Burr has started a GoFundMe account to raise money and said if the shutdown continues much longer she won't be able to make her February rent. In the meantime, she's discontinued her Netflix subscription and is cutting back on grocery shopping.
"I wake up every day hoping this will get resolved," Burr said. "I just want to get back to work."
The uncertainty around when the government will reopen is the most taxing, said David Arvelo, a health communications specialist at the Food and Drug Administration. He's been out of work since the shutdown began. "It's very difficult to figure out how long we can survive with the savings we have," Arvelo, 55, said.
He and his husband, Ian, have avoided eating out in the Dallas area and are using the food supply they have already.
"Very fortunately my mother got us for Christmas Omaha Steaks and a bunch of food," he said. "We're trying to go through those things."
Doreen Greenwald, a revenue officer at the IRS, is scrambling to figure out how to pay her mortgage this month. "Mortgage companies don't accept an IOU," Greenwald, 52, said.
She'll either borrow money from a family member or go into debt, she said. "I have small savings, but it's not going to make a difference in this mess."
She's now considering picking up a part-time retail job until the government reopens.
"People think you're not working, it's a vacation," she said. "You don't have money. You're just waiting."