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Chemical X

Going paycheck to paycheck.......

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So, I try to stay above the politics rabbit hole.  The more things change, the more they stay the same IMO.  That said, my nightly routine with the wife is eating dinner while watching the 6.30p evening news.  Mostly just to kill time.  While the government is shut, this has been the lead story, with cutaways of families trying to cope without paychecks, etc.  Last Friday is the first pay people have missed and the people being interviewed are already in dooms day mode.  Can't pay mortgage, going to food bank, need help on loans, etc.  Got me to think if this missed check is making people exaggerate or if missing 1 check really puts people on tilt immediately.  I mean, no one has any savings?  I am not demeaning anyone's financial position, but what percent of this country has no savings and is going check to check?   I am lucky not to be in this spot, but the people being interviewed at home seem to be living well.  Are people house poor, just living above their means? 

Just looking for other peoples' opinions......

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Excellent topic.

ill bet the percentage of households in this  situation is much higher than you would think. I think many today live in a “want” rather than “need” mentality when it comes to things. Lots of people in credit card hell nowadays.

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7 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

I am not demeaning anyone's financial position, but what percent of this country has no savings and is going check to check?

I'm guessing 70%+

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I'm sure someone has data to cite, but if you're blissfully unaware how little most americans have in savings it's substantially higher than you think it is.

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Missing one paycheck would send my family into a hole.  My wife currently works at Starbucks, but only 15ish hours a week so it's not even a drop in the bucket.  She's currently looking for a better job.  

Rent is SUPER high in Southern California.  We have 2 kids and a dog.  They need to eat!

Part of me wants to move back to the Austin area (city proper would be expensive), or even to where my wife's family is in Louisiana.  Cost of living is killing us right now.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/15/bankrate-65-percent-of-americans-save-little-or-nothing.html

Despite a low unemployment rate and increasing wage growth, Americans still aren't saving much. That's according to a new survey from Bankrate.com, which found that 20 percent of Americans don't save any of their annual income at all and even those who do save aren't putting away a lot.

Only 16 percent of survey respondents say that they save more than 15 percent of what they make, which is what experts generally recommend. A quarter of respondents report saving between 6 and 10 percent of their income and 21 percent say they sock away 5 percent or less.

... 

Over 40 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for when they retire.

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40% of the country has less than $400 in savings and would have to sell something or borrow to cover an unexpected expense.

And here's the thing... there's a big chunk of those folks who are already in a hole.  Something like the shutdown throws dirt on them and some of them will never recover.  These things cascade.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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Wouldn't be much of a news story if they didn't take that angle.  Bet you'll never see them interviewing one of the furloughed workers out on the golf course claiming this shutdown can go on a few months longer so he/she has more time on the links. 

Speaking of which, the government has been shut down for 3+ weeks now.  If it wasn't for the constant news coverage, how many people would have actually noticed?  Outside if the government is actually your employer?  Just goes to show how much waste and $$ that is packed in government. 

 

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2 minutes ago, nirad3 said:

Missing one paycheck would send my family into a hole.  My wife currently works at Starbucks, but only 15ish hours a week so it's not even a drop in the bucket.  She's currently looking for a better job.  

Rent is SUPER high in Southern California.  We have 2 kids and a dog.  They need to eat!

Part of me wants to move back to the Austin area (city proper would be expensive), or even to where my wife's family is in Louisiana.  Cost of living is killing us right now.

What you are saying is that you are in a paycheck to paycheck situation, but mostly due to location and you are not living above your means.  Some locations are just pricing people out of the market.

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2 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Wouldn't be much of a news story if they didn't take that angle.  Bet you'll never see them interviewing one of the furloughed workers out on the golf course claiming this shutdown can go on a few months longer so he/she has more time on the links. 

Speaking of which, the government has been shut down for 3+ weeks now.  If it wasn't for the constant news coverage, how many people would have actually noticed?  Outside if the government is actually your employer?  Just goes to show how much waste and $$ that is packed in government. 

 

This could be in large part to people working for free.  If we sent unpaid and furloughed workers home, I think we'd all notice there are no functioning airports because TSA and air traffic controllers aren't working.

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7 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Wouldn't be much of a news story if they didn't take that angle.  Bet you'll never see them interviewing one of the furloughed workers out on the golf course claiming this shutdown can go on a few months longer so he/she has more time on the links. 

