How to Manage Your Restaurant Spending

How to Manage Your Restaurant Spending

Eating out too much could be wrecking your budget and making your life more stressful.

Eating out can be fun and convenient, but it can also be costly. If you’re not careful, too restaurant spending can increase your financial stress and hold you back from long-term freedom.

I love restaurants as much as anyone. There was a time in my 20s when I ate lunch out almost every day, and I probably had dinner out three or four times a week. But I was in debt and spending so much money at restaurants that I didn’t have enough left for things that really mattered.

It’s ok to go to lunch with a friend every now and then, or to enjoy a nice coffee or glass of wine as well. But eating and drinking in restaurants is much more expensive than feeding yourself at home.

If you’re serious about financial freedom, you need to start thinking differently about your restaurant spending. Adjusting your habits could free up a lot of money for defeating your debt and funding your future.

It may not be practical to eliminate restaurants from your life entirely, but you can save a lot by cutting back. In this article, I’ll give you some strategic ways to do that.

But first, I want to tell you about Stress-Free Finance, a free program we have created to help you make sense of your overwhelming financial life. This five-part video series has short, simple lessons to help you solve money problems so you can stop worrying and build a better future.

Here’s a preview of the free video series:

Play Video about Stress-Free Finance

Now, back to the topic at hand:

Saying yes to a lunch invite or running through a drive-through can be a reflexive habit. But changing your financial life requires forming new habits. So teach yourself to stop and weigh these five considerations before you go out to eat.

1) Food vs. Friendship

When you get together with friends, you probably go out for dinner, grab coffee or meet for a drink. But the food and beverages aren’t the key ingredient in this experience — your friends are. Look for ways to spend time with people who matter to you without spending money on things that don’t.

2) Recreation vs. Celebration

I used to eat out just for fun. But I learned that debt isn’t fun at all, so I shifted my perspective. I still go restaurants some, but I do it with purpose. When you’re pursuing financial freedom, go out only to celebration special occasions, not just for recreation. And when you do go out to celebrate, make sure you have set aside money to pay for it.

3) Convenience vs. Cost

Fast food can save you time when you’re in a hurry. But is saving time worthwhile if it costs you financial freedom? If your restaurant habit is leading to money problems, you’re really not alleviating stress by eating out — you’re just transferring the stress from one part of your life to another.

4) Habits vs. Health

Most of the menu at restaurants, bars and coffee shops isn’t very healthy. If you need help controlling your spending, think about how your restaurant habits are impacting your health. What’s bad for your body is also bad for your budget. 

5) Restraint vs. Rewards

You don’t need to institute a permanent ban on going out. Instead, you need to choose a short-term discipline that will help you achieve long-term freedom. If you take these steps now, one day you’ll be able to go out more and do it without worrying about money. Choosing restraint today brings to rewards tomorrow.

God wants you to enjoy great meals with family and friends. But even more than that, He wants you to be free. There’s no food that tastes as good as financial freedom feels.

Restaurant spending can be a great part of your financial life, but only if you make it meaningful.

About the Author

Picture of Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the founder of 30 Days to Financial Freedom. He has helped thousands of people start the journey toward living the lives they were made for.

More Articles

Meet the Budget Genius

Meet the Budget Genius, the simple and powerful tool from 30 Days to Financial Freedom. This introduction will show you how the system works.

One Month to Change Your Financial Life

Learn to build your budget, start your savings, defeat your debt and fund your future. You can begin to change your financial life in just ...

Introducing 30 Days to Financial Freedom

In just 10 minutes a day, this new online program will help you live the life of freedom you were made for.

Little Things Make a Big Difference

Financial freedom comes from making good decisions in small areas of life.

10 Minutes a Day

You don't need long books or university-style courses to get your financial life on track. See change in 10 minutes a day with 30 Days ...

Saving Money for Big Purchases

Avoid these common mistakes when preparing for a big-ticket buy.

Financial Freedom for Churches

You church was made to bring the message of freedom to the world. That's why we specialize in financial freedom for churches. Learn how it ...

How to Save Money on Parenting

Spending too much on your kids can hold you back from financial freedom.

Worrying about money makes life miserable.

30 Days to Financial Freedom gives you biblical insights and practical tools to eliminate financial stress and build a prosperous future.

About the Author

Scroll to Top
Stress-Free Finance
Stress-Free Finance

Get the free videos series!

Stress-Free Finance

Get the free videos series!

Stress-Free Finance
Stress-Free Finance

Get the free videos series!

Stress-Free Finance

Get the free videos series!

Fighting about Money?

Our free video series “Money-Proof Your Marriage” will help you stop arguing and start building a more prosperous relationship.

Stressed Out?

Our free video series “Stress-Free Finance” will help you find solutions to your money problems so you can stop worrying.

Stressed Out?

Our free video series “Stress-Free Finance” will help you find solutions to your money problems so you can stop worrying.

Pastors Free Laptop Logo

christmas gift card sale

Give the Gift of Financial Freedom

Pastors Free Laptop Logo


Start 2022 in Financial Freedom!

Pastors Free Laptop Logo

Black Friday Sale

Ends in:

Introducing 30 Days to Financial Freedom

Tired of money problems?

We’ll help you stop worrying about money and start building a better future in just 10 minutes a day.

Introducing 30 Days to Financial Freedom

Thinking it Over?

Save 15% on your Full Membership when you join today. Your discounted will be applied automatically.

Hope & Freedom Logo Card

Register for free course access.

Already have an account? Log in here.

30DFF White Logo Retina

Log In

30DFF White Transparent Logo

Log In

30DFF White Transparent Logo

Your first video is on the way!

Check your email for a message from We’re sending you a link to the first video in the series “Stress-Free Finance.”

Ready to get back to what you were reading?