(Article today by Jason Price of One Money Design)
Each year many people make a financial investment to attend high school reunions. Local attendees pay the ticket prices while some people travel from out of town and pay gas or airfare plus the ticket prices. Tickets aren’t cheap either. We’ve paid up to $200 for my wife and me to attend our high school reunions. We have to travel as well. Luckily each destination is a road trip, but that still gets expensive with gas prices and all the work to pack and hit the road with two young kids.
Let’s also not forget the investment in clothes that a lot of people feel like they need to make. While I don’t think that’s absolutely necessary, I understand as most people want to make sure they dress nice when seeing old friends. Hey, I bought a snazzy pair of pants for my reunion (already had a cool shirt). But taken excessively, one might be tempted to put outfit money on a credit card with plans to pay it back later. And we all know spending ahead is dangerous because you can never count on the money being there.
Okay, so you get the picture and you’ve probably lived through some of the costs. Let me go ahead and take a moment to share my feelings on attending high school reunions. Overall, I like to go to them because I believe they are about the experience. It’s hard to put a price tag on seeing old friends and reconnecting with people. There is a lot of value in doing so. You can resurface fun memories from the past, renew friendships and enjoy a night out on the town. While many people will use such a time to take notes and keep score on physical appearances, jobs and income; reconnecting with people for memories and friendships is what it’s all about.
But, does the experience outweigh the cost? In short, I like to think of a high school reunion in the same light as any other experience you’re willing to pay for. Many families will invest in a vacation and take their kids to Disneyland or the ocean (that would be us). You have to weigh which experiences mean the most to you. I’ve already said that I like going to high school reunions, but is the experience worth the cost? For us, yes. We just returned from my wife’s reunion and had a great time. Of course, I was the little puppy walking around behind her because I didn’t know anyone, but I still had a good time.
Maybe the experience is worth it for you. If so, the road trip and the ticket prices don’t have to bust your budget or put you in credit card debt. In fact, the high school reunions are one of those events you can easily predict for years to come, right? You can plan for 10 or 20 years! It could even become another savings category for irregular expenses that requires a hefty contribution of a few bucks to save the money. This can make attending reunions quite affordable.
In fact, planning this far ahead could put you in a position to do something nice like buy a ticket for someone who can’t afford to go. That can make the experience even better! My father-in-law said that two gentlemen agreed to buy tickets for anyone who couldn’t afford to go their reunion. They didn’t want cost to keep someone away from reconnecting. What a nice gesture. I think it would be great to sponsor a ticket for someone else. In doing so, the event could become a giving opportunity aside from an opportunity to reconnect with people.
In summary, if you value the experience of a high school reunion, the cost shouldn’t keep you away. Here’s to your next 10, 20 or whatever it is reunion!
So, what do you think? Are high school reunions worth the cost?
This is an article by Jason Price – husband, dad, soccer fan and blogger on the journey to true financial freedom. You can find Jason at JasonPrice.me.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I love high school and college reunions!! And without a doubt it’s totally worth it to me too – I’m all about using my money for experiences. You can’t hoard all of it, right? :)
(Photo credit: milesgehm)