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Local government workers learn financial lessons during shutdown

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 28, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Payday couldn't come any sooner for federal workers struggling to make ends meet in Las Vegas.

So many live paychecks to paycheck or had little to no savings.

The Butler family is one of many affected by the shutdown in Las Vegas and since there's a chance for another shutdown a financial expert said, saving money begins with an honest assessment of your bank statement.

Nicole Butler has grown used to putting in extra time in the kitchen, since eating out isn't an option without her husband's paycheck.

He's a TSA manager at McCarran International Airport.

They're relieved the government has reopened but have not seen any money yet.

"It's been really stressful not knowing when the paycheck is coming. Even though the government is up and running, they pushed it to he [would get] partial pay Friday but it keeps changing," said Butler.

The Butlers have lived comfortably but learned tough lessons during the shutdown.

"Have to save more," said Butler.

13 Action News Financial Analyst Steven Budin said saving money should be a priority since emergencies happen unexpectedly.

"Track your spending habits for 21 days or 30 days. You'd be surprised what you spend your money on," said Budin.

Budin encourages people to make an honest assessment of their bank statements.

"You could probably find a couple of dollars a day to set aside. You’d be surprised how quickly that adds up, whether it's a dollar or five dollars a day," Budin said.

Nicole did just that and plans to get rid of their family car.

“I didn't realize having a Yukon would put a financial burden. It's a gas guzzler and I don't need this big of a vehicle," she said.

Budin acknowledges everyone's circumstance is unique and says people with retirement accounts might want to consider dipping into them to cover expenses in the short term.

If the money is paid back within 60 days, there are no tax penalties.