Happy Hump Day, Dear Readers.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m blessed with many friends. I have co-worker friends, kickboxing friends, and friends who are closer than family. And of course there’s The Boy, who is one of my very best friends, and my best kitty friends, Chloe and the Great Samboo.
Friendship is a good thing, and something I will never take for granted. I know from experience how difficult it can be to build strong, lasting friendships. Without friends, life would not be worth living.
But I’ve found that the more friends I have, the more challenging it is to get out of debt. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of approaching friend time more creatively. For years, the way I spent time with friends was always the same: a meal in a restaurant. With some friends, even two meals in two different restaurants on the same day! And all of that dining out adds up, as you can imagine. For someone who can (and even likes to) cook, I’ve spent a lot of money in restaurants. Rare is the year that my restaurant bills haven’t added up to thousands of dollars.
Then there’s the shopping friends, the ones who always want to go to the mall or the newest boutique. Somehow, I don’t have shopping friends anymore (at least not close ones). We’ve either parted ways for different reasons, or their lifestyles have changed. I don’t mind watching others shop–sometimes it can be fun–but there’s so many other ways I’d rather spend my time.
At the beginning of the year, I had to have “The Talk” with most of my close friends, explaining that getting out of debt is a priority for me, and that I wouldn’t be able to meet them in restaurants anymore. Thankfully, all of them have been very understanding, although I haven’t been able to arrange “face time” with some. With others, we’ve opted for cheap restaurants instead of cutting out meals entirely. Still others I see only at kickboxing or at work.
How about you, Dear Readers? Do you spend too much money in restaurants? What creative, inexpensive ways do you spend time with friends?
Good news: even with all these challenges, I’m well on track to being out of debt BEFORE the end of 2011! Very excited about that!