How Much Does Chick-Fil-A Cost Us?
My wife and I were driving today and suddenly our older son starts yelling “Chick-Fil-A!, Chick-Fil-A!” as he sees their logo appear on a sign out the window. Yes, we were headed to Chick-Fil-A. Yes, this is a pretty typical occurrence. As we arrived, we noticed the drive thru line was wrapped around the building. Anyone who’s been to a Chick-Fil-A during lunch time would know exactly what I’m talking about. This isn’t a surprise though as Chick-Fil-A is currently the 7th most popular fast food restaurant according to Business Insider. As we were driving up a thought popped in my head. “How much does Chick-Fil-A actually cost us each year?”
I don’t know about you, but our family eats Chick-Fil-A way too much. It has got to be our favorite food place to eat at. It’s hard to beat how delicious those nuggets are, plus, you can send the kids into the playroom and actually have a conversation. But I was curious, how much did we really spend at Chick-Fil-A? So, I decided to pull down our transactions from Mint and take a look.
For the last couple years, we have gone to Chick-Fil-A a lot. 83 times in 2016 and 78 times in 2015. That comes out to once in every 4 to 5 days during those years! That’s a lot of chicken nuggets!
The total cost doesn’t look much better.
You can see a major increase in our Chick-Fil-A spending starting in 2015. We spent almost $900 on chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, and waffle fries that year. Oh, and of course the sweet tea. That’s a lot of money to one restaurant! This comes out to an average of about $600 per year or $3,377.67 dollars total.
We know we have two major spending hurdles to try to tackle.
- Shopping (coming home from work and seeing an Amazon box on your front door is somehow just so addicting. I honestly don’t know why, but it is.)
- And food, like what this post is about. We just love to eat out. It’s practically our entertainment. Going to a restaurant is time for us to hang out and also lie in laziness to avoid cooking.
Both of these eat away at our ability to save each month and we realize this fully. This is something we need to get under control if we ever want to achieve financial freedom. Up until recently, we haven’t tried too hard to cut the addiction. Hopefully after reading this post we can both be a little bit more motivated.
So, what if we took this money and invested it instead? What would that money be worth now? Let’s say we invested that money in something simple like an index fund, say VTI (Vanguard Total Market Index). The returns for VTI since 2012 taken from morningstar.com look like:
As of September 2017.
That $3,377.67 over several years of eating Chick-Fil-A would now be worth $4,281.74. That’s an increase of $904.07 (27%) if we just skipped out on so many waffle fries!
Let’s take this one step further. What if we continue to cut out Chick-Fil-A completely and invest that until “normal” retirement age (60). Assuming an average return of 7% a year, that would come out to an additional $65,530! The nice looking bar chart below is from Dave Ramsey’s Investment Calculator.
In summary, our addiction to Chick-Fil-A has been pretty costly to us so far, and when compounded over the next 30 years, it will be very costly. I feel pretty confident however that even if I get my wife to read every word on this article that we will still eat a lot of Chick-Fil-A, but hopefully a little bit less.
Featured image from: cfarestaurant.com