I haven’t been employed since sometime in September. I’m handling this really well for who I am — someone who has panicked about finding myself unfortunately unemployed since I started working steadily at age 19. I would like to give all the credit to the hard work I put in with the Professionals over the last two years. Also, Josh is supportive both financially and emotionally. For someone who isn’t feeling super religious currently, I believe that not working was the right thing because it enabled me to be in the right places this October and November. I definitely feel like there was a greater plan at work, and I feel so grateful.

#blessedtobeunemployed

But, I’m still Jillian Sue, and worrying about finances is just part of my personality. (As you would be aware if you have read this blog for more than a hot second.) I’m keeping track of my spending in a more unusual way now. It is a bit of a “one in; one out” policy. Below is a list of “outs” that were unnecessary and avoidable. I am not happy about these “purchases.”

-$134.95: Losing my five year old Ray-Bans in Barnsley, England
-$135: Having the Wagoneer towed from Baby Jane’s apartment’s parking lot for parking without a permit even though I had been told multiple times I didn’t need a permit for that lot. Grrr, punch!
-$50: tickets to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at 9:30 Club. I couldn’t sell these OR GIVE THEM AWAY FOR FREE on Craigslist when I ended up double booked that night (the show I went to instead was awesome and I have no regrets)
-$50: I let ANOTHER free gift card expire in September and didn’t realize it until November

That is roughly $370 in unnecessary loses.

BUT! I didn’t take this sitting down (in front of the ION Television Law & Order marathon on Wednesdays). Here is how I saved us money, or the “ins.”

+$471.95: Hotels.com for 3 nights in a hotel in New York City. Josh’s friend had a gorgeous wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park City this past weekend. The very nice, heavily discounted wedding rate at the hotel was $279 a night. Back in July, when a younger and more fancy-free Team McJohnson booked the hotel, $970.96 (total with taxes) seemed like a reasonable treat. Last week’s unemployed half of Team McJohnson went to Hotels.com and booked 3 nights at the DoubleTree, which was just a 7 minute walk from the Ritz. The pre-paid rate was $517 (total with taxes), but Hotels.com was 4% back on Ebates. We saved any additional $17.99 with Ebates cashback.

+$42.28: speaking of Ebates, my November payment came. This payment was for all items that were “necessary” — Halloween costume suppplies, Wagoneer supplies. Sometimes I feel like my Ebates cashback check just rewards my frivolous spending, but not this time.

+$42.25: (why are so many of the amounts in this post the same/similar?) In July, I took a load of clothes to Mint Condition, a resale shop in Old Town Alexandria. EVERYTHING.I.BROUGHT.THEM.SOLD!!! (Separate post coming on that.) They sent me a paper check for the last item that sold since I spent the rest of my credit in August on new work clothes for the job I no longer have.

+$200 (at least): I get a cut ‘n color every 6-8 weeks on a pretty regular schedule. I’ve had this routine since 2009. In September, before we went to London on our adventure, my salon closed temporarily for renovations. I knew this in August, when I had my hair done for the Grand Canyon adventure. My plan, while still employed, was to box dye my roots the week before going to London and then get a cut at the famed Deva Curl salon in New York City while we were in town for the wedding. I didn’t get a quote on the Deva cut ‘n color, but I pay $175 (went up $25 this year after holding steady for many) + 20% tip in DC. After the unfortunate unemployment, that fancy salon appointment was cancelled. Now I dye my roots in the comfort of my own home with Clariol Natural Insticts and a paint brush form Lowe’s. I use #24 Clove/Medium Cool Brown. I also might write a post on dying your own hair at home, but I’ve done this twice at about $8 a box for the dye with pretty good results. I can’t continue doing this forever because I will look a hot mess. But for now, it is covering grays. As for the cut, I can go 12 months without a haircut. We’ll see how far I go this time.

+$200: Because I am nothing if not a Basic of a certain modern preppy-ilk, I was also going to treat myself to a pair of Sabahs while in New York. I e-mailed for a fitting and everything. The only thing I treated myself to while on this New York City adventure were 4 $15 flannel buttondowns at Uniqlo. All the more cozier to watch my TV marathons in!

This equates to probably $1000 saved. With the roughly $400 in “outs,” I am still about $600 in the black. Which is fantastic since the Volvo needs $2500 of maintenance.

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