DENVER — Unpaid federal workers have utility bills, student loans, credit card bills and, according to real estate company Zillow, they owe around $438 million in mortgage and rent payments in January alone.
If you're trying to budget, according to Nerdwallet, experts say:
1. First, protect the essentials like shelter, food, heat, lights and transportation.
2. Make sure you communicate with your creditors, as some may have options to help furloughed workers, like Credit Union of Colorado.
3. If you need to find a low or no-interest loan, many credit unions like Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA and US Employees Credit Union, and some banks, like Alpine Bank, are offering them to furloughed federal workers.
4. If you're furloughed, you can likely apply for unemployment benefits but it does vary by state. The Colorado Department of Labor said you can file online at www.coloradoui.gov. You can also file by calling 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 (outside Denver- metro area). You will need a check stub and a Notification of Personnel Action that you can get from human resources.
5. Also, call 211 or check out 211.org. It can connect you with social services that can help with food, shelter and prescriptions.
6. If you need to make a little extra money fast, taking on odd jobs or side gigs through TaskRabbit, an online marketplace that matches freelance labor with someone looking to hire or applying to drive with Lyft and Uber are all options.
7. Lastly, freeze your subscription services like Netflix and gym memberships will save you from having to pay any start-up fees when you get back on your feet.