I'm on the opposite end of this. I'm going away next month and i don't have alot of money for the trip. It's my best friends wedding and i have to watch what i spend money on down there so i can give a nice gift. Just be honest! It's the best advice. Say it "I watching how i spend my money" Nothing wrong with that.
Having out of town guests often turns into a great excuse to spend a lot of extra money. Hey, your BFF is only here for a couple of days, so you want to take her to that famous restaurant down the street, check out the coolest museum in town, and go see the new show that everybody is talking about. Sure, it adds up to a lot of fun—but it also adds up to a lot of moolah missing from your bank account.
It’s understandable that you want to show your guest the best that your life has to offer, but having a great time doesn’t have to put a huge dent in your budget. These tips will help you host on a dime.
Save Where You Can
First off, don’t think you have to just sit around because everything you want to do is too pricey. Instead, make some other adjustments that will help mitigate the damage—if you really want to go see that hit musical or fancy wine tasting, take public transportation to save on parking. Likewise, if you’re both dying to try that new fancy restaurant, just go for appetizers or dessert.
Or, take advantage of flash sale sites—they’re excellent for finding fun and exciting activities on the cheap. Be open-minded and pick something that neither of you have ever done before, like a murder-mystery dinner. I had a friend visit last year who had pre-purchased Groupons for us to go get mani/pedis—it was an awesome surprise, a perfect hostess gift, and a fun afternoon that only set her back $45 for the both of us. (Make sure you read the fine print first though—these deals often have blackout dates that limit when they can be used.)
Throw a Party
Bring the fun and the refreshments right to your doorstep by inviting some of your other friends over for a potluck dinner or BYOB bash. It doesn’t matter if your guest has never met these friends before—they already have something in common they both like (you!).
I once had the unfortunate luck of getting sick with a sinus infection right before a friend came to stay with me for the weekend. I didn’t want to waste money going out (since I knew I’d be whining to go home the whole time), so we scrapped our previous plans and instead invited a few people over for a pizza and movie night. It wasn’t the most glamorous way to spend our Friday evening, but my friend (and everyone else) still had a blast.
The key is to plan a party that requires attendees to bring something (or contribute to the dinner fund). Otherwise, you’ll just end up spending a ton of money anyway on food and drinks.
Have a “Free Day”
Sometimes you have the most fun when you just wing it and wander around. The last time I visited home, my cousin Julie and I spent an entire day just walking around and going with the flow—we went to the beach and climbed the trail up our favorite ravine, spent hours strolling through the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and went around town looking at old places from our childhood. We called it “Exploratory Day,” and it was awesome. And nearly free!
On that note, a lot of large city attractions like museums and aquariums have “free days” where admission is, you guessed it, free! Do some research online to find out if anywhere around you offers free days. You might just get lucky and find one somewhere cool during your guest’s visit.
(Important note: Remember that “free” doesn’t always mean worthwhile. For example, I recently saw a billboard advertising a free Vanilla Ice concert. Zero dollars? Yes. Worth it? No—just, no.)
Now, this scenario is not uncommon: You’re picturing pizza delivery and dollar beers, while you’re friend is busy imagining fancy dinners and lavish spa days. To avoid this, talk about what you each are hoping to do during the visit ahead of time, and if you notice a major budget discrepancy, bring it up early so you can figure out ways to compromise.
It’s more than OK to say, “I can’t wait for your visit, but just so you know, I’m on a budget this month. Is it cool if we go out Saturday night but get takeout on Friday?” Don’t feel pressured to spend more than you’re comfortable with.
Being a good hostess means doing whatever you can to make sure your guest is comfortable. It doesn’t, however, mean spending lots of money and acting as a personal trip planner. Stay positive and don’t be afraid to get a little creative—the rest will fall into place.