Government Shutdown - Will Military Get Paid?
Will our bank work with us on this?
Maybe. It depends on you and on your bank. According to USAA’s website, that bank is willing to discuss special payment arrangements, refunds on certain credit cards, allowing early withdrawal of some funds without penalties and flexible payments for some insurance plans. But you need to call. During past threats of shut down, Navy Federal Credit Union has agreed to advance pay to members who have direct deposited federal pay checks, but again, you need to call and discuss it with them. Other, non-military-affiliated, banks might also be willing to work with you — but you need to ask in advance.
What else can we do?
Be smart and be frugal. You will be getting that October 1 check, so use it wisely. Prioritize your bills. Contact your mortgage company, landlord, utility companies and other creditors to see who would be willing to let you pay late, then set aside money for food, gas and other things you know your family will need throughout the month. If possible, cancel or put a hold on services you can live without. Cut back on all the extras like eating out and shopping for bargains. Stop spending money. Eat from your pantry and your freezer. (You know how to do this because you do it before every PCS, remember?) If the government shuts down, the commissaries will probably not be open. If you rely on the commissary to meet your grocery budget, shop there before the shutdown.
This seems really unfair, should I call my Congressional representatives to complain?
By all means! But, honestly, your call is probably not going to change their minds at this late hour. Still, if enough Americans express outrage in calls and emails and through social media they just might listen. So share this article and make sure your friends and relatives know that, contrary to what some are saying, a government shutdown will have a disastrous effect on the finances of military families.
I don’t think this is really going to happen, so I’m just going to sit back and wait and see.
We hope you’re right. We really, really do. (We are military spouses, too.) But even if Congress works something out at the last minute this time, we will be facing an even worse situation in a few weeks when our nation reached the debt ceiling. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, paychecks for service members could be halted in mid-December, right before Christmas. So even if turns out that you don’t need a plan now, you might need one then. Better to just go ahead and make one — and start that emergency fund most ricky-tick.
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