Last time I checked in with an update about my working week challenge, it was the end of Week 5 and the challenge itself was proving to be an eye opener. Most of the time, I was doing great, but there were a couple of slip ups thrown in there for good measure.
The reason why I challenged myself to not spend any money in the work canteen and to not be tempted by takeaways during the week was because my eating habits of late have slipped into more unhealthy ways plus our general spending was creeping up month after month, and although these numbers are small, they all continue to add up!
At the end of week 5, I had saved myself £35.10 by taking food with me for lunch and meal planning so I knew what I was cooking for our evening meal. Now, £35.10 in just over a month isn’t a lot of money, but if you added up £35 for every month of the year, that suddenly becomes £421.20 and that isn’t such a small number. That could be saved into our ultimate dream fund and be working for us instead!
At the end of the challenge which totalled 7 weeks, I feel like I’ve learnt some things:
- Varying my food at lunch times is vital to success in avoiding the work canteen; I get bored easily by eating the same things (does anyone else?) and so varying up what I ate each day meant that I wasn’t tempted by other food.
- I feel healthier; it occurred to me recently that most of the food I would buy at work would be fried or generally unhealthy. Bacon sandwiches/chips/pizza are tasty, but don’t tend to help the waistline at all. By taking my own food, I could ensure that there were at least some healthy choices in there 😉
- I had a longer lunch break to myself; as I was no longer queuing for a good 10-15 minutes every time I went to the canteen for lunch meant that my lunch time as a whole was longer and more relaxed. As I only get 35 minutes anyway, every minute more is a bonus.
- Meal planning helped me when I got home; knowing that there was a set meal to make and all the ingredients there to hand made evenings meals so much easier. There’s nothing worse than arriving home and not knowing what’s going to be for dinner that night.
And the total amount I have saved myself from this challenge? £67.80! Now I know it’s not that much really, but it’s the principle that all of these little spends I keep making add up into something bigger and is costing us more time and energy in the long term. Instead, this money is going to be the first transaction for our Ultimate Dream fund. This means it is no longer zero! We have such a long way to go, but I’m determined to get the ball rolling.
I hope this has inspired some of you to think about brown bagging lunch time more often – be adventurous with your lunches and you’ll be better off financially and physically in no time at all!