USA Really Offers a Helping Hand to Those Who Suffers From Government Shutdown
USA – January 12, 2019
The longest government shutdown in US history has left approximately 800,000 federal workers in financial limbo. Around 420,000 "essential" employees are working without pay, while another 380,000 have been ordered to stay home, according to calculations provided to CNBC by Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.
As USA Really reported, nearly 5,000 special FBI agents, intelligence analysts, attorneys, and professional staff are currently furloughed, resulting in reduced staffing for “critical functions that support field operations.” None of them are being paid.
Government workers are far from alone in feeling stressed about not getting paid. 78 percent of American workers say they're living paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2017 report by employment website CareerBuilder. Women are particularly vulnerable: 81 percent of them report living paycheck to paycheck, compared with 75 percent of men.
Debt is also a growing issue for workers, CareerBuilder reports. Just more than 70 percent of all respondents say that they're in debt, and a quarter of workers say they weren't able to make ends meet at the end of every month of the past year.
Federal workers may not get relief anytime soon. And while furloughed employees are likely to receive back pay for their weeks out of work, the approximate 4.1 million contractors who are also affected will not be compensated. Many of these contractors are forced to collect unemployment or look for other jobs.
It's not merely those earning low wages who are struggling. CareerBuilder reports that nearly 10 percent of Americans with salaries of $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck as well.
That means that many workers aren't able to put anything significant into savings. More than 50 percent of respondents say that they save less than $100 per month. And a comparable 2017 survey from GOBankingRates found that 61 percent of Americans don't have enough money in an emergency fund to cover six months' worth of expenses.
Unfortunately, emergency expenses pose a real threat to the financial security of federal workers, especially of those 60 and older. Of course, government employees are also at risk to some of the same emergency expenses as other demographic groups: natural disasters, car troubles, last-minute travel, pet expenses and more. Unexpected expenses can put restrictions on how much debt you can pay off each month. Even smaller debts can take multiple years to pay off due to interest.
Aging homes requiring major repairs is another source of potential unplanned expenses. Roof leaks, HVAC issues and other common home repairs can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Those living on a fixed income might have trouble absorbing those costs without help from an emergency fund.
Government workers over the age of 60 are at higher risk for health issues, such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and more, making emergency medical expenses more likely.
In some cases, the furloughs have forced government employees to tap into their savings, rely on credit cards or crowdsource funds to make ends meet. Here are some ways you can prepare for unexpected expenses during government shutdown if you don’t already have a substantial emergency fund: personal loan, tax-advantaged accounts and credit cards.
However, using a credit card for emergency expenses is not the best idea, especially if you aren’t positive you’ll be able to pay off the debt.
Personal loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards, making them a solid option if you have to go into debt to pay for an emergency expense. Make sure to never take on more debt than you know you can pay off.
However, USA Really is giving government shutdown victims a better choice. USA Really is always here to offer a helping hand to Americans in need. For us it doesn’t matter whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or a Libertarian. You can be a man, woman or someone else. You can even be DOJ, CIA, FBI or any other secret service former employee. The government shutdown is a good chance to change your life for the better.
Honest, independent journalists, unbiased writers, brave activists, and anyone else who wants their voice to be heard are always welcome to join our international team.