If You Love Your Brands Like I do, You Can Still Buy Them With a Small Budget

Even if you can’t live without your Fila, Nike, Michael Kors, Gucci stuff, there are ways to buy them without paying a full price. No, I don’t mean steal them or buy stolen stuff, but sales, second-hands from your friend circle, recycling and so on.

I have always sold my brand bags when I no longer like them and use that money to buy a new bag. This is a great tactic because you don’t waste your bags or money. So here’s my quick list for buying quality brands but paying less:

  1. Sales. This is obviously a no-brainer for everyone. Just make sure to time your shopping perfectly to get the maximum price deduction. If you can wait, the prices decrease towards the end of the sale.
  2. Brand outlets. These are gems. They often sell last season products, but really if you don’t work for Vogue, who cares?
  3. Buy online. You can save a ton of money by buying online. International shipping is often free of charge too, you just have to find the right stores that ship to your country. Make sure to do your research on international sizes though.
  4. Buy when you’re on holidays (not fake stuff though). Obviously now is not the time for international traveling, but when the borders open up again and tourism is back on track, don’t waste your opportunity for tax-free shopping. Many countries offer this and the ones that don’t might still have cheaper clothes than your home country, because of better exchange rates.
  5. Recycling. Second-hand stores and flea markets are a millennial’s dream. You can get money for your old stuff AND buy new stuff for crazy cheap prices.
  6. Friend circle. Depends who your friends are of course, lol, but this is a good way to get the style you like for a reasonable price and you’ll match your friends. πŸ™‚
  7. Cheap sports stores. Many budget sports stores have opened up to compete with the expensive sports stores. They are very good places to find quality brands for less money.
  8. Directly from the brand. Brands make their own pricing, so when they want to get rid off their last season stuff, they’ll sell their own stuff SUPER cheap. Sign up for your favourite brands’ newsletters and get the info on sales before others!
  9. Cheap electronics stores. There are always cheaper electronics stores that have the exact same stuff than luxury department stores.
  10. Budget stores. Brand shampoos can be 30% cheaper than in a normal store! It’s exactly the same stuff too.

So even when you’re living on a tight budget, you don’t have to look like a beggar. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’°πŸ‘

You can buy quality brands with a small budget too. Photo: Sonia Jain

Affordable Beauty Rituals For Men and Women

I’ve experimented quite a bit with different beauty treatments. Well that was when I had a job and money. Lately, I’ve just settled for home remedies and exercising. πŸ˜„ They can however, go along way when you’re on a budget.

Here’s a list of all the affordable beauty treatments I’ve tried and what works and what doesn’t:

  1. Wax hair removal. Doesn’t work on sensitive skin. At least at home, didn’t try at the salon. I got a bad rash and it left me ingrown hair.
  2. Sugar hair removal. Works. Tried at the salon to remove hair from my upper lip.
  3. Homemade scrubs. Works. Coffee scrub for your body is cool because it’s cheap and effective. Though if you have sensitive skin you should mix in some coconut oil etc. You can also use avocado as a facial to purify your skin on your face.
  4. Hairsalon vs. home dye. Depends. I tried highlights at home, literally NEVER worked out.πŸ˜† Highlights at the salon works. (If you pick a good hair stylist) If you have an even hair color, such as black, it’s super easy to dye the roots yourself. Just make sure your skin tone and hair colour compliment each other. Nothing looks tackier than bleach blonde hair on very dark skin and pitch black hair on super pale skin. As a general rule, warm tones for brown skin, cold tones for light skin. I prefer for example blonde-toffee color highlights. In my opinion, unnatural bright red doesn’t look good on ANYONE ever.
  5. Eye creams for dark under eyes. Doesn’t work. I tried like twenty different ones from 3€- 100€ ($3,40- $112). The 100€ ($112) does NOT work. I bought it when I had a full-time job and a regular salary. It was purely marketing and waste of money unfortunately. Dark under eyes are inherited, so depends on your genes and ethnicity. Traditional sleep deprivation is different than my dark under eyes. Some racist men have also made it their mission to make sure I know I have the eye bags and YES, I fucking know.
  6. Teeth whitening. Works. 7,5% or 9,5% Day White ACP Hydrogen Peroxide for 10-20min twice per day for a week at home rather than at the dentist, because if you have sensitive teeth, it will hurt like hell at the dentist. I tried and the problem for my teeth is that they use too strong Hydrogen Peroxide because they need the results in one hour. My dentist recommended me the home kit because I told him my teeth are super sensitive. He also said whitening toothpastes are a marketing trick and damage your teeth. The dentist makes a custom mould for your teeth and you buy the whitening gel from your dentist or online, such as dentist.net.
  7. Hair and nail growth supplements. Depends. I bought some from a pharmacist in Paris and they worked like magic! I guess it depends on your country’s regulations, what stuff is allowed and what is banned.
  8. Coconut oil. Works. It’s usually used as skin moisturiser. The only downside is that you smell like coconuts.😝 Maybe better not to use before going to the office.
  9. Avocado oil. Works. I bought it from a nail salon. It strengthens fragile nails.
  10. Castor oil. Doesn’t work. I used it for growing my eyebrows and eyelashes for more than a year. I didn’t really see any visible results in my eyebrows, though my eyelashes did get thicker.
  11. Argan oil. Works. This oil is used for dry or damaged hair. It worked for my hair because I used to have natural blonde highlights. Though my hair is naturally TOO oily and that is why I preferred highlights to dry my hair a little bit so I didn’t have to wash it everyday.
  12. Vicco Indian cream. Works. This cream works like magic for pimples and red spots. It’s available in Asian stores in Europe or if you go to India, it costs only one euro ($1,20) there.
  13. Vitamin supplements. Depends. I didn’t notice any difference when I took vitamin supplements and vitamin drinks. However, I haven’t tried many of them and there MANY. When I lived in NYC for a couple months, my roommate was a model and she recommended me vitamins for pregnant women even if you’re not pregnant. She told me they have more nutritions than normal vitamin supplements. Haven’t tried them yet though.
  14. Finnish sauna. Works. You sweat off toxins, it clear out your skin and you come out relaxed! Finnish sauna is a wooden sauna usually kept at 80 Celsius degrees. I like to sit alone for an hour. I used to go once a week when I lived in an apartment that had one.
  15. Drink two litres of water everyday. Works. Some people don’t like the taste of water, so you can drink sparkling water, add lemon/ lime juice or orange pieces, strawberries or add some store bought flavor. Water clears your skin and keeps you hydrated. Also helps for cellulite.
  16. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Works. For example just eating half a grapefruit has your daily intake of vitamin C. 🍎🍊
  17. Gave up sugar for eight months. Works. It worked miracles on cellulite, but it comes back once you stop your sugar-free diet. Sugar is unfortunately my weak spot, because I’m under constant stress as an unemployed single woman.😫
  18. Followed mostly a plant-based diet. Depends. You are what you eat. I tried to become a vegan, but currently follow a dairy-free pescatarian diet. I eat tofu, fresh spinach, rice and potatoes.
  19. Oily fish. Depends. Even though I try to eat vegan food most of the time, oily fish, such as salmon is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids.
  20. Gave up alcohol. This is a very new thing to me (even though I had a couple of 8-month periods without alcohol). There is an endless list of the harmful effects of alcohol for your body and mind. I used to think a few glasses of wine are healthy and vodka helps purify toxins in your body. I have changed my mind now. Let’s see how the results will be by the end of the year. I will keep you updated. πŸ˜‰
Eating healthy and exercising go A LONG way. Eat your veggies EVERY DAY and have fish once per week. Add some nice make-up, stylish hair and trendy clothes and you’re good to go!πŸ˜‰πŸ’‹ Emphasize your features that bring you confidence. πŸ™Œ Photo: Sonia Jain

