Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tightening the belt

Yesterday we downgraded from our digital 200+ channel cable package down to the most basic (26 channels) package. So I am in a state of semi-mourning: no more CNN, MSNBC, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, History, Food Network, etc... At least a lot of these channels have shows that are available online or via podcast, but it's not the same.

It's just one step among many that we're taking to try and cut costs where we can. I buy my gas at Stop & Shop with my savings card. I've stopped paying into my 403B retirement account every week (new tax laws now make it that I can no longer pay into the plan via payroll deduction anyway). I turned my cell phone off years ago. I stopped playing FFXI online. We're emptying our storage and putting our stuff in a friend's basement (Thank you, Kryston!)

I've been forced to take these steps not just because it's tougher to make ends meet here at home but my job is feeling the squeeze too. I am no longer able to accumulate overtime without prior approval from my supervisor with the goal of all non-clinical employees having zero overtime per week. Less than a year ago I was averaging 8 hours a week of overtime.

Not that I'm complaining though... Don't get me wrong. I can still run to grab some fast food when we don't feel like cooking and we still splurge on Chinese food once in a while. We are not suffering by any means even if we have had to make sacrifices here and there. Make no mistake though, I am not happy that I cannot gleefully laugh along with John Stewart and Stephen Colbert every night.

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