Friday, January 22, 2010

In the beginning, there was a budget...

I finally started a blog! I'm so excited, my gastritis is acting up.

Two weeks ago, I was laid off. Downsized. Given my walking papers. Insert bitter-but-acceptable cliche here. I've gone through the normal phases of grief: anger, denial, more anger, ambivalence, a lesser yet undeniable anger, and then finally acceptance. My friends and colleagues have surrounded me with support and my social calendar has been pleasantly full with lunch dates, coffee dates, movie dates, "are you sure you're okay" dates. What a wonderful feeling....

I loved my job. But in the past few weeks, I've felt as though I'm on the precipus of major change (by the way, I have been waiting to use "precipus" in a sentence for a very long time and I may or may not have just given myself a round of applause). I've been feeling creative, rested, calm.

Weird, right? I should be freaking out about my job search, my finances, and becomming irrelevant at the height of my career. And that's when it hit me. That could still happen. The panic. The fear. What happens when the novelty of my unemployment wears off and I'm bored? Lonely? What if I run out of money? Is there a way to maintain this strange sense of stability?

Because I'm all too familiar with lazy Sundays, I wanted to find a way to motivate myself to get off the couch so that I don't live a life of lazy Mondays, Tuesdays, everydays. To get myself out of the house. To interact with society. To stay in touch with my community. Oh but wait - I'M UNEMPLOYED AND DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!

So I came up with 28x1x1. Math is hard, but not impossible. The equation is this:
*28 days
*28 friends
*28 dollars

I will rehabilitate my social life in a financially limited existence. I will train myself to stay socially connected during a transitional time. I will strengthen relationships by removing the stress of spending money. I will encourage my friends to explore inexpensive activities in Omaha with me.

The rules: for each day in the month of February, I will make plans with a different friend/family member. And during each of the social activities, I'm allowed to spend just one dollar. Yep, just $1. The only flexibility on the $1 spending limit is tax, so technically I can spend $1.07 if I'm in my home state (like I'm planning on going anywhere??). I will blog about each day, listing the friend I saw (possibly altering their name if they are shy), the activity we chose, and the exact amount of money I spent. And in case you were wondering, there will most definitely be a spreadsheet.

In the next few days, I'll start scheduling my $1 dates and making lists of possible activities. If you'd like to participate, let me know! If you've got ideas for activites (PG-13 rated please), share them with me!

That's all.


  1. i like it!! let me know what you do. i am always up for spending $1.07.

  2. Only in Omaha? What about $1.07 worth of free verizon talk time while you go for taco bell?

  3. What if one of your social events was us chatting online to catch up? That'd be free, right? Free and AWESOME.


  4. I'm in. Spending only $1.00 sounds good to me!

  5. Does gas money count, or do I need to drive up there?

  6. I'm in, but not February 14th. I'd hate for girlfriends of my past to become pissed at me that I'm willing to spend a dollar on some silly little novel adventure on Valentines Day when I wasn't even willing to pony up half of this to call them during peak hours to wish them a Happy VD when we were dating. I just can't take that risk!!

    With my membership at Fontenelle Forest, that would be a day of spending less than a dollar. As would spending an afternoon downtown people watching and pick-pocketing. I'm in for either!!

  7. You are so clever, I love it! I most definately want one of your 28 days. I have a zoo pass, so we could spend a day in the indoor exhibits, or you could always bring your snuggie and we could brave some of the outdoor ones:) Oh, and you could bring 4 quarters and entertain yourself with feeding the birds - no tax necessary.

  8. Thanks everyone! Getting really excited and have a variety of ideas for my 28 days. Yippee skippee!

  9. Wendy, Join the Uncles for Movie night this Thursday (1/28th) - a 'suprise' movie chosen by me, and Broccoli with rice (Pat and Mike will not be eating this, so more for Kat, Chris, You and Me!)That can be your warm up for February

  10. Borrow movies from the public library and eat microwave popcorn. The library usually has a pretty nice collection!

  11. Damn, you totally pre-empted my cost-free but totally R-rated suggestion.
    You must have male friends.