Hello long-distance relationships (aka destroyer of budgets)


Destroyer of budgets. Killer of cash-flow. Slayer of savings.

Or is it?

Case in point, myself and Girl B (I really need a new name for her) decided that we would meet in June. But since we’re both horny as rabbits, we’re both so horny that we may be in danger of using various pastry goods for sexual relief (ala American Pie), we miss each other a lot, we’ve decided to try and squeeze in a May meeting. The cost of doing so was enough to give me a little pause (but only a little cause damnit I miss the woman!).

If your brain can't recall exactly what I mean when I referenced "American Pie"... on the right hand side is a delightful little image that should scar you for the rest of your life 🙂

And so an idea for this post entered my head.

What’s more expensive: long distance relationships or “normal” relationships?

My last “normal” relationship ended roughly 6 months ago. And it lasted a little over a year. So therefore my remembrance of the honeymoon period for that particular relationship is a little sketchy (memory like that thingy… swims in water… kinda orange in colour but we refer to it as “gold”… them things). All I know is I spent an inordinate amount of money over that 1 – 2 month period. And on reflection seems to be something that occurs within every “normal” relationship of mine.

My last long distance relationship was about 3 years ago, and I’ve completely forgotten the costs associated with being in one. While the times which you’re actually spending money is fewer whilst in a “normal” relationship, i.e. face-to-face contact dates happen only about every 4 to 6 weeks, the amount you’re spending to logistically make these dates happen feels like a massive hit on the ol’ budget.

So lets all put our budget nerd hats on people, and get this sorted out once and for all.

For the 5-day extravaganza long distance.

  • Flights : $900
  • Car Hire: $200
  • Two (really nice) Restaurant Dates: $200 – $300
  • Other expenses: $100 – $200

TOTAL COST: $1400 – $1600

AVERAGE COST EACH DAY: $280 – $320

Note: I have not included what most people would think would be the everyday costs involved with a long distance relationship, notably phone bills and internet bills. This is because my phone plan allows me to talk to any mobile for as long as I want and send as many texts that I want for a flat $65 a month. And my internet bill is also a fixed amount I would have spent over the course of the month anyway, whether or not I was in this relationship or not.

For a normal “honeymoon period” relationship (lets say over a 4 week period for ease of calculation)

  • Ten (10) dates (assuming a date night occurs every Friday and Saturday over the 4 week period, with a couple of Sunday Brunches thrown in): $50 – $200 x 10 = $1000 – $2000 (I’ve included a larger variance in pricing due to the fact that since you’re seeing each other every weekend, going out to a fancy schmancy restaurant can’t be on the books all the time)
  •  Taxi (from the centre of the city to my place is about $20 one-way): $400
  • Female friendly food in pantry (an extra $50 per week): $200
  • Other expenses: $200 – $300

TOTAL COST: $1800 – $2900

AVERAGE COST EACH DAY: $64.29 – $103.57

As you can see, there is a complete blow out on per-day costs when it comes to long distance relationships. However in doing the above math, it is also clear that if we only meet each other once a month, I come out at the very least $200 better off in a long term relationship (if we use the highest total for the “5 day extravaganza” and the lowest total for “normal”).

Let’s take the worst possible scenario in regards to money spent in each instance and take across a three month period, if we assume that in long distance relationship we meet in person once a month.

Long Distance Relationship = $1600 x 3 = $4800

Normal Relationship (during honeymoon phase) = $2900 x 3 = $8700

Taken over a quarterly period you can see that long distance relationships come to almost half the cost of a normal relationship. While of course that $4800 I may spend is still going to hurt my budget, it’s not going to completely knee it in the balls a leave it lying groaning in agony like the $8700 I may spend on a normal relationship.

So, in conclusion, if you want to be in a relationship yet still maintain a semblance of a budget, long distance relationships are the way to go!

Editors note: Please when reading this take into account my current total bias towards long distance relationships 😛 And seriously, if you’re following any advice you see on this blog, you may need to seek some professional help. Which I’ve just realised is also advice, so please feel free to ignore that too. And that last bit. And this bit. And… aahhh just stop reading.

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18 responses to “Hello long-distance relationships (aka destroyer of budgets)

  1. Heh, love it! Are these figures realistic tho? Can you itemise your exact expenses next month on your visit? 😉
    Also, wouldn’t long distance actually be cheaper if she sometimes visits you (cos you are not paying for flights)?