Job Hunting Glamorously

If you’re unemployed, you know how stressful the situation is. If you are also single, you’ve also probably experienced the total disinterest in dating and meeting new people. When you focus on how to earn a buck for food, you’re not really interested in finding a man to have a bunch of screaming babies with.🀣 Also, the Coronavirus situation has disrupted the global job market. The ones who have now suffered the most in this situation are people like me, freelancers, job-seekers and singles. I simply have no income outlets at the moment and it’s a sad reality of our selfish discriminatory society.

Job hunting requires you to dress well, look representable, be nice, be diplomatic and know your stuff. So to keep a cool head and not look like a homeless hobo, you need to learn how to manage your stuff. Here are some things I have done in the past SEVEN years in Finland while looking for a full-time job worth my Master’s Degree in International Business Management:

  1. Kept a professional wardrobe. You never know when your next job interview is or if someone will hire you from abroad, so you need to have some business clothes ready and in hand. You can get designer clothes on sale from online stores, such as Farfetch. Zara and Mango are great too if you apply to a tech company where nobody understands fashion and you’re BROKE AF like me.πŸ˜†
  2. Learned to manage stress by MYSELF. I tried online therapy, talked to some mental health professionals and they didn’t help me AT ALL. It was the exact opposite, I felt more miserable after talking to these judgemental unempathetic “professionals”. Exercising, drinking wine, petting my cats and talking to old people have helped me. Old people have manners and values that under 65 year olds simply don’t have. They grew up in the generation of surviving, so they don’t whine about stupid shit.
  3. You need your electronics. Buy second hand if needed or pay monthly installments. Of course, you need a phone for calls, a laptop for modifying your CV (you can check Adobe Office packages for students if you are eligable or buy a normal package) and an affordable Internet plan. For example, I have a cheap phone plan with Internet instead of having Wifi in my apartment, so you can do your job hunting anywhere at anytime and call abroad etc.
  4. Pay your bills on time so you don’t get a mark on your credit record. Negotiate with your bank if you need to. Some employers will check this stuff.
  5. Exercise regularly. You won’t feel like drinking every night or binge eating when you maintain an exercise routine that you follow every week. When you know you have to do heavy exercise in the morning, you will not drink, smoke or do anything unhealthy the night before. Also it’s very important to keep a cool head and helps cope with continuous years and years long stress. Your energy levels will be high too and employers will appreciate high energy people.
  6. Networking, networking and networking! I have 500+ Linkedin connections and I have met almost all of them. There’s a few randoms from Twitter but the key for networking is obviously to meet people in person. Networking could lead to a job, so take it seriously.
  7. Be on time for meetings. Any meetings for that matter, doesn’t have to be a job interview.
  8. Tried getting a job abroad. In Europe there are channels, such as EURES, unemployment offices, workers’ unions and international headhunters who get paid to find you a job abroad. Be prepared to do low skilled work when you first move abroad and then find something worth your skills.
  9. Kept my skills up to date. Google has free online courses, check your unemployment office for free short courses, lear how to code, build a website, or paint a house etc. Whatever skill you want to improve, find FREE courses to do it.
  10. Study a new profession is the advice I simply DESPISE. Who has money and time to study 3,5 – 6 years for a new profession when you need to eat and breath too?πŸ˜† Not to mention try to look representable for possible job interviews. Save yourself the time and go give your CRAP advice to someone else. I think TWO business degrees are more than enough, so focus your advice on people with ZERO education. They seem to occupy the job market in the tech field anyways. πŸ˜ƒ
  11. Volunteered for different organizations. They might have paid job opportunities too.
  12. People hire who they like. Remember, a-holes hire a-holes. So if you didn’t get that job, that 50th job or that 150th job you applied to, you know why.πŸ˜„ Apply to a different field, continent, country and change your references.
Look professional when you attend job interviews, networking events or meet new people. This whole outfit is from two brand outlet stores in New York City (in 2014) and every item was less than $150. Classic pieces like these will last for years. πŸ‘—

How to Control Your Urge to Slap Annoying People in the Face

I admit, I’m not a Zen master. I have a quick temper and my bad temperament has reached whole new levels after being continuously and consistently bullied by a big group of LOSERS. Something about bullies, racists and douchebags that makes me blood boil and head explode. 🀯Bullies seem to have a very narcissistic worldview. They think its their right as obnoxious people to destroy perfectly happy content, young and smart (and not to mention helpful volunteer) women’s lives. They also think their targets are very jealous of them and this is how they justify their bullying/ provoking/ harassment/ constant need to prove themselves to their target and when you react, you are “jealous, crazy, aggressive”. LOL.πŸ˜†πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ Anyway, managing your emotions and controlling your behavior when faced with mannerless garbage is part of your appearance. Dressing well isn’t enough, you also need to behave well.

