Spend, Splurge, or Save? Eat Out on a Budget

My husband and I like to eat out. Don’t get me wrong — we love to cook homemade food most of the time. But every once in a while, we enjoy getting out of the house to savor a delicious meal.

Eating at restaurants can quickly add up, so how do we eat out and still stay on budget? Before we head out the door, I look at our Eating Out Envelope. I don’t look at the Envelope Balance to see how much money is in the Envelope. That might mislead me into thinking I can spend more than I really should.

Instead, I look at the little line on my Envelope bar and EEBA’s comments. EEBA looks at my spending for the month and lets me know if I’m keeping pace with my budget. This lets us know whether we can spend on a simple meal out, splurge on something nice– or whether we should save and have a home cooked meal instead.

When to Spend

If EEBA says we’re ahead by $10, we have some money to spend on burritos and drinks.  Yum!

When to Splurge!

Better yet, if EEBA says we’re ahead by $30, we can splurge at a restaurant ($15 per person). Bon appetit!

When to Save

Definitely if EEBA says we’re behind or negative (oops!), we cook at home and wait to save up. We’d rather eat out when we know we have the money rather than borrow from the future.


With EEBA, we always know how much we have to spend on eating out.
Dinner is served, with a side of peace of mind.

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