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Am I being a princess?

205 replies

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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namechange165 · 04/04/2022 18:42

@Rob1010 oh for god's sake I hadn't spotted that. Thanks for letting me know. You"d think they would have more exciting things to write about than my marital finances!!

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hungrymutha · 04/04/2022 15:22

Men find it hard to break habits
Imo

Suggest he finds and books a restaurant?

He may come round. £70 isn't that much. You'll probably end up spending close to that on 3 courses anyhow

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Rob1010 · 04/04/2022 14:16

Appreciate your response, maybe I was projecting. Please be aware (if you are not already) that the daily Mail has picked up this story.

www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10673285/Miserly-husband-blasted-refusing-spend-70-meal-celebrating-wifes-40th-birthday.html

Probably the most interesting thing about this is how specific groups have such contrasting views.

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namechange165 · 04/04/2022 12:54

@Rob1010 i think you might be projecting a bit! You might not enjoy a meal out but as I said earlier, this is somewhere he specifically said he would love to go to and in the many years we have been together he has always enjoyed going out to expensive restaurants. It's just we haven't been able to do that for a while so seemed to me it would be an ideal opportunity to do something we both enjoy.

@timeisnotaline I get what you are saying, it is a bit of a jump to start worrying about compatibility. But I started the thread because I couldn't work out why him saying no was bothering me so much, it is only a meal after all. But now that I've thought about it more, it was the instant dismissal, the fact that he didn't even mull it over and then decide it was too expensive. That worries me because it feels like he has shut himself off from ever spending money on non-essentials. He is becoming quite like his parents who never allowed themselves to have any fun - we used to talk about how miserable their life must be as they didn't ever go out and enjoy themselves.

I am finding the debate about the price of the meal interesting. I think it is certainly an extravagance and I wouldn't be spending that amount of money every weekend. But I think a couple of times a year, if eating out is your thing and if you can afford it, then it is perfectly reasonable. And £70pp for something that (I hope) would be really special seems better value to me than £40pp at somewhere less interesting or memorable. I guess it is just what people choose to spend their money on. I'm not really bothered about stuff so I'm quite happy to continue not buying each other birthday/christmas gifts, but would rather spend the money doing something nice together.

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Rob1010 · 04/04/2022 12:02

This thread rings so many bells as my wife does exactly the same thing - Compulsory enjoyment whether I like it or not. I do not enjoy a meal out at the best of times but when the meal is to celebrate an event or set of combined events it puts the fear of god in me. I can accept the reality that my wife is effectively spending £140+ on herself and I can live with that, its the constant questions that I know I will have to endure as she justifies the outing. Are you enjoying yourself? aren't you glad you came? wasn't the food great? And you thought this wouldn't be fun? - Just thinking about it is sending me into a panic.

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TheOriginalMother · 04/04/2022 10:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

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BarbaraofSeville · 03/04/2022 07:15

@KarmaStar

I wouldn't pay £140 + drinks + uber + childcare for one meal out as it's exorbitant and that would feed some household's for two weeks...I'd feel ashamed!
Plus you've got a beautiful new big home it's not as if you have nothing to enjoy,and a family too.this is not enough for you?

But any sort of food out is more expensive than eating at home.

McDonald's costs about a fiver per person but you could still feed a family for several days with porridge, eggs and vegetable and pulse based dishes made at home for the same money.

This is about more than the food, it's a memorable occasion. They could spend similar money going to Alton Towers or a spa or any other type of discretionary experience, but this is what the OP wants to do and she does say her DH also used to like going out for nice meals.

Plus they have the money and have missed out on marking three significant events due to the pandemic.
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Jmaho · 02/04/2022 20:46

@mnetting

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!

My Aunt is like this. She is extremely wealthy in both terms of cash and assets. She eats the cheapest tinned tomatoes on toast for dinner most evenings and tries not to spend any more than £20 a week on food for herself
She was after something recently that she had seen for sale in Aldi (middle aisle type of thing) she could have ordered the exact same item from Amazon for a couple of pounds more but instead she spent most of her day driving round all the Aldis within a 30 mile radius to find it
Didn't matter that she'd spent a furtune on fuel it was the principle.
She also uses the same tea bag again so has a cuppa, then puts in into an empty mug then makes the next cuppa using it again. We're talking about the cheapest own brand tea bags anyway. Its bonkers
She has literally never treated herself to anything and her millions are just going to be left to her children who are all well into their 50's and all done very well for themselves. They think it's madness too
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DogsAndGin · 02/04/2022 20:35

You have £600-800 spare cash a month plus a big bonus coming?! OP, I feel very sorry for you, you should all be enjoying your lives a little bit more than you are - a little token present at crimbo, a little holiday every year. You only live once, and your DH sounds stingey and harsh

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Duchess379 · 02/04/2022 20:33

@KarmaStar

I wouldn't pay £140 + drinks + uber + childcare for one meal out as it's exorbitant and that would feed some household's for two weeks...I'd feel ashamed!
Plus you've got a beautiful new big home it's not as if you have nothing to enjoy,and a family too.this is not enough for you?


Oh, so those doing a bit better than others shouldn't spend some money because it's grotesque ??
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Blossomtoes · 02/04/2022 20:15

@KarmaStar

I wouldn't pay £140 + drinks + uber + childcare for one meal out as it's exorbitant and that would feed some household's for two weeks...I'd feel ashamed!
Plus you've got a beautiful new big home it's not as if you have nothing to enjoy,and a family too.this is not enough for you?

