Stop eating outHave you ever calculated how many dollars you are spending by just eating out? If you don’t already have a budget, sit down and crunch those numbers; what you will find may shock you.

Last year our little family spent over $3,500 on restaurants and coffee shops. Given that one of our debt balances is $2,700, it kind of stings a little knowing that this one burden could be gone from our lives had we simply prepared meals at home. I am not suggesting to never eat out again, but if you want to start making progress on your debt payoffs, then you need to start cutting back. At this point, you need to realize that eating out and going to the coffee shop are treats until you can afford to do so.

So what’s the game plan moving forward?

  1. Determine how much you had spent last year on dining out and make a written goal stating that you will spend far less. (Be sure to write down the actually dollar amount in your goal.)
  2. Before you go to the grocery store, plan out your meals in advance! If you need meal ideas, you can use Pinterest or simply Google to find meal plans as well as ingredients needed. If you have a meal plan in place, you know what you are going to prepare for each meal. This will also make your grocery budget manageable. (We get paid every two weeks, so we make a written meal plan for 14 days.)
  3. Take the remaining money leftover after you have purchased groceries and apply it to your debt.