If you missed a paycheck, how much would that threaten your family’s financial situation? That’s the question that became a reality for hundreds of thousands of federal workers in the most recent government shutdown. Unexpectedly, the shutdown highlighted a massive issue in American life: most working professionals—even federal workers—are living paycheck to paycheck and need every source of financial relief possible to make ends meet.
Two statistics get at the heart of what the government shutdown revealed. A 2018 report from the Federal Reserve found that 4-in-10 Americans couldn’t afford a $400 emergency