Sequestration cuts sinking in for local families

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, March 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "Used to they said that was one of the best things about being in the military is that at the end of the month, you always got paid, but that's not necessarily true anymore," admitted Jason Hillman, the financial course coordinator.

It's a tough reality for DOD civilians and a lot of federal programs, now that sequestration has kicked in.

"I would have never in my wildest dreams in military service, thought you were going to furlough the DOD civilians," Rick VanKluyve said.

VanKluyde is retired Army. Now he works at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon.

"If the furlough happens, I'm out a $1,000 a month. So, I don't know whose budget can take a $1,000 a month," he said.

The new cuts are putting new stress on his own budget.

"I have $6,000 to make up in a little less than five months, and if I don't, then I'll be going over to Walmart, and if you need a greeter or a stocker, whatever I need. I've got bills to pay and a family to take care of," VanKluyde said.

That's why all these families have been gathering at Providence Baptist Church to take a financial course together, all trying to save money despite the heavy pay cuts.

"If I would have been told this six months ago, I would be totally freaking out. Right now, I'm putting my faith in my God and with this program," VanKluyde said.

"As a class, we've managed to pay off over $50,000 in debt and save right at $43,000," Hillman said.

Michael Jones is a linguist on Fort Gordon. He says because of this course, his family will be able to handle the loss.

"You can set yourself up for it, even when there's something like the sequestration or some sort of economic downturn, nobody can take your money from you," he said.

That's the drill now for a lot of local families, military and civilian.

The group at Providence Baptist Church was following Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Wednesday was the last class of this session, but they'll be starting a new class on May 2 at 6:30 p.m.


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