I'm currently on my second funemployment journey of my adult life. My first was spent drinking my way through Europe. My second is being spent doing whatever TF I want in the mountains.
What is funemployment?
Funemployment is when your adult brain meets your child brain. Your adult brain knows you need to pay your bills and be insured. Your adult brain is responsible. Your child brain hates sitting in a cubicle and just wants to go play outside. Your child brain doesn't give a fuck. Funempoyment is when they meet in the middle. You responsibly hoard money and voluntarily quit your job to go play outside, or whatever it is you'd like to do.
My reasoning for the first funemployment streak was my desire to travel. I had just graduated college and knew I probably wouldn’t ever get that opportunity again. So I took a month and a half and backpacked across 35 cities with 36 strangers. Reality show or my life? It’s fine.
The reasoning for this second funemployment streak is me wanting to move across the country. As many of you know, applying for jobs is an absolute nightmare. Companies want a resume, a humblebraggy cover letter, and a virgin sacrifice even to get a phone screen. Growing up in the same town I went to college in and then subsequently landed an entry-level position, it was time to move. But even as awful as applying to jobs in your own city is, it’s a million times worse from 1000 miles away.
Someone once told me “nothing says you’re committed to relocation like just showing up.”
I should probably be more careful who I take advice from, because I saved a shitload of money, quit my job, and moved here.
Your reasoning could be much different than mine. The important part is that you have a reason. You can’t just quit your job and lay around for a month. That’s actual unemployment and it’s frowned upon by everyone. Funemployment is much much different, it has purpose.
Spreadsheets are the answer to everything. They are brutally honest and you can’t ignore the numbers. I’ve been tracking every single penny I’ve spent for a little over two years now. I know my spending and saving patterns. I know how much I normally spend on food, alcohol, clothing….everything.
I tracked every single fixed expense I have. This is the part where you need to be completely honest with yourself because fibbing will only hurt you in the end. Small things add up, trust me.
I made sure I had enough saved up to cover 8 months of these expenses. I could live bare minimum for 8 months without getting a job. You may need to be more or less conservative depending on your degree, skill set, work ethic, and demand for your position.
You know yourself better than anyone. I knew if I got even remotely tight on money, I wouldn’t be too proud to work retail or any other part-time job. Account for this as well. I have friends that wouldn’t set foot back into their college jobs, and others who don’t care what they do as long as they have an income.
You also know your stress habits. Do you need retail therapy? Will you need a gym membership to work off stress? Are you going to drink it away in a local bar? These are all fine, but don’t plan to trim these costs if you know you won’t end up doing so.
This is up to you. If you want to travel, research weather and peak times. If you want to move, look how active the job market is and research housing options. There’s no point in quitting your job in December to spend the colder months backpacking, you’ll freeze to death. It’s more expensive to move in the summer months due to popularity. Moving trucks and apartment complexes will cost you an arm and a leg.
The most important thing to remember about funemployment is that you will still be living and spending, but paychecks will not be coming in. You’ll need to save ahead of time for any extras you plan on doing. Suffer now, thrive later. You may need to skip the weekly happy hours with your coworkers so that you can enjoy your normal lifestyle when you’re funemployed.
Funemployment definitely isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot of planning and saving, but definitely takes the stress off in the end. If you want to take a month and see the world or even move to a new part of the country, it might be in your best interest to entertain the idea. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of a whole month work-free?