I thought being unemployed would have this weird rosy tint around it. I thought I would be able to go on all sorts of adventures and do a bunch of things that I haven’t had time to do in a long time. It was supposed to be a time to “pursue my creative passions” and “educate myself more” but turns out, unemployment is fucking boring.
While I have had the chance to start this blog and begin taking the Google Analytics course, I can only work on both of these things for so long each day. And going out and having fun costs money, something that I do not have any of to spare.
So, here are my tips for ways to fill your days when you’re unemployed and broke that are super super cheap.
1. Pick up a hobby you can do while watching Netflix or listening to podcasts
For me, this has been knitting. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a scarf, and there’s always been this weird alluring aspect of knitting. Maybe I’m just embracing my inner old lady. I don’t really know, but I’ve managed to make a pretty shitty scarf and am going to move onto a second project soon.
Other ideas for this include crocheting, drawing, etc. Let your artistic side flourish!
2. Clean and organize your house
This falls under the category of “something you never have time for when you’re working full time”. Well, now that you’re unemployed you have nothing but time, so go through your shit and figure out what you do and don’t want.
To make this easier, focus on one thing a day. Maybe do your closet one day, then your kitchen the next. Go through your clothes and spices and figure out what you actually use or what you have multiples of. Give everything a deep scrubbing with some homemade all purpose cleaner (I actually used this recipe to clean spilled ginger beer off of hardwood floor and it worked wonders). Get down and dirty, then reward yourself with a nice long shower.
3. Learn something new
Wanna know what’s (almost) free? The library!
I say almost because in Amsterdam it’s actually not free, but at €12/year it basically is. However I’ve never been anywhere in the U.S. where you had to pay for the library, so suck it.
Since you have seemingly endless amounts of free time now, why not be productive with it and open your horizons?
Since I’ve become unemployed, I’ve devoted a lot of my time to learning about veganism and human health. Even as a vegetarian for over 10 years, I’d never really taken the time to actually learn about how the human body handles food and the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industry. I had also never known that antibiotic resistance was a thing (and it’s fucking terrifying). Now I’m spending time learning about how I can actually treat my body and the earth better while also saving some lives.
Another topic I’m interested in learning more about is art. Since I know basically nothing about it, I’m going to go check out some books to read and find some articles online. I’m also fortunate enough to live in one of the best cities in the world for artistic masters, so I’ll be sure to check out some of the museums here.
4. Go on a photography adventure
If the weather is nice, get outside and take some cool photos.
Whether you have a smartphone or a really nice camera, this can be a nice way to spend an afternoon and you might get some sick new photos for Instagram. Grab a friend and go explore a part of town you’ve never been to, or go pretend to be a forest nymph if that’s your thing. You do you, man.
5. Learn to cook
If you’re broke, you’re going to be eating at home more anyway. Why not make it more fun than just pasta and red sauce every night?
You have to spend money on food at the grocery store anyway, and it’s really easy to jazz up your favorite dishes with just a few spices or extra ingredients. If you invest in a multi-use cooker (I have this one and LOVE it – to be found at Bed Bath and Beyond in the U.S. or online in the Netherlands) the options are pretty much fucking endless. I’ve been making a lot of curries recently, something I had never bothered to do before I A: went vegan and B: started cooking because I was broke AF.
Learning to cook has also helped me develop a better sense of what a “balanced” meal looks like. Now when I go to a restaurant I only order things that have a really robust variety of nutrients. I make sure that everything I eat now has carbs, protein, and a wide variety of colorful vegetables.
There you have it: 5 ways to beat boredom when you’re broke
I’ve actually done every single one of these things in the time between taking classes to better my chances of being hired and actually applying to jobs, and I can attest that they are all pretty fun (or effective) ways to pass the time.
Do you have any boredom-buster freebies? Leave a comment and let me know!