Author Topic: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?  (Read 1495 times)

jps

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Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« on: February 28, 2019, 12:05:38 PM »
Here's the situation: My spouse is a CPA currently working 65-ish hours each week (busy season through April).

In the month of February, she spent 3 weeks out of town for work. I am hurting for more face-to-face time with my wife. Our relationship is fine, but her busy season work schedule is definitely a strain.

Normally, we spend $50/month on restaurants, which allows us to go out together on a date once, and sometimes one of us will pick up a lunch or something too. Would it be permissible for one month, to up our eating out budget to $200 so that we could technically go out 4 times? This would mean an intentional dinner date 1x/week.

Going out to dinner was something that we used to do frequently, but since moving toward a MMM lifestyle in the past year we have cut back. It's a time, for us, that is very intentional with good conversation and no phone distractions.

This would be a way to spend time together in a month where she doesn't normally get home from work until 8-9 when I am getting ready for bed. She works about 20-25 minutes from home and takes the bus, so it's not as feasible for her to come home for a dinner and then head back to the office. I am inclined to do this one month increase, as I am confident that it would be a one-time measure and not the beginning of lifestyle inflation. In my head, it's a one-time relationship expense rather than becoming a consumer spendy-pants. Am I wrong?

What do the Mustachians think? Any ideas you have or advice from folks who are in similar situations is appreciated.

Cranky

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2019, 12:11:24 PM »
Why donít you cook dinner for her?

I mean, itís your money and if you want to eat out, thatís up to you. But you can cook a pretty great meal at home for that and spend some quality time together.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2019, 12:15:30 PM »
Why donít you cook dinner for her?

I mean, itís your money and if you want to eat out, thatís up to you. But you can cook a pretty great meal at home for that and spend some quality time together.

She gets home at 8 or 9. Either the office caters or she'll take dinner.

LifeHappens

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2019, 12:34:59 PM »
Why donít you cook dinner for her?

I mean, itís your money and if you want to eat out, thatís up to you. But you can cook a pretty great meal at home for that and spend some quality time together.

She gets home at 8 or 9. Either the office caters or she'll take dinner.
So when are you planning on going out?

People with a super busy season do what they have to do to get by. I don't see a great deal of harm in spending an extra $200 to get through tax season this year, but what about next year? You sound like you're really struggling and it will be the same or worse next year. Is there any chance your spouse could switch jobs to a non-tax area of accounting?

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 05:51:09 PM »
Why donít you cook dinner for her?

I mean, itís your money and if you want to eat out, thatís up to you. But you can cook a pretty great meal at home for that and spend some quality time together.

She gets home at 8 or 9. Either the office caters or she'll take dinner.
So when are you planning on going out?

People with a super busy season do what they have to do to get by. I don't see a great deal of harm in spending an extra $200 to get through tax season this year, but what about next year? You sound like you're really struggling and it will be the same or worse next year. Is there any chance your spouse could switch jobs to a non-tax area of accounting?

I'd stop downtown on my way home from work, and she would just jump away from work for a little while.

You're right, it might be every year. She loves what she does, and she is actually very good at it. I want to support her as much as I can in it.

Thanks for your input, LifeHappens.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 06:03:54 PM »
Why not make food at home and take it downtown? Basically a picnic lunch =)

englishteacheralex

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2019, 06:05:33 PM »
Our monthly restaurant budget is $100 (our monthly take home pay is ~$10k). We have two toddlers and we try to keep takeout to almost never. That restaurant budget is 90%-100% for date nights. And I don't apologize for them, and sometimes we go a little bit over $100 for the month. We also have to budget ~$80 for the babysitter for those dates. WORTH IT.

Because we, too, get to have a wonderful, distraction-free time together where all we do is talk and hang out and remember why we married each other. I consider this an exceptional investment. Read some of the threads of people who have been divorced. It's expensive as hell.

Anyway I give you permission to do this. The people budget busting on restaurants are out-sourcing their cooking to restaurants and using them as a result of poor planning and impulsivity. Intentionally going to a restaurant as a way to share special time with your SO is a good use of money and not to be scoffed at, in my opinion.

Of course, you could always do your dates at cheap places and use coupons.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 09:07:53 AM »
Our monthly restaurant budget is $100 (our monthly take home pay is ~$10k). We have two toddlers and we try to keep takeout to almost never. That restaurant budget is 90%-100% for date nights. And I don't apologize for them, and sometimes we go a little bit over $100 for the month. We also have to budget ~$80 for the babysitter for those dates. WORTH IT.

