On Atlanta Eats Radio this past weekend, I shared that more and more families in Atlanta spend more money eating out than they do saving for retirement. If that is your case, then maybe it is time to get a financial plan in place to learn how to pay yourself first. If savings come of the top, you won’t feel as guilty for what you spend within the rest of your overall budget. However, if you think you are going to save what is leftover at the end of every month, expense including eating out and vacation will pull a virtual Pac-Man on your household budget. Here are six simple ideas to help you control spending each month so you can save more for retirement.
- Do Brunch– We all enjoy eating at the hottest new restaurants that come on the scene here in Atlanta. Brunch is usually half the price of dinner, so go that route first before engaging in a Saturday night.
- Do BOGO– Call your local restaurants to find out what night of the week (typically a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) where they might have a buy one entrée get one free.
- Do 50% Off Wine– Find out what night of the week a glass or a bottle of wine is 50% off. All restaurants are going to want to turn over their inventory just like a department store does season to season. Look for those specials so you can enjoy the wine without breaking the wallet.
- Do Water– If you are trying to cut corners, skip the alcohol, soda, and coffee, and you’ll save anywhere from $10 to $50 by not having these extras. You can still enjoy the food without racking up a big bill.
- Do Scoutmob– Don’t be afraid to be a coupon clipper! Not all of these deals are great deals or even restaurants you will want to go to for dinner. From time to time there may be one of these you really love, so seize that opportunity when it presents itself to you.
- Do Appetizers or Do Dessert– There’s nothing wrong with splitting up a few appetizers and a salad and skipping the main meal. Don’t worry if someone looks at you sideways. You are still spending your hard earned money.
To start saving money today, go to www.oxygenfinancial.net and tell us how eat well while you save money.
Ted Jenkin, CFP® is co-CEO of oXYGen Financial and is a top ranked personal finance blogger (www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com). He is a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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