I almost never post on a Monday but I have to dash off a few words as I look over my July budget. I am busting my hump to pay off the last $4000 on my car and do it early, and I’ve come to a realization.
I eat out. A lot.
The month isn’t half over and I’ve already burned through my $100 restaurant budget. Actually, I’ve spent $150 so far. And on what? On rather shoddy and uninspired food, actually—overcooked calzones and watered-down drinks at Old Chicago, greasy pub fare and oh-so-good-but-oh-so-bad fried food at Applebee’s. Oh, and let’s not forget the delicious but MSG bomb that is Chinese buffet. Entire bottles of wine I should not have consumed in one sitting and a whole pint of lush ice cream that will cost me dearly at my next Weight Watcher meeting.
Well, today is July 15. I am giving myself a challenge of completely suspending all take-out and dine-in operations until August 15. No bars, no restaurants. Fast food and drive-thrus are banned from my mouth and my checkbook for the next 30 days.
Here is the problem—I am working three jobs like a fiend and I need to start getting gazelle intense if I am going to get any traction. Well, it’s time to start getting a little crazy. Let’s not eat out for the rest of the month. Whatever is left over in my bank account at the end of the month is going straight to my car!!! The faster I pay off my debt, the faster I can get cash squirreled away. The faster my emergency fund is in place, the faster I can save up for a down payment on a house!!!
So to my comrades and dining partners reading this—I am not abandoning you. If you invite me to the bar (my baby brother has his 21st birthday in a week or so), I will go. But I am only drinking water because I am El Cheapo (La Cheapa?) for the next 30 days. If you invite me for a nosh after work I will sit and enjoy a glass of water while you eat. I may be envious, I might desperately want to try your food! I might even try to take it from you. But until 15 August, hear me now.
I. AM. A. GREMLIN. Do not feed me after midnight, or even before, outside of my kitchen. If you do, I will turn into a little green creature you can only kill with water.
Or not. I actually like the water.
But seriously—no eating out!