9Y7NZB5KS5AG By now, most of you have heard about the government shutdown. We cannot do anything to change the situation or to bring the Congress closer to a resolution. However, this shutdown is definitely a reminder of how important it is for young voters to be informed about the political process. Disruptions in income or government services can have real impacts on those of us who only recently began our careers and are still in the beginning stages of building a solid economic foundation for ourselves. Whether or not you are directly impacted by this shutdown, the shutdown does highlight a few topics for new grads to be paying increased attention to:

1. VOTING: Regardless of your political views, ensure that you exercise your right to vote. Elect officials who you believe will guide America down the wisest path. We may be frustrated with the lack of compromise in Washington right now, but we the people have an opportunity to choose the next group of decision makers during the next election.

2. Local Politics: While the spotlight is definitely on Washington right now, many states and municipalities are experiencing similar budgetary struggles. Stay informed on how well your State and local officials are governing. Often, their actions have a more immediate impact on your community than the actions of the President and the Congress in DC. Services like schools, libraries, trash pickup, road improvement, homeless shelters, and community healthcare are often funded at the State and Local levels. So keep an eye on these officials as well.

3. SAVINGS: It is always a great idea to keep an emergency fund for unexpected events that happen. Just like the government is experiencing a shutdown, private companies can also encounter financial hardships. Jobloss is something we all want to avoid, but try to contribute to a personal emergency fund each month just in case.

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Jonathan (a.k.a. Newgrad23) is a recent college graduate with a passion for helping Millennials take charge of their career and finances from Day 1 after college. He enjoys blogging and listening to personal finance podcasts. When he's not doing that, you can catch him at local sporting events, music festivals, and near the best food trucks the city has to offer.
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