A little background information about me (this may be a review for long time readers) – husband and I are originally from Texas, then moved to southern Florida (for my Masters degree), and finally out to Arizona (for my PhD). We’ve now been here (Tucson, AZ) for nearly 6 years. But one of the bad things about moving to a place specifically for grad school and then staying there is that all your friends eventually move away! They graduate and get jobs or drop out and move back home. Either way, they leave.
So although I had a lot of grad school buddies my first few years here, the further I get away from grad school (I’ve been done for nearly 2 years now), the fewer friends I have left as they all leave.
I still have a handful of more casual friends/neighbors, but I’ve got 2 really good/close friends in the area. Sadly, one of them is leaving on
March 1st (edited, for mistake): May 1st. This is a friend I’ve mentioned several times on the blog. We get together about once a week to do a workout (walk/jog a pretty river trail in town), and she’s the friend who got married this past October.
I’ve known for awhile now (and just haven’t mentioned it here), but her new husband scored a new job that will cause them to relocate this summer. His contract doesn’t officially start until June 1st, but they’ve bought a house in their new city so they’re getting a U-Haul on May 1st, driving cross-country, and taking a few weeks to get settled in before his job begins. Hopefully I’ll see my friend again. I’m not doing a lot of “fun” travel these days so it’s unlikely I’ll fly to visit her in her new city. But we’re in the same basic field so hopefully our paths will cross at academic conferences. Also, her parents currently live in Tucson so hopefully I’ll still get to see her every once in awhile if she chooses to come visit them here.
Regardless, it will probably be quite awhile until I get to see my good friend again. So this month has been a bit more spendy than usual in terms of eating out.
First, I went out with my friend and her husband to celebrate her husband’s successful dissertation defense (they met in grad school, so he’s in the same program we had been in).
Second, she expressed interest in having a little going away party. The timing didn’t work out as she’d hoped with everything going on so, in lieu of an actual party, I told her I’d love to take her out for a “going away” lunch the day before they pick up the U-Haul.
To try to offset these expenses a bit, I’ve really tried to reign in my family’s eating out. We try to stick to a $100 monthly budget and this usually equals one time eating out as a family (as a real restaurant), a pizza night, and another cheap food night (like Mexican take-out). The budget also includes if I run through Wendy’s for a strawberry lemonade (my favorite) or if the family goes to Sonic for an after-dinner ice cream treat. You get the idea.
At any rate, I’ve gone out of my way to really make everything at home and avoid eating out at all. I think this has helped to off-set some of these other eating out costs that I’m incurring this month. But the going away lunch has yet to happen so I do have one more potentially spendy meal out. Luckily, lunch is generally not as pricey as dinner but I still wouldn’t be surprised if the single meal ends up being $50. Might not seem like a lot for a going away celebration of sorts, but it’s 50% of my entire month’s budget for eating out, so it makes me nervous about potentially going a little over in that budget category (and trying to find another category to cut-back in this late in the month is a bit of a challenge, too).
At any rate, I’ll keep you updated with how it goes. I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by! Just as March seemed to draaaaaaaag on, this month has just disappeared! I guess its a good thing – I’m already looking toward next month and being able to make a larger car payment now that those pesky license fees are gone! Yippee!!!
What do you do to celebrate a good friend when he/she moves away?
And – just for fun – what’s your eating out budget set at for your family (and what’s your family size)? Just curious and nosy on that one. ; )