| Project Money | Pay It Forward 

« Unexpected Expenses | Main | Shopping Itch »


It's Bowling Season

September brings the changing of seasons, but for our family, it’s not just summer turning to fall. It means softball season is changing to bowling season. Bowling has been a huge part of Willie’s life since he was a kid. His dad owns the pro shop in Dream Lanes, and Willie pretty much grew up there. He’s been bowling since he was about 5 years old and he now bowls in a men’s league two nights a week and in a couples’ league with me and his parents every other week. He also helps his dad out by working at the pro shop two nights a week and Saturday during the day. So what does that mean for us and our family?

It means $170 a month in bowling dues. It also means that we get to eat dinner together only on Wednesday nights and weekends. This is part of the reason we have struggled with eating at home in the past. Sometimes it’s just a lot easier to pick something up if you’re eating alone or if we’re eating together after he gets home at 9 pm. I’m pleased to say that we have managed to break that habit so far and are eating almost all of our meals at home. I think the key to doing this has been buying foods that are easy and quick to make for one person, like ingredients for quesadillas or sandwiches, soups and salads, and frozen foods that won’t spoil if you don’t eat them fast enough. It’s good that we are saving money by eating at home because those bowling dues really do add up. That $170 could really help to pay off some of our debt every month, but we are trying to manage doing both because it’s the one thing Willie does for fun and it would be devastating for him to give up something that’s been a part of his life for twenty-some years.

Since we’ve been spending more time at the pro shop lately, I’ve been trying to think of things from the business part of the shop that we could apply to our personal finances. Here’s what I came up with:

• Don’t buy things you don’t need. It’s bad for business if you build up your inventory with things nobody wants to buy. Likewise, it’s bad to buy a bunch of stuff and have it sit in your closets, cabinets or dresser drawers at home.

• Know what you need before you go shopping. There have been times at the shop when we’ve placed an order for merchandise only to find that we already had it in the back room. At home, you might find that you already had a black sweater like the one you just had to go shopping for, or extra toiletries in your cabinet.

•  If there’s something you know you’ll use, stock up on it when it’s on sale. With bowling balls, we can often get a discount if we order several of them at once, so it makes sense to order a lot of the most popular balls to take advantage of the savings. At home, it makes sense to buy several packages of items you know you’ll always use (like toilet paper or cleaning supplies) if you find them on sale.

• Don’t pay other people to do things you can do for yourself. At the shop, this means that we make our own signs, print our own business cards and flyers, and maintain our own website (check it out: At home, this could mean doing your own home maintenance projects (like painting, carpet care, or small remodeling projects), yard work (mowing the lawn, landscaping, or shoveling), and automotive care (like oil changes or car washes).


feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Cassie and Willie's Monthly Progress

Financial Tracker

Play At Home

Simplify your own finances while following our Project Money families on their journey.
Start Here.
Follow Their Progress...
Rachel & Keilah
Kari, Darek, Cree, Chay and Coen
share this   media partner
The views and opinions expressed in blog comments may not reflect those of Summit Credit Union.
Copyright 2009-2010 © Summit Credit Union
P. O. Box 8046, Madison WI 53708-8046
Toll-free: (800) 236-5560
Local: (608) 243-5000
All rights reserved.