Federal Shutdown and cutting back at home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure I'm not the only one here whose family will be impacted if there is a shutdown of the federal govt.  The news/realization that it would cause my military husband to receive only half-pay for next payday and no pay if it continues (w/ backpay coming when the budget is finally passed) finally sank in last night and now I can't stop wanting to get my financial "ducks" in a row.

 

We have enough in savings to cover the mtg, and essential payments for a few months, but those savings were purposely put in awkward to access accts because I know I have a tendancy to spend $ if it is readily accessible.  Now I fear that if we have to dip into those accts to cover expenses, I won't be disciplined enough to repay them when the $ starts flowing again.  I need some ways to make sure I don't get tempted.

 

I'm also torn because I want there to be some spending cuts, (not stupid, extreme ones), but when it hits home, it's hard to stay unwavering in my desire for fiscal responsibility. KWIM?  Turns out I have a bit of a not-in-my-backyard person  in my make-up and I'm having a tough time with that realization as well.

 

I know my problems are small... there are others who are facing much more difficult financial decisions if the shutdown occurs.  My thoughts are with them as I watch the news.

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#2 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 06:14 AM
 
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I am having such a hard time with this right now.  My dh is a federal employee and we're reading hour-by-hour news about the shutdown.  I am so, so tired of the political posturing and the inane comments that come with it:  there are a lot of really, really insulting articles out there that ask things like 'Well, would we really miss the workers if they weren't there?" and "Well, federal workers get paid too much, anyway."

 

Anyway, we've been building up our savings over the past year and we have enough for the next few weeks, anyway...  It's not enough for the long-term, so this situation is really just strengthening my resolve to increase our savings.  I also have it in "hard to access" accounts - e.g., I have to physically go to the bank to get the money, which prevents me from spending it on groceries, for example.  The problem is, it's not enough.  That freshman senator from Wisconsin who said that of course, senators should be paid during a shutdown;  he has a mortgage and a family.....  The realization that they really don't care at all about the rest of the federal workers who _also_ have one was mindblowing.  I have a hard time not dissolving into bitterness and anger over this.

 

 


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#3 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Yuck, it really is important to plan ahead for times like these. We are in the same boat and are actually on hold right now trying to fix the fact that our paycheck ended last pay period due to a screw-up on the gov.'s end, so I will be at least one paycheck behind you all if we actually go into a pay freeze.

 

I have a hard time imagining any senators would have the guts to actually cut pay, but you never know...I plan on upping savings a lot soon--unfortunately this is happening at the exact same time we are trying to buy a house :-) Lovely timing

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#4 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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We are in the start of getting our VA loan for our house so the timing is horrible for us as well.  Not there is any good timing for all of this.  We were locked into a 4.875 rate and now???  I have no idea. 

 

My DH is federal as well.  He has an essential job and will not be furloughed so at least we will have back pay.  But I don't like not knowing when the next paycheck will be.  We only have one paycheck worth of money in savings so I don't really know what we will do if a shutdown is extended beyond that. I am a SAHM so we have no backup income from me. 

 

What is getting me right now is the not knowing.  I like knowing.  I like planning.  I was going to sit down today and plan some budget stretchers just in case. 

 

Ideas?


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#5 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm doing the "just in case" planning now.  I spoke w/ my kids this morning and told them that if the budget doesn't pass we'll be foregoing any non-essentials because it's the sensible thing to do when there is some question about $ coming in.  I stressed to them that we are okay, but we need to take logical precautions, just like we would if there were a hurricane headed in our direction... not panicking, but minimizing spending. 

 

It's been a great opportunity to teach the kids about civics.  Though it gets a little old to be asked why adults are allowed to act so childishly and get paid for it.

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#6 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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Keep in mind that if you are temporarily out of work because of the shut down, you can receive unemployment benefits. There is a week wait in most states, but if the shut down lasts as long as the last one (21 days) you might get a little something- which is better than nothing. Since UI is run by the state, not the federal govt, it will not be affected.

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#7 of 10 Old 04-07-2011, 11:16 PM
 
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My UI is now at the federal level and if there is a shut down I wont get UI , no UI and im SOL...

I have a little bit of savings but nothing near what I would need to keep going for any legnth of time.

 

I have a feeling this is just more govt hogwash and nothing is going to happen but I still get nervous.


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#8 of 10 Old 04-08-2011, 06:01 AM
 
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I heard on the news this morning that people at the federal level of UI will still get it. The state is in charge of dispursing the money- they get it from the feds, but it is not a day by day transfer.

 

I also heard that it will be up to the congress whether or not people who have to work and will not receive a paycheck will receive back pay- in other words, they could end up working for no pay. Now, I can't see them doing that, but it is a possibilty.

 

I wouldn't bet on it not happening- During the Clinton presidency, the govt was shut down for 21 days.

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#9 of 10 Old 04-08-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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For those processing VA Loans:  the VA loan program is separate and will still operate during a partial shutdown. 

 

My DH's branch of the govt told him that if you are on any type of leave you will not receive pay for the leave but it will not come off the books either.  It will be like you didn't exist.  If you show up you will get paid - eventually.  That was yesterday and his little branch probably is (okay, is) different than most govt. workers so I'm sure it's different for other areas of govt.  He has an essential job and will not be furloughed. 

 

It does sound like those are furloughed won't receive back pay. 


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#10 of 10 Old 04-08-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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I hope the VA process still works for you PP! We are actually applying for a traditional loan and the problem is that we need to show our last two paychecks, and two weeks ago we were overpaid by $1000, then this last paycheck we where charged $3,000 (so just paid nothing with a lovely note saying we need to pay back our debt) all due to someone entering something incorrectly in the computer then not addressing it correctly. Now we get the prospect of either no pay coming soon, or delayed pay--either way it won't look good on a loan application. We haven't made a formal offer on the house we want, and I think waiting until the dust settles would be smartest in our case.

 

I think the best thing I am learning from this is to make sure that we have extra funds and not get complacent about our cushy federal job. We live overseas and are so out of the loop with the American economy (even though we hear the stories and have family/friends affected by the downturn) that it is easy for me to let thoughts of using our emergency fund for stuff that is not strictly an emergency and this is a good reminder why we really can't do that.

 

OT, but this year we went over budget $3,000 on airfare due to a medical need, and then I went ahead and used some of my e-fund to buy tickets to Hawaii for my sister's wedding. We had five months saved, now we have four and I am feeling the pinch in the rest of my budget trying to stretch things with no income. Lame, but a good reminder to me that we are not that different and really do need to take saving very seriously.

 

I would have really hated no seeing my sister get married though, so I have a hard time regretting the purchase entirely redface.gif

 

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