Posts Tagged with “Frugality”

How Much Can You Save by Bringing Your Own Lunch Food to Work?

Frugality, Saving Money

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Bringing your own lunch to the office is just one of the ways to save money. It is practical, economical, and could even be healthier, as compared to buying your lunch in the office cafeteria or i fast food joint.

Eating out sounds like a fantastic idea, considering the convenience of not bringing extra bags with you. Eating out with your officemates is also an enticing idea.

However, try listing down your expenses starting from breakfast to your snacks and you may be surprised at your monthly expenditures for food and drinks alone.

You can save a lot of money if you’d just pack your own breakfast or lunch to work. Imagine bringing your own mug to the office and simply brewing your own Arabica beans – you save a lot instead of ordering for a Starbucks venti every day!

To reduce your costs, you can try these tips:

  • Prepare your own breakfast. Buy a bagel and a muffin at the local bakery instead of getting one from a restaurant. You can also cook your breakfast. Instant oatmeal does not cost a lot if you’d buy a pack from the supermarket, nor do a tray of eggs and a loaf of bread. You can save as much as $50 on breakfast if you make your own sandwiches at home.
  • A regular serving of pasta costs between $12 and $15, depending on the ingredients, the chef who prepared it, and the restaurant that served it. You can buy the ingredients and prepare a sizeable serving good for five people for only $10.
  • Why buy coffee, soda, and snacks at the snack bar or vending machine when you can get them at the nearest store? Buy a big pack of granola bars or cupcakes in the grocery store and just bring them to work.
  • As long as your office has a clean water supply and a purification system, you don’t have to buy bottles of water every day. What you need is a tumbler, which you can refill when necessary.
  • Buy the following and vary your lunches: fruits such as apples and bananas, yogurt, water, carrot sticks, cereal and granola bars, pasta, oatmeal.
  • Pick a plastic bag or a Tupperware container where you can put your food in.
  • Create a food plan so you can avoid buying on impulse.
  • Learn a lot of recipes and set aside time for enjoyable yet straightforward recipes.
  • Record these experiences and compare the changes in your lifestyle and finances. You can calculate the total number of savings since you started bringing your lunch to work. From an average lunch cost of $12, your expenses will soon drop to $3 at the most. Your annual savings from food and beverage could be more significant.
  • As much as possible, bring food that is easy to carry or put in lunchboxes.

Bringing your lunch to work is an effective way of saving up. Instead of feeling dismayed at not eating out often, just think at the number of pennies you can save from preparing your meals.

Habits to Avoid When Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility

Frugality, Saving Money

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Financial responsibility is one virtue that you can teach your kids so that they grow up as skilled financial managers. Being responsible with money is something that they can learn at a young age, and there is no excuse not to expose them to a very “grown up” thing. However, there are habits that you need to avoid so that your children will not misunderstand you. The primary step is to set a good example of being financially responsible. This is further specified into the following principles:

  1. Avoid fighting about money. According to a study in 2012, children who heard their parents fighting about money grew up to have financial issues and are more likely to be buried in huge piles of debt. Intense conversations about money will never make everyone in the family at ease. Instead, you can keep it low-key by conducting a “budget talk” where you and your husband or relative discuss expenditures in a positive light. Apply the problem-solution approach and avoid blaming one another.
  1. Avoid spoiling your kids when they want to buy stuff. Teach them to save for what they want, yet emphasize what they need to prioritize when buying. For instance, they may be able to save a few dollars to buy candy, but you can teach them to use it on a more important thing (i.e. books).
  1. The topic of money shouldn’t be a taboo. You can discuss this even with the children around, but avoid quarreling about finances. When your children ask about budget and expernditures, take time to explain to them these concerns.
  1. Avoid being dishonest. If you owe someone, don’t ask your children to lie on your behalf. Teach them to face the consequences of debts. Better yet, teach them not to get buried under a pile of debt.
  1. Don’t keep up with the Joneses. This is an attitude that could send any family to deep debts. Competing with other families will send a negative message to your kids – that it’s alright to spend beyond your means as long as you can address your caprices and unnecessary wants.
  1. Avoid being too comfortable with debt. Check how you spend on your items. Ideally, you should be spending from your own pocket and not relying on credit cards. Resort to the latter only if there is an emergency. Otherwise, teach your children to save for the puchase.
  1. Avoid tackling too much about money either. You can discuss money matters but be wary of making it the sole topic in the household. It may make your children think that money is too important. Also, teach your kids the value of money, but tell them it cannot equate happiness.
  1. Impulsive spending may influence your kids. Teaching them to think twice before buying anything will make them more responsible in handling money. Teach them to buy one at a time as well.
  1. Do not overspend. Show your kids that the right way of managing finances is to buy what’s important, and to buy what your family can afford. Buying at thrift stores and book sales is not a bad idea after all. Teach your kids to be a smart consumer.