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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?

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sjxoxo · 31/03/2022 12:51

Agree £70 for dinner is not at all extortionate! Above a couple of hundred pp perhaps but £70 is reasonable for an occasion and especially for 6 courses! Go with a friend xox

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namechange165 · 31/03/2022 12:51

@Futuroute I have known him for 22 years so I do think I can presume to have a little bit of an understanding of what he likes and doesn't like. We have talked about this restaurant for a while in a sort of "wouldn't it be amazing if we had the cash to go there" way. Well, now we do have the cash! But I think he just can't snap himself out of that mindset and I'm worried that this is now going to be our life together, with the biggest treat we can muster being a Saturday night takeaway on the sofa, while we both stare at our phones!

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5128gap · 31/03/2022 12:52

@Horriblewoman

Given your update on your savings I think he's being miserly.

But then again I am someone who is lucky enough to consider £70 a person for a 6 course dinner really good value and I'm spending a small part of my bonus taking my husband to a fancy hotel because I want to use it to create lovely memories. The rest is firmly being locked away in savings.

Considering something good value is nothing to do with luck, it's a subjective judgment based on how much you want the thing in comparison to its cost. I'm lucky enough to be able to afford it, but given I don't eat meat, fish or dairy and would be bored to tears having to sit in one place for the duration of 6 tedious courses, it would be exceptionally poor value to me. He's only miserly if he won't spend it on anything at all that's fun, not just on the basis of declining the meal.
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CurlyhairedAssassin · 31/03/2022 12:53

Maybe he's just weighing up whether the enjoyment of it will be worth the extra cost beyond what a standard meal would cost.

I love tasting menus but then I'm not fussy and will just eat what's put in front of me and "Ooh" and "aaah" at the interesting flavours and presentation. DH likes meals out but he's not bothered about "faff", and is more fussy. So he doens't like tasting menus as there is no choice. I go with other people instead!

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Futuroute · 31/03/2022 12:54

Is this going to turn into a thread where 'competitively wealthy' people fall over themselves to say how extremely cheap £70 is for a meal? Grin

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MsTSwift · 31/03/2022 12:54

Sometimes fear of spending can be nearly as bad as being a spend thrift. I see elderly people with literally hundreds of thousands sitting in the bank and no children shopping at Lidl not putting heating on etc. it’s really sad they just cannot spend on anything enjoyable for themselves.

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Phineyj · 31/03/2022 12:57

Oh do it, OP, pay for it yourself. And if DH continues to grump...take your best friend. Or your mum.

I'm doing something a little similar this year for my 50th. I moved house around my 30th, was very pregnant on my 40th and we kind of forgot about our 10th wedding anniversary due to having a baby. I will be paying personally and expect DH to enjoy himself, even though he's not big on special occasions.

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namechange165 · 31/03/2022 12:57

@merryhouse mostly debts from work we had to do on the house. We expected some of the costs when we bought it, but the more we did the more work we uncovered! Plus it all happened at a time when I was on mat leave so didn't have much spare cash. We've been here 6 years now and so should be past that now (obvs there will still be unexpected costs cropping up but won't be a case of having to do everything all at once). The meal would be covered by our disposable income (or my own personal spare cash if I decide to do that), it wouldn't be something that would have to be paid for by getting into debt.

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blobby10 · 31/03/2022 12:58

Having been given a voucher for a very expensive restaurant for my birthday, I can honestly say that it wasn't worth it and I would never now spend the actual money on an expensive meal. I think you may be right that your husband is so used to economising (8 years is a long time) that he's just gone into automatic save mode. i do it all the time! There's always a worry at the back of your mind that 'something' will go wrong in the future and that you will wish you hadn't spent that £50, £100 or whatever on something non essential. Its going to take him some time to get his head around the fact that you aren't as skint now - but he's got to recognise it for himself - you won't be able to force him .

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PixiKitKat · 31/03/2022 12:58

I love going out to tasting menus, if the restaurant is anywhere near Yorkshire please let me know 😁

I've spent more on meals out for special occasions as it's not just the food but the experience, the memories. Trying new food too like this is exciting my husband and I. I'd rather splash out on a few fancy meals a year then go to pizza express every month.

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spuddy56 · 31/03/2022 13:00

[quote namechange165]@spuddy56 how do you think you would feel if your husband surprised you with a meal like this? Do you think you would be able to accept it is a special occasion, the money is taken care of and enjoy it? Or do you think you would be analysing every bite trying to work out how much it is costing you?!

Oh and we most definitely do NOT spend £70 per week on takeaways!!![/quote]
@namechange165 depends entirely on my mood at the time! Which is not helpful I know. I would be ok with it but I can see how he might not. Such a tricky one, and I think with the cost of living being constantly in the news it is really hard to snap out of. It's bonkers the way I've changed from someone who just spent money without feeling guilty, despite never having much, to someone who just can't! A middle ground would be so much better.

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TortugaRumCakeQueen · 31/03/2022 13:01

That's an awful lot to spend on a meal. More so, when you have been so used to scrimping and saving.

I think once you've bought a couple of bottles of wine, taxi's, babysitter etc, you might not get much change out of £300.

Could you compromise, and go somewhere more reasonably priced? For the meantime anyway?

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godmum56 · 31/03/2022 13:03

I don't think you can force him out of his rut. I do thnk you need to TALK TO HIM....remind him of what you used to do and ask him gently what has changed. Assuming he isn't the grinch who stole Christmas there has to be a backstory here.

