Local families react as Coast Guard encourages them to take up dog walking during government shutdown

Posted at 11:03 AM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 18:13:35-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - There's no end in sight to the government shutdown and now families need to start planning ahead, but at what cost?

This week, Coast Guard members were given a list of "tips" to help them navigate their finances. They were told they can become dog walkers, mystery shoppers and even babysitters.

Related: Coast Guard takes down tip sheet suggesting furloughed employees have garage sales, baby-sit

In one instance, it was recommended that they hold garage sales to compensate for their loss of income.

The Coast Guard's tip sheet for managing finances during the shutdown

One local veteran whose husband is active duty in the Coast Guard received the papers. She said reading them was like a slap in the face: "[My husband is] not getting paid, but he still works every day so there is no time for him to get a part-time job, and I’m already working. So we’re doing what we can with what we’ve got, but it’s not going to be enough for very long.”

A professor of economics at Old Dominion University said that families should try to avoid dipping into their savings account for as long as possible. He also advises against borrowing money because of the interest that may be charged.

One woman, who didn't want to be identified, told News 3 that if there isn't a resolution soon she may have to take her kids out of day care.

"If it comes down to it, we're going to have to beg my husband's command to see if he can take leave to take them out of daycare so that I can work. I'm the only one bringing in any money to keep us afloat," she said.

Related: Local government workers face tough choices with no pay as shutdown continues 

Her family has already had to cancel cable and they are scraping the bottom of the barrel just to get by.

After push back for these tips on managing furlough, the Coast Guard deleted the document from their website.

The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military affected by the partial government shutdown because they are funded by the Department of Homeland Security and not the Department of Defense.