First let me say, I very rarely will talk politics on my blog. Most people don't know that it's something I'm massively passionate about since I don't talk about it here. This post won't be political, but I also hope everyone realizes I'm not trying to sound harsh or mean...but just give my opinion.
Obviously being an ex-military spouse, I've seen lots of chatter on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter about the impact on the military if/when the government shuts down. One of the most annoying things about this is that everyone has a different story. Originally, when this first came out, I heard a news story state that our military would be protected from a shutdown. I interpreted this as they'd continue to work and continue to receive pay. I read that when this happened under Bill Clinton in 1995, they were safe. Well, now that we've inched closer to the actual shutdown, I have a clearer picture of what's going on.
The bottom line, service members WILL be paid. PERIOD. The issue comes on WHEN the check will come. It might be a few days late, a few weeks late...who knows?
I'm honestly exhausted from people acting like the world is coming to an end because their husbands pay might be coming late. I 100% realize that we live in tight times and A LOT of military families are single income families, relying solely on the low pay they make to begin with to survive. I so get it. M&I were a single income family for 3 months before I started working. We didn't have children, but I can imagine things being tight if we had...but we would have survived. I'll be the first to admit that budgeting and saving is not something I excel at. It's something I'm working really hard on, but the scariest part about this to me is it seems like perhaps people aren't being wise about saving and spending and that's why folks are panic stricken.
Someone pointed out on Twitter that when it comes down to it, the only things we need in life are food, water, air, clothing, and a roof over our heads. If your husbands check being late is going to cause you to go without eating, there's a problem. If you're going to have to walk around naked until he gets paid, there's a problem. Military folks should realize that there are food vouchers available on post to folks who need them, emergency assistance loans, loans to pay for power and water, etc. I have a pretty strong inkling that people won't be living on the streets and eating at soup kitchens if their pay gets delayed. Might your bills have to be paid late? Yeah. Might you have to pay late fees? Yeah, but hopefully not. Everyone in this country is aware of what's going on and if you explain you are a military family being affected, hopefully they have a heart and can give you some grace. Again, if your at risk of being evicted over being late on rent or something...you need to go speak to someone on post about an emergency loan. Plain and simple, there are options.
Does it suck big time? Yeah. Is it massively inconvenient? Yeah. Is it really stupid and aggravating this is happening? Heck yeah...but it's no reason to panic and start freaking out like the world is ending. If anything, perhaps this will cause some to re-evaluate their spending and savings plans and make sure they are on the right track in case of a situation like this. Believe me, I know how hard saving money is. It seems like when I finally get some headway, my car explodes and my savings is once again depleted. BUT...the rule is you should have a minimum of 3 months worth of bills in savings. With the recession, they are suggesting at least 6 months. Easier said than done, but something you might want to consider.
Again, I don't mean to come off as harsh, but people really are acting as if it is the end of the world. Military spouses are some of the strongest folks I know and a check coming late is a drop in the bucket compared to what they have to go through on a day to day basis.