Personal Finance Tip #1 - The Hidden Cost of Eating Out For Lunch on the Budget

Updated: Jun 11

Welcome to the financial tip of the week and it has to do with food; so we're going to talk about eating out for lunch which is often one of the most hidden expenses in the budget each year; not to mention that American's waste 40% of the food that they buy each year.

The average cost per for lunch is around $10 per day and the average number of working days for a standard job in a month is 22, so doing the math this equates to $220 a month.

if you get food delivery such as DoorDash, Uber Eats or Postmates this is typically a 25 - 50% markup over picking up the food yourself. So if we take the high end of that equation, the math comes to $15 per meal or $333 a month.

So this means that one could spend between $220 to $330 a month. If we take the middle ground that number, that would come in at $265 a month which equates to $3,180 a year.

Let’s look at the scenario of what you can do with the lunch money. The average American spends $1,000 a year on the holidays and many Americans spend on months-to-years paying them off. The average credit card interest rate is 16%; and just making the credit card's minimum payment of 2% or $20 a month, it will take 83 months to pay it off.

On top of that this adds up to $659 in interest. So why don't we look at this another way by taking this path:. Just by cutting this amount down by 31.4% or $83.33 a month, this would cover the amount needed for that spending plan for the holidays.

If you think about it, this means you’d work 14 days a month rather than 22 days.

The way I look at it is that I’d much rather eat out less during the year knowing that all of my holiday shopping is covered.

Agreed! So that should give you some food for thought. So that's going to do it for the personal finance tip of the week.

Episode Link:

Cost to eat out for lunch on the budget