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Does "special occasion" HAVE to equal "spending money"? - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
When I tell people this, they are aghast. I had someone tell me today I was "taking frugality too far."
My response? "Hm. I'm sorry you feel that way. Just be grateful that this isn't your anniversary."
post #22 of 29
First great thread! Also, Happy Anniversary!

DH and I are frugal and your date sounded like heaven! I can remember even way way back like 20 plus years ago when DH was boyfriend, he would buy me sensible things for xmas, bday etc and he worked with a lady who said he would be better to buy me like a stuffed animal etc. Thankfully he never listened to such advice.

For several years off babies, nursing etc we spent more time in than out but now that our kids are getting older and leaving them behind is much easier and more of an event for them, we are hitting restrnts more for the date aspect and also supporting our local businesses.

Even in BC (before children) we had a frugal way of us. We still would do things that required money, but would find a back door way off having our experiences. Such as we wanted to hit a special restrnt that is $$$$, we might do a lunch. Great musuem? Do they have a free day? But there are rules such as, if its more of a pain and we have to do this and that to save $$$, its not worth it. But if we can make so we can save a few bucks, we choose that way.

Also, we wanted to take a trip this past year alone. Turns out, we had to attend a wedding on the west coast. We had childcare arranged so the wedding also became our trip. It was a few weeks before our anniversary, so we considered it our celebration of our anniversary too and after the weddng headed to another city nearby and enjoyed our time. Worked out well.

Of course, DH and I feel a vacation or special occasion to celebrate- the best way is just relaxing and thinking the hardest decision of the day is deciding on lunch. Make sense?
post #23 of 29
I think your date idea sounds wonderful.
We would love to do that.

I also don't think there is anything wrong with eating out if that's what you want to do either.

We hardly ever eat out, but when we do, we really enjoy it....it honestly doesn't even matter how good the food is (usually). We enjoy any meal we don't have to cook, prepare or clean-up after.
post #24 of 29
Perhaps your cohort are a bit more mainstream than you are? I know I get the looks and such from even my own family when I do not keep greeting cards and don't really buy them often. Typical cohorts of mine think a lot of what I do is weird. They can't fathom living without a TV or pottery barn furniture and all the other stuff of middle class existence. Sometimes it bothers me, those looks, but most times I'm thinking, hey, maybe those guys are getting a new idea based on what they see me do, and maybe it'll save them some money someday.

FWIW--your idea sounds blissful. That's about as wonderful an idea for celebrating togetherness as I've heard lately. Go you.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
It's fun to hear people's experiences with this idea. I do think it's true, the people we see on a regular basis more because they're classmates of dd, etc, ARE much more mainstream and, well, wealthier than us (at least financially). We were able to buy the house we wanted in a neighbourhood with a really great school because we don't have a car, cable TV, etc. We certainly don't feel house-poor and theoretically could buy a car; but for sure, we are less flush than most people in our neighbourhood. Which doesn't bother us at all, but may explain the reactions. It's true, we went to a party for a longtime friend and no-one would bat an eye there. Thanks for that reminder, it's easy to forget sometimes!

Also, I do not want to sound judgmental and that's so easy to do/be. I don't in any way think people are "wrong" for going out to dinner or whatever. I'd just like to separate in my own head the 'celebration' aspect of special events from this perceived pressure to somehow make them special by spending money.

We DID have our wonderful anniversary walk and realized we need to do that particular activity, walking just the two of us, regularly.

And now with Christmas coming, well, I actually love to buy things for dd. But I asked her yesterday to name 3 things besides presents that she was looking forward to at Christmas. She said making cookies, sleeping over at Nana and Granddad's on Dec. 26 and singing carols. Then dh and I did the same thing. We're going to try and focus on those traditions more, while still having fun with gifts.

I'd like to lighten up a bit, though!
post #26 of 29
Glad to hear you went ahead with your plans and had a great time! Love the idea of listing non material things for Christmas and focusing on them.

I wanted to share my birthday story! DH and I were going through sort of a crappy time and didn't have a lot of money. He felt sort of bad that we couldn't do a lot for my birthday but really, all I wanted was to spend time with him away from our apartment (neither of us were working at the time...) We packed up a picnic lunch and went for a walk on a bike trail. Then we went off the trail and followed an atv trail up the mountain. It was only used during winter so it was just us. We climbed really high, could see for miles away, we saw this huge green field (was during early spring before leaves come out) that made me feel like Maria in the Sound of Music and at one point I lost my sandal in some mud and DH rescued it for me. It may have sounded boring and lame to others but we really talked and laughed together. It was awesome! It was the best and most memorable birthday ever and all it cost was whatever food we pulled from the cupboard.
post #27 of 29
No, a special occasion does not have to equal spending money. Do what works for you and others will so what works for them.
post #28 of 29
I hear ya on spending money at restaurants. In theory I do love going out to eat (when we can afford it and have a babysitter, which isn't very often), but I'm a good cook, so it's often hard to justify. $25 for a steak I could make better at home for $12? Although it's almost worth it to hear DH say "Yours is better". Often we end up getting stuff I can't/don't make myself, like venison or duck.

Breakfasts are particularly bad, at least round here. It's not that hard to make decent scrambled eggs, so if I'm paying $12 for a plate I don't want them rubbery and overcooked. Nor do I want soggy bacon.

Anyway, yus, ranting now. I think it's admirable to have frugal celebrations if that's what you enjoy. Unfortunately DH and I tend to revert back to dinner and a movie, because that's what we did when we were dating (and less broke!), and we're boring.
post #29 of 29
I'm going to threadjack just slightly here since so many people are saying dinner and a movie because it is what they've always done or a bit cheaper or whatever. With how expensive movies are now, check out comedy clubs! Really. Many times they are about the same (especially if you consider what you spend on popcorn) or just a little bit more and SO much more enjoyable (in my honest, non-movie fan opinion). We did dinner and a comedy club this year for our anniversary and it was such a nice change of pace.

Carry on...
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