Look Out!: How “Little” Things Can Cost You Big Bucks

I was out at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago with my mother, and as usual, she ordered a glass of wine with her meal.

Time for the bill came, and she’s a little shocked at how much we spent, considering we shared an appetizer. So I asked her if she knew how much that glass of wine had cost her.

She had no idea that the single glass of wine cost her almost as much as a full bottle would have cost at the LCBO!

Needless to say, she doesn’t order wine nearly as much as she used to when we’re eating out–she’d rather have a full bottle at home (not that she’s an alcoholic, but she likes a glass of wine in the evening) than a single glass in a restaurant. She orders water instead, and our meals out have become much cheaper.

We all have our “blind spots,” things we don’t take into account that are costing us money, some times A LOT of money. When I do my yearly month or two of expense tracking, I become aware of just how much I spend each month on those short grocery trips to pick up one or two items, or those quickie drive-thru runs for a bite to eat.

I’ve learned to cut down on those “little things” by planning my meals and making sure when I shop for groceries that I pick up quickie meals that don’t take much prep time, so that I cut down on those little expenses that add up.

The first step, as always, is to simply be aware of what your spending. If you’re in a restaurant, don’t just look at the price of the meal, look at the price of the appetizers and the drinks. Perhaps you’ll find, like my mother did, that drinking water is a perfectly acceptable substitute to unconsciously ordering a ten dollar glass of wine at a place where an entire dinner with salad and dessert only costs fifteen dollars!

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About Ruth Cooke

Ruth Cooke B.A, M.Div., MPS is a writer, public speaker, and itinerant preacher whose areas of expertise and interest include poverty issues and solutions, parenting exceptional children, sexual orientation, and the place of religious institutions in society. If you would like Ruth to come preach, speak or lead a class or group, please contact her via email.
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