Life has been a whirlwind lately. Work is crazy and I am counting down the days until July when, prepared or not, all changes go into place. I've got two business trips and a mini vacation to squeeze in as well. Still, life needs to be lived so I do not want to cancel the mini vacation just because work is crazy. It will be thrifty as we'll be at the extra cabin with the only extra costs a few tanks of gas for the pontoon, extra food for DD2's friends coming along, and a trip into the little town for pizza and ice cream.
I splurged by spending $250 on Journey concert tickets as an early birthday gift for DH.
The concert is July 1, and his birthday isn't until August, but Journey
was, is, one of his top three bands. It was an opportunity I could not
let pass by. That will show up on the June credit card about to come any day now. I probably should spring for a cigarette lighter too, but I guess no one uses real lighters and just cell phones now for the epic song tributes. I'm kidding on that part. DD2 auditioned and was
placed on the varsity show choir group for next year. We are so pleased
and proud of her, but the cost is double what this past year had been as
they have more elaborate costumes, have two additional competitions, and
travel out of state. We will have added travel costs to see her as a couple of the competitions will require an overnight stay. Some of those fees are due this summer. DS still isn't fully committed to being back for his cousin's wedding, but if so, we'll help him with his travel costs, plus more meals when we head up north. Can anyone else hear the cha ching of a cash register going off in their head?
Still, I don't want to say no to these life experiences. To make it work, I'm compromising on things like regular groceries (wrote about that in yesterdays post), household stuff, clothing, and entertainment. I never eat out for lunch any more-not even the occasional one, though still have coffee house meetings from time to time. DH and I still need date nights, but they will be our wine club, already budgeted for, home movie and popcorn nights, a cocktail sitting out on our wonky deck, and the rare thrifty meal out. DD2 is excited for the opportunity she has for show choir and family travel but understands financial limitations, so has done thrifty things, which summer and nice weather help, with her friends like bon fires, hikes and snacks in the great local parks or river trail, the beach, or just having her own movie nights. We are fortunate that she seems to have adopted friends that care about experiences and spending time together over expensive stuff, so it makes it easier to raise a teen without feeling expectations to spend.
I used to worry about money, despite really never going without essentials. Still, I tended to let long term savings goals freeze me from investing in today's living. April and May were kick you in the gut months-forced me to decide what matters most, and what I want most. Life today is expensive; retirement will be expensive, so I can't afford to waste money. More importantly though, I can't afford to waste time now, and these together are my greatest balancing act.