Give family members the option of either buying hot lunch or packing a lunch and using the money that you would have spent for an adventure. Start off small – if we pack a lunch, we can use the money to go out for a dessert date, go to a movie, or play a round of mini golf. The goal is to not spend more money than you would have spent on the hot lunches. For larger adventures, keep a graph showing how much the family has saved toward the adventure and list what the adventure is to keep everyone motivated.
We made the intentional decision years ago to pack lunches as a family. The money that we save, we put toward adventures during a family vacation. Here’s an example: My boys had a specific amount of money that was available to them during the week if they wanted to do something on the weekend. They had a couple of options: either pack a lunch and save the money that would have been spent on hot lunch, or eat hot lunch, but have less money available for the weekend adventures like hanging out with friends at a coffee shop, going to the movies, playing mini Putt-Putt, or go-karts. Whatever the case may be, they knew the amount available and how they wanted to spend that money was up to them.
Choosing to pack your lunch as an adult can save you a significant amount of money. Let’s say you spend $15 a day on lunch, which is pretty average nowadays. That’s $75 a week, that’s $300 a month. Now what if your significant other is spending the same? That is $600 a month that is going just to buy lunches. What if you took that same $600 a month and placed it in a vacation account, or used some of it to go on date nights with your sweetie? How much better would your relationship be if you had that quality time together?
You will be surprised at how this one change shifts how stressful finances can feel. Giving your kids the option to decide helps them make mistakes and learn good money decisions now when the stakes are lower and the recovery is a whole lot easier. Learning how to live within our means in this materialistic world can be a challenge.
If you have ever wanted to do better with your finances, hiring a financial coach might be the perfect fit. I provide confidential, personalized, reviews of where you are at currently, determine your short and long term goals, and work together with you to find a personalized solution that fits your needs while helping you work toward your goals.
Starting with smaller steps that build to a bigger solution is what I am passionate about. Teaching how all these pieces fall together and what options are available to you is one of my favorite things. The ripple effect is HUGE – when you change your mindset, your kids will notice and they will start to mirror the changes and decisions that you are making. This gives them a heads start on having a strong financial foundation. Money management is not taught, and yet financial stress is the #1 issue in marriages. If you are ready for a change, schedule your Free Discovery Call today.