One of the first things, at our house, that gets eliminated when we have unexpected expenses is the Date Money. Those things are wants not needs and of course are done away with when we need money for more pressing matters. But, just because we have no money for date night doesn't mean we shouldn't still have Date Night.
Our relationship with our spouse is the most important relationship we have on earth. The only association more important is that with our Heavenly Father. So, we should make time and effort to cultivate our relationship and one way is by having regular "dates."
The typical "dinner and a movie" date becomes nearly impossible on a tight budget (let alone paying for a babysitter). But there are other things that can be done for a date which cost nothing. The important thing is that you set a specific time apart just for each other.
Now, first off, what about the kids? Here are a couple of ideas to get them out of the way and not pay a cent.
- Grandma and Grandpa - If you are lucky enough to live close to your parents or other relatives, like we are, you are all set. I know they would love to spend a couple of quality hours with their grandkids. Just be careful not to overuse this wonderful resource.
- Neighbors & Friends - Do you have neighbors or friends with kids around the same age as your own. Suggest you watch each other's kids. They'll watch all the kids on Friday while you go on your date, and you'll watch all the kids on Saturday while they go. This option is a great incentive to actually get out an do something every week since you don't have to worry about getting a babysitter and you know the other family is counting on you.
- Early to Bed - Our kids have a very early bedtime. Everyone is pretty much down by 8pm on weekdays. I love this arrangement! Not only does it give my husband and I several hours of quiet alone time, but when he has meetings at night I get some mommy time. And yes, you can consider it a "DATE" if the kids are asleep in the other room. It's a date as long as you say so.
Stay tuned for next week when I start my monster list of Free/Super Cheap date ideas. We've been working on this list for over a month. Right now I'm up to 44 great ideas. The goal was 52, one for every week in the year, but some of the ideas need more than one week to complete so you should be able to stretch it to the whole year. We will start next week and highlight 11 date ideas and continue for the next four weeks. Should be lots of fun.