Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Are You Confident You Can Retire? | Main | Investing Lessons from Monopoly »

April 07, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Re spending, I am curious how much people spend for lunches at work each month (for people who work full time outside their homes). I hate brown bag sandwiches and microwaved leftovers with a passion, plus I need a break from the office. but I feel guilty eating out every day. Maybe do a post on this sometime?

Mc: In the years from 1960 to 1992 at my final job four of us used to love to play cards at lunchtime so we brown bagged it. I also used to bring in a thermos of soup so it was the perfect solution for me. We played Pinochle but there were also Bridge groups all over the office that played. Apart from saving a huge amount of money over the years we enjoyed the friendships that it cultivated.

You definitely get wealthy by being wise and saving, while you become poor if you spend all that you make.

However since none of us have a crystal ball the more fortunate of us that follow this practice can easily end up overdoing it, as is happening to us, however it's a nice problem to have. It's nice to have a big cushion that can absorb unexpected blows and if those blows never come then you can always pass your surplus on to your children, or if you have no children there is no shortage of charities that will be only to glad to spend it for you. It amazes me sometimes how these charities get my name.

To Mc - This is a problem my husband and I have struggled with throughout the years. It's difficult when working in an environment where it seems like everyone always eats out. However, for us, it ultimately came (and continues to come) down to putting it into perspective. When we were first married - we packed lunches because we were broke. Then as we started earning more money, we'd get lazy and noticed that over the course of 2 weeks we could blow through upwards of $150-$200 just in lunches. However, over time we realized that if we were going to enjoy a meal out, we'd rather do it together as opposed to alone. Some strategies we've used to help over come it - 1) Assign the money you'd otherwise be spending on something productive or enjoyable. Maybe it's the extra padding to take on your yearly vacation or maybe it's going towards paying off debt, building savings, or giving back to your favorite charity. It's a lot easier and feels less like depravation if you're focusing on what you're getting out of NOT doing something than simply just not doing it. 2) Use your lunch time for something you enjoy. We all need a mental break during the day, so find something that you enjoy and do that. For me, I typically spend my lunch breaks reading - either a book or some of my favorite blogs. On nice days I go outside just to enjoy some fresh air and get away from my desk. I know people who use their lunch to take a walk or catch up on their bills (not something they "enjoy" but it frees up their time at home with their kids/spouses in the evenings). Use the time in a way that either brings you joy (reading for me) or helps you accomplish something.

As for getting past the usual brown bag special - it does get old at time I'll give you that. I don't really have any good suggestions, but I've found that when I'm getting frustrated by having the same thing every day, that (again) if I focus on what I'm gaining by doing this, it becomes less of struggle! Good luck!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.