Sunday, March 09, 2008

When It's Worth It

I spent $40 eating out today—nothing particularly interesting, really, not great food, nothing better than I could have had at home (though the Earl Grey at the tea place was very good indeed), but I still thought it was worth it. I had a long, leisurely tea with a few friends, and sat looking out the window at the tides of the rain rising and falling—now a deluge, now a mild drizzle—for a couple of hours. Then I walked from 5th Street to 85th Street with one of the friends, having a chat, getting drenched by a sudden resurgence of rain, just hanging out. And then at the other end of the lengthy walk, called up a friend whose corner I ended up on and we went and had omelets and beer, and sat around for a few more hours, just talking about stuff, just being together.

And was I planning on spending $40 eating out today? No. Not at all. But...whatever, you know? The money's there. I'll adjust for the rest of the week.

I think for awhile there my frugality pendulum had swung a little too far into cheapskatery. I'm working on finding a happy medium. I think I'm getting closer. The thing, I'm learning, is to tone down the rigidity. I know I can get through a week on $40 in grocery money. There's no reason that I need to consistently be striving to spend next to nothing over the course of a weekend—I've got some money to spend. Not a hundred bucks, but I've got some money to spend. And it's fine if I spend it. It's fine if I go out for an unscheduled after-work drink. It's not going to break the bank. I can chill.


Strange Bird said...

Everyone needs some balance. Sounds like it was a good day.

Kim said...

Good for you! I think I dove off the other end of the spectrum today (way to mix metaphors, Kim), but I'm with you on this. Yes, you have to save for the future, but you also have to enjoy your life while you're living it! Yeah!

Sistah Ant said...

It's like a balance beam. I am just learning how to escape cheapskatery (love that word!) but I still associate guilt with spending sometimes, even though I have the money... I guess it's just an ongoing learning process.