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stardust's avatar

Unemployed, 3 1/2 months on my hands, but very limited cash. Any creative ideas to prevent insanity?

Asked by stardust (10552points) May 18th, 2010

I don’t have a job. I’m going back to college in September, which I’m very much looking forward to.
I’ve been doing some voluntary work, but I don’t have the cash flow to travel around much, so I’m limited to my hometown. I still have a huge amount of time on my hands.
I’m becoming very unhappy and finding it increasingly hard to motivate myself.
I can’t go out much, as the money I do get pays off outstanding loans – repayments I was in a position to keep on top of when I was employed.
I don’t want to throw myself too many pity parties. I know it won’t get me anywhere.
So I thought it’d be an idea to ask you creative flutherites for ideas on things I can do to occupy my time.
Fun things to put a bit of pep in my step if you will.
At the moment, I get up at 8 most mornings. I exercise daily. I get out and about visiting friends. I’m also working my way through a reading list for college.
Any suggestions will be appreciated :)

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15 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Go to the library…watch television… Fluther more often

shilolo's avatar

Pick up a hobby that isn’t expensive, like writing, or drawing, or a team sport (pick-up). You could go for long walks in your area, just to discover “secret spots”.

anartist's avatar

If you live where there are theatre or concert venues, find out if you can become a volunteer usher [and see the shows for free]. Join a writing group if you like to write. Go to museums or historical centers if they are available.Take up birdwatching, maybe find a club.

Join a walking/hiking group or any other free group activities that are active. Where I live is a free sailing club and they have the boats. Start an exercise group based on the “sergeant’s or a Boot Camp model.” An entire fitness regime can be performed using various available school and public park facilities and 6 am is prime time. A surprising number of exercises can be performed using small ledges, benches, the like. Maybe you already have a ‘fitness trail’ with exercise stations in your area.

Apprentice yourself in an area you would like to work. It might turn into a job.

eden2eve's avatar

Do some Genealogy? There are some amazing resources on line these days, and it’s almost mind boggling what you can find. When I get back several generations, I find people who are referenced in history, then I can actually learn about them as individuals, and that’s far more interesting than just getting names, dates and places.

After I find personal information about ancestors, then I might do a little bit of reading about things in their era. In doing this, I’ve learned a lot about history and cultures, which seems to really expand my horizons and help me understand the big picture much more completely. I love it now, when I can watch a movie or read a book and find one of my own ancestors mentioned.

stardust's avatar

@talljasperman If I were to start watching daytime tv, then I’d really lose my mind:) The library sounds good though
Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I’m so eager to fill my time. I spend time writing as it is. I try to fill my day up as much as possible, but I think the fact that I’m not earning my own money is making me feel rather useless. The genealogy idea sounds so interesting. I’d love to delve into that. I’m not very close to my immediate family, so it’d be great to feel ties and connections – even if they’re far back. Thanks @eden2eve for the idea :-)

eden2eve's avatar

YW, @stardust

You can download quite a few free programs that manage your data. I use Legacy, and it’s easy to understand and very user friendly.

YARNLADY's avatar

Take online classes or TV classes from you local educational channel.
Learn a foreign language
Sign up at
Mow the lawn for your neighbor
Scrub all the walls in your house

InspecterJones's avatar

Start playing video games.

Here is a good one.

jazmina88's avatar

secret spots…..that sounds like too much fun. and you dont even have to leave the house.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Try Geocaching. That will get you out of the house.
You will exercise your mind and your body and it’s free.

john65pennington's avatar

Grab the phone book and see if you have thrift stores in your town. wife and i spend just about everyday in different thrift stores. its time consuming and a little money goes a long way. and, if you are lucky, you might find a relic thats worth a lot of money. i bought a book that was gold bound and a first edition of Gullivers Travel, English Version. i paid $2.75 for the book and resold it for $85.00. i also bought a Krystal coffee cup for .99 cents and resold it for $75.00. i will admit it takes time to make yourself familiar with objects that are valuable at a thrift store. do this, check out a store. if you locate an item you believe is valuable, write down all the information, take it home and check it out on your computer. this will take a lot of your downtime and who knows, you just might get lucky.

Coloma's avatar

Are you an animal kinda person?

Tis the season for puppies & kittens and lots of foster care is needed, along with volunteer help.

Many local shelters have need of volunteers to help train and socialize puppies/dogs/cats/kittens.

Or…if you have a local wildlife group you can sign up for rehab classes and help feed baby birds or other rehab work like transporting animals to appropriate volunteers.

I did this some years ago and it was so rewarding!

partyparty's avatar

Try knocking on your neighbours doors, offering a gardening service. Mowing lawns, and tidying up their gardens. That way you will be out of the house and earning some money.
No travelling costs either.

gemiwing's avatar

Grab your camera and hit the streets. Take pictures of things that interest you. Exercise+hobby=fun times.

Look at your local government center and find free classes to take. Ours has tai chi, swimming aerobics, basket weaving etc.

Start a blog and review the books you are reading. Good jump on the massive amounts of writing you will soon be doing.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time? Figure out a way to do it on the cheap and enjoy this transition time.

Train for a marathon- that’ll keep you plenty busy and provide a goal you can work towards so you don’t feel like you’re spinning your wheels.

stardust's avatar

Thanks for all the suggestions guys :) They’ve been very helpful & I’m glad to report that at present I’ve a much brighter outlook on my situation. I’m keeping myself busy with new ventures, so thanks for all the tips.

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