Well, this was supposed to be my layoff blog. My layoff was brief but the effects of the recession on my little part of the world are not. I like the new job - cool company, great people, good product, and its related to GOLF. But sadly, it came with a pay cut. And I have been trying to deal with lifestyle changes that I am slowly starting to realize may not be sustainable in DC. It may be time to move. Plus I am very much over the traffic, high cost of living, overworked way of life here. Cherry Blossoms and free museums aside - I think I will be better off in a smaller city/town.
But the prospect of starting over in a new place also hurts my brain and kinda scares me so instead I have made some more cuts to sustain living here in DC for awhile longer until I decide what to do with myself.
My Mantra is : There is no shame in this economy.
Changes I have made:
1. Cuttting coupons - yay, geekdom. I save at least $7.00 a grocery trip now. I am wondering why I didn't do this sooner. I almost hugged the cashier the other day when I saved $20 off my bill. Though it is a time consuming process and sometimes I don't really need/want to buy two 3lb boxes of Cheerios to save 50 cents but I stick to what I need and it seems to be saving me some cash.
2. Cutting down my Direct TV package to 30 channels instead of 3,000. I really only watch The Simpsons and House anyway. Plus, I felt like at least 5 channels just had different permutations of Law & Order marathons on all the time anyway. Law & Order Original, Law & Order SVU, Law & Order CI, Law & Order DMV, Law & Order Parking Meter Reader, Law & Order Health Inspector, Law & Order Civil Court Baliff..ok I will stop... ANYWAY...I read a lot more now. See #3.
3. Library instead of Borders - I have read through most travel books, Dean Koontz and re-read every John Grisham book in the last few months (I can blow through 200 pages in a night, I read really fast). My overtaxed brain is full of worry and doesn't need anything heavier than that these days. I was going to read Ann Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I can find stories of the government increasingly asserting control over industry in the Washington Post instead...
The next 3 changes are part of the book I am thinking of writing: "The Recession Diet - How to Keep Your Wallet Fat and Your Ass Thin"
4. Only 1-2 meals out per week. Sucks for the social life but pants have emerged from the back of the closet that I haven't worn in awhile. Recession diets rule. Tip #1: Eggs are cheap and good for you. Tip #2 - If you haven't ever worked in a restaurant kitchen and seen this first-hand - multiply the amount of butter you THINK a restaurant adds to your meal by 10 and then add in half a stick. Per serving.
5. Gym visits replace dinner out time - I am on week 6 of going to the gym 4 times/week minimum. Long lost muscles are re-forming. I don't have any set workout, I just have to go 4 times. Getting there is the hardest part but once I am there I am shamed into my workout by seeing everyone else.
6. Herb Garden - Well, I had this last year but it def saves lots of $$$ and it helps with #4 as I cook a lot more now.
7. I drive a beer cart on a golf course on the weekends. I have to admit - I kinda enjoy it. I get to drive around outside on a golf course all day and watch people whiff the ball. I can now predict with pretty good accuracy, just by watching the practice swing, if the person will top the ball and/or which direction they will shank it to. Golf Lesson #1 - Keep your head down people!
My standard line that gets the big bucks is "Well, I used to be a VP but was laid off so I drive the beer cart on the weekends now....". There is nothing to be ashamed of in this economy. So next time you are out on the course, at Starbucks or getting your pizza delivered - tip the person who served you generously...you never know if that person used to be the head of a division of Bank of America or something.
Actually as a side note - the course is a Fairfax Country Course. It is an incredible example of government efficiency. Yes, I am commending the government here. Well, it is the local government which is my favorite kind. Seriously, this is a great idea. Besides the grounds crew and the managers, the place is mostly staffed with volunteers who basically barter their time for free golf. It's am amazingly efficient system that saves tons of tax dollars. More please.