Author Topic: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY  (Read 8917 times)

bigalsmith101

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Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« on: January 09, 2017, 11:47:09 PM »
This past Friday wifey and I got late notice that my friend was coming into Seattle from Alaska with his sister in law and her friend for the weekend. All three are from Belarus, two now live in Alaska where they earn Alaskan wages, the third (friend) was visiting from Minsk. None of them had really toured Seattle before and were all excited. He intended to show them a good time and my wife and I were keen to join them. I invited my best friend and his gf, and his brother as well who happened to fly in the same night, so it was a great time all around.

It started Friday night with wifey and I joining them in downtown Seattle (25 miles south of where we live) for a walk around town to several bars where we all consumed lots of booze.  I drove them all around in my '97 Grand Marquis. Yes we crammed them all in (4 in back 4 in front), it was hilarious.

We managed to keep our expenses down to $41 for the night out, pretty tame in comparison to what my Alaskan friend and my buddy spent, so we called it a win.

Saturday we watched football with her family and enjoyed a lazy day and had a birthday dinner for her at her parents house.

Then, Sunday my buddy asked if we wanted to join them for a dinner reservation at the Space Needle. I said yes, because it's wifey's birthday on the 10th, and figured we could live it up for the night. Also, I picked up donating plasma again for easy money and decided to spend it. We joined them a bit early for a underground tour which my friend graciously paid for. Then we walked over to the Columbia Tower to go up to the observation deck, but decided to not pay the $15/each to go up. Not worth it! Then we drove over to the Chihuly Glass Museum which was an awesome free exhibit directly beneath the Space Needle.

On to dinner. We go up the Space Needle (which, without dinner reservations costs $25!!!), and are immediately seated. The Space Needle restaurant spins around 360* every 47 minutes. The views of Seattle are awesome, and Elliot Bay, and Lake Union. The menu prices are also intense! Appetizers cost $12-$18, Entrees are $46-$99. A three course meal is offered at $74/person...

Well, we all went ahead with the three course meal option, my buddy bought a $38 bottle of Malbec which we toasted to Kristi for her birthday, and we all spent 2.5 hours enjoying great company eating great food. At the close of the evening the check came and it was $448! My friends sister in law and her friend had never seen a bill that high in their entire lives. They are from Belarus, where a good salary pays $500/mo. Our table had just eaten/spent a months salary of a Belarusian corporate worker. Apartments are $150/mo! 3 months rent on food! My friend runs a successful real estate business in Alaska, and is equipped financially to pay for this kind of excursion and he paid for the two ladies, but they were flabbergasted nonetheless. I could tell that our new friend visiting from Belarus was very seriously grateful for the experience, as she would never do this on her own.

My wife and I paid $210 for our meals, including a tip, and half of the bottle of wine. HA! HAHAHA!

So, this weekend ran a tab of $251, plus about $13 in fuel. Our only rationalization is that in the past 6 months we've spent less then $50 at restaurants, so our running tally is still $50/mo. Which is $250 higher than it would have been otherwise...

So, FACEPUNCH away, as we all agreed we wouldn't do it again, but still somehow feel like it was worth the adventure!

The plus side is that Wifey thoroughly enjoyed her birthday weekend, and we've already maxed our IRA's for the year. Now to fight spending inflation while I net $3200/year donating plasma ($6400 if/when wifey joins the party :)

kms

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 05:47:26 AM »
So, FACEPUNCH away, as we all agreed we wouldn't do it again, but still somehow feel like it was worth the adventure!

The plus side is that Wifey thoroughly enjoyed her birthday weekend, and we've already maxed our IRA's for the year. Now to fight spending inflation while I net $3200/year donating plasma ($6400 if/when wifey joins the party :)
Fascinating. Munich has a revolving restaurant on top of the Olympic Tower as well, and when my wife and I went there a few weeks before we left Munich for good we spent roughly $200 for two meals and some wine as well.

I'd like to as about that blood plasma though: where do you make that much money donating blood plasma???

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 06:48:51 AM »
Not facepunch worthy to me. That's $251 for 3 days. Including a birthday dinner. I know people who spend $500 for dinner for 2. Once a month.

I think it was time and money well spent. And I know you enjoyed it immensely.


bigalsmith101

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 07:43:55 AM »
I'd like to as about that blood plasma though: where do you make that much money donating blood plasma???