Speaking of which, the government has been shut down for 3+ weeks now.  If it wasn't for the constant news coverage, how many people would have actually noticed?  Outside if the government is actually your employer?  Just goes to show how much waste and $$ that is packed in government. 

 

Not to get too political but this is not 100% accurate 

1 - This is a partial shutdown.   Not every agency is currently affected.  The DOD is currently funded where in the past they were not for example

2- Many government employees are actually still working for NO PAY.   This is why some things are not noticed.

I'm not going to argue how much waste their is etc.  But many research project are now  on hold for things the general public might not see for 6month/ 1 year etc.

It's wrong to paint a broad stroke imo but I'm not going to pretend there is no waste either

 

Edited by belljr
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8 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

What you are saying is that you are in a paycheck to paycheck situation, but mostly due to location and you are not living above your means.  Some locations are just pricing people out of the market.

But incomes are generally more in the areas with high housing costs.  This problem is not a regional one, it's national.

Edited by Juxtatarot

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2 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

What you are saying is that you are in a paycheck to paycheck situation, but mostly due to location and you are not living above your means.  Some locations are just pricing people out of the market.

On a national board like this there is often a disconnect adjusting for various local costs of living. Sometimes we aren't in Kansas anymore.

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7 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Wouldn't be much of a news story if they didn't take that angle.  Bet you'll never see them interviewing one of the furloughed workers out on the golf course claiming this shutdown can go on a few months longer so he/she has more time on the links. 

Speaking of which, the government has been shut down for 3+ weeks now.  If it wasn't for the constant news coverage, how many people would have actually noticed?  Outside if the government is actually your employer?  Just goes to show how much waste and $$ that is packed in government. 

 

Get on an airplane and let me know if you think any differently.

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Just now, Juxtatarot said:

But incomes are generally more in the areas will high housing costs.  This problem is not a regional one, it's national.

Understood.  What happens though is moving for lower cost of living brings lower wages, leaving many in the same spot, depending on industry.  Me and my wife moved from NY to NC for this reason.  We took 20-30% income hits, but have made that back.........however, our cost of living has remained much lower than if we remained in NY.  Case in point, my R.E. taxes alone in NY were $13k back in 2005, while they just increased slightly, to $3,700-.  Greatest thing we ever did was bail on NY......especially with this new blue state deduction limitation kicking in.

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Now for the original OP question.

I don't live pay check to paycheck but I'm not completely liquid with my savings.   I can get it if need be.  So I'm "lucky". Always lived below my means.

That said the biggest concern is fear.  "How much longer?"  "Am I going to miss another"  "Will I be paid at all"

For many working they will get paid eventually.  And furloughed employees usually get paid.  However there is no guarantee.  Even though they passed the bill the president hasnt signed it.  They could change their minds.   The federal contractors are the ones that will feel this the hardest. imo 

So I'm not sure if its actually missing the pay that is an issue or the fear of noever being paid.

And by law - all the furloughed employees cannot get another job during this time "legally" - so that sucks also  :)

Edited by belljr
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3 minutes ago, Chaka said:

Get on an airplane and let me know if you think any differently.

Agreed - TSA is one of the immediate services that impact the most number of non-government workers. 

I have a vacation planned  (cruise) at the end of Feb and this thought has already crossed my mind now that I'm booking return flights that I afford enough time from departing the ship to allow enough time at the airport check in. 

 

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2 minutes ago, belljr said:

Now for the original OP question.

I don't live pay check to paycheck but I'm not completely liquid with my savings.   I can get it if need be.  So I'm "lucky". Always lived below my means.

That said the biggest concern is fear.  "How much longer?"  "Am I going to miss another"  "Will I be paid at all"

For many working they will get paid eventually.  And furloughed employees usually get paid.  However there is no guarantee.  Even though they passed the bill the president hasnt signed it.  They could change their minds.   The federal contractors are the ones that will feel this the hardest. imo 

So I'm not sure if its actually missing the pay that is an issue or the fear of noever being paid.

And by law - all the furloughed employees cannot get another job during this time "legally" - so that sucks also  :)

Can furloughed apply for unemployment?  And by get another job, you mean while still "employed" by the government?  They could get another job, quitting the current one?

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Just now, Fishboy said:

Agreed - TSA is one of the immediate services that impact the most number of non-government workers. 

I have a vacation planned  (cruise) at the end of Feb and this thought has already crossed my mind now that I'm booking return flights that I afford enough time from departing the ship to allow enough time at the airport check in. 

