And the government shut-down drags on…
I went through the shutdown in 2013 and loved it. Hubby and I were set financially, having saved several months salaries to get buy in case of emergency. We’d heard that piece of advice since we first started working in the 70s, to have enough in savings to cover three months just in case. During our early careers, we lived paycheck-to-paycheck and couldn’t manage to save that much. It was always in the backs of our minds though. Slowly we managed to set a little aside. By late in our careers, it was easy because our salaries were higher. So the 2013 shutdown was a fun vacation for me.
It’s not that way for a lot government employees during this shutdown. Many don’t get paid a lot, but they’re in it for the benefits and for the career in a field they love. They’re like we were at the beginning of our careers. Now they’re stuck since there appears to be no hurry to end the budget impasse. Do they look for work elsewhere? Do they hang in until the shutdown ends and a big paycheck comes? Uncertainty and stress eat at your insides.
Like everyone else, some government employees live higher than their salaries really allow. Spending money on new cars, big houses, and cable TV—living above their means—leaves little money for saving in case of emergencies. When emergencies hit, they are left in a mess. As I’ve said before, financial intelligence is not taught much in school or at home.
I’m passing along the advice that saved us during the previous shutdown, government employee or not: Have enough in savings to support yourself for at least three months. Save more if you can. Don’t touch it. Don’t spend it on anything other than what it’s meant for. It’s your safety net if you need it.
And live within your means. That’s the smartest thing you can do for yourself. Be smart financially. Don’t know how? Read and learn.