I donate plasma at a Biomat Plasma donation center in Everett, Washington. They reimburse you $25 the first donation of the week and $40 the second donation. They pay the first 5 donations at $50,$50,$50,$50, $75 as an incentive to keep coming in. So it's actually $3500/yr if you go twice a week without fail. So we could generate $7k for a few hours a week. Best part is that the donation center is less than 2 miles away.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 07:46:03 AM »
Not facepunch worthy to me. That's $251 for 3 days. Including a birthday dinner. I know people who spend $500 for dinner for 2. Once a month.

I think it was time and money well spent. And I know you enjoyed it immensely.

Well, we could have easily have gone to an equally tasty restaurant that has good food, and stuffed our faces, and spent less than $100 between the two of us. So....

It was still nice though :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 10:04:35 PM by bigalsmith101 »

kms

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 08:05:30 AM »
Thanks for the tip, I'll have to look into the plasma donation centers here in Austin and figure out how much they pay. That sounds like a pretty neat way to make some extra cash. I've already donated blood a few years ago but didn't get any compensation, so I didn't even know people get paid to give plasma.

gimp

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 03:52:14 PM »
What's money for if not occasionally enjoying cool shit?

If someone has a habit of spending serious money eating out, that's completely different from someone visiting from halfway across the world (Minsk) and going up to one of the coolest tourist things you can do on the west coast in a city.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 03:57:56 PM »
Honestly, it sounds like money well spent to me. Sorry, no facepunch from me, either!

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 07:13:45 AM »
By avoiding the spendier extras such as the observation deck, you made the experience as frugal as it can reasonably be while still providing a phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime experience to everyone involved.

Should I ever take my daughter to Seattle, I fully expect to treat her to the Space Needle. Part of the point of travel is doing all the awesome things that make for good pictures and unforgettable memories. That means national parks, historical sites, and once in a while something expensive such as a legendary dinner at a famous place or even a theme park.

The point of travel is not to sit in a hotel room. Frankly that can be done just as cheaply closer to home, and aside from some minor variety in decoration when you've seen the inside of one hotel room you've seen them all.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 10:21:17 PM »
Damn guys, you make it all sound like it's just another walk in the park. To be honest, wifey and I rarely spend money on ourselves, which means when we do, we always try to make sure that we're enjoying whatever it is we're doing proportionately to the dollars spent. It can be a lame viewpoint sometimes, as we know that if we weren't so aware of our money, we might enjoy the activity a bit more.

With a savings rate approaching 55% and likely to increase this year, I still have a hard time letting loose once in a while. I'm working on it though!

Thanks for the insight!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 05:25:27 PM by bigalsmith101 »

EarlThePearl

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 04:53:23 AM »
I think that sounds like a great and memorable night out. If it were monthly, I'd say get your mouth guard ready, but with guests/birthday totally worth it.

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 06:00:52 AM »
While it was a good chunk of money, if you enjoyed the experience, I think it's well worth it at least the one time.  I think of it as better to spend money on experiences rather than things, which is what that was.

Many years back I had a birthday brunch at the Space Needle.  I thought it was awesome, and still remember it being a fun experience after all these years.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 06:55:21 AM »
MMM himself had a post about one spendy night out with friends. His takeaway was that once you're in a financial position to not worry about the one-off expense, don't worry about it! Appreciate the unusual experience, and return to your normal, awesome, financially optimized life.

This was rare, you both thought it was worth it, and you're saving good money. Great! Just keep fighting the good fight against spending inflation.

SeaEhm

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 12:36:41 PM »
Thanks for the post!

Very interesting twist in regards to the Belarus finances/expenses. 

They will go back to Belarus and talk about these super wealthy Americans who threw money around like it was nothing. 

(Not sure if your car would be considered a Limo, or luxury sedan, even by their standards though, haha)

I went to a similar restaurant in Toronto. (CN Tower)  For the price of admission to get to the top of the tower, I would rather eat at the restaurant! 

I will pay $100 for a good meal before I pay $25 to ride an elevator. /myirrationallogic at work

arebelspy

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2017, 07:26:39 AM »
MMM himself had a post about one spendy night out with friends. His takeaway was that once you're in a financial position to not worry about the one-off expense, don't worry about it! Appreciate the unusual experience, and return to your normal, awesome, financially optimized life.

This was rare, you both thought it was worth it, and you're saving good money. Great! Just keep fighting the good fight against spending inflation.

+1!

