Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Furlough Forward

By all indications, I’ll be furloughed next week.

That could last a week, or longer, depending on how long the ongoing derpfest in DC continues. If the news today is any harbinger of the future, a week may be too little time.
Ours is a dual-income family, because in addition to my full-time job, I also teach part-time. Having that money coming in is a blessing, though it’s not near enough to cover the bills if this turns into a long-term arrangement. We do have savings we can dip into – a rainy day fund that should last us about three months if we’re careful.
We are luckier than most. We do have a house payment, but it’s less than many of the nearby apartments rent for. We have no car payments, very little credit card debt and only month-to-month bills to fret about. We should be fine for three months or so, hoping, of course, that the furlough doesn’t last out the month of October.
But we’re torn.
Part of me thinks I should spend the time next week hanging drywall in the basement to finally cover up the new furnace ducts (thank heaven we paid for that work in cash). Part of us also think we should take the family to Disneyland, just to show Congress that life goes on. That makes me a little nervous, not knowing of course how long the furlough may last and how long we’ll have to stretch our reserves. No matter what happens, I still plan on standing in front of Rep. Mike Simpson’s shuttered Idaho Falls office waving a “CONGRESS FARTED” sign.

Most interesting to see is all the bright, shiny news about a Senate deal in the works to end the shutdown. What nobody seems to want to emphasize is that both the House and the Senate have to pass anything before it comes into effect, and the White House still isn’t talking to the House much at all these days. So pardon me if I’m pessimistic. I’m a believer in Reagan’s words, but not necessarily for the reasons he said them. All parties involved say they’re here to help, but you’ll note none of them agree on exactly where that elusive “here” might be.

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