We Overspent and We Liked It!


I have something to admit. We blew it big time this month. Above our typical expenses we spent another $1,000 on discretionary items. What’s gotten into us? Have Mr. and Mrs. Groovy donned their spendy pants? Have they fallen victim to the siren call of “THINGS” that beckon “Buy me! Buy me!”? Hardly. But in the past thirty days or so we’ve done something unheard of in the Groovy household—we’ve forced ourselves to spend money. That’s right. We overspent and we liked it.

Before you become disappointed in us let me tell you how we spent the money.

  • Dinner: $170
  • iPad: $300
  • Washing Machine: $500

Why on earth would two people spend $170 on dinner? Was it a special occasion? Well, yes, it was our anniversary. But it’s not like we usually do anything spectacular for our anniversary. And we didn’t hit a particular milestone year in our marriage. But what happened is this.

We promised ourselves when we reached the MustachianThreshold we’d treat ourselves to a very special dinner. And—we didn’t. Then, when we received our federal tax refund, which was $2,000 more than we expected (due to some year end tax loss harvesting), we promised we’d treat ourselves to a very special dinner. And—we didn’t. Then, we promised we’d treat ourselves to a very special dinner after reaching five hundred followers on Twitter. And—we didn’t.

So when Mr. Groovy researched Doc Porter’s—the distillery he wrote about in his Craft Economy post, we learned about a farm to table restaurant in Charlotte called Dogwood Southern Table (DST). DST, which good ole Doc Porter partners with from time time, has an eclectic southern menu. It serves local beer and spirits, and it’s in a fashionable neighborhood we haven’t been back to in a long time. Finally, we made a decision—not just a promise—to dine at DST for our anniversary. And it was well worth the wait.

To say we felt pampered would be an understatement. First of all, we had dinner over the course of two and a half hours. That’s a far cry from the 10 minutes it takes to eat at Sonic, or the scant hour we might have spent at The Olive Garden when celebrating other occasions. Everyone from the manager, to the cook, and to the waitress whose namesake drink I ordered, stopped by our table briefly to chat.

The food was outstanding. The drinks were good. And the atmosphere was awesome. Afterwards, we took a short stroll to check out the neighborhood before returning home. But the best part of all was the conversation—we didn’t discuss work, the list of errands we needed to complete that weekend, chores for the blog, or the need to visit my aunt in the nursing home. We just chatted—about nothing and everything.

It was money well spent!

Now on to the iPad. For months I’ve been researching tablets. I’ve been following sales since before Thanksgiving to purchase either the iPad mini or a Samsung tablet. I finally took the plunge and purchased an iPad directly from Apple.

I don’t need a tablet. But it’s something I’ve been coveting for more than six months. My fat fingers have been annoyed with me for overusing them while surfing the net on my cell phone. And my eyes have been scolding me for the constant strain I put them under while squinting at my cell phone. I wear my glasses but they don’t help much. While using my recipe app for dinner I still need to march over to Mr. Groovy to ask him to read me the directions.

“Enough already” Mr. Groovy said. “By the freakin’ iPad.”

So I did.

And it was money well spent!

And then there was the washing machine. Oh yes, my nemesis. That hulking piece of metal with a mind of its own. That wretched beast had me playing guessing games and nearly drove me crazy. Will it stop in the middle of a cycle today? Will it move on to rinse? Click, click click—then a pause. Oh c’mon, you bast*rd! Lemme hear you switch gears and start agitating…I think it will, I think it will—and then, nothing!

I’ve heard of babying a person, but babying a washing machine? Sheesh! Mr. Groovy even nick-named me, “The Laundry Whisperer”. Good grief I had enough.

Have you tried to research a washer these days? Good luck. The product reviews are no help because they’re all over the place. You can’t trust any of them. And apparently, finding an appliance that will simply clean your clothing is too much to ask for. There’s no such thing in the washing machine business anymore. Everything is HE (high efficiency) this and HE that. The machines have gotten so complex some of them even have sinks attached to them. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year’s models can cook your breakfast too.

So we had a big decision to make. Do we buy a low-end machine and leave it to the folks who buy our home when we relocate? Or do we go high-end and take the machine with us? Well, we ended up going middle of the road. We spent $500 on a Whirlpool HE washing machine. Fingers crossed but so far, so good. Mr. Groovy can finally relax on the sofa downstairs without hearing me cursing the washing machine upstairs. He even promised me he will start doing the laundry himself!

Oh yes, indeed—it was money well spent!

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    • Mrs. Groovy

      Exactly! It helps to take a break from frugality once in a while. We just returned from a planned 11-day vacation. Although we used rewards miles for the airfare (not through any credit card hacking) we still spent a bundle on hotels, rental car, and fun stuff like local food, ice cream, and beer/vodka.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Claudia. I had thought washers are supposed to last around 15 years! Mine was only 8. We’ll probably leave the one we just bought behind to whoever sells are house, unless they want to bring their own. At that point I hope it’s easier to make a selection.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It was nice eating just the two of us, too. We don’t have children but Groovy Cat often wants to jump up to the table and look lovingly at Mr. G while he’s eating! Yep, a leisurely dinner is good for the soul. Thanks for commenting.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks Jaime. I agree we don’t need to defend our choices. We just have to talk ourselves into spending in a way that feels luxurious to us, at least once in a while.

