Is It OK To Splurge | A Frugie’s Biggest Challenge

Hey everyone, Shannon’s post on Monday rocked didn’t it. Thank you again for a spectacular piece! Shameless Link Love! OK, now onto the article, story, experience, etc…

I Spent More Than $600 On A Fun Saturday

First off, I know many of my personal finance friends may have a dislocated jaw from how fast it just hit the ground. That sounds like a huge deal; and honestly, the morning after I did it, I really questioned if it was the right thing to do. In the end, call it financial justification, call it stupidity, or call it an honestly worthwhile expense (I prefer the latter); I feel like the right decision was made. I’ll explain why in a little bit, but before I do, let me tell how the money was spent.

I Owed Ana Big Time

Ana is really an amazing woman. I’m sure you all know that by now. Something my blogging and side hustle friends also know is that it takes a lot of work to build a blog, a business, and an “I do what I want when I want” income opportunity for yourself. As many of you know, I worked a full time job up until January 1st. On the 1st, after careful consideration of what could happen for better or worse, I decided to quit my job.

When I quit my job, I didn’t stop working as much; as a matter of fact, I started working even more hours. After all, I had to make it, and do it on my own this time. There was no guaranteed paycheck on Friday, there was no insurance, no paid holidays, no weekends, nothing; that is unless I made it happen for myself. Knowing this, I’ve poured countless hours into the businesses I’ve created.

Unfortunately, that’s taken a ton of time away from Ana. I find myself saying, “I’m going to work until 10 tonight baby, I’m sorry” quite a bit. And her reaction every time has been,”Why are you saying sorry, I know what it takes to make money” or something to that effect. She’s never complained about the hours I spend working, or not having enough time. She just supports me and enjoys the time we do have.

With that said, we haven’t been out much lately. Sure, we’ll go play pool, or go to the island with friends; but we haven’t really had a date in a very long time. I figured it was time.

How The Date Went

The date started by driving to the top of Mt. Hood in the morning with Sweetness, our beautiful little border collie! We went to a few different lakes, enjoyed a scenic drive and had some great conversation. When we got back home, we decided that the date didn’t have to end there and Ana started getting prettied up to go down town.

3-D Glow In The Dark Put-Put Golf

OK, this was friggin awesome everyone. The entire place is lit by black lights and has glowing painted decorations. The neatest thing is, for a buck fifty extra a person, you can buy 3d glasses and really make it an awesome experience. There was a wait, so we started off with a drink at a bar in the same building while we waited…what better way to make put-put more fun?

Before we started playing, we made a deal that we would keep our glasses on the whole time…if they come off, you lose. That’s because the bar tender told us that it was disorienting, and we saw it as a challenge. Anyway, technically Ana lost! She took her glasses off as I got disoriented and started to walk through a thin ramp made for golf balls that started to crack under my feet. Nonetheless, she loses. However, if we go by the score cards, she got her ball in the 18 wholes with 1 less stroke than me….so she got a victory too!

Adult Arcade

No, I’m not talking about nudity games.  In downtown Portland, there’s an adult arcade that sells mixed drinks and offers games like Mario Cart, Donkey Kong, Mortal Combat, Pac Man, pinball machines…literally all the classics. We spent about an hour, maybe an hour and a half there and had a blast.

Our $336 Meal

This was the most expensive part of the night. We budgeted plenty of money and it started to get late. We were forced to make the decision to eat cheap and party all night, eat expensive and go home and enjoy each other’s company, or eat cheap, grab a movie, and go home anyway. We hadn’t been to a nice restaurant in a while, so we decided we would go all out and splurge on the finest dining…”meah” Pinkies up everyone!

We walked around downtown looking for a place to go and finally asked a door man at an 5 star hotel where we could find a “nice restaurant”.  He asked that question every frugal man trying to show his lady a good time hates to hear…”How much money do you plan to spend?” First off, how do you even answer that question. Here’s the choices I see…

  • I’ve got plenty of money, call your goons to come rob me!
  • I’m broke, but it’s all good.
  • Finally and the one I went with – I’m not quite sure, I don’t want to think about it.

So, the doorman sent us to an Argentine Steakhouse called El Gaucho. Here’s a link to their menu. As you can see, we’re not talking about Applebees prices. By the way, the menu is al la cart. If you want basic mashed potatoes with your main entree, that’s going to be an extra $9 or $24 if you want lobster in them.

When we were seated, we looked ahead of us and saw a father and son team playing guitar live. My dad is a guitarist and they played the same type of music I remember falling asleep to as a kid years ago. It was amazing how much that made me think of my dad and how great he made my childhood. Of course, I had to buy their CD!

