How Much Money Did I Save By Not Eating Fast Food
At the beginning of October, I told you I wasn’t going to eat out or buy alcohol during the week for the whole month. When I reviewed my budget I saw that a large number of my expenses were going into these two buckets. While the actual dollar amount varied by month it came down to an average of $360 per month (yikes). With approximately $200 of that going towards fast food and $115 going towards alcohol. This was somewhat of a wakeup call. I knew I ate out a lot but this was just too much. So, I decided to see how much I could save by not eating fast food.
To some of you, these may seem like astronomical amounts of money. While to others you probably feel my pain. While I don’t like how much I spend on fast food and alcohol I do know that it is 100% in my control. Believe it or not, we can go without McDonald’s and happy hours for a month. This is what I did, or at least attempted to.
First off I have to admit something. If you’re in my newsletter you already know this (if you’re not you should join) but I did have a slip-up. It wasn’t a major mess up but Taco Bell did get to me early in the month. Yes, I couldn’t resist. It was my only mess up though and this includes drinking. Now that my confession is over here are the numbers.
At the beginning of this article, I told you I averaged $360 per month. Well for October I spent a total of $195. Surprisingly most of this was on alcohol. The combination of a Kansas City Chiefs game where beers are $9 a piece and a night out where my tab got a little out control was the culprit for this. The food portion was mostly at Quik Trip and Taco Bell. I could live off these two places for the rest of my life, no problem.
Overall I’m happy with how it went. It’s not exciting eating sandwiches for lunch every day but I rarely have a memorable meal at Chipotle for example. On the other side of things, I now have spending money for experiences. Which I value more.
When I think back on the month one thing really sticks out as a positive. Not once did I turn down a moment with my friends. What I mean is I didn’t let my finances control my life. I used self-discipline and kept control but still maintained my social life. This is something that I’ve struggled with in the past and maybe you have as well.
Why You Should Try It
People complain about money a ton and 99% of the time they blame it on not making enough. The focus is always on trying to bring in more and more income and they never focus on lowering expenses. It makes no sense. We look towards the future when we have so much control right in front of us right now.
Cutting down my eating out and alcohol saved me over $170. This means an extra $2000 per year. You can travel to anywhere in the world with $2000. Heck, you can probably even do it, first class. This month I’m expanding my saving initiative and not just focusing on fast food and alcohol. Yes, I’m going to eat out during the week but it may only be one or two times. Additionally, I have other things that I make uneducated purchases on. Cutting these out is going to make my saving initiative a breeze. I have some major trips I want to go on in the future and I know I can save enough for them. Even at my current income level.
What would you do if you had an extra $1000+ per month? Maybe you have some student loans you want to pay down. Or you want to take a trip to South America. Whatever it is look towards your expenses first before going out and finding the next get rich quick scheme.