Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Brown Bag Lunch Project

In our quest to have another baby, Doug and I realized that if we thought we were broke now, adding another kid into the mix certainly will cause even less money to remain in our wallets.

Time and time again we've heard, "you'll never be financially stable to have kids...if you wait, you'll never have any more." I agree to an extent. I agree that having children just isn't kind on the wallet. However, one shouldn't just use that as an excuse. Doug and I are very much ready to have another baby, but he tends to over analyze our money, and our ability to provide for our family. It makes a perfect balance because I do at times use that excuse of, "we'll find a way."

One evening as I used that cliche phrase, Doug retorted, "and what ways are those?" Well I wasn't prepared to answer that. I soon began to realize that he was absolutely correct. Two tuitions for 1 year and then Deacon will be ready for school, so that doesn't seem so scary. But then there is the age old question: public school or private school? I was a private school kid who banked on religion class everyday. Doug was a public school kid who attended CCD instead of a catholic school religion class. Even though Kindergarten seems so far off in the distance, it really is only 2 years away....yikes.

other cost spikes that I fail to see are clothing/groceries/toys/etc. These are all things that Doug is rightfully concerned about and as I really sat and thought about it, I began to realize the potential of me working JUST to send our kids to school or buy what we need as a family.

The anxiety mounted, yet two good things came out from that discussion 1. We are still wanting to get pregnant by the end of this year and 2. It opened my eyes to see what I can do NOW to prepare for this hypothetical baby that God has not yet blessed us with.

This leads me into the Brown Bag Lunch Product. There isn't really a huge equation or statistics or proof that this will save money, but I am thinking that it will! I bought lunch almost EVERY DAY for work. Sometimes lunches were $5.00 while some were as high as $15.00. So in a given week I'd spend between $25.00 and $75.00 on lunch. WHOA! which then adds up between $100.00 and $300.00 a month. I'd bet that in a typical month I'd spend $150.00 in food, not even groceries. Here is the other kicker, we'd budget for groceries, but many of it would go to waste because I didn't pack. This I see as a waste. Also, all that junk food certainly wasn't doing me any favors by way of my waistline.

Last Monday, I decide enough was enough. I packed my lunch. Then the entire week I followed the same thing. mid-way through the week I realized why I bought my lunch so often...convenience. It is such a chore to pack a lunch...a healthy one at that. BUT I persevered and got through the entire week with out buying a single lunch.

I did decide that Friday would be my out to lunch day. Let's face it, besides the convenience factor, going out to eat is fun. You get to be out of the office, around your friends--it's more about the food at that point, its about the quality time friends get to spend with one another. So Friday is my day. Most of my colleagues even know that Friday will be the standing lunch day and to not even bother asking me any other day of the week. Last week was such a success that I began this week packing my lunch and so far so great! I've even been cooking more dinners knowing that leftovers can be transformed into lunches for me during the week. So yes, I am actually spending more money at the grocery but am getting a greater ROI because I am not only fueling my body with better foods, but also I get more bang for my buck.

Doug and I are in the midst of deciding what else we can do to still enjoy a comfortable life, yet in a way that helps us save money our our next baby, whenever that happens. Cable/phone/internet--what can we do to save money? I haven't figured it out all the way yet, but when I do, believe me, I will definitely share the secrets!

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