How to break bad spending habits

Breaking bad spending habits is the first way to exercise your frugal muscle. It is easy to say but every attempt I have made has failed so far.  After all, men are creatures of habits, aren’t we? If everyone can change our behavior based on what is really good for us, we will have no smokers, drinkers, gamblers, spenders etc in the world.

My goal for this month was to try and spend only SGD100 on normal food and SGD200 on restaurants. I did a check yesterday on how much I have spend on these items and I think I have already blown off more than SGD300. How did that happen? My mind became dizzy trying to understand what has transpired in the month of May, that has once again, caused me to overindulge in my spending.

I have no explaniation other than old habits die hard. Yesterday was a old example. Wife and I went to a Chinese restaurant to have lunch. 2 dishes would be sufficent and will only caused SGD20-30. Instead, we ordered 4 dishes and ended up paying SGD60. Why? Because that is what we always spend. Our frugal muscle was weak and we did not resist the temptation of eating our favourite dished.

Repeat the above mistake by 4 or 8 times a month and you can see why I need to spend SGD240 to SGD480 a month just on restuarants. I need to engineer a way to get out of this spending mess.

Some ideas I am thinking about:

  • Avoid restaurants all together. This seems feasiable. If we don’t visit restaurants at all, there will no chance of me overspending there. As long as I do more home work to find cheap eating places for the weekend, this should be doable.
  • Spend more time in Malaysia with our parents. Food prices are much cheaper there so it would help me in my spending.

Any other ideas readers might have on cutting food expenses?

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