Have you been fed a similar line?
- Restaurants commonly charge huge markups on the items they serve.
- While it’s far less expensive to cook meals at home, a new survey reveals the advice to avoid dining out isn’t being well-received.
“If you were to take the money you spend on restaurants and invest it instead, you’d be rich enough to retire.”
How many times have you heard that line, or something similar? If you’re a fan of financial blogs, you may have read that eating at restaurants is one of the biggest budget-busters you’ll encounter.
To be fair, there’s some truth to that. Restaurants are notorious for charging significant markups on the meals they serve. A $40 entree at a high-end eatery is something you could probably prepare for $10 in your own kitchen.
But while the advice to avoid restaurants like the plague may be well-intended, it’s clear those hearing it aren’t taking it that well.
In a new survey by “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” a financial blog, “never dine out” ranks highest as the most toxic piece of financial advice Americans have received. But are consumers being too sensitive? Or are they onto something?
It’s all about moderation
Dining at restaurants is something a lot of people enjoy immensely, and for different reasons. For one thing, it’s an opportunity to socialize. It’s also a chance to get a break from cooking, cleaning up, and having to plan out meals or hit the stores to buy ingredients.
Or, to put it another way, dining at restaurants is a treat. Eliminating restaurant meals completely may not be realistic.
As such, the advice to never dine out is pretty unhelpful. But might you consider dining out less frequently? That’s a different conversation.
The reality is that if you’re doing just fine financially — you have a nice chunk of money in savings, you don’t have unhealthy credit card debt, and you’re on track to meet your personal financial goals — then there’s no need to cut back on restaurant meals if they make you happy.
But if you’re struggling financially in any way — your savings balance is dwindling, your credit card balance keeps growing, and you’re nowhere close to meeting your goals — then it may be time to consider cutting back.