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Am I being a princess?
205

namechange165 · 31/03/2022 11:02

DH and I both earn decent salaries but have had a tight few years financially, with a couple of kids in full time childcare, a bit of debt to pay off, taking on a higher mortgage and a house that needs some work, etc. So although we have managed, we've been on an economy drive with no spare cash for fun things - no holiday since 2014, only the very occasional dinner out (maybe once every 3 months) to cheap places with the kids so we don't have to pay for a babysitter, no birthday/christmas presents for each other. Finally, the youngest child is now at preschool, we've paid off the debts, remortgaged at a better rate and finished doing the most expensive jobs in the house. We now have an extra £600-£800 per month, and will have even more come September when the youngest starts school. DH will also receive a 4 figure bonus at the end of April.

We both turned 40 during lockdown and had our 10 year wedding anniversary, but didn't do anything to celebrate. Now that we can afford it, I suggested going out to a fancy restaurant that we have both talked about going to for ages. It's not cheap, £70pp for 6 courses, but given it is to mark a total of 3 special occasions I thought we could push the boat this once. But he has reacted as though I have suggested blowing £50k on a faberge egg or something.

Apparently we absolutely cannot afford to do something so extravagant and it is a ridiculous suggestion to waste so much money on just one meal. I now feel like an unreasonable, spoilt princess for even suggesting it. But I also feel really deflated. What is the point in working so hard to have this spare cash if we can't enjoy at least a bit of it? We don't spend any real time together between the kids, work, housework and aside from the treat of going out for dinner I thought it would be lovely to reconnect a bit. AIBU?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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CareBear50 · 31/03/2022 12:01

He sounds v controlling and miserly. But why is he so afraid of spending money? I'm serious. Is there a back story here?

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incognitoforthisone · 31/03/2022 12:02

YANBU at all. You've paid off your debts and have considerably more disposable income, and you've been economising for years.

Also £70pp isn't extortionate for a six-course meal, and it's a restaurant you've both talked about wanting to try.

I think it's one of those things that really depends on how much you value an experience rather than a possession. I would rather spend £140 on a really lovely, special meal as a treat for me and my DP than on, say, a handbag. Similarly, in the unlikely event that I got a sudden windfall, I'd rather spend it on a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience than an expensive car. So I'm guessing that your partner just sees a meal as a 'waste' because it's something less tangible and permanent than the kinds of things he values - that's fair enough, but it's absolutely not fair of him to tell you you're being ridiculous for feeling otherwise! You're not being remotely unreasonable or spoilt or demanding by suggesting you spend some money - money that you can afford to spend - on a experience you'd enjoy.

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MrsSkylerWhite · 31/03/2022 12:05

We’ve not had spare for a long time, will fairly soon. After some close to the wire times, though, I won’t feel comfortable spending on frivolous stuff until we’ve built up a bit of a cushion. Maybe he feels the same way?

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Tohaveandtohold · 31/03/2022 12:07

Life is for living. I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy oneself once in a while but working so hard.

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Ragwort · 31/03/2022 12:08

Like a PP said, people have different views on how to spend money, I would personally find that a huge amount of money to spend on a meal ... do you have savings, pensions etc? I am very financially cautious and would never spend that sort of money on a 'treat' unless I had solid savings etc behind me ...particularly if I've had a few difficult years .... perhaps your DH feels the same?

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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 31/03/2022 12:11

Sounds like he's got so used to saving money he's forgotten how to splash out occasionally. And probably won't enjoy it through to worrying about money.

(But don't forget to budget for drinks too)

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Ragwort · 31/03/2022 12:12

The issue is that even if you do now go, you will know he won't really be enjoying it.

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KatsuKatsu · 31/03/2022 12:13

Urgh he's so tight. You have the money now

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KatsuKatsu · 31/03/2022 12:13

Go with someone else so it's only £70 you're spending

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Futuroute · 31/03/2022 12:15

I don't think YABU as such, but it sounds as though it's not something your husband would enjoy - a question of you liking different things. I can see why he might not want to spend a fortune on something he wouldn't like - bearing in mind these are joint celebrations.

I would see if it would be possible to compromise on a less expensive meal.

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namechange165 · 31/03/2022 12:16

@CareBear50 he generally isn't controlling. I'm not sure if he has just gotten so used to economising that now it is too much of a shock to the system to spend that sort of money on something that is so frivilous? @MrsSkylerWhite is possibly correct about how he feels re spending vs saving.

But we have agreed to put his full bonus into savings, and have built up a smallish pot over the past few months. I also have some spare cash in a Plum pocket from rounding up transactions which would be enough to cover the cost of the meal (if not the extras like taxis and babysitter). Saving up for a few months to go somewhere really special together is something we used to do all the time pre-kids, and while I'm not suggesting we do it all the time, once in a while would be amazing.

I should also mention that the meal is a special event at the restaurant based on a theme that we both like, and won't be happening until mid-May, so we do have another month or so to to save.

