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What a wake-up call...

April 18th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

We spend up to $700 per month on booze and eating out. HOLY SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM! How did I not realize this??

So, significant other and I enjoy (and apparently we REALLY enjoy...) drinking and eating out. I really thought we were doing well on cutting this back over the last year or so. I don't even want to know what we WERE spending, holy moley!

We recently opened new bank accounts and got reward credit cards, on which we've been putting all gas, groceries, eating out, etc. to pay off every month. This is part of our plan to control our spending and "really see" what we spend money on, and how much.

Anyway, he was talking to his coworkers about whatever, and budgeting came up. This made him start calculating in his head...and he came up with about $700 per month. I said, NO WAY! Then I looked at our first credit card statements, and in a month, we're not quite at $700, but we are pretty darn close. And it's been a "slow month" for us. I am ashamed to admit that I really had no idea it was that much!

Mind you, this is BOOZE and EATING OUT ONLY! Stops at the liquor store, happy hours, lunch and/or dinner on the weekends, going out for breakfast.

Well, gee. Maybe that's why I can't manage to put more money in savings, or pay down the other credit accounts faster, or why everything is an emergency when there's an emergency. Geez.

Well, welcome to reality! I am so mad at us! We had a good long discussion last night though. This is going to stop.

6 Responses to “What a wake-up call...”

  1. baselle Says:

    I'd rate what gives you the *most* pleasure. Keep the top 3 - curtail or modify the rest. For example, if happy hour gives you pleasure, figure out a way to enjoy one round but excuse yourself for the second and third. (and I'd buy my own drink and not buy rounds) I wouldn't do liquor store AND happy hours. One or the other. Smile

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Drinking alcohol out anywhere is incredibly more expensive than drinking at home. Of course, even that can get out of hand. What is your exact plan to fix this? What is the new goal for spending on alcohol and food?

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Shudder ... sounds familiar. When I first realized we were about to hit rock bottom, I added up all our debit and credit expenses for the past month. I almost fell over when I realized groceries, eating out and drinking cost $1200 for 3 adults! We're now at less than $1000 for 3 adults, a cat and 2 kids, so we're doing much better.

  4. snafu Says:

    ...now you know you are spending a lot on booze and eating out. What will you and SO do to better control spending in that category? Would it help to pay for those 'wants' in cash so it feels like you're spending real money as opposed to easy peasy plastic? Some people pick a sum like $200. for 'entertainment' and once that sum is spent, no more booze and eating out until the next payday or next month - as you decide.

    What is your spending like in other categories? Have you looked at the 50%, 30%, 20% break-out that is often recommended? It means that 50% of net income goes to expenses of rent/mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, debt, 30% of net income is targeted to 'wants' like entertainment, clothes, vacation, cable, 20% are various forms of savings which includes SS [deduction], retirement contributions and sums set aside for emergency fund and future plans.

    I read somewhere that the difference between goals and dreams are the plans you action.

  5. Tightwad Kitty Says:

    You just found $8400 per year you lost MMM.

    If you were spending $15 per day on lunches and drinks @ 5 days per week
    that's $3900 per year.

    Just taking your lunch to work 4 times per week you would be saving $3120 per year.

    So how much are you paying in cash for food and drinks?

  6. JulieAlbright Says:

    I know it seems horrifying but in a way it is good news. That's the kind of thing that I like to call low hanging fruit. In other words, it doesn't take much effort at all to make a few changes and get big results. Even if you only cut your habit by 50 to 75% .... you will gain $100's of dollars every month that you can be saving. Once you see that start to rack up your balance sheet, you'll very likely get motivated to cut even more.

    Best of luck.

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