Millennials spend a lot on going out to eat. In fact, 49 percent of Americans ages 22 to 37 spend more on dining out than they put towards retirement, and 27 percent are spending more just on coffee than they are managing to sock away, according to recent data from LendEDU.
When I first moved to New York City after graduating from college, I did the same. I found a seemingly endless number of bars, restaurants, museums and shops to explore. It was easy to combine my love of food with the fun of going out to eat in a group.
After work, heading 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 drinks or food, but not both.
Now, if I choose to go out to dinner, I skip the wine. If I head to the bar, I commit to cooking dinner myself when I get home.