 

Least of my worries......worry more about annoyed controllers grumbling in the tower.  Are they gonna Russian roulette your flight into turbulence?

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I’d guess that we have roughly 8,000 junior members in the coast guard who make just enough in base pay to cover their expenses, food and miscellanous expenses every 15 days. With a family to support that number goes up but I’m not sure how many that is and being underway makes it tough to look up. We don’t get to choose where we live but we do get paid a housing allowance to pay for our quarters, however we won’t be getting that come tomorrow and in an area like San Francisco where rent can be $3,800 this pay day can be rough for some. 

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1 minute ago, Fishboy said:

Agreed - TSA is one of the immediate services that impact the most number of non-government workers. 

I have a vacation planned  (cruise) at the end of Feb and this thought has already crossed my mind now that I'm booking return flights that I afford enough time from departing the ship to allow enough time at the airport check in. 

 

All those people monitoring your friendly skies are working for free :)

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3 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

Can furloughed apply for unemployment?  And by get another job, you mean while still "employed" by the government?  They could get another job, quitting the current one?

You can not work a second job without permission.   So if you are furloughed - most likely no one there for that approval.   You cant "quit" if you wanted to. No one to process it.    Now if someone just say fit I need to feed my family I'm sure there would be some leniency  :)

Edited by belljr

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1 minute ago, belljr said:

You can not work a second job without permission.   So if you are furloughed - most likely no one there for that approval.   You cant "quit" if you wanted to. No one to process it.    Now if someone just say fit I need to feed my family I'm sure there would be some leniency  :)

Or like us, we are still working and will be paid once a budget is passed. There is no time for a second job for most of us, I’m just glad that this hasn’t affected me at all. 

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5 minutes ago, belljr said:

All those people monitoring your friendly skies are working for free :)

Understood - but whether paid or not, do you think they're going to just quit doing their job and fly 2 planes into the same flight path? 

But this was kind of my point and with the pile on with the TSA example.  Remove the news coverage and TSA and how many people would notice? 

Back to the original question - I've got a nice nest egg and have planned accordingly.  But if I was a gov't worker and this was the fall time, I'd surely feel it this fall when 2 college tuition's are due for my daughter's. 

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14 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Agreed - TSA is one of the immediate services that impact the most number of non-government workers. 

I have a vacation planned  (cruise) at the end of Feb and this thought has already crossed my mind now that I'm booking return flights that I afford enough time from departing the ship to allow enough time at the airport check in. 

 

If the partial shutdown lasts until end of Feb, your flight aint happening.  TSA will be done and the air traffic controllers will be at 40% and falling.

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43 minutes ago, Chemical X said:

So, I try to stay above the politics rabbit hole.  The more things change, the more they stay the same IMO.  That said, my nightly routine with the wife is eating dinner while watching the 6.30p evening news.  Mostly just to kill time.  While the government is shut, this has been the lead story, with cutaways of families trying to cope without paychecks, etc.  Last Friday is the first pay people have missed and the people being interviewed are already in dooms day mode.  Can't pay mortgage, going to food bank, need help on loans, etc.  Got me to think if this missed check is making people exaggerate or if missing 1 check really puts people on tilt immediately.  I mean, no one has any savings?  I am not demeaning anyone's financial position, but what percent of this country has no savings and is going check to check?   I am lucky not to be in this spot, but the people being interviewed at home seem to be living well.  Are people house poor, just living above their means? 

Just looking for other peoples' opinions......

I think there is a story in CareerBuilder.com from 2017 indicating 78% live paycheck to paycheck.

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16 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Agreed - TSA is one of the immediate services that impact the most number of non-government workers. 

I have a vacation planned  (cruise) at the end of Feb and this thought has already crossed my mind now that I'm booking return flights that I afford enough time from departing the ship to allow enough time at the airport check in. 

 

TSA, FAA inspectors, air traffic controllers etc.

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1 minute ago, Chaka said:

TSA, FAA inspectors, air traffic controllers etc.

OK - let's extend my example outside of air travel. 

 

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Not everyone gets paid well. There are low paying jobs in which people live check to check. Plus we don't know individual family situations. Do they have a chronically ill child or spouse? It's easy to be a judge about how people are living without knowing their individual struggles.

Edited by CurlyNight
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1 minute ago, Fishboy said:

OK - let's extend my example outside of air travel. 