Yes, you be grateful for what you’ve got @namechange165. How dare you want to celebrate a big birthday or wedding anniversary? A night out with a nice dinner? How greedy can you get? McDonald’s and a Coke for you, my girl, how dare you want a treat after years of scrimping? 🙄
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KarmaStar · 02/04/2022 20:02

I wouldn't pay £140 + drinks + uber + childcare for one meal out as it's exorbitant and that would feed some household's for two weeks...I'd feel ashamed!
Plus you've got a beautiful new big home it's not as if you have nothing to enjoy,and a family too.this is not enough for you?

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Kennykenkencat · 02/04/2022 19:56

@LoisLane66

£70 on 6 courses is £10+ per course and they will be tiny. I certainly wouldn't pay that sort of money, not even if I was a multi-millionaire.

You don’t know that.

We once went to a 14 course NYE dinner and the portion sizes were average which with 14 courses ended up being quite a lot.
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Duchess379 · 02/04/2022 19:48

Buy the Fabergé egg instead?! 😉

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PerseverancePays · 02/04/2022 16:47

I think you need a new budget. Previously your budget worked for getting to where you are now, so you need a new one for the next five years or so. Make a budget date night with your husband for a time that works for both of you, and revisit your goals. Apart from all your other goals; pension pots, disaster fund, holidays etc, have a conversation about fun money. It could remove anxiety for him to know that all other goals are being covered when it's time to spend the 'fun' money.
If he doesn't want any fun any more then it's time to book him a counsellor.

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Bertiebiscuit · 02/04/2022 14:05

Bad luck, you seem to be married to scrooge - it will only get worse

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Blossomtoes · 02/04/2022 13:33

@LoisLane66

£70 on 6 courses is £10+ per course and they will be tiny. I certainly wouldn't pay that sort of money, not even if I was a multi-millionaire.

It’s not about you. Some of us would enjoy such a meal and consider it good value, some wouldn’t. Neither is right or wrong.

The issue here is a man who continues to live as frugally as possible despite the household having much more disposable income. And putting that frugality ahead of his wife.
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LoisLane66 · 02/04/2022 10:59

£70 on 6 courses is £10+ per course and they will be tiny. I certainly wouldn't pay that sort of money, not even if I was a multi-millionaire.

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Rosey63 · 02/04/2022 06:39

It’s been 8yrs since a holiday or time on a special treat for just the 2 of you; that long can be habit forming, affect communication and change relationships from what they were before (kids do that anyway!) What about compromising on the high end meal for now, go somewhere you can both enjoy and start to ‘date’ again without any pressure. Sounds like finances are generally sorted, so once you start getting out, it could be more often with the odd ‘splurge’?

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timeisnotaline · 02/04/2022 01:40

Easy tiger on the catastrophising about are we even compatible Grin. It just seems a too far too fast shock for him, I’m sure as you get more comfortable with the lean years being largely behind you he will get back to his old thinking of how nice a meal out is!

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MrsPetty · 02/04/2022 01:23

Tbh I think that sounds really reasonable for a decent meal out. You haven’t had a holiday since 2014 and this is to celebrate three different things …. I’d tell to stop his quibbling or I’ll blow it on a solo spa day!

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Dreambigger · 01/04/2022 23:57

Goodness. He is massively massively overthinking this. I hope things change honestly I wouldn't want to be married to him. Saving is obv sensible and a good idea but he seems to have lost all perspective.

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disconnected101 · 01/04/2022 23:10

I'd go on my own & relish it.

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Kennykenkencat · 01/04/2022 21:57

@Tuskanini

It's not that he doesn't think YOU'RE worth £140, more that he doesn't think a meal can possibly be worth that much.

I tend to sympathise. I've worked around the hospitality industry for a long time, and I'm very cynical about the 'luxury' end of that market. I can't enjoy an evening when I feel I'm being ripped off.

I don’t think £70 for 6 courses with a celebrity chef is a rip off
What is the price you would have thought it not a rip off.

I think the price of the meal was a bargain. Probably why it got booked up so quickly

I do think though namechange165 you do have more problems besides this meal.

The last line in your op

I thought it would be lovely to reconnect a bit. AIBU

Followed by the bit about spending your evenings both looking at your phones and your update which was promises by him of “jam tomorrow” so he doesn’t have to spend time or money today.

You have spent every night in the house. He hasn’t. He has his change of scenery working away every month.

If his only thing he focusses on now is money and watching the pennies then as I said before, he is watching the pennies too closely and missing the fact that if this is the first indication of what your life is going to be then whilst the meal would have cost £300 you are now on your guard that anything fun might not be something you do as a couple anymore.
It could be just a glitch and you will get back to your old selves soon but if you start hearing the word no we can’t do this or that because it is an “extortionate price” then as you say you wouldn’t want this small existence to be your life and a divorce could end up costing him hundreds of thousands of pounds more than a £300 night out

Whilst waiting for him to come good on his promises later in the year (I would want something f**king stupendous to make up for what you have missed out on) I personally wouldn’t want another meal out as it would not be the same
I would want to know what is going to change over the next 6 months that wouldn’t happen if he had just been in agreement to the meal in the first place. Don’t forget a meal at this venue is something you have both talked about which makes him putting it off until later in the year even more off.
It strike me that he talks of what he wants to do but when given the opportunity he runs in the opposite direction in other words he says one thing and does another.
For me I would want a week, just the 2 of you in Barbados to make up for it

You say that his bonus in April is being put in a savings account
I hope that is going in a joint savings account
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ThistleTits · 01/04/2022 21:49

@MrsSkylerWhite

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?

I came to say something similar to the above.
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