Average Jane



Lessons from Unemployment: Fans, Friends, Coax, and Eggs

This round of not-so-employed-ment has been a little more difficult than last time. My rent is exponentially higher and my motivation is slightly lower. I find that I may have had a set amount of job search energy for the year, and I used mine up first quarter. That being said, I have been inspired by said unemployment to re-examine the cost of my life and start to make some serious changes.  Here are a few you might be able to adopt if, ya know, quality of life isn’t on the very top of your list.

1) Buy a fan. About a month ago, I turned off my air conditioning. As anyone who knows me can attest, my ideal temperature is 83 degrees. Indoors. Below that, I freeze. I had a space heater under my desk at work, wore fingerless gloves for typing, and was admonished by a former boss for wearing a turtleneck in July. However, as I speak it’s 85 degrees in my tiny little apartment and mama’s a little warm. I have the world’s most awesome fan in my bedroom. Why is it the world’s most awesome fan? Because it works. And it was fucking free. And free things that work are gifts from God (or mom or Freecycle. See also: food processor. Incidentally, did you know Elmer’s Glue is mostly water/food proof? And apparently non-toxic? Free things that work sometimes have cracks to fix and stuff.) So my bedroom is a livable temperature but I’m schvitzing like a polar bear in Nappa Valley sitting here in my living room. Question: Is it worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely. My Dominion Power bill, a lofty $101 last month, was a “cool” $45 when it arrived today. Hallelujah. Could there possibly be a downside? Um… apparently house guests aren’t a fan of my fan-only cooling system. I do kick on the air so as not to run off prospective gentleman suitors. This involves some pre-planning/hoping/jinxing. Also apparently, 78 degrees is still not cool enough for boys. Fuck em. When they start paying my bills they can turn the AC as low as they want 🙂

2) Get Crafty with Coax. There was about a week before I left my job where I decided not to turn on my TV. I wanted to see if I could live without cable. One day I’d like to buy a house (or new speakers for my car) and even before this job went to hell, I wasn’t saving a penny. As it turned out, I could in fact live without cable, although the Internet was another story. That would have to stay no matter how bad it got. So when I lost my job, I pulled the plug. Literally. I was sad. Very sad. It felt like my dog died except I don’t have a dog and I did have cable. On a lark, I tried turning on the TV to see if maybe they had taken pity on me and left it on. Shockingly enough, they did not. On a second lark, I went into the bedroom, turned that TV on, and wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, it worked. Taking to Twitter, I found out that this wasn’t a mistake. If you don’t cancel the Internet, they leave the cable line hot. It took me a week to stop being an idiot and go to Home Depot to buy 50′ of cable and a splitter. See, I have this fuckoff huge TV mounted to my wall in the 85 degree living room, and I felt like watching TV in here was a slightly better plan than living in my bed so I wouldn’t miss West Wing or any of the 12 hours of court shows throughout the day. For the week I did live in bed, I found myself sleeping way too much, and being very depressed. It’s amazing what a panacea coax cable can be. Was it worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely. Cable bill before: $120+. Cable bill now: around $40. Win.  I worry a little that it’ll all come crumbling down on me, but for now I just have to be happy I can watch Paula Deen and blog about life on the cheap.

3) Adjust Your Palate. I eat pretty frugally. Frozen veggies. Canned tuna. But I have expensive taste in protein. I like things skinless. Boneless. Fatless. And perfectly portioned for my ease of use. Seeing as how that doesn’t come cheap, I’ve resorted to some cheaper options. Namely, eggs and protein shakes. Granted, not all protein powders are inexpensive, I sub out a dinner a week with a frothy shake of loveliness and save a few pennies here and there. But eggs? I can’t really think of a bad things to say about them. I mean, they are slightly less tasty than I’d like since I’m proud to be salt-shaker free these days. But cheap bastards can’t be choosers. Ya know?

4) Find a Friend with WAY TOO MANY Clothes… and Go Shopping! I have a new awesome friend who happens to have a bit of a shopping habit. I support this habit unconditionally as it means mama gets a bag full of clothing for the summer season. She told me to “just wait” for winter. She actually has two whole wardrobes and has to wait to unload that one until she unpacks it! Two wardrobes!!! Amazing.

I’m trying to stay human. I’m trying to stay entertained. I’m going to visit my family down the shore in Atlantic City this weekend. While the actual act of spending 3 days with my family could kill me, It’s going to be free once I get there. And I hear they keep the AC on.

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  1. * Eva says:

    If you have a Costco card, you should also check them out for your protein needs. They have fairly inexpensive meat and you can generally get some organic and pre-packaged for your conveinance (well with some ziploc bags). They ususally have really good chicken sausages, salmon and they just started carrying large packs of boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts. Then I divide the meat up into meal sized portions and stick it in the freezer. Then it is all set and ready to go.

    | Reply Posted 8 years ago


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