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PancakePenelope · 31/03/2022 13:03

Sounds like you can afford it but maybe your DH is having difficulty adjusting to this mentally?
I think either suggest that you can pay using your Plum pocket / Vinted money or go through all of the finances with him to show that you can actually do this sort of thing as an occasional treat.
His attitude to spending is probably better than someone who goes crazy and starts splashing out as soon as they have spare cash (me) but there's a quite a lot of middle ground between the two.
Of course, if he is still hell bent on not going and a bit agitated by the suggestion there might be another reason and he is using money as an excuse. Possibly he's not feeling comfortable about going to an event like that after two years of not going out much? You say there's a theme - could this be a fancy dress phobia?!

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TortugaRumCakeQueen · 31/03/2022 13:04

Also, if you DO decide to go ahead, check out the reviews on Trip Advisor first. I was going to book a 6 course tasting meal recently, and it sounded amazing - the reviews were absolutely terrible though! Everyone was saying that the tables were crammed in, and that you were rushed to finish, as it was all about getting people in and out.

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BarbaraofSeville · 31/03/2022 13:04

£70 pp on a really nice dinner for a special occasion doesn't sound hugely expensive seeing as our casual two courses, a pint and a jug of tap water type dinners out have suddenly started costing £60 for the two of us post covid.

That definitely sounds reasonable considering you've missed out celebrating three big life events.

Overall, you'll have a certain amount of spare money after everything else is covered, so eating out however you do it will be affordable from that money. It makes no difference whether it's spent on one really nice dinner or three or four average ones. If you'd rather it's spent that on something really special and you have pasta at home some times to compensate, that's an equally valid choice as spending the same money on something nowhere near as memorable like a chain pub steak a few times a year.

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nearlyspringyay · 31/03/2022 13:04

@araiwa no, I'd go out with a friend to have some fun

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namechange165 · 31/03/2022 13:04

@5128gap I think this is my biggest concern. Of all the things I thought he would be prepared to spend money on, a good meal would be top of the list. So if he won't even do that then where does that leave us?! I can't just not have fun for the rest of my life, I've had 7 years of that and finally feel in a position to enjoy myself again! On the face of it this is just about whether or not to go for a meal, but on a deeper level I wonder if it means we were going to be completely incompatible going forward.

I would be happy to go on my own with a friend, but one of the main objectives was for us to start enjoying ourselves as a couple again now we're out of that intense small kids, no money stage. I'm a bit sad that he doesn't seem to value that any more.

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user1471457751 · 31/03/2022 13:13

I think you should try talking to him again - maybe discuss the medium plan with savings so he can see that you can actually afford this now.

Although perhaps be realistic with the costs. Food is £140 plus bottle of house wine £25, tip £20, babysitting £20 and you mentioned taxis being £40. So you could easily be spending around £250.

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namechange165 · 31/03/2022 13:14

Agree completely re the cost - I think we are looking at around £300 all in. So a lot of money when you're not used to spending much at all.

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TheHoptimist · 31/03/2022 13:19

@user1471457751

I think you should try talking to him again - maybe discuss the medium plan with savings so he can see that you can actually afford this now.

Although perhaps be realistic with the costs. Food is £140 plus bottle of house wine £25, tip £20, babysitting £20 and you mentioned taxis being £40. So you could easily be spending around £250.

Wine isnt £25 a bottle if 6 courses are £70

Not sure wine is £25 anywhere other than 'spoons
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WilsonMilson · 31/03/2022 13:22

He’s being a joyless twat. You need to have a chat about how life is going to be now you have extra money, as if he’s going to continue with the miserly existence he’s gotten used to, then it’s going to be a miserable affair all round.

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McFuckSake · 31/03/2022 13:23

@MrsSkylerWhite

anotherotherone

£70 for six courses is a bargain! Blimey, people spend more than that on takeaways or Starbucks in a week.”

Do they 😳

Which people? That’s staggering.

Very easily done.

A take away for us as a family is about £30 if we get a local Chinese take away or Indian, pizza can be £25ish. It's a lot more if we order from a sit in restaurant for a treat like OP wants to go to. I have health problems that stop me physically being able to cook and if dh is not home til 10/11 or we've had stress with family and been visiting hospitals, it can sometimes be twice a week at £30 a time for the whole family rather than £70 for only one.

I know people who instead of eating out like OP do will order from the same places and it's easily £60 for one takeaway which sounds expensive but it's the exact same food as people paying to eat at tables but without the expense of babysitters and drinks and transport. Friends with sensory issues who usually can't experience restaurants without finding it stressful will order to take out. I don't think it's any more astronomical than actually going out.

Dh brings a Starbucks home once a week at £8 for the both if us. So a bad health week combined with late finishes after long hours in a manual job, we can hit £70. But for two meals fro the whole family. We don't do it every week, but plenty of people eat out more regularly and spend over £70 per meal out but people who say that's expensive get called tightwads.

If it's can be afforded then ordering nice food to to eat at home versus ordering nice food to eat out are both treats and some people's budget allow for eating one weekly, others much less often. Both are fine.
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Sweepingeyelashes · 31/03/2022 13:23

Wanting an expensive dinner after no holidays for 8 years and no celebrations for your 40th birthday and 10 year wedding anniversary is not princessy.

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OverTheRubicon · 31/03/2022 13:24

This site can be a bit surreal. There's another thread full of posters telling a woman she should let her husband go on a £1100 stag trip when they have £2000 in savings and can only save £50 a month, while here someone who now has £600-800 a month extra plus thousands in bonus is being lectured that £70 a head is a huge expense after 8 years of savings....

Personally I don't like expensive dinners, but in this scenario I'd try to put my feelings aside for what should be a special event. He's being a bit mean.

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