Saving money has always been important to families, but lately it has become even more significant. When times get tough, people are forced to get more creative with how they plan their lives. They have to take stock of what they normally do and sometimes make substitutions in their day-to-day living. It’s not always easy to make changes though, especially if you’re not particularly organized to begin with, but plotting out what you need and what you have to do can really help save you money and time.
Sitting down and planning allows you to better see the most economical route to take and the easiest way to do this planning is with calendars. It’s not a new system, but it’s one that works. In fact, in an article on eHow, contributor Shannon Buck suggests a two-calendar method to staying organized. Having a big one at home that everyone writes their events on and refers to on a daily basis is a great help and then keeping a smaller one in your purse or car can keep things on track when you’re out and about. In keeping with the saving money and time theme, you can order both sizes of calendars online and customize them to look the way you want. Websites like Vistaprint Deals are easy to navigate and a great way to save extra money off Vistaprint products.
Using a calendar to map out your meals by the week or month will help you save money because you’ll find that you buy fewer things. If you know ahead of time what you’re going to make for the week then you can shop for just the necessary ingredients. You’ll throw out less food and will make fewer trips to the grocery store. You’ll also know exactly what you’re making when you get home from work and if you have some extra time one night or on the weekend, you can prep some of the ingredients too. Pre-chopped vegetables and marinated meat can be a life saver on a busy night. If you’re worried about something going bad before you get a chance to use it, chop it and throw it in the freezer.
A large wall calendar is perfect for busy families to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings. Sports practices, school meetings, parties and other important events can all be put on this calendar. It’s important for the calendar to be big enough to allow space for everyone to write down their events. It’s also imperative that the calendar be placed in a high traffic area that’s easily accessible to every family member. Put it somewhere that each person will see it on a daily basis. This way, no one will have to miss important events and you’ll be able to plan out your driving to save on gas. No more back tracking.
For families with older kids, keeping track of work schedules on a calendar is also a great idea. It’s nice to have somewhere for parents and kids to look to see when other family members will be home or when they have to be up to get out the door on time. Parents may also want to track chores on the calendar, so that everyone knows what to do when.
If you’re not used to planning, it’s a bit of an adjustment learning to use calendars to organize your life, but one that’s completely worth it. Though you may feel like you have no time to sit down and chart things out, you’ll find yourself with more time and money in the end. Plus, once you get used to the system, the planning will go much quicker.