Tara, this is far too little RAM for Vista. For normal operation you need 2GB. The 81% does not mean much the number I was looking for, was this one:
In my picture the first number (1558) is the used memory (RAM and/or Virtual) and the second number (6867) is the total Vitual memory. That is the interesting number in your case. Btw: I have 4GB of RAM (but only 3.2GB of that are being used - because of the limits of the 32bit adressing)
Now here are the things you can do:
1. Best solution is to upgrade your RAM to 2GBs
2. If you have more than 1 user partitions (e.g. seperate partitions for your kids or your husband, etc.), then you should close those. Your system cannot support that.
3. Make sure you always close the pages after you are done with it. If you have several open windows sitting in the task tray, they will use memory.
4. Let's check whether you can eliminate some of the startup programs. For that download WinPatrol. This is a lot easier to work with than msconfig. Go to Startup Programs, make the window big enough so that it shows all the startups and then take a snip and post that. It should look something like this:
5. We can also increase the Virtual memory on your system and use Ready boost. But let's discuss this later and do the above first. I do not want you to get all confused with too many steps.