Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lunch time pledge

I am lucky to have been selected to participate in the Leadership Development Program offered by my employer.  Interested applicants were required to write a letter indicating their interest in the program, and then selected applicants were interview by a panel.  I hadn’t attend the information session on the program, but heard about it through co-workers and thought I’d go ahead and give it a try.

As a participant of the program, we have been provided six coaching calls to help us reach our goals, whether they are career goals or personal goals.  The coaching calls are limited to 30 minutes but have gone through 3 calls already; it’s amazing how much discussion can take place in a 30 minute coaching call.

Last week during my coaching call, I decided to discuss my financial goals.  Being limited to 30 minutes I wanted to focus on how I often found myself spending unnecessarily, especially when it came to workday lunches and coffee runs.  There are days when I don’t bring a lunch and I need to purchase a lunch and then there are days when I bring a lunch and choose to purchase a lunch instead.  I find that I am easily swayed when it comes to eating out for lunch with my coworkers.  I know that my decision to go out for lunch is due to wanting to socialize with coworkers.  It’s a daily ritual almost.  A group of 4 guys and me, we are all on the same work team and so during lunch time we’re often talking about work-related issues or stories.  Of course there are also discussions on movies, TV shows and comic books which I rarely participate in, but still find entertaining. 

There are also the coffee runs that I enjoy participating in, and which usually result in me purchasing a beverage that I don’t really need or want.  It’s just an excuse to step away from my computer and socialize with coworkers.

I feel that socializing in the workplace is necessary and contributes to a good working team, but for me, it’s resulting in unnecessary spending.  During my coaching Heather asked me to roughly estimate the money I was spending during lunches and coffee breaks.  Lunch = $8 x 5 days = $40 a week.  Coffee = $2 x 5 days = $10 a week.  Total:  $50 a week, which is completely unnecessary and an expense I have full control over. 
I made a pledge to bring a lunch (one that did not require heating and would allow me to still join my team if they decided to have lunch at the nearby mall food court) and to stick to the 1 coffee a day (which I brew at home) If I do go out for lunch, it must be limited to once a week.

I like the pledge of having only 1 coffee a day, because it will encourage me to drink more water while at work.  I often struggle to drink more than 1 cup of water a day, which is way below the recommended 8 cups of water a day.

The thought of saving approx $200 a month simply by bringing and eating a lunch and not going for a 2nd coffee is extremely exciting!  As I type out this post, DH has finished making me a ham & cheese sandwich for tomorrow’s lunch.

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