Despite my efforts to cut costs and reduce my bills, I still keep running out of money every pay period. This time around, I'm already in the hole $500 worth of overdraft protection and I owe my husband $200 that I'm sure he could ill afford to give me. Being in the red at payday is probably what's killing me - it's hard to get caught up when you start out behind.
I need to get in touch with my mortgage company and see if I can shift the payment dates so that they fall after the 15th and the 1st, rather than a few days before. That'll at least keep me from dipping into my overdraft protection so much.
The irritating thing about all of this is that I've been really good about cooking dinners at home and bringing lunches to work. Plus, I've turned into a highly efficient office food scavenger. If there's a client or vendor in the office, chances are there'll be leftovers around 1:30 or so. I've managed to score at least one free meal per week lately by just waiting and watching.
I have to pat myself on the back for the "fridge scrapings" dinner I came up with last night. I had some spicy tomato sauce left over from an earlier dinner this week, so I boiled some ziti noodles, mixed them with the sauce, added some quartered slices of pepperoni, topped everything with cheese and baked it. It was one of the better-tasting meals I'd had all week and I didn't have to do any extra shopping to make it work.
Since I have two weekend days ahead before I get paid on Monday, my plan is to use up the other things that reside in my cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. I know I have chicken breasts, so this might be a good opportunity to fire up the grill. I have a ham steak, some eggs and potatoes, so there's a breakfast or two. There's still ravioli and pasta sauce kicking around. I guess as long as we're not too picky about the kind of meat we eat, we'll be good to go.
Beyond that, I don't know what else I can do to scale back other than become a recluse. We're already foregoing concerts, movies and most restaurant meals. Maybe I should use my free time to develop a more concrete marketing plan for my husband's studio. It'll give me something to do and perhaps boost our household income in the process.