How to Be Unemployed & Still Enjoy Your Life

I just passed the six month mark of quitting my job at the law firm and becoming unemployed in one of the most expensive cities in America. Yeah, I did that. My reason for leaving my great job is simple, I am determined to complete my masters this year.

Working full time and going to school part time was killing me slowly, so I spent a year saving all my extra income to prepare for the time I would spend unemployed. Had my situation been different I probably could have saved a lot less, but since I'm too far from home to live at home and too busy to pick up a part time job, this is how I've managed to be unemployed and still enjoy my life in the city. Living off my savings of course!

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Eat out less, cook more

Even though this is a no brainer, so many people continue to maintain their dining habits when trying to save money. You would be surprised how much you spend on meals and snacks you buy spontaneously. If you have trouble sticking to this, outline a rough meal plan for the week so you can plan when you'll splurge and which meals you'll cook at home.


Attend all the free events

Living in Washington DC, there is a never ending list of free events to attend. While I know how hard it is to find free stuff to do in smaller towns, get creative and enlist the help of your friends to find new places to explore. If you can't get in somewhere for free, do your best to go during the hours when admission is available at a discounted rate.

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Tell your friends your situation

Sure it's not a fun conversation to have, but it's a necessary one. Letting your friends know about your new lifestyle changes will make it easier for them to understand why you're turning down invitations while also enabling them to keep you in mind when they hear about a fun, low cost event.

Use everything you have

It wasn't until I went on a spending ban that I realized just how much stuff I already own. Let me give you an example. A few months ago I decided to not buy a single more hair product, especially because my bathroom seemed to be overflowing with bottles already. It's mid April and I still haven't needed to buy shampoo, conditioner or hair serums. By committing to using what I have, I've emptied out a lot of by vanity and learned what does and doesn't work well with my hair.


Ask yourself if you need something

If impulse shopping was a job, I'd receive a yearly bonus every Christmas. Before quitting my job I couldn't walk into Target without spending at least $40. Nowadays I ask myself if I really need it, and if I do, I wait a full 24 hours before letting myself purchase it. Taking time away from the item usually makes me forget all about it, and if I'm really lucky, I come back to find it on sale.

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Track your spending

Hardest but most important step of all, figuring out where all your money is going. 80% of my monthly spending goes to rent, seriously! The remaining 20% gets divided between food, random crap I find on sale, and loading my commuter card. Since I need to get to and from work, I've made steps to buy less stuff and eat at home more often. By making these small changes I've managed to live comfortably for the past six months with no income.

How do you manage to not spend all your money at Target?? Plus, keep scrolling for more posts on how to save money with little to no income!

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12 comments

  1. Just coming over from the blog boss babe group to say hi! I love your little internet corner! And those tips are so helpful - I spend way too much money on coffee when I could just fill up my to go cup at home for my commute! Lots of love :)

    http://brightandboldlife.com

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    1. Heyyyy girl!! I totally feel you, I spend wayyyy too much money on snacks at CVS, theyre basically on every city block here in DC. I dont always practice what I preach unfortunately.

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  2. Love these tips! Though I'm not unemployed, sometimes it feels it! Lol as a freelancer, my income is totally unreliable and very up and down, so it helps to be on the wearier side when going out/spending money. But it doesn't help that I live two minutes from Target!

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    1. I totally know what you mean, my first job out of college technically paid me but not enough to have any fun. I also live walking distance from Target, basically my happiest place on earth, and I think I've finally nailed not walking inside even though it's on my route home. I miss it though!

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  3. That was super brave of you to make that jump! Sometimes the best way to get comfortable is to get uncomfortable - you have to go through rough patches to get where you want to go.

    I also totally agree about still enjoying your life - it can be tough when you have like no money, but that attitude can get you down really quickly. Love this post!

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    1. I was so freaking nervous to do it, but after a few weeks I realized I needed to readjust to fully enjoy what I hard worked for. Being frugal isnt as hard as I thought it would be, it just requires a little creativity and honesty with yourself and friends

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  4. I'm graduating at the end of year and then I will be unemployed woo. I'm a little concerned about surviving until I find a job so hopefully it doesn't take too long!

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    1. Planning ahead is what made this all possible for me. I spent two months unemployed after graduation but it was the break I needed to start all over with my masters

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  5. Love this post Rubi! Just found your blog through Blog Boss Babe and your blog totally speaks to me! Although I'm not unemployed, in your twenties t's always a good thing to be saving, so I love having reminders of these kind of tips!

    Lauren xx
    laurenloveslaughter.blogspot.com.au
    lau

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    1. Yes, I'm so glad I saved as soon as I got my first job. I never anticipated I would quite my awesome job to finish grad school but it's made my last semester so much easier!!

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  6. Wow, this is super amazing Rubi! I actually quit my job at a law firm last year as well. I started an entry-level position in hospitality soonafter, but truth be told I'd love to create an income from my blog.

    Thanks for the inspiration to always find happiness, and be responsible.

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    1. Okay but truth time, isn't it so hard to give up that law firm paycheck? I may not be struggling but I miss it some days more than others lol. And from the looks of your blog you're gonna reach your goal sooner rather than later! My blog has always been something I never thought of monetizing because I'll never stop being a therapist, but I'm thinking of monetizing it to help pay off these loans! And thank you for all your helpful posts! Followed your advice and joined Awin but I have NO clue on how to use that freaking site.

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