Maintaining a budget is a lot like dieting. We all want to commit to changes that will give us a
more satisfying lifestyle, but doing so is much easier said than done. The trick to saving money
is not only knowing what to do with the money you have, but knowing what not to do when your
money is limited.
If saving money is your goal, there are certain places around the city you should probably avoid
for the sake of your wallet. Even if you aren’t completely strapped for cash, we could probably
all use a little extra savings considering the average St. Louisian is carrying $5,431 in credit
card debt, $29,183 in student loan debt, and $134,760 in mortgage debt. Thus, avoiding these
seven city locations will prevent you from overspending and and leave your budget in a very
Arguably one of the greatest restaurants in St. Louis, Tony’s has cemented itself as an iconic
fine dining location in the heart of the mound city. Founded in 1946, Tony’s has long been a
staple for good Italian food, but great food does not come without cost. In fact, Tony’s has
historically been regarded as the most expensive restaurant in town. You’d be lucky to leave
with a tab under $30 in most cases.
Thus, if you’re on a tight budget, Tony’s is not the restaurant for you. In fact, you may also want
to avoid this list of some of the most expensive places to eat in the city. Luckily, eateries like the
Fountain on Locust and the Southwest Diner offer delectable meals at nearly half the price. You
can still enjoy a night out with a strapped wallet. The key is finding more affordable places to
2. The Delmar Loop
The Delmar Loop is the pinnacle of entertainment, dining, and shopping in St. Louis. There are
certainly affordable shops and restaurants in the loop. You can grab tacos at Mission for $3-4,
or bowl at the Pin-Up Bowl for $4 a game before 9pm on the weekends. Still, entering shopper’s
paradise is a dangerous move if you’re trying to save money. For this reason, it’s best to avoid
the Delmar Loop while trying to save money.
It’s essential to watch your grocery spending, because it’s a weekly recurring cost that can really add up. When it comes to saving money on groceries, where you shop absolutely matters. Straub’s is a quality family-owned chain that’s been around since 1901. Straub’s is known for offering top-notch produce with exceptional service.
However, even though the quality of the food is extraordinary, the prices may not be justifiable for a limited budget. The $12 you would spend on 12 oz of bacon at Straub’s could afford you enough food for 7 meals at Jay International Food Co. or Aldi.
4. Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa
Maintaining a healthy body is well worth investing in as it will save you the cost of hefty medical bills further down the road. Still, some gyms would not be wise to invest into when cash is tight. Wellbridge offers memberships starting at a cost of $90 a month. Membership does include access to a pool and a full-service spa, but $90 a month is a huge blow to your savings account. In times where money is tight, you’d be better off downsizing to gyms like The Fitness Vault or St. Louis Fitness Club for $70-$60 less.
5. Plaza Frontenac
Plaza Frontenac is an upscale shopping center in the metro St. Louis area. The mall is home to big names in designer fashion such as Neiman Marcus and Louis Vuitton. However, with big names comes big prices. The only cheap thing you’ll be able to purchase at Plaza Frontenac is a $13 Chicken Quesadilla from the Canyon Cafe. While Plaza Frontenac offers an excellent shopping experience, it’s an experience that may not be best for the budget minded shoppers. If your wardrobe is in need of an update, your wallet would be much healthier shopping at lower cost retailers like Refresh or Leopard Boutique.
6. St. Louis Cinemas
St. Louis Cinemas has four theater locations scattered throughout the St. Louis area (Galleria 6, Chase Park Plaza, Moolah Theatre, and MX Movies). A $10 movie ticket won’t destroy your budget, but the cost of going out to a movie adds up if you’re going more than once a month, or paying for multiple people. Unless you’ve bought into a MoviePass subscription, going out to the movies should be reserved for very special occasions. Depending on how tight your budget is, you may even want to avoid the theaters altogether.
7. Lumiere Place
Lumière Place is one of St. Louis’s premiere casinos and it is perhaps the most obvious location on the list to avoid. We all know a trip to the casino is detrimental to our bank accounts. Yet, we continue to visit in the hopes we will beat the odds and walk away wealthy. Under no circumstances should you walk into Lumière Place or any other casino with an unhealthy budget. Gambling will only add to your financial woes.
In conclusion, this is in no way a comprehensive list of all of the places you should avoid when saving money is your first priority, but it is a good starting point. Ultimately, what you can spend and where you wish to spend is entirely up to your budget and preferences. While the aforementioned locations should likely be avoided you will need to make judgement calls for many of your purchasing decisions. What do you think?
I typically don’t approach saving money by avoiding certain places, but sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade. I try to find ways to still visit these places by taking advantage of sales, discount days, or one of my favorite go-to’s, Groupon. Michael’s technique to saving money seems to be direct and ideal for Royals struggling to save money.
Michael Benson is a St. Louis bankruptcy attorney and founder of A Bankruptcy Law Firm, LLC. Michael has a passion for numbers and helping individuals improve their financial situation. He is one of a handful of attorneys to possess a CPA and Series 7 licenses in addition to a license to practice law. Be sure to check him out and follow him on social media!
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Are there any other noteworthy places you believe are worth avoiding when trying to save money?
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