Parents ended up covering the cost of the flight, so monetarily we weren’t out that amount (which was a darn good thing because it was $943 for that RT ticket). I stayed at my Mom’s house and was shuttled around in various family member cars, so no hotel or rental car fee either. Financially, it only cost us some vacation time for DH since he stayed home to tend the farm while I was gone, and the parking fee at the near-airport garage. I didn’t feel too badly about that one since taking the shuttle down would have been just as expensive.
But there was also the sudden paradigm shift from a DR type of “don’t spend it unless you have it” lifestyle, which we’ve only been on for 18 months, back into the “spend like there’s no tomorrow” lifestyle for most of the rest of our family/friends. On the one hand, it was jarring to hear folks talk about all the services they hire out – cleaning houses, tending yards, doing 1001 other things that my DH and I do for ourselves now (either to save money or because we always liked doing them for ourselves anyway). On the other hand, dang it was sure nice to be back in the realm of new furniture, new sheets on the bed, new dishes in the new kitchen, new appliances, new clothes in the closet, new new new new everything. Our life seems so.. dingy.. by comparison.
I got on the return plane feeling rather discouraged by our self-imposed hardships, and I knew that most of our family and friends would either question (or have already questioned) the wisdom of “doing without” for the sake of paying off some bills. Never fear, DR fans, I was also working on 4hrs of sleep at the time, so nothing looked particularly appealing at that moment except my own darn bed. But getting home and getting back into the swing of things, I’m once again convinced that this really is the right way to go. We aren’t at the point yet where we can drop $1000 on airfare without blinking. We can, however, look forward to that day coming when we have quite a nice stash of cash BECAUSE we’re not paying on old debts anymore.
I got home in time for end-of-month paying off this-or-that bill, and it actually felt sort of good to do so. We may never be jet-setters. And I will probably never have as nice a house as my mom (which is an ongoing sore point for both of us, but we’re working on it). Yet I can look forward to the day when we can say we don’t owe money to anyone, and everything we have is ours, and maybe we won’t spend it on new sheets and new dishes and such. But we’ll spend it according to our priorities, not someone else’s. So I guess that’s a pretty good way to start a new week and new month.