Your Money: Living without dining out

Dave Ramsey: On a regular, day-to-day basis, the biggest and best thing you can amputate from your life is dining out.
BY Dave Ramsey Published: October 15, 2012
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Dear Dave,

When it comes to taking control of your money and living on a budget, what's the biggest thing a family can live without?

Will

Dear Will,

There are always the shiny things people can do without. Sometimes people sell a fancy car or boat and get rid of a $600-a-month payment right off the bat. But on a regular, day-to-day basis, I think maybe the biggest and best thing you can amputate from your life is dining out.

I love a good restaurant, and I've got nothing against the industry. The problem, though, is that people are struggling to pay their bills or set aside something for retirement because they're eating meals out all the time. Most folks simply don't realize how much money they throw away by heading to the drive-thru for lunch or going out to dinner “once in a while.”

I want people to enjoy life, and a great part of that can be going out and having a meal with your family and friends. Just don't do it when you're broke. If you're having financial issues, the only time you should see the inside of a restaurant is if you're working there.

Payoff debt vs. down payment

Dear Dave,

We're expecting our second child next spring, and even though we have an extra bedroom, our place is pretty small for a growing family. We also have $40,000 in student loan debt hanging over our heads, but we can save up almost $50,000 by the time the baby's here. Should we use this money to buy a bigger home or pay off debt?

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