You Budget How Much For Restaurants and Dining Out?

In this post, I’ll be discussing how much we spend on restaurants and dining out. Depending on where you live, the cost to eat out probably varies a bit. However, there is one way to make sure you stay under budget – eat at home! It’s healthier anyway.

Get to the point already!

Just like the fuel budget, we budget $200 for restaurants and dining out. This amount has been pretty consistent what we’ve used for this category.

How do you stick to it?

The short answer – we don’t. We oftentimes go over. That wasn’t always the case until about a year ago. Before then we’d sometimes go over, but could stay under more easily.

What happened a year ago that made us start going over? Volunteering at church. The group we volunteer with oftentimes gathers at Chick-fil-a for lunch and/or dinner various times on the weekend. That can eat up our restaurant budget pretty quickly with a family of four.

Under normal circumstances this amount is enough for us to eat out at a nice restaurant a couple of times a month, fast food 4-5 times, and maybe a date night.

What all does it cover?

Just like the grocery budget, the dining out budget can cover some items outside of just going to a restaurant. Whether it’s a sit down or fast food restaurant, it’s covered. It also covers quick visits to get some ice cream or frozen yogurt. Finally, it covers things we might buy while for immediate consumption. For example, if we were to go get a slush or pick up a bag of chips at a convenience store to eat right then, those would count towards the restaurant budget.


How much do you spend on restaurants and dining out each month? Do you have a hard time staying under budget? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo by Sean MacEntee

August 2017 – Mortgage Payoff Update

mortgage blackboard

At the end of August, our remaining balance is at 30.48% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of 2.22%.

How much longer?

Once all of August’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $3020 this month. We’re marching towards $40k and will be there by October 1. We’ve only got 14 payments left! That means our mortgage will be paid off on November 1, 2018.

If you’ve followed this series each month, you might be wondering why we’re still at 14 payments and the payment date has been pushed back. I had originally planned on teaching a class at a local community college this fall. However, due to circumstances beyond my control (you wouldn’t believe them if I told you), I wasn’t allowed to teach the class. They’re going to try to correct the issue so I can in the future but hopefully, the mortgage will be paid off by then.

I had to put those adjustments into the forecast which pushed things back another month and added the payment back on. In addition, we started homeschooling this fall with our two daughters. That means they are involved in activities which have an extra cost. I’ve had to trim back the mortgage payoff by a slight amount ($115 a month) to fund those activities. Unfortunately, that means the margin we had to make sure that we don’t add any extra payments has dissolved. I’m hoping to recover it in the next few months by picking up more side work.

Budget Series

I’ll be continuing the series that covers our budget. The next category we’ll be covering is restaurants and dining out. Everyone likes eating out, but how much is too much? What do we consider dining out versus groceries? You’ll learn soon in the next blog post.

Photo by Got Credit