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So You Want to Eat Out but Still Have Money at the End of the Month

Set an eating out budget

Who says you can’t go out or do what you want while you’re trying to save money? Consider the maximum amount you’d like to spend on eating out per month – then divide it for the weeks.

For example, you might want to spend $500 a month of your income on eating out, which works out to $125 per week. And think about your habits: while some people spend more on eating and drinking with friends after work, others spend more on weekends when work isn’t in the way.

Also take note of holidays, which can derail your plans if you don’t take those days into account.

budgeting when dining out

Be reasonable and constantly review

It doesn’t make sense to set an unrealistically low budget that you can’t stick to. There’s no sense in causing yourself grief, or deciding that you have to be a hermit because you’re busted a tiny budget.

Consistent reviewing of your budget each week will help you make better choices the following week, as well as make you feel more in control of your savings progress.

 

Look for deals

Sometimes it’s difficult thinking of new places to go to with friends. So instead of searching for new cafe openings, why not try searching for new promos to check out instead? You’ll get to discover new places, and get discounts, too.

There are apps, food blogs, and credit cards providing discounts for parties of two or more, so it’s a great excuse to meet up with people and enjoy a deal together.

 

Pack your lunch

If your social life is packed, and you want to go out after work and on weekends, you can cut back on lunch with a packed meal. Meal-prepping for the week allows you to cook and buy in bulk, for better prices, and you get to control your diet at the same time too, leaving more calories for after work. (But that’s probably a tip for another blog.)

 

Automate your savings

Create a standing instruction on your salary crediting account three days after payday. Set the amount you wish to save, and have it transferred to another bank account.

Since this is automatic, it helps keep the money away from you, which can be useful in months where you’re more remiss in your spending. Plus, it’s pretty nice to see the balance in that account steadily going up, and provides a little emergency fund too.

Same theory could work for investing too. You could set up a regular investment plan, it could be as little as $100/month. It works like a savings account with a potential to grow. Just note that you should not look at it as a short term investment as there are often charges for each investment, liquidating soon after before the money has even started to make profits will not make any sense.