Now, everyone should take the time and really look at their budget. Most of us in our 30’, 40’s, 50’s and beyond probably eat out at least once per week. I’m not just talking about the couples night out or weekly dinners at chain restaurants. It is almost impossible to get out of there, after tip, for less than $40-50. Chain restaurants are predictable…consistent is good, but it is also boring.
I can prepare a far better meal at home than you could ever get at a steakhouse or Italian restaurant. My husband and I like to save our “dining out” money for more local and unique restaurants. The food is better, more economical, and there is a variety. Thai, Vietnamese, small Italian joints, Sushi….these are our favorites. Remember, at chain restaurants, the price is paying for the name.
Now, go to a local restaurant and spend $30 and be disciplined. This is the tricky part. How do you get the extra $20 to your savings account. Well, the very next store I am in, I pay and get cash back and go straight to the bank (or hold it until Monday when the bank is open).
Truth is….we’ve had this account now for about 4 years and after not making a habit of withdrawing and seeing the money grow, I have no problem staring at the $20 bill all weekend. In fact, sometimes I have been known to pull an extra $20 and send it to my Secret Saver Account!
Let’s look at some numbers for inspiration:
$5/week saved is $260/year
$20/week saved is $1,040/year
And, if you work an 8-5 job, I’m here to tell you, that was the first place I made a cut. I used to go out to lunch every day. That is an easy $50 a week and sometimes more (lunch ain’t cheap anymore). I only go out once per week (on a very rare occasion twice in a week….and it better be for something special…lol). That easily saved me $30-40 per week.
$40/week saved is $2,080/year.
So, save $20 per week by dining unique and local on Friday or Saturday night and then cut back on those social lunches and easily add another $30 per week to your savings.
$50/week saved is $2,600/year.