I opted to participate in a financial challenge that I found through LifeHacker for the month of January.  The challenge was to spend no money on restaurants, and instead put that money in a savings account.

I didn’t do great, but I don’t think I did all that horribly either.  Although, I did not put the money in savings because I had some other things come through that had to be paid.  Going into this I knew that there would be at least one exemption, my book club meets monthly at a restaurant.  And I didn’t know about the challenge until the 2nd or 3rd, and had gone out to eat on the 1st.  So there’s two strikes.  I think I got two more before the month was out.  My breakdown is as follows:

January 1st – Chik-fil-A with friends
January 12th – Amphora – Book Club
January 17th – Hard Rock Cafe with family
January 18th – Papa John’s – to feed family
January 27th – Cafe at work (I overcooked my lunch)

So I ended up spending about $130 eating out (with two of those being for more than just myself).  My tracking has not been great, so I’m not sure what my typical amount for eating out is.  I’m not sure if I saved much money or not, really.  I would like to update my tracking and try this challenge again when I have a better baseline to compare it to.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did actually eat out quite a bit more than this.  These, however, were the only times I had to pay and since this was a financial challenge I wasn’t worried about the eating out part, just about the my paying to eat out part.

So, I didn’t miss eating out, but that’s because I didn’t really stop eating out.  I think I saved some money, but I didn’t stress much about not sticking more closely to the challenge either.

Bottom line: I could have done better at this challenge.