Shutdown: How long could you last?


How well could you and your family survive being an federal employee furloughed without pay or required to work for no paycheck to pay the bills that are due now?
When we were younger and I was an E-6 in the Navy with a wife and two children. Missing a single check could have resulted in financial ruin as bills would be missed and it could even have had long term negative impacts on our credit rating that would have taken years to correct. There are military service members now that are facing that same reality. (Yes, the Coast Guard is a military service.)
These days my wife and I are in a much better position. Since we don’t move around as much she now has a decent job – even though I’m still considered the primary bread winner making about twice what she does. We have separate employers so even if I was a federal employee (which I’m not) we would still have some money coming in.
Based on cash reserves, excellent lines of credit, and multiple income streams in the home, I could be one of those workers that could wait out the politicians for a couple of months.
How long could you take care of your family?

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I like the premise of this thread but i predict it will become a place where the usual suspects can tell us how much money they have and sbout all the good decisions they made. It will then degenerate into those same usual suspects talking about how financial hardship is self imposed due to bad decisions.

I am sure someone will mention HD flat screen TVs and mobile phones. Has anyone tried to buy a TV recently that isnt flat screen or HD?


I could last maybe 3 months. And that’s only because I don’t have any kids.

It will never end, it’s the new normal.

About a year with no unemployment insurance. Probably 2 years with unemployment. Thats nkt even working part time anywhere. I’m single and live simply.

I’ve already left the federal government and taken my manager and another team mate with me. It’s all fun and games with these politicians, from Dumpster Donnie all the way down to the most junior congresscritter. Screw them. My skills are well in demand, and I’ve got to have a stable work environment. That isn’t the federal government.


My employer is a union shop. We were told on day one to be prepared for a strike. By about my 5th year, I was prepared for a 6 month strike under the assumption that I wouldn’t get another job. I’ve been there 20 years, and have increased that strike fund over the years. If I were to get another job during that period, I would not dip into the strike fund. So it really depends on if your furloughed and required to work or not. Thankfully, those who are required will receive their backpay whenever Nancy and Chuck decide to fund the wall that will keep illegals from driving down wages, which is bad for the union worker.

You are exactly right. We’ll get the “bootstraps” speech, the “make better $ decisions” speech, and the “I’m affluent” speech.

This thread premise, however, is a valid one. No matter the root cause of someone’s financial situation, not being paid for a month hurts. It’s not anyone’s place to judge. Some of these people will suffer long term effects, some short term, and maybe some will suffer none at all.

But does it matter who suffers financially and for what predicate cause? Nope. The shutdown is damaging folks financially.

Studies show folks can last around a month or less if their income suddenly drops off. That ain’t good.

Good for you. Good luck in your future business ventures.

Wait… you work for a union?!?

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I work for a company. And yes, I am part of a union, pay dues and everything.

Please pardon my question. Why do “Nancy and Chuck” need to fund a wall in order for people to get paid?

People are working and not getting paid. That don’t seem right. They should get paid even if our politicians can’t agree on a wall. They are just innocent folk doing their jobs.

If Mr. Trump wants to build a wall, then we, the people, should be the ones deciding through our representatives.

I think my senators should be able to represent me and my state by being allowed to vote on opening the government in the senate. Why does one man have so much power that he can stop me from having my say by my senators voting? What good are elections and representatives if they don’t get a chance to represent me?

They are representing you. Mine are representing me.

We have a lot of cash at the moment and our fixed expenses (including groceries) run about $3k/month. So, approx 5 years. We could last longer if I cut a few things out like cable and streaming apps ($300/month) and we stopped paying our kid’s car insurance( $253/month.) H is a sucker - kid can easily afford his own insurance.

This would be without touching any of our investment accounts or using any credit cards. I have ridiculously high lines of credits. Could go years on that alone.

That being said, when H first went to work for NYS in the early 90’s there were a few years his pay was lagged a few weeks due to state budget not being passed. It was rough, but I was working then. Then it was lagged again, sometime after the crash in 2008. We were much better off and we didn’t miss it.

He doesn’t get it back until he retires and will get it back at salary at the time he retires instead of his pay at the time. So will be worth a lot more.

Up until a year ago I had a year’s worth of earnings in savings.

I used that to buy and renovate an apartment building as a plan to generate passive income when I retire in 15-20 years.

So now I am really tapped out. Not quite living from paycheck to paycheck, but really under the crunch to build back the savings and pay off the credit cards that were used to fund the tens of thousands of dollars that comes with renovating four apartments in a year.

So… if I were to be without pay for a couple of months, I would be screwed.

I wouldn’t be able to make the mortgage payment on the apartment building and that would really put me in a bad position.

Wait… you may say… what about the rent you are getting from the apartments?

Well… two of them are rented to Coastguard and one is currently in the middle of renovations… so that leaves just the income of one of them to cover the costs of the building and that amount is not nearly enough.

I hope that those who think that it is no big deal that the President shutting down the government and forcing people to work without pay can think of the trickle down effects of this.

This is one place where the trickle down theory works.

Take income away from the middle class, and it has effects that ripples through the economy.


My senator has not been allowed to represent me with a vote on the shut down. Has your senator done so? What was his vote?

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My senator is Lindsey Graham. So while I cringe when I say this, he has represented me with his voice in the senate. Lately, I’m quite pleased.

When did Trump stop the senate from voting?

Lindsey Graham left for Turkey instead of staying in Washington to negotiate.

Apparently that’s okay for some people in Congress and not for others. We are subject to the whims of Trump.


I think I heard on the radio the other day that Pelosi wanted to vacation around the world instead of doing her job to work on the shut down. I think Senator Graham should be here working to open the government and not shaking hands with dictators. That Ergowan guy don’t sit right with me.

I don’t think I said anything about Trump. I am talking about Senator McConnell.

Senator Graham has been allowed to represent the people of his state in the senate with a vote no the shut down? Was his vote to open or close the government? My senator hasn’t been allowed to vote on opening the government back up. How can he represent the will of the people of his state in our constitutional republic if ain’t allowed to have a vote? How is my voice heard when my senator is not allowed to vote on things?