The Hidden Costs of Not Making Money

Being unemployed is expensive. At a time when you most need to enact austerity measures (That’s what I try to call it, so it sounds European and like something I might actually want to do) it is virtually impossible to do so and not just lose your mind from utter uselessness and boredom.

Unemployment costs. And here’s where you start paying, in excuses. Let’s examine the facts:

I am unemployed, therefore I have time for all of those household projects I always said I never had the time to get around to.

  • Cleaning out the closets yields 2 pairs of shoes that need fixin’. Cleaning off the desk results in finding a print I need framed. And of course I’m going to renew my LACMA membership. Now I actually have time to go! And I should go for free since I’m not working! Even if going for free later means paying $90 now.

I am unemployed, so now have time to see all of my friends socially.

  • This means lunches, drinks, dinners out. Maybe you have those friends who just want to meet for a hike instead of a cocktail, but I have the type of friends who need a couple of cocktails to even think about hiking. You can’t catch up during a yoga class despite what they show you on Sex and the City. And saving money by eating in still means spending money on food and wine and $4 cupcakes. I can’t serve my friends Top Ramen and 2 Buck Chuck. That wouldn’t be very European.

I am unemployed, which means I need a new wardrobe so I can become employed again.

  • This may not be true, but it certainly sounds good to yourself when that Nanette Lepore dress or Sam Edelman pumps go on super sale (or just sale) and you say to yourself, “If I’m going to present myself as a confident brand that people are going to want to do business with I should look the part. If I’m going to be promoting a book in the press, I will need something to wear.” Never mind the fact that your business is dominated by men in sweatpants wearing tee shirts of the Cookie Monster inside a Grateful Dead logo or that most of your “press junkets” are podcasts.

I am unemployed, which means I work from home.

  • And guess what you notice when you work from home: your home needs some work. Staring at the same walls while your ideas “percolate” will usually just yield ideas about what you can change on those walls. If I’m going to write in this chair, I could really use an Eileen Grey Table next to it so I have something to put my latte (READ: wine) on. And I could save money on lattes if I buy an espresso machine. Any why is every light bulb in this house burnt out? Does the water filter really need to be replaced this often? How much are they? Was my laptop always this slow?!

I am unemployed, but I will be employed again so….

  • So go ahead and spend that savings! Or rack up that debt! It’s rationalizing like this that created the debt crisis in our country, but it’s also the same rationalizing that keeps me from waking up in the night screaming so I will take it. (And that pencil skirt while I’m at it!) After all, I accumulated no small amount of debt in my 20’s and while I no longer have the same amount of eggs that I can sell to rich couples if worse comes to worst, I’m sure I have other useful organs that I can comfort myself with the idea of selling.

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