#82 Be Happy First

All week my wife has been craving Thai food. So last night, we ordered takeaway from SukhoThai using this app called Ritual. You order from nearby restaurants on the app, pay through the app, and earn reward points that can be used for free food on future purchases. We've used the app a few times before, but not too frequently as we prefer to dine-in. After the fact, we realized that we earned 15x the points for ordering from SukhoThai plus we got free pop with our order. 

Can You Really Spend Only $40 For Two?

Yesterday, I went over how I budget for restaurants throughout the year. If you missed it:


"I set my budget for the year based on a calculation of 3 restaurants a week at $40 per meal (for me and my wife). I add in 5 restaurant meals a year for special occasions at $150 per meal."


You might have thought that $40 per meal is way too low for two people. But last night we paid $35. If we had dined in, it would have cost us around $40 with tips.

We normally don't order drinks other than tap water at restaurants. That's what keeps the bill low. If each of us had ordered a drink like a $5 Thai tea, or a $8 beer, our bill would have been 25-50% more.

Be Happy First

My dad always taught me that if you are going to do something, you should do it right. If you enjoy a drink with your meals, then, by all means, go for it, just budget for it. Maybe that means you can eat out one or two fewer times a week. But that's ok. Make sure you "do your meals right". Be happy.

Don't Feel Like It's A Sacrifice

In our case, if we eat out the same amount but get drinks every time, we will spend about $2000-$3000 more a year. Fortunately, we are perfectly happy drinking water for dinner, so there is no feeling of sacrifice at all.

This was a short one. I'm going to enjoy the rest of my Saturday. Hope you enjoy yours too. 


Try Ritual, Get Free Food For Both You & Me

If you want to try out the Ritual app with a free $5 off your first AND second orders (that's $10 off), you can use my invite link (I get $10 off too): http://invite.ritual.co/JON9691?em 

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Save Money Retire Early is written by Jon Lo, a barely 30 something optimist, and personal finance guy. I believe anyone can be rich or poor, it's what you save that makes the difference.

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Wow! that’s definitely a success worth celebrating.

$150 a meal is so easy in Toronto for a nice meal out even without drinks. But these are only special occasions (Birthdays, Anniversaries and other similar celebrations). Before tips and tax that’s a menu price of $115. A steak ($40-$50) and a seafood entree ($30-$40) plus an appetizer ($15) and dessert ($10) at a nice restaurant.

We used to share one entree and appetizer when we first moved to Toronto, don’t know what happened to that great money and belly saving tip haha.


Wow, my wife and I almost never spend $150 on a meal because we always split an entree but we also live in a low cost area. The absolute maximum theoretical amount a couple can spend on a single meal in our city is $259 including tip. I know this because after a big success where me and another guy at work scored a $31 Million win for our corporation my CEO called me and said “Take your wife out tonight and spend the most you possibly can for dinner.” We got drinks, their best wine, appetizers, the most expensive entrees, desert, after dinner drinks and that’s what the total was, $259. I could have spent $2,500 in DC or New York without even trying but here, $259.

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