by Neyat Yohannes ~ Instead of letting the funk of unemployment soak into you like an off-brand ShamWow, try to invest time in the aspects of your life that you can control. If you’re willing to stick to a budget and be savvy with your money, you can maintain your day-to-day routine with just a few minor tweaks. Full story:
  1. Make a budget for food
    Leading a healthy lifestyle is vital but it’s no cheap feat. When you’re strapped for cash, it’s important to plan ahead before blowing your entire paycheck at pricy eateries or at an expensive health food store. Thinking two or three weeks in advance is a good way to stretch your dollar. Make a list in order of the things you most need to the luxury items you want but could live without. (Fruit? Yep, you need it. That cold-pressed small batch green juice? Leave it be.)
  2. Don’t give up on exercise
    Ax your gym membership. Like, now. I know it’s hard to get motivated when you don’t have a fancy, air-conditioned paradise filled with Dwayne the Rock Johnson look-alikes but that hefty monthly bill hurts when you’re not making a regular income. Instead, turn your room or your backyard into the gym you’ve always wanted. Whether you decide to power through some crunches to your favorite pump-up playlist or bust out some yoga poses to balance your chakras.
  3. You can still have a social life
    When you’re looking to have a good time, consider checking out your city’s events calendars in the local paper. Many museums have free days and rather than paying for movie tickets, you can attend film screenings that are often times, you guessed it: free. Tell your friends that you want to hang, but instead of pricey cocktails, maybe its’ time for wine at home or a walk outside. Consider following your favorite businesses on social media because chances are they have discount days.
  4. Alternative transportation is rad
    Calling a car can be tempting when you’re feeling too lazy to walk home from a long night with friends but unless you’re intoxicated or feel threatened by something in your environment, use your legs. Or ride a bike, or a scooter, or a skateboard, or even rollerblade your way through life. Get to know the subways and buses around you if you don’t already. It’s cheaper than maintaining a car and great for people watching or catching up on that reading list.
  5. Spruce up your wardrobe on the cheap
    You don’t have to buy brand new clothes to achieve the perfect look. Hit your local thrift shops and consignment boutiques for unique finds at the right price. Take inventory of your closet. Do you have any items you’re willing to part ways with? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to host a clothing swap party. Maybe your pal will be willing to part ways with that leather jacket you’ve been eying for the past two years.
  6. Don’t give up!
    We know it’s tough, but you’ll land the perfect job soon enough. And until that faithful day arrives, you are well-equipped with a good head on your shoulders and a steady hand on your wallet. Good luck!