  1. Hey there’s nothing wrong on spending money on things that make you happy. That ultimately is what money is there for, to be an exchange for something else. Even investing well and getting your net worth up, you should do the things that make you happy 🙂

    Congrats on the washing machine on the items – you will get lots of use out of them. Being cheap / expensive doesn’t mean value, it sounds like you got good value 🙂


    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Tristan. I did one frugal thing with the iPad I didn’t mention in my post. I bought it refurbished from Apple. I wanted the 32gb model which is $319 new. I got it for $50 less refurbished. Apple puts in a new battery and a new outer housing. And it’s under the same 1-year warranty. I did a little reading up, and some people swear Apple refurbished products are even better than new. Supposedly, refurbished products are subject to heavy testing and inspecting, and parts are replaced if necessary. I don’t know if I believe that but I felt OK with my decision, given the warranty.

      The washer will take some getting used to. But at least I no longer need to be a “Laundry Whisperer”.

  2. Celebrational dinners are ok. even more, they are a must. Especially if it is postponed multiple times. In our life plan, living now, enjoying the now is equally important as saving it all up for FIRE date. We basically do not want to life a limited life now to be FREE 2 years sooner.
    Some balance – as mentioned by James – is needed.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It’s odd, Amber tree, but at this point it doesn’t have to do with saving to be free sooner. We’re waiting for Mr. Groovy’s birthday to collect his small pension but we could quit the jobs now, if we wanted to (and I may end up doing it before him, if mine doesn’t become less stressful. But that’s another story). We’re just not accustomed to spending money on ourselves when it feels in any way extravagant. That’s something we need to practice once in a while.

  3. Love it! Finding the right balance can be tough, but it is necessary. It isn’t enough to accumulate money … you have to know when and how to spend it to meet needs and more importantly, get pleasure.

    Some good friends, who have reached the multi-millionaire level, have confided they know they could spend more but find it hard to do at times after decades of focusing so intensely on saving. I gently remind them all the time, balance, balance, balance.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      James, it’s amazing that habits can become so ingrained, even multimillionaires have trouble spending. I agree – balance, balance, balance.

  4. Glad you guys had a good time! A good dinner is always nice.

    As for your iPad, I know that I am on my tablet (a Kindle) every day. Little Bit is on hers daily too. On a per use basis, it may actually be one of the cheapest things we own.(well, except for the glasses that stay on unless I’m asleep.)

    • Mrs. Groovy

      It’s good to know both you and Little Bit are getting daily use out of your tablet. I haven’t been yet, but that’s because I’m waiting for a case I ordered on Amazon to come. The iPad is much thinner than I expected, which is a good thing. But I want to keep it protected.

  5. Spending money can be a good thing, or even a great thing, and I’m glad your spending was well worth it. I know the Mrs. and I don’t go out somewhere nice as often as we’d like. So we made it one of our goals to go out at least once a month. We’ve been a bit behind, but this month we’re going to spend money on not one, but two paid concerts(Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs and The Zombies & The Rascals)! I’m really looking forward to spending that money. 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I love The Rascals! I can still see the cover of my album (I don’t have it anymore) with “How Can I Be Sure” and “It’s a Beautiful Morning”. I think it was either a Best of…or their Greatest Hits. I know who Alan Cummings is but I’m not familiar with his Sappy Songs. I’ll have to Google it.

      It actually felt good to spend the money, on all three accounts. I’m glad you and your wife intentionally plan your date nights, Gary. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.

  6. Uh oh…Looks like the spending has set in. I bet next month you are telling us about your new $1m house and new Tesla you purchased 😉

    Glad to hear you had a good dinner! Good restaurants in one thing we will spend money on. We don’t do it a lot but when we do, we try and enjoy ourselves.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      We really did enjoy ourselves at dinner, Thias. It was truly money well spent.

      Perhaps you’ve seen Mr. G’s mention of some lithium stock we own? If we hit it big, that might be our ticket to a Tesla. But only for a 1-day rental if there is such a thing.

  7. Mrs G., Great article. I applaud your “celebration dinner”, we all need to celebrate milestone achievements, even in our frugality. Life is about more than obsessive focus on money, at all costs. Good for your living “a little”. Love the iPad story. 6 months of coveting is a sufficient buffer to insure it’s really something worth buying. As for the washer, couldn’t Mr. G simply have washed all of your clothese in the bathtub??

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks Fritz. We definitely needed that celebration dinner. And I’m having fun trying to figure out the iPad. I’ve never owned an Apple product. I’d actually pay money to see Mr. G washing clothes in the bathtub. I tell you though, he found a good excuse for having an extra “no shower day” over the weekend. The machine was delivered last Friday but the delivery guys noticed it was dented! (Good thing that was before bringing it up to the 2nd floor.) So we had to wait until Monday for another one.