 

Any of our diplomatic corps who are living paycheck to paycheck are now extremely vulnerable to bribery based espionage attempts.

This goes far deeper than you are considering

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Just now, Chaka said:

Any of our diplomatic corps who are living paycheck to paycheck are now extremely vulnerable to bribery based espionage attempts.

This goes far deeper than you are considering.

Totally understand that it goes deeper than anyone realizes and may not realize for months/years into the future. 

I simply asked how many non-government workers would even realize without all the media coverage?  Innocent question that obviously struck a much larger nerve than I anticipated.  Honest question that I didn't expect to turn the topic of the OP into a pissing match. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

 

I simply asked how many non-government workers would even realize without all the media coverage?  

 

 

If you live in and around DC you'd notice it if you never turned a TV or radio on. Their are a ton of businesses there that depend on federal employees spending money and they're already affected.

Edited by Uruk-Hai
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2 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

Totally understand that it goes deeper than anyone realizes and may not realize for months/years into the future. 

I simply asked how many non-government workers would even realize without all the media coverage?  Innocent question that obviously struck a much larger nerve than I anticipated.  Honest question that I didn't expect to turn the topic of the OP into a pissing match. 

 

 

You didn't just focus in media coverage, you questioned the necessity of government jobs. We know you did not mean all government jobs, and virtually all of us agree that there are many silly/unnecessary ones (heck 90% of defense spending is nothing more than a jobs program but they're still getting paid) but your comment seemed I'll considered at best.

It didn't get better when you moved the goal posts after many of us mentioned transportation safety (it ain't just the airports).

This is massive cluster#### that has serious national security ramifications.

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2 minutes ago, Chaka said:

You didn't just focus in media coverage, you questioned the necessity of government jobs. We know you did not mean all government jobs, and virtually all of us agree that there are many silly/unnecessary ones (heck 90% of defense spending is nothing more than a jobs program but they're still getting paid) but your comment seemed I'll considered at best.

It didn't get better when you moved the goal posts after many of us mentioned transportation safety (it ain't just the airports).

This is massive cluster#### that has serious national security ramifications.

I moved the goal posts, as TSA was brought to the forefront immediately and repeatedly. 

My question still stands though on how many people outside of those in government would have actually noticed the (full/partial) shutdown w/o the constant news coverage?  I can only speak for myself, but if lived in a bubble with no media coverage that I wouldn't have known, as it hasn't affected me in the past 3 weeks.  Obviously if you live in DC it was immediately evident, but that's a small sample size when you factor in that I was asking the greater question. 

Ironic part is that I agree with many of those that were quick to pile on my question. 

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59 minutes ago, nirad3 said:

Missing one paycheck would send my family into a hole.  My wife currently works at Starbucks, but only 15ish hours a week so it's not even a drop in the bucket.  She's currently looking for a better job.  

Rent is SUPER high in Southern California.  We have 2 kids and a dog.  They need to eat!

Part of me wants to move back to the Austin area (city proper would be expensive), or even to where my wife's family is in Louisiana.  Cost of living is killing us right now.

I'm pretty much the same... minus sunny warm socal and starbucks. but nyc has almost as bad real-estate I guess. 

I was out of work for three months last year and that just about did me in. after that hit to savings, I'd be in trouble if work stopped again for any lenght of time... outside of tapping into retirment.

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Just now, El Floppo said:

I'm pretty much the same... minus sunny warm socal and starbucks. but nyc has almost as bad real-estate I guess. 

I was out of work for three months last year and that just about did me in. after that hit to savings, I'd be in trouble if work stopped again for any lenght of time... outside of tapping into retirment.

Yup I was out of work for a good portion of 2017 which just did us in.  Been playing catch-up ever since.

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Have a good friend who is working without pay right now. They are middle class like us and they are starting to feel the pinch. To the point that friends and neighbors are dropping off food and store gift cards so they don't have to completely wipe out their savings.

These poor folks are all over the place - in all social classes, neighborhoods, your friends. And it's a damn shame they are the pawns in all of this. 

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3 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

I moved the goal posts, as TSA was brought to the forefront immediately and repeatedly. 

My question still stands though on how many people outside of those in government would have actually noticed the (full/partial) shutdown w/o the constant news coverage?  I can only speak for myself, but if lived in a bubble with no media coverage that I wouldn't have known, as it hasn't affected me in the past 3 weeks.  Obviously if you live in DC it was immediately evident, but that's a small sample size when you factor in that I was asking the greater question. 

