In My Mind's Zen Garden
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How To Start The Week Off with a Frugal Attitude

Come Monday morning, do you sometimes get the feeling that you spent way too much money over the weekend? Did you party hearty just a bit too much?

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.



About the author:
Has 3121 Articles

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

2 COMMENTS
  1. Manny Macalalad

    I wish you wrote your frugal blog posts 15 years ago, when I really needed it.  My wallet was bulging in plastic, and I was up to my neck in debt.  Much of it was splurged on CDs, the music kind, not the savings.  One time my cousin was pointing to each rack in my CD collection and was saying, “This was your trip to London, trip to Paris, trip to Australia, etc.”  Then she opened her arms wide and said, “You could have gone to the Philippines at least twice already.”  I laughed outside but burned inside, knowing she was right.

    1. Randomguru

      Same here, my friend. I had a debt problem years ago and CDs and musical equipment were my vices. And, I’ve since learned (perhaps out of necessity) to being more frugal with my spending. I also feel now that having collections like a CD collection makes it seem like we will live forever with these in our possession. We can’t take it with us. So, I’ve gone easy on the amassing of collections, although I still have a coin and stamp collection. ;o)

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