Tired but Happy recently wrote a post about dining out with older, wealthier relatives, and the money dynamics that come into play. I love how insightful she is about the psychological nuances of money. I am the oldest in my family, and my parents would always rather cook (our place or theirs, they’d rather stay in). My husband is the youngest though – his two sisters are 8 and 9 years older than him. And his parents love to go out to eat when they are with us. And they always want to pay. Last year, we decided to go to a very nice restaurant for dinner while we were visiting them. We planned (and budgeted) ahead for the whole month. When we got to the restaurant, my husband went to the hostess and gave her our credit card. When the meal was over, she brought the sales slip for him to sign – no arguing over the bill at the table. His parents were flabbergasted, but the whole thing turned out great. We couldn’t afford to do that often, but it meant alot to us to be able to do it once in a while. And we frequently pay for small stuff like drinks when we’re with them. Whenever they visit, I always try to make special meals for the nights we eat in. They know that we don’t have a lot of money, but they know that we’re careful with what we have, and I think they respect us for it.
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