Because we, too, get to have a wonderful, distraction-free time together where all we do is talk and hang out and remember why we married each other. I consider this an exceptional investment. Read some of the threads of people who have been divorced. It's expensive as hell.

Anyway I give you permission to do this. The people budget busting on restaurants are out-sourcing their cooking to restaurants and using them as a result of poor planning and impulsivity. Intentionally going to a restaurant as a way to share special time with your SO is a good use of money and not to be scoffed at, in my opinion.

Of course, you could always do your dates at cheap places and use coupons.

Thanks for the input! Maybe I have some hardcore confirmation bias going on, but I think that this is a great insight.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 09:11:58 AM »
Here's the situation: My spouse is a CPA currently working 65-ish hours each week (busy season through April).

In the month of February, she spent 3 weeks out of town for work. I am hurting for more face-to-face time with my wife. Our relationship is fine, but her busy season work schedule is definitely a strain.

Normally, we spend $50/month on restaurants, which allows us to go out together on a date once, and sometimes one of us will pick up a lunch or something too. Would it be permissible for one month, to up our eating out budget to $200 so that we could technically go out 4 times? This would mean an intentional dinner date 1x/week.

Going out to dinner was something that we used to do frequently, but since moving toward a MMM lifestyle in the past year we have cut back. It's a time, for us, that is very intentional with good conversation and no phone distractions.

This would be a way to spend time together in a month where she doesn't normally get home from work until 8-9 when I am getting ready for bed. She works about 20-25 minutes from home and takes the bus, so it's not as feasible for her to come home for a dinner and then head back to the office. I am inclined to do this one month increase, as I am confident that it would be a one-time measure and not the beginning of lifestyle inflation. In my head, it's a one-time relationship expense rather than becoming a consumer spendy-pants. Am I wrong?

What do the Mustachians think? Any ideas you have or advice from folks who are in similar situations is appreciated.

If you're not in a "hair on fire" financial situation (paying CC interest, living paycheck to paycheck, etc.) you should absolutely do this.  Mustachianism isn't always about not having fun and saving every single penny you can.  Treat yourself this crazy month and start to find a balance.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 10:41:46 AM »
If you're not in a "hair on fire" financial situation (paying CC interest, living paycheck to paycheck, etc.) you should absolutely do this.  Mustachianism isn't always about not having fun and saving every single penny you can.  Treat yourself this crazy month and start to find a balance.

We are debt free (except a small mortgage), and are well on our way to growing a 'stache with between 1-2 years' expenses invested. We're talking about 2.4% of our after-tax income for a month, so it is indeed small potatoes.  Thanks!

Zikoris

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 11:02:27 AM »
Seconding the "bring food with you" idea, if you really want to eat together. I've delivered home-cooked food to my partner before. Even baking sometimes, like fresh cookies. I wouldn't backslide on getting restaurants under control - there's a good chance that the "temporary" budget will stick even after tax season.

But honestly, it might be better to just plan to have your couple bonding time in some other form. I actually have some experience with this as my partner worked in accounting for a few tax seasons. During that time we would just really focus on doing stuff on weekends or the evening time we did have, and just accepted that things would be kind of crappy for a couple of months.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 01:15:23 PM »
The most romantic things I did involve making picnics, driving to some cool or relaxing spot and eating and talking. You can never ever beat a one on one picnic with the person you love.

morethanconquerors

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 01:27:23 PM »
I am also a CPA and just got done with a large project. During my busiest weeks, the last thing that I wanted to have to think about was food, since I was getting up at 4:30am and not getting back home until the late evening. I can't tell you how amazing it felt to grab takeout on my way home to enjoy with my spouse after a long day at the office. This is a temporary period of time. Tighten back up after busy season, but please spend time with your spouse and don't be afraid to blow up your budget for this one month. They need the quality time with you too.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 02:08:00 PM »
I am also a CPA and just got done with a large project. During my busiest weeks, the last thing that I wanted to have to think about was food, since I was getting up at 4:30am and not getting back home until the late evening. I can't tell you how amazing it felt to grab takeout on my way home to enjoy with my spouse after a long day at the office. This is a temporary period of time. Tighten back up after busy season, but please spend time with your spouse and don't be afraid to blow up your budget for this one month. They need the quality time with you too.

Thank you, @morethanconquerors . Glad to hear that I am not alone in this.


The most romantic things I did involve making picnics, driving to some cool or relaxing spot and eating and talking. You can never ever beat a one on one picnic with the person you love.

