Frugal Tips for the Furloughed: Saving Money in a Government Shutdown

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Last night on the way to ballet, my daughter and her friend asked me to explain the government shutdown. Fortunately, my daughter has seen me in the act of creating and sticking to a budget, so it was pretty easy to frame up. She was rather shocked adults could let things grind to a halt the way Congress has done this week. And, frankly, I am, too. Since I'm not a member of Congress, I can't do much about that. What I can do? Mind my own budget so that when things look gloomy outside my door, at least I can feel in control of my own amber waves of grain.

One of my favorite frugal bloggers, Katy of The Nonconsumer Advocate, has some great advice on saving money during the government shutdown (or really any time). If you're feeling out of control or pinched by a furlough, check out her tips.

garden tools

Credit Image: idleformat on Flickr

Katy writes:

Share rarely used items with friends and neighbors. My neighbors all use our wheelbarrow and post-hole digger, and we use their paper shredder, cat carrier and pressure washer. Cancel services you’re not taking full advantage of. Are you a member of a gym, yet never go? Let go of the guilt and march yourself over to their membership department. Mend and repair instead of replace. You don’t need specialized skills to mend a tear or glue something back together.

Have you found yourself unexpectedly short this fall? What are you doing to prepare for the holiday season during all the unpredictability?

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of Find more at


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