My boyfriend and my sister both live in the same town, 200 miles north of me. This is both a bummer and a blessing — they’re pals so they hang out, and it’s nice that the new girl in town has a friend like my boyfriend. It’s a bummer because I didn’t think a long distance relationship was in my cards, but such is life.
I’m embracing this, since I adore him, and he comes down to Portland often for work. I go up to his town (which, let’s be honest, is decidedly less cool than mine!) about once a month, maybe a little more frequently, and he comes to mine about as often.
Let me just say. Long distance is definitely more frugal than short distance. A lot of “how to live more frugally” posts I read talk about how to do cheap date nights. But date nights are not expensive if they are only done on a periodic basis. Sure, I need to have a car (or be way better about planning to take the train because last-minute train tickets are prohibitively expensive), which needs to be insured, but I’d have a car anyway, and “wear and tear” is a hidden cost.
I live a very simple, very frugal existence when I’m in Portland (and I try not to let Mint tell me any different!) — working, exercising, eating in, reading books, etc. None of this costs much money. So, when I go visit, there’s very little guilt associated with eating in restaurants three nights in a row!
That’s not real life. We know this. We try to keep it as real as possible when it’s just the two of us, so we make breakfasts and lunches, and just eat out at night, when social obligations call. The first night was exotic burgers with his brother, sister, and brother-in-law, followed by a hockey game with my sister, her new boyfriend and a few of their friends. That night ended up at a bar with that same group. Saturday was dinner for nine: boyfriend, all his siblings, assorted family members, and house guests. Then I went out with my sister, her boyfriend and her friend. Sunday a different subset all met up at a restaurant.
And you know what? With that much family time, and that much fun, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
In my mind, that’s what being frugal allows me to afford.
- Why I Don’t Cut Back on the Little Things (frugalportland.com)