real money growth

eating out: my favorite hobby, but it adds up fast!

COSTLY MISTAKES LEARNED TGComment

Not proud of this one - my exceeded restaurants budget for April 2019

I’ve exceeded my monthly restaurant budget already! Eating out is definitely one of my most expensive hobbies. I consider it a hobby, because I could technically survive without it; I could just eat at home. For the last year of my life, I’ve been able to eat just about anything without getting sick - I discuss this briefly in my article titled “health insurance: is cheaper always better?”. So, I’ve been over-indulging. You name it: Taco Bell, In-N-Out Burger, McDonalds, Cheese Cake Factory, etc. The list goes on and on.

If I put an end to my eating out habit, I could save $349 per month! Wow! That’s $4188 a year, ugh. I really need to do a better job and try to optimize this category of my budget. Is eating out worth it? Well, not really, but I enjoy it so much. I’m hoping that my spending in this category will gradually decrease throughout 2019. I can’t go cold turkey and just eat every meal at home; I’d like to enjoy life a little.

If I can get this number down to $200 a month by the end of this year, I will be very happy. I would be able to save $1,788 annually. That would be great! No one is perfect; even though I try to optimize all of my expenses, there are still times when I break my rules. It’s very hard when emotions enter the equation. Some days I’ll get home from a hard day at work, and I instantly crave an In-N-Out Burger burger and animal style fries. I’ll make the decision to purchase a meal based on my emotions and not my finances. The hard thing about this is that after I eat the meal, I don’t regret purchasing it. The burger and fries made me feel better after my hard day. Would I have felt better after eating the home cooked meal that I could have had? Well, maybe. The first part of saving is to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strengths first; it will be easier to create savings from them. Work on your weaknesses over time. They will require more work and determination to optimize in order to create savings.