Sunday, September 2, 2007

Reducing debt by eating out less.

Over on the NCN, Day 5 of 33 days and 33 ways to save money and reduce debt examines eating out less. Wow, if this isn't near and dear to my heart with a huge need for examination I don't know what is.

I would bet that 75% of my debt stems from charging meals and nights out with friends. I'm not a big purchaser. I've been driving the same car for the last 7 years and it was paid off when I got it. Bessy is an 84 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. She was my grandfathers and I learned how to drive on her. I've only purchased a used t.v. and that was from a friend who loves electronics and was looking to buy a new one. My "stereo system" is a boom box from 1994. I live with antiques and second hand furniture. My friends often complain that I don't spend enough on myself and I suppose they are right, but since I don't have anyone to share expenses with, I've had to make choices. Please don't get me wrong, I have a very comfortable and inviting apartment and I try to keep clutter to a minimum. I take very good care of the things I own so I don't need to replace them and feel little need to have the latest toy or gadget.

As you may have read in my first blog, one of my goals is to cut back on eating out. If I look at my budget from last year, I know I didn't budget the amount of money I spent eating out. In fact, I'm not sure I even budgeted for a quarter of the money I spent on eating out. It was about $12 per day 5 days a week for lunch which translates into $3,120. It doesn't include dinners, but it also doesn't take into account having some business meals paid for. Now there is a chunk of change.

This weekend a friend and I are going to Costco. The plan is to purchase items and share them because neither one of us has the extra space. I am open to any suggestions on meals that will make lunch time more interesting.

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