Shutdown’s Over! How Do You Recover Financially?

Now that President Donald Trump and Congress agreed to end the longest government shutdown in United States history, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are on their way back to work—at least for the next three weeks.

However, those employees have not received a paycheck for 35 days. That leaves 800,000 people who need to recover about an average of $5,600 in wages from the shutdown. While Congress and Trump passed legislation in early January guaranteeing furloughed workers will receive pay retroactively, it did not spell out specifically when that pay would come.

To help financially recover from being furloughed, government employees have many options to earn extra income after business hours or on the weekend.

Make extra money with a food delivery gig

Gigs with companies such as DoorDash, SkipCart, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Caviar or Hungr can be a flexible opportunity to earn extra cash. Drivers, who deliver food from either grocery stores or restaurants, set their own schedule and their own terms and can earn between $15 to $25 per hour.

These companies require potential drivers to complete an application. Then, applicants can wait up to five days to be approved. Most of these gigs require drivers to have an iPhone or Android, access to a vehicle, driving experience, a valid U.S. driver’s license and to pass a background check.

Work from home with a flexible gig

Government employees with a personal computer or mobile device and time to work before or after their job can make extra money with a work-from-home gig. For example:

  • DScout pays people up an average of $15 per opportunity to share their experiences by answering multiple choice and short answer questions and sharing photos and videos.
  • Userlytics offers single gig or on-demand opportunities that can pay between $5 and $90 to participate in user testing and provide feedback and suggestions.
  • Whatusersdo pays up to $5 per test to review and try company websites.
  • Spare5 provides opportunities for users to earn between $8 and $12 per hour to do small web tasks on a computer. There are a wide variety of tasks, and most require users to identify things that computers can’t see, such as audio, video and image files.

Walk dogs and earn extra cash

Dog lovers who need to make extra money in their spare time can check out Wag!, an on-demand app that matches dog owners and dog walkers. Dog walkers can earn up to $30 per hour and set their own schedule. Wag! requires potential users to fill out an application and pass a background check that comes with a $25 fee. If the app’s not an option, check out local community boards or ask around to see if some needs help walking Fido.

Get paid to charge scooters

Both Bird and Lime pay between $5 and $20 per scooter per night to charge electric scooters. Both companies require potential gig workers to complete an application, which can take up to a week to approve. Scooter chargers for Bird must have an iPhone or Android, helmet for scooter driving, and Lime also requires reliable transportation and a valid U.S. driver’s license.

Hop to it and get paid for doing household tasks

TaskRabbit gig workers can set their own rates and schedules to do a variety of home improvement and home upkeep tasks. Some tasks include furniture assembly, handyman help, house cleaning, moving assistance or doing deliveries. Potential TaskRabbits must fill out an application that takes about 20 minutes to complete and can be approved in about a week. They must also have an iPhone or Android, a high-quality profile photo and be able to pass a background check and attend onboarding session.

Find work offline

While many apps offer opportunities to find paying gigs quickly, don’t discount asking friends and neighbors if they need help with some of the above tasks. By finding flexible, on-demand gigs, government employees can recover financially from the recent furlough and gain a new set of skills that could help in the future.