Ironic part is that I agree with many of those that were quick to pile on my question. 

So, without the media and ignoring transportation and the actual furloughed employees? Not a great question but the simple answer is lots of people would notice and more and more every day it continues. 

It will get to you eventually.

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30 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

Hey, let me help you down off that high horse you are on.

I'm sure someone out there is buying an ice cream cake while crying the blues!

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5 minutes ago, ragincajun said:

What part?

Prairieville/Gonzales area.

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There is not much incentive to save based on interest rates. Combine that with our flawed Keynesian economic model that focuses on consumer spending to drive our economy and increase GDP. The whole system is flawed and in serious trouble. 

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1 minute ago, nirad3 said:

Prairieville/Gonzales area.

I feel like we have had this discussion.  I am in Prairieville.  New Construction is anywhere from $150-$170.  Some cheaper/some more.  Great public schools if you are in the right district.  All the Boudon you can eat.

 

I am ready to move away.

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55 minutes ago, Fishboy said:

OK - let's extend my example outside of air travel. 

 

Food inspectors.  The deadly romaine lettuce wasn't that long ago.

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8 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

Food inspectors.  The deadly romaine lettuce wasn't that long ago.

Didn't they just announce they'r currently only inspecting "high risk" foods? What could possible go wrong. 

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I think it's a mixed bag. Some are exaggerating and others it probably really does hurt. I wouldn't be shocked if government employees have less savings than non-gov employees in the same income bracket because of the job security that comes along with a government job. Personally, I've never made a great effort to build that suggested 6 months savings because I'm betting that I likely won't need given the security of my job. Even considering the occasional shutdown, my job is more secure than most.

But, missing a government shutdown paycheck is different than other scenarios of people going without a paycheck because the government employees will (most likely) eventually get the money. The knowledge that the money is coming later can be a relief in this situation. Still, I understand how that can be stressful and I understand most people don't have a ton of savings and might start to worry that they might even miss a 2nd paycheck (or more). But, do they also not have space on their credit cards to cover one paycheck? If someone takes home $2000 in each paycheck and spends it all every 2 weeks (and don't have $2000 in savings), do they not have $2000 available in credit card space to charge their daily spending and then pay it off when their next paycheck is $4000? Maybe quite a few people don't have that? Also, I do realize some things, like a mortgage, can't be paid with a credit card. However, I think mortgage lenders are pretty understanding right now especially since they, too, know the borrower will eventually be paid.

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4 minutes ago, dgreen said:

I think it's a mixed bag. Some are exaggerating and others it probably really does hurt. I wouldn't be shocked if government employees have less savings than non-gov employees in the same income bracket because of the job security that comes along with a government job. Personally, I've never made a great effort to build that suggested 6 months savings because I'm betting that I likely won't need given the security of my job. Even considering the occasional shutdown, my job is more secure than most.

But, missing a government shutdown paycheck is different than other scenarios of people going without a paycheck because the government employees will (most likely) eventually get the money. The knowledge that the money is coming later can be a relief in this situation. Still, I understand how that can be stressful and I understand most people don't have a ton of savings and might start to worry that they might even miss a 2nd paycheck (or more). But, do they also not have space on their credit cards to cover one paycheck? If someone takes home $2000 in each paycheck and spends it all every 2 weeks (and don't have $2000 in savings), do they not have $2000 available in credit card space to charge their daily spending and then pay it off when their next paycheck is $4000? Maybe quite a few people don't have that? Also, I do realize some things, like a mortgage, can't be paid with a credit card. However, I think mortgage lenders are pretty understanding right now especially since they, too, know the borrower will eventually be paid.

MasterCard will allow mortgage payments but Visa/Discover/Amex won't.  

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Fishboy - ftr - I didnt take it as you were in a pissing match - I was just stating many still wont notice because many are still working without pay.

That was all.   And I agree there is obvious some waste but some of the effects might not bubble to much later :shrug:

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Two good friends are federal employees. National weather service and federal lawyer. Both are OK and probably have around 2 months salary in cash savings.  

Problem is the married couple that both work for the National weather service with the three year old. They are working on a loan to make the mortgage payment and student loan payment. 

Luckily it is January.  Hurricane season isn’t for 5 months and hopefully the fire season is over.  

I am about ready to join the protestors. 

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