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|| 07/20/2004 ||
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It's been about one and a half months since I became unemployed. I'm working through four different consulting agencies that get my resume out to the local businesses. However, there is a limited supply of jobs in the area right now, and not too many jobs that haven't already been farmed out to lower wage Indian firms. I probably won't have a full time job for a while, so I'm getting used to not spending money and living cheaply. I've learned a few things over the last few weeks that may help others in my situation:

  • You get really sick of eating EZ-Mac after about one week. However, cereal becomes OK for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hamburgers don't need buns. 
  • For a $2.00 beer, you can get a "free" meal during happy hour. 
  • You can get a free meal from the samples tray at the deli counter.
  • It's very easy to change your schedule to go to bed at 5:00 AM and wake up at 3:00 PM
  • Your friends do not appreciate you calling them at 3:00 AM 
  • Cheap beer is not worth the savings, you'll just drink 3 times as much, then ask yourself why you drank that swill and never caught a slight buzz
  • When you run out of sugar, go to McDonald's and buy a $1.00 double-cheeseburger, fill the bag with sugar from the condiments station, ignore the Ronald sitting on the bench that seems to be watching you. This also works for ketchup, salt, and pepper.
  • Your electric company can not shut off electricity, since your water comes from a well and they are required by law to keep it on if you would die otherwise (this takes a bit of social engineering to convince them of the fact though)
  • There is no need for two phone lines, call waiting, etc. However, when you cancel the line you don't need, the phone company (SBC) will screw it all up, cancel the wrong line, switch your lines, "forget" to cancel all the extra toys, attempt to charge you for this hassle, try to sell you DSL, and generally ruin an entire day of your unemployment vacation.
  • The gas company will never cancel your account, they will even call you up to tell you that, "Although you owe us money we just want you to know we aren't going to shut off your service." I have no idea why, but they are very lenient about non-payment, so I sent them $3.46 just for the hell of it.
  • McDonald's double cheeseburgers should be reheated for one minute 20 seconds on top of a McDonald's napkin in the microwave at "dinner plate" setting. This and a beer is a meal.
  • There's lot's of places online to order free samples. I may try to live the entire month of August off of this.
  • No one buys you anything from your wish list

So today I paid some bills. Everything was put on a charge card. I hope they don't cancel that one. For anyone that's wondering, the Dog(tm) doesn't know he's unemployed as well. He's eating better than I am, never scrimp on your dog! The only change in his life has been adjusting to my new daily schedule. I've also been taking him out for rides in the truck a lot more, he seems to think it's great.


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Surfer Wrote the following on 07/20/2004 10:39 PM :
Remember how I said in the pizza place link about not owing bills? Here's how I know: [link]http://suzeorman.com/resources/managingdebt.asp?section=sol[/link] A credit card agency or debt collection agency has until the statute of limitations has run out to file a civil law suit against you. This date starts from date of the last timely payment or the last time you tell them you will pay, whichever is latest. Also, don't let a collection agency, tell you that you have to pay a debt after the statute has run out simply because they purchased the debt from someone else. This tactic is strongarm and is illegal. The thing you have to remember about getting behind in your credit payments is: "Once it's late, it's reported to your credit." Paying it off even 3 years later after the collection agency has sworn to kidnap and kill your firstborn won't fix your credit. The best that will happen is the agency will report the debt paid on your report (if they even do that.) So don't worry about charging it and not being able to pay it unless you care about credit score....which you might because banks and insurance companies check your credit to determine how much of a risk you are.


Surfer Wrote the following on 07/20/2004 10:40 PM :
Of course, charging and not paying is theft...but we knew that :)


codewolf Wrote the following on 07/21/2004 9:15 PM :
well, I have no intention of not paying my bills. I just want to delay the paying as long as possible. I do care about my credit rating and have worked hard to make sure it's pretty clean. Good comments though!


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