What to do if you’re affected by the government shutdown

Why did the government shut down? Who’s affected? 🤷‍♀️

The federal government has been partially shut down since December 22, 2018, when Congressional lawmakers and the President failed to reach a funding deal that includes building a $5 billion border wall between the US and Mexico.

The shutdown has real-life implications on federal workers and the millions of Americans who rely on them. Some of the employees working at the agencies affected have had to stay on the job, while others have been temporarily laid off. In both cases, federal employees will be unpaid until the shutdown ends — that’s approximately 800K individuals.

What should I do If I’m impacted?

Whether you’re a federal employee affected by the government shutdown or you’ve experienced a layoff in the past, there are certain things you can do to avoid going broke. Try these tips to save a few bucks — and possibly your sanity — while your paycheck is on pause:

1. Review low-interest credit options

Money can get pretty tight when you’re not working. In case your emergency savings aren’t stretching as far as you thought, be sure to have low-cost credit options lined up. MoneyLion Plus members are always ready for life’s unexpected surprises with access to $500 5.99% APR Credit Builder℠ loans whenever they need them, and a Zero-Fee Checking Account℠, so they don’t get nickel and dimed by their bank when every nickel matters more than ever. A Plus membership also comes with a managed investment account, $1/day cashback, and other amazing perks. Learn more in the MoneyLion app or at moneylion.com/plus. 💫

2. Get your spending in check

Putting yourself on a strict budget is a good first step when you have limited (or no) income. You can start by tracking your spending and adding up your monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, insurances, and utilities. 💸 Then, track your personal expenses, like food, gas, and clothing. This will give you an idea of how much you’ll have to spend monthly and how long your emergency savings will last.

3. Cut costs where possible

Minimize damage to your bank account by looking for ways to cut your expenses. ✂️ You can start by dining out less, freezing unnecessary subscriptions, and using public transportation. Do you spend a ton on daycare costs? Well, while you’re not working, keep the kids at home to save money. You may also decide to get in touch with your banks to discuss your situation. Many financial institutions will give you a break during financial hardships.

4. Earn some money on the side

The perfect time to explore a side hustle 💪 is while you’re laid off from work. Whether you decide to drive for Uber on the weekends or tutor kids at a local school, it’s important to stay busy and consider ways to continue bringing in some income. Have an awesome business idea? It may be time to start exploring your entrepreneurial spirit.

5. Stay positive

Not working may cause you to feel stressed or even become depressed. Stay calm, you got this! 👍 Take time for yourself and do something that makes you happy, like going for a run, taking a free class, or simply chatting with friends. Stay active and establish a routine that fits your needs.

BT Dubs: Your tax refunds shouldn’t be affected

The government shutdown should NOT impact your federal tax returns. The White House has directed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to pay tax refunds to Americans even during the shutdown. Whew… 😓

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