It's now week number three with no job. I get up at 10, I get to eat a real breakfast, I get to watch late night TV. And I get to do whatever fulfills me creatively in between. Jealous?
A lot of that involves a lot of writing at Starbucks. Not on this blog, of course. By the way, would any of you be interested in reading a travel literature book about wandering around and teaching English in China? A kind of little girl meets big Communist world with Eat, Pray, Love-ish, self-discovery characteristics? If so, please leave me a comment after this post. I'd like to know if I'm wasting my time or not.
Unfortunately this creative pursuit doesn't seem to pay, for now at least. So I have an announcement everyone...I'm broke! And living in this fickle little world where everyone who seems to win, wins big, and the rest of us just have to muddle through, I assume a few more of you are too.
Here's what I've learnt so far from trying to live a frugal but fulfilling lifestyle. It's only been a few weeks I know, but I have previous experience. Let me know if I'm missing anything.
JEN'S TOP TEN: HOW TO LIVE WHEN YOU'RE PRACTICALLY PENNILESS
1. There's a reason cars suck: You can't drive them if you're poor. Gas is like gold.Don't get behind the wheel if you are unemployed, only the passenger seat.
2. Always order the lunch special. Or the dinner special, breakfast special. Anything on special. You don't have the luxury to order off the menu anymore. Why should you anyway? Are you the QUEEN OF ENGLAND?
(I know, I shouldn't be going out to lunch, dinner or breakfast. But I need to get out of the house or else my little brain will go crazy. I eat about one meal a day out of the house, and it's a special, so it's not so bad)
3. Bring an old tumbler and refillable water bottle with you everywhere. Coffee will be cheaper, and water should be free. Just look around for the fountain.
4. When walking the streets, always keep your head down. Not because you should be ashamed that you're a jobless hobo, but there might be money down there.
5. Always have a date on Saturday night. You'll feel like a normal working person who needs to unwind on the weekends, plus your date will probably pay.
6. Set up a Facebook group for dumpster diving in your area. You never know what's out there, for free. You just have to dive for it.
7. Rummage through your storage boxes. You'll never know what you're gonna find. Old tote bags that match an old pair of shorts you haven't worn in a few summers, sandals you forgot you owned, CDs, DVDs....the possibilities are endless.
8. Nothing says "romantic dinner" like homemade beans on toast!
9. Go for a hike instead of a cocktail. No mountains to hike? Then go for a walk. Bored on your walk? Bring your dog with you. Don't have a dog? Sign up to be a volunteer dog walker at the animal shelter.
10. Just be true to you. And one day a paycheck will come your way that you'll be proud of.
*Also, a year ago today, I was in southern China lounging by a hotel pool with a good friend. We drank Tsingtao, ate Canton food, and watched Pay Per View. I guess today I'll have to settle for Montreal sunshine, lunch at Burritoville with my laptop and afternoon Santropol coffee
Labels: canton, china, frugal, Montreal, poverty, swimming pool, travelwriting, Tsingtao