How we’re going out for a $150 dinner and not spending a dime

12 thoughts on “How we’re going out for a $150 dinner and not spending a dime”

  1. Damn you, click bait! 😉 This is a great question, and one that hits close to home, because I travel a ton and have a lot of my meals and “city time” paid for. Though I am for sure the odd employee out in often staying in hotel rooms with a kitchen and expensing groceries instead of restaurant meals, I also for sure go out for meals that i wouldn’t be stoked to pay for if it was us paying for it! I also take cabs some of the time when I travel for work instead of mass transit or walking, and stay at nicer hotels than we’d be willing to pay for out of pocket. I don’t think of any of this as “above our means,” because it’s part of the job, and I expense less per trip than our company average. And we know this way of operating has an expiration date! So for now it’s just a perk that comes with a grueling job. 🙂

    1. Touche – “it’s a perk that comes with a grueling job”, that’s a very nice way of putting it. I am really, really curious what you do for a living, so as soon as you guys retire and are okay with revealing more of who you guys are, expect a question or two coming from my direction! 🙂

      1. All will be revealed then! Suffice to say that we are both consultants — which means dealing with our own companies’ BS and clients’ BS, lots of travel, and a million, overlapping, unrealistic deadlines!

        1. Regarding being a consultant, I feel your pain. As an IT consultant myself, there are a variety of B.S. layers that we have the distinct honor of wading through as we try to actually get our jobs done. 🙂

  2. Well your click bait worked ya jerk 🙂 I feel that I eat out enough when traveling for work that I don’t feel that need to go out to restaurants on my own dime. It’s definitely a nice bonus because sometimes I think “I could really go for a nice steak” and then a week later I’m traveling for work and that’s paid for. Because I can tell you one thing – I would never stay in the Ritz or buy expensive bottles of wine and huge slabs of meat on my personal credit card. Enjoy it while you can! And you better not fall a penny below that $150.

    1. Ha! Yeah, we won’t fall under that amount, even if that means I give an extra big tip to round out the bill to $150, exactly. But yeah, I generally agree with your sentiment – enjoy it while it lasts, cause it most definitely won’t! 🙂

    1. Thanks Adam – I’ve never gotten sports tickets, but have been invited to attend a golf tournament a couple years ago. That was a pretty cool experience. 🙂

  3. Gah!! Click bait, lol
    I totally take advantage of employer covered meals and more. Back in LA we got company tickets to events and had behind the bench seats for basketball, some football tickets, and even Mardis Gras balcony passes. Anytime I get to go out on the companies dime I’m down for it. However, like our next life, when we traveled for work pre-kids as a couple, we also did the grocery route and cooked in at times.
    Enjoy and congrats on earning the meal!

  4. I got totally clickbaited too! Oh well, you’re actually fine because the article turns out to raise a very interesting question.

    I think you could categorize it the same way as other perks from your company, including healthcare, discounts on gym membership, etc…

    Which ones will you *need* once you leave the job? That’s the math you need to do. For the other ones, enjoy them while they’re free, and just make sure to not get addicted to them. But really, the worst thing you could do is forget to include one of these perks into your ER calculation.

    Healthcare is pretty obvious, but I for one had totally forgotten to include my compulsory contributions to the national retirement funds (in Japan). Those were taken from my paycheck when I worked there, invisible to me. I later on learned that I have to pay those even though I don’t plan to actually receive any national pension when I retire. I thought I could get “out of the game” just by saying “I don’t want any national benefit, so I won’t pay the contributions” (yeah, very naive of me, of course)

    1. That sounds a lot like Social Security. I would absolutely LOVE the ability to opt-out of the system, but our political class naturally resists that because they rightly believe MOST PEOPLE WOULD. It’s a bad deal, and I could have made much, much more money over the years by handing my retirement myself.

      Once Social Security time rolls around, it’ll just be icing on the cake for us. 🙂

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