During the government shutdown, many federal employees worked without pay, and others weren’t allowed to come to work at all. Though some received back pay once the shutdown ended, they still had to go nearly a month without a paycheck. It’s a difficult question that no one should have to ask: how do you make ends meet when you’re not getting paid?
It’s not just federal employees who are faced with this problem—anyone who has been laid off or fired is in the same boat.
Prepare Your Finances
If you’re still gainfully employed, now’s the time to start saving up. It’s generally a smart idea to keep three to six months income in your savings account, just in case you lose your job. We’ve created a guide for how to start your savings from scratch so you can get started right away.
Stretch Your Savings
If you already have savings stashed away, you still want to make it last as long as possible. If you haven’t already, now is the time to create a budget, and try out our tips for spending on a limited income.
Look for Other Sources of Income
If you’ve lost your job, now’s the time to refresh your résumé and start looking for something new. Until you find something permanent, you could look into a side hustle or just a part-time job. It’s hard to work in a field outside of your training, but hopefully it will only be a stopgap until you find a new job.
Learn About Government Assistance
If you were fired or laid off, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. Depending on your needs, you may also qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), which will help pay for your groceries. There are also government programs that can help you with bills, housing, and other necessities.
If you do find yourself without a paycheck, we hope that this situation is only temporary, and that you’ll be back on your feet soon. In the meantime, this blog offers you some ideas that will, hopefully, to see you through this difficult time.