80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck (according to Career Builder) and that means majority of the 800,000 employees who missed a paycheck because of the shutdown are facing a financial crisis. I want to share tips to help those locally and across the country who are affected by this terrible situation.

Needs come first:

If you haven’t already focus on needs such as housing, water, lights, and food.  Everything else can be cut back on. That means cut cable off, reduce your phone bill, and anything else that is not a need. This will free up some money. If you are still in need after cutting back do not be ashamed to seek help. There are organizations and companies around the country who are trying to help those affected by the shutdown.

Put those skills to work:

Your government job is not your entire identity. You have other skills that can be used to bring in money.  Explore those skills to start a side hustle and use that money to pay your bills until the government opens again. Many people will discover that this new side hustle could become an actual business in the future!

Never again:

Make sure that you are never in this place again.  If your finances took a major hit during the shutdown then make it up in your mind that you will never be in this position again. As soon as the paychecks start coming back make a plan on how you can save money from each paycheck to build up a six month emergency fund.  This will help in the future if there is another shutdown. You will be able to cover your expenses for six months! 

This advice is for everyone because at any point you could be in the same position whether you work for the government or not. 

Get prepared!

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International Financial Literacy Speaker and Author

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