Here is the article in question:
Give Yourself the Gift of Not Worrying About Money
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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2017, 07:38:34 AM »
Not facepunch worthy to me. That's $251 for 3 days. Including a birthday dinner. I know people who spend $500 for dinner for 2. Once a month.

I think it was time and money well spent. And I know you enjoyed it immensely.

+1 Love the picture.

Totally worth it, bigalsmith101. Don't worry about it.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2017, 07:51:18 AM »
something i need to learn to do is enjoy spending a bit like this.  it makes me sick to my stomach when we do something along these lines even if it is an awesome experience.  i wish i could enjoy it.  i need to work on this part of my psyche. 

bebegirl

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2017, 02:48:19 PM »
Do you know that you can go up to 40th floor of Columbia Tower for free? There is Starbucks there with a very beautiful view ))

I see nothing here to face punch yourself. You gotta enjoy your life and your money. We were not given a life draft. We were given only one life.

I never face punch myself for saving money in advance for my regular vacation somewhere in Italy, or Greece, for example. This makes me happy, healthy and puts smile on my face. It take away stress and thus saves money on the healthcare ))

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2017, 01:44:19 AM »
Do you know that you can go up to 40th floor of Columbia Tower for free? There is Starbucks there with a very beautiful view ))

I see nothing here to face punch yourself. You gotta enjoy your life and your money. We were not given a life draft. We were given only one life.

I never face punch myself for saving money in advance for my regular vacation somewhere in Italy, or Greece, for example. This makes me happy, healthy and puts smile on my face. It take away stress and thus saves money on the healthcare ))
A free ride to Starbucks? Still seems like a loss...

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2017, 09:29:08 AM »
Well, we all went ahead with the three course meal option, my buddy bought a $38 bottle of Malbec which we toasted to Kristi for her birthday, and we all spent 2.5 hours enjoying great company eating great food. At the close of the evening the check came and it was $448! My friends sister in law and her friend had never seen a bill that high in their entire lives. They are from Belarus, where a good salary pays $500/mo. Our table had just eaten/spent a months salary of a Belarusian corporate worker. Apartments are $150/mo! 3 months rent on food! My friend runs a successful real estate business in Alaska, and is equipped financially to pay for this kind of excursion and he paid for the two ladies, but they were flabbergasted nonetheless. I could tell that our new friend visiting from Belarus was very seriously grateful for the experience, as she would never do this on her own.

I just returned from a trip to Ukraine, which is more or less the same as Belarus in terms of financial situation.

So, I can imagine the amazement of your sister in law and her friend. Just to put things in a perspective for Mustachians, for $1000, you can essentially have a solid upper-middle class lifestyle in Kyiv (the capital of Ukraine) or you can live like a king anywhere else in the rest of the country. This includes housing, health insurance, unlimited decent public transport, etc. Everything!

I had one of the best meals of my life there and the bill was about $25 for two people. The same meal would probably cost me $150-$200 around here. While I understand how some people can justify paying $300 for a meal for two in the U.S when there is a special occasion, you should understand that we live in an expensive country and I think paying that much for a meal should not be the norm.

But as long as there are people who are willing to pay that much for a meal that is not actually worth that much, we will see more restaurants doing it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2017, 08:30:11 PM »
Well, we all went ahead with the three course meal option, my buddy bought a $38 bottle of Malbec which we toasted to Kristi for her birthday, and we all spent 2.5 hours enjoying great company eating great food. At the close of the evening the check came and it was $448! My friends sister in law and her friend had never seen a bill that high in their entire lives. They are from Belarus, where a good salary pays $500/mo. Our table had just eaten/spent a months salary of a Belarusian corporate worker. Apartments are $150/mo! 3 months rent on food! My friend runs a successful real estate business in Alaska, and is equipped financially to pay for this kind of excursion and he paid for the two ladies, but they were flabbergasted nonetheless. I could tell that our new friend visiting from Belarus was very seriously grateful for the experience, as she would never do this on her own.

I just returned from a trip to Ukraine, which is more or less the same as Belarus in terms of financial situation.

So, I can imagine the amazement of your sister in law and her friend. Just to put things in a perspective for Mustachians, for $1000, you can essentially have a solid upper-middle class lifestyle in Kyiv (the capital of Ukraine) or you can live like a king anywhere else in the rest of the country. This includes housing, health insurance, unlimited decent public transport, etc. Everything!

