Money Management

Are You Eating Away At Your Budget?

Managing a budget can be difficult.  Little expenses can quickly get in the way of meeting your financial goals.  One of the biggest and easiest ways to eat away at your budget is by eating out.  It can be difficult to find motivation to cook dinner after a long day at work, but if you really want financial freedom, reduce your spending on this expensive non essential.

Let’s See How it Adds Up

A thousand dollars is simply one hundred $10 purchases.  That sounds like a lot.  However, if you eat out three meals a day at $10 each, you will have spent almost a thousand dollars in just one month.  If you eat at more expensive restaurants or are trying to feed a family, this expensive habit can add up even more quickly.

It’s surprising to see just how quickly it all adds up.  By eating out, you could easily destroy your savings goals and your financial security in just a matter of months.  On the other hand, if you change your eating out habits and start spending less, you could end up with a substantial amount of extra money each month.

Look At Other Options

Everyone needs to eat.  This doesn’t mean that you should stop spending money on food or never enjoy your favorite restaurant.  There are other solutions.  Look at your budget at determine how much you are willing to spend eating out each month.  Set a goal and then stick to it.  This can mean that you will need to make other plans for your meals.

If you know that you will be tried after a long day at work, plan ahead.  This will help you to avoid impulsive trips to the local fast food joint.  Prepare easy to reheat meals on the weekend so that you won’t need to spend hours cooking after work.  Pack your lunch several days a week.  It can work well to get it ready the night before just in case you are running late in the morning.  Stock your cupboards with easy meal options so that you can always find a snack in a hurry.  If you need to go out, find some inexpensive choices at your favorite restaurant.

While there are many ways to find extra money and save, eating at home more often is one of the easiest.  With a few simple changes, you can have several hundred dollars extra each month to devote to your financial goals.

Comments (9)

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  • Are You Eating Away At Your Budget?…

    Managing a budget can be difficult. Little expenses can quickly get in the way of meeting your financial goals. One of the biggest and easiest ways to eat away at your budget is by eating out. It can be difficult to find motivation to cook……

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  • It is amazing how fast it adds up! I love going out to eat, but my wife and I try to get the most out of every coupon, discount, deal etc.

    One restaurant by us has $.99 kids meals on Mondays, another one has $1 hamburgers on Tuesdays etc. One advantage we have too though is that we LOVE to grill out at home so that saves us money too.

    Reply
    • There are a lot of great deals out there, especially for children. I’m sure that helps out a lot.

      Reply
  • Eating out is probably is #1 budget assassin in America. It can be so subtle and can come up even when unexpected! My wife and I buy a few frozen meals so if she’s not feeling well or if I’m feeling lazy or tired, we can avoid eating out…still, it doesn’t always work out that way.

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    • Yea I know what you mean. Sometimes eating out is just so much easier than even making a frozen meal. And it does add up over time. It’s not an easy thing to keep in check and it is a big money eater

      Reply
  • I think I spend like $500/month eating out on average. It is one of my true great joys though, since SF has such wonderful culinary establishments.

    It’s not worth saving $100 or $200 for me, since it’s what I like to do.

    Easier to just make $500/month more online!

    Reply
    • That’s a good point. If your income allows for it then there’s nothing wrong with spending it on something you enjoy.

      Reply
  • Great advice. However, can’t you spin it so you can try and hunt for meal deals? I sometimes take the opportunity to looking for dinner specials and coupons. Just like buying things on sale, why can’t you apply this to eating out?

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