18 May 2015
Over the last several months I have failed terribly at bringing my lunch to work on the days when I am not working out of my home. I have not excuse. Sure, I can say I have been busy, tired, but really even on a good day I am busy and get tired. The fact of the matter is I just have not made preparing my lunch a priority.
Even though I have not been preparing and bringing my own lunch, I still need to eat. My second confession of failure, I haven’t been eating well, I have been running out to fast food for lunch. That’s right, Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Wendy’s to name a few. Now, this post isn’t about the health factor, or in this case the lack their of, of the meals chosen. No, this post is about how eating out can easily make you poor.
Maybe Not Poor
Okay, so maybe poor is a strong term, but it certainly doesn’t help you save money, in fact, it is throwing away good money that could be saved. For example, regardless of where I went to eat out for lunch, for the most part the meal cost between eight to $10 dollars. I the few days I went to an actual sit down restaurant, one where I had service at the table, those days the meal was between $12 and $17 dollars. For the sake of this post I am going to focus on the average lunch costing $9 dollars.
That is $9 dollars a day, five days a week, that is $45 dollars, times four weeks in a month, yep, that is $180 a month just for lunch. My lack of preparing lunch has cost me big, okay, it hasn’t made me poor, but what if you only make $9 dollars an hour? That means you are making $1440 a month and out of that blowing $180 on eating or 20 hours worth of work, 1/2 of a work week out of the month has been spent on eating. Not a good investment at all, especially when you think about where the food ultimately ends up, you know…..flush.
Hard But Pays Off
Believe me I know it is hard, I coach people on how to save money, and I have slipped backwards and not been preparing my lunch. I do my best to not have a grocery bill larger than $300 a month, and here I blew almost all of that on just eating lunch. Bad, very bad.
Instead, when I make my own meal for lunch, the most it costs me is about $3.50, and that cost is part of my $300 dollar grocery budget, where the $180 dollars for eating lunch out was on top of my grocery budget.
What I am trying to get across is just a little bit of planning and preparing at night regarding your lunch can save you big in the long run. In my case $2,160 for the year, and that isn’t chump change, that is real dollars and dollars that can be put aside in savings for emergency repairs or even something fun with the whole family.
Calculate how much month you, and your household spends on eating lunch out and how much you could save by preparing your lunch the night before. Then as a family or if it is just you, write down what else you could do with that money if you saved it. You will be amazed how much more money you will have, you won’t be rich from it, but then again, you won’t be poor either.