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.


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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