This week marks the longest Government shutdown in US history. It is estimated that over 800,000 government employees are affected by the shutdown. On Jan 11, 2019 these unfortunate employees started the New Year by not receiving a paycheck. I’ve been hoping that my readers have not been affected, but if you are, I wanted to post a few tips to try to help you survive this unexpected furlough.
In my long career, I have sometimes been between jobs, or taken short-time consulting jobs to make ends meet. Here are a few tips to try to help you ride this out, or even just tighten your financial belt in the New Year.
Clean out your closet, or your home, and sell-off items you no longer need online. Poshmark, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are just a few ways to sell-off things you no longer use and make a few dollars. I find un-cluttering my space is always a boost & makes me feel more productive. Periods where you are not working are a great time to clear your environment while you have the time.
Call your credit card company and let them know your situation. Many credit card companies are waiving late fees and not reporting government employees to credit bureaus or collection agencies. Credit card companies & banks working with consumers include Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC Bank and of course the US Employees Federal Credit Union. The US Employees Federal Credit Union is offering impacted union members who have direct deposit of their government pay may be eligible for interest-free loans. Per their website, the US Employees Federal Union notes that the Government Shutdown Loan is to be “repaid in 60 days or when the government processes back pay, whichever is sooner.”
Call your cell phone, internet or phone provider ( possibly one in the same) as many companies are offering flexible payment options including AT&T and Verizon.
Check with your local Food Bank if you need groceries. Many Food Banks are stocking up just to help the government employees. Food for your pet may also be available, check with your local humane society.
Brittney Mayer, credit strategist at CardRates.com offers these tips for managing credit card cash advances.
For more tips on how banks and finance companies may be offering resources to help, check this great article from FREE Money from Vice. Here’s hoping the shutdown ends soon. It needs to.