Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail"

"Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail." I'm sure most of you have run into this saying more than once. Recently, my wife and I had a discussion about making plans for dinner. Most of the time we'll pull something out of the freezer the day before, making dinner an easy task the next day as it thaws out.

Every once and a while, we have nothing thawed out in the fridge and when it comes to dinner time we usually have to scramble. Typically we end up hastilly making something from scratch, not so healthy, like mac and cheese or go out to eat, which can eat into the budget.

This may not sound like such a big deal, however, if my wife and I eat out one time, it will typically run on average $18 (maybe more). $18 is usually not hard to come by at the time, but we like to go camping in the summer time. When we go camping, we buy groceries, fuel, and other supplies for the weekend, costing enough that we're not able to save. By the end of the summer with not saving and a lot of camping, we are usually maxed out with bills and what not.

At this point I often wonder what we could have done differently. Planning a meal for the next day could be a great solution. If you figure we eat out 4 times a month at $18 each time, that is $72 a month! Not much, but could be $72 in the bank waiting for a camping trip. If we do this same thing during the winter for 4 months, that could be $288 in savings for camping expenses.

Plan a meal for the next day, week, and month. Plan to put $18 a week (or more) into savings for the unexpected costs or for extracurricular activities! Most importantly, enjoy life without scraping by!