Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Number Of The Day: 400

Do you guys want to hear something absolutely startling?

Ever since I decided I was going to turn over a new leaf, and teach myself how to save money and spend less I have been paying careful attention to where my money is going and in some cases, documenting said money into a spending journal (read: scratch paper on my desk at work). Taking it one step further, I also went through my bank statements yesterday and consolidated all of my expenses into categories (Bills, Dining Out, Starbucks, Etc) just to see where most of my money is going. I am seriously not kidding about the following statement:

Every month I spend close to $400 on eating out alone.

$400!!!!! Can you guys even imagine throwing away that much money on a monthly basis? And I wonder why throughout this period at my parent's house I wasn't able to save nearly as much money as I had wanted to. $400 is just absurd. I've never heard of such a ridiculous thing! I've always been told from my significant others that "I've never eaten out as much in my entire life as I have since I started dating you" but I always assumed everyone was just exaggerating. After all I didn't think I ate out THAT much.

But my $400 dollar a month restaurant bill seems to prove me wrong.

I am SO thankful that I started doing that little exercise because without it, I seriously don't think I would have ever changed my habits! I never in a million years would have imagined that my love of restaurants was having such a dramatic effect on my checkbook. I'm excited to move into my new apartment and start grocery shopping again, and cooking for myself and hopefully saving a little more money now that I understand how much I can be saving by doing so.

It may be a wake up call a little late in the game, but at least I'm up now.


Sara said...


Seriously - that is a huge first step. And now, whenever you eat out, you'll actually think of the money that's being spent! It's not fun, but way to go!

Farrah said...

I budget about $200 a month for groceries. Some ladies at work flipped out on me when I told them I had spent $70 at P&S on one trip, which would have lasted me two weeks. They thought $35 a week for a single person was a lot to be spending on food. They'd probably have a heart attack if they saw your total :o)

Christi said...

Oh my gosh Farrah I know!!! I'm ridiculous =)

Elizabeth said...

Going out to eat was one of the hardest habits I had to break when I got married. When I lived at home with the 'rents, we rarely ate at home. My mom hates to cook so she and my dad go out to dinner most nights of the week. While I lived at home, I often joined them. It just became normal so when the hubby would ask what I wanted for dinner, I would ALWAYS say, "How about Chiptole?" or something similar. He was so frustrated with me! It took a while, but I finally broke the habit.

Good luck to you and great work on starting to save money. You'll be glad you did this!

Christi said...

Totally! It's so much easier for me to say I want "Jimmy Johns" for lunch as opposed to thinking what I'd like to make for myself. Maybe from now on if I get the hankering for something like say "Olive Garden", I'll know to whip myself up a home made pasta dish instead.

kelgriz said...

I used to eat out every day when I worked downtown and was living with my parents too...but now that I live on my own, I feel bad when I go out to lunch because I obviously had to budget also! If you dont already get Lean Cuisines and/or Smart should definitely start. They are inexpensive (they are usually on sale too) and delicious for lunch (or dinner I guess).

However, I still refuse to cook on Friday and Saturday nights. Those are eating out nights for sure.

Erin Nevicosi said...

Holy CRAP! But I suppose if you're not buying groceries much ... but still. Yeah, that's insane. Good for you for figuring it out and hopefully nipping it in the bud!

We rarely go out to eat, but we spend a lot on groceries and cook good food. We spent $650 on groceries in June - for TWO people!! I had to do the same thing you're doing - figure out why the hell that number was so high and start doing something about it!

So now we're only allowing ourselves to go to the grocery store twice a week, and we *try* to keep each trip to $50-$60. Slowly but surely, we're doing a lot better!

Good luck!

Christi said...

It sucks that such a necessity has to cost so flippin' much =) Good job on your own budget cuts...although you've always been much better at than then me.