Is Eating Out Killing Your Budget?

Fast Food Eating out is a lot of fun, but it’s also expensive.  You can cut some real money out of this costly item, save your budget and still enjoy great meals. The money you save from eating out can literally make the down payment on a new vehicle or pay this month’s rent.  Now, that’s savings.

Why People Eat Out
People eat in restaurants for two primary reasons: convenience and special occasions.  The convenience factor is the one that has the most potential for savings.  Eating out saves the hassle of making a lunch for work.  You get home after a long day and just don’t feel like fixing something.  Whatever the reason, that convenience has a cost.

People also eat out to treat themselves for anniversaries, special occasions and accomplishing goals.  That’s all well and good; everybody needs to celebrate from time to time.  But, the practice of eating out should be seriously limited if you want to save money.  After you see how much money you can save by limiting restaurant excursions, not eating out will become an important part of your home budget planning.

The Cost of Eating Out
So you don’t have time to plug in the coffee maker at breakfast, and you instead stop at Starbucks.  Oops, you didn’t make a lunch, and stopping at the fast food joint is easy.  That convenience costs the average American $2,668 annually.  That works out to $225 per month.  That’s real money that you can use to pay a few bills, or save for a rainy day fund.  The beauty of it is you didn’t give up food, just a little time to fix it.

Lunch is a Money-Eater
Springing money from your pocketbook to eat lunch eats up the monthly budget fast.  You want to eat lunch with your friends at work to catch up on the latest gossip and talk about work.  Buying lunch is convenient.  You can walk into a restaurant, be served quickly and have time left over.  The problem is the cost really adds up.  If you try to eat at less expensive fast food places, you can also see another problem.  Have you noticed that your dress or trouser size has inched up a notch?  There is reason number two to rethink your lunch habits.

Meet Mr. Brown Bag
The cost difference between eating out and eating in is substantial.  You’re paying a premium price for that sub sandwich, bottle of pop and bag of chips.  You can buy everything you like for lunch at the grocery store and save money.  At home, you can make stir fry rice, casseroles, pizza, sub sandwiches and burgers.  Toss these puppies in the brown bag, warm in the microwave and lunch is served instantly.

A sub sandwich, pop and chips from a restaurant will cost about $8.  You can eat the same meal from the brown bag for less than $2.  That’s $6 in your budget for a different expense.  That’s a $1560 savings over a year.  If your habit is eating at a full service restaurant instead of a sub shop, the savings are even more.  Think about what you can be using those savings for.

Helping You Save
Embassy Loans is in the business of helping you find emergency cash using auto title loans.  It is important to us, however, to see you be successful not only with our loan, but with getting your monthly budget back in good order.  You have to look at things like eating out in times like these to see if you can save a few more dollars every month and get going down the right path.  If you are like most folks, restaurants are one place to find some easy money.