Affected by the government shutdown?

Here’s what you can do.

This current government shutdown has serious implications for many of your lives and budgets. Many of you are furloughed without pay, while others continue to work… but with no pay. Some of you might not receive benefits checks that you depend on. And the list really does go on. Regardless of the camp you’re in, you’ve been put into a tough position and it’s not by your doing. But, you still need to pay bills while you’re waiting for your income stream to get back to normal. And in the interim, there are some options you can consider to help tide you over.

In case you didn’t read our other article about what to do if your paycheck is late, here’s a recap of things you might consider doing:

1. Strip down spending to essentials only
2. Take advantage of services that help
3. Look for short term work, if eligible
4. Ask friends and family to help
5. Read more details about these here

Because you’re directly affected by the government shutdown, you could…

5. Rearrange childcare

With childcare costs being one of the largest in many families’ budgets, staying home is a great way to quickly reduce spending. If you’re furloughed and can make quick adjustments to your childcare routine, consider opting your children out of their usual childcare arrangement. And if you’re expected to work, consider asking a relative or friend to step in and watch your children temporarily.

6. Seek unemployment benefits

Some of you may be eligible to seek unemployment benefits, which are handled through each state. This will not apply to all government employees, however.

7. Last resort: Find a credit card with 0% APR

Consider signing up for a credit card with a 0% interest rate only if no other options are available. It is debt, after all. To be clear, at Goodbudget, we don’t usually recommend credit cards to cover budget shortfalls, but we recognize this is a temporary situation that is outside of your control. And, it’s a situation where your expected paychecks will arrive again at some point. There are plenty of credit cards out there that offer an introductory rate of 0% for a set period of time, and those are the cards that will be easiest to pay off since you’ll have the best chance of not accruing interest. As soon as shutdown ends and your paychecks start coming again, pay it all off.

Happy budgeting,
The Goodbudget Team

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