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Aug. 29th, 2007 | 10:51 pm
music: got in a weird mood to hear classical music - mozart, funeral march*



It's the first time in 3 years that I've been out of steady employment, as in, I know my paycheck is coming in 2 weeks, and I know how much it's going to be.  Not that I've been rolling around in piles of money from my Fortune 500 office in the sky, but thinking about October rent is making me a little nervous.  I got hired at a temp agency, and have upped my applications to stupid promotional gigs to "as much as humanly possible," but with those you don't always know if you've got the job until a day or two beforehand. 

Waiters, and waitresses, just how do you get by?  I went up to Bennigans (might be a chicago thing...), the one right across from Millenium Park and asked about a job.   Yeah, they're hiring, but your paycheck is like $80-120 a week?!  Including tips!  Huh?  I made more than that working parttime at a Barrel of Crackas!  Serving the after-church crowd! You know those folks are cheap!  If you can't get decent tips there...I just don't know. 

So anyway, I'm trying to come up with little penny-pinching practices here and there.  For instance, I've taken inventory of all the food presently in the apartment, and am coming up with plans and combinations to eat every single morsel.  For next month, I'm going to try to downgrade my phone to less minutes.  I'm going to clear out my trunk in my car to save on gas money.  No, I don't have cable, but I should probably cancel my Netflix subscription, it's $8.99.  And yes, I'll be headed to the Department of Human Services for food stamps on Friday.  What else can I do?

*no I'm not depressed, okay?  just in a weird classical music mood like it says.

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Comments {6}

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2 cents for 2 cents

from: unscrambled
date: Aug. 30th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
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M-

I'm sorry to hear you're out of work. That shit is stressful. There's this:

http://community.livejournal.com/poor_skills/

but, generally, when I've been tight/broke/out of work, I've done these things:

1. Make a budget. A for real one. With historical costs of bills, food costs, miscellanea, everything. Figure out where the dollars will come from. In the past, I have put actual dollars in labeled envelopes pilfered from the post office, so that I have physical evidence about where the money is going--this of course requires a roommate who won't rip you off, I think yours is solid.

2. Save something ($5, $20, whatever) from every chunk of money you get. Put it away. I know someone who buys money orders, some people use bank accounts, some people use the mattress. There are always emergencies, that shit will fck you when you're doing ok otherwise.

3. Cook in bulk--though it may be on the side of dull to eat the same thing for days at a time, it saves money to buy things that are on the almost-expired rack at the store, cook it all up, and eat it. I don't know if you eat meat, but whole chickens are cheaper than pieces, large packs are cheaper than small ones. Look for sales. If you get sick of eating something, freeze individual portions in the freezer so you can eat them later. Go to Stanley's or some other low cost market, and buy only what is cheapest--don't make a shopping list--bring a list of what you have in your house, and then when you see what's cheap, make a menu with what you already have. Be willing to substitute. Pool your money with other people.

4. Give yourself a treat every now and again. I used to schedule it. $10, every other week, to do whatever I wanted. No guilt. Some version of this is probably possible--for me, this helped to avoid the stress.

5. Take advantage of free meals at bars. For the cost of the drink special, have an all right meal and a drink--it feels like going out!

6. That Bennigan's shit is bullshit. How the fuck can they do that? People have to be swiping tips all the time or else it doesn't make sense.

7. Are you eligible for unemployment? I don't know the circumstances for why you left BT, but that's a possibility.

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martine

Re: 2 cents for 2 cents

from: hbsoul
date: Aug. 31st, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the tips unscrambled. fortunately I've always been a saver, so I already have a savings account built up. I left my job because I have 6-month long trip planned out of the country, but I still have 2 months to sit around Chicago. I'm trying to preserve my savings for the trip, but I've already had to dip into it due to car drama this year. So I have a cushion because my parents passed on their "worrying about the future" gene, but I have also have this dream of living in Venezuela and paying my car note and student loans at the same time.

PS- FREE MEALS AT BARS? HUH? WHERE?

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sorting and sifting

Re: 2 cents for 2 cents

from: unscrambled
date: Aug. 31st, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
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The two main ones I know of are at the Map Room (Hoyne and Armitage) on Tuesdays, where they cater "International" foods and you buy a beer and eat. Luckily the beer is delicious, and they tend to cater good stuff--Ras Dashen, Irazu, Borinquen, etc. The crowd tends to be Beer Guys, who like to pontificate, but if you aren't talking to them, they aren't talking to you. Usually. I've had to give the Look Of Doom (TM) a couple of times, but it's not so bad to cause avoidance of Free Fcking Food. And delicious beer.

The other one is the BBQ (which is pizza in the winter) at Big Chicks (Argyle and Sheridan) on Sundays. In the summer, the line is intense and full of bitchy post-beach queers, but the food is from the owner, who owns Tweet next door, and is thus good-to-delicious. Big Chicks also has $1`burger night (which comes with excellent fries or salad) on Monday.

Ah--the trip sounds exciting--you've mentioned it--I didn't realize it was this close.

I too, obviously, have the must-save thing. I agree--it does have its flip side of non-spontaneity. Ah well, there are trade offs to everything.

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yayoyego

(no subject)

from: yayoyego
date: Aug. 30th, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
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unscrambled advice is about a trillion times better than mine was gon be.

i was just gonna say, slang some weed. but no, yeah, just being responsible with yr money might take you a bit further.

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martine

(no subject)

from: hbsoul
date: Aug. 31st, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
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lol! there's no higher heights than being somebody's weed lady!

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sorting and sifting

(no subject)

from: unscrambled
date: Aug. 31st, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
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That's an option, too. Easier if you're near a large dorm of college students.

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