Now there is some talk that checks might be late for Vets and those of us getting Social Security payments if the Congress shuts down the Government. I believe that SS is non-discretionary spending so I figure that the PTBs are using it as a scare tactic. Now Vet benefits I believe is part of the Discretionary budget so there is a real possibility of the vet checks being late or not in your account if the government shuts down. Since we reach the debt limit on Oct. 17th there is some talk of not sending out any SS and Vet disability checks. I’m not trying to panic anyone, I think the PTBs are going to pass the Continuing Resolution next week and will raise the debt ceiling again in October. This little game the PTBs are playing can really screw up your life if you are like me and on disability or SS. Hopefully you have taken some steps to help protect yourself financially. I have a few strategies I hope will see me through any minor disruption of my check. I am using the idea that my check might be late as a test of my basic financial preps.
I don’t trust those rascals in D.C. so I will be shifting my budget priorities and doing some time shifting on when I pay bills and the solar panels. Instead of getting the solar panels I will pay a month ahead on the house payment and hope that the Government will send out checks in November and the PTBs are just trying to scare the crap out of people. By paying the mortgage ahead I will have nearly a 2 month buffer zone before the Dec. payment is assessed any late penalties. I can’t quite manage an extra power or Dish payment but I can get by without electricity for awhile and I have plenty of DVD’s to watch if I have to drop Dish network. I can use my trike or the gas I have already stored to get a couple of months of minimal driving and I have plenty of all the other basics so I don’t need to go shopping if I don’t get a check.
Thank goodness I have started to pay a few of my smaller bills early. They are small bills I have paid ahead from 6 weeks to 3 months depending on the cost factor. Most of the bills are $50.00 or less per month and while it may not seem like much, knowing you have paid up your car insurance, and things like my Dish TV, internet or the water/trash bill is paid and won’t be cut off for 6 – 8 weeks can reduce your stress a lot. This method also has a huge advantage if your bank closes, a general bank run or Holiday happens. You will have several weeks to plan your next move and I don’t expect a “Bank Holiday” to last longer than a week or two at most, there might be restrictions on the amount of cash you can withdraw for a month or more.
Have cash on hand or something that you can liquidate easily/quickly such as gold or silver. There are lots of place where you can sell gold or silver for cash. You may not get the best price but someone will buy PMs for cash. I think you are better off paying your bills ahead, have at least month of your living expenses on hand and then a bit of gold or silver that has a value of one month’s living expense on hand. This can be your basic emergency fund. I’m in good shape on the basics for survival so I can afford to have a little silver. If you don’t have at least a month of food, a couple of weeks worth of gas for your car, fuel to heat your home, back up lights, some basic first aid/home health care for colds, and can handle all your sanitation and hygiene stuff. Get that stuff first before you even consider PMs.
What scares me the most is so many people that are dependent on those checks and have no backup plan! They live paycheck to paycheck and are in debt. Many people are one pay check away from living in the streets and it does not take much to push them over that edge. I figure about 60 million Americans draw SS or Disability of some sort. That is nearly 20% of the total population and I wonder what will happen with EBT/Food stamps, will those be stopped by the government? For me the worse that could happen is I pay a couple of late fees because I have been preparing and getting somewhat self reliant, I am not an average representation of the person on “The Dole”. If 20% of the population suddenly stopped spending money it would have major economic repercussions for every Bank, business, taxes collected and utility. The government is not the only one who has maxed out their credit card/Line of Credit!