The good news is that Monday, although the start of another work week, is a golden opportunity to start out on the right frugal foot and get a grip on your finances at least until Friday rolls in.
You don’t need to feel guilty of having spent too much money over the weekend, shopping, partying, dinner, dancing and movies. But, it’s important to practice frugality throughout the week in order to save money for the future.
Try the Baby Steps Method
The first step would be to cut down on the number of times you go out for lunch with co-workers. If it’s a daily habit, then that’s something that should be addressed.
If you spend $10 a day going out to lunch (a very low estimate for some people) and do this 5 times a week. That’s $50 a week times 52 weeks in a year, which comes up to $2,600 a year!
Yes, the math is easy, but when you’re out buying lunch on a daily basis are you thinking about the math? Nope, you’re thinking about satisfying your hunger, and you could be spending more than $10 at a time.
I know people who spend $20 or more for lunch! Sure it’s fun, but…
$2,600 in a year is enough for a round -trip plane ticket to Europe plus hotel and food!
At the very least, one should consider going out to lunch as a special-occasion-type-of-deal. Even going out for lunch only 2 times a week would save a lot… about $1,560… still enough for a plane ticket to Paris plus hotel.
Brown Bagging It
Now that you see how much you can save by not going out for lunch every day, the cost savings definitely add up and one can even save for a European trip and still have money left to invest.
I remember watching a Chinese movie way back, and the thing I noticed was how this one character in the movie brought her own lunch to work. It was in these nice stackable containers with a handle on top. A person could have something like that and bring in leftovers from last night’s home cooked dinner.
Bringing your own food from home is definitely much cheaper than going out for sushi. Sure, there could be a perceived difference in quality, but I’ve seen some really nice “brown bagged” lunches over the years.
A Frugal Week
I know it sounds Spartan, but it really depends on your priorities. Your co-workers will be wondering where you’re getting your money from when you go out on cruises and European vacations. But the truth is, if you start saving now and be persistent about it, sooner or later you’ll reap the rewards.
During the working days the best place to save is during lunch time.
Another aspect of the working week is the travel time and fuel costs in traveling to and from work every day. Are you driving too far each day that it makes a financial impact on your job and your earnings? That’s another story right there, but something to definitely think about… driving a car versus public transportation and carpooling.