Amid warnings of a recession, how much do you know what that means?

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen say she does not believe that a recession is 'inevitable', but she may be in the minority. 

Taking a look inside a textbook, a recession is defined as two quarters, or six months, of a shrinking economy. They're a natural part of the economic cycle, brought on by a lot of different factors. This time, red-hot inflation, and rising interest rates designed to keep us from spending, could be the culprits.

RELATED: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says recession is not inevitable

Dallas financial strategist Mitch Kramer thinks a recession will come sooner, rather than later, and that indications are already pointing to a slowing economy. 

"I think we're going to have one. The question is how long is it going to be and how deep is it going to be," he says.

But in everyday life, what does a recession mean? On Facebook, FOX 26 viewers offered their own outlook: Ronita Pitts says, "Belt tightening, less food, less gas, less fun"; From Olivia Barnes-Bowzer, "It’s extremely stressful, and I’m seriously considering getting a night job."; while Dale Rasche says, "Our financial planning allows for some bad years." 

RELATED: May inflation hits a 41-year high, according to Labor Dept. report

Mitch Kramer says when it comes, a recession will be especially difficult for those with fewer means.

"Because gasoline is a need, it's not a ‘want,’ and food's the same way, and almost all their excess money is being spent on stuff they need just to survive," he says, "They can't afford a car break-down or a health event with one of their kids. They have no margin."

As the economy slows down in a recession, people could lose their jobs and would stop buying things. That would prompt businesses to cut back, which would encourage manufacturers to produce less. Experts say 'now' is the time prepare. 

"I would put off any major purchases as long as you can; try to keep as much cash as you can; look at your expenses, your bank statements or credit cards; look at the recurring, monthly charges, and say, 'Is there anything we can cut out and reduce?," says Kramer.

RELATED: Inflation may have peaked, but where do we go from here?

Of the last two recessions, the Great Recession that started in late 2007 lasted 18-months while the COVID recession was much shorter. Both were painful for those affected. 

Historically, 11-months is the average length of a recession, and the sooner you're able to get your finances in order, the better prepared you'll be.