The main reason I’ve been absent from EPF and the blogosphere generally is that Kyle defended his PhD last week! You may now address him as Dr. Kyle. (Not that kind of doctor.) (Just kidding. We can all call him Kyle after just this one post.)
Dr. Kyle has been working toward this moment for nearly seven years. It’s just staggering all that went into this accomplishment. I can’t even tell you. I’m so proud of him!
We marked the occasion of Dr. Kyle’s defense with each of our families of origin plus some extended family members coming into town to attend his defense seminar and several other events we organized – a post-defense dinner out at a nice restaurant, a gathering at a local bar that evening to which our friends stopped by, and a brunch at our house the following day. Additionally, Dr. Kyle’s parents were in town for a week, so we went out to eat with them at least once per day. I’m exhausted just listing all the events!
Needless to say, we’ve been spending a bunch of money on all these events. Dr. Kyle’s parents have been extremely generous to pay for many of the meals, but we still picked up a couple of small tabs and paid for the food we served at our 11-person brunch. Going beyond the celebrations themselves, graduating also involves some other random only-sort-of-optional costs like printing copies of Dr. Kyle’s dissertation ($50 each), a frame for his diploma ($150-200), and (possibly) a gown and hood for the graduation ceremony ($600ish). (Dr. Kyle will officially receive his diploma in September and has the option to walk in the graduation ceremony next May.) I even bought Dr. Kyle a card and small gift to mark the occasion – I didn’t let our joint finances spoil the secret, either.
I’m not complaining, just observing. Thankfully, we had the cash flow this month to cover the food and we have our general savings that we can dip into for the graduation stuff if necessary. I wasn’t really aware of some of these costs until they were upon us so we didn’t save specifically in advance as I prefer to. Spending money is totally worth it for this once-in-a-lifetime milestone; I’m grateful that we have the financial flexibility to take on that attitude.
What were the one-time costs you incurred around your graduation(s)? Do you think celebratory spending is worthwhile and how do you afford it?