3 Ways a Government Shutdown Could Hurt Your Family

If Congress can't compromise by midnight Friday, here's a rundown of the headaches headed your way

Google “government shutdown effects” and you get over 850,000 results. Clearly, there’s a lot of information to sift through out there. We combed through it all and pinpointed three ways your family could be impacted if a deal isn’t reached in time.

(Wondering what’s causing all this stagnation anyway? President Obama has been meeting with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss ongoing negotiations on a funding bill that Congress has yet to agree on, mostly due to certain policy issues like abortion services, healthcare and the environment.)

Here’s what to expect:

1. No class trip to the zoo or state park. If you child has an upcoming field trip to a government-run museum or national park, you’d better start managing expectations now, as a shutdown means those employees would be furloughed. (Bonus: One less permission slip to remember to sign.)

2. Possible loss of pay, if you or your partner works as a federal employee or government contractor. Much like the closure of zoos and state parks, all “nonessential” federal employees also would be furloughed as their places of work temporarily close. Prepare your household budget for the potential loss of income from a day’s work, as these employees also would likely not receive back pay for the days they were not allowed to work. Members of the military also should expect a temporary loss: Soldiers would get their back pay but civilians might not, one report says.

3. No tax return -- unless you filed electronically. A shutdown would put an end to the processing of paper income tax filings as those nonessential employees also would be furloughed. You, however, are still expected to pay on time. (The United States Post Office is self-funded, so those services would not stop in the event of a shutdown.)

Here’s to hoping that President Obama and the members of Congress can come to a resolution soon, otherwise they’ll be hurting much more than just their image and agendas.

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