1) the reason why I am struggling to make ends meet is because I am unemployed. I was not struggling when I had a job. Once I get a suitable job, this problem goes away (though I hope I would remember the lessons). If I had a job and was hit with the whole Coachella fiasco, it wouldn't be as big of a deal, financially anyway.
2) Like I said before, I'm surviving. I'm not near bankruptcy or anything. I can (normally) pay all my bills but the things I used to do when I had a job (ie, spend money), I can't do now. Which is why I asked for your advice in the last post. How do I adapt?
3) Someone in the previous post mentioned I should move out of Vancouver. That is not the problem and moving out of the city is not an option.
I own my apartment and I will sell it due to problems in the building (that's ANOTHER story) but I'll stay in Vancouver. It's my home, it's my boyfriend's home and I love it. I've lived in other places in the world, small towns (like Kamloops, BC) or big cities (like Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia) and I'm sticking with my hometown. Besides, I just spent 10 months living with my boyfriend's parents in a faraway suburb. I'm pretty damn happy to be back in my downtown Vancouver condo again.
Where else can you do WHALE WATCHING from your roof??? That's right, there's a grey whale swimming around in Vancouver's English Bay right now and I can watch it from my roof :)
look, I just went up and took pics with my telephoto lens!
Besides, my mortgage (when split with my bf) only costs me $362 per month. Talk about cheap living!!! I paid more than twice that in rent when I lived in a small town like Kamloops.
4) The debt I am in RIGHT NOW is to my mom (who is in debt herself, which doesn't help with the guilt factor but does make for more flexible ways of paying her back). The debt is $250 from both of us. It's not as big of a deal to my bf since he has a job, but I am having a hell of a time coming up with $250. It can and will be done, but slowly... and all the while I'm going to feel immensely bad about it.
If I had my old job back, $250 would be nothing. Right now, $250 is `1/4 of my income and is already allocated elsewhere.
5) So really, this situation at hand only exists until my debt is paid (which will probably be two months). Then the "extremely frugal" alert is lifted and replaced with the "very frugal" alert. The latter of course still sucks and it will suck until I get a job, but I am willing to adapt (well, I have to :P)
and 6) I'm not taking just any job. The government is paying me enough to live (frugally) until December. I am taking advantage of that and using the time to find a job that I actually like and will be good at AND use my god damn degree and experience. Pay isn't as important but I do know now exactly what I'm worth.
I'm amazingly lucky on a lot of levels: I can't afford new clothes but I have so many damn clothes that I don't need new clothes! My dad owns a yacht, so doing sailing trips is a fun and free activity (actually, my favourite activity). My personal trainer is awesome and really understanding with my money situation. I have so much makeup, there's no need to buy any, so I'm lucky there. We have a massive DVD collection, with lots of DVDs I haven't watched yet. I'm up to my neck in books I need to read. I like to cook (and aren't bad at it) so not going out for dinner doesn't really bother me. I can't really afford my car insurance this month but at least my car is paid for and I don't owe anything there. And of course, I have a wonderful and supportive boyfriend who has my back in everything and, also, helps with the bills. Plus, I am getting just enough EI from the government to cover my essential costs each month.
Not enough to cover unexpected costs like I am realizing right now, but this is just a rough patch that I have no choice but to face and somehow find a way out of it.
Anyway, I was taken with many of your food suggestions as listed here and on Twitter and I whipped out this recipe last night. Cheap, good for you and tasty! And easy to make (I used canned lentils).
Herbed Lentils with Bacon - fantastic sidedish, or even as a main!
And as DaisyChain asked in the previous post, do I like tofu? I do, but I have no idea what to do with it. Any suggestions?
Last but not least, here is an ouftit post. I wore this to my boyfriend's sisters birthday dinner in White Rock (courtesy of the in-laws):
Jacket: Target (I got in pre-trip for $30 - love it!); Dress: Karta; Boots: BC Shoes; Bag: Rafe; Ring + earrings: Forever 21; Belt: Vintage