one girl’s guide to surviving unemployment



counting pennies

Seriously.  This should go without saying, but if you’ve been living high on the hog (or even medium on the hog) you’re used to spending.

Get un-used to it.  It will take discipline and will force you to make choices, but it will save you considerable heartburn when you need to pay bills.

The money diet will be easy at first – chances are that in the first week or two, you’ll be too petrified to spend anything.  The key to success in this endeavor is to be stringent for the long term.

An easy way to do this?  Write down EVERYTHING you spend money on.  If possible, take out a small amount of cash from your bank account for incidentals. When it’s gone, you’re done.

Also, watch out for what I call the “creepers:” cups of coffee, songs on iTunes, magazines at the grocery store, etc.  Yep, they’re low-cost purchases.  But they can get out of control VERY quickly.  (Two lattes, one People, two new iTunes: about $15.)  Read the mags at your public library, make coffee at home, and write down all the songs  you want to buy and then reward yourself with a kick-ass music collection to listen to when you get your new job.

And hang in there.  You’ll be employed soon, I promise, and then you can go back to spending as usual (although with the economizing habits you’ll adopt during this process you will likely spend less when you do have the dough again).  

Next up?  Controlling spending on food, without subsisting on Ramen noodles.

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