Hear: A Personal Bailout : Planet Money On today's Planet Money, a homeowner considers giving up.
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For sale in Redondo Beach, Calif. Clay Bosler hide caption

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Clay Bosler

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Today on Planet Money:

-- Amie Cohen bought a house just before the market tanked. Now back in school, she keeps up with the monthly note-- painful as it is. She asks a question shared by countless other homeowners: Should I get quit paying the mortgage and get help in the $700 billion bailout?

-- Economist Amir Sufi makes the case for homeowners staying the course if they can. Sufi likes the government's plan for helping them do that, but he can't help noticing which group gets help first.

After the jump, a listener writes about his personal response to the economic downturn.

Download the podcast; or subscribe. Get the opening clip in full. Intro music: Massive Attack's "Silent Spring." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.

Edward writes:

Well, I took a large chunk of the money that I had put aside for a new car and put it towards repairs on my current car. With credit tightening up, I realized that I was not going to be able to get the car I wanted and I did not feel like taking out a loan on a car that I really didn't want (but was more affordable).

With the repairs I've just made on my current car, I can probably get another 30K miles out of it. (It gets well over 30 MPG in local driving, plus is roomier than most new cars in its class). Meanwhile, I'll continue to save and build up my credit score until I can get a loan for a car I want.

Living in a city like New York, it's easy to forget about the expense that goes along with a car. Lately we've been seeing headlines about possible hikes in the subway fare. I think to myself, hey, I'll just bike more. Or walk.