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Hooked on going out, trying to reduce it...Help?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok, this is a weird post to be writing, but I could use some advice.  

 

For a very long time, "home" was not a fun  or overly happy place to be.  Mostly I enjoyed going out, whether it was for a meal, coffee, ect.  I now have an awesome apartment that I like, a happy family, with hubby and my baby boy.  However, I'm finding it difficult to not still go out out continually .  Of course, this is a drain on our finances.  I do want this to change, but I feel so restless if I don't go out fairly often.  :( 

I don't know how to fix this.  I've been trying to at least go to less expensive places; ie, starbucks for a coffee instead of a $20 meal.  Now I'm trying to work the Starbucks down to a cheaper place (it's been McDonalds for an iced coffee or a frappe instead).  But frankly, I want to be able to STOP it.

 

But I don't know how.  Any advice??

post #2 of 11
Is it the going out you want to stop or the spending? If its just the spending could you go for a walk or take your baby to the park or library or something?
post #3 of 11

Can you create an experience at home? Buy good coffee and make a latte and take 45 minutes for you. 

 

Some people energize by going out. Can you find free things to do if this is you?

post #4 of 11

You could make yummy coffee and take it out to the park with you!  Maybe get yourself a nice travel mug that you really want to use.  Or you could just budget a certain amount of cash for going out and when it's gone, it's gone?  I like going out too, but I've tried to make it more of a treat instead of something I expect.  If it becomes a treat, you'll appreciate it more too ;)

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

They're both really good ideas.  I'll give them a try!  Thanks :) 

post #6 of 11

I feel like this too, but I am a single student (online classes) mama so staying home with no grownups to talk to drives me mad! I have been very reluctant to say no to going out when asked because i don't get much interaction with others. I get a free concert ticket so that is good, but then i have to pay for gas and food and drinks and sometimes a sitter so it really adds up. I am trying to do a few things and that is to do free events with the kids and try to stick close to home for the events. Spending 10 dollars on gas and driving so far that we can't make it home for lunch which means another 10$ is not really free! 

 

Check your city/community pages.

 

This Sunday the kids and I went to the fire districts open house. 2 miles from home, free lunch, and lots of fun events for the kiddos we ended up spending 2 hours and that was enough for a sunday afternoon activity. We also went to a puppet show hosted by the library over the summer, completely free and performed by the well known puppteers in the area had we went to a show it would have been 10$ for gas plus about 40$ for tickets for the 3 of us. 

 

Also, invite people over to your house. Make a pot of coffee and have people bring danishes and fruit and have a nice little brunch at home. 

 

That's all I have. For a moment when I saw the thread I thought "I didn't remember writing this here" lol because I totally need to stop spending money going out as well!

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post

 

Also, invite people over to your house. Make a pot of coffee and have people bring danishes and fruit and have a nice little brunch at home. 

Great advice!!  Better connecting happens that way too!

post #8 of 11

That used to be me.  I had to wean myself down.  I really had no idea how to interact with my kids and be "quiet" at home because I was going out so much.  I'm a little ashamed to say that the tv helped, even just for background noise for about a month.  Now it's RARE that it's on at all.  And now that we have a roku box, we put Pandora on through the tv and just listen to music if at all.  We weaned down with hitting up free activities or making a snack and taking it to the park or going hiking instead of buying stuff and shopping.  Then we decided to do 2 full days per week where we didn't go out at all which was hard.  And slowly we worked our way up to being home probably half the week and combining everything into one errand day and two days of activities whether it was storytime or museum day or whatever.  It took probably 2 or 3 months though.  Try to find activities that are free in the meantime like storytime at the library or Barnes & Noble or the once a month Home Depot kids workshop or a playground that you haven't been to before.  If structure is what you crave, try making a weekly flow to your time home.  Let's say your plan is to be home on M, W, F, and do activities Tu, Th.  So maybe Monday is laundry day, Wednesday is baking/food prep day, and Friday is cleaning day.  Tuesday could be your grocery shopping day so you have food for "food prep/baking" day.  Thursday could be your all day out of the house day where you plan a trip to the children's museum or a playdate or whatever.  Just have some sort of rhythm to the week so you know what to expect and you have a plan.  Maybe you just get really bored with being a stay at home mom and have to work harder to stay fully engaged.

post #9 of 11

I am going through the same thing as well.  I'm trying to cut down both for health and finances.  I've started making coffee at home, and find that I actually like it a LOT more than going out.  I have found that the best thing that has helped me is bringing a reusable water bottle or a from-home coffee cup so I have something to drink to get me from A to B.  I have a very bad habit of stopping for soda while I'm out, and very often if I'm getting a soda, then I "might as well" get something else.  Bad, bad habit.  I've started weekly "dates" with my friend, where I go over to her house and just spend time together.  She lives in a nearby town so it is wonderful to have a weekly routine to get to see her (it can be hard otherwise).  She makes amazing coffee right there at her house, and I bring a snack for me and DD so we aren't tempted to go out.  It helps a LOT, I get that social outing, and I found a good substitute for my expensive eating-out.  I still need to break the habit, but these changes are helping. <3

post #10 of 11
Get tea or drip coffee, they are so much cheaper than the fancy drinks but you still get the experience.
I need to go "somewhere" pretty much every day - the library is free, and so is window shopping if you like that (I know some people hate it and it just makes them want to buy more stuff). Go for a walk or bike ride, to the gym, plan a potluck dinner, book club, or game night with friends. Make sure you have a menu planned for the week, good coffee at home, food prepped, proper containers for prepped food (mason jars, Pyrex containers with lids,travel containers for snacks and beverages).
Spending money every day can be a hard habit to break, but it helps to replace it with new habits.
post #11 of 11

When I had young kids, I often felt the need to get out of the house as well.  It takes a while to wean yourself off.  You have to make home a really nice place and it sounds as if you have done so.  Interesting things to do also help.  Do you have an absorbing hobby?  You might find a way to create outings around that hobby.  If you draw or paint, you could head out on drawing expeditions, making a meal to take along the way.  When I had little kids, we used to have "picnic" breakfasts, lunches, teas, and dinners.  We just walked to a nearby park.  The concept of afternoon tea is also a nice way to give yourself a break in the afternoon - make something special, set the table for tea, make it a daily event.  It is a nice chance to engage with each other before the evening madness begins.  Our lives are crazy busy now with one teenager but my kids still love it on the weekend when I serve something for "tea"  - often hot chocolate and muffins or something like that.  We also occasionally go out just for dessert or just for ice cream or something.  When they were little, we would plan outings and they were not very often and they didn't cost much but they were fun.  The more you make things a "ritual" of sorts, the more fun it is for everyone -- think afternoon tea, sunday morning breakfast, if you get a movie out of the library, make sure it is a family event with popcorn, etc. and a feeling of closeness watching the movie.  invent your kids friends for dinner and use candles.  dance to loud music.  Game night.  Give yourself regular outings, though, so you don't feel deprived.  Eventually you will find a happy balance that will save you money AND create wonderful experiences and memories in the home.

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