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Attention, furloughed workers!

Here are some things you can do to pay your bills!

Effective today, Saturday, January 12, 2019, this government shutdown is the longest in U.S. history! Woo! Breaking records left and right!

Approximately 800,000 government workers are furloughed, meaning (drum roll please…) they don’t get paid! Consider it a free vacation, according to the government.

Luckily, the U.S. Coast Guard shared some tips for how to make it through this unplanned vacation. Before we get to the official FAQ, let’s take a look at their handy cheat sheet:

Wow! Five pages of helpful tips and a full-blown FAQ page! I’ll sum it up for you.

Here is what you can’t do:

  • collect unemployment (you’re not unemployed; you just can’t come to work and we can’t pay you, either) FAQ 26
  • accept donations from the community (you should consult with an attorney first; there are rules, you know!) FAQ 27
  • talk to the media about the shutdown (oh, no!) FAQ 33

Here’s what we can’t help you with:

  • your credit card payments (but don’t worry, your creditors will surely help you if you ask nicely!) FAQ 13
  • your child support payments (don’t miss any!) FAQ 15
  • your credit score (it will go down, but eventually it will go back up again!) Cheat Sheet p. 3
  • food (go to a food bank instead!) Cheat Sheet p. 4

Here’s how you can survive without any money coming in:

  • stop going to the movies and stop buying magazines (you don’t NEED these things) Cheat Sheet p. 2
  • pat yourself on the back for all of your hard work (even though you can’t pay your bills now) Cheat Sheet p. 2
  • “have a garage sale” (you don’t need that stuff anyway) Cheat Sheet p. 2
  • “turn your hobby into income” (now’s a great time to start streaming your video game sessions on Twitch!) Cheat Sheet p. 2
  • “become a mystery shopper” (it’s super easy and every store is “desperate” for them) Cheat Sheet p. 2
  • babysit, walk dogs, or house-sit (Just go up to your friends and say, “Hey! You have kids, pets, and a home. Can I watch all of them for some extra cash? 5 PM? Great! I’ll be there!”) Cheat Sheet p. 2
  • learn the laws about debt collection (don’t worry; they can’t call you after 9 PM, so it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience) Cheat Sheet p. 3
  • file for bankruptcy (it’s no big deal; everyone does it at some point!) Cheat Sheet p. 5


Written by

✨ serial questioner • technical writer/devops • editor of Diary of an SRE • thank you for connecting 👩🏻‍💻

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