I had a frantic call last week, a gorgeous girl in absolute outrage, “Bec” she says, “I just heard on the radio that eating out twice a week is costing me $10,000 a year on average! How could they say this?”
My response “ummm well because it is” was NOT favourably received.
If you think about it, an average dinner out is at least $100 for a family of four – $20+ each for 4 mains, add some drinks, garlic bread and heaven forbid dessert…
Do this twice a week x 52 weeks in a year…. $10,400 give or take. On dinner out.
Now, here’s the thing I am not the fun police and I am a HUGE advocate for living life now as well as putting away for the future so I’m not judging your dinners out (or mine, notice how quick it was for me to do the math) but understand what it equates to and what options you have.
My bug bear is lunches at work. Full disclosure I work from home and I set myself up with a big salad and lots of yummy left overs to get me through the week – but if you’re buying lunch out each day understand it adds up. $10 / day for lunch, plus coffee say $15…. 5 times a week, 48 working weeks a year $3600 a year. Each of you. Add in a lunch order for the kids and, well, you get the picture.
- On the road a lot and having to buy drinks? $4 a bottle, 4 times a day? Another $3800 a year. Probably onto of your lunches.
- Coffee… $4.50 each, I refuse to do the math on this one – too close to the heart!
- Work in the city and lunch costs you closer to $20 a day, and you’re a coffee addict too…. $8600 a year, each.
- Parking? Late fees on videos? All adds up.
So what if we could cut out the lunches, cut back to dinner out once a week, and maybe skip a coffee at work? What could that look like?
- It could look like 15.6 yes saved off of an average $300,000 home loan. HALF the term of the loan.
- It could look like a $10,000 overseas family vacation every year (we just got back from an amazing 9 night cruise to Noumea and spent less than this).
- It could look like a boat in two years (best family fun ever!)
- It would FEEL amazing.
BUT i reiterate, enjoy life now as well as in the future, maybe lunch and dinner out is not where you’ll find your $10,000 holiday. Maybe your particular vice is movies or DVD’s or simply buying replacement items because your hubby never puts stuff back where it’s supposed to go and you can’t ever find the item you’re looking for (until you come home with a new one.)
Or maybe you’re happy just as you are – thank you very much. And thats ok too – at least now you know your options.