cents per gallonResting leg on the brake wastes…….$1.35 per gallon (few people do this)Slowing down by 5 MPH on highway can save you 27 cents per gallon.Exercise regularly to improve your health and reduce your chances of being sick. Even the insurance co-pay savings are funds you can put to better use. Moreover, being healthy enhances your productivity and quality of life.Finally, keep in mind that money is just one aspect of life. If you’re in good health but your finances need shoring up, that can be relatively an easier fix than a serious health problem. So rejoice by counting your blessings. That healthy heart or colon, or those healthy kidneys, hands, or legs could be worth millions to someone who has all the money in the world but needs those healthy body parts to live. A healthy YOU is a wealthy YOU!