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Ipadflowers · 31/03/2022 12:16

I’m on the fence. How much savings do you have? I can see why if you had debt and have struggled he might wish to build up a savings pot and not splash out like this, 140 quid is before drinks, baby sitter, transport if required etc, but I also see why you wish to do it.

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araiwa · 31/03/2022 12:19

Have you asked him what he wants to do?

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ParkheadParadise · 31/03/2022 12:20

I would go for a meal with a friend.
I can't stand a tight miserable man.
No one knows what their future holds you could be dead next week🙈
Enjoy your meal 🥂🥂

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namechange165 · 31/03/2022 12:20

Actually, with the money I have in my Plum pocket, and some money I have from selling a few bits on Vinted, I probably have enough to cover the full cost myself. While I don't want to get into the habit of paying for everything, I wonder if I should just book it as a surprise and then closer to the time tell him that I have booked it and it is all taken care of. Would that be a terrible idea? I think once he is out he will remember that he actually likes eating nice food and having fun - I think he is just stuck in a rut and maybe needs forced out of it.

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MalFunkshun · 31/03/2022 12:21

@CareBear50

He sounds v controlling and miserly. But why is he so afraid of spending money? I'm serious. Is there a back story here?

🙄

OP it sounds as if he’s developed a mental habit of being in ‘scrimping / saving’ mode and is finding it hard to come out of there. I’ve been there myself - even when you logically know you have more money coming in, changing gear is really hard to do.

What helped for me was sitting down and forensically going through outgoings and adding up all the possible ‘worst cases’ eg massive car repair to see what we were left with at the end. Once I’d seen it on paper (and had a couple of months of the new incomings) I trusted it more and was able to start lightening up on expenditure. Maybe worth a shot with him?
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Ipadflowers · 31/03/2022 12:22

Sorry how much exactly is the smallish pot of savings and how much do you save monthly? Will this meal still allow you your monthly savings

In my experience often people are incompatible with money, one wants to focus on building a buffer so that they can ride out any unexpected issues and the other is a spendthrift.

I think an idea of the scale of the savings and the plan will help.

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Divebar2021 · 31/03/2022 12:22

What is the point in working so hard to have this spare cash if we can't enjoy at least a bit of it?

Exactly. What is the point? I would never let an event like a birthday go by unmarked even if it was with a tiny gesture. Some people do not care about the quality of the occasion they are so focused on the cost. They would rather eat shit food or sit at home or sit at home again. I love a special meal occasionally and would go with a friend if he was going to be miserable about it.

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Futuroute · 31/03/2022 12:23

@ParkheadParadise

I would go for a meal with a friend.
I can't stand a tight miserable man.
No one knows what their future holds you could be dead next week🙈
Enjoy your meal 🥂🥂

I have to laugh at the idea of being unwilling to spend £140 on a meal for two being 'tight'.
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5128gap · 31/03/2022 12:24

If he won't spend £140, that you can now afford, in order to treat yourselves, then he is being unreasonable. If its just that he doesn't want to spend it on this particular thing, then maybe not. Some people, myself included, are just not that into food, and a £70 dinner would feel wasteful ( I doubt I'd tell the difference between that and a £20 one tbh) but I'd be happy to spend it on something I did think worth it. I agree with pp, ask him what he would like to do.

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MrsSkylerWhite · 31/03/2022 12:25

ParkheadParadise

I would go for a meal with a friend.
I can't stand a tight miserable man.
No one knows what their future holds you could be dead next week🙈
Enjoy your meal 🥂🥂“

Or have an unexpected expense but you’ve spent the money on a night out. 🤷‍♀️

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ThinWomansBrain · 31/03/2022 12:25

If he feels uncomfortable with it (and it will be a lot more than £70pp - service, wine, coffee, babysitter, possibly a cab) - and there is now tension about it, odds on neither of you will enjoy it.
I do understand not wanting to blow upwards of £200 on a meal out if you've only recently got out of debt - however miserly that sounds.
Have a conversation about the budget and compromise on something less expensive.
I do eat out quite a lot, mix of cheap and pricey. I went to an amazing independent italian restaurant at the weekend - I just had one course pre-theatre, but a couple could easily have enjoyed a three course meal with wine for around £100 - I'm definitely planning to re-visit when I have more time.

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Shoxfordian · 31/03/2022 12:26

He sounds quite cheap
I don’t think you should have to pay for it all

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nearlyspringyay · 31/03/2022 12:26

£79 for six courses isn't expensive.

I'd go with a friend. There has to be a balance between sensible and living an enjoyable life.

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mnetting · 31/03/2022 12:27

Some people are just like that my parents have around a million in assets but go to car boot sales and shop in charity shops and only ever eat at weatherspoons or buy things that are in the sale.
They save every penny I guess it's like collecting stamps to them they just don't want to spend any of it.
You obviously work very hard for your money so put your foot down and say I'm taking you out for a treat and then book it, he'll enjoy it when he gets there and it's a one off.
Remind him you are making memories!

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