This is a post from Make Love, Not Debt staff blogger, Abby.
My husband, Brad, is in the midst of his last school-related work before his summer (of more working) begins. He’ll be done on Friday, and the other day we had the following interaction:
Abby: Hey, since you’ll be done on Friday, do you want to go out for drinks to celebrate?
Abby: What if we just go to [NAME OF NEIGHBORHOOD BAR] and get some dessert and a beer?
Brad: I guess.
Abby: . . . or do you just want to sit in the apartment and drink the beer we have in the fridge and eat a sleeve of Thin Mints?
Brad: Yeah, that sounds perfect, actually.
Sometimes, I read personal finance articles and the comments associated with them, and wonder how these people, most of whom are my age, spend so much money on going out. What are you doing? I think. Why can’t you just drink a beer at home? And then I realize – not everyone has the advantage of living with one of the few people they can stand for long periods of time. Don’t get me wrong – I like to dress up in something other than $6 men’s sweatpants from Target, and enjoy a nice gin cocktail with people to whom I am not married every once in awhile. But most of the time, my husband and I are each other’s company, and we like it that way. The added benefit, which we often don’t consider, is how much money it saves us. Consider some of our favorite activities:
- Ordering takeout from the exceptionally delicious pasta place near our apartment and consuming it in our apartment.
- Sitting with (nice – we do spend a little on our home-bound alcohol) beers in our apartment, while I watch something on Netflix and Brad half-watches, but mostly catches up on college sports blogs.
- Ordering takeout from the great Taiwanese restaurant nearby and eating it in our apartment (sensing a trend?).
Besides our penchant for carb-heavy takeout for which we don’t have to change out of sweatpants, we spend a lot of time hanging out with each other in the apartment (particularly in the colder months up here, which is almost all year long). And the natural consequence of this is that we don’t go out as much as we would if were single. We don’t feel compelled to head to a local bar that often, because the beer we would get there is the same beer we can consume in the comfort of our home, as is the company.
As I said, this doesn’t mean I never get out. There are work happy hours, friends to meet with over a glass of wine, and potlucks that I attend. But after reading that some people my age go out on a near-daily basis, I can see how my generation can become mired in credit card debt after an accumulated however-many drinks consumed. It gets pricey, and we’re lucky to be cutting our expenses through our anti-social/homebody/married tendencies.
How do you manage your social expenses?
image: Jeramey Jannene