I had one of the best meals of my life there and the bill was about $25 for two people. The same meal would probably cost me $150-$200 around here. While I understand how some people can justify paying $300 for a meal for two in the U.S when there is a special occasion, you should understand that we live in an expensive country and I think paying that much for a meal should not be the norm.

But as long as there are people who are willing to pay that much for a meal that is not actually worth that much, we will see more restaurants doing it.
While I would agree, I understand that my paying more for a meal in America is what helps to subsidize the poorest quartile in America from living like the poorest quartile in Ukraine.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2017, 03:06:14 PM »
I heard the food at the Space Needle wasn't that good and not worth it. If the food was worth it, then good for you.

Before I was on the MMM train, I still used commonsense and still remember NYE when I was 22 and a senior in college. It was a complete waste of money.

I had to wait tables until 11:00 p.m. My girlfriend wanted me to meet her at a bar in San Diego in 2002. I told her that I didn't want to go because I could only meet her for 1-2 hours. She gave me a really big guilt trip. I ended up parking in a parking garage and I showed up at 12:30 a.m. I paid a $20 cover and another $40 on 2 rounds of drinks for my girlfriend and myself. Last call was at 1:00 a.m. and forced out of the bar at 1:30 a.m. I was there for 1 hour.

She split the cost of a hotel room with 4 other people. We slept on the floor.

The bill the next day for parking was around $100 because it's like $10/hour. I left around 10:00 a.m. because I had to be at work at 11:00 a.m. You could get your parking validated by buying something at the mall, but the mall was closed because it was new years day. 

I ended up spending $160 on 2 drinks for myself (4 drinks total) during 1 hour. I told her that if she guilt tripped me into doing that again that I would break up with her. I had to work 10 hours to make the money to pay for the 1 hour of entertainment. I also had to drive a total of 2 hours round trip for the 1 hour of entertainment. Even back then at 22 years old, it didn't seem like commonsense to me. However, I was the weird one.


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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2017, 04:27:06 PM »
That's a hell of a lot of money.  For one night.   ONE NIGHT!   

Total face punch worthy.  None of this quiffling about average monthly spend, birthday, or it being a three day weekend.
What would you have done if your friend did not cover the two ladies' meals ?  it would have been another $200.   That money would go a long way on many other things that endure longer than a night.

If you had this money in a budget for random goof-off spending, then you can relax.

If it delays your goals, including possibly FIRE, then hang your head and learn from it.



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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2017, 06:15:07 PM »
$160 for an hour's entertainment is a lot. Then again I've read that there are hookers who have rates like that and even higher.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2017, 06:38:35 PM »
$160 for an hour's entertainment is a lot. Then again I've read that there are hookers who have rates like that and even higher.

And they won't even make you sleep on the floor. Spend on what brings you joy.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2017, 06:42:24 PM »
$160 for an hour's entertainment is a lot. Then again I've read that there are hookers who have rates like that and even higher.

My lawyer charges more than 4x that per hour, and I don't even feel entertained at the end!
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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2017, 09:31:46 AM »
$160 for an hour's entertainment is a lot. Then again I've read that there are hookers who have rates like that and even higher.

My lawyer charges more than 4x that per hour, and I don't even feel entertained at the end!

Lawyers do a more thorough job than hookers though.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2017, 12:35:41 PM »
That's a hell of a lot of money.  For one night.   ONE NIGHT!   

Total face punch worthy.  None of this quiffling about average monthly spend, birthday, or it being a three day weekend.
What would you have done if your friend did not cover the two ladies' meals ?  it would have been another $200.   That money would go a long way on many other things that endure longer than a night.

If you had this money in a budget for random goof-off spending, then you can relax.

If it delays your goals, including possibly FIRE, then hang your head and learn from it.

Well then, I'll happily give the OP's FACEPUNCH to you, Goldielocks!

As a one-off, I see nothing wrong with his weekend. Jesus H. Christ, this is not a guy with a hair on fire emergency! I call myself lucky to have had cancer, because it taught me to celebrate life's special moments. OP will have these memories forever without a blip on his savings report card in the end. Cut him enough slack to smell the roses. Lifelong memories for all these people? Totally worth it, IMO. It's not like the OP does this once a month. Sheesh.

Back to you, OP. Doesn't dinner at the Needle entitle you to stroll the outer deck afterwards? I hope you did so.

