How to Plan a Personal Budget – Meal Planning

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     You have a budget, great! But what does your family might want to eat that is considered a major expense to purchase? As we grow older, we will face an increasing number of decisions that could affect our future. I recently started creating a budget to log my meals and track my calories to review my consumption intake. I noticedI noticed that I had widely underestimated the calories I was taking every day and how often I would eat out due to either limited time to prep my meals or by the enjoyment aroma of delicious food driving home. Personal Management is about taking control of your life,, and it helped me identify being a smart shopper for both my health and spending.

     My MISSION is to provide my viewers with actionable content that enables them to eat quality food by presenting my findings with facts, research, and trust. My BLOG posts are a reflection of my real-world experience as an environmental scientist, home-cook, a California resident and entrepreneur.

     My blog allows me to share my passion for personal finance, search for quality food, and propose methods to eat variety of meals while benefiting our economy and entrepreneurship. I am not a financial adviser. This tutorial are for educational purposes only and sharing my recommendations that could benefit planning a personal budget in meal planning.

Learning to Manage Yourself

     Think about what you need in your life to buy/prepare for yourself to live. You can start at any age to manage your money and time to get things done. For example, managing your life is similar to planning your journey. It is often best to have a road map before you begin and to plot a course that will help you avoid and minimize bumps and detours along the way. In the article, our goal is to provide the tools to learn how to manage critical parts of your life buying food.

     Let’s begin asking ourselves. How were your parents/guardians in your life buy and prepare your food? How did they provide a place for you to live? Did they take you places you want and need to go ? What if it were up to you to do all these things? If it were, you would need to prepare to manage your money and time to determine what you can buy.

     As we learn how to take responsibility for ourselves, and do our research managing our times is one important way of serving that aim to acquire quality ingredients and stay away from having processed foods at home.

     Think about your future and your families future to explore the opportunities available in educating to determine what you want to do. First ask yourself what do you do well, think about your values and your ambitions, and make a list to help yourself write a shopping strategy. The reason is to identify 5 major expensive items that you or your family would want to purchase that were considered a major expense. To do this, you need to develop self-discipline and persistence of how it must be considered in your plan to be a smart shopper.

     Follow these two methods to help you achieve your best path and make a commitment to it, while remaining flexible enough to deal with changes and new opportunities.

  1. Determine the quality that ensures a trustworthy brand and a long-term investment to present value to the consumers.
  2. Compare your grocery list. Find out how much you buy food per week and compare the price by viewing the places you get food. Consider alternatives base on how much time your willing to give and money to spend.

     Research the item you want to find a more affordable product that has only the features you need. Quality might be worth paying more if it will last longer and perform better for example join a meal prep delivery program compare grocery shopping. However, a lower-priced service might offer high quality, too. That is why it is important to check the reviews and the Websites for comments about the product. 

Learning to Manage Your Money

     Money management is to present a high level of discipline and limited of knowledge to create a budget and understand where every single one of your money is going. I recommend 50% of your budget should be spent on need which are things that are essential to life that you literally cannot live without. Let’s follow the second method.

“Compare your grocery list. Find out how much you buy food per week and compare the price by viewing the places you get food. Consider alternatives base on how much time your willing to give and money to spend.”

     

  

   The purpose of managing your money is to improve your ability to reach financial goals and eat quality affordable foods. One of the best ways to learn how much you spend and earn over a period is to keep a budget.

     Our budget worksheet to record all of your expenses and income will be setup for 13 consecutive weeks. This worksheet will only include flexible expenses meaning it can change each month. These include food, subscriptions, and for pets. One of the more important fixed expenses should be an long-term investment.

     If there’s too much information and it becomes intimidating to create a budget, then simplifying will be better for you. 

Detailed List of Budget Categories – All Food

     The first step is to make sure you’re capturing all of your spending for food. If you have your receipts or you can review your card history between the past week or two weeks. It will provide a general reflection on your spending methods to avoid a bias review. The goal is to understand your spending behavior during work, staying at home, and even being with friends.

     Shown below are examples separated under different categories you can use to compare how you use your money. 

Food

  1. Groceries
  2. Eating Out

Subscriptions

  1. Food Delivery (GrubHub, Whole Foods, Amazon, etc)
  2. Hire a Professional

Pets

  1. Pet Food

     Shown below is an example how an budget transaction form using Microsoft Excel may present. This example can present using multiple options to show where you spend your money and where you can reduce spending if necessary.

To determine a visual determination how much to allocate for spending in each category. I used a chart to track my income and expenses. There are so many software programs available on the market – or you could design your own. 

Once you have written down your budget ask yourself these following questions for yourself and with your other.

  1.  How well do you understand of how much money you have will affects your spending habits?
  2. What are your thoughts when you buy something and your thoughts about the same food/meal a week or two weeks later?
  3. How can hunger affect you when shopping for food items (snacks,groceries).
  4. Your experience of a meal you eaten after seeing or hearing advertisements for it. Did the meal satisfy your taste buds (your pet, other, or family) as well advertised?
  5. What can you do to better manage your money? Or are you satisfied with your spending?                                                                                

                                         Identify Overeating

As a consumer, we control the quantity of food by buying at different local markets and store food at home to fuel ourselves to get through the day. Sometime many Americans lead busy lives and sometimes don’t have time to prepare food everyday. As hundreds of employees are coming back to work or search for new careers require to check our savings account. Since the pandemic began in early 2020 employees had to stay home and adapt to support their families. New methods to delivery food to our doors became as simple as clicking a button delivered to our door step. For example GrubHub, a food delivery service that has partnerships with restaurants, has powered many of the deliveries during the pandemic, and posted higher sales. A delivery app to increase our ability to both multitask and stay home may increase our comfort to eat more. Greater access to unhealthy food sources from high cholesterol, and sugar in low-income neighborhoods is likely a reflection of the greater degree of commercialization. Advertising messages can urge us to buy products we often don’t need. For example, your refrigerator could be full of food and then expires beyond consumption. Stated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food costs are increase because people are eating out spending money. 

      In conclusion, moods or physical feelings can affect your buying decisions and lead to impulse buying. So, be aware of what might be behind your sudden urge to buy a balance meal or a fast food spot everyday during your drive back home.

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