Author Topic: Washington Post's spendy advice for furloughed federal employees  (Read 4065 times)

Frugal_in_DC

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One of the blog posts featured on the main page of the WaPo's site mentions that the federal government shutdown won't end anytime soon.  Facing possibly weeks without pay, what advice does the Post have for feds?  Why, that's also featured front and center on their website under the headline "Things to do during shutdown" - go spend money on entertainment!:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/posts-critics-recommend-venues-offering-worthy-pursuits-amid-government-shutdown/2013/10/01/5bebd9c0-2ad2-11e3-b139-029811dbb57f_story.html?hpid=z2

It makes me wonder how many of the venues and movie distributors mentioned in the article are Post advertisers. 

What a missed opportunity to feature advice like getting finances in order, tackling long-term projects at home, starting or maintaining a fitness routine, doing volunteer work, exploring free sources of entertainment, even seriously looking into non-federal jobs in areas with low cost of living. 

Yet another example of why it's best to go on a low infotainment diet.


Riceman

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Re: Washington Post's spendy advice for furloughed federal employees
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 06:29:26 AM »
Recommending local arts, including one free concert, in the lifestyle section is considered inappropriate? You've gone off the deep end. All life does not revolve around personal finance. If it did, the world would be poorer for it.

Wanna B Free

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Re: Washington Post's spendy advice for furloughed federal employees
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 08:07:54 AM »
Overheard yesterday at my government contractor job. "If we get furloughed, how will we pay for our mortgages?" Ummmm, howabout from your emergency savings? The person who said this makes over 100k/year and has no excuse for not having that kind of savings stashed somewhere.

stevesteve

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Re: Washington Post's spendy advice for furloughed federal employees
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 11:10:14 PM »
Recommending local arts, including one free concert, in the lifestyle section is considered inappropriate? You've gone off the deep end. All life does not revolve around personal finance. If it did, the world would be poorer for it.

I'm with you, but I do still see a bit of irony of reporting in a few articles (at least in quotes) the problems of furloughed workers paying mortgages and then offering mostly paid events.  I understand it's the style section and they are just using the shutdown as an excuse to write about local events, but I find the disconnect telling.  A lot of the time the news is reporting talk about how hard it is to survive when furloughed/laid off and then when they recommend activities they're (mostly) paid.  I'm not sure how they'd improve it for this piece without sermonizing about the need for employees to save which would be a bit silly in the style section.

Example:
Quote
“ A ‘temporary inconvenience’ is when there is a delay on the Metro, or when an elevator is out of service,” she said. “Many of the federal workers, such as myself, who will be furloughed live paycheck to paycheck. . . . Not having that paycheck is not a temporary inconvenience.” She said she found the characterization “disgusting and insulting.”

“Federal workers are not just some abstract concept, but they are actual, real, flesh-and-blood people — who are currently wondering how we are going to pay the mortgage, pay utilities, pay for gas, and put food on the table,” her e-mail continued. “It’s not a game to us. GET IT? We are PEOPLE, not bargaining chips.”

galliver

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Re: Washington Post's spendy advice for furloughed federal employees
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2013, 12:22:31 AM »
Fundamental error: that article wasn't for or (directly) about the furloughed federal employees. It was about how many of DC's cultural attractions are closed since they are government-run (e.g. the Smithsonian), and offering alternatives to those who would like to go out. It said nothing like "hey federal workers since you're not working here are some things to do."

I don't think the arts fall under "rampant consumerism" or are anti-Mustachian, necessarily. Professional theatre productions can be as mind-blowing as a gorgeous mountain vista, but in a different way. And I'm sure music (I'm talking classical, not rock concerts) affects some people the same way. It's one of those cases of values spending. You save on things that don't really add to your happiness in order (in part) to spend on the things that do.

Zamboni

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Re: Washington Post's spendy advice for furloughed federal employees
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2013, 06:31:48 AM »
^Yes, there is so much free, government sponsored entertainment in DC (dozens of museums, monuments, the zoo) that I think that was more intended to offer similar entertainment alternatives to local people.  Most of the people who read that paper are NOT furloughed, after all.