Another Shutdown….Now What?
Yep, it appears as if this is becoming something we as governmental employees and families can count on. Seeing as this is the longest shutdown on record (with no current end in sight), let’s talk about How to Survive the 2019 Government Shutdown. Regardless of your political views, we’re all at a point where times are tight financially. The average American family lives paycheck to paycheck, and the burden of a governmental shutdown without savings on hand is scary and overwhelming. It’s 100% out of our control when it’ll all open back up and we’ll return to receiving those hard earned paychecks, so let’s control what we can in the meantime.
It’s time to save where you can, cut any costs that are pure luxuries at this time, consider selling household items you’ve been holding onto for far too long, and maybe even pick up a side job.
Ways to Save Money
1. Reevaluate monthly subscriptions –
While this might seem silly, those $9.99 payments begin to add up! What was once a way to unchain ourselves from the cable company has turned into spending almost as much monthly between all of the providers. Maybe one or two of those can go, or at least for the time being.
2. Ditch the Restaurants –
One surefire way to hold onto your money is to limit your eating out….if not remove it completely until the government shutdown is over. Pack lunches for work, bring your own coffee from home, and get busy making dinner!
3. Meal Plan –
Start with taking a full inventory of your pantry, cabinets and freezer. You’ll want to build your meal plan around what you already have in order to stretch that money as far as you can. You’ll be surprised what full meals you can pull together with minimal ingredients needed from the store.
Try to think of meals you like to make that blend into others, and use your leftovers for that! And don’t forget to add in a leftover night. This will help you on having to cook that night, as well as needing to budget out for another meal. Try out my Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Meatball Subs, General Tao Chicken dinner recipes for some ideas! One of my favorite meal planning resources is Once A Month Meals. They have a monthly service available but I prefer to use their free recipes instead.
4. Free Family Fun –
Search your local Facebook pages and community newsletters. Things are constantly going on in your community, you just have to look! The library is a great place to start! Search ‘things to do in …..’ and you’ll be amazed at what pops up!
5. Have a Sale –
You know that ever growing list of things you plan to sell…well now’s the time! Declutter your life and earn a few bucks while you’re at it. Some easy to sell items are furniture, kids items like clothing, baby gear and toys, and things of the like.
6. A Side Hustle –
Do you have any skills you can earn a few bucks with right now? Maybe you fix things, repurpose furniture, dabble in photography, or make hair accessories for little girls? Other great areas for fast (and relatively easy) cash are babysitting, delivering pizzas if that’s a thing in your area, dog walking, etc. The options really are limitless, you simply have to decide what you are willing to do. Have you ever thought about starting your own gig but haven’t quite had the courage? Well there’s no time like the present!
7. Pay Your Priorities –
In the words of Dave Ramsey, you take care of your 4 walls first. Those are house, food, utilities and vehicle. If you’re stressing about credit card payments, let them sit until payday arrives. They are NOT your core priorities and they will be waiting for you when this is all over. I promise.
It’s Up to You
As much as we all need our hard earned checks from our “stable and safe” government jobs, this is all up to us individually. Nobody is going to ride in on that white horse to save you or me, we have to do it ourselves and for our families. As frustrating as all of this is, it will end and the government shutdown will be over…until next time. So take a breath knowing this is all for the temporary. Do what you can while we’re in the thick of all of this and bust your butt to make ends meet. It will end, and when it does, build your emergency savings up. We can’t avoid this because it’s beyond our control but we can control how badly it hits the next time a government shutdown strikes.