When I was in the Atlanta market during the 90's, we had several clients that had Fescue as their turf type. The problem is just the nature of fescue itself. It's a money pit!! It only grows vertical, gets disease and grubs, stresses out and goes to @&*% if not on a strict turf program every year.
BUT... since you have expressed that you are on a budget and this is what you are wanting to do... here is my suggestion. Rake out everything that you have done thus far. Invest in some GOOD compost/soil mix. (This will be the only thing I am proposing extra). Seed everything you have done, then dump the compost mix about every 10-15ft for topdressing. Spread it out adding 1/2"-1/4" to the top. Seed again and water in! If you don't want to use straw, then just make sure you water it regularly. It will have a tendency to dry out faster without the straw. However, y'alls temps are dropping like ours, so you should be good. Make sure you either fert, if you haven't already.