Recently, I was going through bills for three old credit cards back from 2001, 2002, and 2003. Yes, it's been that long since I've cleared out my filing cabinet, but my parents told me to keep everything for at least eight years. They always told me "you never know what can happen during that time!" And I'm a total safety girl... so, naturally I followed their advice. And now, I have a pretty embarrassing admission to make: all three of those credit cards were included in a bankruptcy I filed in 2004. Yes readers, I filed for bankruptcy at the ripe age of 22. TWENTY FREAKING TWO! Stupid me. Stupid, selfish me.
When looking through these bills, I saw something pretty sobering. I realized 3/4 of the charges on each and every bill were from restaurants. Johnny Carinos, Denny's, McDonald's, Red Robin, Chili's, Cheesecake Factory, Arby's, Black Eyed Pea, Bennigans, Burger King, Jackson's, Subway, Wendy's, IHOP, On the Border, Del Taco, Village Inn, Olive Garden, Chick-Fil-A... the list goes on forever. And ever. Pathetically ever.
So, being the giant drama queen that I am, I decided to depress myself even more and add up all the money I had spent on eating out over those three years, just on credit. Here's the credit limit on each of those three cards:
Nordstrom VISA: $5,100.00
Bank One VISA: $5,000.00
Compass VISA: $3,600.00
And here's how much I spent eating out on each card, per year:
Bank One: $2,476.87 (almost HALF my credit limit)
Bank One: $983.45
Bank One: $659.05
$7664.62 over the course of three years. That's over $2500.00 each year, friends. And really pathetic. NO WONDER I GAINED SO MUCH WEIGHT! I was eating everything in sight. And, oddly enough, Ryan's post about stress eating allowed me to make sense of the incredible amount of money I spent getting myself fat. I was totally stress eating, because during this time, I was sleeping in the ExHotGirl's living room (making her life hell and preventing her from getting a kitty), working my ass off for $11.00 an hour at the shittiest company on earth (Equity Residential), dealing with coming out to my parents, supporting a very needy dog, making an expensive car payment, traveling to a boyfriend in Boulder (almost 60 miles round trip, while gas was almost $4.00 per gallon) twice a week, visiting my family in Colorado Springs (70 miles one way), and trying to make all other ends meet. Nothing screams broke like having to buy toilet paper on credit.
I've since then (well, most recently) realized that eating at home makes it: 1) much easier to eat healthy, 2) much easier on the wallet and 3) incredibly easier to deal with life's craptastic moments when you're at home, in your own space and element, and around the food you trust to be your friend and make you feel good, both inside and out. Because there's nothing like piece of turkey breast with a slice of cheddar cheese to make your day better.