Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Friends are Costing Me Money!

One of the things I missed the most when we were traveling was my friends.  I felt so out of the loop, I missed hanging out with people, and I missed the shared experiences of working or volunteering with people on projects.  Keeping in touch by email or phone was OK but not the same.
Now that I have been back for a couple of weeks, I have managed to catch up with many friends but I have also noticed that being social costs money!  (I guess I didn't appreciate all of the savings of not going around with friends while we were in Atlanta...).  Within the last couple of weeks I have...
  • Had a friend who ended up in the hospital (bought card and flowers)
  • Had a friend whose child called to remind me it was her birthday (bought a birthday cake).  Note: I started providing birthday cakes to my friend's children some years ago.  They are from Iraq and had never seen a birthday cake before so after the first cake, it became a tradition for me to bring a cake for all four of her kid's birthdays since she is a widowed mom and her family cannot afford to help her much.
  • Met up with a group of friends at the mall (I didn't buy anything while we were shopping but did end up buying a drink at Starbucks and lunch at a restaurant).
  • Another friend came to me asking if I could buy a dozen tamales from her friend who was struggling to pay her rent since she had lost her job (bought tamales).
  • Have met three other friends at Starbucks over the past couple of weeks (bought three Starbucks drinks for me and one for a friend).
  • Went to an early morning meeting for a friend who would be out of town and needed someone to run the meeting for her (bought Starbucks again...out of habit).
In the next couple of weeks I will be:
  • Meeting up with my sister and her kids (this will include gas money for the six hour drive and paying for dinner for everyone, another old habit from when I used to actually have money).
  • Turning down a trip to the beach with friends who will be going next weekend (it would be fun but again, I am saving my money for our trip to Japan and this would definitely cost me more money)
  • Debating about an invitation to a fundraiser event in Seattle (I used to be a good one to invite to fundraisers because I like helping out where I can, unfortunately, attending these events is expensive!).
So, on the one hand, I love hanging out with friends but the financial costs are pretty high.  Fortunately almost everyone I know has had to cut back their spending so our day long shopping sprees are probably history (thank goodness!) but it just never dawned on me that there is a cost associated just by being social.  Yikes.


  1. Yes, the cost of being social can be very expensive, but you seemed to have socialized in a reasonable manner without breaking the bank.

    The birthday cake tradition for the kids is a great tradition!

    Being with friends is worth the cost as long as the costs are in moderation. Now that you have a home again, maybe you can start some traditions like 'Girls Nite In' and have a potluck and movie night.

  2. Enjoy the time with friends and family. You deserve to enjoy a coffee sometimes too.

  3. That's a lot of "socialization"! Hope your entertainment fund is up to par! ;) lol! Enjoy your summer! You deserve it!!