The Thrift of a Plan.
My way leads onto way life has taught me that very frequently life doesn’t comply with my plans. Whenever we make plans we need to leave room for the flexible factor; the plan B. To quote John Lennon, Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans and this is true.
But I have been a teacher for too long and as I often told students, planning was a very important process in gaining pleasing examination results. I would share Benjamin Franklin’s quote, If you fail to plan , you are planning to fail. And really it is just the same out of school; there needs to be some kind of planning for success even in the most unsuccessful of times.
We might not be able to plan for every contingency but there are some things we can plan for. For example, we know the electricity bill, the telephone bill, payments we have committed to and the car registration are coming! So we plan to have the finances there to cover them. We do that before making discretionary purchases. Too many people have it the other way round, preferring to spend on non essential items, such as recreation and entertainment and then find themselves struggling to find the money for necessary expenses.
So the shift to thrift means that you put the big blocks in first, you honour your responsibilities; and if that is difficult, you cut the cloth to fit! For example, you don’t pay for electricity you don’t use; turn the lights off, use less hot water, only wash when there is a full load, in winter put on some extra clothing and watch tele under a blanket before putting on the heating. There are ways to reduce the cost of living and most of them do not hurt nearly as much as living beyond our means does.
Many thrifty ways start with planning and there is no better place to begin than with the grocery budget. Even when money is plentiful it is a good idea to keep a lid on the grocery bill, however when money is tight, it is essential. For many years I was a single parent of four-now wonderful adults- but we lived on a shoestring and often my prayer was, “Lord, just let me keep these children fed”. When large bills or unexpected expenses arrived the only area of manipulation was the grocery bill which had to be reduced in order to pay other bills. I became very good at stretching money and found that much less could be spent yet, everyone ate healthily and well for the week.
The next bog will discuss Thrift at the Supermarket.