Eating out. We are well known to eat out. We use to eat out every day ubtil we where low on money and use the rest to scrimp for the remainder of the pay period. Days use to be eat breakfast at McDonalds lunch at Subway and dinner at House of Pizza. Breakfast was $20 lunch was 35 and supper was 40. We choose not to save our money but eat it away.
We look back on that financial bad habit and cringe. All the money we could if saved was tossed out. I came up with excuses saying it was a chance to get out, not have to cook or clean, but it was simply laziness.
We started cutting back eating out. This month we ate out less than 10 times as of 21st of December. Ive gone out monday and Friday mornings to have breakfast at a total price each time of $10.34 for two people. We cut back eatting out on weekends and most week nights saving a couple hundred dollars
Going forward we would like to see once a month eatting out, max. I have downloaded a book that talks about OAMC (once a month cooking). Cooking once a month limits not having to create dinners every night and makes cooking a simpler task. We would take a day and create prepared freezerable dinners we could throw into our stove or crockpot.
If we spent on avg $600 to $800 a mobth eating out before, we can cut our food bill in half and spend $400 to shop once a month. Money aaved can go to our emergency fund and then old bills that need to get paid off.
The last few weeks has been busy. I started out stating I would have a menu planned for my family. I went shopping and created a menu. The hope was to cut back eating out. In the end we did eat out, but less. Small steps right?
Well to hold myself to my actions we ate at mcdonalds 4 times and House of Pizza twice. Total for all that eating out was over $150. This is money I could of used for bills.
Speaking of bills, I recieved calls from debt collectors. I answered and Charter Communication is looking for $260 payment for past due. I forgot to turn off internet when we moved. I countered saying i can make payments starting first of the year.
Light bill came in and its overdue by one payment. Total bill is $162. I contacted them and said payments can happen on first of year to payoff and bring current.
Our car loan is coming to a close. We bought a car, 2012 impala in 2013 and have been making $375 payments each month. Thays $173 per pay period going to a 16% loan. We called and asked payoff price for tax season and we will payoff $2900 to fully own car and get out from that debt.
Biweekly mortage payment was paid, one bill i never not pay. To date we have paid an extra $775 torwards our $158,700 mortage at 4.75% for 30yrs. With the extta payments we have knocked of 4 payments at the end and $2370 total interest we have to pay.
Well yesterday was another learning day. We where watching online show and all of a sudden our internet was not working. I knew at rhat instence thatthey shut off ny internet due to not getting paid. This is not rhe first time this has happened. I am notorious at pushing out my bills till the last second, often times having my lights turned off, car almost reposesed, and internet turned off.
I know not paying my bills is a sign of financial weekness, wanting ro have fun and not using the money to save or pay off bills. Being able to budget better and paying my bills on time will be a new learning habit. Honestly speaking its a sign of financial maturity. The question is how.
I have used an app called Prisam that I can download my bills and have an easy access to paying my bills. I spent last year mostly on target with all my bills paid on time. This year i bought a houseand stuff got off track. I have mutiple credit cards that are over due, and my light bill is close to being overdue.
Ill work on this bad financial habit this up and coming year. By being open to my bills and how much i paywill force me to be on track withontime payments.
Keeping track of what i spend and when will be the best way for me to stay on track and not spend more than i should. I spent the weekend making a two week menu using some of our favorite menu items. My hope is we wont eat out as much and save money in the long run.
Amongst the items we bought was noodles and spaghetti. Monday and wednesday will be pasta nights. Simple cooking and everyone enjoys pasta and garlic bread. Beef was 6 dollars for two pounds and noodles was 2.50 a box. Garlic bread 2 was dollars. Around $11 for family of five. We will also have leftovers.
Tuesday is an easy day. Baked pepperoni pizza. Simple.
Wednesday will be spaghetti and meat sauce. Around the same price as mac and beef and we will also have leftovers.
Thursday is hotdog and beans with buttered bread. Little costly as we have red hotdogs at $15 a pack but i hope we can get two servings from them. Maple dlavorwd beens and bread is around $4 for total around $12
Friday is a fun dinner. English muffin pizzas. Oops did not pick up english muffins and will have to put on the list. Should come out to around $12 for all of us to eat.
As we come to a close, this menu is already saving us money. We use to eat out at a cost of $30-$50 a meal 3 to 4 times a week minimum. We had no left overs and less tasty dinners. Hope this will change and eating at home becomes a habit.
Starting this journey has been a long time coming. We have worked hard to get where we are and we want to improve even more. We have strengths and weaknesses like everyone. Our hope is this blog will inspire us to spend wiser while also inspire others to do the same.