Hosting Family Members

I’m still recovering from this past weekend when my hubby’s cousin visited us for the weekend.  We didn’t party like a rock star or anything, but it was just a cold, wet weekend trying to keep an early twenty-something girl occupied.  This is the second time we’re hosting a family member over for more than a day since we got married other than our immediate family.  Last time someone from my side visited, it was on and off at our house for 3 months while she was interning in DC.  She would stay for the weekend at our house here and there and we would go to her to eat out and hang out.  Most of our 2013 eat out and entertainment spending was during this time and it went way over what we initially budgeted for the year.  We could’ve went on a nice Caribbean vacation.  But it was a great time to get to know each other since we hardly get to see our extended family.  She also was very grateful that we were there to ease her homesickness.

We barely just recovered financially from hosting my niece and we had to host my hubby’s cousin for 3 days again.  It’s nothing compared to the time we spent with my niece, but since this girl was going back to South Korea after her internship at Disney World, we needed to make sure she doesn’t just sit around at our house.  Thankfully, she visited Northern Virginia about 5 years ago and did all the typical DC tours, so she didn’t want to do that again.  We had to brainstorm quickly though since we only got a couple of weeks’ notice and not much time to save money for the occasion.  As much as we didn’t want to overspend again, we didn’t want to send her away doing nothing even more.  So here’s the breakdown of what we did and how much we spent.

Friday: After picking her up, we took her to a Japanese restaurant that we love and had lunch there.  Their Chirashi is the best and the total was ($51.55).  She didn’t get to sleep much the night before, so she wanted to rest at home before doing anything else and after a few hours of rest, we took her to a mall.  I wanted to get her a gift to remember us by and just so she has something pretty.  So I bought her a pair of stud earrings from Tous which totaled  ($111.30).  Of course, I had her pick the design she wanted.  We took her out to a Thai restaurant for dinner after the mall and she loved Pad Thai and the total was ($63.80).  We came home and helped her pack some stuff to mail to Korea straight since she had way too much stuff in her 3 large luggage.  I don’t even know how she travelled with those by herself and she already spent around couple of hundred dollars bringing those from Florida.  She had one more destination before Korea, so it made more financial sense to send it out before she left.

Saturday:  Hubby had a 6 hour class since his Winter session started.  So most of Saturday was spent without him until in the evening time.  I took her to an international delivery service place and we sent a 87lb box to Korea.  Then I took her to a cozy brunch place that has all kinds of crepes and specialty coffee.  The service, food, and the ambience were all great and the bill came out to ($31.82).  I was going to take her to a nearby winery to do a tasting and a tour, but when we got there, she remembered that she didn’t have her passport.  Doh!!! Wines are overpriced in Korea and I don’t even know if there’s any winery there, so I wanted her to experience this.  But what can we do.  So I took her to a sporting goods store to see if they have Wizards t-shirt for her to wear that night since we were going to the game later.  No luck there either.  I then took her to bunch of stores for her to buy stuff that she might not be able to get her hands on easily in Korea.  We ended up at the mall near our house since she needed to stop by couple of clothing shops.  Then she saw Cheesecake Factory.  She didn’t get a chance to visit there, so even though we weren’t hungry we stopped by to get lemonade and a slice of cheesecake to share which came to be ($20.38).  We took the metro to get to DC for the basketball game.  The whole weekend, we spent ($57.70) in public transportation fee.  We may have been able to save a little more by driving, but the parking in DC sucks and it’s just easier to take the metro and not worry about getting lost since I never drive there.  I don’t have the basketball ticket price on hand, but for three 100level tickets, we spent around ($220.00).  The tickets weren’t that bad, but they tack on service charges like crazy!!!  We ordered this ahead as soon as we found out that she was coming and she wanted to go to any kind of sporting event.  While watching the game, we bought snacks for ($20.47).  There was a leak from the ceiling during the game, so we wasted around 40 minutes waiting for them to fix the problem.  By the time we got out after the game, we all were starving.  We went to a tapas restaurant which totaled ($84.40).  The food was great, but their sangria was too strong and bitter and of course, she didn’t get to drink it since we keep forgetting that she didn’t have her passport with her.

Sunday: We all woke up late since I made all of us take PM cold medicine the night before and we felt drowsy.  Everyone sounded like they were getting sick, so I had to be a nagging mother figure and gave them medicine before tucking them in.  We went to church together and she’s been talking about Chipotle since she got here, so we finally took her to Chipotle.  She said it was better than she imagined and the cost was ($26.77).  Then we took her to National Zoo in DC since someone she knows told her to not miss the Zoo.  I don’t know why though.  When we got there, not many animals were out since it’s Winter and the Giant Panda bear exhibit wasn’t even open to the public yet.  There’s no entrance fee, so that’s good ($0.00).  Before we went to the zoo, we were all wanting some coffee and walked into a Dunkin Donut store.  I saw a sign outside saying Free Medium Coffee.  We assumed we had to buy something to get that deal, but when we asked they said it’s just free since it’s their customer appreciation day.  So we got 3 medium coffee for free ($0.00)!!  So we walked around the free zoo with free coffee in our hands.  The best thing we saw were the sea lions.  They were the most active and cute animals we saw that day.  After that, we stopped by this crawfish place that has this amazing Vietnamese influenced sauce.  We didn’t want to eat much, but of course we ended up eating a lot.  The total for dinner was ($40.63).  I didn’t take Monday off and we were all feeling super cold staying outside for a long time, we decided to come home.  I knew she would sleep in before leaving for the airport, so I said goodbye to her before going to sleep, but after the Golden Globes. Haha~

Monday:  Restaurant week started, so my hubby took her to one of the restaurants for lunch and dropped her off at the airport.  Lunch came out to be ($50.96).

The grand total for hosting my hubby’s cousin this weekend was $695.38.  It is a lot of money we spent, but it’s not like we get to spend time with her a lot and I also wanted to show my husband’s side my love.  My hubby was so good to my niece while she was here, I wanted to make sure my hubby’s cousin had a great time too.  She became comfortable enough with me that she even confided in me about her boyfriend and other family things.

I could’ve done a few things better to spend less money like not ordering the nasty sangria which was $20.00 and driving to DC and going around and around to find a free parking.  But at the end of the day, we all had great food, conversation, and overall great time.

Are you guys hosting guests anytime soon?  What are you doing to stay on budget for hosting guests?       

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5 thoughts on “Hosting Family Members

  1. Wow you and your hubs made excellent tour guides – I’m sure your hubby’s cousin had a blast! I love Chipotle and Restaurant Week, as well, and agree that service charges for sporting events and concerts are crazy. Your post was so food-oriented, it made me hungry – love it! 🙂

    • Now that you mention it, it was mostly about food. She was liking everything we had her try, I guess I got excited feeding her and myself. haha~ If you ever come to DC area, I will be your food tour guide. Just let me know~^^

  2. Damn, you guys are awesome hosts!! That’s a lot of money to spend but it seems hard to get around it. The fiancé has siblings and a nephew that have been meaning to come do a DC visit. At least the Smithsonians are free! I can’t wait for the baby panda debut too 🙂

    • I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I can’t let my family members who are younger than me pay. I think it’s an Asian thing or a Korean thing. With friends, I can go Dutch, but with family I can’t.
      Before you have your fiancé’s family visit, make sure you save up. I always end up spending more than I estimate. I think it’s because with family, my budget becomes looser, which I need to be better at.

  3. Pingback: January Numbers | Michelle's Finance Journal

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