I need some insight. I have a friend I met online 4 years ago. She lives in Australia and I’m in America. We clicked from the very beginning and I was instantly attracted to her personality even without seeing her face. When I saw her it was just the icing on a delicious cake and I’ve been falling hard since minute one.
Although it seems like our friendship goes through a cycle. We will go months without talking and then start up again. The conversation gets deeper and deeper until someone catches feelings. Then we stop talking and so on and on. How do I break the bank cycle and stop being afraid and help her stop being afraid? Usually I have to take a break because I don’t have the money to go see her and plans to meet fall through. How do I take it to the next step?
Yikes – that situation is never any fun. I’ve been in a few long-distance relationships before, and they almost always end up having extra complications. It can be even more difficult if you have someone who’s not implicitly your girlfriend, but you still have feelings for her… I’ve never been in that situation with someone that far away, but up until pretty recently I was pretty broke most of the time, so visiting my long-distance girlfriends (and friends) required someone who was going the same way I wanted to go, and hoping they had an extra seat in their car. As you can imagine, that didn’t really happen too often, either.
If you have feelings for her, I really recommend coming right out and telling her how you feel. It doesn’t need to be some grand, romantic gesture (although it certainly can be, if that’s what you want to do). If it were me, I’d sit down and draft something, then write and rewrite it a few times until I was totally sure that what I wanted to say was being expressed well… But if that’s not your style, just say it however it comes into your mind. There’s not really a wrong way to do this, as long as you understand that there are no guarantees about h0w it’ll turn out.
If she does feel the same way, and money is an obstacle for you, it’s possible that she might be willing to help you get the money saved up. If this is something important to you, there are usually things you can cut out of your budget to make room for saving. I don’t know what your specific financial situation is, of course, but most people in the United States are living well above their means, whether because of our ridiculously low minimum wage, high unemployment rates, or just an unrealistic budgeting expectation.
Whichever the cause is for you, setting aside a little bit of money – even if it’s only $5 at a time – will add up over time. I was able to find a flight from the US to Australia for under $300, which would take just over a year to save up, with $5 a week. If she is willing and to pitch in about half, it would take about 7 months – and that’s if you’re each putting in only $5 a week. If you’re able to do $20 a week (each), it’ll take less than two months. Again, I don’t know what your specific financial situation is, or exactly where in the United States you are, but if you’re anything like me, breaking your savings goals into much smaller amounts makes them seem so much more manageable and attainable.
If your bank also offers a “keep-the-change” program (different banks call it different things), I highly recommend taking advantage of this feature, too. For a long time, this was the only type of savings transfers I did… Not that I’m recommending you take this approach. Save up your pocket change at the end of the day. Basically, look for any areas of spending you can reasonably cut, and cut the ones that are less important to you than your long-distance boo. Prioritizing your expenses seems super boring, I know, but I promise it makes it so much easier to save money that way.
I really hope that these tips have helped… Please don’t hesitate to write back in if you need more information about anything I’ve suggested!