Wednesday, October 3, 2012

If I'd Only.... the Art of Stockpiling

This post is about what you'll need to do for NEXT time. Its entirely possible you may find yourself "liberated" once more before you die. These are things to stock up on - both necessary and unnecessary.

Fair warning, this list is going to look really long and seemingly cost tons. Its maybe $500 for my list. At $25 a month - little over a year to get there. Do this little by little when you have a job and you won't feel it.

Stuff you can easily save a surplus of and you'll most likely need for your job search. This is stuff that ended up taking a chunk out of my unemployment salary and made me resentful I had to pay for as I was swimming in these items at the office!
printer paper
Printer ink!!! This ran me about $150. Are you serious?? Yes!

Treat Basket
And one more thing > this hasn't happened this time, thank God I have $, but in the past there are those moments when you're really bummed you can't buy your top shelf stuff. I'm not sure how much of YOUR top shelf stuff has a long shelf life but you might consider stocking up on a sort of "treats basket" for yourself. The trick here is to get more than one of these luxury items. Remember you're doing your bit to recreate your higher end lifestyle, and believe me ANY lifestyle is higher end than what unemployment will afford you!

Note: you can buy the actual items or set aside its monetary equivalent. Just keep in mind, if its cash, when the time comes your guilt will likely take over and you may just put it in your savings account - Ironically, not what we want in this case, so I really recommend getting the actual product.

Basically, this list really is made up of some items you don't think about when you have an income, and you'd easily downgrade or do without if you didn't. They are the innocuous items that make up your standard of living. You see its these little items that, when given up for an extended period of time, end up making you feel resentful, bummed and sometimes even 'less than'; they make you feel unemployed. 

Here are some ideas. Naturally, your list will look different!
1) $150 for a few nice meals. Multiply whatever your total (that means tax, title and license, parking, valet and tip) usually is by the number of splurge meals you want to allot yourself.

2) If your company offers half price tickets to movies, plays, museums or Disney etc - buy yourself some movie tickets every so often so you have a stash of at least 20. That should give you a movie every weekend for 4 months.  Stash some dollars so you can buy theatre tickets off Craig's List or the like -same process: check CL prices and then multiply that by as many shows/concerts etc you'd like to save up for. 

3) I happen to really like L'Occitane, which I rarely buy anyway, but a couple sets of nice specialty soap and hand lotion is grand. And one set can last months.  This is easily unnecessary and hardly missed, but it sure is nice to have. In general, it's the little things you wouldn't think twice about going w/out that end up making you feel like you're still your old self.

4) Hair products. That really great hair color (trust me on this - get enough bottles), that expensive hair oil, the shampoo you'd easily downgrade if you had to - stock up on these. Huge shelf life. If you color your hair professionally, stock some of that $ in an envelope earmarked for that purpose. Trust me, not being able to maintain your hair color can be oddly killing.

5) Your favorite fragrance. These last minimum 1.5 years in the fridge so best to get one of the classic summer and winter scents you love. Easy-peasy.

6) Pet Supplies. Call me crazy but I hated having to buy my pets cheap grain food -  my high quality and nutritious pet food is a bit pricey. (A brand called Orijens if you must know). So, if you're a pet lover too, every few months triple purchase your pet food of choice. You'll go through it you'll use this not stash it) so it won't go bad but should you become liberated you'll have a few months of good nutrition for your pets. Trust me - if you put the cash aside you'll likely use it for another purpose when the time comes.
(May I recommend this site? If you autoship -you set the frequency- its free shipping! The prices are competitive.)

So thats just my short list. Make your own list based on your lifestyle keeping in mind this list is to be made up of things you'd give up w/out much fuss. This is NOT a needs/must-haves list by any means!

Lastly, nothing sucks more than not being able to get a nice card and gift for a friend. Not a bad idea to have one or two really awesome all-purpose gifts, nice cards and gift bags with tissue stocked away in a closet. You'll more than likely come up on a birthday, wedding, or like celebratory event during your "staycation".

And you're allowed to think of your own birthday as well! Sadly, I learned this recently as my Bday arrived and I had a lot of great celebration ideas and NO money to do any of them. Make sure you buy yourself a swank Birthday card and stash just $5 from every paycheck in it, keep it tucked in a back drawer. You'll LOVE that you did this should a birthday ever arrive when you're unemployed.

Get a large tupperware storage box or 2 from the Dollar store (time on your hands? Decorate the box with quotes from your favorite books) and stash these items, then store the boxes in a very out-of-the-way place, lest you get lazy one afternoon and break into your secret stash.

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