Funemployment Budget


File this one under first world problems, but there are some things I miss from the reckless spending days of full employment.

Eating dinner out:

…as if I’ve completely stopped.  I miss not putting a second thought into having dinner - wherever - with friends. This is the first thing to return when the regular income does.


These used to happen every two weeks. My nails have been bare or poorly painted since March. While I think I’m the only one that actually notices this, I really do miss someone else dealing with my cuticles.

Online shopping:

It has been a weird adjustment not starting my day on Gilt Group or Shopbop. I miss the regular shipments of clothing showing up at the office, and feeling like I’ve saved money on a $400 dress because it used to be $600.

Expensive Exercise Classes:

I am slowly weaning myself off of expensive exercise classes; essentially draining from the bank of classes I purchased before Funemployment. I passionately love Bar Method, Pop Physique, Sweat Garage, Soul Cycle and so on, and very much miss the ability to spend $15-$25/class.

Wine Club Memberships:

I will admit - most of the wine memberships I have signed up for over the years have been under the influence of boozing on a wine tour, and the $50 bottles that arrived on my doorstep quarterly were of the quality I can find at Trader Joe’s for $20.  But there was something so wonderful about a surprise delivery from  Napa every couple of months.

And the things I don’t…

Even when the regular income returns, I’ll be fine staying fiscally responsible in the following areas:

Weekday Lunch Cocktails:

Not that these came THAT often, but there’d be a crappy work day here and there where the 1PM martini(s) was necessary. These were more frequent toward the end. That hasn’t been an expense I’ve needed to incur since working from home, which is psychologically reassuring.

Whole Foods Groceries:

The number of rush trips to Whole Foods on the way home from work to pick up dinner for that night really added up.  It was the closest grocery store on the way home, and the extra 2 miles to get to Ralph’s or Trader Joe’s was too much when it was 7:30 and I was starving.  Not only has Trader Joe’s installed itself a half a block closer than the Whole Foods recently (talk about destiny), but my pre-planned grocery shopping trips and coupons are saving me a bundle with no real sacrifice attached.

Take Out Lunch:

Take out lunch is never good. I think this is the case no matter where you live in the world. It’s generally ordered around 2:30, well after the lunch hunger has set in, and is ordered from a list of the same five restaurants because you’re too hungry/busy to look up something new that delivers to the office.  All five restaurants are fine on the first go around, but not good enough to be the weekly thing they’ve become. And somehow, fries are always involved. The calorie count is higher than the lunch you would have prepared if you had time, and with the restaurant-driven delivery fee (that doesn’t actually go to the delivery person), and then the tip to the delivery person (which better be good because you’ll be seeing them every week), it’s an expense that adds nothing to your quality of life (unless you like having a fat ass). I do not miss take out lunch, or the portion of my fat ass that has disappeared since i stopped ordering it.

Dry Cleaning:

I was a weekly regular at my dry cleaner. If they had a wall of head shots for their favorite non-famous customers, I just know I’d be up there. Without all of my “dress to be profesh” dry clean only numbers, I am very rarely at the dry cleaner these days. Perhaps this is an area where they miss me, but I’ve been doing just fine without them.