August 25, 2018

Why I Don't Dine Out On A Whim

It's close to dinner and you're trying to resist the urge to order delivery from your favorite restaurant or drive to the nearest drive thru. I know you had a long day at work. I know the kids are screaming they're hungry. I know it would be so easy to just spend the money. Resist.

Resist as much as you can, as often as you can.

Many people will give in. But one trip out to eat may turn into two then three or more in a single week. It's easy. It's convenient. They have the money so why not? They are unaware of how this behavior will have an impact on their finances until a few months later when they are digging for loose change in their couch cushions.

I am not perfect. I do eat out on occasion but I make sure it's in my budget. I plan it. I don't do it on a whim. That's one of the differences you can make in order to be more in control of your money. I crave fast food like everyone else, as much as everyone else. But, I resist more than I give in because of the numbers. Let's take a moment to crunch the numbers.

When my daughter and I do eat out, or get delivery, the cost is around $15-$20 depending on the place. Therefore, if I decided to eat out twice a week I would need $30 minimum.

This means at the end of one month I would have spent $120 and in a year that's $1,440! If I spent $20 a meal it would be $160 a month and $1,920 a year! It's easy to say it is only $20 but look at how that adds up in a year! Ask yourself: is it worth it? Do I really need those fries, that burger, or that pizza? Can I wait?

Check your pantry and fridge. See what you can whip up! It doesn't have to be fancy. Keep "quick" dinners on hand that you know your family loves and resist the urge. (Mac & Cheese anyone?) Challenge yourself not to eat out for a month and take that money and do something nice with your family that doesn't center around food. Go to the zoo. Go to a movie. Save the rest for a rainy day. Rainy days happen more than you think.

I'm not saying to give up eating out entirely, just don't eat out on a whim.  Look at your budget and decide if it's the best choice.

Check out:
Children as Validation?
Society Please..

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