We have all been in this situation. A large group of friends are eating, having a great time, and then the check arrives. What do you do? Do you make it a point to pay your exact amount? Do you wait until someone else decides?
We are perfectly fine just paying our exact portion. If the group decides to just split evenly per person, we are perfectly fine doing that as well. Why? We don't want to make a big deal over a few bucks, especially with our friends. If it ever gets to the point where we really need to watch our finances, we would rather just not go to the dinner and save the money. If we do go though, we know the situation we are getting into to and we accept that.
Your family member or close friend is getting married but it is out of town. Do you go? Of course you go! If they are your close friend or family member, then to us it is not even a question. Will this cost money? Yes. Will it require planning and budgeting? Yes. Were you given enough notice to make it happen? Yes.
In situations like this, especially with someone you are close with, you are given notice long before the invitation. It is plenty of time to slowly budget the necessary funds and make it happen. There is a girl I know and she did not go to her sister's destination wedding. Her sister! This bothered me because it is her own flesh and blood. I could not even imagine how I or my wife could ever say no to one of our siblings if they were having a destination wedding.
You find out your really close friend just got engaged. Next up, a bachelor or bachelorette party. I understand this one is not quite as important as say a wedding, but it still brings up the question. I know someone that had their bachelor party in Brazil. I have heard of bachelor parties that were 1 week long. I was not invited in either of these cases, but even if I was, there is no way I would be able to go to Brazil or take a week vacation without my wife lol.
Luckily I have not had to decline a bachelor party invite that is out of the country or even out of state, nor have I had to decline a week long adventure somewhere. Would I go? Probably not, only because the cost to get there and/or the cost to stay a week would eat into the entire budget before anything actually happened. Being cautious about over-spending, I have tried my best to go to these bachelor parties without breaking the bank. For one I actually picked up some side work for a few weekends. I have also sold off some old shoes and musical equipment to pay for another. I value the memories I will share with my friend, but I also value not destroying my budget.
I am not saying our way is the best way, just merely saying this works for us. We both have stable jobs, we have minimal debt, and we are very good at budgeting to save for things we want. Ask me about this again after the wife and I have a kid and I may have to change all these answers lol.
Have you ever been in these situations, and if so, what did you end up doing? What are some things in your lives that blur the line between frugal and cheap?