Finally, we spent a week in and around Seattle a couple of years ago because we had a family wedding in Spokane. (Yeah,  we celebrate the good stuff and somehow managed to make it to FI and FIRE.) We did the observation deck and a bunch of other stuff. We bought a City Pass, which saved a few bucks over paying for each thing separately. We flew Southwest, used hotel points at a hotel with free breakfast, bought groceries for some meals instead of eating out and rented a car through Costco. We had a blast and didn't break the bsnk. it was totally worth it. Life's a journey, people!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 11:17:03 PM by Diane C »

bebegirl

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2017, 04:58:18 PM »
Do you know that you can go up to 40th floor of Columbia Tower for free? There is Starbucks there with a very beautiful view ))

A free ride to Starbucks? Still seems like a loss...

There is no obligation to buy coffee, but the view is spectacular! Both to Puget Sound & Lake Washington.

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2017, 12:28:28 AM »
That's a hell of a lot of money.  For one night.   ONE NIGHT!   

Total face punch worthy.  None of this quiffling about average monthly spend, birthday, or it being a three day weekend.
What would you have done if your friend did not cover the two ladies' meals ?  it would have been another $200.   That money would go a long way on many other things that endure longer than a night.

If you had this money in a budget for random goof-off spending, then you can relax.

If it delays your goals, including possibly FIRE, then hang your head and learn from it.

Well then, I'll happily give the OP's FACEPUNCH to you, Goldielocks!

As a one-off, I see nothing wrong with his weekend. Jesus H. Christ, this is not a guy with a hair on fire emergency! I call myself lucky to have had cancer, because it taught me to celebrate life's special moments. OP will have these memories forever without a blip on his savings report card in the end. Cut him enough slack to smell the roses. Lifelong memories for all these people? Totally worth it, IMO. It's not like the OP does this once a month. Sheesh.

Back to you, OP. Doesn't dinner at the Needle entitle you to stroll the outer deck afterwards? I hope you did so.

Finally, we spent a week in and around Seattle a couple of years ago because we had a family wedding in Spokane. (Yeah,  we celebrate the good stuff and somehow managed to make it to FI and FIRE.) We did the observation deck and a bunch of other stuff. We bought a City Pass, which saved a few bucks over paying for each thing separately. We flew Southwest, used hotel points at a hotel with free breakfast, bought groceries for some meals instead of eating out and rented a car through Costco. We had a blast and didn't break the bsnk. it was totally worth it. Life's a journey, people!

People who want to live a little, should set up a spending budget for that.  I have nothing wrong with spending money that you can afford, on things that you enjoy.  Even if that means your goal to retire is at age 50 instead of 48... no problem.

The problem is the "OOPS!  that was a lot of money!"  unplanned situations.  It is facepunch worthy to put yourself into that situation without realizing it, and one should learn form it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2017, 04:02:47 AM »
Do you know that you can go up to 40th floor of Columbia Tower for free? There is Starbucks there with a very beautiful view ))

A free ride to Starbucks? Still seems like a loss...

There is no obligation to buy coffee, but the view is spectacular! Both to Puget Sound & Lake Washington.
Does sound very pretty.

COEE

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2017, 08:04:41 AM »
This is money well spent IMHO.  So what - you spent a small percentage of your income on dinner for very special occasions with good friends.  Nothing better in my book.

I recently did the same so maybe I'm biased.  We went to a French restaurant in downtown Boulder and spent a small fortune.  Who cares?  It was about 0.0045% of my net worth.  I couldn't remember the last time I spent that much on a single meal.  We usually spend that much on a whole month of dining out.  So we doubled our spending for the month - something that is rarely done.  But really - who cares - some internet forum geeks that are known for being penny pinchers?  Maybe.  What matters to me is that it was a significant + for me and my wife.  We shared in some significant events with good company over a nice bottle of wine and one of the best dinners of my life.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Mustachianism - to me - is more about making every dollar add value to my life instead of it frivolously being thrown at things that I will eventually regret.  Sometimes even moments later.

Dicey

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2017, 12:59:58 PM »
That's a hell of a lot of money.  For one night.   ONE NIGHT!   

Total face punch worthy.  None of this quiffling about average monthly spend, birthday, or it being a three day weekend.
What would you have done if your friend did not cover the two ladies' meals ?  it would have been another $200.   That money would go a long way on many other things that endure longer than a night.

If you had this money in a budget for random goof-off spending, then you can relax.

If it delays your goals, including possibly FIRE, then hang your head and learn from it.

Well then, I'll happily give the OP's FACEPUNCH to you, Goldielocks!

