Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Coastguard’s TipSheet For Furloughed Employees – It’s A Copy From A Debt Management Company

The Coastguard had up on one of its websites a little tipsheet for employees who had been furloughed – have a garage sale, try to do some babysitting, try out being a mystery shopper. Not bad advice for people who are now suddenly without an income but this is making some people more than a tad irate. How very dare they and so on.

The thing is, that tip sheet is really just a copy – lightly edited perhaps – of something put out by a debt management company. Perhaps you’d prefer the description of debt consolidation company. And yes, these are exactly the sorts of things that such companies do advise. Try to gain a little more income, a side hustle or two, maybe that’s all you need to get out of current money troubles.

I have to admit, mystery shopper wouldn’t be high on my list of money makers. It’s something I’ve done – journalists research all sorts of things by going doing them – and it’s a pretty good way of getting a free burger meal, actual cash money not quite so much.

Still, the point is that this Coastguard document isn’t really entirely from the Coastguard. Which seems fair enough, the Coastguard are the people who know how to drive ships near the coastline, how to rescue people from drowning, all that good stuff. They’re not usually though of as a repositary of knowledge of how to survive a furlough or, indeed, any other financial crisis. So, their just loading up a tipsheet from elsewhere seems entirely fair really, doesn’t it?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Coast Guard takes down tip sheet suggesting furloughed employees have garage sales, baby-sit[/perfectpullquote]

Well, OK.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]According to the Post, the five-page tip sheet encouraged furloughed employees to “be creative” and offered ideas for supplementing income like “have a garage sale – clean out your attic, basement and closets at the same time,” and “turn your hobby into income.”
Selling items online, baby-sitting, walking pets, tutoring and becoming a “mystery shopper” were all suggested ways to help employees cope with what is now the second-longest government shutdown in modern political history.[/perfectpullquote]

Useful advice even if not entirely sufficient.

Still, here’s what purports to be that Coastguard document:

[scribd id=397140587 key=key-59lH1j94x8LxEvqeCBB0 mode=scroll]

And here’s what I take to be the original, from a debt consolidation/management company called Apprisen.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Incorporating furloughed days into your personal budget may seem
like a challenging task today. The best-laid plans for paying bills on
time, saving regularly and keeping credit in good shape might be put
to the test.
Having a strategy to address anticipated financial issues will help you feel more in control of your money
management decisions. You may have to temporarily make changes in the way you handle your finances, but by
following these steps, you’ll be more likely to get quickly back on track when the furlough period is over.
• Step 1: Understand the Details – Find Out the Specifics of Your Furlough
• Step 2: Crunch the Numbers – Assess Your Current Situation
• Step 3: Get Lean – Prioritize Your Spending
• Step 4: Supplement Your Income – Look into Getting a Temporary Part Time Job
• Step 5: State the Facts – Communicate with Your Creditors
• Step 6: Avoid the Credit Trap – Handle Credit Issues Wisely
• Step 7: Don’t Go It Alone – Tap into Community Resources[/perfectpullquote]

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Bankruptcy is a last option. Often during financially difficult times, people feel they have no other option but to
file bankruptcy. While bankruptcy provides protection from your creditors and can be the right decision for some,
you should consider all other options available to you first. Certified credit counselors at Apprisen can help you
review your situation and consider possible solutions[/perfectpullquote]

Yeah, one of those documents is the original of the other. And yes, I do think it’s the coastguard who pinned up the debt management company one. And to be honest, it’s not all entirely bad advice, either.

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ian parkinson
ian parkinson
5 years ago

Here is a tip:

Enjoy the time off. Even though they won’t be at work the senate is trying to pass a bill so that all money that would normally be paid is paid – so this is a timing issue not a loss. I believe this is standard practice (haven’t fully researched).

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