It can be challenging because bullies have literally no class whatsoever, so trying to stay classy and diplomatic is challenging. I have been provoked in the most disgusting, under the belt, low class tactics. You really need nerves of STEEL to have managed what I have managed by MYSELF. You can’t change an abnormal bully brain, the only rational thing you can do is to leave the situation.

So how HAVE I actually managed to control my urge to slap annoying people? Here is a short list of how I have managed to control myself while facing continuous abusive bullying and staying glamorous while doing it:

  1. Well I’m not a violent psycho for one. πŸ˜†
  2. Mental strength and being around racist and jealous mannerless people since I was a kid have really made my skin thick as an elephant and strong as steel. Nothing makes you ignore stupid shit better than being called the n-word, a gypsy, a boat refugee, and being spat in the face when you’re ONLY 10 years old. πŸ‘πŸΌ (also why I’ll NEVER have kids in Finland.)
  3. Music helps to block annoying people’s whining. 🎢
  4. As a general thumb rule, if the person is worthless to you, then why do you even give a crap what that person thinks of you. πŸ—£
  5. Writing and rage tweeting help process negative emotions. Sometimes mean people really get to me, because they have no limit to how low they can go.
  6. Doing yoga. πŸ™πŸΌ
  7. Some people constantly interrupt you when you’re trying to talk to someone else, make vicious remarks or just have that annoying way of asking “What, can you repeat that?!!” about 5 TIMES in a row, it’s irritating. So sometimes you just have to tell them directly to leave you alone. These negative attention seekers are usually harmless, so you can just try to be nice about it. If it doesn’t work, talk to them in their own language. (Since sometimes it’s the only language they understand. Sigh. πŸ™„)
  8. The key to mastering your emotions is to realize the fact that these type of low level trash people who provoke, provoke and provoke for YEARS until they finally get you to snap is that they are jealous. They can’t manage their own emotions even for five minutes, so obviously semi- zen masters like me, are a HUGE threat to them. Especially if they’re racist and think you’re subhuman like in my case in Finland.
  9. Don’t fall for the crocodile tears. I have had so many people point fingers at me as the “bad, angry SINGLE woman” and they have adopted the “rescue me innocent mom/ dad” thing. This show is SO pathetic and the only people it will hurt in the end are their own children, family members or friends that they use as puppets just to prove a point how “evil” single childless Sonia is. So since I know their tactics, I try to control myself when they deliberately provoke me to show how “aggressive” I am. They should probably find a more interesting job or take a vacation or get a new wife/ husband and leave me alone.πŸ˜†πŸ‘πŸΌ
  10. Misogynists can also provoke women and then simply brand them “crazy”. Calling women crazy or broken are cheap tactics abusive men use to control their wives/ employees/ girlfriends. Don’t fall for their trap and get angry, but make sure to find evidence how insane those men really are. Sometimes, you don’t even need to lift a finger because most misogynists fall for their own trap in the end. Just wait for it. For example, my ex-boss always blamed women for everything and after all the evidence I collected against him, the CEO finally opened his eyes and believed me and not that man’s outrageous lies. πŸ˜‚
  11. When someone always brags and tries to prove themselves to others, it’s a sign of weakness and low self-esteem. It’s easy to spot this and the simple way is just to smile it off. πŸ™ƒ You could also say “You don’t have to prove yourself to me, I believe you are happy without the constant need for my validation dear.” β˜ΊοΈπŸ‘πŸΌ
  12. People who are envious of you always think YOU are envious of them. Their car, their blonde hair, job, kids, money, spouse etc. whatever they can come up with when in reality they are jealous of your confidence and mental strength, because they themselves are insecure and try to hide it with bullshitting. Truly confident people don’t need to prove themselves and accuse single people of jealousy. This is just a cheap tactic of trying to validate their own low self-esteem when a “sad single woman” is “jealous”. Try to come up with something more original than accusing single people of jealousy. πŸ˜…
  13. Sometimes annoying bullies will claim that it’s “tough love” and you need to become “stronger”, grow a “thicker skin” when they simply torment and isolate you for fun. This is not ok and it’s challenging without a lawyer, so when the opportunity rises, sue them. Bullying is NEVER ok and it does NOT make you stronger. Never believe the bullies and their stupid ass crap excuses.
  14. If someone provokes you, scream, don’t hit. πŸ˜‚ Unless you hit for self-defense. (Though I believe in Finland there are no self-defense laws) Physical violence is a crime, but if you say “fuck you” to someone who deliberately provoked you, you’re not breaking the law. Swearing in your mind is also a good tactic. Also if you must, use words that are funny not illegal (in defamation standards. Especially racists are SUPER sensitive of being called racist and have made it illegal in Finland now LOOOL🀣). Imagine some tough guy suing you because you called him “micropenis”. Even if he would win the case, he would need to explain to his friends why he sued you. πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜Ž
  15. Annoying someone is different than pushing someone. I have had crazy women “accidentally” bump into me in supermarkets and at work. AGAIN, these are cheap trash tactics to get a reaction from you and point fingers at you. Just remember, if they push/ touch you FIRST, you are reacting as self-defense. So better just stop right there pathetic bullies and get yourself a new hobby. πŸ˜†πŸ‘πŸΌ
When bullies deliberately provoke you, manage your emotions with different stress relief factors. Also keep in mind, they’re worthless and find you a threat. πŸ™πŸΌ Photo: Sonia Jain

