The First Steps

Help! I’ve just concluded I’m underemployed/underpaid/lost my job! What now!?

The UEF experts are here to help! Here’s some steps to get you started and on the right track to be set up for comfort in this recession.

Budget and plan
Figure out the numbers; how much are you bringing in per month, per year? How much are you spending on necessities, like rent, utilities, cell phone bill, etc. Determine your flexible “to spend”, but also remember that you should be saving 10% or more of every paycheck.

Apply for government assistance
Take a deep breath… food stamps aren’t as bad as they seem. I’ve personally been utilizing them for almost a year. $200 a month in groceries that doesn’t come out of my own wallet? Heaven. I never have to worry about starving, and all grocery stores, Targets, WalMarts, and even some pharmacies accept your “stamps”. Even cooler, due to technology, your modern food stamps look like any old debit card, which saves face in the grocery line.

Thanks to my man Obama, health care is free and/or affordable. You should be able to apply for government medical coverage when you apply for your food stamps. These plans include optometry and dental, as well as exceptional women’s healthcare! Thanks, Obama!

Not sure where to start? Check out our info on government assistance here. Still have questions? Take it to the Facebook page!

Go through your inbox
Unsubscribe from unfathomably expensive email lists; I’m talking ModaOperandi, NastyGal, Saks and anything else that you will not be able to afford full price and should not be haunted with by daily email blasts. Trust me, you’ll be happier.

Search for a cheap gym!
Most cities have volunteer and not-for-profit run gyms, pools, and other services. Do your research on what you feel you need to stay healthy and fit; many of these establishments offer a “sliding scale” fee, which means as an un-or-underemployed lass you can get the CHEAPEST of deals. I’m currently paying about $2 a yoga class for a place on my block!

Sign up for coupons
Groupon and Living Social have great offers you may find handy and splurge-worthy. I recently saw $30 for $110 worth of yoga around the corner from my home; SCORE! If you’re already on an afore-mentioned cheap health kick, look into deals for FUN; wino painting parties are popping up everywhere, some of which are BYOB; Grab a date, a bottle of Beringer, and go paint!

Explain and offer
Talk to those around you, your confidants. Parents, significant others, close friends. Explain that, due to budget concerns, you may not be able to go out as much or pay for as much. Offer to cook them dinner; use your food stamps and Pinterest, a box of Franzia (cardboardeaux is the new Dom Perignon ), queue the NetFlix, and enjoy quality time!

Prove to your loved ones that you may be budgeting, but you’re not skimping on the fun!

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