The atmosphere was great and the service was better. Ana got to do some wine tasting, I had a few awesome cocktails, and a glass of wine for myself; not to mention the food was amazing! I had Lobster and potatoes while Ana had Steak and Asparagus. The sides were big enough for two, so really, we each had both of the sides. In the end we enjoyed 2 and a half hours of pure ecstasy.  We had a compelling conversation over an amazing meal. We didn’t have to ask for a new fork if one fell, or a refill of water. These guys were like ninjas. They’d wait till you turned your head and reach quickly over your shoulder to fill your glass before you even knew they were there!

The bill came, and it was what I expected to see. $286 in great food, great drink, great service, and great music for 2 and a half hours. We left a $50 because they deserved it. So, the final bill came out to $336 for dinner. If we break this down, we spent about $67.20 per hour per person to have an amazing experience.

Why I Believe There’s Nothing Wrong With Our Splurge Day

There are a few reasons I think this splurging was OK. Here they are.

  • Income – To my surprise, June income was absolutely Amazing. We were able to do our normal saving, pay all of our bills, eat, and still put an extra $1,000+ into savings for our wedding. The marketing firm is really blowing up, and I’ve got my hands in a few other businesses at this point…The work is finally starting to pay off!
  • Savings – I far exceeded the savings goals I had for myself in June. When I say that, I mean I tripled them! Sure, I could have went for 4 times the goal, but I personally think I did great!
  • Ana Deserved It! – As I mentioned above, Ana is incredibly supportive of just about everything I do. She’s not paid to be supportive, she’s that way because she loves me. However, she sacrificed just as much, if not more than me when it comes to the business, our savings, and more. It was time to pamper her!
  • I Deserved It! – It’s been a long time since I spent any real money on myself. I’m a firm believer in the concept that if you make it, don’t blow it; but always remember to spend something on yourself. Since I’ve been spending just about nothing, the something should have added up at this point to something big. So there frugies!

What Do You Think?

Now that you’ve got the run down, do you think I made the right or wrong decision by deciding to splurge? Let me know in the comments below…don’t worry, I won’t bite you if you disagree with my views!

Great Posts From Around The Blogosphere

Prioritizing Your Debts: It’s Why And How – I’m a new follower of Finance Wand; and I found this post to be pretty interesting. It some great tips and background information when it comes to prioritizing debts.

Is The 401K Broken – I read the first paragraph and saw “Jim Kramer got it wrong…” what, what, what, is that even possible? This one’s a must read from Stacking Benjamins.


11 thoughts on “Is It OK To Splurge | A Frugie’s Biggest Challenge”

  1. I used to say I deserved it all the time and overspent years ago. Now I have a difficult time spending because it is a tough balance for us frugie’s but what we do now is “plan our fun.” I definitely think that all work and no play makes us all dull people, so we should plan for and budget for spending. We put extra cash or “surprise money” away so when we feel like indulging or having fun we know we can afford it and not feel bad about it. Your day with Ana sounds amazing and I am glad that you got to enjoy your hard work! I am also glad you enjoyed the post on Monday! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think splurging every once in a while is okay. I would’ve tried to use a groupon, but that’s besides the point.

    If you have a hold on your financial situation and realize that splurging is a once an a blue moon event, then why not enjoy yourself. Life is meant to be enjoyed and if it didn’t hurt your finances I say good for you.

    Just try no to do it every weekend.

  3. There’s a reason you work hard every day…and it’s to be able to enjoy life. If you have the cash, it fits in your budget, and you think that it will bring you the appropriate amount of enjoyment or value then go for it!

  4. It’s nice to be able to treat yourselves after you’ve made such great strides with your business and savings goals. I agree with you that I see nothing wrong with rewarding yourself. I think everyone needs a little celebration when goals are met and in your case exceeded.

  5. The splurge day sounds amazing. I want to look for the 3D putt-putt around here! (Indy) I might have chosen to go to a hotel for the night instead of the fancy dinner, but that’s just personal preference. You worked for it and your lady definitely deserved it!

  6. That sounded like a wonderful splurge day!!!! You definitely have deserved it! It’s okay to splurge every now and then after working so hard plus it helps keep you going on your goals. I know I definitely have my moments when I really want to splurge and if its worth it then I do! The rest of my days are frugal which offset the few days in the year of splurging.

  7. Awesome. I have no problem with that meal at all. Some of my best meals have been really, really expensive. The funny thing? Better than the food (which I remember a little) is the great time we had, which I remember a LOT.

    I didn’t know you were from Portland. Do you know Kathleen (Frugal Portland)? Of course, there are tons of bloggers in Portland.


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