- Pay their bills up to date; paying the minimum due on all debts.
- Pay off any loans they took out to cover their financial needs during this shutdown.
- Put any extra money they have in savings to help them in case the government is shutdown again in February.
- Work like crazy to get an emergency fund together that will cover two to six month's worth of bills.
- Look at every single bill they have and see if there is any way to reduce or eliminate it (cut cable in favor of an OTA antenna, get a cheaper cell phone plan, etc).
- Pay off their debts as quickly as possible.
- Establish multiple streams of income.
- Stockpile enough food and supplies to last at least a month (buy loss leaders, buy in bulk, etc).
- File their taxes as quickly as possible so they can get their tax refund back to help bulk up their emergency fund.
None of us know when a problem may happen that will impact our income. This shutdown came as kind of a surprise, especially the duration of said shutdown. And many people have had the experience of going to work only to find the doors chained shut and their employer suddenly out of business. It's a scary position to be in when you have less than $100 in your bank account and the paycheck you depend on to pay your bills and feed your family doesn't come in for weeks and weeks so it just makes sense that we should all be proactive to take care of our financial situation before a crisis occurs.