Travel Smart When You’re Alone And on a Budget

You can travel even when you are unemployed. A great trick is to utilize job interviews. Big companies will pay for your trip even if they decide not to hire you or you decline the job. So if you can’t find ANY glamour in being single and unemployed, then at least you are free to go where ever you want without having to ask for anyone’s permission or taking anyone’s feelings into consideration. πŸ˜ƒ If you are tight with money, apply for a job in an international company and if they are interested, they’ll pay for your trip for the job interview/ relocation costs to move to the location of the job. Even a basic call center job that doesn’t require any education will do that in Europe. As long as you speak some exotic language like Finnish or Portuguese. For Americans, China and Japan pay huge salaries for teaching English (with an American accent). I’ve talked to some young American women who even went to Istanbul to teach English.

You can also do it online and save money to travel abroad. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. People will say you’re selfish if you travel and they’ll say you have a hidden agenda if you don’t travel and help your old retired relatives. 🀣 Cheap people will always find something to whine about so let them whine alone and move to a new country.

You have to be smart when you travel alone, especially as a single woman. I have avoided “dangerous” countries and picked safe spots like Thailand, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Germany and my favourite, New York City! Some may argue that NYC is not that safe, but actually, it’s the hub for highly educated talented single career women (and men). Funnily, Sex and the City TV- show inspired a rush of young fashionistas to move to the city and there might be even more young single women than men. Unfortunately, I failed to establish my career there and had to return back to square one. Sabotaging someone’s efforts to establish an international career is not cool AT ALL and doesn’t help anyone. I think any government would be happy to have smart hard-working young talent that actually want to earn their own money (regardless WHERE they earn their money..) instead of living on social benefits like a loser. Babies can come later and the LAME excuse I have gotten from people is that I’m “in the age of having babies”. 🀣 Wrong, I need a man to have a baby and MONEY. The baby won’t eat air, so obviously I need to have a (high paying) job first.

Even if you are broke, you can travel abroad alone. You just have to pick locations that are not very expensive, keep on a budget and maybe even try to earn some money while traveling! Every country has their own rules and regulations about unemployment, but most European countries have a “union system”. You pay an annual membership fee and if you lose your job, you get like 80% of your salary for two years. This is a good system, especially if you were viciously bullied in the previous workplace and need a break. Usually people find a job during this time, but unfortunately in my case my unemployment seems to never end. So then you just have to do random jobs, like sales promotion gigs (e.g. handing out flyers is LAME, but it’s grass root level marketing and pays OK, better than McDonald’s cashier) and other low paying jobs totally not worth your Master’s. πŸ˜–Here’s a list of countries I have travelled to while being single and unemployed. By the way, I also LOVE to combine trips to save a buck. So if I’m in Central Europe, I’ll take a cheap train to a nearby country etc..

  1. NYC. I went there three times for JOB HUNTING and all my plane tickets cost less than 500€. On one of my trips there, I worked two weeks at Marimekko store in UES in Manhattan to earn some cash. Once I stayed with family friends to save rent money and then I also found cheap shared apartments on Craigslist.
  2. Paris, France. European flights are cheap especially if you know all the bargain websites. Book early and travel lightly!
  3. Galway, Ireland. I travelled with my own money to check a call center job offer I got, but decided not to accept it for personal reasons. Again, not that expensive, took a plane to Dublin and a train to Galway and then a bus to my hotel. Travel lightly so you don’t need to take a taxi everywhere.
  4. Sofia, Bulgaria. I went there for a call center job. My travel expenses were paid by the company and first two weeks in a hotel. Sadly, I got fired. πŸ˜…πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ
  5. Mumbai, India. I stayed with relatives to avoid hotel expenses. If you don’t have relatives abroad, find cheap hotels and go with friends.
  6. Bangkok, Thailand. I took a cheap flight from Mumbai since I was already in that part of the globe. Nice hotels are also MUCH cheaper than in Europe/ the States.
  7. Malta. I went there for an online casino job and my travel expenses were paid by the company and first two weeks of accommodation.
  8. Tallinn, Estonia. There are cheap boat trips from Helsinki for like 20€ with return. People are beautiful, friendly and very helpful. Prices are very reasonable too.
  9. Luxembourg. Found a cheap flight and stayed with a friend. The cheapest way to travel is to travel with friends or alone and stay with friends/ relatives. If you don’t have friends, find trustworthy travel buddies online. (There are websites for it.)
  10. Trier, Germany. I took a cheap train from Luxembourg, paid in total like 20€ with return.

People will get jealous if you travel when you are unemployed, they will question where did you get money to travel and did you do something shady. πŸ˜‚ There’s no cure for jealousy. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, but since so many “lovely” people have accused me of BS, here’s a very simple blog post how to travel while being unemployed, without having to do prostitution, rob a bank or squeeze money from your retired relatives!! 🀣

Sonia enjoying life and checking out cultural stuff in Malta in 2017! She got a low skilled JOB (totally not worth her Master’s) there, the company paid her travel expenses and rent for first two weeks. πŸ’―πŸŒ Photo by: Hicham Abdel

How to Defeat Boredom When You are Job Hunting

Job hunting is stressful. As is finding a partner. Doing both at the same time can be soul crushing. Even if you spend your days in looking for work, go on occasional dates and try to earn a buck to pay your bills by doing low skilled jobs (totally NOT worth your Master’s degree, because racism is “awesome” in Europe!!🀣), you will eventually get bored. Especially if you are blacklisted from the job market and NOBODY wants to help you find a job (500+ Linkedin connections are useless when you REALLY need them). πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

I think the “geniuses get their best ideas alone, crazy and bored” concept is totally OVERRATED BS and does NOT work or then I’m just simply not smart enough to come up with a billion dollar business plan when I’m been constantly mentally tortured! πŸ˜‚ I hate spending time alone and that’s why I live in the WORST country for my personality (Finland). Anyhow, here are 30 things I have done to defeat boredom (because there’s a limit how much you can spend on writing your freaking job applications per day ok??!). These can be utilized for your mental health as well, because obviously excess boredom and isolation decreases your mental wellbeing A LOT.

