Having A Plan To Save Money And Sanity

by Nicole · 5 comments

in Concepts in Frugality,Money & Spending

About 95% of the time, I’m a really nice person. Most of my jerkface moments, however, happen when I’m hungry.

Those who love me know I need to be fed at regular intervals. Most people also know that I plan ahead for these moments myself by keeping snacks around in case Low Blood Sugar Nicole starts to come out. At home, I have a snack drawer and in my car and purse, I usually have something high protein ready to go. While sitting in my cubicle once, my then boss commented, “Wow, it’s like a grocery store back here!” If I am anything, it’s prepared.

Snacks are one way I plan ahead. A side benefit of being the kind of person who does this (besides not getting hungry enough to turn evil) is I save money from having to buy expensive and often subpar snacks in transit. Planning ahead is good for being frugal! I bet if you think about it, you have a plan just about every time you save money, even if it is as basic as bring your own snack.

Planning ahead also saves me money in a more official way in my business. I could tell my local small business counselor was floored when I showed up for our first session a year ago with a business plan. She told me a lot of people don’t bother to do this. Gulp.

Recently I’ve gone back and looked at my business plan and found that it has kept me on track as far as helping me make decisions in line with my priorities. Since generating revenue from presentations is a big part of my business goals, for example, investing in an LCD projector and portable screen with a fellow small business owner made sense. Renting an office space with no conference room did not, no matter how much I want to get all those electronics out of my home office. My office shelves might look like a cross between a yard sale and Radio Shack but my business plan has helped me put money where it counts.

A woman with a plan… that’s what I am. Maybe it makes me a little boring but at the very least my planning keeps me from becoming a jerk and spending money I don’t need to spend.

What do you think, friends? Does regular planning help save you money? Or maybe the more confessional, fun flip question to this: Did not planning ahead cost you big that one time?


1 Kristin June 3, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about putting together a business plan, even though I’ve been in business for 2 years now. There are a lot of ways I could grow and I feel like having an overall plan would really help bring some focus and direction to my business. It would also help decision making go smoother. Where did you look to when working on your business plan? Any good books or website that you found invaluable to the process?

2 Kris@TheMindfulWallet June 4, 2010

“Most of my jerkface moments, however, happen when I’m hungry.”

Nicole…I think we might be the same person. lol
.-= Kris@TheMindfulWallet´s last blog ..No, this isn’t Budget Confessions… =-.

3 Kelly June 4, 2010

Oh, yeah, I’m a planner too. I have lists everywhere! And I have stashes of food everywhere too- which is a good thing for when I have a sugar crash (or my kids need a snack), but not such a good thing for when I get the munchies…

Colored boxes and baskets that you can stash stuff in (like your projector) might help with that Radio-Shack feeling! Keeping things in boxes also helps protect them from dust, and keeps all the accessories together in one place so that you can just grab the box and go.

4 Nicole at Almost Fru June 4, 2010

Hi Kristin at CraftLeftovers, I actually just used an 'Internet Business Plan' book a friend bought me at a garage sale for 50 cents. In the US, SCORE is a non-profit organization that offers free business counseling from retired executives. I figure if there is a chapter near me, there is probably a chapter near just about everyone stateside!

I love the internet but in this case liked working from a book though (as I hate reading a lot on a screen) and it seems that most business books at the library go over the business plan outline. Don't get me wrong, it does feel like extra work compared to what you are already doing but putting it to paper is like justification to do (or not do) something. As you know you make small decisions everyday for your business, this just gives you the 'why' and 'how' behind them.

Kelly, I love the colored boxes idea. I need to feng shui my office anyway so this might be a good excuse to finally do it!
.-= Nicole at Almost Frugal´s last blog ..4 Ways To Have a Fun and Frugal Father’s Day =-.

5 Adam June 7, 2010

Great blog! Financial health-checks are important. The banking widget I use showed me how unhealthy I actually was.

MTHIRTY has just shared a widget with you on behalf of CIBC

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