Living life laid off has changed some things

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, 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.



Filed under Lifestyles, money, Unemployment

3 responses to “Living life laid off has changed some things

  1. girlthursday

    I got laid off in October… the day after I returned from vacation.

    I thought it was just me when it came to spending more money on groceries, etc. But then, I guess when we are home all the time, one does tend to go through stuff a lot quicker.

    My gasoline costs are way down, too. I have only had to fill up my tank once since I was laid off and that’s only because I had to drive 80 miles away from home and back. But you know, I really do need to make an effort to get out of the house more… and get off the Internet and to stop obsessing over job boards. 🙂

  2. The Pink-Slipped Girl

    Just back from vacation? Ouch. At least you were in a relaxed state when you got the bad news. I’m wondering what’s up with letting people come to work for just an hour on a Monday before sending them home? I caught the bus to work that day and had to ask someone for a ride home.

    If you live in a warm place, or if you enjoy the cold, try going for a daily walk. I find fresh air and exercise therapeutic; my back and brain aren’t happy when I stay on the internet obsessing over job boards.

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Mariam…do you think you have a need for a food saver? I know you are cooking only for 1 so you might not need it…but its been the best thing for my family in reducing food spoilage and perserving leftovers and buying in bulk. Let me know…I have an extra one that is an older model and works well (we upgraded). I was thinking of craigslisting it but if you think its something you could use…you are welcome to it.

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