I picked my wife up from work at 5:00pm. She eyed the clock, and wondered aloud how we would get home, make dinner, and get to our son’s high school on time for a meeting. I pointed towards the back of the van, causing my wife to turn her head and see the Papa Murphy’s pizza sitting on the seat. I then asked her to call our son to start preheating the oven so it would be ready to go when we got home.
After completing the phone call, she admitted remembering scheduling pizza for that night’s dinner during our meal planning discussion earlier in the week. Planning each night’s meals in the context of any activities makes sure we don’t end up in a situation where there are unwanted consequences such as not having time to eat until very late in the evening. The worst case scenario would be not having the ingredients to make meals for each night of the week, causing us to have to waste our money dining out.
The same principles of meal planning can be applied to the overall. managing of finances as well.
This is another great example of the difference between a budget and a spending plan, and why you need both. Let’s take a closer look at the parallels between meal planning and the use of the budget and spending plan combination:
- Budget : Going grocery shopping for food is a lot like a budget. There are a finite amount of resources in each case.
- Spending Plan: If there are no discussions on how to use those finite resources, they may be consumed before the next grocery shopping trip, or payday.
- Communication : Communication with your significant other is extremely important. If two people have different ideas on how to use those finite resources and do not articulate and resolve that difference, there could be consequences. For example, if I purchase new running shoes and don’t tell my wife, there won’t be any money in the checking account if she heads off to the salon. Or, I might make a pizza for a late night snack that was marked to be part of dinner later in the week.
Meal planning and finances are both common things tackled by couples. Learn the skills for one, and be successful in both!
Brought to you courtesy of Brock