Yesterday I took a daytrip with my DH to NYC, something for which we'd had bus tickets for some time. I packed homemade picnic-y foods for lunch. I figured we'd eat one restaurant meal and have a great time as a planned splurge in a year of really good frugal practices. We are serious foodies, so we planned to visit Zabar's, Murray's cheese shop and some other culinary meccas.
The only food we ended up buying as convenience items to eat right away were a bottle of coke, two poppyseed bagels, some smoked salmon shmear, and two on-draught micro-brews for my beer fanatic husband. I just couldn’t see a visit to NYC without some fresh bagels for me or good beer for him. We spent somewhere around $100 on the gourmet items we brought home.
We visited the MoMa for the free Friday evening admission and paid for admission to the Frick. We decided not to eat dinner in the city and instead just head home relatively early. We were gone from 6:30 am to 10 pm.
It felt a little odd spending so freely when I normally keep such strict discipline over my purchases. I told myself that I'd only buy stuff that I had no way of finding in the much more rural area we live in. The feeling of letting go and giving myself permission to spend after living very frugally was so different from the way I used to quieten the twinge of guilt about spending by just telling myself that I deserved these things, or that I would cut back in other areas, which of course I rarely did.
I feel great about the trip. It was a planned excursion with a moderate amount of indulgence. The weather was great. We had both a birthday and anniversary this week, and this was sort of a combination celebration for both. We'll enjoy the stuff we bought for weeks to come. Yes, I wish stuff had been cheaper, or that we'd been able to comparison shop for better prices. But it really feels like we earned this fun, and that it was "all right."