We thought we could start eating out at restaurants, again.
We found out…we can’t.
A year ago, after re-evaluating our money for the 957th time in our married life, we decided we would stop eating out for a year.
After tracking what we spent each month we saw we were spending quite a bit on eating out.
On a daily basis it didn’t seem like much. We typically ate at cheap places.
Taco Bell. Little Caesar’s.
These are places you can feed a big family for around $10-15. It’s a deal.
A lot of the time, buying a cheaper meal at the grocery store is not even within that range. There may be some of you out there who can feed a family of six on $2 a meal, I tip my hat to you. Seriously. That’s amazing.
Back to not eating out for a year…
We did it!
We went the entire year without eating out a restaurants with the exception of being on the road, traveling across the United States or on business trips.
It was amazing.
I was impressed with us.
We did save money. More than I expected.
As this new year started…
Little by little, as February gave way to March, without Mike and I talking about it, we started eating out again.
We hadn’t said we weren’t going to EVER eat out again (I justified to myself). We had committed to a year and the year was up.
Neither of us felt like it was an issue.
We weren’t eating out all of the time.
It was occasionally when we were in a hurry.
Or for special occasions.
Or because it sounded fun…
Not a big deal.
Until it was.
We sat down to look at our budget, money, spending and what was happening. Something seemed out of control but we weren’t sure what it was.
Yes, we had been eating out but that wasn’t that much.
As we looked over what we had spent the numbers came back and we saw in clear black and white, pen to paper, we had racked up quite the eating out category in our budget, again.
But that wasn’t all…
Somehow, eating out gave us license.
License to do whatever we wanted.
We aren’t huge spenders but once we get going we start thinking a little money here…a little money there… isn’t a big deal.
Do you need another $20 for the fourth time this week, girls? For what? School? Oh. Okay. Here you go.
Go to the theatre for a play? $200? Okay, we deserve it, it will be a fun family activity.
I want to say, for the record, I’m not living in regret over any of these purchases.
I’m living in realization. In an aha! moment.
They have been an amazing experience, each of them. They’ve also taught us a lot of things.
When we start eating out, it opens the flood gates for us.
It becomes a catalyst for permission to do anything we want without discussion, evaluation, or restraint.
Eating out is our kryptonite.
This may not be the case for other people but it is for us.
Once we begin eating out all bets are off.
We start spending in ways we don’t normally spend.
None of it is bad and typically none of it is huge. So it hides innocently in our spending and outgo.
This revelation was awesome for us!
Now, we can see where we slowly bleed out.
In the past, we would say, yep! we spend a fair amount of money on eating out. But it’s not that big of a deal.
When we would look at the big picture of our money, eating out didn’t seem like it was the culprit.
And it wasn’t, in and of itself.
It was what it allowed.
It was what it deemed ok.
It was what it opened up everywhere else in our thinking.
It was what eating out said to our brain and feelings about what was okay to spend money on.
Somehow, eating out makes us feel like we’ve got all kinds of money to spend.
I’m not completely sure what is happening there, I’m sure it needs exploration…but it’s not the good kind of abundant thinking.
It’s the ‘let’s hide from our feelings and numb with food and spending’ kind of thinking.
I’m guessing, it’s subconsciously tied to disappointments. There have been a lot of those in the last few months.
It’s time for us to look for better ways to deal with disappointments, that isn’t eating out.
When you look at your biggest struggles, take a look a little deeper. Why do you reach for that cookie or some other food treat you crave? That glass of wine? That shopping trip to target or online? Another book on Amazon? Why?
Ask yourself if that one choice is affecting multiple other parts of your life. Most likely it is, in subtle ways. What thoughts does it help you avoid? What do you hope to feel?
What can you stop doing that will help you to gain momentum in the direction you really want to go?
Boundaries around eating out for us means we save a lot of money…not just because we get to keep the money we used to use at restaurants but because we also get to keep the money we would have spent on 100 other things, too.
It is so exciting to see the one thing, finally, that is the catalyst for so many other things!
What is hiding in plain sight for you? What ONE thing could you stop doing today that will change all the days ahead for the better?
If you’d like to do ONE thing 1% better TODAY, make sure to check out The Confidence Kit HERE.
To seeing the truth,
PS Do you wish other people would stop frustrating you? Driving you crazy? Making your life difficult? Would you like to be better at encouraging yourself everyday or say nicer things to yourself? Would you like your brain to be a more peaceful place that isn’t always chattering about everything and anything?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s probably time to check out The Confidence Kit Get yours HERE.
Davina Fear is a Confidence Coach. She helps women from around the world understand how the power of their thoughts and actions together so they can make their dreams come true.