Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Success Is In The Planning

I have learned a bazillion lessons during the last several years of this frugal journey. A lot of it has been about myself and the way I think about material things and what my true needs are. The rest has been practical stuff...the tasks I need to accomplish so that I can do the best with the resources that I have.

I've found that it takes courage to live a frugal lifestyle and go against what society says I need to have to be happy.

I've found that it takes self control to base my decisions off of needs rather than wants, and to base my wants off what I can truly afford.

And I've found that it takes planning to put together healthy food on a budget with a busy schedule.

Now is the time of year where many of us look ahead to the next year and figure out what we want to accomplish. We evaluate our progress from the current year so we can learn what we want to do differently or keep the same. Personally, this year is full of all kinds of changes for my household. I've been fortunate enough to find a part time job that fits around my priorities (homeschool and family) and can bring in a few extra much needed dollars (gotta love those braces) but I'm also facing bout 20 hours out of the house each week that I would normally be using to manage my home and our food budget. Without a good plan, it's not going to work. So this week is going to be all about planning for me.

I want to encourage you to join me in taking some time this week to put together a plan for the year. It doesn't have to be as complicated as making a meal plan for the next 12 months. It's as simple as figuring out a few details. Will you cook every day, once a week or put a months worth of meals in the freezer? Will you budget in a Starbucks run once or twice a week or will you just randomly buy your coffee without really knowing how much you're spending on it each month? Will you eat out at lunch or plan to brown bag it? Now is the time to rethink where you might be able to bring a healthy balance between money-saving and time-saving so that you can maintain a workable food budget during the upcoming year.

Through my years of frugality the number one thing that has helped me save money and budget my time is thinking ahead. So take a few minutes to jot down a few goals you'd like to work towards in the New Year and you'll be sure to see some saved dollars in your future.


Johnlyn ~ Frugality and Homemaking said...

Very good reminder. I loved how in your menu planning a while back you asked your family what they wanted to eat so you didn't have to think as much.

I created a template of sorts to help me out. There are 4 of us in my family so each night I plan one meal that I know that family member will love. I get sooooo tired of cooking sometimes and it helps me to think of them instead of what I want to cook.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

We too are balancing budget around orthodontics with more to come in the next few months. I have a large family and homeschool. Please tell what is working for you in respect to time management meets frugal plans. Finding more time to do the things that save me money while I keep family the priority is my quest for the new year. Congrats on finding a part time job that fits in your schedule. I do not work outside of the home but I have a fair amount of time committed to medical appointments (nothing serious just 2 with allergies and 3 currently with teeth requiring major adjustment) and music lessons in the next town. I have been managing this the same way for the last three or so years. I'm sure there is another way to do it that I just can't see so another perspective on busy schedule meets must save money at the store would be very helpful. Thanks for being an encouragement week in and week out to stick to my budget.

Kacie said...

I was just looking waaaaaay back through my archives and saw that I linked to you when your blog was first going. And look at you! It's still here! YAY!