Eating out at a mid level chain restaurant with just one glass of wine, including tax and tip, will run you about $35. Personally I see people spending more like $50 or $60 for a night out with dinner and drinks. Now take that same group of friends and invite them over. Have everyone bring something; wine, appetizer, side dish, dessert and everyone's cost will go down by 50-75%.
Can you tell in the picture above if the people are having fun at someone's house or in a restaurant? You'll have the same great conversation and you'll enjoy the same wine for a fraction of the cost if you have a dinner party with friends at home. You'll get to linger longer, enjoying a full evening without the pressure to vacate your table. You can even throw a great movie onto that big screen tv after dinner to top off the evening. Create a theme... Italian food, Italian wine, Italian movie.
Everyone knows that we save money by eating at home, and all it takes is a little bit of planning ahead to have a fantastic experience like in the photo above. We also know we should live BELOW our means. We know that all of those daily items like lattes and eating out add up to drain our bank account by the end of the month...$5 here, $10 there mulitiplies like rabbits. The result of living at or above our means is that we don't have money to invest. With no investing we become wage slaves...forever chained to a job that pays for the lattes and dinners out but nothing more. We don't get wealthy being a wage slave. The way everyday people become wealthy is they live below their means and invest the extra money. The investment multiplies causing the regular person to grow wealthy then they can choose to leave their job if that's what they want.
There are so many ways we can live large and live below are means at the same time, it just takes a bit of imagination. Live your life big and fun but with the end in mind. How do you want to end up? With great memories and broke, or with great memories and financial freedom?