Ideally, you should be on top of your finances so that you can weather any oncoming financial fiascoes. A federal shutdown can readily hurt your finances if it goes on longer than projected. When bills are mounting but resources are low, don’t panic. You can take steps to manage and safeguard your position until the shutdown ends.

Reconfigure your debt

Debt racked up from credit cards and student loans can be tough to tackle as is, so a federal shutdown can make things worse. Get a grip and call up companies where you have significant debt to refinance the rate.

Banking Rates

Credit card debt can be transferred to a balance-transfer card with 0% APR with a grace period of up to 18 months. Conditions for paying back student loans can be changed based on your income, geographic location, and family size.

Negotiate services

It doesn’t feel nice when there isn’t a paycheck to cover recurring services like utilities, rent, food, and transportation to work. People are human, so call service providers to ask for leniency or reduce the amount owed until things return to normal. When possible try to barter for services and cut out things that are not necessary expenditures. If you can, make minimum payments to try and keep bills current so your credit score doesn’t take a critical hit.

Hold it down with a side hustle

Instead of waiting for a government shutdown to end, build another stream of income with a side hustle. A side hustle helps return confidence, creates a cash injection toward your bills, and can help offset the cost of living. When the shutdown ends, you might want to hold onto your side hustle and use the extra cash toward building an emergency fund. Some great side hustle ideas include teaching a course, selling photos, renting a room in your home, or doing errands for pay.