Jun 5, 2009

Quicken Reveals - I: "No Eat-Out Month" Experiment

I was looking at my Quicken view of spendings and was amazed at my eat-out habits. Above is the screenshot of how my expenses looked like in the last six months of 2009. I am single and a BIG foodie but still I consider above figures as holes in my pocket!

I spent $124 on eat-outs in May 09 making up 10% of my spendings. If sweet little February 09 is ignored then almost every month I am spending $109 on the average. Hey and just look at the goals I set, the red line in the graph marked as 'Budget', it's always way below the actual expenditure. My goal was $50 in May and I spent $124, 2.48 times more!

I Was Aware
I have been thinking that I am trying hard to get hold of my eat-out bills but Quicken reveals I am not, actually. I cook daily, take lunch-box to work and avoid eating outs as far as possible, but then one fine day comes and I meet with my good old friends and those meetings make it all possible.

What I'm Gonna Do
I have read people observe no-spend-day and believe me I literally spend only 2-3 days a week. I also agree with Ramit Sethi that one should take gradual steps towards their goals and this implies cutting down my eat-out bills gradually but this ain't gonna work for me. Whatever I decide, I will always spend more on food so why not set my spending limit to the least!

So this is what I am gonna do: I am pledging to eat nothing out this month. Already 5 days are gone and fortunately I haven't spend a buck on food out of home.

Will It Work
I am certain that my eat-out bills can absolutely not be $0 but yeah if I attempt to achieve that, it will be certainly less than $124 this time.

Is It Worth It
I am not expecting a jackpot, nor I will save a million doing this but I believe in spending on what I need and when it's needed. And that makes, at least a part of, the definition of 'Frugality'. Let's see how well can I keep upto my promise and how much can I save.

Do you notice any such 'holes' in your pocket? What's the reason? Are you doing anything about it? Do you have any suggestions for me? Comment please :)

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