  1. Watched cake videos. πŸŽ‚ It’s amazing to see how they create beautiful (and tasty!) art from cakes and sugar. It’s very relaxing and satisfying to see these perfect cakes.
  2. Sent more than 200 job applications in seven years and FAILED. (Most of them to Finland, because apparently I’m not Finnish= white enough to be hired for a job worth my fucking Master’s degree. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ)
  3. Went to Malta for work, got fired and spent two months looking for work and attended eleven job interviews! (Eleven in two months vs. three in SEVEN YEARS in Finland!) Unfortunately the industry was apparently wrong for me so no luck in getting a job or something fishy. πŸ€”
  4. Binge watched TV shows, such as Desperate Housewives, The Handmaid’s Tale, Good Behavior, White Collar, Criminal Minds, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Family Guy etc..
  5. Literally attended tens of CV improvement courses and even bought a book about cover letters in a work in a library in NYC. Didn’t help me unfortunately.
  6. Attended job searching courses/ unemployment office events/ generally hanged out in the unemployment office. πŸ˜†
  7. Volunteered for Unicef, UN Women, Amnesty and Finnish Animal Welfare Society. Turns out they are more than happy to take my free help, but not actually PAY me and hire me for a real job. 🀣 πŸ‘πŸΌ
  8. Spent excess time with my cats (they are kind of like my children now ahaha). 🐈
  9. Drank A LOT of wine. 🍷🍷
  10. Joined different networking organisations and went to SO many different networking events with ZERO luck in finding work. Met a lot of cool new people though! πŸ’―
  11. Went to local church events to try to find new friends, failed. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ
  12. Joined Twitter and have tweeted more than 5000 times. (doesn’t include all the deleted (rage)tweets.)
  13. Created Instagram for myself and one for my cats. Have updated them regularly with pictures I have taken myself.
  14. Tried to become a Marketing Consultant, created a professional Facebook account (in addition to my other FB account) and a Facebook page for my new “business”, but failed to get clients. ☹️
  15. Learned how to use WordPress and started blogging after SEVEN years of sending bullshit applications and getting rejected from everything and getting mocked by everyone.
  16. Did free online courses by Google Digital Garage and got a certificate for one course. Hopefully it will be useful in finding some work. ✌️
  17. Exercised a lot, checked my weight every day and tracked what I eat but eventually got bored of counting my calorie intake (especially when you’re single) and started eating cakes again. πŸŽ‚
  18. Got a job in Bulgaria, got fired and returned back to square one.
  19. Traveled for leisure when I had money. 🌴
  20. Read a few books. πŸ“š
  21. Organized monthly events for an international expat group. Met so many well travelled cool people! πŸŒπŸ’―
  22. Went to NYC alone, found an apartment from Craigslist, networked with a bunch of people, skipped parties to write my fucking job applications (!), sent job applications, attended job interviews, missed my flight back to Finland, stayed and sent more job applications, and finally FAILED. 😫
  23. Drove around in a tram/ bus to pass time. πŸ˜†
  24. Went shopping in random locations just to get out of the house.
  25. Tried to talk to Finnish mental health professionals but their arrogant white supremacist attitude and condescending way of talking to me, made me NEVER want to see another mental health professional in this country ever again. ☹️
  26. Helped my old retired relatives.
  27. Worked all shitty jobs not worth my Master’s. Funny how some people love to see you do their dirty work for them but whine if you actually have a real job. ( I have been bullied in every office job I’ve had in Finland.)
  28. Experimented with new cooking recipes.
  29. Ate too much cake and chocolate. 🍫🧁
  30. Sat home alone most weekends and wished that I was in NYC. πŸ˜”πŸ—½

I hope I inspired someone who is also job hunting, haven’t managed to find a job worth her/ his degree, all the singles out there and anyone who needs encouragement and tips how to handle excess time (in more or less productive ways😝). Remember to be grateful (because that will pay the bills. NOT.) Sending positive vibes to everyone in any case!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜¬βœŒοΈ

I have done A LOT of things to defeat boredom while job hunting (and being single.) Especially when the NGOs you volunteer for free don’t actually want to hire you for a real job. ( I applied to a few in Finland and they hired their white female friends instead.πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ) Photo: Sonia Jain

Before Buying Canned Soup, Consider Cooking These Healthy and Cheap Dishes

When you are single and unemployed, it’s difficult to eat healthy, because healthy food is generally more expensive worldwide. Especially in the States and Ireland, I noticed that healthy food is not first of all available in normal stores, but it also costs a lot more. In Finland food is generally very expensive (especially when you don’t have a regular job and pay all your food expenses ALONE plus your TWO Cookie Monster cats). Healthy food is easy to find here, but it can also be expensive if you don’t know how to shop or cook your own meals.

