Financial Deprivation and Bingeing

money down the toilet

Dining out has always been a financial issue for us. It’s quick, easy and the gratification is instant—for a price. The last couple of months, I have been trying to cut down on that category of our spending and even made a goal not to do it at all in August. That was interesting.

Can you guess what I did? Yep, I stuck with it for the first 22 days and went bingeing on the 23rd. I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but luckily I had some excuses to assist my crazy reasoning:

  • I haven’t been to the grocery store and there’s no food at home
  • I can’t go to the grocery store hungry or I’ll get junk
  • There’s no time, we have to eat out
  • I’ve done so good, I deserve it
  • Just this one time won’t hurt
  • I don’t have any time to cook dinner
  • I already screwed up twice today, why not get treats from Dairy Queen

Seriously, they all sound lame as $hit today, but they made so much delusional sense on Tuesday. I managed to eat out 3 times in one day; I had built momentum and kept on going. Now I feel like a total dumb@ss.

It reminds me of when people are on those strict diets and can’t have certain things and how they just deprive themselves until they go nuts. Sometimes when we tell ourselves we can’t/shouldn’t eat or do certain things, it just makes them that much more alluring. We always want what we can’t have, right?

Now, if I would have made my goal regarding eating out differently…like only dining out once per paycheck, things could have been different. We get paid bi-weekly, so about twice per month; we would have had two opportunities to go out. It would have been easier to stick with that opposed to nothing at all. Instead of 3 times in one day (wtf?), two times in one month could have been more than satisfying instead of guilt inducing.

I didn’t only screw up this goal; I had also made another goal for August. It was to lose 10 pounds this month, which is in itself quite a challenge. Add to that an entire day of junk food and an ice cream treat from Dairy Queen and I’m pretty much screwed on 2 goals now.

Am I going to give up and start over next month? H*ll no! I’m going to finish this month without any more dining out, and then reassess that goal next month. I’m also going to continue with my healthy eating and exercise because it makes me feel awesome whether or not I lose weight. Sometimes you just have to pick yourself back up and continue with what’s important to you.

Lesson I Learned: Don’t completely deprive yourself if there’s a possibility of going on a rampage.


Do you ever deprive yourself of anything and end up bingeing?


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About Jen Perkins

Likes: saving money, being debt free (aside from our house), zombies, travel, getting money, blogging and dogs. Dislikes: debt, being broke, bunnies, wasting money, not having enough money to travel the world and paying interest. Facebook  ♥  Twitter  ♥  Google+  ♥  RSS


Financial Deprivation and Bingeing — 18 Comments

  1. I feel your pain! Going out to eat is so awesome – you don’t have to cook, you don’t have to clean up! But it takes a big bite out of your money fast. At our house, we can’t even go to McDonalds for less than $30 (2 adults and 4 kids)!! We try to make it a once a week only thing – husband gets paid every Friday, so thats usually our eat out day. But it would be nice to do it more often – I don’t mind cooking, but I hate the cleaning up part. Sometimes eatting out just can not be avoided. And when I’m sick, our budget goes all to h*** because husband is not trying to cook!

    • I know, its way easier to just eat out. I forgot that you guys had a lot of kids, which can really add up quickly. I swear there’s a restaurant (is it Denny’s or IHOP?) that has that “kids eat free” night and for each adult, 2 kids can eat free. That would be neat if you two only had to pay for your meals and all your kids were free. Just an idea; I’m so bad–I’m encouraging you to eat out. Sorry.

      • haha! That’s ok…we eat out more than we should and we know it. But with 4 kids, 3 who are in school with homework and all that good stuff, and my husband that works crazy hours, sometimes we just feel we have no choice…too tired to cook or deal with all the cleaning up. When xmas comes around and our family asks us what to get us, we usually tell them gift cards to go out to eat! That way the money isn’t coming out of our pocket :)

  2. I love for going out to eat without the guilt! Pay $2 for a $25 gift certificate (they have specials all the time) and if you go thru you get % back so even cheaper….at the restaurant, order $35 of food plus 18% gruitity and use gc…net cost $14.30 for a really nice dinner out!!

    • I love the idea of, it’s just smart. I had looked into it a year or so ago and couldn’t find anything in our area that we actually liked. Great job on earning cash-back too. That really is a great deal, maybe I’ll check into it again, things could have changed in the year+. But I will wait until I’ve finished this month, no need to do it again.

      • They have the best selections at the first of the month, some restaurants only put out a limited amount so they can be gone quickly…but once you buy they never expire!

        • I didn’t know that, maybe that’s why there wasn’t anything good, I must have checked after all the good stuff was snatched up. Thanks Shannon. :-)

  3. I also recommend happy hours! if you can do without the alcohol it can be really cheap for good food….Jake’s downtown and Blitz sport bar has some of the best!!

  4. I’ve lost 5 pounds so far this month but I dunno, I’m going on vacation on Saturday, and I already bought a big container of fancy mixed nuts from Costco.

    • Yay Harriet! 5 pounds is AWESOME!!! Ah, those inticing nut mixes, those can get you. You could always try to stick w/ the almonds (very good 4 u). I hope you have a great time on your vacation. :-)

  5. What I find amazing is the number of ways people (myself included) find to justify behavior, good or bad. It’s fascinating.

    I wrote a post related to this topic a few weeks ago. The long and short of it is that wild swings in either direction trigger swings in the opposite direction. I learned this lesson in my ecology classes in college. It’s all about the predator/prey relationship. Check it out.

    I keep coming back to the importance of a plan. The more comprehensive your plan, i.e. the more expenses you plan ahead for (including all those things you should plan for but somehow never do, like once a year school registration fees etc.), the better you’ll stay on track and the more likely you are to resist these feast/famine cycles.

    No plan is ever perfect, and living life completely by the book is a bit boring. But I think that enduring the period of forced deprivation that come from the down swings that come from not having a plan are way worse. So I do my best to balance.