I went to dinner on the other night with my son James and his wife Misty and our granddaughter Olivia. We went to a Japanese restaurant where the chief stood at the grill in front of us and others and prepared our dinner. It was  a lot of fun.

When we finished dinner the hostess came by with our bill, it was $82.00 which was not bad we had dinner, entertainment and good company. I pulled out my wallet and gave her my credit card, when she returned with the receipt I added a tip of $15.00, for the evening it was $97.00.

What is my point.

My point is not to tell you about dinner or even how much it cost, my point is that I put the meal on a Credit Card.

That increased my debt on that credit card. I allways pay off my credit card balances each month, but not everybody does that.

So what I put the meal on a credit card, every one does that. Yes the do, that is not the problem, the problem comes in when you get the credit card bill and it says minimum payment of $20.00 and that’s all you pay.


If you do not pay the full amount you have finance charges, they add up fast.

You continue to pay the minimum payment  and you are paying for that meal for months and also have paid as much as double for it. The meal did not cost $97.00 it cost a whole lot more than that.

Where I really want to go with this is how the fast food companies accept  credit cards at the window and how people charge their hamburger, taco, or what ever you get on the card. If our children get a credit card in High School and charge their lunch and are not taught how important it is to only charge what you can pay off each month. Then their is no such thing a Childrenswealth but Childrensdebt and that is a whole different subject.

My question for you is how and what are you teaching your children about the use of credit cards, do you pay the minimum or do you pay them off?  Are you in debit with your credit cards? How can you use this article as a lesson for you and your children, about credit card use and debt? 


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24 Responses to “How Much Did Dinner Cost”

  1. Dale,

    a good question and answer to ponder. I might be plastic-challenged, but I think the plastic should be used sparingly and in cases of emergency. Why pay so much extra in charges? Why buy things that are not affordable with cash?

    Can you teach ESL/EFL using social media?

  2. I think you had a calculator about this in an earlier post. To me, knowing that my $97 meal will actually cost me several hundred dollars is the best way to scare me. I have quite a bit of credit card debt, and although I pay more than the minimum every month, because of the finance charges, the overall amount barely moves. I know I am still paying for tacos and hamburgers I had years ago, and it makes me sick.
    I wish someone made this clear to me 10 years ago, when I signed up for my first card to “pay for my books” at college. I’m still probably paying for them!

    Fun and Free Activities

  3. I’ve taught my children this lesson. I live by it, but didn’t when I was first starting out. I learned my lesson the hard way, but have made up for it along the way!

    Trisha Chambers

  4. Mark says:

    Yeah no one taught me about fiscal responsibility and ended up racking up ALOT of unnecessary debt in college with nothing to show for it except for the bills. I have since learned to think twice before buying, unless it is absolutely necessary. keep up the great advice!

    Direct Selling Advice, Leveraging Relationships for Long-term Profit

  5. A simple but powerful lesson that can never told too often!

    When I was in the military I was often having to counsel the younger troops about this
    because many of them were just paying the minimum monthly payment & couldn’t figure out why they were going further & further into debt on their cards each month.

    Way too many of them mistakenly beleived that paying teh minimum amount each month would pay the card off in a year! Where they got this notion, I don’t know.

    The Success Secrets

  6. Never charge more than you can pay now, a credit card is a convenience nothing more.

    Robert Kaufer
    Law and Health with Robert Kaufer

  7. Hi Dale,

    Do you find that because people are also distanced from the actual physical cost of paying with cash like you mentioned before that the use of credit cards makes the financial cost more unreal in their minds? Like make believe to children? These are superb pointers for teens, kids, and adults alike. Certainly financial management is an issue for singles who want a financially stable spouse. And in marriages to discuss or fit over money differences.

    Do you plan to talk about talking about money? Learning to do that, surfacing that with others. Practicing with family members. Discussing that with someone you are courting with?

