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How to Financially Survive a Partial Government Shutdown

On December 22nd, 2018 most federal government employees had no idea they were about to be a part of the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States. Thirty-five days passed and midday of January 25th, 2019 the 45th president, Donald Trump, announced that he was putting an end to the partial government shutdown, however, the repercussions are still felt by some of the Federal employees today and even people in the private sectors managed to be impacted by the shutdown.

Financial news showed the repercussions from the shutdown were many and hit close to home for a lot of families. The IRS wasn’t open to verify tax returns and W-2 statements meaning a partial shutdown for any longer could have cut into the housing market as well as tax refunds.

Airport employees were scrambling for financial security as they went over one month without receiving a paycheck. Some pieces of news report federal employees put in situations where sleeping out of their car, and going without their prescriptions for medical issues as a necessity until the shutdown was over.

And now with February 15th, 2019 looming and a promise to deliver another partial government shutdown if an agreement to strengthen the borders can’t be reached the most important factor is understanding how you can use the resources you’re given to not only survive another government shutdown but to also still thrive and enjoy your life during this time period.

Managing Your Finances in a Government Shutdown Emergency.

In today’s article, we will be sharing little known financial secrets to ensure you are not one of the employees that has to struggle during this time period.

Use Plastiq to cover Purchases your Credit Card’s Normally Don’t

In 2009 a private company formed to help consumers pay bills they normally have to pay for with a debit card/bank transfer by credit. It’s important to note that while some cards do allow for credit card charges, others don’t, for example, Bank of America does not allow mortgage payments with their credit cards because of the standard philosophy they have for personal finance- debt shouldn’t pay off debt.

But in an emergency that is completely outside of your control, you do need options.

Here’s how Plastiq works.

Step one is you sign up for an account, and enter in recipient information, regarding who you want to pay, the payment amount, and what credit card you want to use.

Step two is Plastiq charges your card for the amount you’ve entered with a 2.5% or less transaction fee.

Step three is your recipient receives the payment vis-à-vis check/bank transfer without a need from them to have a Plastiq account.

When push comes to shove and you have bills to pay, I’m sure you can agree that paying your:

  • Auto-leases
  • Auto Purchases/ Auto Loans
  • Business Services
  • Mortgages
  • Utilities
  • Taxes
  • Legal Services
  • Insurance
  • Tuition/ Student Loans

and more is a lot more manageable even if it’s a 2.5% transaction fee.

To really frame up the utility of Plastiq more, say your month to month expenses you need to cover is $3,000 and the government is shut down. With Plastiq you end up paying as little as $75 to cover your expenses on your credit card; and if the government reopens in under 30 days and you get paid, is it not worth the $75 fee to ensure you have nothing to worry about during this time?

Of course you will have to pay APR in addition to the fee should the government be shut down for longer than 30 days, but a total cost of $150 for example sounds much more manageable than failing to pay your bills, getting late fees, etc.

Work with Your Creditors and Debtors to Receive Government Shutdown Assistance.

Unfortunately, not everyone is so accommodating when it comes to managing their finances. But on this list of businesses that are out there to help you during this time period are businesses such as TD Bank, Amarillo National Bank, AT & T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, ENSTAR Natural Gas, Geico, Chase, Wells Fargo, American Express, and many many more.

The truth is economies don’t work if you don’t. So a lot of these businesses actually totally understand your situation and want to keep you happy because your long term relationship matters much more to them then a situation which generally speaking is out of your control.

Opt-in for Payday Loans.

There are many options for addressing bills when you’re facing a partial government shutdown and not receiving any kind of income. In emergency situations, you may have to opt in for a payday loan.

That said, be sure to do your homework on a payday loan before you come to the conclusion that this will immediately solve all of your problems, in some ways, a payday loan with unfavorable terms could actually make your situation much worse.

Payday loans are designed generally to be repaid within 8-35 days. While government shutdowns do cause uncertain times, it is advisable to only take a payday loan when you absolutely must have cash quickly within the next 24 hours. Having a payday loan that can get you through a tough moment may make an incredibly large difference to your standard of living while also giving you breathing room to evaluate what you should do in the potential days or weeks ahead to manage your debt and standard of living.

With small amounts on payday loan sites almost immediately getting guaranteed approval without a credit score, in the very ABSOLUTE worst case scenario you could always apply for a second payday loan to cover the balance on the first, and accumulate the added financing fees along the way until the government reopens allowing you to get paid for the time you’ve worked.

Final Thoughts.

Although partial government shutdowns may have you feeling uncomfortable and force you to consider payment options you’ve never considered before the ultimate goal of this post is to give you an absolute emergency kit should you not be able to work things out with your banks, credit unions, creditors, debtors, etc and are one of the many workers affected.

There are no questions about it, having to borrow money and leverage other financial assets and institutions to pay bills you were expecting to be able to pay with your paycheck can feel to most like getting punished for good behavior.

If you are in the position where you still have bills to pay and are being affected by a partial government shutdown just understand your options, and understand people like myself really appreciate your service during these times.