How to Master the Art of Funemployment
“If I were you, and it was a Monday, I would get drunk and galavant around the city.”
Ha, I freaking wish. But I have to keep it kosher. I’m currently (f)unemployed for the second time while living in NYC, so you can say that I’m a master of making it work.
The first time I was funemplyed, I learned how to interact with toddlers, how to do laundry once a month, and how to hack private wifi spots. I was also much more freaked out about not having a job than I am now. (Probably because I have big plans coming up, which I’ll update you guys with soon.)
If you want to quit or job or you’re scared of getting fired, I’m here to give you some comforting words of rationality that being funemployed is not bad. I mean, who wants to work anyways?
But seriously, I’m not going to make it sound glamorous because it’s not. It’s tough to live in the most expensive city in the world with no job. But there are tips and tricks to make it work that I want to share with you. Because you shouldn’t be scared to be unemployed. It’s the best opportunity to create yourself (and see how clever your survival skills are).
Get a gym membership
And I know this sounds crazy because you want to cut costs, but the gym is the BEST place to stock up on things you might need for your apartment such as towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, toilette paper, wipes, cotton balls, tampons, cotton swabs, hair nets, and razors. You’re probably thinking “what the hell kind of gym does she go to?” I go to Equinox. And it is worth every single penny from my savings. Just look at that list. I never have to buy any of those products. Plus, working out gives you something to do during the day. You can spend time working on your health, or simply do as I do and watch TV, use the free wifi or go for a swim. Oh, and celebs like to go to Equinox during the day. So basically, this is my chance to get discovered, nbd.
Go to Pret A Manger to hang out
Yeah soooo I found out that if you go to Pret and only buy a coffee, the barista will give it to you for free. If you want to get out of the house and work from a coffee shop or want to meet someone for coffee, go to Pret. You’ll save a few dollars that can go toward your gym membership and get hyped up on caffeine that will give you the energy to explore the city.
Get a temporary job
During each round of funemployment, my first instinct was to find a job. Do this quick before diving into anything else. That way you can stay on your feet, even if it’s just a couple hundred dollars a week. During my first round of funemployment, I babysat and learned how to speak to a 2-year old using one word sentences (super valuable for your resume).
Second round of funemployment, I’m working at a restaurant. Being a food writer, I’ve always been curious about how the restaurant industry works. I get a behind the scenes look at the life of an up-and-coming NYC chef (seriously, you will see her on Chef’s Table one day). Plus, she’s always willing to share food and teach me everything I need to know about working in a kitchen.
Ditch the grocery store and take advantage of fruit stands
I’ve probably mentioned this hack in about five other NYC blog posts, but seriously, these fruit stands will save you SO MUCH money. This week, I spent $7 on fruit that will last me all week (4 bananas, 5 apples, 2 boxes of strawberries, 2 oranges). I can make fruit salads, apple with peanut butter, or banana with peanut butter as three separate meals throughout the week. And yes I know, you need to eat more. But that’s where dollar slice pizzas and $0.89 hot dogs from Checkers come in.
I’m still trying to figure this one out/be willing to part ways with some of my belongings. But I know this is a great way to make some extra cash. If anyone has suggestions for where to sell clothes in NYC, I’m all ears.
Take surveys for gift cards
Eh… I don’t entirely support this because filling out surveys is fucking annoying. I took a few surveys and my short attention span kicked in. Before I knew it, I was chasing a puppy down the street. If you’re willing to sit in front of a computer and spend a few hours racking up survey points in exchange for a $10 Amazon gift card, go for it. Cash is cash.
Go on dates
This is easier if you’re a girl, but having time to go on dates with guys and get a few free drinks is…nice. I’m not saying go on dates every night (I totally support that though), but if you need a glass of wine and aren’t willing to buy a bottle, get on Bumble and ask a guy to grab drinks. Hey, you never know. You might actually meet someone you like (lol I hope I’m not getting your hopes up).
Teach yourself a new skill
Like I said before, not having a job is the best way to create yourself. For me, I’ve been investing time learning about how to make this the best blog for you to read. Learn how to cook, learn how to put makeup on, learn how to talk to guys (or girls), learn how to speak French so that you can understand the kids you babysit. It doesn’t matter what you do, but please don’t be a sloth and stay in bed and watch Netflix all day. While being funemployed I grounded myself. I’m not allowed to watch Netflix unless it’s a documentary and I have the opportunity to actually learn something.
It’s easy to forget that opportunities are endless. There is always work to do and ways to earn money. Never view unemployment as a bad thing. View it as a privilege. Because this is your moment to shine.