Remember when you were a kid and you got pocket money? You held that cash in your hand and thought carefully about how you would spend it. Knowing each dollar mattered. That each dollar was important. I wonder why as adults most of us don’t think the same way anymore. We don’t hold that money and really think about the best way to spend it. Maybe in this day and age where EFTPOS is how everyone spends, the feel of that money has gotten lost along the way. We don’t really grasp the money coming out of our ‘hand’ (pun intended). Going over an extra $5 here and there? Who cares!
It wasn’t until I started thinking of money in terms of my earnings (and constantly reminding myself of it) that I realised the wastefulness of my spending. Spending $25 on take away I would think ‘well its just $25 and I’m tired’. But when I think that I would need to work a full hour of physical work to pay for that $25 meal – is it worth it? Ironic really – I’m too tired to cook a meal but I’ll work for an hour to pay for it.
When I was growing up it wasn’t unusual to have a once a week meal that was either toasted cheese sandwiches or hand cut chips and fried eggs with gravy. Two very simple, very cheap meals that we would be happy to eat. Why now do we think we need to have a ‘full’ meal each night of the week? Why cant that be the ‘take away’ meal? The easy meal?
It takes a lot to curb my thinking on spending. I still struggle a lot with this. What I have found helps is to have easy dinners in the freezer for nights I will feel lazy. Things like frozen lasagne, frozen fish, frozen chips, etc. Yeah they’re not all that healthy or flash but neither are most take aways. A pack of frozen chips will set you back $2 and frozen fish on special around $5. So that’s $7 instead of $25+. ($25 is modest for a family of 4 to have take away – it can go much higher then that). Lets say $25 though. So you’re saving around $18 a week then. That’s $936 a year. What could our family do with $936?!