Maybe there's a compromise somewhere in here, where sometimes I put something together for us and sometimes we go out. The reason I'm not super excited about that is that basically, all household responsibilities fall to me right now, and I am wanting a little break too. But I agree, especially if she thought we were going out to dinner and I brought a picnic, that would be a real romantic move.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 02:19:44 PM »
I am also a CPA and just got done with a large project. During my busiest weeks, the last thing that I wanted to have to think about was food, since I was getting up at 4:30am and not getting back home until the late evening. I can't tell you how amazing it felt to grab takeout on my way home to enjoy with my spouse after a long day at the office. This is a temporary period of time. Tighten back up after busy season, but please spend time with your spouse and don't be afraid to blow up your budget for this one month. They need the quality time with you too.

Thank you, @morethanconquerors . Glad to hear that I am not alone in this.


The most romantic things I did involve making picnics, driving to some cool or relaxing spot and eating and talking. You can never ever beat a one on one picnic with the person you love.

Maybe there's a compromise somewhere in here, where sometimes I put something together for us and sometimes we go out. The reason I'm not super excited about that is that basically, all household responsibilities fall to me right now, and I am wanting a little break too. But I agree, especially if she thought we were going out to dinner and I brought a picnic, that would be a real romantic move.

Hereís the thing, and Iíll just be blunt, if your wife is working like this and away then neither of you are getting much intimacy or sex Iíd imagine. Thatís what you both need (ignore completely if youíre doing it like bunnies). Sure going out to dinner solves the I donít want to cook tonight, but you canít be intimate in a restaurant. You canít be in each otherís arms, touching skin, light kisses and making inappropriate jokes about life that only you two can share. Have time for just the two of you, who gives a shit if youíve been doing all the cooking, itís a bit more than that. Itís maintaining your connection on a deep level when life does everything to interrupt that. Also, picnics are dead easy. Get a picnic basket, wine and either pick up your favorite foods as take out, get prepared food from the supermarket or make an easy dish that you both love. Itís not about the food, itís the blanket and having her between your legs with you wrapped around her or one of your heads on the others lap and just laughing. Do lots of that.

MustacheAnxiety

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 02:31:17 PM »
If she can find the time go more than once a week you should do it more than once a week and get cheap takeout most days. $5 footlongs are pretty tasty.

One thing we do to try and stay connected is to take a 30 minute walk at lunch and chat on the phone.  It is nice to get away from the desk, good for us, good for our relationship, and free.  We are also pretty committed to waking up at the same time and having breakfast and packing lunches together.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2019, 02:43:46 PM »
Hereís the thing, and Iíll just be blunt, if your wife is working like this and away then neither of you are getting much intimacy or sex Iíd imagine. Thatís what you both need (ignore completely if youíre doing it like bunnies). Sure going out to dinner solves the I donít want to cook tonight, but you canít be intimate in a restaurant. You canít be in each otherís arms, touching skin, light kisses and making inappropriate jokes about life that only you two can share. Have time for just the two of you, who gives a shit if youíve been doing all the cooking, itís a bit more than that. Itís maintaining your connection on a deep level when life does everything to interrupt that. Also, picnics are dead easy. Get a picnic basket, wine and either pick up your favorite foods as take out, get prepared food from the supermarket or make an easy dish that you both love. Itís not about the food, itís the blanket and having her between your legs with you wrapped around her or one of your heads on the others lap and just laughing. Do lots of that.

Thank you, @MrThatsDifferent  . I didn't realize I needed to hear that.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2019, 02:47:28 PM »
I don't think you can mess this up, honestly, as long as you intentionally make time with her during this busy period. The money aspect should be secondary. I'm all for frugality, but when it severely gets in the way of my relationships I'll blow a few extra bucks. Priorities and all that.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2019, 04:49:06 PM »
I don't think you can mess this up, honestly, as long as you intentionally make time with her during this busy period. The money aspect should be secondary. I'm all for frugality, but when it severely gets in the way of my relationships I'll blow a few extra bucks. Priorities and all that.

Thanks for your thoughts.

jps

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Re: Can I increase my restaurant budget for March?
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2019, 02:49:31 PM »
Hey everybody. I want to give an update now that busy season is winding down.

We spent $200 on restaurants in the month of March. That let us go out probably 6 times. It was amazing. We loved getting to sit and enjoy each other's company in a setting that meant no cooking and no cleaning. Both of us realized that we were hurting for quality time, and trading a small amount of money for it was worth it.

We've successfully made it out of busy season, and are really enjoying having all nights and weekends together again.

Thanks for everybody's advice and concern.