Here are some of my favourite cheap dishes to make when you are single and unemployed or just single/ unemployed/ a student/ retired/ saving money for your kids/ on a budget. I have included the estimate price for Finland. (the food prices are higher than in the United States and an average European country like France, so chances are you will make these dishes for 30-40% cheaper). My favourite top ten cheap and quick vegetarian/ vegan dishes for less than two euros per portion (2€ = $2,16):

  1. Indian dal with rice. Red lentils, brown lentils or yellow lentils. 0,70€/ $0,76 per portion.
  2. Finnish potato-leek soup. 0,55€/ $0,59 per portion.
  3. Finnish tomato soup. 0,50€/ $0,54 per portion.
  4. Indian Palak Paneer with rice. (Indian spinach tofu/ cheese dish). 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  5. Three Bean Chili in tomato sauce (vegan). 1,20€/ $1,30 per portion
  6. Thai wok with tofu. 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  7. Salad with kidney beans – you can add anything you find in your kitchen (vegan). 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  8. Pasta with tomato eggplant sauce (vegan without parmesan). 1€/ $1,08 per portion
  9. Couscous with tofu and (frozen) vegetables. 2€/ $2,16 per portion
  10. Vegan sandwich – bread roll, hummus, cucumber/ tomato. 1,50€/ $1,62 per portion

My doctor told me to cut down wheat, so replacing pasta with fresh salads is also a good idea. Pasta is however, cheap, easy and quick, so for men and growing children it is especially a nice dish to prepare yourself. I don’t eat meat (except seafood though it’s expensive) and try to avoid dairy products as much as I can, so that is why my dishes are vegetarian/ vegan.

If you would like to have the recipes for free (most of them are from Google), please contact me via my contact form on the Contact page! πŸ™‚βœŒοΈ

6. Thai wok with tofu. (2€/ $2,16 per portion) Don’t add parsley though if you want to save a buck. IT IS expensive (at least in Finland, one fresh parsley plant costs 2 EUROS (€) ). πŸ˜† Photo: Sonia Jain

How to Dress Well Without Money

Looking glamorous without money is obviously a challenge.πŸ˜„ The good thing is though that there are some tricks to maintain your glamour even when you don’t feel good, your confidence is down and you are surrounded by low class bullies and are totally penniless. πŸ˜‚

Here are 25 things I have done to maintain my glamour while being single and unemployed:

  1. Utilized my old good quality clothes. You all have probably some clothes you bought when you had a job in your wardrobe, but abandoned them when you lost your job. Get them out! πŸ‘—
  2. Bought clothes from flea markets/ second-hand stores. Some clothes are good quality, but avoid buying used shoes because of feet bacteria.
  3. Utilized sales sections in expensive stores.
  4. Bought clothes/ shoes online for a much cheaper price.
  5. Fixed my good quality clothes/ stuff myself. For example, you can fix a hole in a sweater or an umbrella yourself instead of buying new ones.
  6. Subscribed for high-end brands’ newsletters and received campaign offers and sales by email. (and they keep reducing the prices the longer you wait)
  7. Bought classic, clean cut timeless pieces of clothing. One good quality little black dress can last for even ten years and still stay in fashion. You can use it for different occasions too, such as work, party or vacation by accessorising this one dress differently.
  8. Took care of my shoes/ bags. Leather care is a must if you want to keep your leather shoes and bags looking good for years. Leather will last for decades if you take good care of it.
  9. Ignored the a-holes. Useless people will always talk, so to keep yourself glamorous, don’t engage in BS. Don’t lower your standards and values for crap people. That’s their goal, they feel intimidated for whatever reason and need validation. Nothing will make you look cheaper than lowering yourself to the level of the useless bullies. Even when the bullies have millions in their bank account and an expensive car, they make themselves look like cheap garbage with their behavior.
  10. Combined cheaper clothes with expensive items. You can wear a one euro T-shirt and look glamorous if you accessorize it well with more high quality items.
  11. Wore clothes that fit my body. Even if you could afford a 10 000€ dress, it will look cheap if it doesn’t fit your body type. You CAN look glamorous in a 10€ dress if it fits you perfectly. Don’t show too much skin, no matter how amazing your body is or hot the party is, because it won’t look glamorous.
  12. Maintained great hair. Great hair is the first step to looking glamorous regardless of your financial situation. In my opinion, all men look absolutely GLAMOROUS with a beard. 😍 Not a dirty hippie beard, but a sexy short lumberjack beard.
  13. Maintained my skincare and makeup routines. Even when I can’t afford expensive skincare products. Soap and a shower go a long way when you don’t have a choice. 🀣
  14. Bought good quality and comfortable shoes. It’s not very glamorous, if you can’t walk and your feet are full of blisters. You can buy good quality for a reasonable price, just look online, utilize sales and sometimes you can even buy clothes/ shoes with monthly installments. (Interest rate will of course be higher with monthly payments and you end up paying more in the end.. poor people’s problems. Sigh.)
  15. Ate healthy but cheap food. Instead of popping pills and vitamin supplements, eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh vegetables aren’t very expensive either (compared to meat/ fish) and have all the vitamins you need for a healthy glow.
  16. Kept my nails short and natural. Many people seem to think long witch-like fake nails are glamorous, but I think it looks cheap. Not to mention you can’t do anything with your long nails and if you chip one, you look even more ridiculous. Then you have to constantly run to the nail salon to fix your nails and in my opinion, glamorous people don’t waste their time in useless stuff.
  17. Never tried (and never will) fake eyelashes. So many women think they look glamorous and posh, but again in my opinion (you don’t have to agree with me) they look fake and make your whole look fake. When you don’t wear any make-up, you still have your fake eyelashes on and it looks strange. Dying your eyelashes gives you a more natural look. Even if you have short eyelashes, dying your lashes will make your eyes pop out and of course a great mascara/ eyeliner. Natural eyes/ eyelashes make you look younger BTW!!
  18. Wore high heels, but not too high and accessorised them well. Who doesn’t love high heels?! They make you look glamorous, but only if you style them well and wear heels that fit you. Classic black/ nude pumps with 9-11cm heels are my favorites. You don’t trip over even if you’re a bit tipsy. πŸ˜‰πŸ‘ 
  19. Avoided hair extensions. Who doesn’t love long hair?! Men find long hair very attractive, but times also change. The modern woman can look amazing with a short and simple hairstyle. If you like to use hair extensions, try a different haircut instead. New hair color and style can make even thin hair look gorgeous and glamorous. Check how celebrities style their short hair. A new short look will also be cheaper to maintain than hair extensions.
  20. Avoided perfume/ men with strong cologne. Don’t get me wrong, I used to LOVE to splash on perfume. But now my financial situation hasn’t really allowed me to spend extra money on expensive perfumes. Think how much you will save and perfume is something nice to have but not a necessity. Deodorant, soap, shampoo and a moisturiser are MUST haves for men and women. Perfume/ cologne are not a must and especially if you use too much of it.
  21. Drank mocktails instead of cocktails. Nobody thinks being wasted is glamorous. Maybe when you are a teenager in a music festival but chances are you will end up vomiting and whatever glamour you had… ENDS there. 🍸 You can drink alcohol and be glamorous, but for an unemployed person’s budget it’s not really worth it.(Nightclub prices). One mocktail in a nightclub in a company you actually enjoy will do the trick. I used to have a bad habit of drinking a lot simply because I don’t like the country where I live.
  22. Took care of my mental/ physical health. Being crazy isn’t exactly glamorous even though Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence made it cool (and broke the stigma surrounding mental health) in Silver Linings Playbook. If you can’t afford therapy like me, do other things. Exercising is number one for both mental and physical health. Spend time with your friends (if you don’t have friends like me, get a pet). Do the things you love. If you can’t afford them, find cheaper options. Google it if you have to. Having a support network is crucial and the lack of it is extremely damaging. Go online to find a community you like or try to find a job in a new country.
  23. Wore good quality accessories. If you can’t afford it, don’t wear it. Fake bags and sunglasses aren’t very glamorous. Find a style that doesn’t require expensive brands. You can buy a good quality watch for a reasonable price if you avoid high-end brands and simple earrings will go a long way. You don’t need to buy gold and diamonds to look glamorous. Find jewellery that is timeless and simple, like pearls.
  24. Avoided making racist/ sexist/ mocking jokes. Racism might have been glamorous in nazi Germany in the 1940s, but it sure as hell isn’t glamorous anymore.πŸ˜† Nothing screams more cheap trash (regardless of your financial status, race, nationality, gender, country) than cheap jokes on others expense. Especially if you mock the most vulnerable people of the society such as refugees, minorities, handicapped, single mothers, gays etc. You can be the president of the country, CEO of a powerful company or have an elite business school degree and still look cheap if you make disgusting jokes. The only people it will attract is other disgusting non-glamorous people. Some super rich like to act like morons because they have so much money that they simply don’t care. However, the older they get, they start to realize nobody around them actually respected them at any point in their lives. Simply tolerated because they had to.
  25. Volunteered for different causes. Single and unemployed people have A LOT of excess time, so use it wisely. I will write a separate blog about boredom, but there’s nothing more glamorous than helping others. You can walk around with a 5000€ handbag or drive a 200 000€ car, but if you don’t help others, you are not glamorous. Selfishness in my opinion isn’t glamorous. Exploiting volunteers is trashy. Healthy selfishness in the other hand is glamorous. Don’t waste your time on people who don’t care about your help/ volunteering/ empathy and be glamorously selfish!! πŸ˜‚ ✈️
How to be glamorously single and unemployed. Step one, wear timeless clothes.
7. Sonia likes to wear timeless pieces of clothing, such as classic black pumps, a trench coat and fit pants. (Every item in this pic costs between 35-117€) The juvenile scooter, however, is NOT part of Sonia’s glamorous lifestyle. 😝 Photo by: Fernando Garza

