Throughout the coming month of August, my boyfriend and I have 5 days to ourselves, the rest of the time we have visitors in our flat. We tend to get everyone wanting to come and visit us all at the same time because the flights are cheaper just after summer and last year I made a pact with myself that only one guest per month should come and stay. Other than that it is just too exhausting for us.
This time there were lots of reasons that my soft heart just couldn’t turn away the visitors! One are a young married couple who don’t have much money for a holiday, so they will stay 5 days. Another is my childhood friend who is having a lot of life changes at the moment and needs a bit of distance and refuge for a week while some difficult part of her life passes. The next is my brother and sister. My brother has never visited us in Germany, so we’re really excited to show him around. Finally, my boyfriend’s mother and aunt will come and they are really great fun. That is just for a weekend, so the last “leg” of visitors should be easy.
In between, we will have *just* enough time to restock the fridge, do a quick clean-up and wash and dry all our bedlinen and towels, so quite a lot of organisation will be required to make sure everything is in ship shape for each guest. I feel ready enough.
And now for the part I don’t like to talk about…
A few months ago I bought the e-book “The GOOD book” by Pam Young. (GOOD stands for Get Out Of Debt). Not that I’m in debt, but I like to read/ listen to peoples’ stories of how they came to realise that they can get their personal finances in order through self-discipline and organisation. Well, the author had an “aha!” moment when she realised that her behaviour had been like a spoiled brat, got to know her spoiled brat’s likes and dislikes and modified her tactics to deal with this spoiled inner child. This pointed the spotlight on my own inner child’s favourite playtime activities, which are very definitely eating out and lavish gifts to my friends and family.
While both of these things give me great joy, I can’t afford to do them willy-nilly as is my gut instinct. It gets me in trouble when I haven’t enough cash for the rest of the month. When visitors come, this gut instinct very often overrides everything else and I think “I won’t see them again for ages” and splash the cash on bringing everyone out to eat. So, I’m on Red Alert for the month of August! I will explain to each guest that since we have so many guests this month that we aren’t going to be eating out as much as previously.
So, here’s the way it’s going to work (and I hope I don’t back out on this too!) :
The young couple: the way I see it, it is their holiday, so if they want to eat out they should organise this for themselves. I will be cooking simple home-cooked meals which they are welcome to share in if they wish. Other than that, as Laura over on I’m an Organizing Junkie says “YOYO” (you’re on your own).
My friend: She is also here on holiday and I will bring her out for her birthday next Tuesday. We may possibly barbecue if the weather is good also. I will make a little extra of our simple home-made meals and other than that, “YOYO”.
My brother and sister: we will probably go away for a week if I can get the time off and we will be self-catering for that going out once to eat, perhaps on the Sunday. My brother has also requested that we go canoeing and also to a football match while he is here. This is why I need to take a little care with my other previous guests!
My boyfriend’s mother: never lets us pay for dinner. I usually take care of breakfast, lunch and tea and will offer to pay for dinner. But I know it’s not going to happen. She has helped me out so often with money when I really needed it, I’m so lucky to have her. I know so many other women have conflict with their “mother in laws”, we really understand each other. I hope it always stays that way!
Does anyone else get so many visitors at one time? And like me do you find it to also be a big temptation to splurge on them? How do you keep it within the realms of affordability? Any tips on organisation would be very much appreciated!