Finance

I am giving up on this financial resolution after failing for 5 years straight

A woman places a takeout order while wearing a mask and coat.

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Sometimes, you have to know when to stop it.


Key points

  • It is common to plan financial resolutions at the beginning of the year.
  • While I have been successful with some in my time, there is one that has always been too much of a challenge.
  • Try as I might, I can’t seem to kick my takeout habit.

It’s hard to believe that 2023 is almost here. But right now, many people are busy finalizing their holiday plans and figuring out what to do on New Year’s Eve. (Pyjamas, movies and books, anyone? Or is it just me?)

Now is also the time when many people start setting their New Year’s resolutions. And if you have financial goals you want to achieve in 2023, that’s certainly not a bad thing.

In fact, I like to make a habit of setting a few financial goals at the beginning of the year. And I have been successful in some of them in the past.

Years ago, for example, my goal was to maximize my retirement plan contributions, which I certainly did. Another year, I vowed to increase my emergency fund by a few thousand dollars, and lo and behold, I ended the year with a larger savings account balance.

But there’s one thing I’ve decided to do over the past five years that I’ve never been able to accomplish. And so at this point, I think it’s time to give up and focus on other ways I can improve my financial picture.

I can’t shake my takeout habit

In the past, I have committed to ordering less takeout for several reasons. Not only is it more expensive than grocery shopping and cooking, but it can, in some cases, be much less healthy.

But over the past few years, my efforts to cut down on takeout have been futile. First of all, I have a pretty busy schedule. I work full time, volunteer and have three little people to parent. I also have a cute but demanding dog who requires several walks a day and lots of attention. All in all, I just don’t have that many hours in the day to hang out in the kitchen and cook. And I often have to go back to takeout due to lack of time.

Also, my kids, like many kids, are picky. So sometimes it will happen that I will make an effort to cook, only to end up with at least one child who refuses to eat what I have prepared. Takeout solves that problem because we can order different items from the same menu.

And finally, since I am self-employed, the more I work, the more I can earn. If I don’t have to spend several hours every week grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up the kitchen afterward, I can spend more time typing away at my desk. And as such, they can largely justify takeout costs.

I will not set myself up for failure

As much as I’d like to say I’ll be ordering less takeout in 2023, that’s probably not in the cards. And I’m really okay with that.

The way I see it, there are other expenses I can cut if it becomes necessary to meet my financial goals. But I don’t feel compelled to cut back on the one luxury that makes my life so much easier, solves the problems of picky eaters, and puts delicious food in my belly.

On the health side, I can work around that by trying to order healthier meals full of veggies more often and cutting back on things like pizza and burritos. But overall, I won’t be opting to do anything that involves ordering takeout less often.

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