Maintaining Your Hot Body HOT

One of the best ways to handle your mental health is to exercise, like I mentioned in my previous post. Of course, exercising is also crucial to stay physically fit and healthy. However, exercising and expensive hobbies can be a challenge when you’re single and unemployed, so what should you do? Eat less? Starve yourself so you don’t gain weight because you can’t afford a gym membership?!🀣

No need to go to unhealthy lengths. You can for example for starters find a cheap (or even free) second-hand bike online or through relatives, friends, university bulletin boards etc. Exercising outdoors is cost-efficient, healthy and you get your privacy. The amount of exercise you need is individual, but the minimum should be three times per week. Even if you exercise five times per week, it’s not guaranteed for a perfect body though. It’s especially challenging when you’re under constant financial stress, finding a full-time job and loneliness, because comfort food is just so good. In imperfect times, people tend to develop imperfect habits. Drinking, junk food, too much sugar, smoking, and too much TV. When you don’t have a regular job and someone to support you mentally (and financially), it is especially easy to fall for unhealthy habits. Stress can also make you gain weight. So if you like food as much as I do, try to balance it with regular exercise, especially when you have the time for it. 😊

Things I have done to maintain a regular exercise routine and a semi-healthy diet with my limited budget in an unsupportive country.

  1. I swear by SWEAT fitness app. Try the free trial first or do the exercises on Youtube before you purchase the app.
  2. MyFitnessPal app is free and I actually lost 7kg when I tracked everything I ate for eight months.
  3. Got a bike from a relative (old school bike without gears, so extra hard to cycle hills and stuff.πŸ˜„)
  4. Walked alone in a forest.
  5. Walked alone in a grave yard. (yeah I know my life is sad, but grave yards are good for walking because they are kind of like parks, but with zero people around. Well, alive people.πŸ˜†)
  6. Attended free yoga events. Outdoors summer yoga is amazing.
  7. Utilized free gym trials.
  8. Hunted down a gym from literally EVERYWHERE, countryside, little villages, hotels, spas, weird NYC neighbourhoods, Bulgaria, and if I didn’t find one, worked out from my hotel/ Airbnb room. Found some real random stuff too with my mini budget. The crappiest gym was probably in Malta (attended mostly by Eastern European bodybuilders). πŸ˜†πŸ’ͺ🏼
  9. Walked my landlord’s dog in Malta and NYC.
  10. Rented a cool city bike in different vacation destinations.
  11. Took a bike tour when I was travelling alone.
  12. Cycled to work instead of taking the bus.
  13. Drank sugar free drinks. Even if you eat cake, cutting down sugar from other things is still helpful.
  14. Took a dance class. (they are expensive so start by paying for one class first and if you like the class buy 10 time card etc.)
  15. Utilized a personal trainer offer at a gym.
  16. Utilized a free InBody body composition analysis at a local gym.
  17. Paid a personal trainer to make me a meal plan.
  18. Drank protein shakes/ ate protein bars/ protein rich food.
  19. Went to a zumba class instead of boring cardio like running. Some people are demotivated to exercise because it’s “boring” or too intense. So find something that makes it fun, easy to begin with and inspiring like dancing or yoga.
  20. Did pilates (when I had a gym membership). You can continue pilates at home if you can’t afford your gym membership anymore. You can check videos from YouTube.

