And the gauntlet has been thrown…
If you remember my entry back in November, I had a personal revelation regarding how much I spend on eating out each month (I’ve cleverly linked it here in case you missed out). I was appalled to discover that I teeter the scale at a $166 average. Now, it’s not that I can’t afford to spend that much at restaurants. I don’t ignore bills or live in a box to feed my habit (no pun intended), but what I did realize was that I could be spending that money so much BETTER. I’d easily trade in a few lunches at Chipotle or a dinner at Applebee’s if it meant I’d have 20 more bucks in my “vacation savings.” Thinking about it that way puts eating out in a whole new perspective.
Therefore, the challenge of the Financial Diet was born. After discussing with the fellow Wingmen, we set some ground rules for our little competition. We then invited co-workers to join in, and now we are inviting you. And imagine that, just in time for a New Year’s resolution!
Financial Diet Rules:
- Add up your “eating out purchases” for September, October and November. Divide the total by three to get your average. *Include: Fast food, dining in, delivery, carry out, coffee runs, etc. (if you didn’t make it, you count it!) *Do not include: Regular groceries, your spouse’s food purchases (unless you want to force them to “diet” as well…)
- Analyze how you can change your habits and get to it!
- Add up your food purchases for January, February and March and see how you did! Our winner will be determined by percentage decreased, but use whatever motivation that works for you.
We’ll post our starting averages and update our spending totals over the course of the next three months. If you’d like to take part in the Financial Diet at home, then pull out your bank statements or call your friendly neighborhood teller and get to calculating. Don’t forget to check out our follow-up blogs here, as well as ongoing advice for all things finance.
Now let the spending, err saving, begin!