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Coast Guard removes page telling workers garage sales can help survive government shutdown

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class William Dube, a basic aircrewman trainee for the HC-130J Super Hercules, boards the aircraft to prepare for a training flight in Kodiak, Alaska, Sept. 6, 2018. Since the Super Hercules arrived to Kodiak, training flights are being conducted to ensure all Hercules personnel will get qualified in their respective aircrew position. (Petty Officer 1st Class Charly Hengen/U.S. Coast Guard)
January 10, 2019

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has removed a tip sheet that directed employees to hold garage sales and start babysitting to survive the partial government shutdown that has left thousands of members without pay.

The five-page tip sheet titled “managing your finances during a furlough” was first reported by the Washington Post and includes other suggestions for Coast Guard employees, including tutoring, turning “your hobby into income” and becoming a mystery shopper at grocery stores to supplement income.

The sheet was part of the Coast Guard’s support program, which offers assistance to employees needing help with counseling, legal services and mental health. It was taken down Wednesday evening.

“The information in this document does not reflect the Coast Guard’s current efforts to support its workforce during the lapse,” Coast Guard spokesman Chad Saylor told USA TODAY. “It has been removed from the CG Support website.”

The tip sheet offers a seven-step program for employees of the Coast Guard, which is run under the Department of Homeland Security, unlike other branches of the military.

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It offers a plan for employees who are furloughed, meaning a temporary unpaid leave that’s typical during a government shutdown like the current 19-day shutdown due to an impasse over $5.7 billion requested by President Donald Trump for a wall along the southern U.S. border. The sheet was geared toward the Coast Guard’s civilian workforce, which the Post notes has 8,500 employees that are currently being furloughed.

About 41,000 active Coast Guard members are also working without pay, the Post reported, noting their next paycheck is Jan. 15.

The sheet told employees to find out more about a furlough, examine their expenses then start cutting back on expenses to survive without pay. Step four in the sheet lists ways to supplement income.

“Finding supplemental income during your furlough period might be challenging, but here are a few ideas for adding income,” the sheet notes, listing garage sales and babysitting.

The sheet then tells employees to be honest with landlords and creditors about their situation and avoid relying on credit cards to get them through, noting large interest rates.

The Coast Guard, in its last tip, urges employees to seek help with finding a new job or getting help through a temporary furlough. The last option, the Coast Guard notes, could be declaring bankruptcy.

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© 2019 USA Today

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.