As a one-off, I see nothing wrong with his weekend. Jesus H. Christ, this is not a guy with a hair on fire emergency! I call myself lucky to have had cancer, because it taught me to celebrate life's special moments. OP will have these memories forever without a blip on his savings report card in the end. Cut him enough slack to smell the roses. Lifelong memories for all these people? Totally worth it, IMO. It's not like the OP does this once a month. Sheesh.

Back to you, OP. Doesn't dinner at the Needle entitle you to stroll the outer deck afterwards? I hope you did so.

Finally, we spent a week in and around Seattle a couple of years ago because we had a family wedding in Spokane. (Yeah,  we celebrate the good stuff and somehow managed to make it to FI and FIRE.) We did the observation deck and a bunch of other stuff. We bought a City Pass, which saved a few bucks over paying for each thing separately. We flew Southwest, used hotel points at a hotel with free breakfast, bought groceries for some meals instead of eating out and rented a car through Costco. We had a blast and didn't break the bsnk. it was totally worth it. Life's a journey, people!

People who want to live a little, should set up a spending budget for that.  I have nothing wrong with spending money that you can afford, on things that you enjoy.  Even if that means your goal to retire is at age 50 instead of 48... no problem.

The problem is the "OOPS!  that was a lot of money!"  unplanned situations.  It is facepunch worthy to put yourself into that situation without realizing it, and one should learn form it.
There is always room in my life and budget for life's special moments. They didn't derail my plans and I got to FIRE. Not everything can be planned, nor should it be. Wiggle room and flexibility are good things. So is sharing experiences with friends old and new. Sheesh, it's not like OP's going to do this once a week, month or even year. I think OP has learned the right lesson. Enough with the facepunches.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2017, 02:17:07 PM »
You guys are funny!

Diane C, defending my honor as a Member of the Mustachian Order.

Goldielocks, you're right, it was a lot of money :)

To clear it up, I was out with wifey, and we were joining my friend and his sister-in-law along with her friend. He was subsidizing them, I was responsible for our expenses.

Anyhow. We did have a great time, and remember it fondly, and are happy we did it. We feel better about it now than we did at the time, as the pain of the untoward expense is no longer present.

We still saved 50% that month, and saved another 50% (of our net income) the next month, and we'll hit 52% this month...

I'm happy to see that the majority rule states my actions weren't as facepunch worthy as I dreaded they were!

Just Joe

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2017, 08:03:08 AM »
You've talked me into it. When we visit Seattle we'll try the restaurant too! ;)

Dicey

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2017, 11:53:57 AM »
You've talked me into it. When we visit Seattle we'll try the restaurant too! ;)
Buy a City Pass and use it to visit the observation deck and a bunch of other fun stuff instead. Seattle is teeming with great and far less expensive restaurants.

I vigorously defended OP's honor due to the unique set of circumstances. On a planned trip, such forbearance from this quarter cannot be relied upon, TP. ;-)

Metric Mouse

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2017, 07:20:16 PM »
You guys are funny!

Diane C, defending my honor as a Member of the Mustachian Order.

Goldielocks, you're right, it was a lot of money :)

To clear it up, I was out with wifey, and we were joining my friend and his sister-in-law along with her friend. He was subsidizing them, I was responsible for our expenses.

Anyhow. We did have a great time, and remember it fondly, and are happy we did it. We feel better about it now than we did at the time, as the pain of the untoward expense is no longer present.

We still saved 50% that month, and saved another 50% (of our net income) the next month, and we'll hit 52% this month...

I'm happy to see that the majority rule states my actions weren't as facepunch worthy as I dreaded they were!

I think you did great. Looking at their menu, I would have spent more than you did!

bigalsmith101

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Re: Dinner at the Space Needle with friends. FACE PUNCH WORTHY
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2017, 11:42:40 PM »
You've talked me into it. When we visit Seattle we'll try the restaurant too! ;)
Buy a City Pass and use it to visit the observation deck and a bunch of other fun stuff instead. Seattle is teeming with great and far less expensive restaurants.

I vigorously defended OP's honor due to the unique set of circumstances. On a planned trip, such forbearance from this quarter cannot be relied upon, TP. ;-)

I agree, if you're just headed to Seattle to check it out. Buy the City Pass, use it to go up to the observation deck amongst other things, but skip the meal and use the $150+ dollars to do other cool shit and eat equally good food elsewhere! Otherwise, be prepared for face punches. ;)