A Time I Splurged and was Glad I Did

The following is a guest post from Money Sanity, about making the best of opportunities, living frugally, prioritizing, planning and preparing for an uncertain future. The post is part of Yakezie Blog Swap #3, with the topic “A time you splurged and were glad you did”. 

Those who know me well describe me financially as frugal, cheap, a tightwad. I agree with all of those characterizations wholeheartedly. Since I don’t make big money and can’t spend tons of money like people I know, I need be frugal and save in order to get by. While most people are out buying designer clothing – in season, I am just as happy buying no name clothes on a holdover sale from the last season – with a coupon – from the markdown rack. This in some ways is a blessing as I don’t need a lot. Neither does my wife or children. While we all like material things, and probably wish we had more, none of us is materialistic.

But that said, it is not healthy to constantly be watching every penny, to have things so calculated down to the last cent. There needs to be times when it’s good to let loose and splurge on something that is completely frivolous and non- essential. For often these are the moments when you can be spontaneous and live a little bit more.

The thing I find myself splurging on, every now and then, is Taittinger Champagne – Brut, and dinner at a fine restaurant, and that’s what this story is all about.

The first time I had Taittinger Champaign was Valentine’s Day weekend 1987. I wanted to make it a special occasion for my girlfriend – future wife. We had been dating about a year, and on the previous Valentine’s Day 1986, I had bought her something, but we were not a couple at that time.  So this was our first valentine’s day together and I wanted to show my affection and made reservations, at a nice restaurant, Bully Boy Chop House, Congers NY, and bought a bottle of Taittinger Champaign, which I knew was her favorite. Now at this time of my life, dinner at this restaurant and Champaign was a large financial sacrifice for me, a college student – probably about 2 weeks pay. So we ordered, two lobster tails and prime rib, and some appetizer that I can’t recall. :)

Whether or not the Champaign played a role, that night was magical, and worth every penny. We talked for hours and had a beautiful evening. Needless to say, the Bully Boy got a lot of business from us back then. Always ordering Lobster tails and prime rib that we could hardly afford and drinking a bottle of Taittinger Champaign. We married a few years later and the rest is history. Through the years and to this day, although we still can’t afford it, I treasure the maybe once, sometimes twice a year, when we get to go out to a nice restaurant, and bring an overpriced bottle of Taittinger, For doing so brings me right back to that night, when we were young, and didn’t have a care in the world.


  1. says

    Splurging on a nice restaurant occasionally is hardly regrettable! We always have a memorable experience when we choose to go to one of our favorites. I remember our first time going and just being blown away. It’s special when a restaurant can make you feel that way.

  2. says

    We’re thinking along the same lines. My blog swap post is also about great memories on special restaurant dates. Two weeks’ pay is a huge chunk of cash, but obviously worth it.

  3. says

    Splurging has a different connotation to me, negative! The first time I spent a lot of money was for my wife’s (then girlfriend of 3 years) engagement ring. To put it in context, it cost me the equivalent of two (2) months salary at the time. I even had a special deal! When I had it appraised, it was worth twice what I paid for it. It seemed like a fortune to me. I took it out of savings, I guess that is why I remember how hard it was to spend it. I was less concerned about the decision to get married than spending this huge sum of money. Maybe because it was the first time! No regrets, we have been married 42 years.

  4. says

    Man, now I’m sorry I missed this swap.
    Quite a few romantic splurges.

    The first time I splurged on the Mrs. was when she flew up to visit me after I got a job. I got a dozen of really nice long stem roses and went to get her at the airport. This was back when you can go to the terminal and I kept beeping so the security guard had to frisk me. Imagine a guy spread eagle holding a dozen roses getting frisked. Everyone was smirking. :) The Mrs. was very happy to see me with flowers for her. I’ve never purchased flowers for her before, we used to be poor students you know.

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