The Costs of Buying Lunch

Money. You would be forgiven for thinking that I am obsessed with the stuff, reading back over my posts. I’m not obsessed – well not in the usual way people might be obsessed with it – but extremely fascinated by it. I’m fascinated by the sacrifices people make to earn it, the frivolity with which they spend it, and the single-minded passion with which out societies look upon it; as though it is god and without it everything would go to ruin.

I was thinking about it today – as I often do – and I realised how desensitised I have become. I buy lunch most days and sometimes a coffee. I spend, on average, $11 per day. That’s $55 per week, $2860 per year. That’s a lot of money. In the scheme of what I earn, it really isn’t, but in the scheme of what else it could be spent on, it very much is. I have budgeted around $2000 for my solar system in my Desirable World. A very tangible way of analysing my spending habits is considering this.

Why do I buy lunch? Well, my workplace doesn’t really have a comfortable, quiet lunch area. People tend to eat lunch at their desks or in the loud and sterile kitchen. At lunch time I like my own space, I like to break away and be left with my thoughts. There is nowhere I can do that here. Nor outside. I work in an industrial estate and there is a shortage of pleasant outdoor spaces. A café or snack bar is the closest place I have to where I would like to spend my lunch break. So I spend it there. And I buy lunch. Considering the amount I could be saving and what it could do for me, I think I will make the sacrifice and will put up with my surroundings. Hey, it allows me to get to my savings target quicker and to transition into my Desirable World sooner. I think the sacrifices will be worth it.

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7 thoughts on “The Costs of Buying Lunch

  1. Sometimes you have to weigh up the money/spending with the your health. It may be that by going out for lunch you’re actually getting a better break than your colleagues by staying in the building. I know what you mean about the smells though. I also work on an industrial estate and it’s not the best scenery. Unfortunately by taking my lunch to work with me I invariably sit at my desk, not speaking to anyone nor getting any exercise or “fresh” air. So sometimes getting away from your desk can be an asset.

    • You’re quite right. I think what I need to do is eat my lunch, perhaps with my headphones in, and then head off for a nice walk. This industrial estate backs right onto a residential area – so it’s not too bad – it’s just that there is a shortage of parks, etc. Plus, being in the middle of winter, a wet park bench isn’t my idea of a pleasant place to have lunch.

  2. I am sure that you have seen this before, but considering your post it may be a timely reminder.

    http://www.modestmoney.com/the-latte-factor/

    The latte factor is all about that money that we spend that could be better off saved or invested. The one caveat is to make sure you do save or invest it. Let’s say next week 4 out of 5 days you bring your lunch for a total theoretical saving of $44. A very easy mistake to make is seeing more money than usual in your account on Friday or Saturday and splurging. Get into the habit of transferring that $44 into your savings account before you spend it!

    Good luck

    • Ah yes, the ol’ Latte Factor. I am aware of it. Thanks for sharing that link, though. You’re quite right about ensuring you do something with the saved money, rather than just using it for another expense, or wasting it on something else.

      You comment has reminded me to do something. To set up a dedicated savings account and start paying into it. Perhaps foolishly, I have one account for all my incomings and outgoings. I meticulously manage my finances through a spreadsheet, have savings goals, etc. And usually I manage to reconcile my accounts – provided I get paid correctly; a peril of being a contracted consultant for an organisation that doesn’t take their accounts payable too seriously. However, I think clearly separating my savings from spendings could lead to more discipline.

      • I definitely think that separating your accounts makes a massive difference. I even go to the extent of having that separate account with a separate bank. I have found just not having that money sitting in an account below my everyday account which may be low, makes all the difference and stops me from dipping in to my savings.

  3. Pingback: Rain Water Catchment – How The Cities Have it All Wrong | A Desirable World

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