Who doesn’t love going out to dinner with family, friends, or maybe a special friend? For some, eating out is a rare occasion and for others, eating out is frequent. For some, there are many choices to pick from in terms of restaurants and for others, there are only a select few restaurants nearby.
For the majority of us, we need to think about our budget and where our money is going. There comes a point in our lives when we need to start thinking about where our money is going. For example, you can spend a bunch of money on eating out several times per week or invest that money into growth funds. I’m not saying strip away all your enjoyments in life, but try and manage the fine line between reasonable and excessiveness.
Why eat in, when there are so many great restaurants available?
My wife and I find cooking at home to be an enjoyable activity we can do together. It is very relaxing and allows us to control the ingredients going into our foods. When you eat out you do not typically know what is going on in the kitchen, need to pay for service in the form of a tip, and pay the cooks, hostess/host, and any other staff on hand. You may also need to wait in line to get a table and are eating in a public area with a bunch of people you don’t know. Some of these negatives may actually be positives for some. I can respect that!
With this being said, I do enjoy going out to eat. I typically go out on Friday and Saturday as a treat. If I did eat out all the time, it may become less exciting and not feel as special. I also feel it gives me something to look forward to throughout the week.
Lets say you went out to eat 3 times per week and spent $50 for yourself and your significant other each time you went out. You are spending $150 per week, which comes out to be $7,800 per year. If you cut back to 2 times per week, you are now saving yourself $2,600 per year. You can utilize this money easily for other investments, which will help you very much in the future.
Another factor to consider is as you expand your family, you are going to have to pay more when you go out because you have extra persons. Grocery shopping should save you money if you are smart about it. You can refer to my previous post called Value Grocery Shopping. Some grocery stores such as Lidl and Aldi might make sense for your budget. I am not too keen on the idea of services like Chef’d and Blue Apron because they tend to be expensive. I will admit I have never used them before, but with the prices they are offering, I probably will never use them.