Wedding Guest?

To go, or not to go? That is the question.

I'm at an age (late 20's, 28 to be exact) where a ton of my friends are getting married. But on average it costs me about $300 to attend these babies. Yikes! That's about 2 months of interest, for one weekend. Huhmm....

The latest and greatest are two friends in Ohio. I've never been to Ohio, but apparently the universe thinks I should go there. Twice. In the same month. Ya...I didn't really have my Ohio geography straight either until I googled it like 10 seconds ago (A = Columbus, B = Cleveland).

My roommate from grad school is getting married the first weekend of August in Cleveland (We still have LeBron - don't hate), and another is getting married the third weekend of August in Columbus. I *really* want to attend both. But ran some numbers for both...

$62 = Travel there - Go sky miles! Yeay! Track your sky miles people! Would've been $200 otherwise.
 $0  = Travel back - I have a work trip the next day so am flying straight from Cleveland. #win
$60 = Lodging - Staying at a hostel (with 3 friends! yeay!) to lower costs.
$30 = In city transit - This is just a wild guess based on a taxi estimator.
$40 = Food - $20/day
$23 = Entertainment -Cleveland Orchestra b/c Experience > stuff. Besides I budgeted $50/mth for this.

$214 = Total

I would've looped this in with a Chicago work trip but that didn't work out so was going to cover the Chicago travel costs.
$200 = Travel there - Flight to Chicago and gas from carpool
$200 = Travel back - Flight to Miami from Chicago and gas from carpool
    $0 = Lodging - I'd ironically stay with the bride & groom from the Columbus wedding
  $10 = In city transit - low estimate for inner city transit
  $40 = Food - $20/day
    $0 = Entertainment - none.

$450 = Total

...and just can't afford it.

That'd be $664 in one pop. Uff.

Weddings are once in a life time events, and I love these two couples, but I just couldn't afford going to both and still reaching my goal. Boo. Sad face.

Aaaand...I'd actually booked the first part of the Cleveland trip before I found out about the Columbus wedding.

But in addition to that, there were many conflicting feelings I had to wrestle with in order to really decide on the Columbus wedding - namely, a once in a lifetime event vs. a couple hundred bucks. But when it comes down to it, that's really every personal financial decision relating to an event or experience -- all the other ones are a once in a lifetime event vs. stuff (but I hate stuff so those are easy). And we just tend to put each one off because it's just a couple hundred bucks, or a few dollars, and it just builds up and we keep pushing it off and pushing it off and pushing it off. The credit cards rack up, the loans get put off, and before you know it, you're deeper in debt than you wanted and have been paying your loans off for 10 years. But not I! Oh no sir.

I must live within my means, and for now, spending $400+ on a weekend is just outside of my means. I don't want to be in debt for 10 years, and if that means weighing decisions like this for the next two years, then so be it.

I am grateful to be attending at least one of these and that's just all I can afford. Period. I will still get a gift (that's within my means) for the one I can't attend, because, truly, I am grateful to them and wish them all the very very best. <3

Cheers to love, friends, Ohio, and getting out out of debt! Woot woot!

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