For the past few days I was away from home and one thing that I was anticipating was how expense wise I would have to pretty much dine out most of the time and I know how expensive that can be. I am definitely used to doing it the frugal way such as shopping at the grocery store and then preparing a meal. However, it wasn’t bad as this trip was funded for where I was given a budget everyday for meals.
Since I was with some other people as well we often went to places where everyone would agree upon which ranged from fast food places to restaurants. What stuck out most to me was how for a few meals the average cost seemed to be about $6. Then for this one restaurant we went to at minimum you would have to spend about $16 a meal. Now the budget I was given was pretty generous and so even at that price I was still under budget.
What it did get me thinking was about one’s budget and finances in general. For example, in this case I know a lot of people would have the mindset of they were given X amount so feel free to splurge until it is gone. It is a similar mindset to people saying if they allocate $100 a month for entertainment then they will use it up even if they are paying too much for some items compared to others.
I personally have adopted the mindset of a budget simply means that is the maximum you will spend on something and at the same time it should be a constant goal for you to challenge yourself in finding ways to go way below that budget while still achieving desirable results . For example, if I gave myself $5 to buy some paper I would usually try to see if I can get it for say less than $2 as based on my experience that is usually the average store prices I have seen. So in many ways spending $5 dollars on it would simply be me being lazy. If I found it for less than $1 then that would be even better.
Ultimately, challenging yourself to go way under budget means those funds can be used elsewhere or for things to help you make more money. Even in this case I think I ended up spending only about 30% of my allocated budget and so in the end those saved funds I can use for something else.