    • They’re realistic from memory and Canberra prices, the fact that she’s in a mining town may reduce those prices or may drive them up even more. Mining towns are notorious for the amount of disposable income floating around… But sure, just for you Tara’s you shall get a post that breaks down all my spends. Expect it around Tuesday next week?
      It would be cheaper, but she’s a broke-ass uni student (currently finishing her 2nd to last year of medicine) so she really can’t afford the flights, so at least until she becomes a rich doctor, I’m the one who has to shell out for flights.

  2. free penny press

    well i just ended a 2 yr “over the road” (my term) relationship.. Got to be a bit straining.. I’m smiling and my bank account is refilling..
    seriously, if you want it to work it can & will

    Loved your mathematical breakdown..

  3. I am not sure how accurate those numbers are… dinner, I can understand. Flights are a bit too expensive. I love the “female friendly food” item. Ha! But really now, don’t go broke to see her later. I’ve been squeezing in visits to friends that are states away, but I save for it, and use my money just as carefully as if they were nearby. I think long distance is cheaper, just because of the lack of frequency… last, doing cheap things wont hurt. You dont have to go to all expensive activities long or short distance.

    • Unfortunately those numbers are actually on the conservative side in terms of flights. 😦 The problem is while flights to and from each of the capital cities (Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin) in Australia are relatively cheap (roughly around $100 – $300) if you fly to any other city, flights become ridiculously expensive. I’ve looked up online and have found Return Fares from where I live to where she lives topping the $2000 mark. *sigh* But I do understand cheap dates and the fun you can have on them, personally I prefer those. Which is why I’ve only budgeted for 2 nice dinners. Personally I prefer a coffee and then browsing a book store. But then again I’m a book nerd 😛

  4. If you cooked each “date” meal on your LDR (long distance relationship) you would save yourself a further $400- $600, and if it were local you could save on taxi fare too.
    Priceline airfares? Or go standby? I think you are not trying to be cheap enough, sorry, frugal enough on your travel expenses.
    You could just cash in your air ticket, blame it on a blizzard and save yourself the trip, then your budget would be excellent, but where would the fun be in that?

    • Ah yes cooking, I considered that alternative but ran into a couple of roadblocks. She isn’t much of a “meat” person (who the hell says that?? How can people not like meat?? Nom nom nom steak!) and the majority of my recipes consist of lost of meat. The only other dishes I can cook with any semblance of eatability are pasta bakes, which really aren’t that impressive… or healthy.
      The air fares again are the cheapest they’re going to get, we only have 2 major airlines servicing the majority or flight lanes here in Australia, so prices are a helluva lot more expensive than what you Americans are used to, it sucks.

  5. Knowing nothing about air travel in your area of the world, I have no idea if that is accurate or not. Is driving an option, at least once in a while?

    Just curious….what is “female friendly” food? Is that yogurt and carrot sticks? Foods that don’t make you fart? Strawberries and whipped cream? Chocolate?

    I wish you the best of luck. I am totally jumping the gun on this one…but have you thought LONG term saving…for the bling?

    • Ummm, driving is definitely not an option, since it’s about the distance from Miami to Seattle(??? I’m just throwing names of cities out there… I think thats sorta right).

      LOL… second time someone commented on that. Okay female friendly food. Yes chocolate and sweets are on that list. As well as fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. I know I really should be eating those normally, but without a female to actually remind me, I’m quite happy with a big steak and a pack of pre cut salad for dinner. Females (well the ones I’ve dated) seem to think that you should always have some sort of fruit and or vegetable in your diet… pfft. 😉

  6. Meh… who cares what it costs if you are happy. Money is just a tool you use to function in this world, but happiness… that’s the real pot of gold.

    • True… but having lived a decade or so under the threat of imminent bankruptcy, it would be nice to finally get out of that shadow and into being financially solvent. That’s the dream anyways, plus its easier to budget for a relationship without having to budget for debt repayments at the same time 😛

  7. Pingback: One of those days | Haven't We Done This Before?

  8. It’s really hard to judge relationships as people are really different, you might be a couple who prefer to go the cinema instead of a restaurant. The cost can still add up but it would vary a lot.

    As for flights, I thought it was only the Caribbean that sucks. To fly from one island to another can be crazy expensive and I could never understand why.

    A nice point to add is that normal relationships usually take up more time than long distance, and are full of more “distractions”.

  9. The flight prices definitely sound correct for where you are going sadly. Everything this side of the country is more expensive too… I haven’t been up where you’re going, but I’m guessing food prices will be $$ for restaurants – damn miners. I shouldn’t laugh at the people suggesting you drive, but seriously, can you imagine if you did? it would be a 10 day round trip wouldn’t it??

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