$18 for the next week

October 29, 2009 at 10:54 am (bringing lunch, monthly budget) (, , )

I have $18 in my checking account to last me until Nov. 5. Even with a pretty solid budget, here’s how it came to pass: Flu season has already started where I work. I maxed it out and rather than eat into my vacation, I elected to have unpaid days off in my timecard, resulting in a smaller paycheck than usual (by about $200). I’ve been aggressive with my debt and bill paying this month, probably more than I should have been, but I was making up for the last 2 months of no extra debt payments. I think I was also behind on my car insurance and ended up overpaying a month (rather than deduct what I had sent in after their bill made it into the mail).

So last night, I looked at my checking account balance to find only $18! Ugh! And I don’t get paid until next Thursday, 11/5. I did transfer some cash over from my savings account, which I fully plan on replacing when I get paid, in full. However, I also plan on NOT SPENDING MONEY as much as physically possible between now and then.

I’m out of gas, I have some food in the fridge, but no big protein sources (ie, chicken, pork, beef or tofu). I ran out of frozen food entrees in the freezer at work. What’s a gal to do? Well, enter the week of living frugally (much more than I have ever done in the past). It will be even more challenging with my bf being in the same boat (his financial reasons for being broke involve bad spending, no planning, and not debt repayment like me, but the results are the same).

Today I had leftovers. I ate oatmeal that I had kicking around in my desk drawer for breakfast. I plan on bringing more in through the duration. For lunch I had leftover chicken pho soup (Vietnamese chicken soup) and rice and fried tofu from Uwajimaya that I bought yesterday (enough for 3 meals). I have apple, bread and peanut butter. That will last me through the afternoon munchies.

I will be creative and more vegetarian at home for meals. There are a bunch of eggs, I can scramble, make a quiche (we have leeks in the garden p-patch that we haven’t used yet and there’s a rasher of bacon in the fridge that is probably still good inside its paper wrapping). I have a can of chickpeas that I can turn into a pasta dish with cream, onions, and bacon. I will probably have to go buy some carrots to make some split pea soup, and I’ll buy a tub of lettuce from Costco (all should be less than $10). I can make cookies for snacks, got the butter, flour, chocolate chip or preserves (for choc chip or thumbprints). I have lots of bulk grains and legumes. I don’t have a ton of fresh veggies though. I think I can scramble a can of tuna for lunch tomorrow, or maybe I’ll do baked potatoes, which are always filling and warming on these cold days. I think I still have ramen left over from a case bought at Costco.

I put $15 of gas in my truck and will not allow myself to buy a coffee, go out to lunch or dinner, drive anywhere unnecessary that might use my precious ½ tank of gas, or use my credit card at all. I may have to dip into my partial savings, but as I mentioned above, my next month’s bills will be lower by about $90 due to my overpayment.

ARGH, bad timing, but the lessons are good ones to take to heart.

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