This past weekend was my birthday. I turned 31. Being who I am, we did not do too much. I prefer to stay at home which makes it pretty easy to not spend too much money. We got up in the morning and had homemade waffles. Shortly after that I got to open up my birthday gift. My fiancee got me a new tripod, the Manfrotto 190XDB, to go along with my camera.
We decided to go to the local arboretum to spend the day. It was a beautiful California day. It was actually to the point where I was sweating part way through. It must have been in the 80's. I got several good shots with my camera (no shots with the tripod unfortunately) and was ready to call it a day by 2:00 p.m. I was dead tired, the sun will do that to you, so i was ready to go home and just plop on the couch. I watched the NCAA tournament and waited to go to dinner at some mysterious location.
Well the location ended up being the Arroyo Chop House. It is a high-end steak house, similar to Ruth Chris but probably better. We had been there once before several years ago but I honestly did not remember too much about it. This time what stood out was the excellent service they provided. They knew ahead of time that it was my birthday. So they reserved a spot right next to the fireplace. They even left a card on the table wishing me a happy birthday. I thought that was a very nice touch.
I ordered what else, a steak. She ordered a lobster tail. The food was excellent, better than you can get at other places like Ruth Chris. All told, the meal, with two glasses of wine, cost us $150. Was it worth it? It is hard to say. Is it ever OK to spend $150 on one meal? It is not something we do very often but it is sometimes nice to splurge. We can afford it easily, so it is not like we have to stretch to make this work. We probably only eat out like this two or three times a year, my birthday, her birthday, and on our anniversary.
So should we do this? I tend to think it can actually be important to splurge every once in awhile. You cannot be frugal all the time and it is important to once in awhile enjoy the fruits of your labor.
What do you think? Are extravagances like this justified?