I exercise a lot, but my body is not perfect because my diet isn’t that great. That’s the dilemma of unemployment/ single life, you have to stay fit/ healthy to find a job and a partner but then you are also under constant stress and pressure in trying to maintain your finances and sanity ALONE. Even though many long term singles are mentally much stronger than needy relationship people (who cheat/ bully singles), we are not SUPER humans either. Finding a supportive network of people is crucial for success, so try to find friends who have the same goals than you. Keeping fit is easier with people who share your goals. If you can’t find people (like in my case) then do it alone with an app. Then when the time is right, move to another country (warm weather helps you keep fit, you have limitless opportunities for outdoor exercising) and find your support network there. 🌞

Single lonely life walking in the forest alone.
4. Who needs people when you can just walk alone in the forest for seven years. πŸ˜† Photo: Sonia Jain

Managing Your Finances Like a Lady

It’s a tough world out there for single women, especially single unemployed women. You have to maintain your appearance to attract potential partners and to look representable for job interviews. Work wear is expensive and today’s job market requires you to look your best. So how do I manage without a job and a boyfriend to pay my rent, bills, feed my cats, feed myself, buy clothes, make-up and do my hair?

When your future looks uncertain, it is very important to keep your budget intact and save some money for the future. The unfortunate part of being unemployed is that you have no idea when you will get your next job. It might take a month, six months or even SEVEN years like in my case.

Who will buy me shoes when you have no income or a boyfriend? Who will even look at me if I can’t afford to buy make-up and do my hair? Do I need to go live with my parents again? Rob a bank? You get stressed and anxious, but sometimes you have to do things that aren’t that awesome. No, I don’t mean you should do porn, but find quick ways to cut your fixed expenses first. Here are 30 things I have done in the past seven years of my unemployed single life to save a buck:

  1. Lived with my dad for two years.
  2. Lived with random (WEIRD) roommates I found online in four different apartments in NYC and Finland. Communists, hipsters, bullies and one fashion model who only had jam and beer in her side of the fridge…and several more!
  3. Lived in an apartment hotel with random roommates.
  4. Lived in an apartment in a building that was under construction work (cheaper rent) and I didn’t have a window for six months.
  5. Bought make-up from the sales section.
  6. Bought clothes from second hand stores.
  7. Met people in a library instead of a cafΓ©.
  8. Haven’t taken a vacation/ traveled abroad in 2 YEARS.
  9. Used coupons to buy food.
  10. Asked help from the church.
  11. Talked to my cats instead of paying 120 euros/session (average price) for a therapist.
  12. Cycled 44km in one day just to save 13 euros in travel costs.
  13. Asked for a ride from neighbors/ friends to save a bus ride fair 2,80 euros.
  14. Cut down on alcohol and going to bars. I didn’t go to a single bar for 8 MONTHS.
  15. Gone on a date with a douchebag to get free food.
  16. Attended random events to get free food, such as a tech company’s training event for coders (I’m NOT a coder).
  17. Volunteered in random events to get free food.
  18. Complained about something to get a discount on food/ a cocktail. (Real reasons though, sick of paying from my pennies just to get crap)
  19. Taken sugar, salt and pepper home from restaurants.
  20. Fixed my old shoes instead of buying new ones.
  21. Cut and died my own hair. (After I got sick of vicious bullying hairdressers DELIBERATELY ruining my hair after I paid FULL price, SEVEN incidents in Finland!!)
  22. Stopped wearing nail polish.
  23. Left an empty bottle in a public toilet and after the event took the bottle for recycling to get 0,20e.
  24. Took my jewellery to the pawn shop to get money to buy one of my cats.
  25. Considered putting my rental apartment on Airbnb, but then realized it’s illegal (breach of contract). You could do this though if your contract allows it and stay with your relatives, friends for 1-2 months to save rent money and use that money to take a vacation!
  26. Learned how to change a light bulb/ clean pipes/ install washing machine instead of paying the maintenance guy to do it.
  27. Changed a gym membership to an fitness app and worked out from home/ outside (saved 40e per month).
  28. Learned how to cook at home instead of buying ready meals/ ordering from restaurants.
  29. Utilized free trials for pretty much everything available, such as LinkedIn, Adobe, a local newspaper etc. Just remember to CANCEL on time!!
  30. Actually have WORKED! Done different part-time, freelancer work 1-4 days a week (NOT every week though so I would actually have enough money to live), such as sold yoghurt in supermarkets, sold Oreo cookies in supermarkets, was a substitute teacher in an elementary school, sat in a church eight hour per day for two months waiting for tourists to stop by, and helped startups with social media marketing. Everything except work worth my MSc in International Business Management and prostitution. 😝

This is all for today,  more money saving tricks coming up later! 

25. Sonia figured that her British Shorthair cat, London, will help her lonely single life. (Bought her instead of getting a shelter cat because she didn’t have a car to drive 2h to a shelter AND pay the shelter fee 100€ for an adult cat, 150€ for a kitten. Abandoned cats can be aggressive too just in case you plan to have children whenever you stop being single.) Photo: Sonia Jain

I tried to collect some of the funniest things, but of course there’s nothing funny about my situation. However, all the entrepreneurs I have met so far, have had similar money saving tricks. So I guess there’s still hope for me. πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸΌