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It’s Saturday morning. You wake up, grab your phone, and navigate over to the PGP app to read the latest edition of the Saturday morning breakfast blog. Just as your head starts to pound from too many drinks last night, you receive a text in your group chat ‘brunch?’. WYD?
Without hesitation, you instantly type ‘I’m in.’ But then you think about it… You parlayed happy hour into dinner with Jeff and Trevor last night, then met Teresa at Sky Bar where you bought somewhere in the ballpark of nine to thirty jack and coke doubles. Squinting your eyes while opening up the chase banking app you brace yourself for what’s to come, and wow it’s bad. But you already committed to brunch so what more can you do but take some Advil, toss on some joggers, and head over to Fork for some bloodies.
I, like many of you, will succumb to peer pressure from time to time and cave in. After all, who can pass up bottomless mimos with a side of chicken and waffles? But what I prefer more is cooking a big breakfast in my kitchen with EPL on the TV and Frank Sinatra playing over the speakers. It’s truly one of my favorite things to do.
This, let’s call it a hobby, benefits me two-fold, because 1) I get to have a nice relaxing morning to myself after a stressful work week, and 2) I get to save money. I’m fortunate enough to be doing relatively well for myself, but I prefer to live below my means.
Some may view that as cheap. Others may view it as frugal. I, on the other hand, prefer to view it as cost-conscious and financially responsible. But I may be a bit biased… After all, this is coming from the guy that has a great credit score and prefers to split relationship costs.
So, what do I mean when I say ‘live below my means’ and how does this relate to brunch?
Well, I don’t dine out for lunch every workday and I don’t eat out for brunch every weekend. For at least half the work week I’ll go home, watch Netflix, and eat some leftovers I made from the night before. And weekend breakfasts consist of the above with an occasional brunch thrown in there. I still drive my 2009 Jeep Liberty with 120k miles, which at first, I thought was because I didn’t want to buy a new car, but now I just think I’m attached (her name’s Bernice).
As for my dwelling, sure, I could afford a loft apartment and put new furniture in it, but instead, I live in a relatively nice duplex with my roommate and our décor consists of older couches from our parents’ places and a dining room table from my grandparents’ basement. Is it baller? No. But does it get the job done and is the furniture comfy? You bet your sweet ass it is. Go ahead, take a seat.
I say all that to say this: I have friends that go out to eat for every meal, have big houses, and brand new cars. Good for them and good for you if you have that. If you can afford that then more power to you. But I worry that too many people are playing this game of keeping up with the Joneses with their friends and possibly getting themselves in financial trouble.
Is going out with your friends to lunches, brunches, and happy hours a lot of fun? Yes. But if you’re doing that to the point where you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, or even close to your breakeven point, then you might want to dial it back a bit.
It’s ok to take a step back and save some money. You can make dinner at home and still meet your friends out for drinks afterward. They’ll still be your friends and you’ll feel better about having some more cash in your account. But if you want to talk more about it, I’ll be cooking to some Dean Martin. Come on over and chat, I even made a plate for ya..
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