Business

The shutdown’s lesson: You need an emergency fund

A man protested the government shutdown in front of the US Capitol.
A man protested the government shutdown in front of the US Capitol.Credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

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Let the government shutdown serve as a wake-up call: You need an emergency fund.

Thousands of government workers were out of work for more than two weeks, causing many of them to fall behind on bills. Although they will receive back pay, the event highlights how quickly, and unexpectedly, financial situations can change. The shutdown also showed no jobs are safe — not even government positions, which are normally thought of as the safest.

Most financial advisers say you should be prepared to go without a paycheck for several months. Here’s what you need to know about building that safety fund.

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