GREENSBORO, N.C. — One missed paycheck will soon turn into two if the partial government shutdown stretches into its fourth week.
That's a lot of money that Congress says furloughed employees will eventually get back; but what do you do right now?
WFMY News 2's money expert, Ja'Net Adams provides insight into surviving the government shutdown.
"According to Career Builder, 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and that means the majority of the 800,000 employees who missed a paycheck because of the shutdown are facing a financial crisis," said Adams. "I want to share tips to help those locally and across the country who are affected by this terrible situation."
Adams, who wrote the book, Debt Sucks: Everyone's Guide To Winning With Money So They Can Live Their Dreams, offered these tips to help you get through long periods of financial stress.
1. Needs come first:
"If you haven't already; focus on needs such as housing, water, lights, and food. Everything else can be cut back on," said Adams. "That means cut the cable off, reduce your phone bill, and anything else that is not a need to free up some money."
2. Put your skills to work:
"Your government job is not your entire identity," says Adams. "You have other skills that can be used to bring in money. Explore those skills and start a side hustle and use that money to pay your bills until the government opens again."
3. Never again:
"Make sure that you are never in this place again. If your finances took a major hit during the shutdown then make it up in your mind that you will never be in this position again."
Adams says when the paychecks start coming back in, you should figure out how you can save money from each paycheck and build up a six-month emergency fund to help you in the future.
"If there is another shutdown, you will be able to cover your expenses for six months," said Adams.
If you are not immediately impacted by this partial government shutdown, keep this advice on hand. Job cuts, layoffs, furloughs also happen in the private sector. If this happens to you, these tips will help you through it.
"This advice is for everyone because at any point you could be in the same position whether you work for the government or not. Get prepared!"