How to Afford a Long-Distance Relationship: Unconventional ideas for when you are exceedingly broke
Let’s just say you’re a lonely Michigan girl in love with this hilarious and cute meme lord that lives 1,700 miles away and… you don’t drink lattes. If you’re like me, the queen of Google searches, you search it up – “how to afford a long-distance relationship.” Hey Starbucks queen, I don’t have any lattes to give up. Having a relationship with someone long distance is tough, emotionally and financially. You are dying to take that trip to go see him, but realistically you can’t afford it. This post is for ordinarily folks like me, who are living paycheck to paycheck, and don’t have extra cash for expensive trips across the country. So how do you do it? This is my list of practical and unconventional ideas for broke girls like me.
Cut out everything you absolutely don’t need
How bad do you want this? If you are broke-broke like me, you are going to have to live tight. In order to pay for an airline ticket that is $300, you need an extra $50 for 6 weeks. What can you live without for six weeks? You either need to make $50 more or cut $50 a week from your budget. Review your budget and cut out anything you don’t absolutely need -gym memberships, cable television, Spotify, iTunes, Netflix, Audible, etc. I know. I know. But really, if you aren’t wasting money on lattes, you have to cut somewhere.
Keep a spending journal of everything you buy. Even if you live frugally and think you don’t waste money, you probably do. Writing it down will remind you of your goal. Do you really want that $1.50 soda? At the end of the week, you can see how close you are to your goal of saving $50 per week. Take your saved money and put it in an actual account. If you don’t set the money aside as you do this, your money will easily get spent on something else.
Get a side hustle
If you don’t have much in your budget to cut, then you need to come up with a way to finance your travel expenses. A few side hustles that work for me- blogging and freelance work. You won’t make money from blogging right away, but you can make a decent side income from blogging. It takes time and dedication. I have been writing for 15 years and am working my way back to doing it full-time. If you want to make money right away visit a freelance job site like Upwork. I have used Upwork personally and you can make up to $200-300 week freelance writing, programming, or doing graphic design.
This isn’t for everyone, but I am trying to write ideas that everyday people can use. When I did a Google search for “how to afford a long-distance relationship” I found the ideas were completly useless. I try to write realistic ideas that have worked for me, that are practical. Donating plasma is a way to make money. You have to be smart about it and take care of your body, but you can make up to $300 a month donating plasma.
Start a business with your partner
Did you know you can write off travel expenses on your taxes? You might have known this, but maybe you haven’t thought about how useful this can be if you are in a long distance relationship. How can you start a business with your partner? Talk to him and see what he is interested in. Do you both have a passion for something? Maybe food, games, or politics? Start a web business together and meet up a few times a year to work on your business. Make legitimate business plans for your trip and you can totally write off your “vacation” as a business trip. Travel expenses are legitimate business expenses according to the IRS. These include airfare, lodging, and 50% of your food costs. Make a schedule of your business activities for your records and you are good to go.
Pay for your flights in installment payments
Paying for an airline ticket is expensive. A round trip ticket can cost anywhere from $300-800 depending on where you are going. Airfordable is a payment plan for airline tickets. It’s perfect for couples trying to finance their travel expenses. Lock in your price and pay for your flight in 2 week increments. You pay one affordable upfront payment and up to 4 installment payments.
I tried to avoid writing down the “Captain Obvious” ideas and include practical and real tips that will actually help you to make your long-distance relationship work. If you love that guy (or girl) in your life, you can totally make afford this. You might have to work harder and live tighter than you’d like, but it’s worth it. Let me know what you think of these ideas and if you have creative ideas of your own, I’d love to read them in the comments.