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Single Boomer Dating Expert

  8. We always pay off our credit cards each month unless there is a real reason that we can’t. It is crazy how fast it adds up. I have friends who all have $10,000-$30,000 on credit cards. It gets me upset just thinking about it. The idea that you should never just pay the minimum balance and pay it off each month whenever possible is a very valuable lesson to teach kids.

    Lisa McLellan
    Babysitting Services, Nanny Services, and Nanny agencies

  9. I can’t remember if it was here or not where I mentioned that everyone uses the card to get the points/rewards and then plan on paying off the balance each month…then that really doesn’t happen. I was one of those people and never again. A hard lesson to learn and one to pass on to the kids.
    Great point.
    Jen B
    The Harwood Group – Tinnitus, Chronic Illness, Fears, and Anxiety

  10. Hui Hui says:

    I think many adults don’t even pay that much attention on the credit card problem.
    It’s good to start the education with the children.

    Great post.

    Hui Hui

  11. Mike Norris says:

    I agree 100% if you use a credit card pay off the balance each month. If you charge a large amount the interest can get out of hand in a hurry.


  12. The credit card lesson was a very hard one for me to learn. It took ten years to completely pay off what I owed. Never again.


  13. Sonya Lenzo says:

    When I was shopping with my step children and they were very little, I said we can’t but any more, I am out of money. and they said, oh look there is an ATM machine, you can just get more.
    Explaining where money comes from and how you budget is very necessary and at a very young age.
    Sonya Lenzo

  14. Oh – I went through this after college !!!!

    What a nightmare.

    I thought it would be easy to pay them off and then I found the only solution was to throw huge gobs of money at it!!!!!

    there needs to be more education on this.

    People don’t get it and then just get in over their heads.


  15. Most people who use credit cards all the time don’t seem to think past their credit limit to the actual cost of what they are charging. Doesn’t only paying the minimum payment on credit cards end up taking about 20 years to fully pay off?

    Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT,CES
    Corrective Exercise for Every Body

  16. Rob Northrup says:

    There is a reason they use chips instead of money in the casinos.

    Seize the Day,


    Simple Family Survival Tips For Disasters and Emergencies

  17. Great post Dale. We also try to use cash, especially at fast food resteraunts. Since I don’t carry a lot of cash, my wallet is often empty. Then when the kids whine about wanting to go to lunch, I just pull out my wallet, show them it is empty, and tell them we’ll eat a sandwhich today. They get the point…

    Tim Van Milligan, helping you Make Money Online, God’s Way!

  18. michael says:

    Dale, you are lucky to have only one woman in your life.

    She must have been quite a catch for you.


  19. Peggy Larson says:

    When my husband and I were dating, and his parents thought the relationship was getting serious, at dinner one day my then future father-in-law started asking me financial questions. He said something about not being out of money if you still have checks in your checkbook. I laughed and said, “well, nobody’s that stup…” and I stopped short. It occurred to me that my husband’s first wife was the person my father-in-law was talking about! Yes, I was embarrassed but my father-in-law laughed and said, “I think this one’s gonna work out fine.” Financial awareness and education is an asset when it comes to marriages!

    Peggy Larson
    Quilting – Colors and Fun!

  20. You are so right. We need to remember that, while Credit Cards are a handy tool, we need to budget the money to pay them off. Lots of people don’t do this and end up paying 2x – 3x what an item cost.

    Steve Chambers
    Body Language Expert

  21. Dale,

    You are SO right on the money with this (pun intended). Something that is just as horrific is when I see people buy their groceries on credit (and make monthly payments for those groceries). It is such a vicious cycle that credit cards can cause.

    Yours In Health!

    Dr. Wendy

  22. bryan says:

    Credit cards are a nice in an emergency…I always pay cash and use my debit..I learned a long time ago not to finance meals ect…

  23. Shane says:

    Credit card interest is a sneaky monster with a veracious appetite that will definitely bit the hand that feeds it any chance it gets.

    Hypnosis – Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life –

  24. David says:

    I hate credit cards but they might be good to have.

    Bay Area Roofing Contractors