April 24, 2024

Rachel Cruze Defends Her Most Hated Financial Advice: ‘It’s a No-Brainer’

Popular financial expert Rachel Cruze regularly offers a range of advice to her many followers. And in most cases, her fans appreciate the insight.

But even she admits that a few pieces of advice tend to draw a wave of ire.

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In her trademark style, Cruze embraced the backlash in a lighthearted segment of a recent podcast episode of “The Rachel Cruze Show,” where she revealed her “most-hated” advice — and then promptly defended it.

Whenever she mentions one particular topic, she notices that the naysayers and doubters tend to come out. That topic? That you should eat at home rather than dine out when you’re on a budget.

“Apparently this really gets people going,” Cruze said.

For some reason, the idea of eating at home instead of going to restaurants when you’re on a budget tends to ruffle feathers. If you’ve ever looked into setting up a budget, you’ve likely learned about the significance of finding ways to save on your meals. However, with the rise in popularity of food delivery apps, it’s easier than ever to rely on take-out food when it comes time for dinner.

Here’s why Cruze feels that eating at home should be non-negotiable when you’re trying to save money.

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Restaurants Mark Up Their Food

Cruze cites that restaurants, on average, mark up their food anywhere from 28 to 32%. These establishments are trying to make a profit, so they have to increase the prices they charge patrons.

This means you spend much more money on your meal when you dine out than preparing it yourself. If you constantly spend an additional 30% or so on your meals, it will be challenging to reach your financial goals. Spending more money on your food than you should could create issues with your budget since you’re leaving money on the table.

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Tipping Has Gone Too Far

Cruze brings up tipping and “guilt-tipping” when paying for food at a restaurant, since this will also bring up the cost of any take-out meal. Some people are even tipping up to 25% on top of their bill, which significantly raises the price of a meal compared to what it would’ve cost you if you had prepared it at home. This tipping even impacts take-out food, as you’ll be given the option to do so as you pick up your meals.

Cruze brings up that there are other ways to be generous with donations. But she says you shouldn’t spend an additional 20% on a meal when trying to pay down debt and get ahead. She also mentions how you can avoid this entire internal struggle about how much to tip by simply eating at home. When you factor in the inflated restaurant prices and the hefty tip, you could find yourself spending a significant amount of money that could’ve gone towards paying down your high-interest credit card debt.

You Can Prepare Healthier Meals at Home

Cruze mentions that you can prepare a much healthier meal at home compared to what you would eat when dining out. She brought up how restaurant meals are often loaded with excess butter and salt to improve the flavor of a meal.

Cooking at home can be better for your wallet and waistline since you’ll consume fewer calories. You’re also consuming less sodium and additives when eating at home. If one of your goals is to prioritize your health, then you’ll want to be in control of what you’re putting into your body. You’ll also feel better and have more energy when you eat healthier meals that aren’t filled with all that sodium.

Cooking Your Own Meals Can Be a Creative Outlet

On top of the financial savings, you can also use meal preparation as a creative outlet to have something to look forward to, Cruze says.

You can look up meals on social media and have a fun ritual with your family at home, where you prepare your dishes together. Cruze reminds listeners that eating at home doesn’t have to feel like a punishment. You can prepare delicious meals at a fraction of the cost of what they would go for at a restaurant.

Meal Planning Is the Best Way To Save Money

Cruze concluded the episode by mentioning how meal planning can be the best way to save money. She advises listeners to look at their schedule for the week in advance so that they can plan out their meals.

When you prepare your meals ahead of time, you don’t have to spend money on take-out or food delivery apps. Planning can help you save since you’ll know what every meal will be. When you don’t plan your meals out in advance, it’s easy to get hungry and rely on take-out when you get desperate. When you constantly rely on take-out meals, you’ll spend much more on inflated restaurant prices and tipping.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re on a budget, you can’t deny the results of preparing your own food instead of going out to eat constantly. While there’s nothing wrong with occasionally treating yourself, the habit of constantly dining out could prevent you from reaching your financial goals. You don’t want your dining out habit to prevent you from becoming debt-free.

“There are some principles that I stand by, and the haters are gonna hate,” Cruze jokes. “And that’s OK.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Rachel Cruze Defends Her Most Hated Financial Advice: ‘It’s a No-Brainer’

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