Select Page

How to survive the government furlough

By John G. Merna

On March 21st the news was “The Government Avoids A Complete Shut Down As Congress Passes Last Minute Legislation”.  It was the kind of headline I guess anyone should cheer about.  But as your cheering  for the government who spent us into this crisis, the commentator says “It only means federal employees will be furloughed for six months and lose up to 20% of their income”.  That’s the good news?

This blog isn’t on the stupidity of our highly educated legislators and their inability to control spending, it is about how to survive their stupidity.  Survive.  Unfortunately, not thrive.

Southeast Virginia will be one of the worst hit areas in the country by the government furlough because of the high military presence in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton and the Richmond area.  An income  loss of 20% from 10’s of thousands of government employees means millions  of dollars lost in the local economy.  A  loss of 10 to 20 percent of revenues due to the government furlough could have a huge effect for local businesses.  Unlike Richmond, the Tidewater area, especially Virginia Beach has a huge influx of income from tourism during the summer which is a good part of the furlough period.

So you are one of the tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians, or contractors in Richmond and Hampton Roads directly affected by the government furlough.  What do you do? Do you just throw your hands up and file bankruptcy?  No.

Step One – Do an assessment. 

Take the worst case scenario and calculate how much a 20% loss will be due to the government furlough.

Do your budget. List necessities as a priority and see how much income is left afterwards.

Cut discretionary spending, cancel or downsize the summer vacation plans.

Basically, see how big a bite this government furlough will take.

If you are like most people, living pay-check to paycheck with insufficient savings to whether this economic crisis, you’re  going to be faced with figuring out where to come up with more money.

Step Two – Gather your financial resources.

Can you make a few extra bucks on the weekend building decks or knocking out a quilt?

Maybe it is time for that long overdue yard sale. Or maybe it is time to start that side business.

Remember, when doing these assessments that the total lost time has been estimated by the government to be 22 days of pay.  That is a month’s pay (more or less) lost in six months.  That will put a lot of people behind on even their basics.

Join me next time for Part Two of this blog on how to Survive The Government Furlough as I pose important questions you should be asking yourself at this time.






 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …very helpful and friendly!5 Stars! “Everyone at the office was very helpful and friendly. The attorney answered all of our questions and helped us through the entire process. He was also very helpful answering concerns that we had after the process was completed/over. Highly recommended!” Reviewed by M.E. of Virginia Beach on Mar 11 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …overall experience was outstanding!5 Stars! “My husband and I were very happy with The Merna Law Firm. They are well organized, time manageable, and friendly. I was even able to bring my children with me if I needed to. In court, they stayed right there beside us and answered all questions we had. Our overall experience was outstanding and I am glad we were represented by the Merna Law Group.” Reviewed by A.M. of Suffolk on Mar 5 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …debt free!5 Stars! “A friendly staff and outstanding attorney who helped me through a difficult time in my life. Thanks to everyone at the Merna Law Group who helped me move on to and new chapter in my life debt free!” Reviewed by M.F. of Norfolk on Mar 8 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. …kind and friendly from the start!5 Stars! “Everyone there was kind and friendly from the start and helped us with everything in a timely manner. They were never rude no matter how much we called or asked questions.” Reviewed by B.P. of Virginia Beach on Feb 20 . 
 The Merna Law Group, Attorneys At Law, P.C. Didn’t have to worry about anything!5 Stars! “Just keep providing the type of service you do. You business values are based off reliability and service. Today’s Law Offices just don’t offer that kind of experience. Didn’t have to worry about anything!!! Just being able to go on with my normal life and know that all my issues are well taken care of is a relief in itself.” Reviewed by A.P. of Virginia Beach on Mar 4 .