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.