Budgeting, Frugal, Personal Finance, Saving Money

Scheduling to Save Money

Believe it or not, your daily schedule says a lot about your spending habits. Is your schedule packed to the gills with spending opportunities? For example, do you schedule your days around eating out, going to the mall, or going to the movies? Are these the items on your to-do list that are most important? Or is your day scheduled around other, free activities such as exercise, reading, cooking, or playing games with your family? The person whose schedule revolves around spending activities will have a much harder time saving money than the person who schedules plenty of free activities into the mix. It sounds like it should be obvious, but many people build their daily lives around spending without realizing it.

If you’re wondering where your money goes, take a look at some recent weeks worth of schedules. Were you going out with friends a lot to paid activities? Did you just “have to” see the latest movies in the theater? Did you “have to” go see your favorite sports team every weekend? Was a morning trip to the coffee place in your daily schedule? Were you having a lot of lunches with coworkers? Did you plan trips to the mall or outlet center? If many of your planned activities were chances to spend, your money just followed your daily schedule.

If you need to save more money, you need to replace the spending activities on your calendar with non-spending activities. For example, instead of planning on lunch out with your coworkers, see if they’re interested in an office pot luck lunch. Instead of going to see the latest movie every weekend, rent an older release or do something else entirely like read or take the family on a picnic. Instead of going clubbing with friends, see if they’d be interested in a game night at your house. Rather than hitting the coffee shack every morning, get up ten minutes earlier and make your own. You can change and rearrange your daily schedule so that you spend less, it just takes some forethought and creativity on your part to make non-spending activities the heart of your daily schedule.

Better scheduling also pays off in other ways, too. If you leave yourself little time between appointments, you’re more likely to grab something quick to eat at the drive through because you don’t have time to make something. If you don’t leave yourself any down time in your schedule, you may find yourself spending more money and thinking you’re “relaxing” by going shopping. If you cram every minute of a vacation with paid activities, that vacation probably cost more than if you had planned some days to just relax by the pool or beach. Leaving enough time in your schedule to realistically accomplish your goals and provide some down time is the best way to save money. It may mean that you have to give up some desired activities or say no to someone’s request, but in the end you are less stressed and better off financially.

Obviously not every day can be scheduled for optimum savings. Sometimes things happen that wreck even the best schedules. In that case, don’t beat yourself up about it. However, looking at your daily schedule and seeing how you prioritize your time and your activities can show you why it seems like you never have any money.

6 thoughts on “Scheduling to Save Money

  1. Excellent article.

    As with any habits it’s about making those daily changes and planning ahead. I realise why I’m spending so little is that I literally live at my uni’s library! (I’m revising for my finals) I bring a packed lunch everyday and enough water so that I can leave my purse alone. I’ve realised I hate queuing to pay for food and find this takes more time than throwing together a lunchbox. Love the article.

  2. I really enjoyed this article. It once again shows that you need to be thoughtful and deliberate about your spending habits. You can save so much money just by paying attention to your own actions and inactions. Excellent reminder to apply this thoughtfulness in clever ways.

  3. Good article and thoughtful responses. I would like to add
    a) Subscribe to your local fitness centre and spend many hours
    getting fit and should be value for money.

    b)Buy videos and relax seeing films you like over and over again

    c) What about walks in the parks?

  4. Great article!!
    If a person implemented just one or two of the suggestions, they would see considerable savings. It’s not about never spending to me, it’s about thoughtful spending versus thoughtless habitual spending.

    I went from thoughtlessly getting a large coffee at the drive-through on my way to work daily to leaving home a little early one morning a week and having a medium coffee in the shop and going through their free book exchange shelves.

    Thanks for writing this and all your other articles.

  5. I was just thinking about this as we stopped to get some food after a doctor’s apt. When we only have an apt. every couple of months, this isn’t a big deal but this is the second one in two weeks and we have four more slated in the next 4 weeks. We are definitely going to have to think ahead on this one as we will be bleeding money otherwise and considering several of the apt. we don’t have insurance to cover we wil be outlaying a large sum of cash to cover them.

  6. Grabbing food on the road is my downfall. You are so right about thinking ahead. A little planning can save lots of money.

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