This weekend three great things happened. First of all an old friend came to visit. Secondly, GFF and the Lady are back on the Sauce and finally, another couple (or two) staying with us announced that they are expecting another baby.
Hosting guests is harder than it looks. We were originally planning to rent an Airbnb for the weekend but we had to drop that plan when one of our (unreliable, flakey) friends decided to cancel – after a few others had dropped out. That would push the cost per person towards £60 per person per night which was a bit rich for me and others – so we cancelled. We had a friend who was flying into Scotland for the weekend and our AirBnB was only about 50 minutes drive away – another good reason for cancelling.
Guest Gets What’s Best
In my infinite wisdom, I decided to offer to host everyone at our house. Sure, having a couple plus 1 kid and a singleton (making 4 in total) would be a piece of cake. All we would need to do is clean, tidy, change the sheets, buy and cook food for the weekend, entertain them all and then clean, tidy, change the sheets and to the washing when they left. It was not easy! But I suppose the work would have needed to be done anyway and by saving about £240 for the weekend meant that we were sort of AirBnBing it. We did some AirBnB or househacking last year renting out a room at home and I can say that it’s money but not exactly easy money or money for nothing but it’s still some money!
Hosting is hard work but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. Having friends come to visit is extra special because you are inviting them into your home and as I tell the Master “Guest Gets What’s Best”.
The Master really enjoyed playing with two friends his age and you could tell he was really excited from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening. The Little Lady enjoyed it as well. She is becoming more and more like a little person and is more expressionate by the day. We’ve also started weaning her – and she seems to have a great appetite. My next frugal challenge is to find baby rice type stuff that isn’t prices at £20+/kg.
With two couples (3 on Saturday) plus one other, it was really good to catch up. It’s funny how dominating children are when it comes to your life and what interests you. You need to factor them into all aspects of your life. With friends coming, it is good if you can enjoy a drink and for the last year or so both the Lady and I have been tee-total. This was in part due to pregnancy and when the Little Lady was weaning and I didn’t drink in sympathy. We did the same for when the Master was being born too. Not drinking for a year was easier than I thought and if you just decide not to drink it’s a lot easier. That’s part of the appeal of religion, hard and fast rules that say “thy shall not drink alcohol” because rules like “Don’t drink too much” are harder to follow.
GFF and the Lady had a bottle of Belgium beer each. She chose a Lindeman’s Faro (one of her faves!) – a fantastic Lambic beer made with sour cherries and candy sugar. It is deliciously tart. I had bottle of Orval a Trappist beer. Both were amazing and well worth the wait! Strangely, I didn’t feel like drinking another one and in fact, I didn’t find it easy to finish the bottle (330ml).
I did end up feeling a bit rotten during the night and in the morning. Not hungover but I didn’t get as good a night’s sleep as I normally do. Maybe this is just the consequence of not drinking for an extended length of time – my liver has probably shrunk back to the size of a normal non-drinkers liver!
The Big News!
So, it turns out that one (officially but maybe two) of our close friends is pregnant now! Expecting another kid at the end of the year. It seems like where we lead, they follow. We also suspect that another friend who was there on Saturday is pregnant too – but may be too early to announce it yet.
It’s funny that the arrival of another kid, another mouth to feed, mind to teach, foot to shod, baby to rock will have such a massive impact on their lives. If you go boy then girl (a wonderful Gentleman’s Family) you’ll maybe need to have 3 bedrooms in your house instead of 2 – so that might mean moving house at some point in the future. At the very least it means that your little girl will be wearing blue clothes for years (just imagine the damage). Two boys makes things easier – but you don’t get to chose.
Financial Independence advice for friends
Our friend who is pregnant was talking about this Financial Independence stuff that she was reading about and asked my opinion on it. She also wanted to invest in Ratesetter and I shared with her my referral code – meaning she should get £100 if she lends £1,000 and I’ll get £50 for my effort.
The funny thing about talking about money with friends is that it can seldom do any good. I would not feel that comfortable with others knowing my financial position – one reason I try to keep the blog incognito.
But the Lady did mention that I wanted to retire by the time I am 40 (3-4 years away) and how money is an interest of mine. Luckily I’ve read a bit about how to help people with money and my feeling is that people need to make their own choices, decisions and mistakes. She has a SIPP with AVIVA – keep it? Change it? Put the money into Shares/Its/ETFs/bonds/funds? I don’t want to make the decision for her as if it goes wrong and she loses out, then I’m the bad guy. That’s the value of sites like monevator’s site.
The Lady and I have decided that two kids is enough and we have two already. It’s funny to see close friends of ours go the same way. It’s life-changing decisions that we are talking about. But I am very glad to think that we’re sort of all on the same journey together.
That’s not all that happened this weekend but children/families and money/FIRE is what interests me. What was interesting that the total cost for the weekend was really quite cheap. All the food and drink and everything less was way less than the AirBnB – so a successfully frugal weekend with some good news and a good beer too!