So I got myself down to only $1000 left on the last credit card as of my last paycheck. I felt really great about that, and even though it meant that finances would be really tight until the next payday (today), I just tightened my belt and behaved really well financially and finally - finally - the glorious day arrived. Payday, phew.
Except my paycheck is pitifully, pitifully small. I received my annual bonus two weeks ago, and the way they do it here is to just give you the bonus check and then take the taxed for it out of your next paycheck. I have no idea why they don't just take it out of the bonus check immediately. Maybe they want the bonus to look bigger and more impressive, I don't know. But in any case, even though the bonus wasn't nearly as big as it was last year, all of the taxes on it came out of the check I just got today. So this paycheck is several hundred dollars smaller than usual.
Note that I am not being ungrateful for the bonus (I appreciate any extra money I get!); and it's not that I made a colossal financial mistake and will now be in trouble: the bills I have to pay during the first half of the month will still all be covered. But it *does* mean that I'll still be flat broke until next payday. No additional debt payments, no fun money, no going out to eat. Kinda took the wind out of my sails (Ha ha, when I first typed that I wrote "sales"). Because that's another long 17 days away. Ugh.
But hey, I've made it through that long without spending money before, I can do it again! And at least I'm "only" broke - even having zero dollars is much better than having to go into the red to pay for things. I won't have to make any late payments, I have a pantry full of food at home, it's at least not Christmas or something, and if something catastrophic were to happen I do have the cc's to fall back on. Of course I don't want to fall back on them, though. So I'll be doing all I can to not spend anything except for absolutely must-pay bills until my next payday. Maybe I'll even come online here and post the days that I can manage to spend $0.
Wish me luck, and try to help me not spend! :)