Toronto ON – The scenario is all too familiar. Your friends want to go out for lunch at a high-end restaurant and you begrudgingly tag along, secretly worrying about how you’re going to pay the bill. In a recent survey, 44 per cent of consumers are being more careful about how much they spend on their lunches when they eat out. The same survey found 31 per cent of respondents are choosing to eat at home more often.
Saying no to friends and colleagues or having candid conversations about money can be embarrassing, which is one of the reasons you may continue to spend and rack up credit card debt.
“At some point you have to look at the reality of the situation and protect yourself from financial ruin. The actual cost of these frequent lunches can take a heavier toll on your pocketbook than you realize,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “This doesn’t mean you have to tell your friends ‘no’ all the time, but it does mean being more selective about how you spend your money.”
Changing behaviours is an important step to improving your financial situation. Rather than lunching in a restaurant every weekend, make it special and do it twice a month. This will be a relief to your wallet, and your outings will become something to look forward to rather than a common occurrence.
Eating at home with friends is financially rewarding on your bank account. However, there are other rewards:
- It’s financially rewarding on your friends’ bank accounts.
- You can enjoy your friends’ culinary talents and make it a potluck lunch.
- The opportunity to eat healthier is greater.
- A more casual surrounding means you can laugh louder!