by Mariam Williams
Pink is a color that I wear quite well. It doesn’t look so hot on a piece of paper, but living life laid off isn’t so bad. (BTW – my termination letter wasn’t pink; it was white.) Because my salary at my previous job was an insult to what someone with my education, talent, and work ethic should have been making, I had already learned how to live off of pennies. But a few things have changed:
- Something I had to curtail before it even started: regular hair appointments. I wanted to become one of those get-my-hair-done-every-two-weeks women. That would be about $100 a month. Decided against that.
- I spend more money on groceries now. I go through items like soap, toilet paper, and paper towels more quickly. I think I’m also instinctively stocking up on food because something in me tells me the unemployment checks will run out before I find a new job.
- I’ve also become a coupon maniac, saving no less than $5 every time I go to the grocery store. The largest amount I’ve ever saved in coupons was about $15. It took the grocery bill down from $32 to $17. I think the coupon frenzy is my outlet for that uniquely womanly need to conquer the retail industry by finding the best possible sale price. Saving 75% on a shirt from Dillard’s would make me feel guilty. Saving 50% on groceries [that I don’t need] makes me feel practical.
- I spend less on transportation. Instead of paying for gas and parking downtown, or bus fare when I didn’t want to bother with traffic or parking and when gas was over $4 a gallon, I only pay for gas, which is now down to around $1.80 a gallon. I also rarely drive more than 10 miles a day.
- That 10 miles is round trip to the gym. It does kind of suck to not be within walking distance of the downtown YMCA anymore, but I do quite like Zumba classes at noon, and I don’t know what I’ll do without them when I go back to full-time work.
- I give less money to my church, but there’s no real excuse for that one. My tithe has decreased because my gross income was cut in half. But since I’m not having taxes taken out of the unemployment checks, and I was making pennies before, I could make up the difference by giving to general offering and probably still not go broke.
- I’ve learned to like cold, inside my apartment. The thermostat hovers around 65 degrees. I stay in one room – the office, also the smallest room in the house – and let an amazing little heater work its magic. I think it also saves me around $50 a month.
Monetarily, that’s how I’m living life laid off.
© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.