The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

October 21, 2013

The Color of Money: Getting ready for the next time

Furloughed federal workers have been promised that they will be paid once the government opens again.

     Even so, let me offer some advice to those people with jobs they thought were secure. Do what you can, as soon as you can, to create an emergency fund. Make it a priority.

     Yes, you’ve heard this before. Yet here we are again, and workers across the country, including non-federal employees and government contractors whose incomes were also affected by the shutdown, are feeling the financial pain after missing one paycheck or getting just a partial paycheck.

     The Washington Post asked people to participate in an online survey about how the shutdown had impacted them. Almost two-thirds said it had affected them daily or threatened their livelihood. Here’s what some workers wrote:

     -- Calif.: “Check to Check, like most folks these days. Furlough put me back even deeper.”

     -- Colo.: “Just worked out our budgets though Nov. 15 -- half a paycheck this pay period and at this point no paycheck by Nov. 1 -- currently over $300 in the hole and seeking delays to monthly payment for car, insurance, credit, student loans, mortgage.”

     -- Va.: “No work equals no pay. No savings equals bad, really bad.”

     -- Mass.: “I am a federal employee supporting a spouse in graduate school with student loans of my own to pay. Even if I get back pay, paying the immediate bills will be a significant challenge. One of the reasons I was attracted to this job was because of its ‘stability.’”

     With all due respect, the shutdown should be a wake-up call for all of us. You can’t count on your job always being there, even in positions or careers that have historically been viewed as unemployment-proof.

     I say this because often in financial workshops I have conducted, some participants, government workers in particular, would argue they didn’t really need to worry about having several months of expenses saved up. They felt secure in their jobs. Or I would get push-back from people who believed they couldn’t lose their jobs and therefore didn’t need to put away three to six months of living expenses.

Text Only
Business
  • Is what my employer is doing legal? Yes or no

    Q: Welcome to the @Work Advice lightning round, answering one question: Is what my employer is doing legal? A yes answer means the described situation is generally legal. The reader can protest or refuse to participate, but not on legal grounds. A no answer means the situation seems to violate at least one labor law.

    August 1, 2014

  • Career Coach: Shaping your own future

    In our hyper-dynamic and complex world, it is easy to confuse means with ends, activity with progress, efficiency with effectiveness, and busyness with importance.

    August 1, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.

     

    July 31, 2014

  • Fancy management systems won’t fix bad managers

    In violation of my long-standing “only watch TV” rule, I read an article recently about how Zappos is adopting a management structure known as holacracy.

    July 30, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Supervisor-employee boundaries must be honored

    QUESTION: Two weeks ago, my husband “Barry“ unexpectedly came home from work with a large flat-screen television. He explained that one of his employees gave it to him as repayment for a loan. I was shocked, because I had no idea that Barry was lending people money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Silly mistakes that sink job applicants

    Some employers won’t care - or won’t catch them - but mistakes in word usage can put your application in the reject pile.

    July 29, 2014

  • Watercooler: Raised to the roof

    Q: Over 15 years, I have worked my way up the corporate ladder with the same organization. I have been given a raise every year and excellent reviews, as well as several promotions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Career Coach Q&A: job search follow-up; introverts as leaders

    Starting a business:

    Q: I have a stable job that I don't hate, but I have an idea for starting my own business.

    July 25, 2014

  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

Business Video
Stocks