Growing up in Houston, Texas, my friends and my favorite high school Friday night activity was going out to dinner — when it wasn't football season, that is.
When I moved to New York City after graduating from college, it was easy to translate that love of trying new restaurants into my post-grad life.
After work, going out to dinner with friends or grabbing drinks with coworkers became the norm. And usually, setting out to do one led to doing both. Instead of drinking on an empty stomach, we ordered food. Or, we reasoned, what's the harm in having a margarita or two with dinner?
The harm is that the tab quickly adds up. After more than a few expensive weeknights, I knew I needed to rein in my spending habits. So I implemented a simple rule: I could either order alcohol or food, but not both.