We don’t have any money. Can we still go out to dinner?

My husband “Jack” has been unemployed since February. My take-home covers our mortgage with barely anything left over for our necessary living expenses. We are slowly using up our savings to supplement our income in order to pay for our necessary expenses. Jack just hinted that he’d like to go out to dinner next week to celebrate a friend’s engagement. I know he’ll spend $120+ on the outing, which will come straight from our savings, and I don’t think this is prudent. What would you do? I think he deserves a chance to spend time and celebrate with friends, but this is our family’s livelihood.

What I would do is go to the dinner, be stressed out about how we don’t have any money, have a couple drinks to ease the tension, get tipsy, think, “Oh, hell, you only live once,” have 90 more drinks, and then have a bill of $300. The next morning I would lie in bed and cry for two hours and then eat nothing but Ramen and day-old rolls for three weeks.

So I don’t recommend that you do what I would do.

Instead, you shouldn’t go to the dinner. You should invite your friends over to celebrate at your house, and make hot dogs. It’s still summer, so you can get away with it. Do it now, though, because serving hot dogs to guests in January isn’t cool. I do think, though, that a night out is good for morale, and your husband is probably feeling like a loser because you’re supporting the family and he’s not doing anything. Go for a night out, but do it at a dive bar with a foosball table, not at a restaurant with a bunch of other people who aren’t worrying about how much dinner costs.

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