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Bringing it back in...

April 19th, 2013 at 03:21 pm

OK...now that we've had our 'a-HA' moment, let's figure out where the heck all that money is going and more importantly, how to make it stop.

I said before, I really thought we were doing well on cutting this back. Over the past year, we have NOT been eating out as much, etc. I "usually" bring my lunch to work, and he is much better about doing that than I am. I'm back in school now and rarely do a "happy hour" anymore. He almost never does them. Once every several months.

Still, going over the past month or so, it's easy to see where it's all going:
- I said I "usually" bring my lunch to work. I still go out for lunch 1-2 times per week. Sometimes 3. I would say $7-$10 each time.
- He might go once per week, on Fridays since he's off work. Usually fast food, $5-$7
- Then, we might eat out 4 times on a weekend. Not every weekend, but even 4 times in one weekend in a month is a couple hundred dollars, then one or two times the other weekends.
- We've been eating out Friday or Saturday nights. $50-$75, depending on where we go.
- I stop to see my best friend after school on Saturdays. She's a bartender, so I go see her at her bar. This is usually $25. Sometimes if I'm in a hurry, it might be $15.
- If my significant other meets me at my friend's bar, $50 or sometimes more. We usually eat.
- We sometimes go out for breakfast Sunday mornings, then go grocery shopping. Sometimes, depending on the time, we might stop somewhere for lunch or drinks in the afternoon.
- If the UFC fights are on PPV, we go to a bar to watch. There's no cover charge, but we spend probably $60 for food and drinks. This is once or twice a month I think. At least once.
- Booze at home. There's no schedule here, we go in phases. I might not drink all week one week, then the next week I might have one or two almost every night. I don't drink real expensive stuff, but not cheap either. Lately I've been drinking ciders (like Angry Orchard or Woodchuck). He drinks beer, usually craft beer (and when I'm drinking beer, I drink craft beer also) so more expensive than usual domestic. Lately it's been Tecate though.

So, yeah. It adds up quick when I lay it all out that way.

We're trying to figure out how to best limit this spending: by event or by dollar amount? So...eat out one time a weekendend, period. So if it's UFC, that's it. If it's breakfast, that's it.

Or dollar amount. We get $50 per weekend to eat out. Of course, for us, this is about one time lunch or dinner.

Then a set dollar amount on alcohol at home? I'll probably post this to the forum.

3 Responses to “Bringing it back in...”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Maybe the question is: What amount are you willing to spend on these types of activities/beverages/food? Once you have that determined, I would try to prioritize the list you wrote above...is eating out more important than drinks at your friends bar? A plan for how you spend this money will help tremendously.

    Go out just as often, but share a meal, avoid alcohol out and drink only at home, find less expensive options for eating. Tips alone, add to eating out.

    We rarely eat out because of the expense. I would also say that it will help greatly to know what you will do with the money you save...are you paying off debt, saving for a house, car, retirement? Once you know that gives you motivation to reduce your eating out expenses.

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    Sounds like you are living the life me and my DH used to live! I'd say cut out the less social or fun meals out-- like the lunches, and save the money for the more social/fun events.

    We have cut eating out a lot since we have had children and can't go out as much. I don't regret the time I spent with friends drinking and eating one bit, but I wish I would have packed lunched and saved when I was just eating out because I was rushed or at work.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I think credit carefree makes a good point...having a goal for the money you save might make you want to save more.

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